In a fantasy game dominated by quarterbacks and running backs I'm often a proponent of nabbing a top wide receiver with your first round pick. However if you can't get Dez Bryant early on then you should wait and wait longer until building your wide receiver corps. Because there will be serious talent available in the middle to late rounds.
Ryan Wolfe, A.J. Green, Lyle Leong, Julio Jones, Kendall Wright and Ronald Johnson will be steals in the later rounds. And by the time you snap these receivers up you'll have a talented roster in place to serve as the welcoming committee for the speedsters that will be catching your college fantasy football passes.
#26 Ryan Wolfe | WR3 | Sr | UNLV
Wolfe is an overlooked WR stud. He's coming off an 88 catch season, and we think his potential is even greater. There are some outstanding non-BCS wide receivers operating in relative obscurity, and this guy may be the best of the bunch.
2008 Stats: 88 receptions for 1040 yards and 6 TDs / 14 rushes for 91 yards and 1 TDs / 155.0 fant pts
2009 Projs: 92 receptions for 1050 yards and 9 TDs / 13 rushes for 80 yards and 0 TDs / 167.0 fant pts
#27 Brandon Banks | WR2 | Sr | Kansas St.
With a larger emphasis placed on the run game under new/old head coach Bill Snyder, look for Banks to be used a bit more in the ground game. And for owners that enjoyed Banks' 67-1049-9 in 2008 this may not be very good news. Kansas State has just lost a first round draft pick at quarterback, and there is some uncertainty as to how the team will respond to Snyder's ways. Still the coach knows he'll be better off if he gets the ball in the hands of his best player. And this player would be Banks.
2008 Stats: 67 receptions for 1049 yards and 9 TDs / 7 rushes for 126 yards and 1 TDs / 176.0 fant pts
2009 Projs: 61 receptions for 832 yards and 8 TDs / 22 rushes for 210 yards and 2 TDs / 164.2 fant pts
#28 Naaman Roosevelt | WR2 | Sr | Buffalo
In addition to having a first name that is this close to being a palindrome, Naaman Roosevelt is a mighty fine wide receiver. Coming off a record-setting 104-1402-13 junior season we are a little concerned that he'll be without quarterback Drew Willy. However the spring performance of new starter Zach Maynard and the presence of James Starks mean that Roosevelt will once again get his. We don't think he'll catch 104 again, but 80-1200-12 is well within reach.
2008 Stats: 104 receptions for 1402 yards and 13 TDs / 3 rushes for 9 yards and 0 TDs / 218.0 fant pts
2009 Projs: 70 receptions for 1056 yards and 8 TDs / 3 rushes for 8 yards and 0 TDs / 154.4 fant pts
#29 Jeremy Williams | WR3 | Sr | Tulane
When Tulane does decide to attempt the forward pass then odds are Jeremy Williams will be on the receiving end. If you're underwhelmed by Williams' 27 catches in 2008 do keep in mind that he only played in five games prior to a season-ending knee injury. A better barometer is likely 2007 when he caught 46 balls for 773 yards and 5 scores.
2008 Stats: 27 receptions for 437 yards and 5 TDs / 7 rushes for 20 yards and 0 TDs / 75.0 fant pts
2009 Projs: 65 receptions for 1049 yards and 9 TDs / 14 rushes for 40 yards and 0 TDs / 162.9 fant pts
#30 Juan Nunez | WR3 | Jr | Western Mich.
Jamarko Simmons' departure from Kalamazoo means that Juan Nunez will look to assume the role of number one wide receiver. 57-701-7 in 2008 means he's ready for the job.
2008 Stats: 57 receptions for 701 yards and 7 TDs / 0 rushes for 0 yards and 0 TDs / 112.0 fant pts
2009 Projs: 71 receptions for 886 yards and 10 TDs / 0 rushes for 0 yards and 0 TDs / 148.6 fant pts
#31 Damian Williams | WR2 | Jr | Southern California
Junior Damian Williams is the best receiver on the USC roster, thus he appears a solid bet for about 1000-10 in 2009. We like Williams to team with Ronald Johnson to provide a whole bunch of mismatch nightmares for opposing secondaries; it'll just be up to the new starting quarterback to deliver the football.
