The NFL's evolution into a passing league has made wide receivers and tight ends increasingly valuable in fantasy football. As a result, it's more important than ever to know which players are slated for prominent roles, whose value has changed, and who will have a chance to see increased targets for their respective teams based on the result of training camp battles. Here's our look at the wide receiver and tight end situations for all 32 teams.
Larry Fitzgerald remains one of the top wideouts in fantasy football, despite the retirement of Kurt Warner. He'll come off the board in the second round in most drafts. With Anquan Boldin out of the mix, Steve Breaston will step into a starting role and has some sleeper potential. Early Doucet, who showed flashes of potential late in 2009, will see more time in the slot and is worth a late-round flier. Ben Patrick and Anthony Becht will see time at tight end, but neither is worth considering on draft day.
Roddy White has posted 80-plus receptions and 1,100-plus yards in three consecutive seasons, and he'll remain one of the best fantasy players at his position in 2010. The Falcons don't have much behind White, however, as Michael Jenkins has minimal draft appeal. He could even be pushed for a starting role by Harry Douglas, who will be back from knee surgery. Tony Gonzalez, one of the greatest tight ends of all time, will continue to be a reliable option for Matt Ryan and is a clear-cut starter in all leagues.
The Ravens added Anquan Boldin to their pass attack during the offseason. He'll make the greatest fantasy impact of all Ravens wideouts and should be considered a high-end No. 2 option. Derrick Mason will see fewer targets, so don't expect another 1,000-yard campaign. He's more of a No. 3 or 4 fantasy wideout in drafts. With Donte Stallworth out for the first half of the season, Mark Clayton will man the slot position. Todd Heap will start at tight end, but the addition of Ed Dickson and Dennis Pitta hurts his stock.
The Bills decided not to re-sign Terrell Owens during the offseason, so Lee Evans is once again their top wide receiver. Without a solid complement in the pass attack, though, he'll post inconsistent numbers and should be seen as more of a fantasy reserve. James Hardy and Steve Johnson will battle for the second spot on the depth chart, so the eventual winner could be a low-end option in larger leagues. Jonathan Stupar will start at tight end, but he's not worth a look in most fantasy drafts.
The Panthers will continue to lean on Steve Smith as their top option in the pass attack, and he'll have high-end No. 2 wideout value on draft day. With Muhsin Muhammad no longer in the mix, the second spot on the depth chart appears to be Brandon LaFell's to lose. Even if he wins the role ahead of Dwayne Jarrett, it's hard to see him as more than a late-round flier in larger leagues. Rookie Armanti Edwards will be someone to watch in the preseason. Jeff King and Dante Rosario will split time at tight end, but neither has much draft appeal.
Mike Martz is calling the offensive shots for the Bears, so Johnny Knox will have sleeper appeal on draft day. He'll be worth a middle-round pick. Devin Aromashodu also has increased appeal and is a nice vertical option in Martz's system. Devin Hester figures to be used in the slot in a Az-Zahir Hakim role, but his value has fallen compared to 2009. Earl Bennett also has late-round value, but only deep leagues. Greg Olsen is a player to avoid, however, as tight ends have never made a major impact in a Martz-led offense.
Chad Ochocinco remains the top option in the Bengals pass attack, but he's now more of a low-end No. 2 option with Terrell Owens in the mix. As for T.O., he has low middle-round appeal but won't remerge as a dominate fantasy force this season. Andre Caldwell and rookie Jordan Shipley will battle for the third spot on the depth chart, but neither warrants seasonal draft consideration. Rookie Jermaine Gresham has upside and is worth a late-round look at the tight end position, but don't expect him to make a major impact.
The Browns don't have much to offer fantasy owners on offense, expecially in their pass attack. Mohamed Massaquoi is worth a late-round look, but questions about the team's quarterback position limit his appeal. Joshua Cribbs has added value in leagues that reward points for return yards and touchdowns, but his numbers as a receiver have been less than impressive. Chansi Stuckey and Brian Robiskie are also in the mix but have no draft value. Ben Watson is worth a late-round pick as a No. 2 fantasy tight end.
Miles Austin developed into an elite fantasy wideout last season and is now a top-10 option at his position. He'll come off the board in the second or third round in most drafts. If Dez Bryant can unseat Roy Wiliams for a starting role in training camp, the rookie could be worth as much as a middle-round pick in seasonal leagues. Patrick Crayton and Kevin Ogletree are also in the mix but have little draft appeal. Jason Witten is a threat to catch 90 passes and is a nice No. 1 fantasy tight ends in all formats.
The trade that sent Brandon Marshall to the Dolphins opens the door for rookie Demaryius Thomas to start right out of the gate. He'll be worth a late-round pick in seasonal leagues. Eddie Royal, a major disappointment last season, should see more targets and has middle-round appeal. If Jabar Gaffney earns a starting role, he'll be worth a look as a deep fantasy sleeper. Brandon Stokley won't have much appeal out of the slot, and tight end Daniel Graham won't see enough time as a pass catcher to warrant much consideration.
