Wide Receivers 26-50
We move along through our wide receiver rankings, and we take a look at numbers 26-50. This group of pass catchers consists primarily of what we are calling WR3s or, as you can guess, the 3rd WR in your lineup. In some leagues this could mean a starter and in others the first off the bench. Either way this player will play a pivotal, yet often overlooked, role in determining the success of your fantasy season.
We also start getting into a few of the sleeper picks like Rodgeriqus Smith from Auburn and our first true freshmen, DeAndre Brown from Southern Miss and Alabama's Julio Jones. Correctly pinpointing these guys early can make the difference between drinking from the cup and making it rain, or shelling out dough for entry fees.
For updated player rankings, additional player/defensive breakdowns, conference filters and more please refer to our 2008 Draft Kit. (Rankings updated on 6/24/08)
26) Arrelious Benn, So, Illinois
The extremely talented freshman was the Big Ten's top producers even though he played the season with a banged-up shoulder. He's the most physically gifted wide receiver in the conference, and he could explode onto the national scene. The only question surrounding Regis is his quarterback, as we're concerned that Juice will continue to chuck wounded ducks into the air. Still, whether Juice Williams or Juice Newton plays quarterback, Benn should improve upon his freshman campaign. Tier: WR2 2007 Stats: 32 rush attempts, 158 yds rush, 54 receptions, 676 yds rec, 3 Total TDs, 73.60 fantasy pts
27) Greg Orton, Sr, Purdue
No Dorien Bryant could mean a nice senior campaign from Orton. 67-752-3 are nice numbers considering Bryant's large role, and it'll be interesting to see if Orton develops into one of the Big Ten's top producing receivers in 2008. We think he will. Tier: WR2 2007 Stats: 0 rush attempts, 0 yds rush, 67 receptions, 752 yds rec, 3 Total TDs, 68.13 fantasy pts
28) Brandon Gibson, Sr, Washington St.
They'll be no Alex Brink in 2008, but also no Michael Bumpus to steal receptions. Coming of a 60-1180-9 junior season, Gibson will push for All-American honors in 2008. With up-tempo Paul Wuff in charge, Gibson will make a great #3 receiver on your fantasy squad. Tier: WR2 2007 Stats: 0 rush attempts, 0 yds rush, 67 receptions, 1180 yds rec, 9 Total TDs, 132.66 fantasy pts
29) Kenny Britt, Jr, Rutgers
Thanks to the depature of Ray Rice, the burner Britt will have to shoulder more of the offensive load in 2008. We see Rutgers actually turning into a pass-first offense, and this will stun those Scarlet Knight fans in 2008 in addition to Nittany Lion fans who expect Greg Schiano to be coaching their team in 2009. Teaming with Tiquan Underwood to form one of the top pass-catching duos in the country, Britt is coming off a season in which he set the school season record for reception yardage. Quarterback Mike Teel will get the chance to shine in 2008, and he'll lean on Kenny Britt to make the big catch. Britt could be a top wide receiver pick in all leagues. Tier: WR2 2007 Stats: 0 rush attempts, 0 yds rush, 62 receptions, 1232 yds rec, 8 Total TDs, 130.13 fantasy pts
30) Tiquan Underwood, Sr, Rutgers
The All-Big East first teamer from a year ago returns to find the running workhorse has moved on, and now Tiquan Underwood is expected to play an even greater role in the offense. We expect the tall wideout to surpass 1000 yards again, and he may even enter the 8-12 touchdown territory, which could shoot him up the rankings at season's end. So why is he down a bit on our big board? Primarily due to a little bit of concern over Mike Teel's ability to adapt to defenses that know Ray Rice isn't in the backfield. Tier: WR2 2007 Stats: 0 rush attempts, 0 yds rush, 65 receptions, 1100 yds rec, 7 Total TDs, 115.33 fantasy pts
31) DeAndre Brown, Fr, Southern Miss.
