Vincent Jackson—San Diego Chargers
It feels like Jackson has been involved in a bitter contract dispute for the past few years, doesn’t it? Well, that is officially behind him as we head into 2011. It’s not that he received the contract he desired, but that he instead knows he will be a free agent at season’s end.
With dollar signs in his eyes and an elite quarterback throwing him the ball, you have to think that things are lined up for a big year. Consider him a low-end WR1, but don’t be surprised to see him perform like a Top 5 option.
Harry Douglas—Atlanta Falcons
You would have thought the selection of Julio Jones coupled with Douglas’ injury history would have sent him into fantasy obscurity. Instead, it appears that just the opposite is happening. With the Falcons looking to open up the offense, Douglas could be in line to finally produce.
In the first two preseason games, he has delivered five receptions for 134 yards and two touchdowns (including a 76-yard touchdown reception). I wouldn’t bump him up too far, but he certainly has opened some eyes and is worth monitoring in all formats.
Braylon Edwards—San Francisco 49ers
Instead of being the No. 2 receiver behind Michael Crabtree, could he emerge as the 49ers' go-to guy? He hasn’t put up huge numbers in the preseason (three catches for 58 yards and no touchdowns), but the longer Crabtree is sidelined, the greater Edwards’ potential value becomes.
Sidney Rice—Seattle Seahawks
The entire Seahawks offense looks to be anemic, but Rice will likely take the brunt of the abuse. After signing a five-year, $41 million contract in the offseason, it is hard to imagine him coming reasonably close to delivering equal value in 2011.
The quarterback play looks bleak and the offensive line is believed to be, by many, among the worst in the game. How exactly can we expect him to produce? It may not be entirely his fault, but he could easily produce like a WR3 or worse this season.
Jeremy Maclin—Philadelphia Eagles
His place among the fallers is likely temporary, though you can’t blame owners for starting to get nervous. He has yet to appear in a preseason game due to illness; his status for Week 1 of the regular season is now in doubt.
Even if he plays, having missed so much time to prepare for the season, can we really expect him to be productive? His long-term value is not in question, but you have to wonder how long it will take him to get into playing shape in 2011. A slow start to the year could be a reality.
Roy Williams—Chicago Bears
He was supposed to be a sleeper, reuniting with Mike Martz in Chicago. Then came reports that he arrived in camp out of shape. Really?! The sleeper value just imploded, at least for now.
I wouldn’t completely write him off, as the Bears will want to prove they made a wise investment, but the start of the relationship has not been smooth. With Johnny Knox waiting in the wings, it is possible that he ends up being a complete bust.
Make sure to check out all of the rankings from Rotoprofessor: