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The "New" Trend - WRBC

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Every fantasy owner knows, and hates, the term "Running-Back-By-Committee" (RBBC) and unfortunately it seems like it's here to stay. But the next nightmare for fantasy owners to endure is WRBC.

Yes, I'm saying that the latest trend is "Wide-Receiver-By-Committee."

Actually it's not a new trend, but it's appears it is becoming much more popular.

As a fantasy player for many years, and I can remember a time when I drafted Dan Fouts as the No.1 overall choice so that should tell you how long I've been at this, and Fouts's San Diego Chargers were the first team I can remember that employed the Wide Receiver By Committee."

Fouts was the most prolific passer of his day, and with Don Coryell as head coach, a.k.a. "Air Coryell," Fouts threw early and often to multiple receivers. In those days, however, they rarely used three, four and five receiver sets, so Fouts used his running backs and tight ends as wideouts. And they were all prolific.

In 1981 for instance, five members of the Chargers offense hauled in at least 43 balls. They were led by wideouts Charlie Joiner (70-1,188-7), Wes Chandler (52-857-5), tight end Kellen Winslow (88-1,075-10) and running backs Chuck Muncie (43-362-0) and James Brooks (46-329-3).

The 2010 versions are being used in New Orleans, Denver, Indianapolis, San Diego and possibly in New York when all the Jets receivers become eligible to play.

In New Orleans, quarterback Drew Brees has been running the best (or worst) version of the WRBC for a couple of years. In 2007 Brees had six receivers with at least 32 catches or more led by Marques Colston's 98 receptions. In 2008 there were seven 30+ receivers, this time led by Lance Moore's 79 catches. And last year, while winning the Super Bowl, the Saints again had seven 30+ catch receivers.

And it seems as though Brees will continue the trend as through three games the Saints have seven receivers with at least seven receptions each. What this means to fantasy owners is that predicting who will lead the team each week is next to impossible. And the only "sure bet" is Brees himself.

We have grown to understand that with New Orleans and on Draft Day the first Saints receiver didn't get selected until the third round (Colston RapidDraft ADP 30.2). Despite the No.2 quarterback, Colston was the 13th receiver off the board.

Looking at the first three games of 2010, it appears that predicting who, of the Denver Broncos' receivers, will lead them will be just as confusing as in the Crescent City.

It wasn't always that way. For the previous three years, Brandon Marshall was the No.1 receiver and everyone knew it. Marshall posted three consecutive 100+ receptions with at least 1,120 yards.

But with Marshall traded to Miami, no one knew what to make of the Denver receiving corps throughout training camp. After three games, it appears to be in good hands with Eddie Royal, Jabar Gaffney, Brandon Lloyd and rookie Demaryius Thomas. But predicting from week to week, who will be the primary target is going to be impossible. In Week 1 it was Lloyd and Royal. Weeks 2 saw Thomas and Royal lead the way and on Sunday it was Lloyd and Gaffney. I have no idea who will lead them next week against Tennessee.

The Colts and Peyton Manning employ the WRBC by design. Manning reads the defense and goes to whomever is open and that lends itself to a WRBC offense. With Manning having confidence in Reggie Wayne, Dallas Clark, Joseph Addai and youngsters Austin Collie and Pierre Garcon, its going to be tough to select his primary target each week.

And while Antonio Gates may seem like the No.1 guy in San Diego, it appears that quarterback Philip Rivers will also go to Malcolm Floyd, Legedu Naanee and new arrival Patrick Crayton at any time.

In New York, when all the pieces finally fall into place, will that become another WRBC team? Right now, tight end Dustin Keller is the clear No.1, but what about when Santonio Holmes arrives in Week 5? Or the talented Braylon Edwards? Or Jerricho Cotchery? Or LaDainian Tomlinson out of the backfield?

Being a fantasy owner is getting harder and harder.

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at sschwarz@sportsnetwork.com.

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