Fantasy Football Breakdown 2009: AFC Receivers

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AFC East

Buffalo Bills:

Lee Evans – 63 rec. 1017 yds. 3 TDs

Terrell Owens – 69 rec. 1052 yds. 10 TDs (w/ Dallas)

Owens brings a new dimension to the offense, but it will be up to Trent Edwards to get him and Lee Evans the ball. Furthermore, it will be up to the Bills patchwork offensive line to give Edwards the time he needs. Evans will be helped by the attention Owens will garner, and should only improve on what was a very good season. I believe Owens will have a very good year, but Evans will be the focal point. Both are upper echelon, yet not elite fantasy wideouts.

Miami Dolphins:

Ted Ginn Jr. – 56 rec. 790 yds. 2 TDs

Greg Camarillo – 55 rec. 613 yds. 2 TDs

Davone Bess – 54 rec. 554 yds. 1 TD:

The Dolphins are very average at wide receiver, and would definitely like to get more production from this position. Ginn Jr. has shown signs of being ready to break out, but Pennington’s arm is not a good fit for his biggest strength, his deep speed. I wouldn’t touch him until the late rounds, but there is probably someone in your league who will reach for him because of a couple of good games last season. Camarillo is a possession receiver, while Bess has looked good in the slot. Camarillo is a borderline starter, while Bess can be had on waivers. Third round pick Patrick Turner could develop into a red zone threat with his 6’5” frame.

New England Patriots:

Wes Welker – 111 rec. 1165 yds. 3 TDs

Randy Moss – 69rec. 1008 yds. 11 TDs

Joey Galloway – 13 rec. 138 yds. 0 TD (w/ Tampa Bay):

Look for the Patriots wideouts to be off the board early in response to Tom Brady returning to the lineup. No one will be happier to have Brady back than Moss, who had a below average year for his lofty standards. He thrives on Brady’s excellent deep ball, while Welker is a force out of the slot, and should see his TD numbers improve this year as well. Galloway is the player that could be had in later rounds, but is coming off a season ending injury. It is yet to be seen if Galloway can regain his deep speed, but if he is 100 percent, he could have a rebound year, as he is perfect for the Pats’ deep passing game.

New York Jets:

Jerricho Cotchery – 71 rec. 858 yds. 5 TDs

Chansi Stuckey – 32 rec. 359 yds. 3 TDs:

The Jets were criticized for not finding an adequate replacement for departed wideout Laverneus Coles. However, the Jets believe that Cotchery has the skill set to develop into a number one guy, and they are very high on Stuckey as well as David Clowney. They better hope these guys step up because otherwise Mark Sanchez will struggle mightily. Cotchery is a borderline starter who will have ups and downs as Sanchez develops, while Stuckey or Clowney can be had on waivers.

AFC North:

Baltimore Ravens:

Michael Clayton – 41 rec. 695 yds. 3 TDs

Demetrius Williams – 13 rec. 180 yds. 1 TDs

The Ravens’ group of wideouts will have to step up big time after the retirement of Derrick Mason. Clayton showed flashes last season, and there are high hopes for Demetrius Williams. The Ravens will continue to be a run-first team which makes their starting wideouts fantasy reserves only.

Cincinnati Bengals:

Chad Ochocinco – 53 rec. 540 yds. 4 TDs

Lavernues Coles – 70 rec. 850 yds. 7 TDs (w/ Jets)

Chris Henry – 19 rec. 220 yds. 2 TDs

Chad Ochocinco struggled tremendously and is looking to have a bounce back season with the return of Carson Palmer. Coles still has a lot left and should be able to adequately replace T.J. Houshmandzadeh. If Chris Henry can stay out of trouble he could be a fantasy sleeper as he has showed the ability to be a TD machine. The return to full strength of Carson Palmer is the X-factor here, as well as the ability of the Bengals line to protect him. All three of these guys should be considered above average fantasy starters if Palmer returns to his form of two seasons ago.

Cleveland Browns:

Braylon Edwards – 55 rec. 873 yds. 3 TDs

Brian Robiskie (rookie):

No team was a bigger fantasy disappointment last season than the Cleveland Browns, and Braylon Edwards was one of the main culprits, failing to live up to a stellar 2007 season. Edwards has all the physical tools, but often has lapses in concentration, which leads to frustrating drops. I’m actually expecting a bounce back season from Edwards this year if they can get their starting quarterback situation figured out. Robiskie flew under the radar in the draft because he doesn’t have jaw dropping athleticism, but he is extremely polished and should contribute right away. His father is the receivers coach for the Atlanta Falcons, so he knows what it takes to succeed on this level and has been working towards an NFL career his whole life.

Pittsburgh Steelers:

Hines Ward – 81 rec. 1043 yds. 7 TDs

Santonio Holmes – 55 rec. 821 yds. 5 TDs

I have been waiting for Holmes to break out for the past two seasons, and have drafted him on many of my teams, only to not to reap any reward. That could change this season, though, as he looking to use his Super Bowl winning grab to catapult him into superstardom. The problem with the Steelers is that they are a run first team, and tend to win a lot of games in an ugly fashion. That being said, Ward and Holmes will still put up good stats, which makes them both solid fantasy starters.

