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July 4, 2008

Fantasy Football Week 1 WR Rankings

1. Terrell Owens (DAL) – This match up against Cleveland has all the makings of becoming the Romo to T.O. show that became commonplace last season. Anything less than a monster game for Owens would be a big disappointment for fantasy owners.

2. Randy Moss (NE) – The Kansas City secondary will have their hands full trying to keep up with Moss. Expectations should be high for him in week 1.

3. Larry Fitzgerald (ARI) - In his last game against San Francisco, Fitzgerald absolutely humiliated this defense by hauling in 9 passes for 156 yards and 2 TD’s. The 49ers defense should be better this season, so he will be hard pressed for a repeat performance, but Fitzgerald has the talent to do it again.

4. Reggie Wayne (IND) – For obvious reasons, Wayne is a lock for your week 1 fantasy roster against the Bears.

5. Braylon Edwards (CLE) – If the game against Dallas turns into a shootout or the Browns have to play from behind, Edwards will be called upon often. Regardless, he should get plenty of looks as Derek Anderson’s go to guy. Check injury report: foot

6. Roddy White (ATL) – White should have a field day at home against what will probably be the NFL’s worst secondary this year in the Detroit Lions. Matt Ryan should be able to get him the ball all day long. White is a must start for week 1.

7. Andre Johnson (HOU) – He will face a stingy Pittsburgh pass defense in week 1, but this guy can make big plays against anyone. So long as he is healthy, Johnson is a must start any week against any opponent.

8. T.J. Houshmandzadeh (CIN) – He should be close to 100% healthy when the Bengals take the field in Baltimore for week 1. Historically, Houshmandzadeh has played well in this rivalry match up, and barring any setbacks with his hamstring, this week should be no different.

9. Santonio Holmes (PIT) – He is finally stepping into the ranks of the big boys in terms of fantasy WR’s. Holmes will have every chance to prove his worth against what should be a shaky Houston secondary at home.

10. Calvin Johnson (DET) – He still has a lot to prove and a week 1 match up against arguably the worst defense in the NFL should help propel him to fantasy greatness in week 1. Johnson should have a big game in Atlanta.

11. Greg Jennings (GB) – Jennings will likely be targeted early and often in week 1 against a Minnesota defense whose only weakness is against the pass. We like his chances for a huge week 1.

12. Torry Holt (STL) – Holt is the only reliable WR in a pass happy offense. As usual, expect him to see plenty of passes coming his way, but the match up is tough.

13. Joey Galloway (TB) – Most guys could make a nice season out of what Galloway has done in his last 4 games against the Saints. In those 4 games, Galloway has accumulated 501 receiving yards and 5 TD’s. He has never failed to produce big time stats against New Orleans in 4 seasons as a Buc. The only thing that could prevent him from doing it again is a groin injury. Check injury report: groin

14. Wes Welker (NE) – He should continue his role as Tom Brady’s safety net, a role that propelled him into the fantasy spotlight last season. Welker, as usual, should have ample opportunity against a young Chiefs defense in week 1.

15. Anquan Boldin (ARI) – Boldin has not been off the charts in any of his last 4 games against division rival San Francisco, but he has played well in all of them. Expect more of the same or better against them in week 1.

16. Roy Williams (DET) – After a disappointing ’07, Williams has a lot of making up to do with regard to fantasy owners. He will have his chance in week 1 against a soft Falcons pass defense. If QB John Kitna chooses Williams as his go to guy this week, fantasy owners will be glad they gambled on Williams in their draft, at least for a week.

17. Plaxico Burress (NYG) – He has been hit or miss in his last 4 games against the Redskins. The odds are in his favor a nice game against them at home on Thursday.

18. Marques Colston (NO) – For whatever reason, Colston has struggled at home against the Bucs, while he has lit them up when playing in Tampa over the last 2 seasons. It makes no sense, but you would have to be crazy to not have Colston on your starting fantasy roster for week 1 at home.

19. Nate Burleson (SEA) – After the Seahawk WR corps turned into a MASH unit in the preseason, Burleson is the last man standing in the pass happy offense. He should be targeted early and often in Seattle’s week 1 match up at Buffalo.

