A Fantasy Football Maniaxs’ tradition is publishing a list of the top third-year receivers in the NFL. Usually, I can find about only five names on my list and the rest are players that I hope could make an impact. For example, last year WR Jordy Nelson was in my Top-Five, even though he was a likely fourth receiver.
This year, Nelson from 2010 would not have a chance of making my Top-Eight and would probably be somewhere outside the Top-10. There were so many qualified receivers that I could put on the list, that instead of doing a Top 10, I decided to do a Top 15 as the majority of the Top 10 has already established themselves as elite receivers.
Many people have argued that the third-year projections are obsolete and that most receivers make the jump in their second year. If there was ever a year to make that argument, it would be this year. The 2009 NFL Draft may eventually be known as the best wide receiver drafts ever.
Here is my list of the Top 15 third-year wide receivers, followed by five third-year tight ends to keep an eye on as well. All fantasy rankings are courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference.com.
1) Mike Wallace (Pittsburgh Steelers) – Wallace was the cream of the second-year wide receiver crop, finishing with 60 receptions for 1,257 yards and 10 touchdown receptions. Those totals made him the fifth best fantasy receiver in the NFL. The exciting part about Wallace is that he played four games without starting QB Ben Roethlisberger, who was suspended for the first four games of the season. With another year of experience and a quarterback for the full schedule, the sky is the limit for one of the fastest receivers in the NFL…