As more and more teams employ a platoon system in their backfield, the prominence of the running back position in fantasy football appears to be decreasing. As a result, the wide receiver position is becoming more and more emphasized by fantasy owners and experts. While it’s the big play that usually sells NFL tickets, it’s consistency that wins fantasy championships. Here are the 10 receivers I think will have the best fantasy season in 2009, in order.
Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals: Fitzgerald has essentially taken over as the consensus best wide receiver in the game. While he won’t wow you with speed, he’s got everything else you want from a wideout. He’s as consistent as they come and puts up huge numbers on a week-to-week basis. He seemed to take his game to another level in the playoffs last season, and if he can carry that over to the regular season in 2009, he’ll be a real force in reality and in fantasy.
Randy Moss, New England Patriots: The only reasons I don’t have him ranked as the best fantasy receiver for 2009 are Tom Brady’s rust coming off his injury and Larry Fitzgerald’s dominant playoff performance. Moss is almost sure to have a phenomenal season, though. Don’t expect another record-breaking season, like he produced in 2007, but he and Brady’s chemistry is fantastic and he should be a dominant force yet again.
Andre Johnson, Houston Texans: Johnson is a reception machine, so if you’re playing in a points-per-receptions league, then he could be argued as the top receiver. Matt Schaub loves targeting Johnson and the Houston offense is really coming into its own right now. Johnson is a matchup nightmare for any cornerback, as his combination of size, strength and speed is almost impossible to defend.
Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions: Johnson had a really good season last year without a stable quarterback situation. If things get better in Detroit this season, and they’re bound to, he should be in line for an even better campaign. He’s the most talented wide receiver in the league.
Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis Colts: Wayne is in line for a big season. Anthony Gonzalez should help draw some attention away from Wayne and Peyton Manning loves to go to him. He’s one of the most reliable receivers in the league, which results in him being one of the more reliable fantasy options at the position.
Greg Jennings, Green Bay Packers: This is where I break my own rules a bit. Jennings is not the most consistent receiver, but he had some really big games in 2008. As he and Aaron Rodgers develop more chemistry, though, the consistency should improve and Jennings could put up some monster numbers.
Marques Colston, New Orleans Saints: Colston had an injury-plagued 2008 season, but he finished the season strong. He’s a big target, which Drew Brees loves, and should be in line for a lot of catches and TDs.
Roddy White, Atlanta Falcons: White and Matt Ryan really have something going and it should continue to get better with time; the acquisition of Tony Gonzalez won’t hurt either.
Steve Smith, Carolina Panthers: Smith is hit or miss on a week to week basis, but he’s too good to rank any lower.
Anquan Boldin, Arizona Cardinals: He’s bound to miss a game here and there, but he’ll perform when he’s on the field.
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