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 New Orleans did, in fact, have wide receivers on their depth chart. I had just assumed they were going to line-up 10 blockers and have Drew Brees throw to himself. (This is an annointed power given on high to the Breesus, as prophecy states.) Boy was I off. That’s actually going to be Buffalo’s strategy with EJ Manuel. 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. I mean, it does, but it’s not really the strongest joke I could have put out there. Not sure why this is still a thing…)
First and foremost, I just want to point out that something that an Eagles writer pointed out on Twitter… (ALL THE POINTS.)
To many, this would seem like a good thing. In fact, BREAKING, I also think this is a good thing. Jordan Matthews clearly has some talent, and that’s quite the list to be on. Now, he’s in a system that augments the football skills he possesses, sure, but we should also be aware that he was covered by the nickel corner a majority of the time last season. That may not seem like much, and he’ll certainly be in the slot this upcoming year, but with Jeremy Maclin‘s departure, he’s sure to be facing a lot of number one and two corners. While I’m still confidant that he can produce the same rate of 67 receptions, 872 yards, and 8 touchdowns, I’d be lying if I wasn’t at least raising an eyebrow. Because Spock man. While I still like Matthews, this does open up some space for Nelson Agholor to grow and make an impact. And just to add, the two receivers ahead of Jordan Matthews in the above stat were Randall Cobb and Golden Tate.
In DeAndre Hopkins, Kelvin Benjamin, and Brandin Cooks, we have a true flip of the coin. And to be totally honest, I’d be happy landing any one of them. I think Hopkins has the best talent and ceiling out of the three right now, but the shaky quarterback situation (Brian Hoyer is in the mix, to give you an idea of what kind of potential derp we may see), gives me some pause. And I’m not taking anything away from Benjamin, who I think is well on his way to becoming a legitimate number one option, but I’m curious to see how the Panthers offensive looks. Cam Newton was certainly erratic at times, and the principles suffered because of it. Cooks may end up producing more than both Hopkins and Benjamin just from the shear fact that Brees has no one to throw to (as stated in the lede). Then again, he may get a lot of the opposing defense’s attention. In the end, I think all three present good value at their position, despite some question marks, and will produce very similar numbers.
There’s the belief out there that Andre Johnson may take away some stats from T.Y. Hilton and vica versa. I’m here to tell you that this situation will work itself out just fine for the both of them. Philanthropist is what they call me. I understand that both are your run-of-the-mill possession receivers (very talented mill’s though, if that makes sense, which it probably doesn’t), but Johnson had no trouble producing near-career averages next to Hopkins. And I think it’s safe to say that while both are possession receivers, Hilton has that big-play capability, so his role likely stays the same. In fact, having Johnson around, you have to think that Hilton might see a bit less attention when the opposing team game plans. Also, Andrew Luck has no trouble spreading the volume in what is a typical two-receiver set, so while you can assume that Hilton will stay the same (or benefit a bit) and that Johnson will probably receive less targets than he had in Houston (146), having Luck should make those targets more meaningful than if someone named Tom Savage or Ryan Mallet were chucking things in your general direction…