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News-Herald Assistant Sports Editor Kevin Kleps doesn’t just write headlines and stories. He also checks on his fantasy sports teams. A lot. See if the moves and news from the world of sports affect your fantasy teams.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Fantasy football: Is Eric Decker the real deal?

Last week, Eric Decker became the first Broncos wide receiver to score twice and tally 100 yards in his first career start.

He was a popular choice this week on the waiver wire (he led our weekly analysis on Tuesday), but he still hasn't seemed to catch on as a no-doubt-about-it starting option in fantasy.

Yahoo! has Decker ranked 37th at wide receiver this week, and ESPN has him 34th. Part of the reason is Sunday's matchup at Tennessee, which is ranked third against the pass and has one more interception than touchdown passes allowed (two to one).

Regardless, the Broncos can rack up passing yards under Kyle Orton, who has thrown for 7,954 yards in 31 games since 2009, an average of 257 per contest.

With Eddie Royal out 2 to 4 weeks because of a groin injury and No. 1 receiver Brandon Lloyd also nursing a groin ailment, Decker might be Denver's best option in the passing game.

Lloyd didn't play last week, but he is expected to play Sunday. Decker had five receptions for 113 yards and a pair of scores in Denver's win over Cincinnati, and he had three receptions for 53 yards in Week 1.

He didn't make much of an impact as a rookie in 2010 (six receptions), but he was still recovering from a Lisfranc foot injury he suffered against Ohio State in October 2009. The injury caused him to miss the rest of his senior season and resulted in his draft stock slipping from a fringe first-rounder to the third round (No. 87 overall) in 2010.

Now, he says he's 100 percent.

Maybe I'm more optimistic than most, but I see Decker as a No. 3 receiver in fantasy, especially in point-per-catch formats.

He's big (6-foot-3, 218 pounds) and he's fast (a 90-yard punt return for a TD in Week 1).

Plus, he has our old favorite, Orton, throwing him the rock.

What could go wrong?

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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Fantasy football: Week 3 waiver-wire picks

Last week, we gave you Devery Henderson, Dustin Keller, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Aaron Hernandez and Ben Tate in this space.

If you only listened to us on Cadillac Williams, shame on you. OK, shame on us for thinking one game might mean Williams could somehow turn back the clock.

Anyway, we're back with more waiver-wire selections this week. Note that we are looking for players who are available in the majority of the leagues on

Also note that we discussed the fantasy values of Dexter McCluster, Thomas Jones and other possible free-agent running backs on Monday morning.

1. Eric Decker, WR, Broncos (owned in 6.7 percent of the leagues): With Brandon Lloyd out because of a groin injury and Eddie Royal sidelined during the game because of a similar ailment, Decker had his best game as a pro Sunday -- five receptions for 113 yards and two touchdowns vs. the Bengals. He has eight catches for 166 yards in two games, and Royal is expected to miss 2 to 4 weeks. Lloyd should return this week, but that doesn't diminish Decker's standing as a quality No. 3 receiver option in 12-team leagues.

2. David Nelson, WR, Bills (1.4 percent): Nelson had 31 receptions for 353 yards and three TDs as an undrafted rookie last season. All three of his scores were in his last four games. This season, he has 14 receptions for 149 yards and a TD in two games, including a huge Week 2 against the Raiders (10 catches for 83 yards and a score). He's a decent third receiver in 12-team point-per-reception leagues.

3. Fred Davis, TE, Redskins (16.9 percent): Chris Cooley is beat up, as evidenced by his two catches for 21 yards in two games (he was shut out last week). Enter Davis, who has 11 receptions for 191 yards and a TD in two contests. In 2009, he seemed to be Washington's future No. 1 option at tight end (48 receptions, six TDs), but he was disappointing last year. This season, he has surpassed Cooley and should be considered a starting tight end in 12-team leagues.

