Andre Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald Left Off List
In a recent article I named my top 10 players in the early 2013 fantasy football Wide Receivers rankings. But in looking at it, I was amazed at some of the players who didn’t make the list. Now it’s just a simple fact that on a top 10 list, there can be only be ten players isted and therefore many quality guys aren't going to make it. It's a simple numbers game and believe me when I say that it was difficult to leave out some players as they could have easily been listed on it.
For example, Houston Texans WR Andre Johnson didn’t make my early top 10. And all Johnson did in 2012 was to be second in fantasy points scored in standard scoring systems at the WR position. He set a new career high with 1,598 receiving yards and caught 112 passes. The only downfall was that he scored only 4 TD’s, and he has never reached 10 TD’s at any point in his 10 year career. Johnson still possesses size, strength, and smarts on the field, but his speed and playmaking abilities are in decline. With it appearing the Texans aren’t going to make WR a priority in free agency (despite the fact they really should as Johnson has never had a strong complementary WR opposite him) it’s hard to imagine Johnson having 1,500 yards again entering his age 32 campaign on a team that is much more about their power rushing attack than it is lighting it up thru the air.
Another guy I left off the list is Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald. In terms of pure talent and skills, only Calvin Johnson is better in the entire NFL at the WR position. In fantasy football, Fitzgerald has usually been amongst the elite producers, but not even Fitz could make up for the worst QB situation in the league in 2012 after Kevin Kolb went down (Fitz did catch 32 passes for 367 yards and 3 TD’s in Kolb’s 5 starts; he caught 49 passes for 431 yards and 1 TD the other 11 games started by other Cardinals QB’s). It certainly has to be better in 2013, but enough for Fitz to regain fantasy stardom? It’s hard to bet on it when there are so many other high quality WR’s in better situations. A lot will depend on who the Cardinals get at the QB position in 2013.
Now, Johnson and Fitzgerald are names fantasy owners are used to seeing high on fantasy football rankings each season. But another guy who didn’t make the list, but probably is going to be considered by many to be top 10 heading into the season is Green Bay’s Randall Cobb. Cobb came on strong in 2012 despite starting the season as the Packers 3rd or 4th WR. His 80 catches for 954 yards and 8 TD’s are impressive and show promise of things to come, but I am concerned about Cobb possibly suffering the same type of letdown Jordy Nelson experienced in 2012 after an impressive 2011 campaign. The Packers have so many weapons to throw the ball to. In 2012 Cobb didn’t have a single game with both over 100 receiving yards and a TD. Cobb has more of the feel of a guy who is going to be a high upside fantasy WR2 in 2013 and likely to be drafted higher based on unrealistic expectation.
Let the debates begin!