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Posts tagged “Dwayne Bowe

Top Wide Receivers for Next Year

Here are my top 10 Wide Receivers for the 2011 season.

1)Andre Johnson- The guy missed 3 games and played the majority of the season on a bum ankle and still racked up 86 receptions, 1216 yards and 8 tds. Arian Foster helps take some heat off the passing game giving Matt Schaub more time to look downfield at AJ. He averaged over 10 targets per game this season. Expect a healthy Johnson to post huge numbers once again, double digit touchdowns and a 1,500 yard+ season.

2) Calvin Johnson- In 3 games with Matthew Stafford he had 14 receptions, 169 yards and 3 tds. Extrapolate that over a season and you are looking at 77 receptions, 901 yards and 18 tds and I fully believe that to be on the very low end of the spectrum in terms of yards and receptions. Johnson is a freak of nature and given a little time to build a rapport with Stafford, I wouldn’t be surprised if they become the most feared duo in the NFL. I expect 12+ tds and at least 1,200 receiving yards this year.

3) Hakeem Nicks- I admit that I am a Giants fan and this might seem biased but I have seen the rapport he has with Eli Manning and this guy gets targets…. a lot of them. He had 128 targets on the year in the 13 games that he played. In those 13 games he had 79 receptions for 1052 yards and 11 tds. I’ve spent plenty of time watching Nicks and he is the red zone target in a pretty proficient offense. Manning likes to take chances downfield and Nicks is often the beneficiary, expect big things this season.

4) Roddy White- He had a bit of a dry spell near the end of the season but the targets were still coming. White led the league in targets with 179. With that many targets, the yards and receptions are bound to come. White has really morphed into a possession receiver with big play potential. He was a PPR monster this year with 115 receptions, 1389 yards and 10 tds. The Falcons offense isn’t changing so expect similar numbers for White this season.

5) Greg Jennings- Jennings had a slow first five games of the season (14 receptions, 183 yards, 3 tds). The rest of the season he caught on fire (62 receptions, 1082 yards, 9 tds). He was one of the hottest receivers through that span and he is developing truly elite chemistry with QB Aaron Rodgers.  He is a huge downfield threat but has also become a threat in the short game. The Packers may have found a legitimate rushing threat in James Starks which will only help the passing game. I see big numbers for Jennings this season.

6) Brandon Lloyd- I know he was the number one receiver this year but a lot of people are expecting a big drop off for Lloyd with Tebow at the helm and a restructured Broncos team. I like Tebow as a quarterback. The threat of Tebow tucking the ball and running makes defenses dedicated more defenders to the line of scrimmage to keep an eye on him. This opens up the secondary and creates more downfield passing opportunities which happens to be Lloyd’s specialty. In the 3 games that Tebow started, Lloyd had 14 receptions for 263 yards and 2 tds. Stretch that over a season and it turns into 75 receptions for 1403 yards and 11 tds. Those are nearly identical to his total numbers from this year (77 receptions, 1448 yards, 11 tds). This shows that there is no drop off in Lloyd’s production when Tebow is quarterback versus Orton. I hope that Tebow stays the starter. There was a fire in the Broncos when Tebow was starting, a fire that was just never there with Orton. Regardless of the starting QB, Lloyd should be a very good wide receiver again.

7) Dwayne Bowe- He had a historic stretch in the middle of season. In a 6 game stretch Bowe had 43 receptions, 625 yards and 13 tds. Keeping that up for a season would have been impossible and don’t expect that kind of production next season. Then again, don’t expect the 3 games stretch with 3 receptions and 56 yards to be the norm either. Matt Cassel has proven his ability to shred porous defenses and as he becomes more comfortable with the Chiefs he should be able to grow as a quarterback and get rid of the horrific outings that marred his season. Expect Bowe and Cassel to grow as a duo and Bowe is still a fantastic leaper so the touchdowns will come.

8 ) Reggie Wayne- I keep expecting Wayne to show his age but in his 10th season, he still struck fear into opposing defenses and had a very good season (111 receptions, 1355 yards and 6 tds). He was second in the league in targets with 176. He has one of the top quarterbacks in history throwing to him so the targets will come. I’m expecting Wayne to lose a step at some point but until that happens he is a PPR monster who will put up lots of yards and a smattering of touchdowns. Dallas Clark’s return should take some heat away from Wayne and barring a dramatic injury or drop in his production, I expect Wayne to post very similar numbers to this season. Look for about 100 receptions, 1200 yards and 6-8 tds.

