There are several candidates who could be considered the "best" wide receiver in the NFL, but few pass some requirements before getting on the list. Shockingly enough, you won't find any players from the Arizona Cardinals, Detroit Tigers, Washington Redskins, or the New England Patriots on this list. Which means players like Roy Williams, Santana Moss, Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin, Randy Moss, Calvin Johnson (who hasn't played a game in the NFL anyway), Donte Stallworth, etc. For this list you have to be the #1 "go to" guy in a clutch situation, you have to have a good QB so you and him can make the other better on the playing field, and you have to have the stats on your side...
#5 MARQUES COLSTON- Yeah I know, I've heard all the hype about "Sophomore Slump" and all that, but I've only seen that happen to players taken in the first round who have had great first years, and terrible 2nd years. Colston was a surprise in his first year when he was taken in the 7th round of the 2006 NFL draft. In just his first year Colston had 70 catches for 1,083 yards with 8 touchdowns. He did all this while not being considered the #1 or #2 guy in New Orleans in his first year. But here is a guy who would come through in the clutch when you needed a rally in the 4th quarter. Of his 8 touchdown receptions, 4 of them happened in the 4th quarter. And he also averaged 20.3 yards per catch in the 4th quarter compared to the 13.1 yards per catch in the first 3 quarters. He will be a great talent in the future and will play a huge role in the New Orleans Saints making another playoff run this year.
#4 TERRELL OWENS- I, like most of you, don't really care for T.O. that much because of his attitude in his later years in San Francisco, and his one year in Philadelphia, and his attitude towards Bill Parcells. He is a player all about himself, and a lot of players don't want him on their team, but there's no way you can deny the fact that he is a Primetime Player and has the numbers to back him up. In 2006, he had 85 catches, 1,180 yards, and a league leading 13 touchdowns. Not bad for only playing half of a season in Philly in 2005. But 2007 will be an even bigger year for T.O. With Tony Romo at the QB spot full time instead of Drew "I'll make the Hall of Fame somehow" Bledsoe. I'm lookin' for T.O. to get several more touches than an aging Terry Glenn.
#3 STEVE SMITH- With Keyshaun Johnson getting the boot, I see Steve Smith getting more recognition and more touches this year and make another run at the MVP award, but falling short cause let's face it, the MVP only goes to Running Backs, and Quarterbacks. But Steve Smith will have better numbers compared to even last year's numbers that still stood out a bit. Let's say 83 catches, 1,166 yards, and 9 touchdowns. And all that in only 14 games, now what if he had played a full season without his suspension? And don't worry about Jake Delhomme getting hurt, because even though Delhomme and Smith make a good battery (baseball reference for those of you who have a small vocabulary), David Carr is a starter in a second-string's body, so the numbers will remain high for Smith. I'm seeing a full season and brighter numbers for Smith this year.
#2 CHAD JOHNSON- Yes, the fun-loving Chad Johnson who would entertain with his touchdown celebrations. Some would call him cocky, but he backs it up. He had 87 receptions last year and a league leading 1,369 yards with 7 touchdowns. But he'll have another great season this year though the Bengals didn't do so well last year with their "off the field" distractions. But Johnson should see more touches this year with the Chris Henry suspended for the first 8 games of the season. Though he still plays with T.J. Houshmandzadeh, I project him to still have the great year and overshadow T.J. And let's remember that some guy named Carson Palmer who won some Heisman Trophy in college is their Quarterback, and he threw for only 4,000+ yards last season so we'll see how it goes.
#1 TORRY HOLT- Yes, one player who goes unnoticed a lot is getting the spotlight this year. Holt last year posted 93 catches, 1,188 yards, and 10 touchdowns. Obviously behind T.O. in touchdowns, behind "Ocho Cinco" in yards, and behind Andre Johnson in catches. But Holt is going to be on a great offense this year with Stephen Jackson going #2 in a lot of Fantasy Drafts, and Marc Bulger who will have another Pro Bowl year. Holt will be the #1 guy... and probably #2 seeing as Isaac Bruce is getting old and is the only remaining player on the St. Louis Rams who was on the Los Angeles Rams. Holt's yards will go up significantly, as will the touchdown passes. And the Rams will cruise to an NFC West Division Title over the rest of the field, because... Well there just isn't much competition in the NFC West.
*Sleepers- Andre Johnson, Lee Evans, Joey Galloway, Plaxico Burress, and I'll throw in Calvin Johnson to give him some confidence.
*Over Rated- Donald Driver, Randy Moss, Javon Walker, Santana Moss, and Chris Chambers.