So because of that... right onto the receiver rankings... Keep in mind that these rankings are for standard leagues, not PPR...
1. Andre Johnson - I'm not out to shake up the system too much. Andre Johnson is Andre Johnson. He's the best receiver in the league playing for one of the top passing offenses. Enough said.
2. Hakeem Nicks - He was the number seven receiver last year even though he missed three games with injury, he would have finished third last year if you take his weekly average over 16 games. He's entering his third year, a year of growth for most receivers, and is now Eli's clear favorite target in a post-Steve Smith world for the Giants. Like number three Roddy White, he's a sure thing to finish top five barring injury, but Nicks' number one upside is higher than White's.
3. Roddy White - Sure fire top five receiver. The targets will still come with Julio Jones, and they should come against better looks with Jones on the field White's consistency and target numbers are everything you want from a fantasy receiver.
4. Larry Fitzgerald - I don't believe in Kevin Kolb's fantasy value, but Larry ges a huge boost from his presence there. Kolb hasn't shown much, but he seems far more prepared to start in the NFL than anyone the Cardinals had last season. The Arizona offense still runs through Fitz, he was the second most targeted player in the league last year at 174 targets, and Kolb will get the ball to Larry at a much better completion rate then those other guys. Larry is going to be money this year, don't sleep on him.
5. Vincent Jackson - V-Jax is back as the number one receiver for Rivers and has already signed his franchise tag, making this essentially a contract year. Where do I sign up. Expect big things this year for Jackson.
6. Greg Jennings - Jennings can be inconsistent at times, which pushes him down this list a little, but you'll be happy to own him when he has his twenty point games. Often.
7. Calvin Johnson - Calvin Johnson is nearly as good as Andre Johnson in terms of athletic ability, but he doesn't seem to take over games in the same way yet. He explodes for huge games at times, but teams still manage to keep him quiet in others. That doesn't matter too much for us though when he puts up fantasy numbers like he does. The situation in Detroit where everyone including Calvin is an injury concern worries me, and that's what drops him to seven on the list.
8. Mike Wallace - Wallace and DeSean Jackson both do the same things out there on the field, and the only thing that has me ranking Wallace ahead of Jackson is that I expect better durability from the Steelers' offense than I do the Eagles'. Other than that though, both are all or nothing guys week to week, but both bring enough fantasy points to help you win.
9. DeSean Jackson
10. Reggie Wayne - I want to rank Wayne higher here, but the uncertainty surrounding Peyton Manning's week one status has him down at ten on this list. Even if Manning is out there, no training camp for Manning is going to hurt Wayne's chances. Manning will be back though, and Wayne will have huge value again this season and should be drafted high even if it's Kerry Collins whipping him the ball the first week or two.
11. Mike Williams (Tampa) - I'm high on all the Buccaneers this year, and Williams is no exception. After a dominating rookie year that landed him twelve among receivers, I expect an even bigger follow up year. Take him as your number two and get number one stats.
12. Miles Austin - Austin would probably be higher on this list, but because I'm also ranking Dez Bryant at thirteen, I can't expect Austin to do much more. They will both have monster stat lines at the end of the year, it's just each being around hurts the other's top five potential.
13. Dez Bryant
14. Mario Manningham - Manningham finished 17th among receivers last year, right behind Larry Fitzgerald. He did so on just 92 targets, compared to Larry's 174. Steve Smith is in Philadelphia now. Manningham's targets are going to go way up. Huge upside here.
15. Brandon Lloyd - I don't expect the Broncos to pass nearly as much this year with John Fox as head coach, but Kyle Orton is back at quarterback, so last year's number one receiver deserves some respect in your draft. It's not sexy, but he'll get you better points than some of the number other number twos coming up.
16. Percy Harvin - Harvin has been migraine free all year according to him, and that's great news for his fantasy prospects this season. He's the guy now in Minnesota, and Migraines were the main worry there. He'll do great with McNabb behind center and is a huge breakout candidate in his third season.
17. Wes Welker - Welker is a machine and he is the closest thing you'll ever find to Brady's favorite target. He turned in a respectable season last year even with the missed time and will be a 1100 yard guy again this year.
