College Fantasy Football: Way-Too-Early 2011 Wide Receiver Rankings

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College Fantasy Football: Way-Too-Early 2011 Wide Receiver Rankings
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Oklahoma's Ryan Broyles

For the third installment of our "Way Too Early" 2011 college fantasy football player rankings, we turn our attention to the wide receiver position. 

Remember, we're calling them "Way Too Early" rankings for a reason.  It's just a first glance at the 2011 prospects.  A gut feel.  We haven't fully analyzed returning o-lineman for each school.  We haven't yet plugged in the incoming stud recruits (signing day is February 2nd). We didn't account for all of the new coaching changes.  And we haven't taken a peek at the upcoming fall schedules.  All of that will come with due time. 

Here's the schedule of rankings by position:

Friday, January 21 - Quarterbacks
Monday, January 24 - Running Backs
Tuesday, January 27 - Wide Receivers
Wednesday, January 27 - Tight Ends & Kickers

We're going to pass on defensive rankings until later this spring. So, without further adieu, let's dive into the wide receivers!


"Way Too Early" 2011 Wide Receiver Rankings

Wide receivers are typically the most difficult position to analyze at this early stage of the game. Lots of moving parts. We're fortunate that the 2011 fantasy wideout class actually has some pretty big names (surprisingly) returning to campus in Oklahoma's Ryan Broyles, Oklahoma State's Justin Blackmon and Notre Dame's Michael Floyd.  Most considered that trio to be pro-bound.

Proven fantasy studs Alshon Jeffrey (South Carolina) and Juron Criner (Arizona) are also back in the fold.  And most importantly, their quarterbacks also return.

A new name to add to the Top 5 mix is East Carolina's Lance Lewis.  With teammate Dwayne Harris departing, Lewis could improve upon last fall's outstanding 89-1,116-14 stat line as he becomes the go-to guy for QB Dominique Davis.

Like your wideouts to take handoffs and return kicks?  Then Tulsa's Damaris Johnson is right up your alley.  This multi-faceted playmaker accounted for 112 touches, 1,432 yards from scrimmage, and 13 total touchdowns last fall.


Some WR questions to chew on:

Will Western Michigan's Jordan White get a sixth year of eligibility from the NCAA?  If so, he's a sure-fire Top 10 fantasy prospect.

After a dynamite start to the year (11 TDs in his first eight games), Texas A&M's Jeff Fuller fell off the face of the earth (1 TD in his final five outings).  Fuller was banged up in early November, and most think this was the reason for his late season swoon.

What is the ceiling for West Virginia's Tavon Austin?  New offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen arrived on campus this winter, and he brings his high-flying passing schemes along with him.  If Holgorsen decides to feature Austin in the passing game (he could also opt to play him at RB), look for a huge increase in his already-impressive numbers (900 total yards, 9 TDs in 2010).

Over at SMU, how does Aldrick Robinson's departure factor into Cole Beasley and Darius Johnson's on-the-field production?  The two combined for 165 catches, 1,900+ receiving yards and 12 scores with Aldrick in the lineup.

Who's left on the island?  Hawaii's Royce Pollard is the leading returning receiver for the Rainbow Warriors (64-901-7). Who else will step up to fill the void left by the departure of Greg Salas and Kealoha Pilares? Redshirt Darius Bright and Billy Ray Stutzmann seem to be in line for possible starting gigs as well.

Will Oregon State's James Rodgers return to pre-injury form in 2011?  He injured his left knee early in the 2010 season and was granted a medical hardship by the NCAA.

Can Brady Hoke turn Ray Roundtree into the next Vincent Brown?  Roundtree put up nice stats last fall (92-935-7).  Hoke had a pair of great wideouts at San Diego State in Vincent Brown and Demarco Sampson.  The duo combined for 2,572 receiving yards and 18 TDs last fall.

What the heck are we to make of the Rutgers receiving corps?  It's one of the more puzzling situations to monitor this spring.  Mohamed Sanu was solid at times last fall, but did not live to the preseason hype.  One of the reasons for Sanu's downfall was the emergence of Jeremy Deering (who took over the Wildcat package midway through the year) and Mark Harrison.  All three Scarlet Knights return and it's anyone's guess at this point as to how they will be utilized.

