It’s wide receiver ranking time folks, and perhaps more than running backs, I find this position the hardest to work with. Not because it has a boner (though I have no idea how to verify this), but because of the sheer amount of names. There is no dearthness here my friends. And the process involves a lot of research and time, I mean, did you know there’s something called a Boykins in the NFL? I thought Boykins was what the Three Stooges did to each other all those years. Also, I was quite surprised that Carolina did, in fact, have wide receivers on their depth chart. I had just assumed they were going to line-up 10 blockers and have Cam Newton throw to himself. Boy was I off. That’s actually going to be Cleveland’s strategy with Johnny Manziel. Oh, and I also found out that Riley Cooper has been doing a great job since being sent to rehab for racism. To be honest, I found nothing wrong with what he said there, except for the part where he speaks with words. But that’s not all I learned. Yes, you might be surprised by this… completely astounded I tell ya, but I also have some fantasy knowledge to drop. CRAZY, I know. So let’s get fantasy relevant… (That’s what she said. Uh, wait, that doesn’t really work here.)
Julio, Julio, wherefore art thou Julio?: I know it’s hard to remember, but Julio Jones was well on his way to becoming a top-5 receiver last season until his foot exploded. In fact, in just five games last year, Matt Ryan targeted him 60 times. For context, he was targeted 128 times in 16 games the year before. And, just so you know, whenever someone describes a player as ‘injury-prone’ in football, this is my exact reaction:
Maybe a little less of the horse-mouth thing at the end there (sorry John Elway), but yeah, I do that. Why? Because unless it’s a continual knee or shoulder issue, broken things happen in the NFL all the time. Everyone is injury-prone, trust me. The fact that Jones’ foot committed suicide last year does not automatically mean that it will happen again. I mean, it could happen again, just like how I could also net a date this Friday, crazier things have happened… But at that point, we wouldn’t be talking about chronic foot conflagration, no, at that point, we’re just describing bad luck. So what I’m saying is that I believe. Not so much in the date part though. That seems like a stretch.
Alshon you something unique…: Let’s admit that Alshon Jeffrey flew a bit under-the-radar last season, well, to everyone except for me (proof). I say that in the most humble-brag way possible, (see Fig. 1).
I also told you to avoid Kyle Rudolph, but hey, that’s neither here nor there. Actually, scratch that, it is there and now it’s here. Ahem, anyways, just as a refresher at how EXtreeeeme Jeffery’s season was, in 2012, he netted 24 receptions, 367 yards and 3 touchdowns. In 2013? 89 receptions, 1,421 yards, and 7 touchdowns. Not a huge difference, but hey, let’s go with it. And while I won’t go as far to say that he can reach top-5 levels (he might though), I am willing to say he can produce just as much or very near the other elite receiver on his team, Brandon Marshall.
I’m totally fine with redskin potatoes…: Some might point out that Pierre Garçon and DeSean Jackson could vulture targets from each other, but I’m not so sure. There are certainly examples of two good wide receivers getting plenty of production opportunity between them. The just mentioned Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery tandem is the perfect example. Heck, even Denver found a way to have 18 Pro Bowl receivers, so I’m just saying, the idea of a target cap may be overrated. Even when you enter Andre Roberts into the mix, I’m sure Jay Grudan’s affinity for a ‘throw or die’ strategy will only stimulate the passing game, especially when you have three guys that can all find separation from coverage with their game-changing speed. I like all three, especially with Robert Griffin III coming back with what looks like legs that can function with movement.
Michael Floyd and Roddy White: I grouped these two guys together, because one guy (Floyd) represents what we business experts call “rising value”, and the other guy (White) is who we, um, nap experts call a “sleeper”. It should be noted that my acumen of naps far outweighs my expertise in business. Unless it’s a nap company. In Michael Floyd, I actually think his stock might get too inflated, him with his primary receiver label and all. I’ve liked what I’ve seen out of him, and think he has the potential to get into the top-15, but I’d like to see more touchdowns, and he could be game-planned against quite often. Also, his quarterback is Carson Palmer… So that being said, be careful, there’s a danger of him getting overrated as the off-season progresses. As for Roddy White, let’s just give him a mulligan. The Atlanta team was terrible, and I might be spoiling things a bit, but I have Matt Ryan ranked quite high. If I believe in his resurgence, I’m definitely buying into White’s resurgence. Which sounds slightly raycess.
Rookie Watch, 2014: For every Keenan Allen, there are 50 Cordarrelle Patterson‘s. And what I mean by that is there is an evil genius making clones of Patterson. Also what I’m saying is that the wide receiver position has the biggest learning curve for first year players not counting quarterbacks. (Quick Note: Cordarrelle Patterson only had one 100+ yard game last season, and outside of that, did not have a game with 50+ yards… so draft wisely.) I like Mike Evans and Sammy Watkins. I also like Odell Beckham Jr.. And I like Jordan Matthews and Brandin Cooks a little more than I should, mostly due to their quarterbacks and the system’s they play in. But when it comes down to it, they are still strictly in teir 4 for me. And it’s okay if I’m wrong, because whichever player emerges from that group, mathematics dictates that I’ll be right with the other guys. Then again, I have no idea what mathematics is or what it does.