Calvin Johnson failed to meet expectations in 2009, but he's back at 100 percent from an injured knee and should rebound for the Lions and fantasy owners alike. He's well worth a second or third-round pick. The team added Nate Burleson to help stretch defenses, but he's worth no more than a low middle-round pick. Bryant Johnson and Dennis Northcutt are also in the mix, but neither has draft appeal. Brandon Pettigrew and Tony Scheffler will share tight ends duties. Both have late-round appeal on draft day.
The Packers have one of the most talented core of receivers in the league, led by Greg Jennings. He should rebound from a mediocre 2009 campaign and could be a nice draft value. Donald Driver is getting long in the tooth and will lose targets to James Jones and Jordy Nelson, so another 1,000-yard season isn't guaranteed. The player to watch is Jermichael Finley, who became a solid and reliable tight end for Aaron Rodgers and fantasy owners alike last season. He'll be a popular breakout candidate in all formats.
The Texans field the top fantasy wide receiver in Andre Johnson, who's posted 100-plus receptions, 1,500-plus yards and a combined 17 touchdowns over the last two seasons. He's the lone wideout that warrants first-round consideration on draft day. Kevin Walter re-signed with the team during the offseason and is worth a late-round pick, though Jacoby Jones has more fantasy upside. Owen Daniels, who is coming back from knee surgery, could be a terrific draft value at tight end if he returns at 100 percent.
Despite the fact that he was inconsistent at times, Wayne still posted 100 catches, 1,264 yards and 10 scores last season. He remains a No. 1 fantasy wideout. Pierre Garcon is the favorite to start alongside him and warrants middle-round consideration. The battle to watch is between Austin Collie and Anthony Gonzalez, who is coming back from knee surgery. Both players have late-round appeal. Dallas Clark, the top tight end on NFL.com's rank list, is worth a fourth- or fifth-round pick across the board.
The Jaguars haven't had a legitimate fantasy wideout since the days of Jimmy Smith and Keenan McCardell, but Mike Sims-Walker did develop into a nice sleeper last season with career bests across the board. If he can avoid injuries, he should post No. 2 fantasy wideout numbers in 2010. Mike Thomas, Troy Williamson and Kassim Osgood will battle for the other starting spot, but none of the trio will be worth more than a late-round flier. Thomas is the clear-cut favorite. The same goes for tight end Marcedes Lewis, who hasn't met fantasy expectations.
Dwayne Bowe was a serious disappointment for fantasy leaguers in 2009, but he still has the upside to become a viable No. 2 wideout under new coordinator Charlie Weis. Veteran Chris Chambers will also be a starter, though his days of making a significant fantasy contribution are in the rearview mirror. Rookie Dexter McCluster will be third on the depth chart, but he's worth a look only in deeper leagues. Leonard Pope is now with the team, but rookie Tony Moeaki could lead all Chiefs' tight ends in receptions.
The addition of Marshall was one of the biggest moves of the offseason from a fantasy perspective. While facing Jets CB Darrelle Revis is an obvious disadvantage, Marshall should still post nice numbers as the No. 1 wideout for Chad Henne. He'll come off the board in the second or third round in drafts. PPR machine Davone Bess will be worth a late-round look, but Brian Hartline won't have much appeal on draft day. The same holds true of Anthony Fasano, who scored a mere two touchdowns in 2009.
Sidney Rice will miss at least the first six weeks of the season as he recovers from hip surgery, so he's worth no more than a draft-and-stash pick. Percy Harvin should take his next step to fantasy stardom and is nice middle-round pick, and Bernard Berrian has additional value while Rice is out of action. Greg Camarillo could have late-round appeal, especially in PPR leagues. Visanthe Shiancoe is underrated among tight ends and could be a great bargain in all leagues.
Randy Moss might be 33 years old, but he should still have at least one more season of solid fantasy production in the tank. He'll be a second- or third-round pick. Wes Welker is on track to start in Week 1 and is worth a middle-round pick. The team cut Torry Holt, so Brandon Tate has some deep sleeper value. Julian Edelman is also in the mix, but he loses value with Welker set for the season. The tight end position is crowded, but the development of rookie Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez should be monitored.
The Saints are loaded with wide receiver talent, but the best of the bunch remains Marques Colston. While inconsistent at times, he's a low-end No. 1 option. Robert Meachem made a nice impact in 2009 and should remain a popular target for Drew Brees. Devery Henderson and Lance Moore are also in the mix, but neither is worth more than a late-round flier. Jeremy Shockey is also worth a late-round look, but the fact that he lost targets to David Thomas down the stretch last season is a cause for some concern in 2010.
The Giants have a very talented core of wide receivers, led by Steve Smith. The former USC standout is coming off a career season and is worth an early-round look. Sleeper Hakeem Nicks should start opposite Smith and has middle-round appeal in an offense that threw the football more in 2009. Mario Manningham is also a talented wideout, but his stock is limited with Smith and Nicks ahead of him. Ramses Barden is also in the mix. Kevin Boss will continue to fulfill the team's tight ends duties. He's worth a late-round pick as a No. 2 fantasy option.
