Athlon continues its 2010 college fantasy draft kit with a look at Pac-10 wide receivers.
Pac-10 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. James Rodgers, Oregon State (SR) – Bye Weeks – 2, 8
Rodgers is one of the most dangerous all-around receivers in college football. Over the last three seasons, he has accumulated 1,849 receiving yards and 14 scores, along with 1,297 yards and nine touchdowns on the ground. Rodgers earned first-team All-Pac-10 honors last season, posting career best numbers in catches, receiving yards and receiving scores.
Athlon’s Take: With a new quarterback taking over, the Oregon State passing attack may suffer a drop in production. However, Rodgers is still a safe pick to catch 50-60 passes and five to seven scores. Expect the senior to remain involved in the rushing attack, increasing his overall value to one of the first 20 fantasy receivers off the board.
2009 stats: 207 fantasy points
Receiving: 91 rec., 1,034 yds., 9 TDs
Rushing: 303 yds., 1 TD
2. Ronald Johnson, USC (SR) – Bye Week – 8
A broken collarbone forced Johnson to miss the first five games of last season, but once he was healthy, he was one of Matt Barkley’s favorite weapons. Johnson didn’t post a 100-yard effort, but got stronger throughout the last half of the season, catching at least five passes in each of the final four games.
Athlon’s Take: With Damian Williams off to the NFL, Johnson should become the No. 1 option for the USC passing attack. Barkley will be improved as a sophomore and the Trojans have a solid offensive line, making this one of the best offenses in the Pac-10. Expect Johnson to easily top last season’s totals, likely pushing 1,000 receiving yards.
2009 stats: 73.2 fantasy points
Receiving: 34 rec., 378 yds., 3 TDs
Rushing: 4 yds.
3. Jermaine Kearse, Washington (JR) – Bye Weeks – 4, 12
The Huskies were one of the nation’s most improved teams last year, making the jump from 0-12 to 5-7. The hire of Steve Sarkisian was one of the top coaching moves last season and the offense reaped the benefits from a full season of Jake Locker at quarterback. Kearse became Locker’s favorite target last year, leading the team in receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns. Kearse closed out 2009 on a tear, catching six touchdown tosses in the final four games.
Athlon’s Take: With Locker returning for his senior season, the Huskies expect to be even more dynamic on offense this year. Although Kearse is expected to lead the team in receptions and receiving yards, the deep Washington receiving corps limits his fantasy value. Expect Kearse to improve slightly upon his numbers from last year.
2009 stats: 137.6 fantasy points
Receiving: 50 rec., 866 yds., 8 TDs
Rushing: 2 yds.
4. Ryan Whalen, Stanford (SR) – Bye Week – 7
Whalen has been Stanford’s leading receiver over the past two seasons, but could play an even bigger role in the offense this year. With Toby Gerhart out of eligibility, the Cardinal is expected to lean more on the passing attack, especially with Andrew Luck only getting better at quarterback entering his sophomore season. Whalen posted two 100-yard efforts last season and caught a pass in every game but one.
Athlon’s Take: Whalen and teammate Chris Owusu should see an increase in receiving yards and scores this season. Whalen averaged 16.2 yards per catch last season and is a steady pick for a WR4 for select spot starts this year.
2009 stats: 137.1 fantasy points
Receiving: 57 rec., 926 yds., 4 TDs
5. Juron Criner, Arizona (JR) – Bye Weeks – 5, 12
Arizona returns four players who caught at least 23 passes last season, making this one of the deepest receiving corps in the Pac-10. After catching only seven passes in 2008, Criner led the team with 582 yards and nine scores last season. Criner caught 12 passes for 152 yards in a 43-38 victory over Stanford and caught three touchdown catches in a 44-41 loss to Oregon.
Athlon’s Take: Delashaun Dean left the team during the summer, likely opening the door for Criner to see more targets this season. The junior is one of the most physically impressive receivers on the team, standing 6-foot-4 and possessing good speed. Expect Criner to be an even bigger part of the Arizona offense in 2010.
2009 stats: 121.6 fantasy points
Receiving: 45 rec., 582 yds., 9 TDs
Rushing: 63 yds.
6. Marvin Jones, California (JR) – Bye Week – 5
Jones emerged as Kevin Riley’s go-to guy last season, finishing as California’s leader in receptions, receiving yards and receiving scores. Coming into last season, Jones had one career reception, but quickly established himself as a weapon in the season opener against Maryland, catching three passes for 74 yards and one score. Jones had one 100-yard effort and caught at least four passes in each of the final four games last year.
Athlon’s Take: Although quarterback Kevin Riley struggled at times, he still finished with 2,850 passing yards and 18 scores. If Riley shows more consistency in 2010 and the offensive line improves, the Golden Bears should have a better passing attack. Jones should have plenty of opportunities this season and catching 55 passes and at least seven touchdowns is a reasonable projection.