The incoming freshman is a huge receiver at 6-6 210lbs. He also has very good open field moves and speed for a big receiver. The fact that this top recruit will be playing against C-USA defenders boosts his stock considerably. However (as you probably already guessed), Brown has some work to do to get qualified. If he does, he will be a must have in almost every league. Tier: sleep 2007 Stats: rush attempts, yds rush, receptions, yds rec, Total TDs, fantasy pts
32) Malcolm Lane, Jr, Hawaii
Ranked in the top fifty based solely on the "Hell, somebody has to catch the ball" fantasy theory, Lane was left behind following the mass exodus off the island. 14-270-4 certainly aren't the most impressive numbers, but there was a great deal of talent ahead of him last season. Lane appears to be the most talented of the returners. However news from spring ball has Royce Pollard was pushing Lane for his staring job. We are still penciling him as the starter for now and the risk-taking, river boat gambling fantasy geek that reaches to nab Malcolm Lane will likely hear ooohs and ahhhs from his fellow nerds and see his street cred increase exponentially during knock-down, drag-out games of Halo. Tier: WR3 2007 Stats: 0 rush attempts, 0 yds rush, 14 receptions, 270 yds rec, 4 Total TDs, 42.00 fantasy pts
33) Eric Morris, Jr, Texas Tech
Danny Amendola's departure will likely mean a little spike in Eric Morris' receiving numbers, however with the presence of Crabtree and the spreading around of receptions at Texas Tech, don't expect a huge bump. With Morris you're likely guaranteed a 70-900-10-type fantasy season, and we think you'll likely have the chance to grab these numbers in a nice middle round value pick. Tier: WR3 2007 Stats: 3 rush attempts, 2 yds rush, 75 receptions, 767 yds rec, 9 Total TDs, 105.26 fantasy pts
34) Detron Lewis, So, Texas Tech
Detron Lewis was the Red Raider breakout star this spring, and now that he appears to be the one ready to step in for Danny Amendola, Lewis has shot up our draft board. Even after Crabtree gets his they'll be plenty of catches, yards and scores to share, and we think Lewis could become the #2 in the offense. It'll be a leap of faith to spend a high pick on Lewis, but when it comes to Red Raider receivers, these leaps are more like baby steps of faith. Tier: sleep 2007 Stats: 0 rush attempts, 0 yds rush, 10 receptions, 120 yds rec, 3 Total TDs, 26.00 fantasy pts
35) L.J. Castile, So, Houston
With former Texas Tech offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen now in town, I think it's safe to say that Castile will see a huge boost in production for 2008. Castile and Chris Gilbert are expected to lead an unproven receiving unit in 2008. Tier: WR3 2007 Stats: 9 rush attempts, 72 yds rush, 7 receptions, 106 yds rec, 1 Total TDs, 17.76 fantasy pts
36) Scott Long, Jr, Louisville
Gone are Harry Douglas and the enigma Mario Urrutia. Opening the door for junior Scott Long to emerge as a top receiving threat for an offense that likes to keep it in the air. Long has the size at 6'2", 215lbs and speed to catch the long ball. With Long's paint ball gun antics behind him, we like Long to emerge as the Cards' leading receiver in 2008. Tier: WR3 2007 Stats: 0 rush attempts, 0 yds rush, 27 receptions, 358 yds rec, 0 Total TDs, 23.86 fantasy pts
37) Jeremy Childs, Jr, Boise St.
Following an academic suspension from school there is a bit of concern over Childs' status for 2008. He's currently not enrolled at Boise, but all signs have the talented wide receiver returning this summer. Should all go as planned then Childs is certainly worth a top receiver pick. Yes there's concern over breaking in a new starting quarterback, but if Boise has proven anything over the years it's the ability to make seamless transitions in personnel and keep the offensive train rolling. Tier: WR3 2007 Stats: 0 rush attempts, 0 yds rush, 82 receptions, 1045 yds rec, 9 Total TDs, 123.66 fantasy pts
38) Stephen Williams, Jr, Toledo
The 6' 5" Williams is your typical big play wide receiver for the Rockets and it shows in his box scores. 150 yards and two scores one week and 70 and a donut the next. Williams has the potential to deliver big on any given week, it is simply a matter of picking those weeks. Tier: WR3 2007 Stats: 0 rush attempts, 0 yds rush, 73 receptions, 1169 yds rec, 7 Total TDs, 119.93 fantasy pts
39) Dicky Lyons, Sr, Kentucky
Dicky's production may take a serious dive now that some serious talent has departed Lexington. I'm sure others will contend that Lyons' new found stature as the number one offensive threat will see a spike in his numbers. We're of the opinion that SEC d-coordinators know how to stop offenses looking at one primary receiver, so Lyons' best may be last season's 56-655-7. Tier: WR3 2007 Stats: 1 rush attempts, 0 yds rush, 56 receptions, 655 yds rec, 7 Total TDs, 85.66 fantasy pts
40) Marko Mitchell, Sr, Nevada
Look for the Wolfpack senior to build upon an outstanding junior campaign and become one of the nation's premier receivers. 47-1129-8 provide a glimpse into Mitchell's game-breaking ability, and with the offensive unit that Nevada will roll out, Mitchell could really emerge. Factor in a very favorable schedule and Mitchell could explode. Tier: WR3 2007 Stats: 1 rush attempts, 47 yds rush, 53 receptions, 1129 yds rec, 8 Total TDs, 126.40 fantasy pts
41) Dexton Fields, Sr, Kansas
Dexton Fields will keep defenders busy and take a good deal of pressure off of Briscoe and once in a while he'll score a touchdown for himself. The offense in Lawrence has a great deal of balance and versatility, and Fields will benefit from defenses that simply can't cover everyone. Todd Reesing will find Dex often enough to warrant making Fields your 3rd receiver. Tier: WR3 2007 Stats: 3 rush attempts, 20 yds rush, 63 receptions, 834 yds rec, 6 Total TDs, 92.93 fantasy pts
42) Cortez Gent, Jr, Fla. Atlantic
The 6' 2" Gent is on the receiving end of large number of Rusty Smith's throws. Gent also led all Owl receivers with nine touchdowns in 2007. We like Gent's consistency, scoring in 8/12 contests last year. This is crucial for a receivers off the bench. We see no reason why Gent would not post similar numbers in 2008. Tier: WR3 2007 Stats: 0 rush attempts, 0 yds rush, 64 receptions, 1082 yds rec, 9 Total TDs, 126.13 fantasy pts
43) Lucas Taylor, Sr, Tennessee
Taylor snared an impressive 73 balls for 1000 yards in 2007. Touchdown production was a bit limited, however if Taylor continues to catch balls at this pace, the touchdowns will come. We see little drop off from Eric Ainge to Jonathan Crompton, so that should not be a concern. Tier: WR3 2007 Stats: 1 rush attempts, 1 yds rush, 73 receptions, 1000 yds rec, 6 Total TDs, 104.60 fantasy pts
44) Jaison Williams, Sr, Oregon
It's strange that a 55-844-8 season seems like underachieving, but owners and fans are left hoping for more with Williams. He's had a nice career, and he's looking for a huge senior season. We may have him seriously undervalued as if he becomes more consistent with his hands, he could emerge as the Pac-10's top receiver. Tier: WR3 2007 Stats: 0 rush attempts, 0 yds rush, 55 receptions, 844 yds rec, 8 Total TDs, 104.26 fantasy pts
45) James Rodgers, So, Oregon St.
