Let’s talk about the Divas of the NFL and what is often one of the more inconsistent positions that owners must draft for each season.
1. Calvin Johnson – Another year with Johnson easily as the consensus number one wide out on the boards. Johnson scored 11 TDs in the first 8 games of the season and looks primed for another stellar season in the Lions pass first offense.
The Good – Matt Stafford has a great arm and The Stafford to Johnson connection should remain strong this year.
The Bad – The level of Johnson’s production could suffer if Stafford goes down, but probably not much.
2. Larry Fitzgerald – Fitz is a premier receiver and even with bad play from the quarterbacks in Arizona he had a productive fantasy season, bringing in 1,400 yards and 8 TDs. Imagine if the Cardinals had a better QB, or even if Kolb could just get it together.
The Good – It’s hard to go wrong with a player of Fitzgerald’s caliber.
The Bad – The weakness at the QB can lead to dry spots in Fitz’s consistency from game to game.
3. Andre Johnson – He played a total of 7 games last season and was a bust for owners who took him as the first wide out off the boards. When healthy, Johnson is one of the best fantasy WRs in the league, as he showed in the first 3 games before getting injured where he averaged 7 receptions, 105 yards, and scored in 2 of those 3. If he stays healthy, those numbers should be sustainable with the YPG dipping some.
The Good – He is a top flight fantasy WR when healthy and a threat for big numbers on a weekly basis.
The Bad - Johnson has had health issues in the past missing 12 games over the last 2 seasons. He has also never reached double digit TDs in a season.
4. Greg Jennings – Green Bay, behind the arm of Aaron Rodgers, is a pass first team and Jennings was having a strong season before going down in the midst of the fantasy playoffs. Ouchville fantasy owners, I feel for you. He should look to continue to build on last season as the Packers number 1 WR, and as he goes into a contract year this season.
The Good – He is one Aaron Rodgers’ prime targets in a top 5 offense.
The Bad – The Packers will continue to spread the ball around this season.
5. Mike Wallace – After starting off in an elite fashion last season, Wallace leveled off in the ladder half of last season due in no small part to the emergence of Antonio Brown. However, Wallace is the number 1 receiver on a Pittsburgh team that is looking to go a little more vertical this season with Todd Haley running the offense. Look for continued improved on his number from last season. Wallace is reportedly very motivated to prove himself even more this season as he should be coming into the year with a rich new contract.
The Good – Todd Haley’s system is a passing system, and with Rashard Mendenhall and Isaac Redman leaving question marks in the run game, the Steelers will be looking to throw more.
The Bad – At 6 feet tall Wallace is the tallest of the Steelers’ starting 3 wide outs, and though height doesn’t always win out, it can be a hindrance against stronger defenses.
6. Roddy White – The Falcons have alluded that they are yet another team that will be looking to the air the ball out more this season, and after spending so much to move up and draft Julio Jones last season, they seem primed to do just that. White posted 100 receptions for a second straight year, and with the offense moving away from the run attack of Michael Turner, Atlanta’s wide outs could see high production this season. White led the league in 3rd down receptions as well last season. He is poised for another year as a top 10 WR.
The Good – Julio Jones should command coverage and help even things out for White this season, though owners should be weary that could be a double edged sword.
The Bad – White led the league in drops last season at 15.
7. Hakeem Nicks – He is a very Terrell Owens type receiver, with a big body and physical style of play making Nicks a very big red zone threat. The Giants also showed that Nicks is still one of their top options during last season’s playoff run where he caught 28 catches for 444 yards and 4 TDs. This was all while coverages had swayed toward stopping Victor Cruz. His health will come into question after suffering a broken foot in May, but all reports have said he will be ready week 1, with all bets out the window if a setback is reported.
The Good – The playoff run, as well as the Super Bowl, showed that Nicks is still a prime option for Eli Manning.
The Bad – He has yet to have an entirely healthy season and a broken foot in May certainly raises a red flag.
8. AJ Green – Green is an extraordinary talent and clearly showed it last season topping 1,000 yards along with 7 TDs. He should look to build on that number in his second season. There is not going to be a lot of proven talent around him at the WR position, but even if teams blanket coverage on him, and they will, he has the talent to excel despite it. He should be an easy top 10 pick.
The Good – There are reports everywhere of Green working out with Larry Fitzgerald and Calvin Johnson, making owners salivate over the names he could be mentioned in the same class as over the next few seasons. Other receivers have also shown vast improvements after working out with Fitzgerald during off-seasons.
The Bad – There will be a large amount of pressure on Green to carry a very shaky looking offense.
9. Wes Welker – In PPR formats, Welker is almost a given in the top 10. He has had 4 years with 100+ receptions in 5 years with the Pats, and last season set career highs in yards (1,569) and TDs (9). Even with Brady spreading the ball all over in the Patriot offense, Welker still remains a top target. Draft him with ease in PPR settings, though owners should be weary in non-PPR formats.
The Good – Welker has something to prove this season as he will be playing off a franchise tag and wants to get a more secure contract. He has always been a motivated player and this will simply fuel the fire.
The Bad – As mentioned before, he is less effective in non-PPR formats averaging 6.2 TDs a year.
10. Victor Cruz – One of the biggest surprises from last season was Victor Cruz. After not starting at the beginning of the season, Cruz racked up 1,536 yards as one of the Giants most explosive players. He cemented himself as one of Eli Manning most reliable options and though defenses will have more tape on him, he should still be a top play maker for New York this season.
The Good – He is a great possession receiver as well as a big play threat. He also put up the numbers he did last season while not playing in the first 2 games of the season. Imagine the possibilities.
The Bad – If Hakeem Nicks cannot go at the beginning of the season or misses any time, Cruz could have a difficult time with double and possibly triple coverages that teams will roll his way.
About the Author
Written by David Willow
My name is David Willow. Your NFL and Fantasy Jedi. I have lived in Dallas, TX most of my life. I have been following both football and basketball since I was a child. I love being able to research and analyze different players and teams. I've been a fantasy sports enthusiast for around 8 years with some titles to back that. I have a Bachelors degree in History with a minor in English. Other hobbies include me being part of an acting workshop for five years, playing guitar, and working out. Hit me up with any comments, questions or opinions.