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Filed under: Santana Moss 16th best receiver in the league

Hat tip: Extreme Skins.

Bucky Brooks, who I have (probably unfairly) criticized in the past, was so inspired by Peter King's best quarterbacks list that he decided to make his own for wide receivers. His established metric is:

In taking the entire game into account -- route running, hands, run-after-catch ability, blocking and overall impact on the game -- here are my top 25 wide receivers based on how I think they will fare in 2007
I like that he's holistic in his measurements but dislike this nonsense about ranking them according to how they will "fare" next season. Much of that is dependent on how good their quarterbacks are, their opponents, their offensive lines, their running backs, etc. These are things that affect production. Philosophically, I'm of the opinion that the "best" lists should answer questions about Wide Receiver X relative to Wide Receiver Y, and not Wide Receiver X's quarterback relative to Wide Receiver Y's quarterback. Production driven analysis is for fantasy sports; determing the relative worth of a player should try to look beyond their uniquely good or bad circumstance. But that's just one man's opinion... Anyways:
16. Santana Moss, Washington Redskins: After torching the league two seasons ago on his way to his first Pro Bowl bid, Moss saw his production fall off dramatically in 2006 as a new offensive scheme and inconsistency at the quarterback position limited his opportunities. But with Clinton Portis and Ladell Betts forming one of the top rushing attacks, Moss should see more single coverage on early downs. With his outstanding speed and quickness, he will dominate those match-ups on his way to a big season in 2007.
I like that Moss made the list and I like his placement (I don't think any of the players ranked above him are placed unreasonably. I might disagree with a few of them but not strongly enough to call shenanigans on Brooks). But peppering his praise of Moss with factoids about Ladell Betts and Clinton Portis is precisely why I think these lists fail. If I put Santana Moss on someone else's team, the player doesn't change, but the production might. Which is why production is only part of what makes a player better than others; we should correct for their unique circumstances. A list about wide receivers that produces information on Clinton Portis and Ladell Betts isn't really telling us about Santana Moss the receiver and his relative worth. It is telling us about the Washington Redskins #1 wide receiver.

Am I just being nit-picky, reader(s)? If you were to make a list of "Best" player in the NFL right now, would you rank it like Peter King and Bucky Brooks or some alternative?