Wide Receivers - 2006 Fantasy Final

We're continuing the final analysis of fantasy players from the 2006 fantasy season. Today, we focus upon the wide receivers where we list the best of '06 based upon performance.



1. Marvin Harrison - Harrison can do it all and is quickly being considered as one of the best wide receivers to ever play the game. Although Harrison didn't score a TD until week 5, Marvin's numbers aren't slowing and is on pace to set several NFL records as long as he continues to stay healthy and play in Indianapolis - especially with Peyton throwing him the ball. Harrison's all-around statistics (95 grabs for 1366 yards with 12 TDs) boosted him to the top spot of all NFL wide receivers for 2006. Confident owners who stuck with Harrison were rewarded with 6 TDs in the Colts' final 3 games (weeks 15-17 - the fantasy playoffs).

2. Terrell Owens - Terrell Owens developed a fine chemistry with replacement quarterback Tony Romo and had a great season (especially since fantasy football doesn't count distractions to his NFL team or dropped passes). But sticking to the positive, Owens produced with 13 TDs (to lead all NFL wide receivers), 85 grabs, and nice yardage in an offense that likes to run the ball. Fantasy owners who trusted in Owens ability weren't disappointed...and landed the #2 producing fantasy wide receiver on the board.

3. Torry Holt - Holt keeps catching the ball...which often leads to great things. With an accurate passer like Marc Bulger in a pass friendly offense, a talented guy like Torry Holt is going to catch close to 100 balls and be a leading wide receiver. All Holt did in '06 was what he has done every year...catch the ball, put up yardage, and score touchdowns - no surprise here.

4. Reggie Wayne - Most unfamiliar with the Colts didn't believe the 1A and 1B analysis/prediction given to Reggie Wayne and Marvin Harrison. But, it proved itself out on the field most of the season. QB Peyton Manning is excellent at reading matchups and taking what opposing defenses give him. As defenses guarded Harrison, Manning went Wayne's direction (as seen early in the season)...and as defenses adjusted back toward Wayne, Manning went back to Harrison (as seen in later in the season). If not for Harrison's 6 TDs in Indy's final 3 games, it could have been Wayne in the FFL WR top slot. Regardless, both Wayne and Harrison had very similar stats in 2006 and owners who gambled on playing both were heavily rewarded.

5. Steve Smith - Smith missed the first 2 games and struggled early with a Carolina team that had trouble putting points on the board. In fact, Smith didn't make our top WR list through the first half of the season with just 2 TDs through week 9. But Smith came on in the 2nd half and put up several scores to match his yardage totals. Ultimately, Steve Smith finished the season among the top 5 of fantasy wide receivers...but was still a slight disappointment who had him ranked in the top WR spot at draft time.

6. Javon Walker - Jake Plummer had only 4 TDs through the first 6 games and Walker was looking like a real reach. But then something happened...Walker took off as Plummer got better. Then something else happened...Plummer got worse and was replaced by rookie QB Jay Cutler. Walker caught only 69 balls on the season with just 3 100 yd games, but he adjusted to 2 different QBs and still put up almost 1100 yards with 9 TDs. Walker came off a major knee injury that had him sidelined last season, but he proved that he's capable of his breakout numbers from 2004...although other factors kept him from achieving those numbers in '06.

7. Plaxico Burress - Plax had only 63 grabs, but he made the most of each and every catch. Known as the "Big Play Guy", Burress had a highlight film catch in nearly every game. The nearly 1000 receiving yards and 10 TDs were modest for his ability, but Burress was still a value for his fantasy owners.

8. Darrell Jackson - When DJax is on the field, he's the man in the Seattle wide receiving corps...period. And it didn't seem to matter whether it was Matt Hasselbeck or backup Seneca Wallace at the reigns - Jackson was the key target. Jackson scored in 9 of the 13 games he played. The problem for Jackson and his fantasy owners was that he missed the last 3 games of the regular season (the fantasy playoffs). Keep DJ on the field, and he's surprisingly consistent regardless of team chemistry or the scoreboard...but he has to be on the field to produce.

9. Donald Driver - At times, Brett Favre to Donald Driver seemed to be the only offense for the Green Bay Packers...which is why Driver was a productive fantasy player. Driver had a huge number of grabs (92) and put up a whopping 1295 yards, but made it into the endzone only 8 times...okay, but not great considering the number of catches and yardage.

10. Lee Evans - Ditto Donald Driver's stats, but with 10 less catches. And also similiar to the situation with Driver, Lee Evans was often the only bright spot in the passing game in Buffalo. Even better for Evans fantasy owners was the fact that most didn't have to give up much to get a top ten fantasy WR. Perhaps the best thing about Evans for fantasy owners still in the mix was that he scored his TDs in the 2nd half of the season...after scoring just once in his first 7 games.

11. T.J. Houshmandzadeh - Although Housh missed Cincy's first 2 games, he was the early TD target at the receiving end of Carson Palmer's passes. The tosses T.J.'s way didn't slow down (he caught 90 for the year) as Palmer consistently looked his way with success. Even as Chad Johnson came on with a couple of huge games, it was Housh who was the possession receiver that was somehow able to continue his dominance in the Cincy receiving game down the stretch. T.J. Houshmandzadeh was 90 for 1081 with 9 TDs in 2006...not too bad for a number 2 wide receiver!

12. Chad Johnson - As mentioned, it was Houshmandzadeh early for the Bengals (largely due to the presence of CJ). But then Chad Johnson came on like gangbusters and blew things open for the Cincy offense with several huge plays. Johnson's 1370 yards led the league (4 yards ahead of Harrison), but CJ was somehow kept out of the endzone as he caught only 7 of his 87 passes for TDs. Although fantasy owners were heavily rewarded by Chad Johnson in a couple of huge scoring games (he caught 17 balls for 450 yards and 5 of his 7 TDs in weeks 10-11), owners were left disappointed most of the season with Johnson...who was thought to be one of the top 3 wide receivers going into the year.

13. Roy Williams - ROY is an amazing talent at wide receiver and finally had an offensive coordinator who brought out some of his ability. Williams may be only at number 13 in wide receiving fantasy stats, but he may be the most talented of the group. It's just too bad that the Detroit Lions didn't have the support for Williams to further showcase his talent. The lack of surrounding scoring threats in Detroit's offense had opposing defenses keying on Williams and led to a severe red-zone drought for ROY (to the tune of 6 straight games without a score).


Top Fantasy Wide Receivers 2006



Rec Yards


Marvin Harrison
Terrell Owens
Torry Holt

Reggie Wayne




Steve Smith
8, 1(run)
Javon Walker
8, 1(run)

Plaxico Burress




Darrell Jackson
Donald Driver
Lee Evans
T.J. Houshmandzadeh
Chad Johnson
Roy Williams

* Smith added 8 rushes for 61 yards (including a TD)

** Walker added 9 rushes for 123 yards (including a TD)


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