Imagine a place called Revis Island. It sounds like a tropical destination, lined with palm trees and surrounded by crystal-clear water as far as the eye can see. But in reality, Revis Island is a nightmare -- at least if you're an NFL wide receiver. It's a cold, dark place where wideouts disappear like boats in the Bermuda Triangle.
The ruler of this terrible place is Darrelle Revis, the most-feared cornerback this side of Deion Sanders. But Neon Deion wasn't in his prime while fantasy football was such a phenomenon. In my 10-plus years in this business, I can say with complete faith that I've never seen a cornerback make such an impact in traditional fantasy leagues.
In Week 2, Randy Moss was left stranded on Revis Island.
So in matchups against three of the top 12 wideouts in fantasy football, Revis allowed an average of a mere 2.6 points in standard scoring formats.
One week after facing a Dolphins offense with a less-than-impressive wide receiver corps, Revis once again put the clamps down on one of the top wideouts in the league. Terrell Owens was unable to escape unscathed, as he left the Meadowlands with three catches, 13 yards and no touchdowns. The Raiders and Dolphins offered little resistance over the next two weeks before a matchup against the Jaguars and Mike Sims-Walker. While Sims-Walker did post a touchdown, he wasn't being covered by Revis at the time.
Another contest against Moss was more of a draw, as Revis allowed five catches for 34 yards and one touchdown. As if that upset him, Revis was even more difficult to produce against down the stretch. Over his final six games, he allowed a combined 13 receptions for 124 yards to six of the league's most talented wideouts. Carolina's Steve Smith (one catch, 5 yards), Owens (three catches, 31 yards), Antonio Bryant (two catches, 22 yards), Roddy White (four catches, 33 yards), Reggie Wayne (three catches, 33 yards) and Chad Ochocinco (0 catches, 0 yards) all crashed and burned in their attempt to make Revis Island their own statistical destination.
Oh, and not one of those wide receivers scored a single touchdown.
If we combine the total number of fantasy points Revis allowed to the top-notch wide receivers (Johnson, Moss, Colston, Owens, Smith, White, Wayne, Ochocinco) in 2009, it would come out to 27. (No, that's not a misprint). So in a total of 10 games, Revis allowed fewer points than Brandon Marshall scored (32) in one game against the Colts.
That should be enough reason for fantasy owners to know the wideouts who'll have the daunting task of facing Revis in 2010. Based on how his opponents performed (or didn't perform) in 2009, those receivers will be in danger of disappearing off the stat sheets for at least one week. So who are the poor souls who must face the league's best cornerback?
Here's the list, and it's an impressive one:
Randy Moss, Patriots (2): In two meetings against Revis last season, Moss produced a combined nine receptions, 58 yards and one touchdown. It's hard to bench a player of his caliber, but Moss could struggle against him in Weeks 2 and 13.
Chad Ochocinco, Bengals: When Ochocinco went up against Revis at the end of last season, he caught as many passes in the contest as I did. Zero. I doubt he'll find much more success when he faces the feared cornerback in Week 12.
Hines Ward, Steelers: Whether Revis is slated to cover Ward or Mike Wallace remains to be seen, but the wideout who draws the task in Week 15 will be a major risk for owners. The game also comes during the fantasy playoffs.
Lee Evans, Bills (2): With Owens out of the mix, Evans gets the "privilege" of facing Revis twice and will be a player to avoid as a starter in Week 4 and 17. At least most fantasy leagues are over before the last contest.