2008 Stats: 58 receptions for 869 yards and 9 TDs / 4 rushes for 43 yards and 0 TDs / 144.0 fant pts
2009 Projs: 61 receptions for 836 yards and 10 TDs / 4 rushes for 40 yards and 0 TDs / 147.6 fant pts
#32 A.J. Green | WR3 | So | Georgia
His injured groin behind him Green appears ready to improve upon his impressive freshman campaign. 56-963-8 may be hard to top without Matt Stafford, but Green is clearly a special talent that will only get better. He's put on about 12 lbs. of muscle, and he'll be prepared to fight the SEC wars. There's a chance we may only see him for two more seasons, so lock him up and enjoy the show.
2008 Stats: 56 receptions for 963 yards and 8 TDs / 4 rushes for 61 yards and 0 TDs / 112.0 fant pts
2009 Projs: 60 receptions for 930 yards and 8 TDs / 4 rushes for 56 yards and 0 TDs / 146.6 fant pts
#33 Austin Pettis | WR3 | Jr | Boise St.
The Ian Johnson era is over in Boise, and there is some serious young talent ready to really shine, and in this group is wide receiver Austin Pettis. Look for coach Chris Peterson to get the 6-foot-3 Pettis the ball in the redzone. This is one WR we may have definitely undervalued heading into the season.
2008 Stats: 49 receptions for 567 yards and 9 TDs / 0 rushes for 0 yards and 0 TDs / 110.0 fant pts
2009 Projs: 65 receptions for 812 yards and 10 TDs / 0 rushes for 0 yards and 0 TDs / 141.2 fant pts
#34 Lyle Leong | sleep | Jr | Texas Tech
Leong is a former high school teammate of quarterback Taylor Potts, meaning if Leong is unhappy with the number of passes he's seeing he can likely blackmail Potts with some dirt from years ago. Leong has some of the best hands on the Red Raider squad, and a double-digit breakout season is possible in 2009. He's loaded with potential, now is Leong's time to cash in on it.
2008 Stats: 18 receptions for 206 yards and 3 TDs / 0 rushes for 0 yards and 0 TDs / 38.0 fant pts
2009 Projs: 66 receptions for 761 yards and 9 TDs / 0 rushes for 0 yards and 0 TDs / 130.1 fant pts
#35 Jock Sanders | WR4 | Jr | West Virginia
Multi-dimensional talent whose DUI cost him the spring and maybe more. He's a dynamic threat, and his presence would immediately make the WVU offense considerably better. We're thinking he'll be back, but one never knows. Keep a close eye on our news ticker for Sanders' reinstatement.
2008 Stats: 53 receptions for 462 yards and 7 TDs / 48 rushes for 250 yards and 2 TDs / 125.0 fant pts
2009 Projs: 50 receptions for 648 yards and 6 TDs / 48 rushes for 313 yards and 2 TDs / 144.1 fant pts
#36 Toren Dixon | sleep | Sr | Rice
Off-season shoulder surgery is in the rearview mirror, and Toren Dixon is ready to step up in the absence of both Jarett Dillard and James Casey. The Rice offense now has plenty of receptions to replace, and Dixon is the leading candidate; standing 6-foot-3 we like his potential around the goal line.
2008 Stats: 50 receptions for 598 yards and 5 TDs / 0 rushes for 0 yards and 0 TDs / 89.0 fant pts
2009 Projs: 69 receptions for 894 yards and 9 TDs / 0 rushes for 0 yards and 0 TDs / 143.4 fant pts
#37 Jeff Fuller | WR2 | So | Texas A&M
Fuller had an excellent freshman year, in fact while he was overshadowed by the likes of Julio Jones, A.J. Green and DeAndre Brown, this youngster may have been just as good as all of them. He is surrounded by a very underrated skill group in College Station, and if he has made the traditional freshman to sophomore leap then look out.
