Wide receivers are the theme of today's release of my "Fantasy Outlook" series. The purpose is to illustrate situations that casual fantasy footballers may not be aware of or in a light they may not have considered.
The fantasy football valuation process of wide receivers varies greatly from standard scoring to PPR formats. The reception-rewarding setups can make an otherwise average player a weekly start (remember Davone Bess?), while more typical means of tallying points rely heavily on touchdowns and yardage.
New Marshall Plan?
Elite receivers can dominate nearly the same as the best running backs, especially in PPR. These beasts include the likes of Calvin Johnson, A.J. Green, Brandon Marshall, Dez Bryant, and a few others that are close. Be sure to know your league's scoring rules, as it is imperative when drafting, especially at this position.
Be sure to check out our Cheat Sheet Calculator for customized rankings tailored to your league's scoring rules.
Brandon Marshall, Chicago Bears: A new offensive system should impact Marshall, to a degree. He and quarterback Jay Cutler always have had a great rapport, so there is that going for him. Marc Trestman's system could spread the wealth more than we witnessed last year in the Chicago offense. Marshall (hip) is also coming off another hip cleanup surgery, and, curiously, added weight to "break tackles." My point: Don't immediately chalk him up to being the same 118-reception, 1,508-yard guy from a year ago.
Denver Broncos wide receivers: Isn't this a mess? The only saving grace is we have seen Peyton Manning produce three 1,000-yard pass catchers in the same year back with the Colts. My fear is Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker and Wes Welker will be maddeningly frustrating to play. I suspect Thomas remains the vertical threat and touchdown producer. Decker should get his, but to a lesser degree, and Welker is not a lock for 100 grabs as he was in New England. Just be careful when valuing these guys on draft day.
Larry Fitzgerald/Michael Floyd, Arizona Cardinals: The addition of quarterback Carson Palmer and an upgraded offensive line should do wonders from Fitz's return to fantasy stardom. Floyd is looking to break out in his own right after a 45-catch rookie season. He has had a great offseason and is one of my sleeper darlings for the upcoming year. Consider Fitzgerald a top-10 fantasy receiver in drafts.
Randall Cobb, Green Bay Packers: After a breakout 80-grab season, the do-all Kentucky product is poised for a monster fantasy year. He should catch 100 balls in this offense as the chain-moving target for Aaron Rodgers. Consider me sold, and you should be, too!
Marques Colston, New Orleans Saints: This guy can't get any fantasy respect. The Rodney Dangerfield of wideouts, Colston has averaged basically 1,100 yards and eight scores for the last four years. He is a minor injury risky but remains among the league's most consistently productive options at the position. Enjoy the value pick when other owners take risks on more flashy names.
Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers: I am warming on Brown. He has been called a "glorified possession receiver" by this guy on more than one occasion. However, someone has to catch the ball in this offense, and Brown, seemingly, is their most talented option. I suspect he logs about 80 receptions that end up going for less than 11.0 yards per catch, on average. Touchdowns may be hard to come by, too. He is a weak WR2 in PPR setups.
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Also See: QB | RB | WR | TE | PK | DT
About Cory J. Bonini
Cory is KFFL's General Manager. In late 2002, he joined the KFFL staff as a research analyst and has been involved in fantasy sports since 1996. A member of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, as well as Fantasy Sports Writers Association, Bonini has been featured in print, on radio and on scores of websites. Bonini co-hosted Big Lead Sports on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio from 2011 to 2012.
Bonini was recognized with the 2010 Best Article in Print Award from the FSWA and was a finalist for the same award in 2011. In '11, he finished first overall in the FSWA NFL experts challenge that featured 60 of the industry's best competitors.
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