20. Chad “Ocho Cinco” Johnson (CIN) – He will play in week1 against the Ravens, and in spite of his craziness and bum shoulder, whatever his name is should produce solid fantasy numbers. Check injury report: shoulder

21. Jerricho Cotchery (NYJ) – He appears to be Brett Favre’s most likely go to target for week 1 and for that reason alone, we have him ranked higher than Coles. Both guys should have nice games considering the match up against Miami, but there are still some questions to be answered with Favre at the helm.

22. Hines Ward (PIT) – He isn’t getting any younger, but Ward can still get it done. He should get plenty of looks at home against Houston. He makes for a good WR2, WR3, or flex on your fantasy roster depending on your options.

23. Laveranues Coles (NYJ) – Coles could become Favre’s version of Donald Driver this season in New York. Let’s just hope he has more TD’s than Driver had last season. Coles should be in for a solid week against a soft Miami defense barring any setbacks from a thigh injury. Check injury report: thigh

24. Marvin Harrison (IND) – He could be a little risky in his first game back, but we think that Manning will make it a point to get him the ball often in week 1. The rest is up to Harrison. Those of you who drafted him should find out if the gamble is going to pay off on Sunday night.

25. Donald Driver (GB) – He should be able to get off to a quick start in a promising week 1 match up against the Vikings. If Driver can show that he remembers where the end zone is with Aaron Rodgers at QB, his fantasy stock will sky rocket.

26. Dwayne Bowe (KC) – Bowe will have his work cut out for him at New England in week 1, but he should be able to outmatch the Patriots new look secondary. Barring an early sophomore slump, we like his chances on Sunday as the Chiefs will almost certainly be throwing the ball a lot in the second half.

27. Chris Chambers (SD) – He should be able to make some noise against what is expected to be a mediocre Carolina pass defense in week 1. Chambers is not your safest option, but the match up holds promise.

28. Patrick Crayton (DAL) – He is never a lock for producing big fantasy numbers, but the match up against Cleveland is right, and Crayton has the tools to do it.

29. Lee Evans (BUF) – After a very inconsistent ’07 season, Evans has plenty to prove in week 1. The match up is not ideal against Seattle, but Evans can show up against any opponent, any week, and produce big numbers. Unfortunately, he can also go bust just as quick. He is worth a look on your fantasy roster as a WR3 or flex.

30. Santana Moss (WAS) – Moss’ best days as a fantasy wide out are behind him, but he still has the tools to do some damage any given week. Don’t expect lofty stats in week 1 against the Giants, but he should be solid.

31. DeSean Jackson (PHI) – We realize that Jackson is a rookie and yes, he is a risky week 1 start for your fantasy roster, but we like his chances and here is why. The Rams typically play a very aggressive man to man coverage scheme and they also like to blitz. If St. Louis chooses this style of defense on Sunday, Jackson will be left one on one against either an outmatched nickel back or a much slower linebacker. With his speed, he should be open all day long and has the potential for a monster week 1.

32. Muhsin Muhammad (CAR) – He has the potential to be week 1’s biggest sleeper. When you take into account that he will almost certainly be Delhomme’s go to guy this week with Steve Smith suspended, it only makes sense that Muhammad at least has a chance for a big week. Muhammad has been off the fantasy radar for a while now, but that is mostly due to the lack of a quality QB in Chicago. Now that he is back in Carolina with Delhomme, the magic they had before could be rekindled, and it could be in week 1 against San Diego. The match up against the Chargers star CB Antonio Cromartie will be a tough one.

33. Derrick Mason (BAL) – He continues to get overlooked in fantasy football in spite of producing solid week to week numbers on a consistent basis. No matter whom the QB is and how bad he may be, you can at least count on one thing, he will be throwing the ball to Mason often. Mason has a promising week 1 match up against the Bengals at home and is not a bad pick as your WR3.

34. Isaac Bruce (SF) – Bruce may not be a bad week 1 fantasy option. The week 1 match up against Arizona will probably be a shootout, and Bruce is probably going to be the go to WR. All of the 49ers WR’s have a chance to produce solid fantasy numbers with Mike Martz as offensive coordinator, unfortunately, it is too early to gauge which one will benefit most. Bruce is the safest bet for now.

