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Greatest all-time fantasy seasons: Wide receivers

The word dominant is defined as "most important, powerful or influential."

In the NFL, dominant at the wide receiver position can be defined with two words: Jerry Rice.

In our research of the greatest statistical seasons based on fantasy points in the Super Bowl era, it became evident that Rice's name would be dominant among wideouts. In fact, the future Hall of Famer recorded an unbelievable six of the top 10 best seasonal performances at the position.

As a result, we've decided to focus on his accomplishments in a separate section and then rank the rest of the best.

Greg M. Cooper/US PRESSWIRE
Randy Moss recorded the best fantasy season ever from a wide receiver.

Rice had the second greatest fantasy football season among wide receivers in 1995, when he finished with 285 points on an NFL record 1,848 yards and 16 total touchdowns. In 1986, he posted 1,570 yards and a combined 16 touchdowns for a total of 260 points, which ranked third on our list.

Rice's 253 points in 1989 and 1993 are tied with Herman Moore for the fifth most, his one-time record 22 touchdowns and 251 points in 1987 tied with Mark Clayton for eighth, and his 249 points in 1994 were the tenth-best total.

Rice also finished his illustrious career as the NFL's all-time leader in receptions (1,549), scrimmage yards (23,540), receiving yards (22,895) and touchdowns (207) and was without question the greatest wide receiver to ever grace a pro football field.

Now that we've taken a look back at Rice's incredible accomplishments, let's delve into the rest of the elite performances at the wide receiver position. Players were rewarded six points for all touchdowns and one point for each 10 rushing and receiving yards.

1. Randy Moss, New England (2007): One of the most talented but controversial athletes in the NFL, Moss has had several solid seasons but none more productive than 2007. He finished with 1,493 yards and scored 23 touchdowns, which broke Jerry Rice's previous record of 22 receiving scores set in 1987. Moss, who finished with two more fantasy points (287) than Rice's 285 points in 1995, experienced a complete reversal of statistical fortunes in New England and is once again the top wide receiver in all of fantasy football.

2. Randy Moss, Minnesota (2003): Moss recorded the second-best fantasy season at the NFL level in 2003, when he finished with a career-best 1,632 yards and what was a career-best 17 touchdowns, all of which totaled 267 points. In that memorable season, Moss recorded an impressive eight performances with 100-plus yards. While Moss' numbers fell hard in two seasons with the Oakland Raiders -- he averaged 779 yards and fewer than six touchdowns -- he was resurrected in the football nirvana that is New England.

3. Isaac Bruce, St. Louis (1995): In what was one of the most productive seasons ever at the wide receiver position, Bruce finished with 256 points on career highs in receptions (119) and touchdowns (13), and his 1,781 yards remains the second-best total ever behind Jerry Rice's 1,848 yards (1995). The veteran out of Memphis has eight 1,000-yard seasons on his resume, ranks third all-time with 14,109 yards and is one of four wide receivers (Rice, Tim Brown, James Lofton) with 14,000-plus career receiving yards.

4. Herman Moore, Detroit (1995): A four-time Pro Bowl selection, Moore made a real name for himself in the world of fantasy football with the Lions in the mid-1990's. His best numbers came in 1995, when he finished with a total of 253 fantasy points on what was an NFL record 123 receptions for a career-best 1,686 yards and 14 touchdowns. Moore would produce two more 1,000-yard seasons before injuries caused him to fall off the fantasy radar, but he was an absolute stud when he was at the peak of his pro football career.

5. Mark Clayton, Miami (1984): It's no shock that one of the best performances from a wide receiver in the Super Bowl era came from Clayton, who benefited from the incredible numbers of Dan Marino in the 1984 season. One half of the famed "Marks Brothers" in Miami, Clayton recorded a total of 251 fantasy points on a career-best 1,389 yards and 18 touchdowns, which ties him with Sterling Sharpe (1994) for third all time. Clayton would finish with 84 career receiving touchdowns, which ties him for 13th all time.


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6. Marvin Harrison, Indianapolis (2001): Harrison doesn't receive as much press as some of the more outspoken players at his position, but he has nonetheless been one of the NFL's most productive wideouts. In 2001, Harrison recorded his best fantasy season with 242 points on 1,524 yards and a career-best 15 touchdowns. A reliable option for owners, Harrison has posted 1,000-plus yards in eight of the past nine seasons. He is also fifth in career receiving touchdowns, as he's found the end zone an impressive 123 times.

7. Torry Holt, St. Louis (2003): One of the most valuable wide receivers in fantasy football over the past eight seasons, Holt's rare combination of speed, experience and terrific hands has made him a reliable asset for owners. His best season came in 2003, when he finished with 242 points on 1,696 yards (fifth-best total all-time) and 12 touchdowns as part of an offense that became known as "The Greatest Show on Turf." Even now, Holt remains one of the more valuable and popular wide receivers in fantasy land.

8. Terrell Owens, San Francisco (2001): An explosive athlete who is better known for the controversies that have surrounded him off the field, Owens has been an absolute stat machine for much of his career. He had his best overall numbers in 2001, when he finished with 1,412 yards and a career-best 16 touchdowns for a total of 239 points. Now in Dallas, T.O. has averaged an impressive 1,267 yards and scored a combined 28 touchdowns over the past two seasons. He will be one of the first wideouts taken in all 2008 drafts.

9. Cris Carter, Minnesota (1995): Carter's career started slow, as he failed to record 1,000 yards for the first six seasons at the NFL level. But the talented veteran would reel off eight consecutive 1,000-yard seasons from 1993-2000 and scored a total of 74 touchdowns from 1995-2000. The best of those seasons came in 1995, when Carter produced 239 points and had career bests in receptions (122), receiving yards (1,371) and touchdowns (17). He is currently second all-time behind Rice with 130 receiving scores.

10. Marvin Harrison, Indianapolis (2002): In one of his numerous spectacular statistical seasons at the NFL level, Harrison compiled 239 fantasy points on what is an NFL record 143 receptions, a career-best 1,722 yards and 11 touchdown catches in 2002. Harrison, who needs 52 receptions to tie Tim Brown's 1,094 catches for third all-time and seven touchdowns to tie Cris Carter for the second-most receiving touchdowns, still has the tools to be a high-end No. 2 fantasy wideout next season.

Notables: Muhsin Muhammad, Carolina (2004), 239 points.

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