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Comparing a No.2 receiver against a No.1 wideout

Wes Welker has been better than some so-called No. 1 receivers.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Have you ever wondered whether you should step up and take the No.2 receiver on a good team while there are still some No.1 wideouts available?

I've done some research which may help you make your decision.

Certainly when you are talking the elite No.2 wideouts such as Wes Welker or T.J. Houshmandzadeh, there is no question that you can choose them at any time and be happy. But what about Anquan Boldin or Greg Jennings?

Here's how I went about studying the question. I took the top-10 passing offenses and compared the No.2 receiver on each team (based on yards) versus the top receiver on the bottom-10 passing teams. I did the analysis for both 2006 and 2007 and the numbers were similar.

In 2006 the No.2 receiver on a top passing team caught passes for an average 943 yards and 5.3 touchdowns. The best receiver on the "bad" passing teams averaged just 863 yards and 4.7 TD. The No.2s were about 9% better than the best receivers on a bad throwing team.

Last years the numbers for the No.2 receivers were 846.8 and 7.8 TD versus 793 yards and 4.8 TD for the No.1 receivers on the poorer throwing teams.

This tells me that you shouldn't fear taking the No.2 receiver if the only No.1 left are on a weaker throwing team.

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at

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