2009 stats: 102 fantasy points
Receiving: 43 rec., 651 yds., 6 TDs
7. Jeff Maehl, Oregon (SR) – Bye Weeks – 7, 12
The Ducks have watched their receiving corps thin out over the offseason due to ineligibility, which should allow Maehl even more opportunities this season. Maehl posted career best numbers last year and had a monster performance in the 44-41 win over Arizona, catching 12 passes for 114 yards and two scores.
Athlon’s Take: The Oregon passing game is a question mark entering this season. Can the Ducks get efficient play from Nate Costa or Darron Thomas? There’s a lack of proven options at receiver for whichever quarterback wins the job, leaving Maehl an opportunity to show improvement in each category this season.
2009 stats: 107.8 fantasy points
Receiving: 53 rec., 696 yds., 6 TDs
Rushing: -2 yds.
8. Chris Owusu, Stanford (JR) – Bye Week – 7
Owusu didn’t register on the fantasy radar for most of last season, with his work as a receiver overshadowed by his production as a kick returner. The junior is regarded as one of the best kickoff returners in college football, averaging 31.5 yards per return and scoring three times last season. Owusu posted two 100-yard receiving games, including 111 yards against Oregon.
Athlon’s Take: With Stanford expected to throw more in 2010, look for Owusu to see an increase in fantasy value. The junior also gets a bump in leagues that count special teams touchdowns as part of their scoring system. Catching 50 passes for 800 yards and seven scores is a reasonable projection for Owusu.
2009 stats: 140 fantasy points
Receiving: 37 rec., 682 yds., 5 TDs
Rushing: 66 yds.
9. Gerell Robinson, Arizona State (JR) – Bye Weeks – 7, 12
After a sluggish offensive campaign last year, Arizona State is undergoing some major changes. Coach Dennis Erickson has hired well-traveled Noel Mazzone to serve as his offensive coordinator. Mazzone will speed up the tempo in Tempe this year, along with throwing the ball more than the Sun Devils did last season. Although the new offensive is intriguing from a fantasy perspective, the Sun Devils have question marks everywhere on offense, particularly at quarterback.
Athlon’s Take: The new offensive scheme has a lot of intrigue and Robinson should be the team’s best receiver. However, if the offensive line doesn’t improve and a quarterback doesn’t settle into the starting role, the Sun Devils may have an uphill battle putting points on the board. Robinson is worth a look in 120 formats as a sleeper or WR4.
2009 stats: 39.1 fantasy points
Receiving: 26 rec., 261 yds., 0 TD
10. Kyle Prater, USC (FR) – Bye Week – 8
USC brought in one of the nation’s top recruiting classes and new coach Lane Kiffin expects to see some of that talent play immediately. Ronald Johnson should be the top target for quarterback Matt Barkley, but the Trojans have a need for a No. 2 receiver. Prater ranked as the No. 1 receiving prospect in the nation by Athlon Sports, possessing great size at 6-foot-5 and the ability to make plays downfield.
Athlon’s Take: Putting Prater as the No. 2 USC receiver is a bit of a gamble. David Ausberry and Brice Butler could easily end up at this spot by season’s end. However, neither seized the job last season, leaving the door open for Prater to state his case this fall.
2009 stats: none
11. Nelson Rosario, UCLA (JR)
12. Jared Karstetter, Washington State (JR)
13. Brice Butler, USC (SO)
14. James Johnson, Washington (SO)
15. David Roberts, Arizona (JR)
16. Darrell Catchings, Oregon State (JR)
17. Devin Aguilar, Washington (JR)
18. Taylor Embree, UCLA (JR)
19. Aaron Pflugrad, Arizona State (JR)
20. Lavasier Tuinei, Oregon (JR)
21. Gino Simone, Washington State (SO)
22. Alex Lagemann, California (JR)
23. Bug Wright, Arizona (JR)
24. David Douglas, Arizona (JR)
25. Josh Smith, UCLA (JR)
26. Kerry Taylor, Arizona State (SR)
27. David Ausberry, USC (SR)
28. Jeffrey Solomon, Washington State (SR)
29. D.J. Davis, Oregon (SR)
30. Jamal-Rashad Patterson, Stanford (SO)
31. Jeremy Ross, California (SR)
32. George Bell, Arizona State (JR)
33. Dexter Ransom, Arizona (JR)
34. D’Andre Goodwin, Washington (SR)
35. Jordan Bishop, Oregon State (SO)
36. Randall Carroll, UCLA (SO)
37. Michael Calvin, California (JR)
38. Daniel Blackledge, Washington State (SR)
39. Gino Crump, Arizona (JR)
40. Markeith Ambles, USC (FR)
41. Markus Wheaton, Oregon State (SO)
42. Jamal Miles, Arizona State (SO)
43. Travon Patterson, USC (SR)
44. Keenan Allen, California (FR)
45. Griff Whalen, Stanford (SO)
46. Isiah Barton, Washington State (JR)
47. J.J. Holliday, Arizona State (FR)
48. Warren Reuland, Stanford (SO)
49. Cody Bruns, Washington (JR)
50. Robert Woods, USC (FR)
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