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Fantasy Football 2011 Rankings: Donnie Avery's Preseason Test Saturday

Donnie Avery's return to the St. Louis Rams on Saturday could make him their most dynamic fantasy wide receiver--by default.

Donnie Avery is, given Danario Alexander's unprecedented fragility, the St. Louis Rams' best chance at getting a wide receiver onto the 2011 fantasy football rankings map. Admittedly this says far more about the Rams than Avery; one debilitating knee injury ago the Rams' would-be downfield threat caught 47 balls for 589 yards and five touchdowns. That's only impressive when you consider that those 47 balls were tossed by Undead Marc Bulger and Actually Dead Kyle Boller and, to top the season off, Regular Keith Null.

For all that, Avery's five touchdown catches were two more than any of the Rams' receivers in 2010, despite those receivers getting an actual quarterback (and Danny Amendola, who was too busy bailing out Pat Shurmur's offense behind the line of scrimmage, getting 85 receptions.)

Avery is a limited receiver in a lot of ways, and his knee injury is bad news for a speed merchant--even though he's supposedly running well in camp. Our first look at the new Donnie Avery will apparently come Saturday, and while I'm not yet optimistic about it he could be a real difference-maker in Josh McDaniels's offense, which is rumored to include that forward pass I've heard so much about.