Chris Wesseling

Dynasty Rankings

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Dynasty Ranks: Wide Receivers

Monday, February 7, 2011

This is the third in Rotoworld's four-part Dynasty ranks series to kick off the fantasy football offseason. Running backs and quarterbacks have already been posted. Tight ends will be up by mid-week.

Tier One

1. Calvin Johnson, Lions
2. Andre Johnson, Texans
3. Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals
4. Roddy White, Falcons

Megatron is the most dominant talent at his position, and he's got four years on Andre Johnson. He's also proven to be QB-proof, posting top-six fantasy finishes in two of the past three years while catching passes from Daunte Culpepper, Dan Orlovsky, Jon Kitna, Matthew Stafford, Shaun Hill, and Drew Stanton. … Andre Johnson and Roddy White are looking down the barrel of age 30 this offseason, the point at which wide receiver trade value begins its irreversible decline. … Fitz is the best "buy" of the offseason. His QB situation has nowhere to go but up, especially with the Cardinals realizing they could lose the face of the franchise if they don't fix the problem.

Tier Two

5. Dez Bryant, Cowboys
6. Hakeem Nicks, Giants
7. Miles Austin, Cowboys
8. Mike Wallace, Steelers
9. Greg Jennings, Packers
10. DeSean Jackson, Eagles

I own Bryant in one league, and I wouldn't trade him at age 22 for any other receiver save Calvin Johnson. Though his character issues have been severely overblown, I understand that he's not without risk as a largely unproven commodity. ... Nicks is a textbook nucleus player as a dominant young talent, but he has to prove he can stay healthy after battling wrist, leg, ankle, hamstring, knee, and multiple toe injuries in his first two seasons. … Jon Kitna took a folding chair to Austin's production in the second half of the season. Just remember that Austin posted at least nine catches and 140 yards in three of his first four games with Tony Romo in 2010. … Wallace and Jackson are two of the most uniquely talented players in the NFL. Wallace has already bypassed Hines Ward as Ben Roethlisberger's go-to receiver. Constantly banged up, the slightly built Jackson is the ultimate risk-reward WR1. … Jennings gets a long-term boost in value from Aaron Rodgers, but his production will take a hit with Jermichael Finley's return in 2011.

Tier Three

11. Kenny Britt, Titans
12. Jeremy Maclin, Eagles
13. Vincent Jackson, Chargers
14. Dwayne Bowe, Chiefs
15. Brandon Marshall, Dolphins
16. Percy Harvin, Vikings
17. Michael Crabtree, 49ers
18. Mike Williams, Buccaneers
19. Reggie Wayne, Colts

Maclin and Britt, both just 22 years old, have already shown flashes of brilliance. The complete package as a big receiver with playmaking ability and possession- receiver skills, Britt needs only a QB upgrade and a dose of maturity to hit the top-10. … V-Jax is one of the dominant talents at the position, but he's lacking stability as a 28-year-old without a 2011 home. … As always, I'd just assume let some other owner deal with the headcase known as Brandon Marshall. … Like Matt Cassel, Bowe benefited from the softest pass defense schedule any of us have every seen. Expect a correction in 2011. … For all of his missed practice time, Harvin has played more games than Hakeem Nicks since they entered the league together. He'd be higher if not for QB questions. … Confidence in Crabtree is waning after a disappointing season, but it has created an opportunity for one of the better "buy low" opportunities of the offseason. … I'm not calling Mike Williams the next Michael Clayton, but long-time Dynasty league owners realize a strong rookie season isn't always followed up by years of dominance. … As a Wayne owner, I am content to sit on him until he reaches the inevitable cliff, because I realize he no longer carries trade value anywhere close to his actual value. His downfield playmaking ability is already slipping away.

Tier Four

20. Sidney Rice, Vikings
21. Austin Collie, Colts
22. Marques Colston, Saints
23. Demaryius Thomas, Broncos
24. Santonio Holmes, Jets
25. Wes Welker, Patriots
26. Brandon Lloyd, Broncos
27. Steve Johnson, Bills

With a prodigious catch radius, Rice is among the league's best at coming down with the ball in traffic. On the negative side, two of his past three seasons have been ruined by major injuries, and his QB situation is a mess heading into 2011. … Collie is the most misunderstood receiver in the NFL. Pierre Garcon may have the name, but Collie has the game. If not for the concussion issues, he'd be locked into the top-15. … Colston is set to undergo his fifth and sixth surgeries since March of 2008. The history on his knees is not exactly the blueprint for a long career. … Like several receivers in this tier, Thomas has only to prove that he can shake off the injury bug. Talent isn't a question. … Holmes not only lacks a WR1 ceiling, he's also a major suspension risk. … Welker's value hinges on scoring system. He'd be 10 spots higher on a PPR list. … At this point, Lloyd is a one-year wonder who just lost his play-caller, will likely lose his quarterback, and may also be hearing footsteps from Thomas. I'd be shining up that 2010 first-place WR finish and flipping Lloyd for max value this offseason. … Johnson had been my pick over James Hardy since the two entered the league, but he can't count on a shot-gun heavy offense for the rest of his career. The talent may be real, but the stats were artificially inflated in the Bills' mid-season pointfest.

Tier Five

28. Pierre Garcon, Colts
29. Jordy Nelson, Packers
30. Mario Manningham, Giants
31. Johnny Knox, Bears
32. Anquan Boldin, Ravens
33. Steve Smith, Panthers
34. Braylon Edwards, Jets
35. Steve Smith, Giants
36. Randy Moss, Titans
37. Chad Ochocinco, Bengals

Garcon may not be quite as good as he was hyped to be in 2009, but he's better than he showed while playing through injuries in 2010. … Nelson looks like the natural successor to Donald Driver in Green Bay. In my eyes, he had already passed James Jones before the Packers' playoff run. … Boldin was given the opportunity to take on the No. 1 receiver mantle, and he promptly disappeared for three months. ... I still love Steve Smith South's talent and I will still target him in trades for the right price, but there's no question that inept quarterbacking has killed his value. … The start of Smith North's 2011 season is in jeopardy after undergoing microfracture surgery. Manningham's value would surge if the Giants opt to turn the page on impending free agent Smith. … Knox fell just short of his expected breakout seasons, but 960 yards as a second-year player is nothing to sneeze at. … Though Braylon is coming off a solid if unspectacular season, he's less likely than Santonio Holmes to return to the Jets. … Ochocinco is in decline, but it's not as drastic as it's been portrayed. He can still play; a more consistent QB would help. … Randy Moss is the quintessential dice roll. I wouldn't rule out a 1,250-yard, 12-TD bounce-back season or a second straight disappearance before the end of the line.

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Chris Wesseling is a senior football editor and Dynasty league analyst for The 2011 NFL season marks his fifth year with Rotoworld and his third year contributing to He can be found on Twitter @ChrisWesseling.
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