2011 Fantasy Football Rankings. An Early Look at the Wide Receivers

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UPDATED August 2nd, 2011

These rankings are now outdated. Please visit the new TOP 50 FANTASY FOOTBALL RECEIVERS RANKINGS.

Why not, kids? This is what I do and what I’ve always done here right?

The 2011 fantasy football draft is a long ways away, but we can still take an early look at what to expect from the receiving department in 2011.

This post will be updated regularly as everyone’s draft day gets closer in an effort to give you guys a one-stop spot on the web to reference, so bookmark it, write it down, stick note the page to wherever, and be sure to keep coming back.

Oh, and don't forget we're covering sleepers for you too.

Just like the previous years, if you guys have a question leave it below no matter when it is and I will get back at you.

It’s never too early for Q&As.

The Current Top Echelon:

1. Calvin Johnson – Stafford will be healthy and playing with a chip on his shoulder, and Detroit is going to come out of the gate throwing as often as possible. No one was targeted more on 20+ yard plays (41) than the 6’5” 235 pounder, and that number could increase in 2011.
2. Andre Johnson – He put up 1,216 yards and 8 TDs on a bum ankle in 2010. Now he’s healthy…what do you think is going to happen?
3. Larry Fitzgerald - Fitz finished 5th in catches, 8th in yards and dropped just three balls out of 93 targets last year, and that was WITH a crappy QB situation. The Cardinals are expected to land Kevin Kolb, and if so, Fitz’s value skyrockets.
4. Hakeem Nicks – Nicks climbs two spots thanks to the new CBA agreement which allows four year veterans to become unrestricted free agents...meaning Steve Smith could hit the open market and if he does, Nicks' value goes through the roof.
5. Roddy WhiteJulio Jones might steal some targets, but if he does, that means teams will have less double teams on White. Matt Ryan must be licking his chops right now.
6. Mike Wallace - Wallace falls two spots thanks to the promotion to Nicks, but don't read too much into the red arrow, Wallace is still going to be a force to reckon with in 2011.
7. Greg JenningsHe plays in one of the most explosive offenses in the National Football League, and is poised to take over as the new number one guy in title town this year.
8. DeSean Jackson – Jackson is a bona-certified Top 10 receiver, but his maturity level in 2010 keeps his early ranking grounded. He’ll still be a force to be reckoned with in 2011, though, so don’t worry.
9. Santonio Holmes – If Braylon Edwards leaves as projected, all fantasy owners will get the version of Santonio Holmes they thought they were going to get LAST YEAR.
10. Brandon Marshall – Last year was a down year for Marshall, but not everyone is perfect. He is still a viable Top 10 receiver as of now.


The Next Level:
These receivers are currently considered just outside of the Top 10 for the varying reason listed below.

1. Dwayne BoweCharlie Weis is no longer in town, and the Chiefs are due to face much stiffer completion in 2011. Bowe might be up and down, but you could do far worse.
2. Miles AustinDon’t read too much in to this right now. I believe Austin will have a bounce back season in 2011, but a lot of it depends on Tony Romo’s health, so for now, we’ll take a tentative approach with him….hey it’s only June after all.
3. Marques Colston5 knee surgeries in five years is a cause for concern and with Jimmy Graham in the mix, I would exercise caution with Colston. He’s might be a better suited high-upside WR2 right now.
4. Percy HarvinAgain, preliminary scouting here suggests his health will always be a concern, and the Vikings have a ton of issues to settle at WR before anyone can begin reading into Harvin. I do see his rank rising as the summer progresses, but only if the Vikings DO NOT grab Vincent Jackson once the market opens up.
5. Austin Collie – Migraines and three concussions in one year is a red flag for sure.
6. Reggie Wayne – 2010 was an up year in receptions and yards for Wayne, but a down year in TDs. Manning has plenty of other options to play with in 2011 and owners should forget about ever getting the 2007 version of Reggie Wayne…those days are long behind him, but he still makes for a fine WR2.
7. Wes Welker – I love Welker, but he is only valuable in PPR leagues.
8. Mike Williams (TB) – Most rookies come back down to earth in their Sophomore year, and I don’t see a repeat of last year.
9. Steve Johnson - Johnson came out of nowhere last year, and he is officially on a tentative watch right now in regard to his current rank. He will see more double teams this year, though, which is something he struggled with in 2010.
10. Steve Smith (NYG) – Too many cooks in the kitchen to consider Smith a high upside guy, and the cumulative stats prove it (155 receptions for 1,749 yards and 10 TDs in TWO YEARS combined). Update 6/22: Steve Smith is likly to hit the open market soon thanks to a new CBA agreement allowing four year vets to become unrestricted free agents. his value to significantly climb if he goes to the right place in a featured setting...stay tuned.


Summertime Issues Ahead:

Kenny Britt has huge upside but can’t seem to stay out of trouble at all.

He faces all sorts of disciplinary actions and suspension time for his recent issues with New Jersey police (second offense) and if he slips up one more time, he’s gone for good. Just too much liability from a fantasy football standpoint.


Vincent Jackson - U: Jackson is officially back on the fantasy radar now that we know he will stay in SanDiego.

Unofficially, I rank him the new 10th ranked receiver, but the official update to these rankings to reflect the change will come this weekend when we know the final destination of a few more players.

one of those players is fellow receiver Malcom Floyd who is not expected to stay in San Diego, which will affect Floyd's value along with Jackson's.



Brandon Lloyd had a career year in 2010 and credited all of it to the one guy who isn’t there anymore: Josh McDaniels.

To further dent his overall value is the fact that QB Kyle Orton’s future is still undecided as well, and if Orton goes, you can forget about anything special coming from Lloyd in 2011.



Sidney Rice - SEA - U: I think that Rice is a nice draft selection towards the back of the middle rounds, but anything higher would simply be a waste of a pick.

I say this simply because of Tarvaris Jackson's historic inconsistent past, a suspect O-line and the lack of a ground game to help the receiving corp.

I do not, however, rule out the possibility of my mind being changed before opening day.



Last year’s WR Rankings:

1) Brandon Lloyd
2) Dwayne Bowe
3) Roddy White
4) Greg Jennings
5) Mike Wallace
6) Calvin Johnson
7) Reggie Wayne
8) Hakeem Nicks
9) Andre Johnson
10) Steve Johnson.

Players scheduled to be added this weekend:

Malcom Floyd
Mike Sims-Walker
Nate Washington
James Jones
Devin Aromashodu
Michael Jenkins
Roy Williams
and many many more!