Fantasy Football Rankings 2013: WRs Not Getting Enough Respect from Owners
Wide receiver is the deepest position in fantasy football, which makes it easier for owners to take risks and reach for talent rather than going with proven consistency.
Every year leagues are littered with rookie selections rather than veteran talent. That's a smart approach in some scenarios, but more often than not, the boring name is the right name in fantasy.
Fantasy football rankings offer a window of insight into how owners everywhere view certain players. Some players, especially at the wide receiver position, receive little to no respect from owners because they are either not a big name or flashy enough on the field.
The following receivers are players owners around the globe do not show enough respect toward in drafts. Whether it's a veteran continuing to put up numbers or a youngster about to break out, these are names owners should start drafting higher.
Note: All fantasy rankings courtesy of FantasyPros.com.
Vincent Jackson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Player Ranking: 11th WR, 29th Overall
Vincent Jackson was the sixth-highest scoring receiver in 2012 per ESPN, yet this year owners are only drafting him as the No. 11 receiver.
It can't be his quarterback. Josh Freeman has seen his attempts and yards total climb steadily each season in the NFL, culminating last year with 558 attempts and 4,065 yards.
It also cannot be Jackson himself. Jackson has always been a solid receiver. Before joining the Buccaneers last season he scored six or more touchdowns in four of his six years in San Diego.
Last year with the Bucs, Jackson set career highs in receptions and receiving yards with 72 for 1,384. He added eight touchdowns to round out the stellar fantasy output.
Jackson is only 30 years old and could easily see his numbers increase again as Freeman continues to evolve as a quarterback. Jackson is a sure thing, whereas a guy like Randall Cobb, who is being drafted in front of him, is a major risk.
Cecil Shorts, Jacksonville Jaguars
Player Ranking: 26th WR, 67th Overall
Cecil Shorts is the perfect example of a player who is not a sexy pick and does not pay for a popular team, so it's easy to pass him up in a draft.
There's something to be said about Shorts' quarterback situation, however. Blaine Gabbert has never thrown for more than 2,300 yards or completed more than 58 percent of his passes on a year. Chad Henne is a bit more experienced but has proven he will never be a high-end quarterback.
Which WR deserves more respects in the rankings?
Despite the putrid situation, Shorts caught 55 passes totaling 979 yards and seven touchdowns in only 14 games last year.
That quarterback situation, paired with Shorts' production, should be an encouraging sign, not a deterrent.
The fact that Shorts managed to produce those numbers after only catching two passes in his rookie season should speak volumes about his upside. A guy like Mike Wallace, heading into an unknown situation in Miami after putting up similar numbers as Shorts last year, is ranked above Shorts simply because he's a bigger name.
There is no reason Shorts should be on the outside of the top 25 receivers looking in at the moment. As he showed last year, he can make the quarterback better by getting open and making plays after the catch. That should only improve as he heads into his third season.
Marques Colston, New Orleans Saints
Player Ranking: 13th WR, 36th Overall
Marques Colston is not only the most underrated receiver in the world of fantasy football, he's the most underrated on the field as well.
Colston has been in the league seven seasons now, yet he still does not receive any respect. Six out of those seven years, Colston has went over 1,000 yards receiving, including the last four in a row.
He has also caught under seven touchdowns in his career just once. Were it not for his missing five games in 2008, Colston would have over 1,000 yards receiving every year of his career and likely seven or more touchdowns.
Every year fantasy owners discredit Colston because quarterback Drew Brees loves to spread the ball around to quality players like running back Darren Sproles. What owners fail to realize is there is plenty to go around considering Brees has thrown more than 650 passes in each of the last three seasons and has not attempted under 500 each year since coming to New Orleans.
Colston is going to get his every year. Turning 30 as the No. 1 option in the passing game with the Saints won't change that. A victim of the depth at the position and not having a big name, Colston certainly deserves to be drafted higher.
Follow B/R's Chris Roling on Twitter for more news and analysis: @Chris_Roling
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