The NFC North features two of the top receivers in the NFL, and a few other intriguing options.
1. Calvin Johnson
While Larry Fitzgerald and Andre Johnson are widely considered the two best receivers in pro football, they’re also in much more appealing situations. But regardless of the fact that he played for an 0-16 team and with three different QBs in ‘08, Calvin still excelled and had over 1,300 receiving yards and 12 TDs.
This year, and the next ten for that matter, the sky is truly the limit. We also think he’ll help bring along Stafford nicely. And if Culpepper’s the guy early on, he’ll bring back flashbacks from Daunte’s early days with Randy Moss.
However, this is also the reason why he won’t be the top ranked fantasy receiver in 2009.
2. Greg Jennings
Jennings is an extremely gifted receiver and showed that his breakout season in 2007 wasn’t an aberration. In fact, the transition from Favre to Rodgers couldn’t have gone any smoother as he quickly picked up as the big play deep threat. Overall, he finished with nearly 1,300 yards and nine TDs.
This year, in a season which the Pack should be much improved, look for Green Bay’s number one receiving threat to post big numbers once again, with over 1,300 yards receiving and double digit TDs.
3. Bernard Berrian
Berrian is a very good receiver who’s been handicapped by the QBs he’s been cursed to play with. First it was Grossman, then came Frerotte and Jackson. While he still managed 964 yards, with a real QB to throw him the ball, he’d do even more as he’s blessed with excellent top-end deep speed and good hands.
This year, in which old man Favre might be at the helm, look for an improved season and at least 1,000 yards and eight TDs.
4. Devin Hester
Hester is easily a guy who could amass 70-80 catches on slant patters, screens and deep balls. Now with Cutler the QB, the opportunities for big plays could be plentiful. After catching 50 passes for 665 yards and three TDs, all while learning the position, look for an increase in 2009 to at least 850 yards and six TDs.
Sleeper – Percy Harvin
The Vikings intend to use Harvin similar to how the Bears envision using Hester—any way they can. Look for Percy to line up in the slot, the back field, the outside receiver position, etc., and for Childress to find a way to get him 10 to 12 touches per game.
This could be the top fantasy rookie of the year.
Johnson is a first round talent who will likely find himself taken in the beginning of round two due to the QB situation in Detroit. Jennings will be an early- to mid-second rounder while Berrian will last to the fourth. Hester will be available from the sixth on while Harvin, who could be around in round seven, could be the sleeper of this year’s draft.