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In this week's Fantasy Football Primer, I thought I'd do something I've never really done before. I'm going to put myself on record and see how I do. I generally don't make predictions about how players do, but since I don't do much front page posting anymore and you don't get many opportunities to knock my spelling and grammar why not give you something else to knock me on?
I'm going to list wide receivers that I think are overrated, underrated, and will be breakout fantasy receivers. Take a look, tell me I suck, tell me you agree, or just tell me who you think fit these categories.
Fantasy Football Wide Receivers - Overrated
Every year hype is thrown on players based on a few games in which they showed up the previous year. Anybody remember Steve Breaston? I was big time on him going into last year. What exactly did he do last year? So this year's list is...
1) Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City Chiefs - I'm not sure what captured people's interest in this guy. Last year many people, including myself, had this guy as a starting wide receiver. Maybe we hoped for flashes of what looked like he was turning the corner in previous years. Maybe we thought the new QB would help. He is currently ranked toward the bottom of the top 20 list of receivers. I'd probably move him a bit more. With the signing of Thomas Jones and the expected continued improvement of Jamall Charles, I'd expect KC to do a fair bit more running then they normally do. And until Matt Cassel shows he can live up to his signing price, I'd stay away from Bowe.
2) Anquan Boldin, Baltimore Ravens - Okay, this might be the one I regret the most at the end of the year. Joe Flacco is a good QB, I don't question that, but I'm not sure I buy him as an elite QB. He has one of the strongest arms in the league if not the strongest, but I just don't buy his value in the 10-30 yard range. Boldin is not a speed receiver. He's a strong possession guy. Maybe he becomes a big red zone target for Flacco and makes me eat my words. Flacco also has Derrick Mason and Todd Heap who he is much more familiar with. I also expect Ray Rice to be a much bigger part of this offense including the receiving game.
3) Michael Crabtree, San Franciso 49ers - Crabtree is on many's breakout list, but I can't figure out why. Firstly, look who is throwing to him. Exactly, how much faith do you have in Alex Smith? The 49ers are stocked for a playoff run. I don't expect them to be going for big numbers most games. They are going to put a few on the board then let their defense hold the other team while Frank Gore grinds the clock out. They also have Vernon Davis who showed up big time last season and there is no reason to expect he doesn't continue to improve. The 49ers also beefed up their run and passing game with the signing of Brian Westbrook. He may be the biggest reason Crabtree doesn't see the ball as much, especially if the offensive line doesn't hold up.
Fantasy Football Wide Receivers - Underrated
I'm going to leave our quartet of potential underrated or break-out receivers out of this discussion. It would be too easy for me to have them fill up the next section.
1) Donald Driver, Green Bay Packers - I hate putting a Packer on this list and I hate more putting this one on the list. I don't know what it is about him that puts me off, but I have to admit the guy just gets it done. He has had 6 straight seasons of over 1,000 yards receiving and with the Packers having another big time QB, there is no reason to think this streak stops. If Greg Jennings ever lives up to his billing, it might take away from Driver's numbers, but until that happens he is a solid #2 and a great #3 receiver.
2) Mike Wallace, Pittsburgh Steelers - Last year in just 39 catches he amassed 756 yards and 6 touchdowns. Hines Ward is old and Santonio Holmes is not in town. Wallace has the opportunity to put up some big numbers with or without Big Ben in the game.
3) Kenny Britt, Tennessee Titans - Underrated is a relative term. It doesn't mean you are going to become an elite player, it only means you are worth more than you are ranked, bringing me to Britt. I've always liked him as a receiver and I think on a team with a more reliable QB, he could be looking at big numbers, but I'm not entirely sold on Vince Young's new attitude and skills. But I still think Britt is going to be considerably better than the projections.
Fantasy Football Wide Receivers - Breakout Receivers
Again too easy to put the Devins and Knox in here, so I'm leaving them out. You already know about them.
1) Austin Collie, Indianapolis Colts - Collie has the potential to be for the Colts what Wes Welker is or was for the Patriots. With Reggie Wayne and Pierre Garcon roaming the outside and getting most of the attention, it leaves the middle wide open for Collie to get some of the attention from Manning that usually goes just to Dallas Clark.
2) Darrius Heyward-Bey, Oakland Raiders - This pick scares me. DHB was drafted way too early and the expectations on him were a bit too high. Couple that with the fact that he had an over-sized twinkie throwing the ball in Oakland and there was no way he was succeeding. With Jason Campbell now the starting QB in Oakland, their two skill sets mesh perfectly. The one thing Heyward-Bey can do is run and he can do it really fast. And Campbell is primarily a deep ball passer, with his issues being in the smaller ranges. I'm not sure how breakout he will be, but I think the two of them will hook up on a goodly amount of deep passes this year.
3) Malcom Floyd, San Diego Chargers - Floyd had 45 catches, 1 TD and 776 yards last year. But with Chris Chambers past his prime and Vincent Jackson's off season implosion and current contact hold out, somebody has to catch the ball. Phillip Rivers is a very good QB and if Floyd can stay on the field (he has past injury concerns) he could be the big benefactor.
There it is. Did I do good, bad, ugly? How about... did I just not make a fool of myself?
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