2008 Stats: 50 receptions for 630 yards and 9 TDs / 0 rushes for 0 yards and 0 TDs / 117.0 fant pts
2009 Projs: 60 receptions for 810 yards and 10 TDs / 2 rushes for 10 yards and 0 TDs / 142.0 fant pts
#38 Titus Young | WR3 | Jr | Boise St.
Titus Young is talented, but he's used up all of his free passes. Suspended for much of 2008, Young will look to display both his rushing and receiving ability in the Boise State offense. Could break out but he's likely a wide receiver for teams already stocked with depth at the position in case he doesn't toe the line.
2008 Stats: 10 receptions for 168 yards and 1 TDs / 5 rushes for 52 yards and 2 TDs / 39.0 fant pts
2009 Projs: 55 receptions for 726 yards and 6 TDs / 23 rushes for 240 yards and 2 TDs / 144.6 fant pts
#39 Detron Lewis | WR2 | Jr | Texas Tech
Touchdown whore Michael Crabtree has moved to San Francisco, so if Detron Lewis repeats his 76-catch, 913 yard performance of 2008 you can bet he'll score more than three times. We'll likely see a return to the socialist ways of past Texas Tech teams, where the balls are spread around equally. Expect Lewis, a slot receiver, to be the leader of this group. He's certainly a bigger value in PPR leagues.
2008 Stats: 76 receptions for 913 yards and 3 TDs / 0 rushes for 0 yards and 0 TDs / 109.0 fant pts
2009 Projs: 77 receptions for 868 yards and 7 TDs / 0 rushes for 0 yards and 0 TDs / 128.8 fant pts
#40 Kevin Jurovich | WR3 | Sr | San Jose St.
Jurovich's return will give a big boost to the SJSU offense. He missed nearly all of 2008 with mono, and he appeared back in spring ball. Everything about the offense will be better due to the wide receiver's return, and double digit scores are possible.
2008 Stats: 15 receptions for 183 yards and 1 TDs / 2 rushes for 2 yards and 0 TDs / 24.0 fant pts
2009 Projs: 73 receptions for 876 yards and 8 TDs / 8 rushes for 44 yards and 0 TDs / 140.0 fant pts
#41 Chris Wellington | WR3 | Jr | Nevada
Wellington demonstrated his capability to score while in the receiving mix with Marko Mitchell and Mike McCoy in 2008. With those two moving on Wellington, who is one of the fastest players on the team, is poised to cash in with a nice 2009.
2008 Stats: 42 receptions for 632 yards and 6 TDs / 4 rushes for 27 yards and 0 TDs / 101.0 fant pts
2009 Projs: 58 receptions for 888 yards and 8 TDs / 4 rushes for 25 yards and 0 TDs / 139.3 fant pts
#42 Malcolm Williams | WR3 | So | Texas
Quan Cosby is gone but Colt McCoy is not. Which opens the door for Malcolm Williams to snare a whole bunch of passes in the Texas offense. Williams is a top talent that is on the verge of breakout season in 2009, and those looking for a sleeper would be wise to spend a later pick on Williams.
2008 Stats: 17 receptions for 304 yards and 3 TDs / 0 rushes for 0 yards and 0 TDs / 48.0 fant pts
2009 Projs: 58 receptions for 900 yards and 8 TDs / 0 rushes for 0 yards and 0 TDs / 138.0 fant pts
#43 Julio Jones | WR3 | So | Alabama
Believe the hype. Jones is one of the nation's most talented wide receivers, and he'll once again prove a nightmare matchup for defensive backfields. Even in the big and fast SEC he's often a man amongst boys, and though there is uncertainty regarding the Bama quarterback, Jones still seems a good bet for 1000-10.