Certain members of the CFFInsider.com staff think Rodgers is the cat's pajamas, the bees-knees. And I'll tell you what there old sport, they might be right. He gets rushing attempts, catches the ball, and he gets a whole lot of yards. We think 2008 will be the year he starts scoring lots of touchdowns. He'll be a wide receiver who gets enough running back carries on that funny sweep to have bigtime potential. Draft him and enjoy watching him play. Tier: WR3 2007 Stats: 50 rush attempts, 586 yds rush, 19 receptions, 208 yds rec, 4 Total TDs, 76.93 fantasy pts
46) Freddie Barnes, Jr, Bowling Green
The converted quarterback now mans the starting wide receiver position. Barnes is a solid #3 or 4 off your bench. If Tyler Sheehan can improve, Barnes will be the beneficiary. With a quarterback background, you could also see a few bonus throwing TDs. Tier: WR3 2007 Stats: 3 rush attempts, 11 yds rush, 82 receptions, 962 yds rec, 9 Total TDs, 116.86 fantasy pts
47) Julio Jones, Fr, Alabama
Head coach Nick Saban was able to put together quite the class. The crown jewel of the class is Julio Jones, a big physical receiver that has the size and ability to come in and play right away. What separates the 6-4 215lb Jones from the other talented wide receivers in this class is his footwork, pass blocking and crisp route running. These are three things that are often overlooked and keep other young wide outs from seeing the field early. From a physical standpoint he looks like a taller version of Arrelious Benn. Like Benn, expect to see Jones on the field early for the Tide. Tier: sleep 2007 Stats: rush attempts, yds rush, receptions, yds rec, Total TDs, fantasy pts
48) Michael Jones, Sr, Arizona St.
Guess who had the best TD per reception ratio in the college game last year? It was indeed Michael Anthony Jones. Now you're thinking what I'm thinking, that ASU should try to get the ball into Jones' hands a bit more. As the anti-Chris McGaha, Jones brings the big play ability that will likely garner a few looks next April. He's a big target who can go and get it and then outrun everyone else. He's also a very good baseball, which makes Jones one of the most under-the-radar super athletes in the college game. Great fantasy potential. Tier: WR3 2007 Stats: 0 rush attempts, 0 yds rush, 46 receptions, 769 yds rec, 10 Total TDs, 111.26 fantasy pts
49) Jamarko Simmons, Sr, Western Mich.
Simmons started out hot with back to back 14 catch games, then faded down the stretch. 84 receptions is nothing to sneeze at, we just crave more consistency. Yes, we are demanding. Tier: WR3 2007 Stats: 6 rush attempts, 1 yds rush, 84 receptions, 980 yds rec, 6 Total TDs, 101.40 fantasy pts
50) Rodgeriqus Smith, Sr, Auburn
Auburn, like everyone else, is switching the to spread offense (the passing variety) and that means more balls than ever are going to be in the air the in Jordan-Hare Stadium. Someone is going to be the beneficiary of those balls and our bet is it will be Rodgeriqus Smith. Smith only had five touchdown catches on 52 receptions in 2007, but look for those numbers to dramatically increase. Smith is the most talented of a no-name group of wide receivers. Smith's stock will be further boosted if Chris Todd, a more natural hurler than Kodi Burns, is named the starting quarterback. If you're looking for a true sleeper, this is your guy. Tier: sleep 2007 Stats: 0 rush attempts, 0 yds rush, 52 receptions, 705 yds rec, 5 Total TDs, 77.00 fantasy pts
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