Randy Moss made waves at Super Bowl Media Day (as Randy is wont to do) when he proclaimed that he was “the greatest receiver ever to do it.” While most people ascribe that title to Jerry Rice — even Jerry himself slyly suggested as much — we got to thinking about where Moss, Rice and some of the other NFL greats would rank if we looked at it from a fantasy perspective. After all, that’s what we do.
So after some quick
back-of-the-napkin spreadsheet calculations, we’ve compiled the top five fantasy receivers of all time…based, of course, on standard NFL.com scoring.
5. Cris Carter (2174 points) – It was inaccurate to say that all Carter did was catch touchdowns. Although he was pretty good at that, too. The Ohio State product was something of a late bloomer, never breaking the 1,000-yard barrier until his seventh season. He made up for lost time after that, going over 1,000 yards eight straight years and pulling in double-digit touchdowns in five consecutive seasons — including a career-high 17 in 1995.
4. Marvin Harrison (2222.8 points) – After a couple of good, but not great seasons, Harrison broke out in 1999 with 1,663 yards and 12 touchdowns — thanks in no small part to Peyton Manning getting more comfortable in his second NFL season. It began a string of eight straight campaigns in which Harrison logged 1,100-plus yards and 10 or more touchdowns and making the Manning-Harrison duo one of the most potent pass-catch combos in NFL history.
3. Randy Moss (2475.1 points) – Moss burst upon the scene with a huge rookie season in 1998, with more than 1,300 receiving yards and 17 touchdowns. Turns out that over the next decade, there weren’t many who could stop Randy Moss…besides Randy Moss. Still, there have been few NFL receivers with the physical gifts and potential the former Marshall star possessed in his prime. Yet, potential is an unsigned check and Moss failed to cash in as fantasy football’s best.
2. Terrell Owens (2546.5 points) – Owens has the benefit of learning at the feet of Rice to begin his career before taking over in San Francisco as the franchise’s next go-to receiver. He might have worn out his welcome in more than a few NFL locker rooms, but he was a fantasy favorite, thanks to posting more than 1,000 yards in nine of his 15 seasons while snagging 10 or more touchdowns eight different times. Even in his most recent season in 2010, Owens posted 983 yards with nine touchdowns — which is almost identical to the output of fantasy stud Jimmy Graham. Still, it wasn’t enough to top…
1. Jerry Rice (3,588 points) — Was there really any doubt? And it wasn’t even close. The NFL’s undisputed GOAT scored 208 touchdowns — 33 more than the next closest player. He also led the league in receiving TDs and yards six times (including a then-record 1,848 yards in 1995). The superlatives attached to Rice’s Hall of Fame career are legion, so let us add one more title to his already overburdened mantle — greatest fantasy receiver of all time.
– Marcas Grant
Follow Marcas on Twitter @MarcasG