Top Five Fantasy Picks—Pt. 5: NFC Wide Receivers
The wide receiver position is nearly as deep as the Pacific Ocean in the National Football Conference and just as perilous to dive into for fantasy owners.
Some notable receivers have changed teams (T.J. Houshmandzadeh), or coaches such as Calvin Johnson.
Others have a quarterback coming back from off-season surgery like Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald.
Then, in the case of Roy Williams (pictured), there are just too many question marks to make it worth gambling on him anywhere near the top of the draft.
There is much guesswork involved in forecasting this conferences receivers. The constants, facts, projections and a fantasy crystal ball have led to the unveiling of 2009's top five fantasy picks in the NFC. Make sure they are on your board.
5. Roddy White
Roddy White had over 1,300 yards in receptions last season and seven touchdowns.
There is no reason to believe Matt Ryan will not produce again, inversely, so will White.
1,300 yards and nine touchdowns for the Falcon this year.
4. Steve Smith
Steve Smith is a big play threat. In 2008 he led the league in receptions of 20 yards or more and accumulated 1,421 total yards of receiving.
The downside, Smith only caught six touchdown passes.
This season Smith will have 1,300 receiving yards and eight touchdowns.
3. Marques Colston
Marques Colston missed roughly a third of the 2008 season with a torn ligament in his thumb.
In the 10 games in which he had a reception he had a pedestrian 760 yards and five touchdowns.
He came on at the end of the season, though, with 306 yards and four of his five touchdowns in the last three games.
Drew Brees is going to have another huge year and Colston will be a benefactor now that he is healthy.
2. Larry Fitzgerald
Larry Fitzgerald was second in the league last season in receiving yardage and tied for first in touchdowns.
The question that begs asking, then, is why is he only second on the list?
Anquan Boldin and Kurt Warner's health are the reasons.
Boldin missed four games last season and still had over 1,000 yards receiving and 11 touchdowns. This is a system where there are essentially two, No. 1 receivers. Fitzgerald will get more touches so he makes the list and Boldin doesn't.
Warner has admitted there is still pain in his hip from the offseason surgery, but says he will be ready to go. If there are any lingering effects, Fitzgerald's numbers will be effected.
1. Calvin Johnson
The improvements in Detroit are well known. The team could not do anything but improve.
Brandon Pettigrew is the addition that most effects Calvin Johnson. Obviously, a solid blocker on the line results in more time for the QB to get Johnson the ball. More importantly, though, a short route threat draws defenders eyes and attentions inwards opening up seams for the star of the show.
In 2008, Johnson had the fifth most yards in the league and was tied for first in TD's. You can expect him to be at the top of these categories again in 2009.