Rotisserie By The Numbers: The Top 25 Receivers in Fantasy Football

Craig RondinoneCorrespondent ISeptember 3, 2009

CLEVELAND - NOVEMBER 23:  Andre Johnson #80 of the Houston Texans jogs on the field during the NFL game against the Cleveland Browns at Cleveland Browns Stadium on November 23, 2008 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

We have rated the runners and the throwers. Now it is time to rank the receivers!

Receivers are to fantasy football what outfielders are to fantasy baseball – the talent pool is deeper than Jerry Jones’ pockets. Because of that, it is unnecessary to draft a player at the position in the first or second round if you do not want to.

Running back and quarterbacks are more important in fantasy football, although receivers are more important than tight ends, kickers, defense/special teams, and good stat services. It would be nice to have one top receiver on your fantasy roster and compliment him with a couple other guys with 1,000-yard and/or 7-TD ability.

Here are the top 25 receivers in fantasy football heading into the 2009 campaign:


1. Larry Fitzgerald (Arizona Cardinals)

Uncoverable, unstoppable, and undeniably the best receiver in the NFL and in fantasy football. Fitzgerald should top the 1,400-yard mark for the fourth time in his career and score a dozen touchdowns.


2. Andre Johnson (Houston Texans)

The reigning NFL champ in receptions and receiving yards has a superb chance of defending his crowns as long as he and quarterback Matt Schaub stay injury-free.


3. Calvin Johnson (Detroit Lions)

Johnson doubled his fantasy value between his rookie and sophomore NFL seasons, and if the pattern persists he could have 90 catches for 1,400 yards and 12 touchdowns in his third year.


4. Randy Moss (New England Patriots)

Moss’ touchdowns were cut in half because Tom Brady was not tossing him the ball last season. With Brady back, Moss should be one of the favorites to be No.1 in scores again.


5. Reggie Wayne (Indianapolis Colts)

Should be interesting to see how Wayne fares without Marvin Harrison on the field with him anymore. I think he will actually do better.


6. Steve Smith (Carolina Panthers)

How good is the "real Steve Smith" (not to be confused with the impostor with the New York Giants)? He racked up over 1,400 yards last season despite being double and triple-teamed constantly. This in an offense that prefers running over passing.


7. Roddy White (Atlanta Falcons)

White’s numbers should escalate now that Matt Ryan has a year under his belt and tight end Tony Gonzalez can open room in the secondary for him.


8. Greg Jennings (Green Bay Packers)

Should be moved up a couple spots if you are in a distance league that rewards long touchdowns.


9. Anquan Boldin (Arizona Cardinals)

It is almost like people have forgotten that Boldin is still around with all the hoopla surrounding Fitzgerald. Don’t make the same mistake.


10. Terrell Owens (Buffalo Bills)

Fantasy owners might love his reality show, but going from Dallas to Buffalo and from Tony Romo to Trent Edwards is probably not going to help him.


11. Marques Colston (New Orleans Saints)

2008 was a disaster of Titanic-like proportions for Colston mostly due to injuries. He should be healthy and bounce back with a 1,200-yard year.


12. Santonio Holmes (Pittsburgh Steelers)

The Super Bowl MVP will supplant Hines Ward as Ben Roethlisberger’s go-to guy in 2009.


13. Braylon Edwards (Cleveland Browns)

The king of dropped passes could have 1,400 yards and 15 touchdowns or 800 yards and four touchdowns, depending on how much glue he puts on his fingertips.


14. Dwayne Bowe (Kansas City Chiefs)

His lanky frame makes him impossible to defend against in the red zone, and he has never been in a pass-first offense or with a quarterback as good as Matt Cassel before.


15. Wes Welker (New England Patriots)

Unlike his teammate Moss, Welker’s stats did not nosedive last year when Brady was not around.


16. Vincent Jackson (San Diego Chargers)

Can be counted on for 900-1,000 yards and six scores, but not much more since he is San Diego’s third option in its offense.


17. Eddie Royal (Denver Broncos)

My pick for breakout star at the position. With Brandon Marshall AWOL and Denver installing a short passing attack, 100 grabs for 1,200 yards is not out of the realm of possibility.


18. Antonio Bryant (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

The walking advertisement for inconsistency. Bryant has had 1,000-yard years, including one in 2008. He has also been so bad at times he has been waived and been jobless because no one wanted him. He could fly sky high or fall right off the fantasy cliff.


19. Roy Williams (Dallas Cowboys)

Five NFL seasons, one above-average fantasy year. Let’s hope Tony Romo’s passes do not bounce off Dallas’ new scoreboard before they fall into Williams’ hands.


20. T.J. Houshmandzadeh (Seattle Seahawks)

The longest and most mispronounced name in fantasy football will continue to produce in the land of Starbucks and grunge music.


21. Bernard Berrian (Minnesota Vikings)

He had back-to-back 900-yard seasons with Rex Grossman and Gus Frerotte throwing to him. What can he do with Brett Favre as his quarterback?


22. Chad Ocho Cinco (Cincinnati Bengals)

No receiver lost more mph off his fastball last year than the artist formerly known as Chad Johnson. Let’s hope the name change brings back his fantasy value.


23. Lee Evans (Buffalo Bills)

Will T.O. help Evans by alleviating the double-teams Evans was used to seeing, or hurt Evans because Owens will be catching passes that used to go Evans’ way?


24. Jericho Cotchery (New York Jets)

The Jets will not be throwing the ball much, but when they do the majority of the pass plays will be designed for this overachiever.


25. Anthony Gonzalez (Indianapolis Colts)

I like this Ohio State product more than I like Ted Ginn.

Next column: Receivers 26-50.


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