9) Larry Fitzgerald- The Cardinals were plagued by awful quarterbacks. Whether it was Derek Anderson, John Skelton or Max Hall, the Cardinals very rarely had any hint of solid quarterback play. Despite all of this, Fitzgerald still had 90 receptions, for 1137 yards and 6 touchdowns. His 173 targets were third in the league and his 26 red zone targets led the league. Fitzgerald is a special talent and is very nearly the only offensive weapon on the Cardinals. The offense flows through him so expect the ball to go to him often even if it is forced. I expect the numbers seen this year to be the worst you will see from Fitzgerald and even the worst was still pretty good.

10) Kenny Britt- Once again this is higher than most people will rank Britt. I really liked what I saw from Britt in the games where he was fully healthy. At 6’ 3” and 215 pounds, Britt is a matchup nightmare for corners and safeties. He has the size to win a vertical battle but is also physical enough to break tackles and turn a short reception into a long gain. Opposing defenses still have to focus on stopping Chris Johnson which is bound to leave plenty of passing opportunities. Regardless of the quarterbacking situation in Tennessee, I still see plenty of passes for Britt. He will score, the questionable part is whether or not he can rack up the yards or receptions (in PPR leagues) to be a true fantasy stud.

Just missed the cut: Mike Wallace, Dez Bryant, DeSean Jackson, Miles Austin, Mike Williams (TB), Vincent Jackson, Deion Branch (yup I really wrote that, I almost put him in the top 10)

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Sleeper #7

Time for sleeper wide receiver number two (or three I guess if you count Johnny Knox). My second sleeper wide receiver is ……

Dwayne Bowe, WR, Kansas City Chiefs

Photo courtesy of G. Newman Lowrance/Getty Images

Bowe was supposed to finally be able to breakout last season. Matt Cassel was supposed to be the answer at quarterback and his strong-arm and accuracy was supposed to turn Bowe into a fantasy force. Cassel failed to repeat his stunning Brady-fill-in performance and Cassel, Bowe and the Chief’s passing game faded into obscurity. I bet you that some people even wonder if Bowe is still in the league or what has happened to him. Although he fell apart last year, I believe this is the year Bowe lives up to his potential and breaks out for real. I have a couple of reasons to back that up.

1) Charlie Weis. The offensive mastermind comes in from Notre Dame and has the ability to completely revamp the Chiefs’ passing game. Weis’ primary goal is fixing Matt Cassel’s problems and turning him into a more effective quarterback.  Weis has spent a ton of time analyzing Cassel’s film from last year and has been working with him all training camp. Weis even said, “You know I have to look at Matt Cassel all the time, I see him more than my wife. I am kind of tired of looking at him and he is tired of looking at me too.” Improving Cassel’s play can only help Bowe. Weis’ play calling should be a breath of fresh air for the Chiefs’ offense and should lead to more scoring, something that should directly benefit Bowe.

2) Improved conditioning. Bowe came into camp last year out of shape and not as committed to football as he should have been. He was nagged by injuries and commitment issues all season and was never really able to reach his full ability. Reports from this year’s training camp tell a completely different story. Bowe showed up at camp in great shape and with a warrior’s mentality, fully ready to bring his all on the field. Bowe is 6’2″ and weighs 221 pounds giving him enough size to win jump balls as well be a force after he catches the ball. He has also flashed moments of brilliance (see picture above) and generally has very reliable hands. His improved conditioning and spirits should lead to a much more devoted and effective Dwayne Bowe than we saw last year.

3) Improved offense. The Chiefs’ awesome, while not fearsome, is beginning to take shape and has the ability to put up points. The past couple of seasons, the Chiefs have been plagued by an awful running game. It seems like they may have finally cured that problem. They bring in Thomas Jones who is coming off back to back 1300+ yard, 13+ td seasons. They also have Jamaal Charles, who finally was able to get out from LJ’s shadow and proved he could be an elite feature back. From Week 9 on, Charles was the best running back not named Chris Johnson (although Charles and Johnson are very similar in their running style). Charles has home run hitting capability and great hands which make him a threat in the passing game as well. Between Jones and Charles, opposing defenses will have to dedicated a lot of attention to the run game which greatly benefits the Chiefs’ passing attack. The Chiefs have Chris Chambers who is enough of a threat to take some of the heat off Bowe. If Cassel is able to return to anything close to his ’08 Patriots form, then the Chiefs could have a dangerous passing attack.

Fearless Forecast: 90-100 receptions, 1100-1200 yards, 7-9 tds