Third-year WRs that matter

Throughout my fantasy football career, I’ve always heard about this “magical third year” for WRs, when supposedly everything clicks for them and they become fantasy factors. Since this theory has held water pretty often in recent years (Steve Smith, Javon Walker, Lee Evans, Roy Williams, plenty more that I don’t feel like linking to), here’s a short list of the third year receivers going into the 2007 season that could take the next step this year:

1. Brown, Reggie (PHI): Should have a great year as the undisputed #1 receiver for McNabb. (Projected: 1100 yards, 9 TD’s)
2. Clayton, Mark (BAL): Will have as good a year as a receiver on the Ravens can have, but don’t expect him to match Reggie Brown’s numbers. (1000/6)
3. Edwards, Braylon (CLE): If he doesn’t have a good year, it’s going to be because of the QB play…or the fact that Cleveland has no idea who will be their QB currently (Frye, Anderson, or Quinn). (900/5)
4. Henderson, Devery (NO): With Joe Horn gone, should be able to step right in and produce next to Colston. (800/6)
5. Jones, Matt (JAX): Loads of talent…let’s just see if he can live up to it. If size was all that matters, Jones would be the next Jerry Rice. (800/6)
6. Jackson, Vincent (SD): Rivers has to throw to someone other than Gates and LT (doesn’t he?) (700/6)

Matt’s comment: Actually, my answer to this question would be: Probably not. Has he ever? Like, once? Someone should really look into this.

7. Washington, Nate (PIT): Should do all right, but don’t expect Roethlisberger to transform into Peyton Manning, so the numbers will only be so good. (700/5)
8. Jones, Brandon (TEN): Should be able to build some good chemistry with Vince Young this year. (500/5)
9. Williamson, Troy (MIN): Although it’s his third year, Tavaris Jackson at the QB position could limit how good Williamson can be this season. (600/3)
10. Williams, Mike (OAK): Didn’t pan out with Detroit, maybe he will with Oakland… but I wouldn’t plan on it. (200/2)
11. Henry, Chris (CIN): Suspended for the first 8 games, it looks like Henry might not be the magical 3rd receiver you were looking for. Even after he comes back, expect him to take a few games to get back in the groove. Stay away from Henry unless you’re in dire needs of a third WR come week 9+. (300/1)