AFC South:

Houston Texans:

Andre Johnson – 115 rec. 1575 yds. 8 TDs

Kevin Walter – 60 rec. 899 yds. 8 TDs

Last season Andre Johnson showed what he can do when he is healthy for an entire year. Johnson faces double and triple teams almost every time he runs a route, but still puts up monster numbers and I don’t see any reason for him not to have another great year, barring injury. Walter was one of the pleasant surprises of last year’s fantasy season, and head coach Gary Kubiak has compared him to Ed McCaffery from when he used coordinate in Denver. Johnson will be one of the first wideouts off the board, while Walter can be had in the mid to late rounds.

Indianapolis Colts:

Reggie Wayne – 82 rec. 1145 yds. 6 TDs

Anthony Gonzalez – 57 rec. 664 yds. 4 TDs

Expect big seasons from the Colts wideouts, as Marvin Harrison is out of the fold, and Manning will look to have an even better season than this year’s MVP campaign where he got off to a bit of a slow start. Without Harrison, Wayne is a legitimate top 5 receiver in this league, while Gonzalez will look to put together his first 1,000 yard season, and he probably will get it done. Fourth round draft pick Austin Collie is a sleeper, but will be used sparingly, as Dallas Clark is normally split out in their 3 receiver sets.

Jacksonville Jaguars:

Torry Holt – 64 rec. 796 yds. 3 TDs (w/ St. Louis)

Dennis Northcutt – 44 rec. 545 yds. 2 TDs

Mike Walker – 16 rec. 217 yds. 0 TD

The Jags finally gave up on their past mistakes and released first round busts Matt Jones, Reggie Williams, and free agent failure Jerry Porter. Part of the problem with the passing game last season was the devastation to the offensive line through various injuries. The Jags have seemingly shored up that aspect of their offense, and Garrard needs to have a bounce back year to keep he, and his head coach’s jobs. The Jags are hoping Holt has something left in the tank, and at the very least will teach their youngsters a thing or two about the position. Northcutt was a pleasant surprise down the stretch last season, while Mike Walker hopes to have a breakout year. The Jags also drafted a pair of small speedsters in Mike Thomas and Jarrett Dilliard. Thomas will assume the return duties, while Dilliard could develop into a quality slot receiver. Holt is the only Jags wideout worth drafting, and only in the late rounds.

Tennessee Titans:

Justin Gage – 34 rec. 651 yds. 6 TDs

Nate Washington – 40 rec. 631 yds. 3 TDs (w/ Pittsburgh)

Kenny Britt (rookie)

The Titans’ identity is as a running team, and they will continue to be that this season. However, with the additions of Washington and Britt, they will look to get the ball down the field more this year. Gage had a solid season last year with 6 TDs, while Washington could be ready to break out after being utilized as the third receiver his whole career in Pittsburgh. Britt is a big, solid receiver with good hands, and is very good after the catch, but he may not be ready to contribute right away. Washington and Gage are both borderline starters, but are very solid reserves.

AFC West:

Denver Broncos:

Brandon Marshall – 104 rec. 1265 yds. 6 TDs

Eddie Royal – 91 rec. 980 yds. 5 TDs

Brandon Stokley – 49 rec. 528 yds. 3 TDs

Keep an eye on Brandon Marshall as he is voiced his displeasure with the city of Denver, and demanded a trade. He is reportedly coming to training camp, and says he will not be a distraction. Look for all of these guys’ numbers to decrease with the departure of Jay Cutler, but both Marshall and Royal are still solid fantasy starters. Stokley is merely a reserve and will not get as many looks with Orton at the helm.

Kansas City Chiefs:

Dwayne Bowe – 86 rec. 1022 yds. 7 TDs

Mark Bradley – 30 rec. 380 yds. 3 TDs

Dwayne Bowe is a rising star who uses his big frame to make tough catches in traffic, but he doesn’t have elite speed. He is an under the radar player, who can be had in the middle to late rounds. Mark Bradley is a consistent player who should have a decent year as the second option. Bradley is a solid reserve, but not worth drafting.

Oakland Raiders:

Johnnie Lee Higgins – 22 rec. 366 yds. 4 TDs

Javon Walker – 15 rec. 196 yds. 1 TD

Darrius Heyward-Bey (rookie)

Johnnie Lee Higgins was not expected to be the cream of the Raiders’ wideout crop, but he had a decent year with 4 TDs. He is more of a return threat, though, and the Raiders are probably hoping that Javon Walker can return to health, as well as Heyward-Bey to contribute as a rookie. JaMarcus Russell will have to improve in order for this group to have any fantasy value. Also, if Jeff Garcia takes over at some point in the season Walker or Heyward-Bey may be worth picking up.

San Diego Chargers:

Vincent Jackson – 59 rec. 1098 yds. 7 TDs

Chris Chambers – 33 rec. 462 yds. 5 TDs

Vincent Jackson stepped up big time down the stretch last season, while Chambers started strong, but could not stay consistent as the season wore on. Both are solid starters, with the edge going to Jackson. They are still waiting for former first rounder Buster Davis to prove his worth.


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2 Responses to “Fantasy Football Breakdown 2009: AFC Receivers”

  1. headspillter says:

    When it comes to Matt Jones,He is valuble player to any team. The bust is lan leslie and his judgement.

  2. Ian Leslie says:

    Maybe he’ll carry some value on a CFL roster, or maybe in the UFL, because, that’s right, he’s not on any NFL roster.