The Receivers

“But Torsten,” you say. “How can we achieve guaranteed victory without your expert WR input?”  You can’t, child. You can’t.  Admittedly, this position has caused me much scorn over the past couple seasons. Guys I have passed on against my better judgement include Jordy Nelson, Jeremy Maclin, and others. Instead, I have gone after guys like Stevie “Jesus Hates Me” Johnson, Anquan Boldin, DeSean Jackson, and company. It’s easy to say in hindsight that I was stupid but if you just look at the facts… yeah, okay, let’s not look to closely. We wouldn’t want to confirm what my mother has suspected for years. On we go…

Positional Depth: A-/B+. In the pass-happy game these days, more and more wide receivers have been elevated in fantasy terms from irrelevant and marginal to productive and valuable. The score could even be higher but there’s only one Megatron. Then there’s only one Larry Fitzgerald placing a close second. Then you have packs of guys who are varying degrees of good. If you happen to miss out on Megatron, not something I recommend doing if you have the option, you may as well also let Fitz pass you by too, as someone from the Kevin Kolb John Skelton duo will emerge as the starter, not something a fantasy owner wants to hear. But he’s still not someone you’d want to stay away from, necessarily, as his numbers will still be there. That will be reserved for guys like…

Guys to Stay Away From: Andre Johnson. Usually, guys don’t suddenly become less succeptible to injury as they age, and it has been a while since Johnson has been able to string 16 healthy games together. Anyone who spends a first round or high second round pick on AJ will regret it. To a lesser degree, avoid Vincent Jackson if you can. He was inconsistent with Philip Rivers throwing him the ball, I can’t see any human way that improves with Josh Freeman at the helm. Also, unless you’re in a PPR league or one that rewards heavily for return yardage for whatever reason, don’t bother with Danny Amendola. Yeah, he’s a good player. And trust me, I know talent. There’s so little of it on my Rams that it sticks out like a sore thumb when it’s actually there. But the reality is, while he may catch 100 balls, the majority will be of the 6-8 yard variety; useful to his team, irrelevant in fantasy. And… Mario Manningham. I wouldn’t be a Rams fan if I didn’t bag on one 49er in this post. Super Mario is a good deep threat. Alex Smith is a dreadful deep thrower. Enough said?

Breakout Year: I’m far from the only one calling this, but that doesn’t make it un-printworthy. Malcom Floyd, out from V Jax’s shadow could have a huge year. His main competition for targets being Robert Meachem and an aging Antonio Gates doesn’t hurt either. Another guy I’ve liked for a while is Legedu Naane. Davone Bess and Brian Hartline also figure to benefit from Brandon Marshall’s departure. I don’t see Naane being a star, but we’ll all need guys to step in during a bye week or fill in for a hurt guy and Naane is a good option there this year. Lastly, I love me some Titus Young. Granted, teams putting nanuple coverage on Megatron hasn’t stopped him from putting up otherworldly numbers, but Matthew Stafford has three legitimate options in Tron, Young, and Brandon Pettigrew. Anything even resembling a running game, and the continued maturity of Stafford, Young will break 1000 yards receiving. Guaranteed. Just like your win.

Tip to Remember: Who is throwing the ball matters. So do last year’s statistics, at least as a reference point. But what about guys who switched teams? Will Brandon Marshall do better with Jay Cutler than he did with Chad Henne? Matt Moore? Will Vincent Jackson do better with Josh Freeman than with Phil Rivers? What if Dwayne Bowe gets traded (he won’t), will he do better with someone besides Matt Cassel? It matters.

Don’t Forget About: Brandon Lloyd. He was incorrectly dismissed as a fluke with Denver and Kyle Orton. He performed surprisingly well for the Rams with Kellen Friggin Clemens throwing to him. And now he runs routes for Tom Brady. Just sayin…

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