Top Ten Wide Receivers for 2009
This is my preseason top ten.
Click here for my Midseason revised rankings.
Click here for my Second Half rankings.
1. Larry Fitzgerald
It was actually close for me between Fitz and Andre Johnson, but after his playoff run, no way I can not chose #11. He reached 1400 yards and double-digit TDs for the third time in his last four seasons. Kurt Warner is back. I knew about the leaping ability, his body control, great route running, and hands, but I did not know he had that extra gear that he kicked in during his long Super Bowl TD. That HAD to scare Defensive Coordinators to death.
2. Andre Johnson
I let the cat out of the bag already with Johnson, but a quick glance at his numbers (115 receptions, 1575 yards, 8 TDs) and you can see why he was 1-A prior to the playoffs. His QB, Matt Schaub, has a tendency to get hurt. Having his backup, Sage Rosenfels, leave for Minnesota hurts his value a little. Not enough to knock him out of the second slot, but it’s a question mark that wasn’t there last year.
3. Calvin Johnson
Megatron is right on par with the top two. He just happens to play for the lowly Lions. He still managed 1331 yards and 12 TDs. He’s just getting his feet wet in the league, and the Lions should be a little more stable at QB next year with Culpepper participating in OTAs and training camp. Plus, they very well could be selecting a stud QB or Offensive Lineman in the draft.
4. Reggie Wayne
Wayne had a down year for the Colts (1145 yards, 6 TDs), but with Marvin Harrison not returning, I see no reason why Wayne doesn’t bounce back with a 1400 yard, 10 TD season. If the Colts didn’t have so many other weapons, I’d put him in the top three.
5. Steve Smith
Smith had 1421 yards despite missing two games for breaking teammate Ray Lucas’ nose in the preseason, having a less than stellar QB, and playing on a run first team. That speaks volumes about Smith’s ability. I don’t think he’ll break anyone’s nose this year so he should play a full season, but the other two scenarios won’t change. Still, he’s too good to move any further.
6. Randy Moss
With Tom Brady back under Center, Randy Moss moves up a few notches from where he finished in 2008. Will he snag another 23 TD passes? Hardly. How about close to 1500 yards? Not likely. However, a 1300 yards, 12 TD season should be easily attainable.
7. Greg Jennings
Jennings meshed well with first time QB Aaron Rodgers proving he wasn’t a mirage created by Brett Favre’s gunslinging ways. Jenning actually proved to be more of a possession receiver recording 55 first downs (compared to 37 in 2008). He also improved by 27 receptions and 372 yards. His TD total decreased from 12 to 9, but his yards per catch didn’t change dramatically (17.4 to 16.2). Rodgers won’t have to deal with the Favremania this offseason and won’t have quite as much pressure on him to escape #4′s shadow. They can just focus on playing football, something both Jennings and Rodgers do well.
8. Anquan Boldin
Boldin would be higher if he could stay healthy (16 missed games in six season) and if his contract status weren’t in question. Playing opposite of Larry Fitzgerald helps. Having Kurt Warner at QB also helps. Even if he forced his way out of Arizona, he would still produce in a new system. He’s that good.
9. Roddy White
White was great last year catching 88 passes for 1382 yards and 7 TDs with Rookie QB Matt Ryan proving his 2007 numbers (83, 1202, 6) weren’t a fluke. As Ryan grows as a QB so will Roddy. Michael Jenkins took a step forward last year to give him a compliment at wideout. Plus, Defenses have Michael Turner to worry about.
10. Terrell Owens
I’m sure you’re well aware that T.O. landed in Buffalo. While it’s not an ideal situation, T.O. should be motivated to prove Dallas wrong. He has double-digit TDs in seven of his last nine seasons. Lee Evans is the best Wide Receiver mate that T.O. has seen in quite some time. His deep ball threat will keep Safeties honest. T.O. could be in for a very big year. I have him at ten because being T.O., his mouth could get him into trouble at any time.
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