Friday, August 27, 2010

Receivers The Most Plentiful Of Positions in This Years Fantasy Football Draft

By Micah Roberts
Las Vegas Review-Journal

If you decide to load up on running backs and take a quarterback in the early rounds of your NFL fantasy draft, don't worry. You'll still be able to get a quality wide receiver.

While there's a sharp drop-off at running back and quarterback after the top 10 at each position, the talent pool is deep at wide receiver and tight end. Most teams have a go-to receiver, as opposed to the running back-by-committee several teams are using. Some pass-happy offenses -- Green Bay, Houston, Indianapolis and New Orleans -- will have two or three receivers who post quality numbers.

The names at the top are easy to recite: Andre Johnson, Randy Moss, Reggie Wayne, Larry Fitzgerald. But the key is to identify players who are primed for breakout seasons that often make the difference in your fantasy league.

Last year it was Miles Austin and Sidney Rice, who were late-round picks at best before posting top-10 seasons at their position. Austin made 81 receptions for 1,320 yards and 11 touchdowns for the Cowboys, and Rice had 83 catches for 1,312 yards and eight TDs for the Vikings.

In mock drafts this year, Austin is being selected anywhere from 24th to 30th overall, but he should be going higher. He's likely to put up statistics that rival those of Johnson, the Texans star who is the unanimous No. 1 receiver. In the Cowboys' dynamic offense, Austin should be good for about 95 receptions for 1,500 yards and 13 touchdowns.

Rice is another story. The Vikings standout had hip surgery this week and is expected to miss half the season.
The Bears, Redskins and Bills are running new systems, and some players on those teams have great value.
In Chicago, where Mike Martz is running the offense, Johnny Knox and Devin Aromashodu both are being drafted around 120th overall. They should be going a round or two earlier.

Mike Shanahan is the Redskins' new coach and Donovan McNabb their new quarterback, and the offense should be much better because of them. Wide receiver Santana Moss and tight end Chris Cooley should benefit most.

Chan Gailey takes over as coach of the Bills, and nobody is happier about that than wide receiver Lee Evans. Gailey loves to spread the field with downfield passes, the type of offense to which the speedy Evans is best suited.

Three other receivers who are undervalued:

Jabar Gaffney, Broncos: He has become quarterback Kyle Orton's go-to guy during the preseason after the trade of Brandon Marshall. Remember, Gaffney caught 14 passes for 213 yards in last season's finale. He should have a career year in Denver's pass-first, ask-questions-later offense.

Dexter McCluster, Chiefs: The speedy rookie will line up at running back and wide receiver. Think Percy Harvin from last year with more carries and targets.

Bernard Berrian, Vikings: His stock has risen considerably after Rice's surgery and the uncertainty of Harvin, who has missed most of camp because of migraine headaches.

Click Here To Get List of Roberts Top-50 ranked Wr's and Top-15 TE's.

Micah Roberts has been making player proposition odds for Las Vegas sports books since 1995 and currently covers all sports from a betting perspective for multiple publications. He can be reached at

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