The Eagles have been dubbed the "Dream Team" by the team's new backup quarterback, Vince Young. So far, however, it's been more of a nightmare for their receiving corps.
DeSean Jackson ended his holdout earlier in the week, but now he's unhappy about his contract. For Jeremy Maclin, their other starting receiver, the situation has been worse.
Maclin, who lost 15 pounds in April—which he has regained—hasn't been cleared to practice during training camp and left the team yesterday for further testing on his undisclosed and mysterious illness. There is "real concern" that Maclin could miss the start of the season although the team has said they expect Maclin to be ready for Week 1.
Therefore, we have bumped Maclin down several spots in our updated fantasy football rankings.
Here are our 2011 fantasy football rankings for wide receivers based on standard scoring:
1. Andre Johnson, Texans
Despite missing three games last year, Johnson still finished with 86 receptions and 1,216 yards. Based on his per game averages, Johnson would have finished with 106 receptions and 1,496 yards if he played a full 16 games at that pace. In other words, he would have been just four yards short of a third consecutive 100 reception, 1,500 yard season.
MegaTron was my second ranked preseason receiver last year as well, but the gap between first and second is narrowing. For the second time in three seasons, Johnson finished with 1,100-plus yards and 12 touchdowns—although he should have had 13 last year. If Matthew Stafford can stay healthy for the full season, the sky's the limit for Johnson.
3. Roddy White, Falcons
Last year, White set career highs in receptions (115) and yards (1,389) and has now scored double digit touchdowns in back-to-back seasons. For four straight seasons, White has had 85 plus receptions and 1,100 plus yards. The addition of Julio Jones should take some targets away from White, but it should also keep opposing defenses more honest in coverage.
4. Hakeem Nicks, Giants
Although he missed three games last year, Nicks took a big step forward in his second season. Nicks finished with 79 receptions, 1,052 yards and 11 touchdowns. He was tied for fourth in touchdowns and his 80.9 yards per game average ranked fifth in the NFL.
As Darnell Dockett said, "It's like night and day" when comparing the team's quarterback situation to last year's mess. Fitzgerald ended a three-year streak of double digit touchdowns by finishing with a career low six touchdowns in 2010. Although he saw a slight improvement in receiving yards going from 1,092 in 2009 to 1,137 in 2010, he had 1,400 plus yards in three of four years from 2005-2008. While Fitzgerald might not post similar numbers to the ones he posted during the Kurt Warner era, an improvement over the Derek Anderson era seems likely.
6. Greg Jennings, Packers
For the second time in his career, Jennings finished with 1,200 plus yards and 12 touchdowns. It was the first time, however, that he did both of those things in the same season. If there's any concern with Jennings, it's the number of viable options competing for targets with him. The team returns all of its top wide receivers, Jermichael Finley is healthy and the Packers drafted Randall Cobb in the second-round.
7. Mike Wallace, Steelers
Although Wallace finished with only 60 receptions (tied for 42nd in the NFL), he finished fifth in receiving yards with 1,257. Wallace led the league in 20 yard receptions with 26 and has averaged over 20 yards per reception in his two-year career.
8. Reggie Wayne, Colts
Wayne, who will turn 33 in November, has been remarkably consistent (1,000-plus yards for seven straight seasons) and durable, not missing a game in the past nine seasons. Last year, Wayne set a career high in receptions (111) and finished with his second highest yardage total (1,355). Provided Dallas Clark and Austin Collie stay healthy for the full season, those numbers should decline some.
9. Vincent Jackson, Chargers
Jackson, who was designated with the franchise tag, held out for the first 10 games last season, but he has signed his tender and won't miss any games due to a contract dispute this season. In fact, Jackson said after signing his tender that, "I feel like this is home." In his last full season (2009), Jackson set career highs in receptions (68), yards (1,167) and touchdowns (nine).
