Athlon continues its 2010 college fantasy draft kit with a look at ACC wide receivers.
ACC Fantasy Wide Receiver Rankings and Profiles
Fantasy points based upon standard scoring system – passing touchdowns = 4 pts, rushing touchdowns = 6 pts, 25 passing yards = 1 point, 10 rush/receiving yards = 1 point, receptions = 0.5 points, 2 point conversions = 2 points
1. Torrey Smith, Maryland (JR) – Bye Week – 6
With Maryland limping to a 2-10 record last year, Smith flew under the national radar. However, the Terrapin star has emerged as one of the ACC’s best receivers and a dangerous weapon on special teams. Despite shaky quarterback play, Smith caught a pass in every game and caught at least six balls in five contests. The Terrapins will have a new starting quarterback this year – Jamarr Robinson – but the athletic passer did gain valuable experience filling in for Chris Turner at the end of last season. Robinson’s athletic ability is big plus for the Maryland offense, especially with concerns about the offensive line.
Smith is Maryland’s clear No. 1 receiver and the team’s best all-around playmaker. The junior also has added value in leagues that give credit for players for return touchdowns. The Terrapin passing offense likely won’t produce much better numbers than last season, but Smith’s numbers should hover around 70 catches and potentially 1,000 yards. Consider Smith a solid WR3 or WR4 for 2010.
2009 stats: 167.7 fantasy points
Receiving: 61 rec., 824 yds., 5 TDs
Rushing: 59 yds., 1 TD
2. Greg Little, North Carolina (SR) – Bye Week – 2
Little started slow last season, catching only one touchdown through North Carolina’s first seven contests. However, Little became a bigger factor in the passing game down the stretch, catching two touchdowns in the Meineke Car Care Bowl against Pittsburgh and six receptions for 159 yards against rival NC State. After teasing owners over the last two seasons with his potential, it appears Little is here to stay on the fantasy radar.
In order for North Carolina to win the ACC Coastal title, the passing attack must show improvement. Quarterback T.J. Yates has been under fire for his play, but one of the main reasons for his struggles has been inconsistent play from the receivers. The receiving corps is in good shape this year and Yates doesn't have any excuses heading into this year. Little emerged as a No. 1 threat at the end of last season and could threaten 70 catches with eight scores in 2010.
2009 stats: 129.4 fantasy points
Receiving: 62 rec., 724 yds., 5 TDs
Rushing: 166 yds., 1 TD
3. Leonard Hankerson, Miami (SR) – Bye Week – 3
The Hurricanes have one of the deepest groups of receivers in the nation, which can limit the overall fantasy value of each individual player. Hankerson was the team’s leading receiver in all three major categories, along with catching a pass in every game last season. With quarterback Jacory Harris returning, expect the Hurricanes to improve upon the passing statistics from last season.
With Aldarius Johnson, Travis Benjamin, LaRon Byrd and Tommy Streeter all solid receiving options, fantasy owners can expect Harris to spread the wealth on offense. Hankerson was the team’s No. 1 receiver last year, but his fantasy value is likely limited to a starting spot in BCS-only leagues or WR3 or WR4 in 120 formats with excellent spot start potential.
2009 stats: 135.3 fantasy points
Receiving: 45 rec., 801 yds., 6 TDs
4. Donovan Varner, Duke (JR) – Bye Week – 6
Behind the direction of Thaddeus Lewis, the Blue Devils finished last season as the No. 9 passing offense in the nation. Varner was Lewis’ go-to option, finishing as one of only two ACC receivers with 1,000 receiving yards. Varner posted five 100-yard efforts in the final seven games of last season, including 174 yards and two scores in the season finale against Wake Forest. Lewis has to be replaced, but sophomore Sean Renfree has the complete confidence of coach David Cutcliffe and the offense shouldn’t suffer much of a dropoff.
Even with a new quarterback, the Blue Devils should be among the top passing offenses in the ACC – but with Renfree taking over, it may not be as potent as it was last season. Varner is a solid receiver who has some value in BCS-only leagues, but is likely best considered for a spot start in 120 formats.
2009 stats: 185.2 fantasy points
Receiving: 65 rec., 1,047 yds., 8 TDs
5. Jarmon Fortson, Florida State (JR) – Bye Week – 8
With a healthy Christian Ponder under center in 2010, Florida State should have one of the top passing offenses in the ACC. Even without Ponder for the final four games of last season, the Seminoles still finished 25th in the nation in passing offense. After catching only eight passes as a freshman, Fortson became an even bigger part of the offense last year, leading the team in touchdown receptions.
The Seminoles have a solid receiving corps, with Fortson and Bert Reed expected to be the top two fantasy options. Fortson is the team’s best option inside of the redzone and with another offseason under his belt, is one to target as a late round sleeper.
2009 stats: 98.6 fantasy points
Receiving: 45 rec., 610 yds., 4 TDs
Rushing: 4 yds.
6. Jarvis Williams, NC State (SR) – Bye Week – 8
At 6-foot-4, Williams is one of the Wolfpack’s most physically impressive receivers and his size made a clear difference in the endzone last year. Williams was the only ACC receiver to register double-digit touchdown receptions last season. Despite his success in the redzone, Williams had only one game of over 100 receiving yards.
With quarterback Russell Wilson returning, the Wolfpack passing attack should be solid once again. With Owen Spencer, Williams and tight end George Bryan back in the mix, Wilson has plenty of targets to throw to, but the receptions are expected to be spread throughout the receiving corps. Williams appears to be a solid bye week fill-in, but probably won’t start most weeks in 120 leagues.
