Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
If it seemed to you as if wide receiver scoring was down in 2010, you are correct. The 2010 receiving corps turned out the fewest 1,000-yard receivers in the last five seasons (16) and just two wideouts caught 100 passes, down from five in 2009.
I'd be hard-pressed to blame lack of quarterback talent, there are still plenty of good ones in the NFL. But I might be inclined to blame offensive coordinators who are spreading the ball around - the dreaded WRBC (wide receiver by committee).
For example, Philip Rivers threw for a league-leading 4,710 yards, but his leading receiver with 59 receptions was a running back (Darren Sproles). He had 10 different receivers with 20-or-more receptions. Of course, one could blame injuries to most of his receivers as the reason. We could also blame injuries as the cause for Peyton Manning spreading the ball between all his receivers.
But Drew Brees does it by design. So does Aaron Rodgers and the Super Bowl winning Green Bay Packers. And 2010 NFL MVP Tom Brady.
Brady only had one receiver with more than 50 receptions - Wes Welker (86). That was a huge drop for the speedy receiver who had averaged 115 receptions- per-season over the previous three years.
Still, there were some very fine performances in 2010 led by Atlanta wideout Roddy White. White, a second-round fantasy selection (RapidDraft ADP 14), edged out the surprising Brandon Lloyd for the wide receiver scoring title (262 vs. 259). White did it by playing in all 16 games despite numerous bumps and bruises and a balky knee. He was aided by the fact that quarterback Matt Ryan targeted him a league-leading 179 times and he caught 64% of them (115 receptions) for 1,389 yards and 10 scores. He was particularly good in the first half of the season with all five of his 100-yard days coming in the first 10 weeks.
Lloyd wasn't even on the radar screen as his high ADP suggests (259). Most fantasy owners though he was the fourth-best receiver on the Denver Broncos behind Eddie Royal, Jabar Gaffney and rookie Demaryius Thomas. But Lloyd earned the confidence of quarterback Kyle Orton with four 100-yard games in the first five weeks. Even after Tim Tebow took the reins of the offense at the end of the season, it was obvious that Lloyd was the team's No.1 receiving option. As either a late-round selection or a free agent pickup after Week 1, Lloyd was the easy winner of the "TSN Best Bargain Award."
Dwayne Bowe was a shining example of inconsistency. For the first five weeks he did practically nothing (9-152-1) but exploded in Week 6 against Houston and went on a scalding hot tear through Week 12 against Seattle (49-733-11). The game in Seattle was the peak of his season, posting 170 yards and three touchdowns on 13 receptions worth 44 fantasy points. Then in the final week of the fantasy regular season he came up small - failing to catch a single ball. The first round of the fantasy playoffs was not much better - one catch for three yards. Despite all the ups and downs, he finished third in receiver scoring and was a great value for an early fifth-round selection (ADP 52).
Of the top-20 receivers, it's interesting to note that 16 of them were selected in the first seven rounds. There were few "good" surprises. Only Lloyd, Buffalo's Steve Johnson, Terrell Owens and Tampa Bay's Mike Williams made the list.
On the other hand, Randy Moss was a huge disappointment and failed to deliver on his first-round selection (ADP 9). His antics and his failure to produce (28 receptions for 393 yards and five TDs) with New England, Minnesota and Tennessee "wins" him the "TSN Most Disappointing Award.