Strength of schedule winners
1) Dallas Cowboys: Dez Bryant / Miles Austin
2) Denver Broncos: Demaryius Thomas / Wes Welker / Eric Decker
3) Philadelphia Eagles: DeSean Jackson / Riley Cooper
4) Chicago Bears: Brandon Marshall / Alshon Jeffery
5) Kansas City Chiefs: Dwayne Bowe / Jon Baldwin
As I mentioned in my WR handcuffs piece, Bryant and Austin make for an interesting duo. Austin isn't that far removed from WR1 fantasy status and that isn't solely from diminishing skills. Injuries have seriously derailed the momentum he built in 2009 and 2010. Considering he was so banged up last year and still managed to put up decent stats, Austin is an excellent WR3 value.
Grabbing any one of Denver's receivers works for me. This situation really reminds me of when the Colts had Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne and Anthony Gonzalez back in 2008. All three guys were viable in fantasy and amazingly enough; no one would be shocked if they all finished within the Top 20 at their position. Thomas is the consensus WR1, Welker is the PPR monster and Decker could pull a 2011 Jordy Nelson and score a bunch of TDs due to the mismatch he creates at WR3.
There's no easy way to say this: but even though Cooper made a total ass of himself, he is someone you should be watching (and possibly targeting) in your draft. This offense could fall flat on its face in the NFL as Chip Kelly adjusts to the speed of the league. Then again, it could be Mike Martz and "The Greatest Show on Turf" all over again. Cooper has to catapult onto your radar. Most fantasy owners are lukewarm on Jackson after a couple "meh" seasons. Both players are extremely underappreciated right now.
Marshall is an absolute stud and should be a lock as a Top 3 WR. The takeaway from the Bears' favorable WR schedule is what could be in store for Jeffery. There are so many young receivers in the NFL right now and he is one that isn't receiving much love outside of Chicago. Jeffery is a thickly-built receiver who can outmuscle and outhustle smaller corners for tough receptions. The key for him is setting himself up as the Bears' third receiving option behind Marshall and Matt Forte. This means beating out new tight end Martellus Bennett, which might not be easy after his excellent 2012 campaign. Jeffery is a deep sleeper and this SOS ranking only helps his long odds.
Like Marshall, we all know what Bowe is capable of and an upgrade at quarterback and head coach can only help him. And like Jeffery, Baldwin is yet another young receiver with a ton to prove. The former Pitt Panther is a stout 6'4" and 230 pounds. The problem is his concentration and hands. He drops way too many balls. Unfortunately, behind Baldwin on the depth chart, the Chiefs have little else besides Donnie Avery. Baldwin has the higher ceiling, but the third-year wideout will likely go undrafted in many leagues after two no-show seasons.