Five other possible free agents of note:

-- Rex Grossman, QB, Redskins (16.6 percent): He's thrown for at least 291 yards and two TDs each week. Do we think it will continue? No. Can you do better at QB? Absolutely. But Grossman does merit consideration in deep leagues, and he's a no-doubt-about-it starter in leagues in which you play two QBs.

-- Nate Washington, WR, Titans (3.3 percent): He has had six catches or more in each of his first two games, capped by a seven-reception, 99-yard performance against the Ravens. Washington had six TDs in both 2009 and '10, but he never had more than 47 receptions or 687 yards. With Matt Hasselbeck under center, he can at least be a part-time starter in fantasy.

-- Jabar Gaffney, WR, Redskins (5.6 percent): Gaffney averaged 59.5 catches per season in 2009 and '10 with the Broncos, but he scored two TDs each year. With Big Rex in command, Gaffney had five receptions for 62 yards last week against the Cardinals. He isn't a fantasy starter unless you're desperate, but he is roster-worthy.

-- Mike Sims-Walker, WR, Rams (31.3 percent): See Gaffney, Jabar. Sims-Walker had six catches for 92 yards Monday night, but he had one reception for 5 yards in St. Louis' opener. Sam Bradford spreads the receptions between Sims-Walker, Brandon Gibson (seven catches for 102 yards) and Danario Alexander (three receptions for 122 yards and a TD on Monday), so consider Sims-Walker a fantasy reserve.

-- Jason Campbell, QB, Raiders (27.5 percent): We're not fans of Campbell, but he has accounted for five TDs (three passing, two rushing) in two weeks. Campbell's season stats are obviously skewed by his huge game at Buffalo on Sunday. Also keep in mind Campbell threw for only 13 TDs last season. He's no better than a mid-level fantasy backup.

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Monday, September 19, 2011

Fantasy football: Jamaal Charles replacement options

Speak with a Jamaal Charles owner and one of the first things he or she will say to you will have something to do with getting more opportunities.

The electric Chiefs running back rushed for 1,467 yards in 2010, averaging 6.4 yards per carry. He caught 45 passes for 468 yards, giving him an incredible norm of 7.0 yards per touch. Even more ridiculous: Charles had a combined 1,935 rushing and receiving yards, despite getting 17.2 touches per game.

This season, Charles -- a consensus top-five overall choice in fantasy -- didn't make it past Week 2. Sunday, on his second carry of the game, he suffered what ESPN reported shortly after the game was a torn ACL in his left knee.

An MRI later Monday is expected to confirm the report, which would leave many owners scrambling to replace their top running back.

If you're looking to the waiver wire for help this week, there probably won't be much.

The best options, in fact, might be on Charles' team.

Backup Thomas Jones entered the weekend owned in 61.5 percent of the leagues on ESPN. Dexter McCluster, a second-round pick by Kansas City in 2010, was owned in only 7.0 percent of the ESPN formats.

Jones rushed for 896 yards and six touchdowns last season. It marked the first time in six seasons in which he didn't rush for at least 1,119 yards.

In 2008 and '09, Jones gained a combined 2,714 yards on the ground and scored 29 combined rushing and receiving TDs.

At 33, his best days are behind him, but he can still be a useful player in non-point-per-reception leagues.

In PPR leagues, McCluster is a better option than Jones, who had an average of 12 catches per year in 2009 and '10.

McCluster is way too small (5-foot-8, 170 pounds) to get 20-plus carries, but he is explosive (he had eight carries for 51 yards Sunday) and he can get a handful of catches per game (he has nine receptions thus far in 2011).

Neither player should be considered anything more than a fringe No. 3 running back in a 12-team league, but if you've lost Charles, you're probably desperate enough to give one a chance.

Two other long-shot options at running back are a pair of rookies -- the Colts' Delone Carter and the Redskins' Roy Helu.

Carter had 11 carries for 46 yards on Sunday against the Browns, and he has 18 rushing attempts in Indy's first two games -- compared to Joseph Addai's 22. Carter has yet to catch a pass, and Addai is obviously the better fantasy option, but the Copley High School product is the no-doubt-about-it No. 2 back in Indianapolis, ahead of 2009 first-round pick Donald Brown, who has zero carries in two games.

