As we have discussed many times here, our division is replete with excellent wide receivers. Our debates about which team has the best group are good because a strong case can be made for the Giants', Cowboys' and Eagles' receivers. And the Redskins' group looks to be improved through free agency.
So, since this is fantasy week here at the NFC East blog, I thought we'd take a look at how the division's wideouts stack up against each other in the preseason rankings by our fantasy football experts. These are the NFC East receivers, with their projected fantasy rankings:
10. Victor Cruz, Giants
18. Miles Austin, Cowboys
27. DeSean Jackson, Eagles
43. Rueben Randle, Giants
51. Leonard Hankerson, Redskins
73. Josh Morgan, Redskins
78. Santana Moss, Redskins
84. Jerrel Jernigan, Giants
108. Jason Avant, Eagles
111. Kevin Ogletree, Cowboys
122. Riley Cooper, Eagles
126. Anthony Armstrong, Redskins
132. Andre Holmes, Cowboys
— At first glance, it's pretty clear the fantasy folks would take the Giants' receivers in that aforementioned debate. Both starters rank in the top 10 and Randle, the rookie out of LSU who could be the No. 3 receiver, ranks higher than any other NFC East team's No. 3. I don't see how you can argue with the placement of Nicks and Cruz over any other receivers in the division, coming off the year they had together. But I'm not sold on Randle as the sure-thing No. 3 in New York. He's got to beat out Domenik Hixon and Ramses Barden and Jernigan for the spot. And while that's not impossible, it's also not yet done. A No. 43 ranking makes him a No. 4 wide receiver in 12-team leagues, which means a weekly flex option or the first bye-week replacement option. Again, possible, but we need to see how this shakes out in training camp.
— There is considerably less excitement over any of the No. 3 wide receiver candidates in Dallas, presumably because the Cowboys did not use their second-round pick to draft a player everyone had been watching every Saturday. But whoever gets that job has a chance to move up in the rankings as the season gets closer, I'd think.
— I find it interesting that Bryant ranks ahead of Austin and Maclin ranks ahead of Jackson. I agree with those relative rankings, but I do find it interesting. Certainly, it wouldn't be surprising to see either or both of those situations turn out in reverse. Kind of like it wouldn't be a huge shock if Cruz outperformed Nicks.
— I understand he's coming off a lousy year, but Santana Moss is currently listed first on Mike Shanahan's depth chart at the wide receiver position opposite Garcon. That's not me speculating. That's a fact. And Hankerson and Morgan aren't healthy yet. I'm taking tight end Fred Davis to lead the Redskins in catches, but I would not be one bit surprised if Moss had the most among wide receivers.
— The ADP (average draft position) data at this site indicates that Cruz and Bryant are going the highest among NFC East wide receivers in mock drafts, each being picked, on average, with one of the final picks of the third round. Nicks is going early fourth, Austin late fourth and Jackson and Maclin mid-fifth. Garcon is going early in the eighth round, Moss in the middle of the 10th and Randle early in the 14th. The Redskins' guys are the sleepers of the bunch, clearly, but Maclin in the mid-fifth would be a pretty nice pick, I think.