Wide receivers... the prima donnas of the NFL (the Gramatica family excepted). From cell phones hidden in goalposts to riverdancing on the star, these guys are responsible for some of the craziest antics on the football field.
In fantasy football, these guys are also responsible for some big numbers. While they're not the first players you'll draft (unless you're in a really, really deep league), these guys can make or break your team. If you don't have good wide receivers, you're in trouble.
There are, however, a lot of good wide receivers out there. If you don't have one of the guys on this list, you probably have some awesome running backs and probably a top quarterback; unless you horribly mismanage your draft, you should come out okay for wideouts. Still, it never hurts to have a top guy...
1. Marvin Harrison, Indianapolis Colts
He's not the sexiest pick, but Harrison has produced at a consistently outstanding level for a long time - 10+ TD every year since 1999. He's small, he's old, but he's not slowing down and Peyton Manning is still getting him the ball.
Projection: 100 Rec, 1300 ReYd, 14 TD
Yahoo! Points: 214
2. Steve Smith, Carolina Panthers
Last year, Smith was considered a bit of a disappointment, but his stats were still enough to merit top-15 WR status. This year, with a healthy Jake Delhomme (translation: Chris Weinke isn't involved) and a healthy offensive line, Smith should rebound nicely.
Projection: 90 Rec, 1400 ReYd, 11 TD
Yahoo! Points: 206
3. Chad Johnson, Cincinnati Bengals
Ocho Cinco is, to me, an annoying blowhard. But he's also a top-flight wide receiver, if an imperfect one - more physically gifted than either of the two players above him, Johnson somehow nevertheless catches fewer touchdown passes.
Projection: 85 Rec, 1500 ReYd, 8 TD
Yahoo! Points: 198
4. Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis Colts
He's the #2 WR for the Colts, but still one of the top 4 WR in my rankings. Why? You can't argue with the numbers, and if you own this guy, you don't want to. Slips a little bit in drafts sometimes because of his status as "the other guy", but Colts fans and serious fantasy managers know how good he is.
Projection: 90 Rec, 1250 ReYd, 12 TD
Yahoo! Points: 197
5. Torry Holt, St. Louis Rams
Here's the rundown on Holt: no fewer than 81 receptions and 1188 yards every year since 2000. Do you want that on your team? I thought so. One word of caution, though: his yards per catch last year was the lowest it's ever been, at 12.8.
Projection: 90 Rec, 1250 ReYd, 10 TD
Yahoo! Points: 185
6. Donald Driver, Green Bay Packers
Do you remember Antonio Freeman? Driver is Freeman circa 1998 - Brett Favre's favorite target, reasonably big, and a solid possession receiver. Did you catch that? Brett Favre's favorite target - and right now, other than Greg Jennings, Favre's only target. Significant value here.
Projection: 95 Rec, 1350 ReYd, 8 TD
Yahoo! Points: 183
7. Terrell Owens, Dallas Cowboys
As a human being, I don't like this guy - he's a loudmouthed, egotistical jerk. As a fantasy owner, I love this guy - he's a loudmouthed, egotistical touchdown machine. If you want nice people on your team, by all means don't draft T.O. - if you want to win your league, then by all means do draft him.
Projection: 80 Rec, 1100 ReYd, 12 TD
Yahoo! Points: 182
8. Andre Johnson, Houston Texans
Johnson is a bit of an enigma. He's a big, fast, skilled wideout with good hands who's been a solid contributor ever since he entered the league; last year, he broke through with 103 receptions. But why hasn't he ever caught more than 6 touchdowns in a season? I think he will this year.
Projection: 100 Rec, 1200 ReYd, 10 TD
Yahoo! Points: 180
9. Roy Williams, Detroit Lions
Mike Martz likes to throw the ball. We've known that for a while now. In Roy Williams, he has a guy who can catch the ball, and does. Last year, in his first season with Martz and his third in the league, Williams had more receptions and yards than in either of his first two years. There's no reason to think that Williams will take a step back.
Projection: 85 Rec, 1300 ReYd, 8 TD
Yahoo! Points: 178
10. Anquan Boldin, Arizona Cardinals
Last year, playing with new starting quarterback Matt Leinart, Boldin's stats took a significant hit - his receptions, yards, and touchdowns all declined bigtime. But he was still one of the better fantasy wideouts, and this year, with Leinart more accustomed to the pace of the NFL, Boldin's stats should rebound nicely.
Projection: 95 Rec, 1350 ReYd, 7 TD
Yahoo! Points: 177