The best four receivers in the AFC East reside on two of the teams, while the other two offer late round value and potential sleeper picks.
1. Randy Moss
No one, outside of Bill Belichick, is happier about the return of Tom Brady. In their only season together, Moss set the all-time TD receiving mark (23) while Brady set the passing (50). Last year, after the loss of Brady in Week one, Moss still managed to eclipse the 1,000 yard mark and put 11 balls across the goal line.
This year, look for a return to the fantasy elite : 1,500 yards and at least 15 TDs.
2. Terrell Owens
If you’re a fan of T.O., make sure you grab him in 2009. He rarely does any damage to both his team or QB in year one, so now’s the time to capitalize on what should be a productive season in Buffalo.
While Edwards is not as talented as Romo, he’s not as erratic either; so while we don’t expect the stellar fantasy numbers Owens has put up throughout his career, 1,200 yards and 10 TDs are certainly within reach.
3. Wes Welker
There’s not a more difficult man to cover underneath in the NFL than Welker. The guy gets in and out of breaks so quickly that he’s often in the soft spot of the defense before the corner back has time to react.
And in 2007, he quickly became Brady’s best friend in third down situations. After amassing another 100 catch season in 2008, look for a repeat of those numbers this season with 1,200 yards and six TDs.
4. Lee Evans
Evans should benefit tremendously from having T.O. on his other side. The extra attention that must be paid to Owens will allow Evans to streak down the sidelines and he’s extremely dangerous on deep routes in one on one situations.
After hauling in just over a thousand yards and three TDs in 2008, look for another thousand yard season in 2009, but over double the amount of TDs with seven.
5. Ted Ginn Jr.
In 2008, Ginn finally began to show some of the promise that made him the ninth overall pick in 2007, by reeling in 56 catches, for 790 yards and two TDs. And throughout the year,while learning Sparano’s system, you began to see him become more confident in his route running and the result was some long gainers.
Look for another step forward this season with a thousand yards and at least five TDs.
6. Jerricho Cotchery
Cotchery is now the man in New York but will surely see his production drop if they go with Sanchez. It’s rarely a wise move, sans Matt Ryan, to expect any fantasy value from a receiver with a rookie QB, and it certainly appears as if that’s what is going to happen.
With the defection of Coles to the Bengals, look for a repeat, or slight drop off, from his 2008’s numbers: 800 yards and five TDs.
Sleeper - Greg Camarillo
Camarillo came on strong last year before suffering a season ending knee injury in Week 12. He became Brady’s (Wes) Welker for Pennington. If he can pick up where he left off before the injury, 55 catches for over 600 yards, this will be a great fantasy sleeper pick in the later rounds.
Moss and Owens are both second round picks in this year’s draft. Welker will be gone by round four, while Evans will slip due to his poor production last season. Ginn, Cotchery and Camarillo will all be fill-ins, i.e. second and most likely third receivers for your teams and can be had later in the draft.