Helu, meanwhile, had 10 rushes for 74 yards and three receptions for 38 yards Sunday against the Cardinals. Tim Hightower is the featured back in Washington, as his 168 rushing yards in two games attest, but Helu can be productive in games in which the Redskins have the lead and long-time fantasy tormentor Mike Shanahan is able to spread the carries around.

Of the four options we've discussed here, McCluster is the best in PPR formats, followed by Jones, Helu and Carter.

In non-PPR leagues, Jones is the No. 1 option, followed by McCluster, Helu and Carter.

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Friday, September 16, 2011

Fantasy football: Is Reggie Bush a starter?

When my brother drafted Reggie Bush with the first pick of the fifth round of a 12-team league, I immediately thought it was the worst pick of the night, which was still young.

In Week 1 against the Patriots, Bush had 11 carries for 38 yards and caught nine passes for 56 yards and one TD in his Miami debut.

As luck would have it, I played my brother in Week 1. He didn't need to tell me I was wrong to make fun of his Bush selection because he beat me so badly he would have won without Bush's 24.4 points.

Am I incorrect about Bush? Time will tell.

Until then, a few points on why I still don't believe in the former Mr. Kim Kardashian:

-- In his first five NFL seasons, Bush never rushed for more than 581 yards.

-- He played in only 44 of 64 games from 2007 to '10.

-- In the three years in which he had 100-plus carries, he averaged 3.6, 3.7 and 3.8 yards per carry.

-- He has 30 touchdowns in 61 career games.

Yes, Bush is a very good receiver and can be an asset in point-per-reception formats (which is the scoring system the league in which I compete with my brother utilizes). In 2006, his rookie season, he had 88 catches for 742 yards with the Saints, and he had 73 receptions in 12 games in '07.

Bush, however, hasn't surpassed 52 catches in a season since, and he's averaged only 26 receiving yards per game since 2008.

His productive Monday night was helped in part by the absence of rookie Daniel Thomas, who was inactive because of a hamstring injury. Thomas is expected to return this week, and the pair should soon be sharing carries.

Miami drafted Thomas in the second round last April. And Bush can't be considered an ideal first- and second-down back.

I would expect Thomas to be "the guy" by midseason. And I expect my brother to admit I was right.

(OK, I'll settle for one out of two.)

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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Fantasy football: Buy and sell

In this week's column for the print and Web editions of the News-Herald (spend the extra 75 cents on Saturday!), we will have an expanded sale.

Our three big purchases, if you will, concern Ray Rice, Brandon Marshall and the Panthers' Steve Smith (not the former Giant who was held without a catch last week in his Eagles debut). Our three sales involve Reggie Wayne, DeAngelo Williams and Chad Ochocinco.

None of which is to say we're down on Wayne and we're stating the obvious -- that Rice, Smith and Marshall are good. It involves predictions -- for example, buying that Peyton Hillis won't rush for 1,000 yards this season (don't worry, Browns fans, this isn't one of our beliefs) or selling the possibility of Steven Jackson ever staying healthy.

Anyway, here are two more predictions that didn't make the column because of space constraints.


Tim Hightower will be a top-20 fantasy running back.

Hightower had 25 of Washington's 26 rushing attempts in Week 1, and he proved in 2008 and '09 with Arizona that he can be an effective source of touchdowns (a combined 18 on the ground in those two years). Hightower is capable of being a big asset in the passing game (he had 63 receptions in 2009), and he averaged 4.8 yards per carry in 2010.

Granted, he plays for Mike Shanahan, who has toyed with our emotions at running back before. But Week 1, in which Hightower had 97 total yards, one TD and three receptions, seems to be a sign of good things to come.


Assuming Matthew Stafford can stay healthy, he's a top-10 quarterback.