35. Courtney Taylor (SEA) – Taylor could be a nice sleeper if you are short on quality WR’s. He is unproven, but the fact that he is a starting WR in a pass heavy offense makes him enticing for week 1.

36. Eddie Royal (DEN) – With Brandon Marshall suspended in week 1, this talented rookie will be asked to step up and fill in the hole. Cutler has to throw to someone this week, right? It will probably be Royal.

37. Ted Ginn (MIA) – In his sophomore season, Ginn will be asked to step up big if the Dolphins are to have success. We will find out if he is up to the challenge in week1 against the Jets. He is a risky, but highly capable week 1 fantasy option. Ginn will also be beneficial in leagues that account for return yardage.

38. Donte’ Stallworth (CLE) – There are two likely scenarios for Stallworth in week 1 against Dallas. He will either come up big or go bust. Either way, you will find out early whether you wasted a draft pick on him. We like his chances and feel like his talents were wasted in New England. Cleveland probably won’t make the same mistake.

39. Ronald Curry (OAK) – If Javon Walker is unable to play on Monday night, Curry will instantly become the go to WR for Oakland by default. Even if Walker does play, there is a decent chance that Curry still plays that role. Regardless, Curry is always good for a few fantasy points, but typically not much more.

40. Reggie Brown (PHI) – Brown has never been a fantasy juggernaut, but his week 1 match up at home against the Rams could produce quality numbers.

41. Kevin Walter (HOU) – He is not a great fantasy option in week 1 against Pittsburgh, but Walter is an underrated and fairly consistent WR capable of putting up solid numbers any week.

42. Bryant Johnson (SF) – Johnson missed the preseason with a hamstring injury, but he should be able to step right in against the Cards in week 1. He is risky for your fantasy roster this week, but we like him for the long haul.

43. Vincent Jackson (SD) – This may be his last chance to prove valuable to fantasy owners. He has all the attributes of a great fantasy WR; he has just failed to produce to this point. Jackson will have every opportunity to do just that on Sunday against a soft Carolina secondary.

44. Bernard Berrian (MIN) – He is a capable and talented fantasy WR, but Berrian continues to handicap himself by playing for teams with bad QB’s. This is a new team and a new year, but Berrian only caught 3 balls for a total of 27 yards against Green Bay in 2 games as a Bear last season.

45. Reggie Williams (JAX) – He is a deep threat and a favorite red zone target for QB David Garrard. He is a candidate to find the end zone any week. Williams is risky for week 1 with a hamstring injury. Check injury report: hamstring

46. Anthony Gonzalez (IND) – While Gonzalez is certainly in the right offense to become a fantasy stud, he has balked at every opportunity to do so (and he has had more than his fair share). He has the chance to do a little something in week 1 against the Bears, but for those of you who drafted Gonzalez early, expecting this guy to go off this season; we hate to tell you that you probably wasted a good pick on a mediocre fantasy talent. If you picked him up as a late round flier pick, you should get decent value.

47. Javon Walker (OAK) – Walker is a risky start for week 1 for a number of reasons, but he showed some promise in the last preseason game, and we are optimistic that he could still meet the expectations of fantasy owners, especially in week 1 against his former team. He has been nursing a slight pull in his hamstring this week as well, and may be questionable for Monday night’s game. Check injury report: hamstring

48. Justin Gage (TEN) - His best fantasy production as a Titan last season came at home against Jacksonville in week 10. Gage caught 7 passes for 90 yards and a TD in that contest. He will face a similar Jaguar defense on that same field on Sunday. Gage is risky, especially with Vince Young at QB, but he is capable.

49. Drew Bennett (STL) – If Bennett is truly healthy, he could be in for a nice game in Philadelphia on Sunday. The Rams will probably throw the ball a lot, and with star CB Asante Samuel probably matched up on fellow WR Torry Holt, Bennett could be targeted often.

50. Sidney Rice (MIN) – Rice’s best game of the ’07 season came against this same Packers defense. He had 6 receptions for 75 yards and a TD. Rice has a mountain of potential, but it often gets wasted with inconsistent and/or bad QB play.

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