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When I put my early 2011 fantasy football wide receiver rankings together I struggled deciding between Larry Fitzgerald and Dwayne Bowe for the final spot to round out the top five. When my friend asked me if we had a draft tomorrow if I would really take Fitz over Bowe. I stuck with my rankings, but decided to explore it further.
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I have always been a huge Larry Fitzgerald fan, both for his ability on the field and the way he carries himself off of it. Even with the warning signs heading into last year (Kurt Warner’s retirement, Anquan Boldin’s departure) I ranked him number three heading into the season.
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He didn’t have a bad season by any means, as Fitz caught 90 passes for 1137 yards and six touchdowns. It was his fourth straight 1000+ yard season (would have been six if he wasn’t limited to 13 games in 2006), but it was a far cry from what he’s done recently. The previous five seasons saw Fitz top 1400 yards on three occasions and record double-digit touchdowns on four.
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Meanwhile Dwayne Bowe went gangbusters. Bowe finished with fewer receptions (72) than Fitz, but had a little more yardage (1162). The major difference was in touchdowns scored. Bowe led all receivers with 15 scores, trailing only Arian Foster (18) for the league lead. He had three more scores than the next two receivers (Greg Jennings and Calvin Johnson). They were also the most in the league since Randy Moss’ record-setting 2007 campaign (23).
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There are some concerns with Bowe. Charlie Weis is gone. Bowe had just 16 touchdowns in his first three seasons in the league. His 1162 yards were a career high. Conditioning has been a concern in the past, with is worrisome without OTAs.
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Bowe is in a contract year though so he has plenty of reasons to stay in shape.
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Choosing Bowe over Fitz mainly comes down to Arizona quarterback situation. If the Cardinals trade for Kyle Orton or Kevin Kolb then I would most likely switch the two. There are no guarantees that they will land either of them so I’ll stick with Bowe over Fitz for now.
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Who do you like heading into the 2011 season?
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Chad Ochocino is no dummy. If he wants to remain in the spotlight he has to perform on the field. The last time he had a down year he responded with a 72 catch, 1047 yard, nine touchdown season. Now we just have to figure out where he’ll call home next year because he probably won’t return to the Bengals.

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Roster
QB1:  Tom Brady
RB1:  Adrian Peterson
RB2:  Michael Turner
WR1:  Dwayne Bowe
WR2:  Brandon Marshall
Flex:  Percy Harvin
Bench: Marshawn Lynch
Bench:  Chad Ochocinco

 


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I’ve been invited to participate in a fantasy football expert mock draft with the following industry experts:
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Fanatic Fantasy Football
Junkyard Jake
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Marshawn Lynch had some moments last year, and his playoff run against the Saints was epic. He’s the starter and should get the carries at the stripe. He’ll make an adequate RB3 in the seventh round.

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Roster
QB1:  Tom Brady
RB1:  Adrian Peterson
RB2:  Michael Turner
RB3:  Marshawn Lynch
WR1:  Dwayne Bowe
WR2:  Brandon Marshall
Flex:  Percy Harvin


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I’ve been invited to participate in a fantasy football expert mock draft with the following industry experts:
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Fantasy Football Starters
GO Ahead Score
Fantasy Football Trader
Fanatic Fantasy Football
Junkyard Jake
All Purpose Roto
DraftSharks.com
FootballGuys
Pro Football Focus
Fantasy Footall Xtreme
Fantasy Shrink
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The Vikings have already said they want to get Percy Harvin more involved in the offense next year. As long as he can overcome injuries and migraines, he should be a solid WR3.
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Roster
QB1:  Tom Brady
RB1:  Adrian Peterson
RB2:  Michael Turner
WR1:  Dwayne Bowe
WR2:  Brandon Marshall
Flex:  Percy Harvin

Tom Brady throwing
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I’ve been invited to participate in a fantasy football expert mock draft with the following industry experts:
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Fantasy Football Starters
GO Ahead Score
Fantasy Football Trader
Fanatic Fantasy Football
Junkyard Jake
All Purpose Roto
DraftSharks.com
FootballGuys
Pro Football Focus
Fantasy Footall Xtreme
Fantasy Shrink
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In the fifth round (50th overall) I went with Tom Brady. Philip Rivers, Drew Brees and Peyton Manning all went in the third round. In my mind Tom Brady is right there with that trio so getting him in the fifth round is an excellent value.
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Roster
QB1:  Tom Brady
RB1:  Adrian Peterson
RB:  Michael Turner
WR1:  Dwayne Bowe
WR2:  Brandon Marshall


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I’ve been invited to participate in a fantasy football expert mock draft with the following industry experts:
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Fantasy Football Starters
GO Ahead Score
Fantasy Football Trader
Fanatic Fantasy Football
Junkyard Jake
All Purpose Roto
DraftSharks.com
FootballGuys
Pro Football Focus
Fantasy Footall Xtreme
Fantasy Shrink
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In the fourth round (47th overall) I opted for Brandon Marshall.   He had a strong finish to a would be forgettable 2010 season. He regressed in Miami, but still finished with 86 catches for 1014 yards. The Dolphins will look to upgrade at quarterback when the lockout is lifted. Either way he makes for a solid WR2 in PPR leagues.
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Roster
RB1:  Adrian Peterson
RB:  Michael Turner
WR1:  Dwayne Bowe
WR2:  Brandon Marshall

Dwayne Bowe catch
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I’ve been invited to participate in a fantasy football expert mock draft with the following industry experts:
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Fantasy Football Starters
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Fantasy Football Trader
Fanatic Fantasy Football
Junkyard Jake
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FootballGuys
Pro Football Focus
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Fantasy Shrink
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In the third round (pick #26 overall) I continued my trend of double-digit touchdown fantasy players for squad. I am looking somewhere over Dwayne Bowe. Jonathan Baldwin should help draw some attention away from the beastly Bowe. Conditioning could be a issue with Bowe as the lockout drags on, but he’s in a contract year so he has millions of dollars on the line to stay in good shape.
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Roster
RB1:  Adrian Peterson
RB:  Michael Turner
WR1:  Dwayne Bowe

Michael Turner running
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I’ve been invited to participate in a fantasy football expert mock draft with the following industry experts:
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Fantasy Football Starters
GO Ahead Score
Fantasy Football Trader
Fanatic Fantasy Football
Junkyard Jake
All Purpose Roto
DraftSharks.com
FootballGuys
Pro Football Focus
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Fantasy Shrink
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In the second round (pick #23 overall) I solidified my backfield with Michael Turner.  With three straight double-digit touchdown seasons, as well as averaging over 1300 yards over that span, Burner is too good to overlook here, even in a PPR league. He’s 29, but he’s has less wear on his tires thanks to his days backing up LT in San Diego.
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Roster
RB1:  Adrian Peterson
RB:  Michael Turner

Adrian Peterson
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I’ve been invited to participate in a fantasy football expert mock draft with the following industry experts:
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Fantasy Football Starters
GO Ahead Score
Fantasy Football Trader
Fanatic Fantasy Football
Junkyard Jake
All Purpose Roto
DraftSharks.com
FootballGuys
Pro Football Focus
Fantasy Footall Xtreme
Fantasy Shrink
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I had the second overall pick. Arian Foster was off the board so I decided to go with Adrian Peterson. He has been a model of consistency his entire career, and with a rookie quarterback likely taking the bulk of the snaps, Peterson should be the focal point of the offense. I expect another spectacular year from #28.
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Roster
RB1:  Adrian Peterson


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