Wednesday, August 27, 2008

2008 wide receiver rankings

I have a problem with Randy Moss.

I’ll admit I’ve never been a huge fan, but my issue isn’t really personal (and for the record, I thought it was hilarious when he "mooned" the crowd at Lambeau Field a few years back).

No, my problem isn't with Moss' personality or his abilities as a football player. Rather, I’m taking umbrage with where he's getting drafted in fantasy leagues.

The New England Patriots wide receiver seems to be the position’s consensus No. 1 entering this season, and that’s fine with me. His lofty status is probably well deserved after last year’s historic team-up with QB Tom Brady, during which Moss caught 98 passes for 1,493 yards and a single-season record 23 touchdowns. While he’s not going to reach that level again, the pieces are in place in New England for him to come close, and that’s good enough to put him atop the preseason rankings.

Trouble is, just because Moss is the top receiver on the board, that doesn’t mean he should be drafted in the first round. In fantasy, running backs still rule. There are only a handful of every-down, carry-the-load backs, and passing on one with your first pick can be a dangerous move. Take Moss first, and you might be looking at a so-so No. 2 RB like Willis McGahee or Jamal Lewis as your top running back.


I’m not so sure Reggie Wayne or Terrell Owens or Larry Fitzgerald won’t finish with similar stats as Moss this season -­ and I can probably get one of them in the second round, after I’ve already taken a stud running back.

So sorry, Randy, if I’ve offended you, but I’m trying to win a championship here.

Anyway, here’s how this year’s wideouts stack up:

1. Moss, Patriots.

2. Owens, Dallas Cowboys: He loves his quarterback, and he’s not afraid to show it. That kind of heartfelt bond is going to produce a lot of touchdowns.

3. Wayne, Indianapolis Colts: It’s official: Wayne has surpassed Marvin Harrison as the Colts’ top option. And you may have noticed they like to throw the ball to him (career high 104 catches and 10 TDs last year).

4. Braylon Edwards, Cleveland Browns: The cut on his foot doesn’t bother me much; he has the skills and the teammates to be elite.

5. Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals: Will be productive no matter who’s throwing him the ball ­- led the NFC in receptions and yards last season.

6. T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Cincinnati Bengals: Has caught more TDs than buddy Chad Johnson in each of the past two seasons, and he comes without the banged-up shoulder or the shenanigans.

7. Andre Johnson, Houston Texans: He’ll be a bit undervalued after last year’s knee troubles, but if he’s 100 percent, he could have finish in the top five.

8. Plaxico Burress, New York Giants: Can a player actually get better by NOT practicing? Apparently, yes. A sore ankle cannot stop him from dominating.

9. Marques Colston, New Orleans Saints: He’s got more receptions in his first two years than any other player in NFL history. Drew Brees will get him the ball.

10. Torry Holt, St. Louis Rams: This might seem a bit high, but I like Holt better than some of the younger guys ranked below him. You know what to expect from the vet, and I’m risk-averse when it comes to my No. 1 WR.

11. Steve Smith, Carolina Panthers.
12. Santonio Holmes, Pittsburgh Steelers.
13. Wes Welker, New England Patriots.
14. Anquan Boldin, Arizona Cardinals.
15. Chad Johnson, Cincinnati Bengals.
16. Roy Williams, Detroit Lions.
17. Greg Jennings, Green Bay Packers.
18. Brandon Marshall, Denver Broncos.
19. Roddy White, Atlanta Falcons.
20. Jerricho Cotchery, New York Jets.
21. Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City Chiefs.
22. Laveranues Coles, New York Jets.
23. Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions.
24. Hines Ward, Pittsburgh Steelers.
25. Marvin Harrison, Indianapolis Colts.
26. Lee Evans, Buffalo Bills.
27. Santana Moss, Washington Redskins.
28. Joey Galloway, Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
29. Donald Driver, Green Bay Packers.
30. Nate Burleson, Seattle Seahawks.
31. Anthony Gonzalez, Indianapolis Colts.
32. Chris Chambers, San Diego Chargers.
33. Bernard Berrian, Minnesota Vikings.
34. Donte’ Stallworth, Cleveland Browns.
35. Reggie Brown, Philadelphia Eagles.
36. Patrick Crayton, Dallas Cowboys.
37. Isaac Bruce, San Francisco 49ers.
38. Derrick Mason, Baltimore Ravens.
39. Reggie Williams, Jacksonville Jaguars.
40. Ronald Curry, Oakland Raiders.
41. Ted Ginn Jr., Miami Dolphins.
42. Vincent Jackson, San Diego Chargers.
43. Sidney Rice, Minnesota Vikings.
44. Justin Gage, Tennessee Titans.
45. DeSean Jackson, Philadelphia Eagles.
46. Bobby Engram, Seattle Seahawks.
47. D.J. Hackett, Carolina Panthers.
48. Bryant Johnson, San Francisco 49ers.
49. Chris Henry, Cincinnati Bengals.
50. Kevin Walter, Houston Texans.
51. Amani Toomer, New York Giants.
52. Marty Booker, Chicago Bears.
53. Antwaan Randle El, Washington Redskins.
54. Javon Walker, Oakland Raiders.
55. James Hardy, Buffalo Bills.
56. Jabar Gaffney, New England Patriots.
57. Robert Meachem, New Orleans Saints.
58. Eddie Royal, Denver Broncos.
59. Devin Hester, Chicago Bears.
60. Limas Sweed, Pittsburgh Steelers.

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