Based on my first two installments to this year’s With Leather Fantasy Football Guide – which has already won 6 Peabody Awards for excellence in mixing semi-nude women with some dude’s thoughts about stuff – it’s clear that I value running backs first and quarterbacks second this year. That leaves wide receivers and tight ends, and let’s face it – tight ends are the bass players of fantasy football. So wide receivers are the next most important players, but why no love for the paws, the big ol’ paws?
It’s because this year, receivers are just incredibly deep. After the top guy, you can take your chances, because there are so many quality guys out there, and I really believe that you can mix and match a nice trio that will be serviceable and would look great with a top QB and great RB pair. That’s not to say that there aren’t certain guys I love more than others, but unlike previous years, you don’t have to go nuts because there are so many guys that are seemingly on the verge of becoming stars.
Plus, as we’ll see after the jump, some guys just don’t have that allure that they’ve had in seasons past.
In the past, there have been a few names on the surefire stud receiver list, but when it comes to taking a WR in the first round, there’s only one this season.
Calvin Johnson – Screw the Madden Curse. This guy is just amazing. Obviously.
I used to include two other guys in that surefire group with Calvin, but questions this year have changed that. I hope to be able to return these guys to their rightful status.
Andre Johnson – Please stay healthy. Just once, for a full season, be the guy that millions of people with the 7-11 pick have expected you to be.
Larry Fitzgerald – I love love LOVE Fitzy, but I do not like his QB situation. That said, FItzy will always get his stats, regardless of who is throwing to him, but I would rather take him in the second round and get a quality RB in the first.
The NEXT Guys
I think these guys will probably get close to Calvin status this season. Again, there’s only one Calvin, but I think these guys could become the next surefire stud picks.
Julio Jones – Everyone seems to agree, if JJ stays healthy, he’s going to be a monster of his own.
AJ Green – I don’t know if Green’s a certainty to jump to that elite level, seeing as he’s still growing with his young QB, but he was fantastic last season, so why the hell not?
The Gold Standard
These are the guys who anyone should be content to have as a No. 1 WR as the end of the second round and the beginning of the third approaches.
Roddy White – Mr. Dependable even with Julio Jones, will always be good for 90+ receptions.
Wes Welker – He’s still being drafted like an elite WR, so we should expect that he’ll still perform like one, but he’s not at the top of my list this year.
Greg Jennings – I don’t know what last season’s emergence of Jordy Nelson means for Jennings, but the fact that he always seems hurt has made me ignore him in drafts so far.
Brandon Marshall – It’s not the boldest prediction to say that Marshall is going to have a huge season reuniting with Jay Cutler and actually being happy where he is, but it shouldn’t surprise anyone when he does put up monster numbers.
Hakeem Nicks – I don’t even know if I agree with myself for putting him here, but I just don’t think you can go wrong with him.