Fantasy Football: Who Should Be Your No. 2 Receiver?
Since most number one receivers get lots of looks, they usually comprise the No. 1 and No. 2 slots on your fantasy squad. After the first 10-15 receivers go, who should your No. 2 be?
If you're half lucky, half crazy, you took two receivers in your top three picks. Otherwise, you're like the rest of us and ready to grab another solid receiver who will put up points consistently.
Last year, as Arizona's No. 2 receiver, Anquan Boldin put up 11 TD's in 12 games. He would be a legitimate No. 1 on your team, so he's not included in this list.
Roy Williams, Dallas
Terrell Owens caught 10 or more touchdowns each year in Dallas. This bodes well for Williams, as he takes over Owens' number one spot.
Williams has underachieved in his career thus far, but so has just about everyone that puts on a Detroit Lions uniform in the first round (see Joey Harrington, Mike Williams, Charles Rogers).
In 2006, when Jon Kitna was slinging passes and Williams didn't have Calvin Johnson across from him, Williams caught 82 balls for 1310 yards and 7 TDs.
Expect numbers like those again, as Williams has Tony Romo throwing to him now, and is the clear-cut number one receiver on the team. Jason Whitten will see his share of touches, but Williams will lead Dallas receivers in every category.
Chad Ochocinco, Cincinatti
Ochocinco returns to form this season with the departure of T.J. Houshmandzadeh. Last year, Ochocinco was injured for several games, and had the displeasure of Ryan Fitzpatrick being his starting quarterback.
Ochocinco had his worst season since becoming a full-time starter in every statistical category. If Carson Palmer can stay healthy and Andre Smith can protect him right away, Ochocinco's stock will rise again.
Laveraneus Coles will not threaten Ochocinco for the go-to spot, so don't worry about that. Ochocinco has tweeted his dedication to the sport again, and would love nothing more than to come back and prove everyone wrong.
Now only if trash talking and tweets were counted for points...
Vincent Jackson, San Diego
Jackson finally produced last year, catching 7 TDs out of only 59 passes. He averaged over 18 yards per catch, amassing 1098 yards.
At 6'5", he becomes a great target in the red zone, and will challenge Antonio Gates for touches. With such a high YAC average, it shows that Jackson is Phillip Rivers' main target when looking deep.
Rivers' success last year will give Norv Turner more confidence in the passing game overall, so more passing plays will be called early on.
Santonio Holmes, Pittsburgh
Holmes showed his worth in the Super Bowl, taking home MVP honors. Ben Roethlisberger knows Holmes can make the catch when needed.
The only problem with this pick is that Pittsburgh has always been a run-first team. Their receivers are never great producers in PPR leagues, but have decent value in touchdown-only leagues.
With Limas Sweed stepping up in the pre-season, Holmes shouldn't be double-teamed at all, as three-receiver sets are now an option for Pittsburgh.
T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Seattle
Even though the picture is wrong, Housh will still produce like he did in Cincy. Never starting all 16 games, Housh had 73+ catches in each of the past five years (including 112 in 2007).
Housh also suffered from having Ryan Fitzpatrick at QB, and will benefit with a healthy Matt Hasselbeck.
At 6'2" tall, Housh will usually be Hasselbeck's largest receiver (other than TE John Carlson) on the field, and will provide a crutch when other smaller receivers are covered.
The following receivers are boom-or-bust picks. Each has had big seasons in the past, but has reasons that won't happen this year.
Antonio Bryant, Tampa Bay
Bryant suffered a torn meniscus and missed the whole preseason. He's supposed to be ready for the first game, but who knows how his knee will hold up. On top of that, he no longer has Jeff Garcia throwing the ball. Byron Leftwich won't make it the whole season, and Josh Freeman is a rookie so neither are fantasy owners' dreams.
Brandon Marshall, Denver
Marshall was a headcase this offseason and some are calling him "Baby T.O." He was suspended by his coach, forcing him to miss time which could be used to bond with new QB Kyle Orton. Orton does not match up to Jay Cutler in any way, so don't expect any Denver receiver to match last year's numbers.
Bernard Berrian, Minnesota
Minnesota is clearly a run-first team, even with Brett Favre at QB. Adrian Peterson will continue to dominate the offense, but the team has to pass at some point. When they do pass, Berrian will be the number one target. His targets and catches should go up with Favre under center, but in the end, Favre doesn't call the plays. Running will still dominate in Minnesota.
Terrell Owens, Buffalo
T.O. injured his toe and missed some time this preseason. On top of that, he has one of the most inconsistent starting quarterbacks in the NFL in Trent Edwards. Edwards has potential, but has been wild and injury-prone in the past. With a suspect quarterback, and fighting the elements in the winter, Owens' stats figure to drop this year.
Braylon Edwards, Cleveland
Edwards has been a disappointment in all but one year of his career. Entering a contract year, you may expect good numbers from him. However, he has led the league in dropped passes the past two years, so expect some missed opportunities.