As the NFL moves toward the two-back system in the backfield, running backs are becoming less prevalent in fantasy football, making receivers more important by default. Receivers sell NFL tickets with their dazzling catches and acrobatic moves, and we’re seeing some great ones emerge. Here are some wide receivers that should out-produce their likely draft position in 2009.
Randy Moss, New England Patriots: I’ve seen him go as late as the third or even fourth receiver taken in fantasy drafts, which is just wrong. Yes, Tom Brady is coming off a major injury, but does anyone remember what Brady and Moss did the last season they were on the field together. Moss should be the first receiver taken in just about any format, and the only guy I’d accept someone taking over Moss is Larry Fitzgerald. Moss is set for a huge season and will be a steal for anyone who gets him outside of the first round.
Greg Jennings, Green Bay Packers: Jennings is underrated despite putting together really good back-to-back fantasy seasons. Aaron Rodgers has shown that he’s the real deal and Jennings is his favorite target. He is not as consistent as the top receivers, but he’ll post some huge games and win his owners a few matchups this season.
Marques Colston, New Orleans Saints: Colston was hot in the second half of the 2008 season and he should be able to carry that over to 2009 as long as he remains healthy. He’s Drew Brees favorite target and is a huge presence in the red zone. He’s really good in PPR leagues and should score double-digit touchdowns.
Roy Williams, Dallas Cowboys: Don’t be fooled by Williams’ paltry performance in his time with Dallas last season, he’s a really good player. He’s embraced the number one role in Dallas and is ready to take over where Terrell Owens left off. He should have the best season of his career in 2009.
Chad Ochocinco, Cincinnati Bengals: The artist formerly known as Chad Johnson is poised for a bounce-back season. With Carson Palmer back at the helm of this offense, Ochocinco should get plenty of balls thrown his way. Last season’s performance was due more to injuries and a shaky QB situation than Ochocinco’s ability.
Santana Moss, Washington Redskins: Moss is not the model of consistency, but he seems to be going really late in fantasy drafts. He’s still a number one and if Jason Campbell can remain consistent for an entire season, Moss should have a really good year.
Anthony Gonzalez, Indianapolis Colts: Gonzalez will be thrust into a starting role this season and he showed some real chemistry with Peyton Manning last season. With Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark getting most of the attention in the passing game, Gonzo should have plenty of room to work in an explosive offense.
Eddie Royal, Denver Broncos: Royal just knows how to get open and he put together an impressive rookie campaign that went under the radar in Denver. He’s a bit of a risk due to Jay Cutler leaving town, but he’s such a threat that the team will find ways to get him the ball.