That’s why there’s only two receiver in the top 10 here that hails from the West, the obvious exception being Demaryius Thomas.
Maclin gets the nod, well, because there’s little that Harris has in his arsenal that can truly shut him down. Thomas doesn’t face any elite corners within his division, because the only one is a Bronco.
Amari Cooper gets in, for a few reasons. Most importantly, no team has a true scouting report on him. Not even the Raiders, who drafted him fourth overall. Second, Cooper is a different breed. A throwback to the days of Tim Brown and Jerry Rice, where the art of creating separation was at it’s peak. Cooper, as we’ve seen, will do it versus anyone.
What makes Cooper even more fascinating that Brown and Rice, he has speed that dumps on Rice and Brown. His acceleration out of breaks is other-worldly. And he faces Harris twice in 2015. But the information Harris will have is insufficient to beat him.
It’s also important to remember that there is a new group of young and extremely talented receivers entering the NFL. Many of whom, despite the ridiculous production last season, haven’t gotten started yet.
Stills and Landry will fight for targets but without Wallace and tight end Charles Clay in town. That’s significant, and Clay is probably the biggest factor there. He accounted for 84 targets last season, nearly as many as Landry, and Ryan Tannehill will probably steer more his way.
Landry had more yard per route run (1.74) than Wallace, Sammy Watkins, Keenan Allen and Torrey Smith last season, and has less competition for looks than the whole list. And arguably the best quarterback situation.
What’s more, Landry will likely be drafted after all of them, and possibly into the 10th round or later.
He epitomizes what I look for in a fantasy receiver: extreme value, an unbeatable situation, and skills to pay the… You know. Landry also, despite the addition of Ndamukong Suh, doesn’t play for a team with an elite defense.
It’s important to not let the abundance of players at the wide receiver position make you think the position isn’t as important. If anything, it’s more important than ever. In order to win, a team needs a receiver in the top 10 within your scoring system, and three within the top 25.
There’s some serious parity here, and it’s going to be tough to battle through all the information and figure out who will play the best. It’s not that far out of the question that it will all depend on health and schedule. But the factors above are the one’s you should rely on first.