Don't sleep on Stanford's Chris Owusu.  He slogged through an injury-plagued 2010 campaign that left a bad taste in many-a-fantasy-owner's mouth.  But with Andrew Luck back and WRs Ryan Whalen and Doug Baldwin departing, the door is opened for Owusu to have a productive season—if he can stay healthy, of course.

How will Missouri's T.J. Moe and Washington's Jermaine Kearse produce with rookie quarterbacks at the helm?

It's a question we seem to be asking every year at this time: who will emerge as the go-to receivers for Texas Tech? Alexander Torres would seem to be the best bet at this point.  Keep a close eye on spring ball to see if anyone else can make a splash.

James Cleveland and Kierre Johnson are gone down in Houston, leaving Patrick Edwards and Tyron Carrier to shoulder the load. Speaking of Carrier, what the devil happened to him in 2010?  His statline went from 80-1026-9 in 2008, to 91-1029-7 in 2009, to a measley 53-480-1 last fall. 

BYU freshman Cody Hoffman became a bigger factor in the offense once the calendar turned over to November, capping things off with a monster bowl game performance (8-137-1).  A sign of things to come?  It should be fun watching him grow along with fellow sophomore-to-be QB Jake Heaps.

Mississippi State's Chad Bumphis beat up the lightweights on the 2010 schedule, but completely vanished during SEC play.  Can he put together a complete season this fall?

Who will ultimately serve as WR2 in Cincinnati (to D.J. Woods)? Armon Binns and Marcus Barnett are gone.

East Carolina threw the ball 609 times last fall.  Who from the receiving corps is going to join Lance Lewis in hauling in all of those passes?

Will the La Tech passing game get its act together?  If so, there should be plenty of opportunities to a receiver or two to step into the fantasy limelight.

Who will be on the receiving end of Dana Holgorsen's aerial attack in Morgantown (other than Tavon Austin)?  Stedman Bailey and Brad Starks are possibilities.


Spring ball will shed more light on the wide receiver situations around the country. Until then, here's how we rank 'em....


