NFL fantasy football: Chad Johnson on top?

Change up: Not only has Chad Johnson changed his name (back), he’s changed teams, and might be changing the way fantasy football owners view him. According to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald, the Dolphins wideout looks like the “best wide receiver on the team right now.” While the quarterback situation and depth at receiver leave much to be desired, the unit is listed at 17th in NFL.com’s fantasy strength of schedule rankings for wide receivers. Though coach Joe Philbin did have Aaron Rodgers and Brett Favre at the helm from 2007-2011 during his time with the Green Bay Packers, his offenses in that span never ranked lower than 10th in total points or 9th in total yards. If the Dolphins are going to find a way to score, Philbin’s track record proves he will find it. There are sure to be growing pains, but Johnson’s average fantasy wideout rankingof 71.25 carries little risk for owners who select him in the later rounds of drafts as a reserve.

Can Joe Philbin bring his previous success to Miami? (Steve Mitchell/US Presswire)

Good times: According to NFL.com’s Aditi Kinkhabwala, Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco “has been enjoying some of the best practices of his career.” While it is a positive sign for potential fantasy football owners, Flacco hasn’t finished better than 10th in scoring at the position since 2009, and is currently projected as the 20th ranked fantasy quarterback heading into 2012. If the Delaware product can continue to show major improvement, it might bolster his value as a No. 2 quarterback. But the presence of Ray Rice limits his potential to move up the ranks. The players most impacted by Flacco’s growth will be Torrey Smith and Anquan Boldin. Neither player is considered more than a No. 3 wide receiver in fantasy land, but they should see better numbers in 2012 considering Flacco had the worst completion percentage (57.6) of his career last season.

The Wright deal: The Tennessee Titans and rookie wideout Kendall Wright have agreed to terms on a contract. Wright could be one of the more productive fantasy football rookie receivers in 2012 now that Kenny Britt’s value is falling due to multiple knee surgeries and his recent arrest, which could result in suspension by the league. As NFL.com’s fantasy guru Michael Fabiano points out, “Britt isn’t worth more than a middle- to late-round choice.” For now, Wright should still be considered a late round depth selection in drafts, but he is expected to be the one lining up opposite Nate Washington once the regular season starts.

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