2009 stats: 143.2 fantasy points
Receiving: 45 rec., 547 yds., 11 TDs
7. Marshall Williams, Wake Forest (SR) – Bye Week – 8
One of the most decorated quarterbacks in Wake Forest history (Riley Skinner) is gone. Can the Demon Deacons pickup where Skinner and the offense left off last season? With a new quarterback, the offense will certainly need some time to jell, especially since a starter didn’t emerge in spring practice. Williams finished first on the team in receiving yards last season and tied for second in receptions and touchdown catches. With a new signal-caller taking over, achieving similar numbers (60 catches) may be an uphill climb.
The Demon Deacons have a lot to prove on offense this year, so take a wait and see approach with the receiving corps. Williams is worth a look in the first two weeks of the season – Presbyterian and Duke – but his seasonal value depends on growth from the quarterback position.
2009 stats: 155.48 fantasy points
Receiving: 60 rec., 867 yds., 6 TDs
Rushing: 7 yds.
8. Bert Reed, Florida State (JR) – Bye Week – 8
Reed finished second on the team in receptions and receiving yards last season, but surprisingly failed to reach the endzone on a catch. The junior caught a pass in every game but one last season and posted two efforts of 100 yards or more. Although Reed’s receptions make him a quality pick in ACC-only leagues, he’ll need to find the endzone more in 2010 to justify a selection over teammate Jarmon Fortson in 2010.
If you are in an ACC-only league, Reed should be in contention for one of your starting receiver spots. However, unless he boosts his touchdown numbers to at least five, he’ll likely remain on the waiver wire throughout the year in 120 leagues.
2009 stats: 124.1 fantasy points
Receiving: 60 rec., 710 yds., 0 TD
Rushing: 94 yds., 2 TDs
9. Owen Spencer, NC State (SR) – Bye Week – 8
Spencer certainly made the most of his limited opportunities last season. On 30 catches, Spencer averaged 25.5 yards per reception, emerging as one of the ACC’s best big-play threats. In addition to his stellar yards per catch average, Spencer tied for second on the team with six touchdown receptions.
Spencer, Jarvis Williams and tight end George Bryan form one of the ACC’s top receiving corps. With a suspect defense in Raleigh this year, the Wolfpack should be in plenty of shootouts. Although Spencer had a solid season last year, he needs to catch a few more passes before he can be considered a fantasy option in 120 leagues. Keep this senior in mind for a spot start in 120 leagues and as a starter in ACC-only formats.
2009 stats: 127.8 fantasy points
Receiving: 30 rec., 765 yds., 6 TDs
Rushing: 3 yds.
10. Stephen Hill, Georgia Tech (SO) – Bye Week – 9
Georgia Tech only threw it 168 times last season, but certainly made its opportunities count. Quarterback Josh Nesbitt tossed 10 scores last season, with eight going to Demaryius Thomas. With Thomas deciding to bolt to the NFL, Hill likely becomes Nesbitt’s go-to option. Hill is only 196 pounds, but stands an impressive 6-foot-4 and averaged 22.8 yards per catch on six receptions last year.
Thomas finished as the No. 34 fantasy receiver last season, which gives Hill a lot of upside – assuming he’s Nesbitt go-to guy. Keep a close watch on Hill early in the year, as he could emerge as a WR3 in 120 formats – even with the few opportunities as Georgia Tech has in the passing game.
2009 stats: 37.1 fantasy points
Receiving: 6 rec., 137 yds., 1 TD
Rushing: 84 yds., 1 TD
11. Jarrett Boykin, Virginia Tech (JR)
12. Colin Larmond, Boston College (JR)
13. Devon Brown, Wake Forest (JR)
14. Conner Vernon, Duke (SO)
15. Aldarius Johnson, Miami (JR)
16. Chris Givens, Wake Forest (SO)
17. Erik Highsmith, North Carolina (SO)
18. Danny Coale, Virginia Tech (JR)
19. Adrian Cannon, Maryland (SR)
20. Xavier Dye, Clemson (SR)
21. Kris Burd, Virginia (JR)
22. Travis Benjamin, Miami (JR)
23. Austin Kelly, Duke (SR)
24. Marquan Jones, Clemson (JR)
25. LaRon Byrd, Miami (JR)
26. Jheranie Boyd, North Carolina (SO)
27. Taiwan Easterling, Florida State (JR)
28. Bryce McNeal, Clemson (FR)
29. Dyrell Roberts, Virginia Tech (JR)
30. Darrell Davis, NC State (SR)
31. Tim Smith, Virginia (SO)
32. Billy Flutie, Boston College (SR)
33. Tyler Melton, Georgia Tech (JR)
34. Dwight Jones, North Carolina (JR)
35. Ronnie Tyler, Maryland (JR)
36. Jaron Brown, Clemson (SO)
37. Shakim Phillips, Boston College (FR)
38. Willie Haulstead, Florida State (SO)
39. Thearon Collier, Miami (JR)
40. Terrance Ashe, Clemson (SR)
41. Joshua Adams, North Carolina (FR)
42. Terence Davis, Wake Forest (SO)
43. T.J. Graham, NC State (JR)
44. Clyde Lee, Boston College (SO)
45. Tommy Streeter, Miami (SO)
46. Rodney Smith, Florida State (SO)
47. Xavier Boyce, Virginia Tech (SO)
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