CollegeFootballGeek.com's "Way Too Early" 2011 Wide Receivers Rankings

1 Ryan Broyles Oklahoma 131-1622-14 in 2010, QB Landry Jones returns
2 Justin Blackmon Oklahoma State 111-1782-20 in 2010, OC gone, QB Weeden is back
3 Lance Lewis East Carolina 89-1116-14, Dom Davis returns, D.Harris is gone
4 Alshon Jeffrey South Carolina 88-1517-9 in 2010
5 Juron Criner Arizona 82-1233-11 in 2010, QB Nick Foles returns
6 Michael Floyd Notre Dame 79-1025-12 in 2010
7 Damaris Johnson Tulsa 112 touches, 1432 yds from scrimm, 13 total TDs
8 Jordan White Western Michigan 94-1378-10, we're assuming NCAA gives him 6th yr
9 Patrick Edwards Houston 71-1100-13 led team in all categories
10 Jeff Fuller Texas A&M 72-1066-12 but struggled in last 4 reg. season gms
11 Tavon Austin West Virginia over 900 total yds, 9 TDs, but will he be RB or WR?
12 Eric Page Toledo 99-1105-8 in 2010
13 Cody Wilson Central Michigan 101 touches for 1200+ yds and 6 TDs in 2010
14 Cole Beasley SMU 87-1060-6 in 2010, WR Aldrick Robinson is gone
15 Royce Pollard Hawaii 64-901-7 in 2010, Bradley, Salas & Pilares all depart
16 DJ Woods Cincinnati 985 total yards, 10 TDs, QB returns, Binns is gone
17 Kamar Jorden Bowling Green 96-1109-4 in 2010, needs to get in endzone more
18 James Rodgers Oregon State granted 6th year after missing most of 2010 injured
19 TY Hilton Florida Int'l 1130 yds from scrimmage, 11 total TDs in 2010
20 Roy Roundtree Michigan 92-935-7 in 2010 as soph, new coaching staff
21 Nick Harwell Miami, OH 64-871-6 in 2010 as frosh, had a big 2nd half to yr
22 Jeremy Ebert Northwestern 62-953-8 in 2010, tailed off when Persa got hurt
23 Darius Johnson SMU 78-845-6 in 2010, WR Aldrick Robinson departs
24 Marquess Wilson Washington State 55-1006-6 in '10 as a frosh, ran out of gas at end
25 Greg Childs Arkansas 46-659-6 in '10 - missed 5 gms, QB Mallett is gone
26 Mohamed Sanu Rutgers accounted for 900 yards and 9 TDs, still a '10 bust
27 Robert Woods USC 65-792-6 in 2010 as frosh, scored last TD on 10/16
28 Kendall Wright Baylor 78-952-7 in 2010, QB Griffin returns
29 TJ Moe Missouri 104 touches, 1126 total yds, 7 TDs, new QB
30 Jermaine Kearse Washington 63-1005-12 in 2010, QB Jake Locker is gone
31 Kenny Stills Oklahoma 61-786-5 in 2010 as a FR, busted for DUI in Jan.
32 Demarlo Belcher Indiana 78-832-4 in 2010, QB Chappell & WR Doss depart
33 Mark Harrison Rutgers 44-829-9 in '10, skewed by 1 huge game 10-240-4
34 Chris Owusu Stanford injury-plagued in '10, WRs Baldwin & Whalen gone
35 Dwight Jones North Carolina 62-946-4 in 2010, capable of huge games, new QB
36 Derek Moye Penn State 53-885-8 in 2010, all QBs return
37 Josh Gordon Baylor 42-714-7 in 2010, QB Griffin returns
38 Conner Vernon Duke 73-973-4 in 2010, big games vs. lesser opponents
39 Ryan Swope Texas A&M 72-825-4 in 2010 as sophomore
40 Dwayne Frampton Arkansas State 69-738-6 in 2010, QB Aplin returns
41 Alexander Torres Texas Tech missed several games in 2010 due to injury
42 Keith Smith Purdue assuming he gets a 6th year from NCAA
43 Tyron Carrier Houston huge bust in '10, WRs Cleveland & K.Johnson depart
44 Cody Hoffman BYU freshman had a monster bowl game (8-137-1)
45 Kelvin Bolden Southern Miss 46-722-6 in 2010, WR DeAndre Brown departs
46 Da'Jon McKnight Minnesota 48-750-10 in 2010, new coach and QB
47 Marcus Sales Syracuse finished year strong, huge bowl game 5-172-3
48 Joe Adams Arkansas 50-813-6 in 2010, QB Mallett is gone
49 Josh Cooper Oklahoma State 68-736-5 in 2010, OC gone, QB Weeden returns
50 Markus Wheaton Oregon State accounted for 875 total yards and 6 TDs as soph
51 Rishard Matthews Nevada 56-879-5 in 2010, playmaker, new QB, 8 total TDs
52 Marvin McNutt Iowa 53-861-8 in 2010, QB Stanzi & WR DJK depart
53 Darius Bright Hawaii redshirted in 2010, expected to start at left wideout
54 AJ Jenkins Illinois 56-746-7 in 2010, QB Scheelhaase returns
55 La'Rod King Kentucky 33-478-5 in '10, top 2 WRs leave (Cobb & Mathews)
56 Ansel Ponder Western Michigan WR Jordan White and Juan Nunez depart
57 DeVonte Christopher Utah 39-660-6 in 2010, wildly inconsistent soph season
58 Tyler Shoemaker Boise State will have to step up in absence of Young & Pettis
59 Justin Hunter Tennessee 16-415-7 as a freshman
