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CFB Fantasy: Big East Fantasy WRs

Athlon continues its 2010 college fantasy draft kit with a look at the Big East wide receivers.

Big East 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. Mohamed Sanu, Rutgers (SO) – Bye Weeks – 3, 9
The term ‘All-Purpose’ was reserved for special players just like Sanu. In fact, we named Sanu 3rd team All-American at the all-purpose position. Much of his hype this fall centers around the finish to only his first year in college. Sanu capped his first full season at Rutgers by totaling 639 yards from scrimmage on 71 touches and seven total touchdowns in his final five games.

Athlon’s Take: Few players in the nation bring more to the table for an offense — see his three touchdown effort in the St. Petersburg Bowl. Sanu can line-up as the quarterback in goal line situations and be the deep threat on third and long. With Tim Brown no longer running routes for the Scarlet Knights, Sanu may see more time out wide, as opposed to taking snaps in the Wildcat. As his rapport with fellow sophomore quarterback Tom Savage continues to develop, Sanu should see his fantasy stock soar into every week stardom.

2009 Stats: 123.5 fantasy points
Receiving: 51 rec., 639 yds, 3 TDs
Rushing: 346 yds, 5 TDs

2. Jonathan Baldwin, Pittsburgh (JR) – Bye Weeks – 3, 10
Julio Jones, A.J. Green and Michael Floyd get all of the headlines from the 2008 receiving class, but No. 4 was Baldwin and he has the only 1,000-yard season of the four. In fact, Baldwin has a chance to be the first one picked in the NFL draft as well. At 6-foot-5, his sprinter’s speed and excellent ball skills make him a huge play waiting to happen. There might not be a corner in the nation who can cover Baldwin man-to-man.

Athlon’s Take: Baldwin averaged nearly 20 yards-per-catch a season ago while posting seven 100-yard games. Replacing his quarterback — and both tight ends — should hurt but people around the Pitt program insist that new trigger-man Tino Sunseri is a better passer. That’s bad news for Big East secondaries. Dion Lewis and the ground game will keep defenses honest, so Baldwin could be facing lots of single coverage.

2009 Stats: 162.8 fantasy points
Receiving: 61 rec., 1,111 yds, 8 TDs
Rushing: 61 yds

3. Armon Binns, Cincinnati (SR) – Bye Weeks – 5, 10
The No. 1 fantasy receiver for the Bearcats has averaged 77 receptions, 1,110 yards and 12 touchdowns over the last three seasons. Binns was two average games from hitting those numbers as the No. 2 option last season. Fantasy owners can only imagine what life as the No. 1 will be like for Binns.

Athlon’s Take: There are few negatives about Binns’ fantasy value this fall. Add to the above resume these numbers with Zach Collaros as the starter: 22 receptions, 414 yards and 7 TDs in just under five games. He also finished the season by scoring in each of final nine games. Expect big things this fall from Binns.

2009 Stats: 155.0 fantasy points
Receiving: 61 rec., 888 yds, 11 TDs

4. Vidal Hazelton, Cincinnati (SR) – Bye Weeks – 5, 10
The story on Hazelton is a long one. He went from Staten Island (N.Y.) Moore High standout to Hargrave Military Academy prep schooler to post-signing day drama to mediocre player for the USC Trojans. He sat out last season after transferring and will step into a fantasy friendly offense. He has loads of talent but has never put it all together on a Trojan team that is easy get overshadowed on.

Athlon’s Take: Hazelton has plenty of ability and now is a slightly bigger fish in a much smaller but still crowded pond at Cincy. He will take a back seat to Armon Binns in terms of targets (and maybe D.J. Woods and Marcus Barnett as well) but probably has the most talent of any receiver on the roster. Can the new Cincy offense support five fantasy pass catchers (tight end Ben Guidugli)? Only time will tell.

2009 Stats: none

5. Jock Sanders, West Virginia (SR) – Bye Weeks – 5, 10
Mardy Gilyard was the only Big East receiver to average more receptions per game than Sanders. He did most of his damage around the line of scrimmage, so fantasy owners will be looking for more big plays from him this season (he averaged only 9.5 ypc). The slot receiver has been utilized in the ground game over the entire course of his career — he has 530 career rushing yards and five TDs.

