Making It in the YFFL - Part IV

Bobby Sansone, Senior Writer

November 04, 2008

This is part 4 of a investigative report - read the previous report... has been following the careers of 9 wide receivers as they make the transition from college to the fantasy pros. From now until they retire, will chronicle the lives of the WR Class of 2002.

The WR Class of 2002 Power Rankings (11/27/2002)

  1. Donte Stallworth, Merry Men
  2. Andre Davis, White Guys
  3. Antonio Bryant, Merry Men
  4. Antwaan Randle-El, Big Boys
  5. Jabar Gaffney, Mallards
  6. Josh Reed, Merry Men
  7. Javon Walker, Thugs
  8. Ashlie Lelie, Buddies
  9. Marquis Walker, Chickens

Current WR Class of 2002 Power Rankings

  1. Javon Walker, Refugees

    Walker, the only Pro Bowler to emerge from the Class, was among the elite WRs in the YFFL until injuries took over. He looked like the steal of the 2002 draft at 16th overall, but Walker became expendable to the Beans and Bobby Sansone in 2003 when his "win now" mindset took over. He was traded along with Nate Burleson and a first round draft pick (used to select Josh McCown) for Plaxico Burress. He can still be found on the Refugees roster 5 years later and has appeared in 4 games this year but totaled just 8 points. Walker is the 41st best WR in YFFL history and is closing in on 200 career points but one can only wonder what he could have been if not riddled with injuries.

    Grade: A-

  2. Donte Stallworth

    Not even the heralded Donte Stallworth could escape the mediocrity of the 2002 class of wide receivers

  3. Donte Stallworth, Brothers

    Widely regarded as the best WR in the 2002 draft, the Merry Men made Donte Stallworth the 6th pick in the draft. He scored 42 points his rookie season and has not topped that mark since (he totaled 52 in 2005). He was traded to the Brothers that season as a part of a rare 3-way trade involving the Huskers and Merry Men. Stallworth scored 40 and 32 points respectively the following two season but has made only 1 start for the Brothers this year and has scored just 1 TD while on the bench. Stallworth may be slowly working his way out of the league and is looking like a possible cut for the Brothers entering 2009. The best WR of the 2002 class may turn out to be the biggest bust.

    Grade: C

  4. Antwaan Randle-El, Dragons

    Randle-El may be the only WR in this class to rejuvenate an otherwise disappointing career. Randle-El was signed earlier this season by the Dragons and has been a steady bye week fill-on for the first place Dragons as he has managed to score at least 2 points in all but two games this season. Averaging about 20 points over the last 3 seasons certainly makes for a border-line fantasy roster spot, but that's still better than half of this WR class. Look for Randle-El to be at the top of the waiver wire free agent list for years to come.

    Grade: C-

  5. Antonio Bryant, Merry Men

    The former first round draft pick of the Thugs remains lost in the shuffle of the Llamas WRs. Drafted in the 5th round earlier this year, Bryant made his first start in Week 8 and naturally put up a goose egg. Bryant is a career YFFL journeyman who has twice been the infamous "other player" in big trade deals. He seems to be stuck in some sort of perverted Steve-Bobby-Kevin love triangle as he has never played for any other owner. Look for Bryant to continue his journeyman status for at least a few more years.

    Grade: C+

  6. Ashley Lelie

    Poor balance plagued Ashley Lelie throughout his career

  7. Ashley Lelie, Free Agent

    Ashley Lelie's career seemed to peak in 2004 when he scored 24 points while actually totaling 58 points overall. For years Lelie remained confined to the bench on arguably the greatest WR corps in the history of the YFFL: the Buddies from 20042007. Alas, Mike's loyalty to Lelie dissipated in 2007 when he was cut to make room for Phil Dawson. The 11th overall pick in 2002 looks like he may not get another shot in the YFFL and perhaps is the biggest bust of the 2002 class.

    Grade: D+

  8. Andre Davis, Free Agent

    Despite the most unlikely of revivals in 2007 in which Davis scored 34 points while on the Merry Men bench, Davis has returned to his normal unproductive self. With only 12 career YFFL starts, Davis' career is likely over. The former 17th overall pick by the White Guys was yet another huge disappointment out of Virginia Tech. He currently ranks 33rd among WRs...on the free agent list.

    Grade: C-

  9. Jabar Gaffney, Free Agent

    Gaffney's last hurrah in the YFFL could have been this season when he was drafted 60th overall by the Bear and subsequently cut two weeks later. With Brady out for the season, Gaffney wasn't going to last on the deep WR corps of the Bear. With only 4 TDs in the last 3 seasons and just three 50 yard receiving games, Gaffney never lived up to the expectations the Mallards had when he was drafted with the 6th pick of the 2nd round in 2002.

    Grade: C-

  10. Marquise Walker

    The former Michigan receiver isn't even the most famous Marquise Walker in sports these days

  11. Josh Reed, Free Agent

    The former 3rd round pick of the Merry Men in 2002 was cut heading into 2004. The Dragons took a chance on the starting Bills WR but it didn't last long. Reed was cut for a second time earlier this season after making one unproductive start for the Dragons. Reed re-emerged in 2006 when he was signed by the Orangutangs but was subsequently cut prior to the 2007 draft. Although still very much part of the Bills passing attack, Reed has not scored a TD or 100 yards receiving in nearly two and a half seasons. His YFFL career is likely over and was overall a disappointment.

    Grade: D

  12. Marquise Walker, Free Agent

    Drafted late in the 3rd round of the 2002 YFFL draft, Walker never lived up to the hype he earned at Michigan. He never played in a YFFL game for the Chickens and has been out of football for 3 seasons now. Off the field problems continue to demise the once promising young WR.

    Grade: F