Making It In The YFFL - Part III

Bobby Sansone, Senior Writer

December 10, 2004

A Investigative Report has been following the young careers of 8 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.

Editor's Note: Donte Stallworth was clearly the best WR coming out of college and won't be followed. The goal is to follow these 8 WRs because they were virtually impossible to differentiate at draft time.)

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

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

Current WR Class of 2002 Power Rankings

1. Javon Walker, Refugees
Walker is the first Pro Bowler to emerge from the Class is among the elite WRs in the YFFL. 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 for Plaxico Burress. That trade still makes Sansone wake-up in a deep sweat (until he realizes it's just a puddle of drool). Shortly after, Walker broke loose and was scoring nearly every week for Aceto's Refugees. Walker has even passed Donte Stallworth as the premier WR in the Class of 2002 and totaled 90 points this season. Grade: A

2. Ashlie Lelie, Buddies
Lelie finally ermeged in 2004 and gave us a glimpse of what we can exect in the future. Starting in four games for a deep Buddies team, Lelie scored 24 points while actually totaling 58 points overall. Lelie remains confined to the bench and is fifth on the WR depth chart behind arguably the greatest WR corps in the history of the YFFL. Moss, Holt, Roy Williams, and Chambers remain ahead of Lelie on the depth chart which will make him trade bait in the off-season. Grade: B+

3. Antonio Bryant, Merry Men
The former first-round draft pick of the Thugs remains lost in the shuffle of the Merry Men WRs. Bryant made three starts for Dugas this season and falling in line with the rest of the Merry Men's underachieving receivers, scored just 2 points in those starts. Bryant has excelled since being traded to the Browns and has actually had back-to-back 16 point games which gives Steve some options in the playoffs. Bryant's future with the Merry Men remains cloudy as he still trails Jerry Porter and fellow Class of 2002 draftee Donte Stallworth in playing time. Bryant is reportedly learning a lot from future Hall of Famer Jerry Rice and is looking forward to 2005. Grade: B

4. Andre Davis, White Guys
Although Davis has seen his scoring decrease in each of his first three seasons in the YFFL, Aceto still believes there is talent here, at least enough talent to warrant a roster spot. Surprisingly, Davis has only started 7 games in his three-year career and scored just 10 points, just 10% of possible scoring output. Davis' fantasy value has been decreased by the Browns' revolving QB door, which has included the likes of Tim Couch, Kelly Holcomb, Jeff Garcia and now Luke McCown. Grade: C

5. Jabar Gaffney, Mallards
While Dugas is still singing words of praise for the poor-man's Laveraneus Coles, starting Gaffney over Brandon Stokely can't be justified. Gaffney is what us in the fantasy world call a "chipper". Someone who will chip in a few touchdowns a year and nothing more. So, if you guess correctly in what weeks to start him, like Steve has, you might get some production out of him. Gaffney made 5 starts for the Mallards this year and somehow scored all 18 of his points in those five weeks as the Mallards used him to 100% of output production. Gaffney will likely be playing the same role next season as the Mallards will be more competitive and looking to make the playoffs. Grade: C-

6. Antwaan Randel-El, Boys
Randel-El may be joining Josh Reed and Marquise Walker in the YFFL unemployment line. The "all-purpose" player has not played for the Boys since his rookies season and totaled just 8 points this season. The Boys WR corps is far from spectacular but Randel-El remains Davidson's last option. As long as Hines Ward and Plaxico Burress are around, Randel-El won't be able to put up big numbers. Look for Randel-El to be one of Chris' cuts next August 1. Grade: D-

7. 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 secomd time earliter this season after making one unproductive start for the Dragons. It's hard to say where Reed's YFFL career took a turn for the worse. Catching passes from Bledsoe in the pre-Willis McGahee days certainly didn't help. Factor that in with an injury plagued 2004 season and the emergence of rookie sensation Lee Evans and Reed's career in the YFFL is in serious jeopardy. If he can re-surface with another NFL team and lock on as a 3rd WR, he may be worth a draft pick but that's still a long shot. Grade: D-

8. Marquise Walker, Free Agent
Walker never made it into a YFFL game and spent his entire career on the Chickens Injured Reserve. He isn't even on an NFL roster and was last rumored to be on the Patriots practice squad. Walker had a lackluster and brief YFFL career. He is clearly the failure of the YFFL WR Class of 2002. Grade: F