Yes, that's a big assumption regarding Stafford, who played in three games last season and 10 in 2009, his rookie year. Stafford threw for 305 yards, three TDs and an interception Sunday at Tampa Bay, and, dating back to last season, he has 757 yards passing, nine TDs and two picks in his last three games.

This week, the Lions play host to the Chiefs, who were torched by Ryan Fitzpatrick last week, so you should consider Stafford a must-start this week.

Regardless, Stafford has thrown as many interceptions as touchdown passes (22) in his brief career. He could be great. He could be mediocre. He could be on injured reserve by Week 4.

If you drafted Stafford as a backup, my advice is sell high.

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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Fantasy football: Week 2 waiver-wire picks

If you drafted Steven Jackson, we can only hope you had a backup plan in mind.

Ditto for Marques Colston.

Let's play the waiver-wire game, and hope Jackson doesn't stub his toe on the way to the trainer's room this week.

1. Devery Henderson, WR, Saints (owned in 15.1 percent of the leagues on We believe he's the best available free agent this week (unless you play in a very shallow league) because of injuries to Colston and Lance Moore. Colston is expected to miss four weeks because of a broken collarbone, and Moore sat last week with a groin injury. Henderson had six receptions for 100 yards and a touchdown on Thursday at Green Bay. It was his first 100-yard game since 2009 and he has only 18 TDs in 93 career games, so don't get too excited if he's available. But he is capable of making a big play (Henderson's career average is 18.6 yards per catch), and Drew Brees has to throw to a wideout other than Robert Meachem.

2. Cadillac Williams, RB, Rams (14.3 percent): Jackson strained his quad on his opening carry of the season -- a 47-yard touchdown run -- leading to a flashback game from Williams. The Cadillac, who hasn't averaged more than 3.9 yards per carry in a season since his 1,178-yard rookie year (2005), had 19 carries for 91 yards and five catches for 49 yards last week. With Jackson out at least this week, Williams will be the Rams' primary back Monday against the Giants.

3. Dustin Keller, TE, Jets (40.8 percent): He had five catches for 61 yards and a TD last week. Keller is underrated after a productive 2010 (55 receptions for 687 yards and five scores) and should be considered a lower-level starting tight end in a 12-team league.

Five other possible free agents of note:

-- Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, Bills (41.9 percent): We ranked him as the top Peyton Manning replacement option last week, and all Fitzpatrick did Sunday was throw for 208 yards and four TDs at Kansas City. That gives him 27 TDs and 15 interceptions in 14 games dating to the start of 2010.

-- Aaron Hernandez, TE, Patriots (35.1 percent): We like Rob Gronkowski better, and Tom Brady might, too, but when the Pats throw for 517 yards, there are plenty of catches to go around. Hernandez had seven receptions for 103 yards and a TD on Monday night, slightly better than Gronkowski's six catches for 86 yards and a score. Both are quality starting options, and both are better than Chad Ochocinco, who had all of one catch in his New England debut.

-- Ben Tate, RB, Texans (33.5 percent): If you own Arian Foster, we're assuming you already have Tate. If not, it might be too late after the latter rushed for 116 yards and a TD on 24 carries against the Colts. Derrick Ward, who was expected to split the carries last week with Foster out, sprained his ankle, allowing Tate to show he can be a featured back. Foster might return this week, and if he does, Tate is a fantasy reserve. Regardless, he's a must-have for anyone who invested a first-round pick on Foster.

-- Nate Burleson, WR, Lions (18.7 percent): He had five catches for 60 yards last week and caught 55 passes for 625 yards and six TDs in 2010. If Matthew Stafford can stay healthy, Burleson should be productive enough to consider a low-end No. 3 fantasy receiver.

-- Jermaine Gresham, TE, Bengals (8.4 percent): Is it me, or are there more quality tight ends than ever before (no jokes please)? Greshman had six receptions for 58 yards and a TD last week, and he caught 52 passes as a rookie last season.

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Monday, September 12, 2011

Fantasy football: Cam Newton reaction

Imagine stepping into the cluttered mind of Steve Smith.