18. Anquan Boldin - Boldin wasn't great in his first year in Baltimore, but that was because there was no one around to stretch the field. With Lee Evans in town, Boldin should return to solid number two fantasy receiver status.
19. Jeremy Maclin - Maclin is hard form me to rank. On one hand, I love his upside if DeSean goes down. On the other hand, if Vick goes down, Maclin's stats will fall down the tubes. If neither goes down, this is where I'd take hime.
20. Santonio Holmes - I don't like the Sanchize, but Holmes is the number one receiver out there in New York and gets a lot of deep balls thrown to him. He's going to be good for over a thousand yards and about ten touchdowns, which is a fine number two.
21. Brandon Marshall - He got to 1000 yards last year, and his TD total should rise this year after an abnormally low three last season. He has the talent, but Henne isn't the best quarterback and the offense is fairly conservative. He's still a great number two receiver option though if you end up waiting on receivers.
22. Marques Colston - Colston will get to 1000 yards this year, it will just be in an extremely inconsistent fashion. He's a frustrating player to own, but still a fine number two receiver option.
23. Chad Ochocinco - Tales of Ochocinco's demise have been greatly over-exaggerated, and I'd like him even if he were stuck with the Bengals still. In New England, he should see plenty of targets as long as he keeps himself in line and he will once again be a thousand yard receiver and solid fantasy contributor.
24. Steve Johnson - Johnson will get more targets than he did last season, but he might turn into Lee Evans circa 2009, without Evans himself there to take attention off of him. He's a number one receiver on a team that will be behind a bunch, I just don't know how Johnson will handle double teams all year.
25. Sidney Rice - He's going to take a huge drop from last years numbers, but even with Tarvaris Jackson throwing the ball, he should get around 1000 yards again this year with a solid touchdown number, making him a capable number two option.
26. Santana Moss - Another ugly quarterback situation in Washington shouldn't have too much of an affect on Moss' numbers this year. He has never had less than 900 yards in a season where he played in all 16 games and hasn't missed a game since 2007. Don't care who the quarterback is. Moss will break 1000 yards again.
27. Dwayne Bowe - I'm way down on last year's number two receiver as you can see, and with good reason. Bowe was wildly inconsistent last year, costing your team potential week 13 and 14 games with 0 points scored, and all of his value when he did score was in his monster touchdown games. He's the number one in KC and should get over 1000 yards again. But a harder schedule and natural regression on the touchdown numbers will make him a bust based on his draft spot this year.
28. Malcom Floyd - We know the Chargers are going to throw... a lot. Rivers isn't the spread the ball around guy like a Brady or a Manning though, and Norv Turner's offense is great at getting the outside receivers with open looks downfield with Antonio Gates demanding so much attention inside.. Barring injury, Floyd should topple 1000 yards as a deep threat opposite Vincent Jackson.
29. Pierre Garcon - Most places are touting Austin Collie over Garcon, but I don't see why. Collie plays the slot, and while Garcon isn't Reggie Wayne or Marvin Harrison, neither of them was ever outclassed when Brandon Stokley was in town. Plus, Anthony Gonzalez is back, and should see some playing time in the slot himself. Garcon is a number three receiver option only, but a strong one.
30. Kenny Britt - Like Bowe, Britt is another player I don't want to touch based on his draft spot. With Britt's history of problems and an unresolved possible suspension coming from Goodell, Britt is a major stay away even with his upside.
31. Steve Smith - Smith finally fell off last season, and I don't know if he'll get back on the horse with Newton there in Carolina. There is number two receiver upside here, but expect number three receiver stats.
32. Julio Jones - Atlanta will pass a bunch, and Jones is one of the most hyped rookie receivers I've ever seen. Flex play option with number two fantasy upside.
33. Austin Collie - Concussions are a worry, but number three role in the Colts offense has always been productive, and Collie has shown himself excellent in the role. Flex play any time if need be.
34. Danny Amendola - He's the only guy who is sure to be targeted in St. Louis, and Bradford is going to throw for 4000 yards this year. Don't be shocked when 900 of that goes to Amendola. Huge steal potential here as well, because he led the NFL in redzone targets last season with twenty-four, even though he scored just three times.