Athlon’s Take: Sanders offers some sneaky consistency. He has 125 catches and 13 total touchdowns over the last two seasons. If the Mountaineers can quickly break in the new quarterback, whether that is Geno Smith or Barry Brunetti, Sanders value will only go up. Also, someone needs to step up on the outside to open-up space for the talented slot man.

2009 Stats: 133.5 fantasy points
Receiving: 72 rec., 688 yds, 3 TDs
Rushing: 175 yds, TD

6. Dontavia Bogan, South Florida (SR) – Bye Weeks – 3, 9
At the end of the 2009 season, few would have pointed to Bogan as the go-to receiver on this team in 2010. But the team’s No. 1, Carlton Mitchell, departed early for the NFL and the No. 2, A.J. Love, torn up his ACL in the spring game. Love still might contribute at some point but Bogan appears to be the clear favorite to lead this team in every receiving category.

Athlon’s Take: Even as the No. 3, Bogan still tied for the team lead in touchdown receptions. If he gets half of Mitchell and Love’s receptions from last season, he would finish around the 55-60 mark with potential for 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns. If quarterback B.J. Daniels can throw with some consistency, Bogan has a chance to be a real fantasy sleeper in ’10.

2009 Stats: 63.5 fantasy points
Receiving: 22 rec., 305 yds, 4 TDs
Rushing: 1 yd

7. Doug Beaumont, Louisville (SR) – Bye Week – 4
With Scott Long out of eligibility, the onus of production in the Cards receiving corps falls to Beaumont. The senior has good hands and is a tough-nosed player but has somehow managed to catch 100 career passes without reaching paydirt. He certainly didn’t do much to help the 111th ranked scoring offense last season. Louisville will, however, be playing from behind plenty this season. Good news for the passing game — maybe.

Athlon’s Take: The track record for fantasy success does not appear to be there with Beaumont. Yet, after averaging 50 receptions for two years in a row, the odds would suggest he is in for a few trips to the endzone. If he posts a season closer to his sophomore year (62-750) with a couple of scores, he could be a decent spot starter.

2009 Stats: 67.7 fantasy points
Receiving: 38 rec., 465 yds, 0 TDs
Rushing: (-1) yds

8. D.J. Woods, Cincinnati (JR) – Bye Weeks – 5, 10
The Bearcats have the top receiving corps in the Big East and Woods is the No. 2 leading returner at the position. The junior is coming off an excellent end to last season, catching 26 passes for 268 yards and three of his four total scores in his final five games. Those are solid No. 2 numbers much less No. 3.

Athlon’s Take: Woods role is really in a position of uncertainty at the moment. He posted good enough numbers as the No. 3 last season and with the departure of Mardy Gilyard, one would expect his role to increase. However, Vidal Hazelton will be on the field this season and even Marcus Barnett could see time. This is an excellent offense to play for but are there enough footballs to go around for all four receivers to be fantasy relevant?

2009 Stats: 91.3 fantasy points
Receiving: 51 rec., 640 yds, 4 TDs

9. Kashif Moore, Connecticut (JR) – Bye Weeks – 7, 10
Moore is the leading returning receiver (yards) for a football team that has a clear identity on offense. Connecticut likes to run first and pass second, however, Moore had a strong second half and is the clear No. 1 of the receiving corps — along with tight end Ryan Griffin. After only two catches in the first five games, he finished with 20 over the last eight.

Athlon’s Take: Moore is a smallish, dependable player who enters his third season in Storrs. Despite two receivers being kicked off the team — Malik Generett and Marcus Aiken — there is still plenty of competition for targets on a run-first team. Isiah Moore, Michael Smith, Dwayne Difton and Mike Lang will all contribute. The good news is that Zach Frazer should be at his best this fall and that helps all of the pass catchers.