10. Miles Austin, Cowboys
Austin's production was much better with Tony Romo in the lineup. In three of his first four games of the season, Austin had nine or more receptions and 140 plus yards. After Romo broke his collarbone during the team's sixth game, Austin had only two games with more than four receptions and/or 70 plus receiving yards.
11. DeSean Jackson, Eagles
Similar to Wallace, Jackson is a big-play guy. Both Jackson and Wallace have finished one-two in yards per reception in each of the past two seasons. In all three of his seasons, Jackson has finished with 1,000 plus yards from scrimmage. He's consistent on a full year basis, however, his game-by-game production can vary greatly. For example, Jackson had two or less receptions in six of his 15 games played last year including their playoff loss.
12. Dez Bryant, Cowboys
Bryant has been in the news for the wrong reasons much of this offseason, but he is an immense talent on the field. All six of Bryant's receiving touchdowns came during a six game span (Weeks 6 to 11) last year and he missed the final four games of the season due to injury. Provided Bryant stays healthy and out of trouble, he should give Austin a run for his money as the team's No. 1 receiver.
13. Dwayne Bowe, Chiefs
Despite a slow start, Bowe had a seven game stretch where he was nearly unstoppable. He scored 13 of his league leading 15 touchdowns and had four of his five 100 yard games during that span. Overall, Bowe set career highs in yards (1,162) and touchdowns. The Chiefs drafted Jonathan Baldwin in the first-round and signed Steve Breaston via free agency, which will help take a little pressure off Bowe.
Last month Marshall admitted to having borderline personality disorder for which he's been receiving treatment. That said, Marshall is coming off the worst season (86-1,014-3) since he was a rookie, but he also spent the offseason using the same training methods he used to prepare for the NFL Scouting Combine.
15. Mike Williams, Buccaneers
Williams led all rookies in receiving yards (964) and receiving touchdowns (11) in 2010. While touchdowns are difficult to predict, Williams should be in store for several 1,000 yard seasons over the next several years.
16. Mario Manningham, Giants
With Steve Smith signing a one-year deal with the Eagles, Manningham will enter the season as the team's No. 2 receiver behind Hakeem Nicks. In his final three games, he played like a No. 1 receiver—100 plus yards and a score or two in each game. Despite three games with one—or no—receiving yards, Manningham was only 56 yards shy of the 1,000-yard milestone in 2010.
17. Santonio Holmes, Jets
Holmes, who re-signed with the Jets, is the only one of the team's top three receivers returning in 2011. In addition to Holmes, the team signed free agent receivers Plaxico Burress and Derrick Mason. While Holmes played well after serving his four game suspension, his yards per game average dropped by more than 15 YPG from his 2009 level of production with Pittsburgh.
18. Kenny Britt, Titans
Similar to LeBron James' championship(s) prediction for the Miami Heat, Britt has applied the concept to brush-ins with the law—not one, not two, not three, etc. Despite his off the field issues, Britt has a chance to be special on the field as illustrated by his 225-yard, three-TD performance in three quarters.
Failing to reach the 110 reception and 1,100 yard marks for the first time in his four seasons in New England, Welker ended the season with 86 receptions for 848 yards. Being an extra year removed from his torn ACL, however, should help Welker bounce back in 2011. In fact, he's much higher in our point-per-reception rankings than he is on this list.
20. Austin Collie, Colts
When he wasn't concussed, Collie put up big numbers. Through nine games, Collie finished with 58 receptions, 649 yards and eight touchdowns. In fact, Collie played only one half in his last game of the year and finished with eight receptions, 87 yards and two touchdowns. Knock on wood, Collie will have clean bill of health in 2011.
For other positions, see below:
- Standard scoring: Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Tight Ends | Kickers | Team Defenses
- Point-per-reception (PPR) scoring: Running Backs | Tight Ends
- Our Cheat Sheets: Standard Scoring | PPR Scoring
If you have any specific fantasy questions, feel free to send us a tweet or post your question in our fantasy football forum.
Good luck in (all of) your fantasy league(s) in 2011!
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