Mining your way to fantasy gold - NFC East WR/TEs Edition

Moving on to the wide outs and tight ends in the NFC East, I take a look at what players you wall to target in your fantasy drafts.  I'm not going to get into great, deep detail about the WRs, but there are a few sleepers to keep an eye on.  It's hard to determine exactly which team has the best receiving corps in the NFC East, but I'd lean towards Philadelphia at this point.  The unit in Philly is ideal for Donovan McNabb.  In terms of tight ends, the edge goes to Dallas.  Here's the WR breakdown.

NFC East WR rankings

  1. Roy Williams DAL
  2. Santana Moss WAS
  3. DeSean Jackson PHI
  4. Jeremy Maclin PHI
  5. Hakeem Nicks NYG
  6. Patrick Crayton DAL

After the jump, the tight end rankings, and I forecast the positions...

NFC East TE rankings

  1. Jason Witten DAL
  2. Chris Cooley WAS
  3. Kevin Boss NYG
  4. Brent Celek PHI

Dallas Cowboys

Roy Williams

Williams has some big shoes to fill in 2009, and he's likely to step up and produce.  The big Texas product was a threat when with the Lions, but struggled to produce when joining Dallas in 2008.  In his career, Williams only has one 1000-yard season, and his highest TD total is 8.  With the Cowboys, I expect Williams to come close matching his career bests, being the true number one target for Tony Romo (aside from Witten that is).  Any time after pick 40, and Roy Williams is a pretty good bargain in most leagues.  Fantasy Forecast: 1000 total yards, 7 TDs

Patrick Crayton

Another guy looking to benefit from T.O.'s departure is Patrick Crayton.  In 2007, Crayton set career bests with 7 TDs and 697 yards receiving.  Last season, his production dropped off as he managed just 4 TDs and 550 yards.  For the past three seasons, Crayton has had at least 500 yards and 4 TDs, which is certainly promising.  As the number 2 receiver beside Williams, I expect Crayton to produce a good yardage total and a fair amount of TDs.  He's nothing much more than a marginal WR3 on most fantasy teams, but you likely will be able to find him after pick 150 making him a very low risk.  Fantasy Forecast: 700 total yards, 5 TDs

Jason Witten

For his career, Witten has averaged 822.5 receiving yards per season, 4.1 TDs, and 71.5 receptions.  He's scored 6 or more TDs three times in his career, and even has one 1000-yard season.  There's no denying that Witten is a machine that produces year in, year out.  He's likely to cost you a pick in the 30s, but the risk isn't awful as Witten is a week-to-week fantasy starter.  During his bye week, Witten still produces more than most TEs.  It also never hurst to have a WR-like performer at TE.  Fantasy forecast: 1000 total yards, 5 TDs

Philadelphia Eagles

DeSean Jackson

Saying DeSean Jackson is the third best fantasy WR in the NFC East may be a bit of a reach, but I stick by my ranking.  Jackson nearly totalled 1000 yards with the Eagles in his rookie season and scored 3 total TDs.  I expect Jackson to step it up a notch in 2009, especially with an improved team around him.  It's not that the WRs are much better (although they are), it's that the team as a whole has plenty of offensive weapons, which will likely leave DeSean slipping around finding open spaces and making yards after the catch.  His blazing speed is also a commodity downfield.  Fantasy Forecast: 1000 total yards, 5 TDs

Jeremy Maclin

Putting Maclin ahead of Kevin Curtis is also another stretch, but I think the rookie will produce immediately in Philly.  I'll say it again, Donovan McNabb is the perfect QB for the WR unit the Eagles have assembled.  There is a lot of speed on the field, and defenses are going to have a tough time keeping up with a high-tempo offense.  Maclin has speed and is a great route runner with reliable hands.  Drafting him in the 130s isn't a bad decision, even if he's listed as the team's number 3.  Fantasy Forecast: 800 total yards, 6 TDs

Brent Celek

I don't expect Magnum P.I. to have an explosion of statistics in 2009, but I do think he'll be an adequate fantasy option in deeper leagues.  Landing Celek likely won't cost more than a pick in the 140s; his value is certainly reasonable.  With L.J. Smith out of the picture, Celek is going to be a reliable threat for McNabb in the short game.  Go ahead and take Celek, but don't expect him to produce huge numbers week after week.  Fantasy Forecast: 600 total yards, 4 TDs

Washington Redskins

Santana Moss

The Redskins WRs have matured a bit since 2008, and I expect Moss to be the leader of the pack.  In his career, he has three 1000-yard seasons (2 with Washington) and has scored 5 or more TDs five times.  Moss finished 15th in fantasy scoring amongst WRs in 2008, something you can expect in 2009 as well.  Considering that you'll be able to draft Moss in the 50s in most fantasy drafts, almost makes Moss the best WR (fantasy value wise) in the NFC East.  When you add up his numbers, I'd say he gives Roy Williams a run for his money.  Fantasy forecast: 1000 total yards, 6 TDs

Chris Cooley

Cooley has been a staple of consistency since his rookie season, netting at least 700 yards in each season while averaging 5.5 TDs per season (he had 6 in his rookie season).  The TDs numbers dipped a bit, mostly in part to 2008's total of 1.  Expect Cooley to get back into the endzone a few more times this season, and bank on at least 700 yards receiving.  Selecting Cooley in the 80s is a much better value than selecting him in the 60s, and it's hard to really value Cooley as a top tier TE worthy of a top 60 selection.  If you can find him later on, he's got very good value and his consistent numbers will help.  I still prefer John Carlson or Greg Olsen to Chris Cooley in 2009, however.  Fantasy Forecast: 750 total yards, 5 TDs

New York Giants

Hakeem Nicks

Plaxico Burress not being a New York Giant opens the door for Nicks to step up in his rookie season.  The Giants are lacking a big play threat, and Hicks has promising size to go along with promising talent.  At North Carolina, Nicks averaged 18 yards per catch, totalled 1222 yards and scored 12 TDs; I think the Giants have a found a pretty good playmaker.  On draft day, you may be able to find Nicks in the 130s, or perhaps even after pick 150.  I don't think he'll have fantasy WR1 or WR2 value immediately, but he's worth a risk that deep in the draft.  Fantasy Forecast:  700 total yards, 6 TDs

Kevin Boss

I think it's more suitable that this video sum up Kevin Boss, but sadly Andy Samberg makes no mention of fantasy football.    Boss is another player on the Giants that has to step up in the absence of Plaxico, but more so in the red zone.  Considering that Boss scored 6 TDs in 2008, he's certainly on his way; the Giants TE is worthy of a selection in the 120s - 130s.  He may not be the weekly stud you want, but if you wait that late, Boss is certainly valuable.  Fantasy Forecast: 500 total yards, 8 TDs

* all fantasy stats are based on 2007-2008 Yahoo! Standard Public league scoring

*-100th selection = 10th pick round 10 (10 man); 6th pick round 9 (12 man); 3rd pick round 8 (14 man)

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