The NFC East used to be home to a few of the top receivers in the game: Terrell Owens and Plaxico Burress. But after an off season which saw T.O. released because of chemistry issues, and Burress dropped for how he handled his legal process, the picture is now very clear: the East no longer possesses any substantial firepower at the receiver position.
This almost reads like 2006, when Moss was a top tier receiver and warranted being taken high in the fantasy draft. Unfortunately this season, there's just no other viable option, so Moss gets our nod. He struggled at times last season as Campbell and the rest of the offense learned Zorn's playbook, finishing with just over 1,000 yards and six TDs.
This season, look for more of the same with 1,000 yards and six to eight TDs.
Jackson burst onto the scene and showed his explosiveness from day one. He also showed he had much maturing to do when on a 60-yard plus bomb from McNabb, against the Cowboys on Monday Night in Week two, he dropped the ball before the goal line and proceeded to do his first TD dance. Only problem is it wasn't a TD.
But as the season progressed, he began to find his stride, and his final fantasy numbers were quite solid for a rookie receiver: 62 catches, 912 yards and two TDs.
This year, playing in a revamped Eagles' offense, look for for Jackson to take another step forward.
Williams was brought to Dallas last year because Jerry Jones was desperate for a Super Bowl. And in the process, he vastly overpaid (first, third and a sixth) to land the former Longhorn who reeled inall of 19 catches for 198 yards and one TD over 10 games with the Cowboys.
Now you can blame a lot of those struggles on his having to learn a new system and develop chemistry with Romo, but I think Williams showed that he doesn't have the toughness to be a number one and saw his production hurt by the competitive play. And we don't see it getting much better in 2009: just 700 yards and six TDs.
Smith will go into the season as the Giants number one, but probably won't stay there long; he's better suited as the number two. While he lacks the overall speed associated with top tier receivers, he's quick, sure handed, and extremely adept at finding openings in the secondary. Look for Smith to haul in 60-70 passes, and put four to six in the end zone.
NYG Mario Manninghan. The Giants are desperate to fill the void left by Burress' absence and Manningham has plenty of talent. And with an entire off season to absorb the Giants playbook, last year's rookie out of Michigan might become Eli's go-to guy and impact your fantasy roster.
None of the NFC East receivers should go before round five, but Roy Williams might come off the board first because people will think Romo will target him more often. Jackson and Moss will go close to eachother and from that point on, you'll be able to pick and choose from the others to fill out your roster. In the draft's later rounds, Jeremy Maclin, Mario Manningham, Dominique Hixon, Hakeem Nicks, and Devin Thomas could be valuable third and fourth options.