Michael Fabiano | Tags: Andre Johnson, Brandon Lloyd, Calvin Johnson, Denver Broncos, Greg Jennings, Hakeem Nicks, Jake Locker, Kenny Britt, Kyle Orton, Larry Fitzgerald, Reggie Wayne, Roddy White, Steve Johnson, Tennessee Titans
Here’s our fantasy takes on the NFL news of the day …
Suspension unlikely for Britt: According to Titans beat writer Jim Wyatt, Kenny Britt has pleaded guilty to careless driving and been fined for his April arrest. Britt isn’t likely to face a league-imposed suspension for the minor infraction, which is good news in terms of his fantasy value, which will be at its highest level ever entering the 2011 season. A third-year wideout, Britt has the size, tools and potential to break out for the Titans. The one question that still needs to be answered — and will ultimately make or break his value — is who will play quarterback. If the team starts rookie Jake Locker, which I think is unlikely, Britt’s value will take a hit. But if a veteran like Matt Hasselbeck or Kyle Orton is added, Britt could turn into this year’s version of Steve Johnson.
Fantasy vs. reality at wideout: Recently, NFL.com senior analyst Pat Kirwan ranked the NFL’s top wide receivers based strongly on their statistics over the last two years. His “Group A” consists of Larry Fitzgerald, Andre Johnson, Calvin Johnson, Reggie Wayne and Roddy White. Not surprisingly, three of those wideouts (Andre and Calvin Johnson, White) are also in the top five in NFL.com’s fantasy rankings. But the two other wideouts who make up the fantasy top five are Hakeem Nicks (Kirwan’s Group C) and Greg Jennings (Kirwan’s Group B). Of this pair, Nicks is the player who could explode in 2011. He’s shown flashes of brilliance in the past, and a favorable schedule that includes games against the Cowboys (2), Redskins (2), Seahawks and 49ers make him even more attractive. If he avoids injuries, I truly believe Nicks could be fantasy’s top-scoring wideout in 2011.
Brandon Lloyd building resume: Lloyd, the top fantasy wide receiver last season, is keeping himself busy during the lockout. Of course, fantasy owners are more concerned with whether he can duplicate his breakout 2010 campaign. With Josh McDaniels gone and John Fox now running (literally) the show, I’d say the chances are slim. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if Lloyd fails to put up 1,000 yards in 2011 — especially if the Broncos deal Orton. So despite his recent heroics, drafting Lloyd as anything more than a No. 2 fantasy wideout isn’t a good idea.