The 32-year-old Panthers receiver, once a stud, had all of 46 receptions for 554 yards and two touchdowns last season. There were four reasons for the poor numbers: Jimmy Clausen, Matt Moore, Brian St. Pierre and Tony Pike.

As Ken Lucas will tell you, Smith is not to be messed with. It's a safe assumption Clausen was more than a little terrified during his terrible rookie season of 2010.

Enter Cam Newton. Return to fantasy relevance for Smith.

I think the latter is the biggest development from Newton's huge day Sunday at Arizona. The 2011 No. 1 overall draft pick completed 24 of 37 passes for 422 yards, two TDs and one interception. He also rushed for 18 yards and a score.

The yards are the most ever for a rookie on opening day.

Newton's huge game undoubtedly will result in many owners rushing to acquire him on the waiver wire this week, since he went undrafted in many formats.

I can't disagree with anyone who wants Newton as a backup, but if you're hoping he will be your starter, you should make such a move with vastly reduced expectations.

Sunday undoubtedly will be Newton's best game of 2011. It occurred against a Cardinals defense that ranked 23rd against the pass last season.

Newton is relevant in fantasy for the first time, but that doesn't make him a No. 1 fantasy QB.

The fact that we can expect him to be decent this season, though, elevates Smith from a lower-level No. 3 receiver in a 12-team league to at least a low-end No. 2.

Sunday, Smith had eight catches for 178 yards and two TDs. The scores were from 77 and 26 yards out.

Consider that last year Smith never had more than 85 yards receiving in a game. He surpassed 50 yards in a contest four times in 14 chances, and he had more than five catches once. He has as many TDs in 2011 as he did in 2010.

You get the point.

Maybe 2010 wasn't a sign of him losing a step.

Maybe it was the fact his QBs were terrible.

And maybe he'll much more closely resemble the player who averaged 88 receptions for 1,288 yards and eight TDs from 2005 to '08 than the one who was so angry on the sideline last year Ken Lucas -- who wasn't even in the NFL in 2010 -- was petrified.

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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Fantasy football: Peyton Manning replacement options

Before we address the latest in the Peyton Manning saga, a quick disclaimer.

I was wrong. Manning's streak of 227 consecutive starts, including the playoffs, will end Sunday because of a third neck surgery in the last 19 months. So much for a third-round value pick.

ESPN reported the typical recovery for such a procedure is 8 to 10 weeks, and the Colts said in a news release Thursday they won't place Manning on injured reserve.

If you have Manning, you should keep him on your roster for the time being unless you absolutely can't afford to reserve a spot for a player who won't help you until, at best, mid-November.

If you drafted Manning and are scrambling for a starter this week, here are five possible replacements. All are available in more than 75 percent of the leagues on

1. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Bills (owned in 24.1 percent of the ESPN leagues): Fitzpatrick threw for 3,000 yards and 23 touchdowns in 13 games last season. Sunday, Buffalo will play at Kansas City, which ranked 17th defending the pass last season (220 yards allowed per game, 23 TD passes by the opposition).

2. Kerry Collins, Colts (3.7 percent): The 38-year-old won't be able to fill Manning's sizable shoes, but he certainly can be adequate. In 10 games last year for the Titans, Collins threw for 1,823 yards, 14 TDs and eight interceptions. In Tennessee's 31-17 win Dec. 19 over the Texans, Sunday's opponent, he was 14 of 24 for 233 yards, two TDs and one pick. The Texans should be improved against the pass this season -- they couldn't get any worse -- but they should still be generous to opposing QBs. In 2010, Houston allowed a league-worst 4,280 yards passing, gave up 8.2 yards per attempt (the second-worst in the league) and 33 TD tosses (tied with the Cowboys for the most).

3. Matt Hasselbeck, Titans (10.1 percent): Hasselbeck hasn't been good the last three seasons (a combined 34 TDs and 44 picks in 35 games), but he gets to face a Jaguars defense that ranked 28th vs. the pass in 2010 (4,004 yards). The Jags tied for 26th in the league by yielding 28 scoring passes last season.

