This is a passing league now more than ever and them yards need to go somewhere. Wide receivers have a reputation of being "divas" and have given us some of the most larger-than-life characters in league history. However, what is there going to be bragging about when every team has three 1,000-yard receivers?
That's an exaggeration to a point, but there won't be a lack of good receiver plays this year. It's going to be difficult to look at some of those names on the waiver wire and not pick them up, struggling with who to drop and whether or not it's worth it. It's something that we need to keep an eye on each and every week, and that's why you're here right now. You're not here for the cake, because it's carrot.
(Sorry carrot cake. <3 you!)
These are the Week 1 wide receiver performances that had the biggest impact, good and bad:
Stephen Hill against the Bills (GREAT)
When I previewed the Jets for fantasy football, it was a reminder of just how big and fast Hill really is. If he had proven to have great hands and route-running ability, he would have been an elite prospect. Those issues didn't show in Week 1, or at least didn't stop him from gaining 89 yards and two touchdowns against the Bills.
His "bad hands" didn't show as he caught 5 of 6 targets from Mark Sanchez. Someone caught 5 of 6 targets from Mark Sanchez!!
When I picked up Hill Monday in Yahoo! he was 6 percent owned and that's up to 13 percent as I write this. I think that when you consider that he takes over Plaxico Burress' role, that he just looks like a top receiver, and that he was targeted more than anyone other than Santonio Holmes, he's got to be owned. Will he grab two touchdowns every week? No. Will he have some lows? Probably. Is he talented enough to take a chance on? I definitely think so.
I was hyping Wayne before the year because while he's old for most wide receivers, he's not too old for elite wide receivers. Andrew Luck is far superior to anyone who threw the ball to him last season when he had 960 yards and four touchdowns.
Luck targeted Wayne 18 times on Sunday, eight more than anyone else. He caught nine for 135 yards, the most he's had since Dec. 5, 2010. Wayne faces the Vikings in Week 2.
Brandon Marshall against the Colts (GOOD)
In the same game, Jay Cutler looked for his old buddy Brandon 15 times, and Marshall finished with nine catches for 119 yards and a touchdown. Marshall is on his way back to a 100-catch season and is a top red zone target. The Bears face the Packers next week and Green Bay might not have anyone who can cover Marshall.
Breakout season for the second-year wideout? Not even close to that yet, as he just got "WEEDEN'D" Little was targeted four times and had zero catches. No Cleveland player had more than three catches and it was ugly all around as Travis Benjamin caught 1 of 6 targets and Mohamed Massaquoi caught 3 of 8. It doesn't look wise to own any Browns wide receivers as of now.
After missing basically all of 2011, Amendola came back and quickly proved to be Bradford's favorite player again. He targeted his best friend nine times and Amendola caught five passes for 70 yards. I could see Amendola getting upwards of 120 targets this year, which could turn into something like 70-80 catches.
St. Louis faces the Redskins in Week 2 and Amendola would only be a flex play in a deeper PPR league, but is worth owning in all deep leagues. He's one to watch and 43 percent owned in Yahoo! Leagues as of this writing.
It's probably nothing to be worried about, but Lloyd was targeted a team-high eight times while Welker got just five looks and three catches for 14 yards. It's encouraging for Lloyd owners, but shouldn't be a big concern for Welker owners. They should both get theirs as the season goes on.
It goes on against the Cardinals in Week 2.
A team-high 10 targets for McCluster? Huh.
I love McCluster and not just because of his name. If he can transition into being a true wide receiver, he's got huge-play potential and I could definitely see him turning into a mini-Steve Smith. That's pretty mini, since they are both small, but McCluster is electric in the open field and he caught six passes for 82 yards. Meanwhile, Dwayne Bowe caught just 3 of 6 targets.
The worst news would be if you thought that Baldwin was ready to breakout. Baldwin didn't play much Sunday and got zero targets. Romeo Crennel said he's fine, but he's learning a new role in the offense. He should be 0 percent owned for now. McCluster is only 11 percent owned in Yahoo! Leagues and that could be soaring this season.
Justin Blackmon against the Vikings (BAD) Cecil Shorts (SLEEPER?)
The rookie did not have a very big day and was targeted just six times, catching three passes for 24 yards. This is a good reminder that rookie wide receivers usually take time and don't take the league by storm like we expect. Interesting was the seven targets to Cecil Shorts (and the amazing touchdown grab to nearly win the game) which could mean that Shorts and Laurent Robinson (team-high nine targets) are going to be the most productive at the moment.
I like Blackmon a lot in the long term, and we can't learn a whole lot from just one game, but this wasn't the kind of start you were hoping for if you started Blackmon. Shorts is 0 percent owned and probably will stay that way unless he has another big game against the Texans in Week 2.
I was curious in my Saints preview if either Moore or Henderson could step up this season in the absence of Robert Meachem. I certainly prefer Moore as the most dependable option and that showed in Week 1. He was targeted 10 times and caught six passes for 120 yards and a touchdown. Meanwhile, Drew Brees looked Henderson's way just twice.
It was Moore's best game since Week 2 of 2010. Henderson will probably have those times when he grabs a 75-yard touchdown or whatnot, but that's not predictable so it's hard to start him in any given week. Moore is forcing himself into the conversation of an every-week starter though if he continues to draw double-digit targets.
There were 42 passes from Aaron Rodgers and they all went to just five players. Jermichael Finley led the team in targets (11) but interesting was that Randall Cobb had nine of his own. Oh, and Cobb caught all nine of them for 77 yards.
Greg Jennings and Jordy Nelson were disappointments with 34 and 64 yards. Does that mean that Cobb just surpassed those two? Not a chance. But it is interesting and he did everything asked of him, perhaps forcing himself into the conversation to get a lot of attention from the league's best quarterback. That's huge.
They face a tough Bears defense in Week 2.
A quick reminder that not only did Ogletree have eight catches for 114 yards and two touchdowns on Wednesday, but that he had 11 targets. More than twice as many as any other Cowboys receiver.
He hasn't quite surpassed the top two guys in fantasy, but he could be even more productive than Laurent Robinson was for Dallas last year. Flash in the pan? Maybe. But Romo seems to really like this pan and will continue to flash it for now. They face the Seahawks next week, a difficult matchup.