Fantasy Football: Uncertainty in the World of Wide Receivers

Shaun McPartlinCorrespondent IIIJanuary 18, 2011

KANSAS CITY, MO - DECEMBER 26:  Receiver Dwayne Bowe #82 of the Kansas City Chiefs carries the ball after making a catch on a 75 yard touchdown play during the game against the Tennessee Titans on December 26, 2010 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Year in and year out, fantasy experts preach that taking an elite wide receiver in the first round will pave your path to fantasy glory.

In a pass-first league, you would think this is the way to go; turns out, history would tell those experts otherwise.

The wide receiver position is the most unpredictable of them all.

Don't believe me? Take a look at the stats from last year versus this season.

2010 Wide Receiver Leaders

  1. Brandon Lloyd 
  2. Dwayne Bowe 
  3. Roddy White 
  4. Greg Jennings 
  5. Calvin Johnson 
  6. Mike Wallace 
  7. Percy Harvin 
  8. Hakeem Nicks 
  9. Andre Johnson 
  10. Reggie Wayne 
  11. Steve Johnson 
  12. DeSean Jackson 
  13. Mike Williams (TB)
  14. Miles Austin 
  15. Jeremy Maclin 

2009 Wide Receiver Leaders

  1. Andre Johnson
  2. DeSean Jackson
  3. Miles Austin
  4. Randy Moss
  5. Larry Fitzgerald
  6. Reggie Wayne
  7. Roddy White
  8. Percy Harvin
  9. Sidney Rice
  10. Vincent Jackson
  11. Brandon Marshall
  12. Wes Welker
  13. Steve Smith (NYG)
  14. Marques Colston
  15. Chad Ochocinco

So, how many of those names appear on both lists? A grand total of six—a mere 40 percent.

So riddle me this, so-called fantasy football experts: Why should I burn a first-round pick on a receiver when the chances of them not finishing in the top five is this high?

I know, any player has the possibility of not finishing at the top of their position, but only receivers have such a high discrepancy.

Let's just focus our eyes on the top five. How many of those names are the same? Zero.

Well, what about running backs? I bet they have the same issues of inconsistency, right?

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Let's look at those who finished in the top five in 2009 and 2010.

2010 Running Back Leaders

  1. Arian Foster
  2. Adrian Peterson
  3. Jamaal Charles
  4. Peyton Hillis
  5. Chris Johnson

2009 Running Back Leaders

  1. Chris Johnson
  2. Adrian Peterson
  3. Maurice Jones-Drew
  4. Ray Rice
  5. Thomas Jones

Case and point.

Chris Johnson and Adrian Peterson appear on both lists and I wouldn't be afraid to say that Jamaal Charles and Arian Foster will finish on top once again in the 2011 season.

Drafting in fantasy football is all about finding consistency. You want players that you feel confident drafting with your top picks.

With your top pick, don't stray from the norm and try to make the "sexy" pick and take a wideout.

Be boring and draft a running back and laugh all of the way to fantasy dominance. 

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