Plainly Stated: Why Wide Receivers Should Never Anchor Your Fantasy Team

Atam AgaziContributor IAugust 5, 2008

With your Fantasy Draft approaching, it is important to understand how to build that championship caliber team.  A team manager must prepare and pay attention to relevant fantasy news for weeks in order to understand his position and his potential team come draft day. 

However, even the unprepared manager can have a successful draft by following one simple mantra: Completely fill your quarterback and running back slots before you take your first wide receiver.

This claim may seem absurd at first with elite wide-outs such as Randy Moss and Terrell Owens racking up double digit touchdown totals like they are playing in the Pop Warner League. 

However, the structure of Fantasy Football's non PPR leagues makes taking an elite wide receiver nearly idiotic. Simply put, wide receivers cannot possibly be as productive as quarterbacks or more importantly, running backs. 

Aside from trick plays, which occur sparsely throughout the season, a wide receiver will never obtain any rushing or passing statistics.  However, it is common for quarterbacks to run the ball and for running backs to receive the ball. 

Thus, quarterbacks will have value in passing and rushing categories while running backs will show prowess in rushing and receiving categories.  This leaves the lowly wide receivers to only assist your team with receiving statistics.

Another reason as to why wide receivers take a back seat in Fantasy Football is the large amount of receivers who get playing time on NFL teams. 

Almost all teams will feature one fantasy relevant wide receiver while many others will feature two.  Some will even be tossing the ball around to three or four wide receivers (Colts, Browns, Seahawks, and the Packers are some examples). 

On the contrary, each team will focus on one quarterback at a time and one or two running backs.  This makes earlier drafting of quarterbacks and running backs more important than the early drafting of receivers. 

Later in the draft when managers are struggling to find fantasy relevance amongst the plethora of backup running backs and quarterbacks, plenty of decent wide receivers will remain on the board. 

This is why filling the quarterback and running back positions on your team first is so important.

My strategy this year was to get my ace quarterback and three starting running backs before I took my first receiver (Greg Jennings) in the 5th round.  I waited until round ten to take my second receiver (Anthony Gonzalez), and filled out my receiving core in the later rounds with sleeper receivers such as Sidney Rice and Robert Meachem. 

I suggest taking late round sleeper wide receivers and coupling them with decent mid round receivers.  If you take your quarterback and running backs in the first couple of rounds, you will be looking at a championship caliber team.