60 Noel Grigsby San Jose State 56-822-4 in 2010 as a freshman
61 Jack Tomlinson Ball State frosh broken out with 23-410-6 in final 5 games
62 Marvin Jones Cal 50-765-4 in 2010, QB Brock Mansion returns
63 Chad Bumphis Mississippi State 44-634-4 plus 131 rushing, vanished 2nd half of yr
64 BJ Cunningham Michigan State 50-611-9 in 2010, leading WR Dell is gone
65 Mike Shanahan Pittsburgh 43-589-1, WR Baldin gone, new pass-happy HC
66 Jarrett Boykin Virginia Tech 53-847-6 in 2010, new QB at helm
67 Josh Boyce TCU 34-646-6 in 2010 as a freshman
68 DeVier Posey Ohio State facing 5 game suspension
69 Jarius Wright Arkansas 42-788-5 in 2010, QB Mallett is gone
70 Marcus Rucker Memphis 41-704-8 in 2010 as sophomore
71 Junior Hemingway Michigan 32-593-4 in 2010, big play specialist
72 Cobi Hamilton Arkansas 32-630-6 in 2010, QB Mallett is gone
73 Travis Benjamin Miami, FL 43-743-3 in 2010, new coaching staff in place
74 Luthur Ambrose La-Monroe 65-752-6 in 2010, rush att. decreased from 35 to 10
75 Kris Burd Virginia 58-799-5 in 2010
76 Paul Richardson Colorado 34-514-6 as a freshman, WR McKnight is gone
77 Tavarres King Georgia will try to help fill AJ Green's shoes
78 Marquis Maze Alabama Julio Jones is gone, Maze should be WR1
79 Keenan Allen Cal 46-490-5 in 2010 as a freshman
80 Theo Riddick Notre Dame strung together 4 nice games before injury
81 Robert Arnheim Western Michigan WR Jordan White and Juan Nunez depart
82 Stedman Bailey West Virginia new offense to learn, 24-317-4 in 2010
83 Mike Davis Texas 47-478-2 in 2010 as true freshman
84 Chris Harper Kansas State only 25-330-4 in 2010 but WR1 Quarles departs
85 Austin Zouzalik Texas Tech 31-432-2 in 2010, can he lock down a starting job?
86 Brad Starks West Virginia new offense to learn, 19-317-4 in 2010
87 Corey Brown
Ohio State Posey suspended
88 Jalen Saunders Fresno State 30-462-3, plus 166 rush yds, as a freshman
89 Devin Street Pittsburgh could get boost from new coaching - love to pass
90 Jerrel Jackson Missouri 50-656-3 in 2010, dealt with injury, new QB
91 Taulib Ikharo La Tech 50-530-3, can La Tech get their pass game on track?
92 Jeremy Deering Rutgers took over Wildcat package from Sanu during year
93 Billy Ray Stutzmann Hawaii could start at slotback
94 Rueben Randle LSU 33-544-3 in 2010, will he finally live up to the hype?
95 Tramain Swindall Texas Tech took a step back in 2010 with only 33-271-1
96 Quintin McCree Maryland deep threat, will try to fill hole left by Torrey Smith
97 Duwyce Wilson Indiana will try to fill the void left by Tandon Doss
98 Aaron Dobson Marshall 44-689-5 in 2010, will have new QB in 2011
99 DeAndre Hopkins Clemson 51-626-4 as a freshman, new QB at helm
100 Rod Streater Temple 30-481-4 in 2010, plus 83 rushing & 1 rush TD
101 Marcus Rivers Buffalo after hot start, he tailed off big time down stretch
102 Donovan Varner Duke big decrease in production 2010 vs. '09 (8 TD to 1)
103 Ace Sanders South Carolina will try to become No. 2 to Alshon Jeffrey
104 Tyler Stradford North Texas 24-268-2 in 2010, new coach in place
105 Willie Clark Northern Illinois 42-602-7 in 2010, new coach, QB Harnish returns
106 Russell Shepard LSU 65 touches for 500 yards and 3 TDs in 2010
107 Nick Toon Wisconsin missed half of 2010 season with injury
108 Phillip Payne UNLV 40-689-5 in 2010 despite suspended for 2 games
109 Tyshon Goode Kent State nearly identical stats last 2 yrs, 59-743-5 in '10
110 Deonte Thompson Florida 38-570-1, new offensive coaches
111 Darius Carey North Texas 38-524-5 in 2010, led team as sophomore
112 Bobby Swigert Boston College led team with 39-504-4 as a freshman
113 Justin Veltung Idaho 25-495-8, QB Enderle is gone
114 McKay Jacobson BYU overrated in past years, perhaps Heaps helps
115 TJ Jones Notre Dame had relatively productive freshman campaign
116 Bert Reed Florida State 58-614-2 in 2010, only 5 recv. TDs over last 3 yrs
117 Casey Robottom Tulane 56-663-4 in 2010, QB Griffin returns
118 Brandon Kinnie Nebraska 44-494-5 in 2010

Todd DeVries is the founder of CollegeFootballGeek.com, your premier destination for all things college fantasy football.

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