2009 Stats: 68.4 fantasy points
Receiving: 22 rec., 370 yds, 3 TDs
Rushing: 24 yds

10. Tavon Austin, West Virginia (SO) – Bye Weeks – 5, 10
Austin’s natural position is running back and fantasy owners can expect him to contribute in the running game in some fashion for the rest of his career. In fact, if it wasn’t for depth concerns on the outside of the offense, Austin might be moved into the backfield. For now, he is an explosive, smallish slot receiver who will be all over the field.

Athlon’s Take: In his first season in Morgantown, Austin touched the ball 21 times on offense. He rushed the ball six times — more than a quarter of his total touches. His impact will be in both aspects of the game and with the depth issues and versatility of both his game and the WVU offense, Austin could post some sneaky good fantasy numbers.

2009 Stats: 42.0 fantasy points
Receiving: 15 rec., 151 yds, 1 TD    
Rushing: 47 yds, 1 TD

11. Alec Lemon, Syracuse (SO)
12. Mark Harrison, Rutgers (SO)
13. Lindsey Lamar, South Florida (SO)
14. Michael Smith, Connecticut (JR)
15. Mike Shanahan, Pittsburgh (SO)
16. Marcus Sales, Syracuse (JR)
17. Josh Chichester, Louisville (JR)
18. Sterling Griffin, South Florida (SO)
19. Bradley Starks, West Virginia (JR)
20. Tim Wright, Rutgers (SO)
21. Van Chew, Syracuse (JR)
22. Isiah Moore, Connecticut (JR)
23. Cam Saddler, Pittsburgh (SO)
24. Stephon Ball, Louisville (SO)
25. Evan Landi, South Florida (SO)
26. Dwayne Difton, Connecticut (SO)
27. Aaron Weaver, Syracuse (SR)
28. Quron Pratt, Rutgers (FR)
29. Marcus Barnett, Cincinnati (SR)
30. Michaelee Harris, Louisville (FR)
31. Kenbrell Thompkins, Cincinnati (JR)
32. Julian Hayes, Rutgers (SR)
33. Troy Pascley, Louisville (SR)
34. Ivan McCartney, West Virginia (FR)
35. Josh Bellamy, Louisville (FR)
36. Greg Cross, Pittsburgh (SR)
37. Dyjuan Lewis, Cincinnati (FR)

Independents Fantasy WR Ranks

1. Michael Floyd, Notre Dame (JR) – Bye Week – 10
Few players in the nation have as much raw ability as Mr. Floyd – if only he can stay on the field. He missed three games down the stretch of his freshman season and missed five right in the heart of the schedule last year. But when he is on the field, he has proven to be a special player. His career per game averages: 5.4 receptions, 89.1 yards and almost 1.0 touchdown (0.94).

Athlon’s Take: Floyd should be the first receiver taken in most drafts. The only issue is if he can stay healthy for an entire season. This is his chance to prove he should be the top receivers taken in the NFL draft next spring, and if he does that, fantasy owners will be ecstatic. Breaking in a new quarterback isn’t ideal but the addition of evil genius Brian Kelly more than makes up for it. 

2009 Stats: 156.3 fantasy points
Receiving: 44 rec., 795 yds, 9 TDs
Rushing: 8 yds

2. Tai-ler Jones, Notre Dame (FR) – Bye Week – 10
Jones actually exhibits most of the great attributes that Michael Floyd does – good size and strength with excellent hands and body control. He also has great ball skills and wonderful instincts. The only difference is that Floyd has a rare blend of size and speed. Consider Jones a slightly smaller, slightly slower version of him.

Athlon’s Take: Few freshman receivers have as good a chance to post viable fantasy numbers as Jones. He is a polished, heady athlete stepping into an excellent system in which he does not have to be the go-to guy. He needs to separate himself from the Duval Kamara’s of the world early in summer camp to prove his fantasy worth.

2009 Stats: 0.0 fantasy points

3. Duval Kamara, Notre Dame (SR)
4. Theo Riddick, Notre Dame (SO)
5. Greg Jones, Navy (SR)
6. Davyd Brooks, Army (JR)
7. Shaquelle Evans, Notre Dame (SO)
8. Mike Schupp, Navy (SR)