2008 Stats: 58 receptions for 924 yards and 4 TDs / 0 rushes for 0 yards and 0 TDs / 116.0 fant pts
2009 Projs: 62 receptions for 970 yards and 7 TDs / 0 rushes for 0 yards and 0 TDs / 139.0 fant pts
#44 Kendall Wright | WR3 | So | Baylor
The peanut butter to Robert Griffin's jelly. A super talented sophomore who will wreak havoc on opposing defenses. By the time he and his quarterback are done we may have to rewrite Baylor pass/catch records. For this season he's a good bet for about 60-70 catches.
2008 Stats: 50 receptions for 649 yards and 5 TDs / 29 rushes for 168 yards and 1 TDs / 116.0 fant pts
2009 Projs: 57 receptions for 735 yards and 6 TDs / 30 rushes for 176 yards and 2 TDs / 139.1 fant pts
#45 Phillip Livas | WR3 | Jr | Louisiana Tech
If Louisiana Tech can get some consistent quarterback play out of likely starter Ross Jenkins, WR Phillip Livas could turn into a solid midseason waiver pickup. Livas is also one of the top punt returners in the country if your league is into that sort of thing.
2008 Stats: 43 receptions for 607 yards and 2 TDs / 30 rushes for 337 yards and 2 TDs / 117.0 fant pts
2009 Projs: 52 receptions for 689 yards and 5 TDs / 32 rushes for 368 yards and 2 TDs / 147.7 fant pts
#46 Tim Brown | WR3 | Sr | Rutgers
The one sure thing in the Rutgers passing attack, Brown may emerge as a 1000-9 guy if the quarterback play is up to snuff. He'll likely slide down draft boards, making him a probable late-round value pick.
2008 Stats: 27 receptions for 565 yards and 6 TDs / 6 rushes for 34 yards and 1 TDs / 101.0 fant pts
2009 Projs: 50 receptions for 798 yards and 8 TDs / 6 rushes for 37 yards and 1 TDs / 137.5 fant pts
#47 Jimmy Young | WR3 | Jr | TCU
Jimmy Young is a part of a TCU offense that may be diversifying a little bit. Andy Dalton returns at quarterback, and the thinking here is that Young will surpass his 59-988-5 from 08.
2008 Stats: 59 receptions for 988 yards and 5 TDs / 1 rushes for 7 yards and 0 TDs / 128.0 fant pts
2009 Projs: 60 receptions for 1003 yards and 6 TDs / 1 rushes for 6 yards and 0 TDs / 136.9 fant pts
#48 D'Andre Goodwin | WR3 | Sr | Washington
60 receptions and only one TD...this just doesn't look right. Of course neither did the 2008 Washington offense. Touchdowns should definitely increase with a healthy Locker under center.
2008 Stats: 60 receptions for 692 yards and 1 TDs / 13 rushes for 59 yards and 0 TDs / 80.0 fant pts
2009 Projs: 66 receptions for 813 yards and 8 TDs / 13 rushes for 59 yards and 0 TDs / 135.2 fant pts
#49 Eric Decker | WR3 | Sr | Minnesota
Decker is a stud athlete, and he's got a great future either as a wide receiver or center fielder. And should he stay healthy he seems a lock for 1000-8. He'll team with Brandon Green to provide a very nice WR tandem.
2008 Stats: 83 receptions for 1077 yards and 7 TDs / 11 rushes for 87 yards and 1 TDs / 163.0 fant pts
2009 Projs: 64 receptions for 833 yards and 6 TDs / 12 rushes for 88 yards and 1 TDs / 134.1 fant pts
#50 Ronald Johnson | WR3 | Jr | Southern California
I've been predicting big things for Ronald Johnson since seeing him dominate at Muskegon High School. Coming off a 33-570-8 sophomore season everything seems in place for a national impact. As is the case with every other Trojan, Johnson is surrounded by a great deal of talent, which is why he's buried a bit on our draft board. Still this young man has a very high ceiling.
2008 Stats: 33 receptions for 570 yards and 8 TDs / 6 rushes for 32 yards and 0 TDs / 108.0 fant pts
2009 Projs: 48 receptions for 744 yards and 9 TDs / 10 rushes for 53 yards and 0 TDs / 133.7 fant pts