4. Rex Grossman, Redskins (2.7 percent): In three games after replacing Donovan McNabb in 2010, Grossman threw for 840 yards, seven TDs and four picks. The Giants, however, aren't a very good matchup. New York was the NFL's No. 9 pass defense (3,352 yards), but the G-Men did allow 24 TD tosses.

5. Jason Campbell, Raiders (22.9 percent): Campbell's passing numbers were nothing to brag about last season (2,387 yards, 13 TDs and eight picks), but the same goes for Denver's defense. The Broncos, who will play host to the Raiders on Monday night, ranked 25th against the pass, allowing 3,780 yards and 26 TD passes. The latter number tied for 24th in the league in 2010.

If you're thinking more long term, I would rank the five QBs in this order for the rest of the season: 1. Fitzpatrick, 2. Collins, 3. Grossman, 4. Hasselbeck, 5. Campbell.

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Friday, September 2, 2011

2011 fantasy football rankings: Kickers and defenses/special teams

If you are a fan of the quick slants we've done at the end of the first three sets of rankings this week, we've got bad news for you: The kickers, defenses and special teams don't get quick slants.

Jim Tressel isn't here anymore. We don't treat special teams as if it's the most important aspect of football.

If we've disappointed you, hopefully this will cheer you up: Links to the rankings for the quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers and tight ends.

Enjoy. And now the final two starting spots in your fantasy lineup you fill on draft day ...

Rank, player, team FG, 40+, PAT, Pts
1. Nate Kaeding, SD 23-28, 10-14, 40-40, 109
2. Sebastian Janikowski, Oak 33-41, 12-19, 43-43, 142
3. Neil Rackers, Hou 27-30, 8-11, 43-43, 124
4. Stephen Gostkowski, NE 10-13, 2-4, 26-26, 56
5. Matt Bryant, Atl 28-31, 9-11, 44-44, 128
6. Mason Crosby, GB 22-28, 10-14, 46-46, 112
7. Josh Brown, StL 33-39, 10-13, 26-27, 125
8. Rob Bironas, Ten 24-26, 10-11, 38-38, 110
9. Alex Henery, Phi ROOKIE
10. Billy Cundiff, Bal 26-29, 7-9, 39-39, 117
11. Adam Vinatieri, Ind 26-28, 9-10, 51-51, 129
12. Jay Feely, Ari 24-27, 10-13, 29-29, 101
13. Robbie Gould, Chi 25-30, 7-11, 35-35, 110
14. Nick Folk, NYJ 30-39, 5-11, 37-37, 127
15. David Akers, SF 32-38, 10-14, 47-47, 143
16. Garrett Hartley, NO 20-25, 8-9, 40-40, 100
17. David Buehler, Dal 24-32, 12-17, 42-44, 114
18. Dan Carpenter, Mia 30-41, 15-26, 25-25, 115
19. Ryan Longwell, Min 17-18, 2-2, 30-31, 81
20. Lawrence Tynes, NYG 19-23, 5-7, 43-43, 100

Rank, team Pts-TD-Sacks-TO
1. Steelers 14.5-4-48-35
2. Packers 15.0-4-47-32
3. Jets 19.0-5-40-30
4. Eagles 23.6-3-39-34
5. Ravens 16.9-4-27-27
6. Patriots 19.6-9-36-38
7. Bears 17.9-4-34-35
8. Saints 19.2-2-33-25
9. Chargers 20.1-3-47-22
10. Giants 21.7-0-46-39
11. Lions 23.1-4-44-29
12. Chiefs 20.4-4-39-23
13. Falcons 18.0-5-31-31
14. Cowboys 27.2-7-35-30
15. Dolphins 20.8-1-39-19
16. Raiders 23.2-7-47-24
17. Vikings 21.8-3-31-25
18. Rams 20.5-0-43-26
19. 49ers 21.6-5-36-22
20. Cardinals 27.1-12-33-30

Note: For kickers, 40+ are the kicker’s makes and attempts from 40 yards or more. ... For defenses and special teams, points allowed are per-game averages. TD totals are defensive and special-team touchdowns. TO is turnovers forced. ... Statistics are from the 2010 season.