35. Jacoby Ford - Ford is scheduled to be the number one guy in Oakland, and Hue Jackson loves him. It's not likely, but there is huge upside here. Darren McFadden showed last year that fantasy value can exist in Oakland, so don't be too afraid of Ford here.
36. Michael Crabtree- This marks yet another training camp missed for Crabtree, but the talent is too high for me to drop him any further on the list. I personally think he just doesn't want to be in camp, and that the foot will be fine for opening day. Even if it isn't, I'd rather have him on the season than Braylon, and there is number two receiver upside if he puts it all together here in his third year.
37. Mike Thomas - I don't think he is going to be as successful in a starting role as he was in the slot last season, but he'll still contribute value at receiver this season as a number one in an average offense.
38. A.J. Green - Another upside pick here, Green is the number one guy in Cincinnati by default. While I don't love any rookie receiver, he could be Mike Williams, and that upside makes him worth a roster spot as a flex play/bench player.
39. Roy Williams - I really wanted to rank Williams higher, but god knows if he'll even start. So I'm just going to list him here just one above Johnny Knox and warn you that you're in high risk territory.
40. Johnny Knox
41. Lee Evans - You know who Lee Evans is at this stage. Expect something like the 849 yards and five touchdown season from 2008.
42. Braylon Edwards - Edwards is a big talent but is just far too inconsistent. He'll have some good games and might help you if you end up starting him in a pinch, but don't expect too much from him in San Fran.
43. Mike Sims-Walker - I've never been a huge Walker fan, but someone is going to start across from Amendola in St. Louis, and he looks like the guy right now. He might go for a thousand yards if he starts all year, or he might play like he did last year and lose his starting job.
44. Steve Breaston - Breaston is the number two guy across from Bowe in Kansas City now and a much more consistent player. I expect Breaston to contribute if needed in the flex all season long.
45. Josh Cribbs - I can't love Colt McCoy like I do without expecting big things from Cribbs. With kickoff returns heading for extinction, Cribbs has been reportedly doing a great job in his development as a receiver. There is definite fantasy upside here and his returns are just a bonus.
46. Jacoby Jones - Jones should take over as the number two guy in Houston this year, if not in starting spot at least in targets, and that should make him somewhat fantasy relevant.
47. Lance Moore - The next four guys are all the same to me, in that I'm not a big fan of any of them. They are number three and four options (after Jermichael Finley in Green Bay and the running backs in New Orleans) on good passing teams that will turn in good games throughout the season, but can't be counted on for any consistency. I ranked them in the order I think they'll do this year, but I'm personally probably not drafting any of them, even where they are ranked here. Just ranking them here because if you can tolerate the boom or bustness of them, or are playing in a very deep league where you need them, this is their value.
48 James Jones
49. Jordy Nelson
50. Robert Meachem
51. Nate Burleson - As the guy across from Calvin Johnson, he should see plenty of single coverage. That will mean solid numbers as long as Stafford is in the game.
52. Eddie Royal
53. Plaxico Burress - I don't buy any of his comeback, especially as the number two receiver on an offense that will be far worse without its quality slot wide outs (Brad Smith and Jerricho Cotchery) from years past. Don't get caught up in the media hype here.
54. Greg Little - Another rookie who might break out, Little is looking good so far in Cleveland camp, and McCoy will need a big target like him to be successful. A bit of a risk, but flex play upside is clear.
55. Hines Ward - Ward's draft status has only fallen because they have added other good options in Pittsburgh. After Mike Wallace, Ben is going to be spreading the ball around....
56. Emmanuel Sanders -...To guys like Sanders.
57. Jerome Simpson - Simpson looked good at times last year, and is the most proven receiver in Cincinnati. That's not saying much, but still.
58. Mike Williams (Seattle)
59. Deion Branch - Ochocinco's arrival moves Branch down the pecking order.
60. Nate Washington
61. Arrelious Benn
62. Bernard Berrian
63. Davone Bess
64. Domenik Hixon
65. Kevin Walter
66. Jason Hill
67. Anthony Armstrong
68. Antonio Brown
69. Jordan Shipley
70. Devin Hester
After this point I'd be throwing darts among third and fourth receivers on bad passing offenses who will likely be free agents in most leagues. Just watch the wire to find them and pick them up.
-Fred "Big Derf" Tobin