The Jets have some big names at wide receiver, but that's doesn't guarantee fantasy production. Braylon Edwards has done very little since his breakout season in 2007, and Santonio Holmes will miss the first four games of 2010 due to a league-imposed suspension. Jerricho Cotchery is also in the mix, but none of the trio will record impressive totals in a run-based offense. The Jets also added Laveranues Coles, but he has no draft appeal. Dustin Keller has late-round value, but don't expect him to develop into a surefire No. 1 fantasy tight end in a crowded pass attack.
The addition of Jason Campbell is good news for the value of Louis Muprhy, who has some sleeper appeal with Chaz Schilens hurt once again. Darrius Heyward-Bey figures to start opposite Murphy, and his success in training camp makes him a deep sleeper in the late rounds. The biggest beneficiary of the Campbell trade is Zach Miller, who should post solid numbers across the board. In fact, Miller has a chance to develop into a legitimate No. 1 fantasy tight end in 2010.
The Eagles will continue to throw the football with Kevin Kolb under center, so don't expect a statistical decrease from DeSean Jackson. In fact, he's on the verge of being an elite fantasy wideout and is well worth an early-round look. Jeremy Maclin will start opposite Jackson. The speedster out of Missouri has a ton of sleeper potential and is well worth a middle-round look. At tight end, Brent Celek should continue to develop at the NFL level and will remain one of the more attractive tight ends on draft day.
The Steelers dealt Holmes to the Jets, so Mike Wallace has a chance to develop into one of the better sleepers at the wide receiver spot. The second-year player will be worth as much as a middle-round pick. Hines Ward is coming off another 1,000-yard season and is a viable No. 2 fantasy option, though he's not getting any younger at age 34. Antwaan Randle El, Arnaz Battle and Emmanuel Sanders will all battle for depth-chart position in camp. At tight end, Heath Miller is well worth a late-round selection.
The Rams have a number of young wideouts, led by Laurent Robinson. He'll be worth a late-round look on draft day. Brandon Gibson, Keenan Burton, Danny Amendola and Mardy Gilyard will also be competing for targets in training camp, but it's hard to expect much from this group in an offense that figures to lack firepower. Amendola has the most value of the bunch. Daniel Fells and Michael Hoomanawanui will compete for time at the tight end position, but neither player warrants consideration in fantasy leagues.
The NFL has suspended Vincent Jackson for the first three games, so the veteran wideout has lost some of his fantasy luster. He should now be drafted as more of a high late-round option. In his absence, sleeper Malcom Floyd will be the top wideout in the pass attack. He's worth a middle-round selection. Legedu Naanee will open as a starter opposite Floyd, but he'll move to third on the depth chart once (and if) Jackson returns. Antonio Gates remains an elite fantasy tight end and is worth a fourth-round pick in all drafts.
Michael Crabtree will be one of the more popular sleeper candidates at the wide receiver position in 2010. A threat to post 70 receptions and 1,000 yards, the Texas Tech product will warrant middle-round consideration in drafts. Josh Morgan will start opposite Crabtree and has late-round appeal. Ted Ginn Jr. and Jason Hill are also in the mix, but neither warrants fantasy consideration. Vernon Davis, who is coming off a breakout 2009 campaign, will be one of the first three tight ends picked in most formats.
The Seahawks have an aging pair of starters in T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Deion Branch. Both are coming off surgery and are risky options for fantasy owners. The former is worth a low middle-round pick. Rookie Golden Tate has fallen behind Mike Williams on the depth chart and has little more than late-round appeal. John Carlson should see more work in the passing game with the addition of Chris Baker, so consider him a nice sleeper candidate at the tight end position.
The Buccaneers have experienced major changes at receiver, as Mike Williams will open the season atop the depth chart. He's well worth a late-round look. Reggie Brown, Michael Clayton, Maurice Stovall and Sammie Stroughter will also compete for targets, but none of them have much draft appeal. Kellen Winslow should see more than his share of opportunities to produce with so many inexperienced receivers around him, so consider him a No. 1 fantasy tight end.
Nate Washington and Justin Gage figure to start for the Titans, but it's Kenny Britt that fantasy leaguers should be monitoring. He showed flashes of potential during his rookie season and is a definite sleeper candidate for 2010. He'll be taken ahead of Washington and Britt on draft day. The Titans will continue to feature a run-based offense, however, so don't expect monster numbers. Tight end Bo Scaife could have some value in PPR leagues, but overall he's no more than a reserve option in fantasy leagues.
The addition of Donovan McNabb is good for the value of the Redskins receivers, none more than Santana Moss. He should develop into McNabb's top option, so a season with 70 catches and 1,000 yards is within reach. Devin Thomas, a third-year player out of Michigan State, has some deep sleeper value as the projected starter opposite Moss. Chris Cooley should be back at 100 percent from an injured ankle and could be a nice draft value. However, owners should also keep tabs on how Fred Davis is used in the preseason.