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Thursday, September 1, 2011

2011 fantasy football rankings: Wide receivers and tight ends

A few quick notes before the rankings:

-- We updated our running back rankings with the news Wednesday night that Arian Foster's hamstring injury might be more serious than we originally thought. The first round -- after Adrian Peterson -- is as dicey as ever.

-- We'll break down three of the biggest issues owners will face early in the draft -- Foster's injury, Chris Johnson's holdout and Peyton Manning trying to recover from neck surgery -- in a column this weekend in the print editions of The News-Herald and at

-- For the quarterback rankings, click here. For the running backs, go here.

On to the wideouts and tight ends:

Rank, player, team GP-Rec-Yds-TD
1. Andre Johnson, Hou 13-86-1,216-8
2. Roddy White, Atl 16-115-1,389-10
3. Calvin Johnson, Det 15-77-1,120-12
4. Larry Fitzgerald, Ari 16-90-1,137-6
5. Greg Jennings, GB 16-76-1,265-12
6. Hakeem Nicks, NYG 13-79-1,052-11
7. Reggie Wayne, Ind 16-111-1,355-6
8. Mike Wallace, Pit 16-60-1,257-10
9. Miles Austin, Dal 16-69-1,041-7
10. Vincent Jackson, SD 5-14-248-3
11. DeSean Jackson, Phi 14-47-1,056-6
12. Dez Bryant, Dal 12-45-561-6
13. Dwayne Bowe, KC 16-72-1,162-15
14. Brandon Lloyd, Den 16-77-1,448-11
15. Mike Williams, TB 16-65-964-11
16. Brandon Marshall, Mia 14-86-1,014-3
17. Wes Welker, NE 15-86-848-7
18. Marques Colston, NO 15-84-1,023-7
19. Steve Johnson, Buf 16-82-1,073-10
20. Santonio Holmes, NYJ 12-52-746-6
21. Anquan Boldin, Bal 16-64-837-7
22. Jeremy Maclin, Phi 16-70-964-10
23. Percy Harvin, Min 14-71-868-5
24. Mario Manningham, NYG 16-60-944-9
25. Santana Moss, Was 16-93-1,115-6
26. Chad Ochocinco, NE 14-67-831-4
27. Austin Collie, Ind 9-58-649-8
28. Sidney Rice, Sea 6-17-280-2
29. Pierre Garcon, Ind 14-67-784-6
30. Steve Smith, Car 14-46-554-2
31. Kenny Britt, Ten 12-42-775-9
32. Mike Thomas, Jac 16-66-820-4
33. Julio Jones, Atl ROOKIE
34. Malcom Floyd, SD 11-37-717-6
35. Lance Moore, NO 16-66-763-8
36. Braylon Edwards, SF 16-53-904-7
37. Johnny Knox, Chi 16-51-960-5
38. Hines Ward, Pit 16-59-755-5
39. A.J. Green, Cin ROOKIE
40. Danny Amendola, StL 16-85-689-3
41. Mike Sims-Walker, StL 14-43-562-7
42. Davone Bess, Mia 16-79-820-5
43. Michael Crabtree, SF 16-55-741-6
44. Plaxico Burress, NYJ DID NOT PLAY
45. Jordy Nelson, GB 16-45-582-2
46. Jacoby Ford, Oak 16-25-470-2
47. Jerome Simpson, Cin 5-20-277-3
48. Mike Williams, Sea 14-65-751-2
49. Nate Burleson, Det 14-55-625-6
50. Steve Breaston, KC 13-47-718-1
51. James Jones, GB 16-50-679-5
52. Deion Branch, NE 15-61-818-6
53. Roy Williams, Chi 15-37-530-5
54. Lee Evans, Bal 13-37-578-4
55. Robert Meachem, NO 16-44-638-5
56. Donald Driver, GB 15-51-565-4
57. Emmanuel Sanders, Pit 13-28-376-2
58. Derrick Mason, NYJ 16-61-802-7
59. Danario Alexander, StL 8-20-306-1
60. Antonio Brown, Pit 9-16-167-0

Note: Statistics are from the 2010 season.

