Fantasy Football 2011: Where Will Free Agent Wide Receivers End Up?

July 14 3:53am
Chet Gresham

So who needs a wide receiver? Come get your wide receivers, free agented wide receivers here! Fresh off a newly voted on CBA! (Please oh please!) I know some of you NFL teams are champing at the bit (yes, that’s the correct term, look it up) for some new receiver blood and others of you are just curious as to what might be out there. So let’s see, who wants to take a look at my wares? The Washington Redskins, Carolina Panthers, Cleveland Browns, Seattle Seahawks, Jacksonville Jaguars, St. Louis Rams, Chicago Bears, and New York Jets, you all are hungry for some pass catchers. But how much are you willing to spend? Let’s see . . .

Sidney Rice: It’s been hard to get a read on Rice’s value in free agency. I personally see him as a top 10 receiver with the ability to be a top 5, but it will all depend on what happens in free agency. I see him as the best receiver in free agency, but there are quite a few receivers out there which will depress the market somewhat. If the Vikings go ahead and sign a veteran QB like McNabb I think they will spend the money to retain Rice. That nucleus on offense would be a playoff caliber team.

Steve Smith: He’s not supposed to be a free agent, but he has let it be known that he wants out of Carolina and there is a decent chance they will oblige him. As far as fantasy goes, just about anywhere he goes will be an upgrade over the Panthers, but there have been rumors of him going to San Diego! Which would be insane! Why all the exclamation marks you ask? Well, Philip Rivers, Vincent Jackson and Antonio Gates are three exclamation marks and add Steve Smith and you have Air Corleone once again. He’d have to compete for touches, but he’d still be great for fantasy in San Diego.

Plaxico Burress: Teams are going to give him a look see and a lot will depend on how much he has declined physically. His size and ability in the red zone could give him some value, but he was slowing down some before he went to prison. I doubt he’s found the fountain of youth.

Braylon Edwards: Edwards is a tough case. He is obviously talented, but has only flashed that talent off and on. He is known for making some pretty bad drops, but those drops have obscured his upside as a receiver. He can help a team, just not be their #1.

James Jones: Jones was supposed to be the heir to the Driver throne, but just couldn’t make it happen. Instead it looks like Jordy Nelson will be backing up and taking over for Driver as he deteriorates. Jones will have to prove to a team that he can be a solid WR2 in this league. He has play making ability, but also made some bad drops. He might have to end up on a team with little to no QB which is going to hurt his chances.

Randy Moss: Moss is an enigma. He has enough talent, even at his age, to be a productive receiver, but you never know what you are going to get out of him. I really don’t see many of the teams that need receiving help going after him because they aren’t contenders and Moss needs to be on a good team to want to play. Most of the off season speculation has Moss going to the Jets. Rex Ryan likes him and the team is good enough to win. Mark Sanchez may be another story, but they’ll cross that bridge, not me.

Malcom Floyd: Much of Floyd’s status depends on the CBA details. He could be a restricted free agent or the owners could get the right of first refusal, etc and etc.  If he does end up staying in SD the rumors of Steve Smith going there make much less sense.

Steve Breaston: Last season Andre Roberts outplayed Breaston toward the end of the season. Breasty also has a knee that is a bit balky (no not the guy from Perfect Strangers). The Cardinals probably won’t break the bank for him. Todd Haley has a good history with Breaston and could look to bring him to the Chiefs, but that’s speculation (like all of this). He’ll have plenty of suitors, but he’ll have to land in a very good position to have any fantasy worth, which I don’t think he will.

Santana Moss: I’ve heard that the Native Americans should have money to spend on free agents, and we know they’ll spend it wisely. Oh wait, reverse that. They have John Beck as their starter right now so it would probably be a good idea to resign an aging wide receiver, wait, reverse that as well. They should spend on a QB if they want any chance of winning a game this season. So who knows what Dan Snyder’s ego will do. Devin Hester publicly said he would like Santana Moss to become a Chicago style Bear and I think he would be a good fit in Martz’s system. We’ll see.

Jacoby Jones: I’ve always liked Jones, but he just hasn’t been able to put everything together. Coach Kubiak when asked about adding a #2 receiver said he thought the duo of Kevin Walter and Jacoby Jones made a pretty darn good WR2. Not sure I agree, but it looks like they will try their hardest to resign him and splitting looks with Walter will keep him down.

Besides Fanduel.com, Chet has written for the N.Y. Times: Fifth Down Blog, and his own sites Razzball and Third Coast Sports. He is extremely/obsessively active on Twitter and will answer your questions as best he can if you throw them @ChetRazzball.

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