This is the year of the Wide Receiver. No RB/RB draft strategies this season. There are simply too few high-end quality wide receivers available. The drop off is quick and stark. For that reason I highly recommend starting your draft with at least two receivers in your first three picks.
A lot of promising fantasy WRs may explode this season, but they may fizzle as well. More so than at any other position you need to do your homework and look for value and depth. Don't count on rookie receivers like Dez Bryant and Demaryious Thomas to provide it. The statistics and odds are against either of them doing enough in 2010 to earn their lofty draft positions.
With that said, here are some overvalued and undervalued receivers to keep in mind as you head to your draft tables.
Mike Sims-Walker, JAX - Walker had a decent little breakout campaign for the Jacksonville Jaguars in his sophomore season. He ended with the 22nd best WR fantasy numbers. So now Torry Holt is gone, Sims-Walker enters that magical season three as the team's #1 WR. All signs point to a great fantasy season...right? Well, not so fast. MSW missed one game to suspension, and he tended to take games off from giving a 100%. Now that he's #1 he'll have more attention paid to him which will hurt rather than increase his value. Then there are his road/home splits, which as our friend Ryan Lester points out, are staggering. His current ADP is 21, which to my mind is his best case finish. In my mind he is overvalued, and should be at least 5-10 WR picks later. In fact, unless he really slips, my gut tells me to let someone else pick up his tab in 2010. I have him ranked at 24th, but I think he could be a bust in the top 25.
Dez Bryant, DAL - Hey, I think highly of the kid too. But not highly enough to take him as the 24th WR in fantasy drafts, in his rookie season, in a basic redraft league. This is simply too high by any measure. Let's not forget he one of 4 WRs, 2 TEs and a trio of running backs that Tony Romo has at his disposal. as mentioned above, I would avoid using a pick on Demaryious Thomas at all in a redraft league, unless it's at the end of of your draft.
Santonio Holmes, NYJ - Holmes will miss a quarter of the season to suspension, then play catch up with the team for at least another quarter of the year. Then there's that Braylon Edwards guy. Oh and did we mention this is a run first, second, and third team? Still his ADP is 30th, ahead of Edwards and any number of other players who have more 2010 upside.
Bonus: Vincent Jackson, SDC - What part of he's not likely to play at all this season, but at least not until at least week 11, are people missing? His current ADP is the #16 WR taken.
Devin Aromashodu, CHI - The Knuckleheads here at FK had a nice little discussion this weekend about whether or not Arrow is a sleeper. While I don't think he's a sleeper, (everyone has him on their radar), I do think he's undervalued. He's currently going as the 35th WR off the board, and looks to be the centerpiece of the Bears receiving corp. I have him ranked 28th.
Steve Smith, CAR - Smith had his worst fantasy season in years, in 2009. He had the same number of targets (129) that he had in 2008 when he ended the season as 6th best fantasy wide receiver. But his receptions dropped from 78 to 66. He looked pretty solid down the stretch with Matt Moore under center, and he should rebound to at least his 2008 numbers in 2010. But any improvement at all makes him undervalued at the 17th ADP.
Lee Evans, BUF - Sure he's got no legitimate quarterback, and hope for Trent Edwards or Brian Brohm to become fantasy studs overnight is laughable. But still, even with lousy QB's, Evans has ended the season between the 25th and 30th best WR for the last 5 years, including one season at 6th best. Yet here he is with an ADP of 45. Undervalued? I'd say so. And if he were on any other team I'd call him a serious sleeper.
ADP courtesy of myfantasyleague.com