Quick slants: Andre Johnson had a "down" 2010 after averaging 108 receptions for 1,572 yards and eight TDs in 2008 and '09. ... White has had at least 83 receptions for 1,153 yards or more in each of the last four years. ... Jennings had a big season after totaling only 13 TDs in '08 and '09. ... Calvin Johnson had big 2008 and '10 seasons, but had a combined nine TDs in '07 and '09. Hopefully, it's not an odd-year thing. ... Prior to last year, Fitzgerald had three consecutive seasons with at least 96 receptions and 10 TDs. ... The Colts' Wayne seems underrated, if that's possible, on some websites. He has had 100 catches or more in three straight seasons, and he has seven consecutive 1,000-yard campaigns. ... In 2009, the Chargers' Jackson had 68 receptions for 1,167 yards and nine TDs. ... The Dolphins' Marshall could provide huge value as a No. 2 fantasy receiver if he returns to his form from 2007-09, in which he had 101 catches or more and 1,120 yards or more each year. He had 23 combined TDs in that span.

Rank, player, team GP-Rec-Yds-TD
1. Antonio Gates, SD 10-50-782-10
2. Dallas Clark, Ind 6-37-347-3
3. Jason Witten, Dal 16-94-1,002-9
4. Vernon Davis, SF 16-56-914-7
5. Jermichael Finley, GB 5-21-301-1
6. Owen Daniels, Hou 11-38-471-2
7. Kellen Winslow, TB 16-66-730-5
8. Jimmy Graham, NO 15-31-356-5
9. Tony Gonzalez, Atl 16-70-656-6
10. Brandon Pettigrew, Det 16-71-722-4
11. Marcedes Lewis, Jac 16-58-700-10
12. Zach Miller, Sea 15-60-685-5
13. Rob Gronkowski, NE 16-42-546-10
14. Dustin Keller, NYJ 16-55-687-5
15. Chris Cooley, Was 16-77-849-3
16. Greg Olsen, Car 16-41-404-5
17. Tony Moeaki, KC 15-47-556-3
18. Brent Celek, Phi 16-42-511-4
19. Aaron Hernandez, NE 14-45-563-6
20. Todd Heap, Ari 13-40-599-5

Quick slants: Gates played all 64 games between 2006 and '09, and had ridiculous numbers in 2010, considering he played 10 games. ... Clark, the No. 2 tight end, is also coming off an injury-plagued year. He had a monster 2009 (100 receptions for 1,106 yards and 10 TDs). ... You shouldn't have to worry about injury if you take Witten, who has played in all 64 games the last four years and posted at least 81 receptions and 952 yards each season. The drawback: He has averaged 5.5 TDs per season in that span. ... The Packers' Finley is an injury risk (18 games played since 2009), but he is very good when healthy (76 receptions for 977 yards and six TDs in that span). ... The 49ers' Davis had 78 catches for 965 yards and 13 TDs in 2009. ... After Davis, there is a pretty big drop. The Texans' Daniels -- the consensus No. 6 tight end in fantasy -- has all of 17 TDs in five years. ... The Falcons' Gonzalez could provide late-round value at age 35. He's ranked as a backup tight end on some sites, but he's much better than the likes of Greg Olsen. Though Gonzo had his lowest yardage total since 1998, his second NFL season, he still had 70 catches and six TDs. ... Don't overrate the Jaguars' Lewis, who, prior to his breakout 2010, had seven TDs in four years and had never had more than 41 receptions or 518 yards.

NEXT: Kickers and defenses/special teams

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