It is getting a bit easier to see who should play and who should not, but what isn’t so easy to predict is who is going to have the biggest day.
With at least 15 different receivers to choose from at any given time, the “playing field” becomes more important from here on out as managers begin to settle in and look towards their place in the playoffs.
This week we really want to hone in on who is going to step up and afford you guys the right combination of receivers, in an effort to afford you the maximum amount of points one can get.
Let’s take a look.
1. Andre Johnson
Tennessee is still heavily considered sub-par in pass coverage, and Johnson is a Fantasy stud.
Houston has shown they can pass on anyone regardless of coverage capabilities and you can bet A.J. will bring the Titans back to earth a bit.
Baltimore still can’t cover the long ball and their defense is severely banged up coming into a matchup with the heavily touted Colts.
Wayne will have a monster day; you can count on it.
Revis is the hands down cover man in the NFL right now, but he DOESN’T cover slot receivers and will primarily be dealing with Randy Moss all day making Welker a must start; especially in PPR leagues.
The showdowns of all showdowns come this week with the resurgent Chargers taking on the slumping Broncos.
But it is that slump, and the risk of losing first place, that makes Marshall—the go to guy in Denver—an absolute start.
5. Calvin Johnson
It’s a huge risk putting Megatron in the top five this week, but the Lions AND Johnson will be looking for a bit of redemption after the manhandling the Vikings gave them last week.
Oh yeah, they play Cleveland too, did I mention that?
Top Ten Starts:
|#1 Sidney Rice: Rice has become the go to guy in Minnesota and rightfully so. He puts himself out there over the middle, can be dialed up on the long ball, and is a sure handed receiver that is only going to get better with each passing week.|
|#2 Marques Colston: Teams are starting to roll double coverage on Colston but the Bucs won’t present too much of a problem against the touted Colston.|
|#3 Miles Austin: The Eagles put a lot of attention towards the stellar receiver, but the Redskins don’t have the type of talented secondary the Eagles do. Look for Austin to have a bounce back week.|
|#4 Steve Smith (Car): Suddenly, the Panthers can throw the ball and are showing themselves to be the team we all thought they were. Miami on the other hand has nobody worth mentioning covering receivers which makes Smith’s matchup favorable.|
|#5 Roddy White: New York will no doubt play better this week having a week off, but in 5 out of 6 games White has either had a score OR 90+ yards making him a good play in most formats.|
|#6 Larry Fitzgerald: It’s St. Louis…need I say more? Yes, how about a honorable mention of Boldin at the 6 spot as well!|
|#7 DeSean Jackson: The Bears are starting to show their inevitable dismantling and they will have no answer for Philadelphia this week at all. Jackson is a great start.|
|#8 Hines Ward: Although I like anyone from Pittsburgh against KC, I like Wards chances for scoring better than the lot of them.|
|#9 Mike Sims-Walker: This is where we see whether or not Sims-Walker is an elite WR, or just another passing fancy. Last week he faced a tough Jets D and if there is one thing the Bills do well is cover. He is still worth a start in my opinion.|
|#10 Steve Smith (NYG): There’s no way to tell who is going to get the ball in NY but one thing is for sure: Smith has 16 catches for 125 yards averaging out at 7.8 yards a catch which is gold for PPR leagers.|
Must Sit of the Week:
It has become more and more evident that Antonio Bryant is no longer on the Fantasy map even if he is somewhat healthy now that Winslow is providing offensive sustenance, and Maurice Stovall has been coming on strong.
The main problem has been his knee, which hasn’t been 100% all year, and it’s clear that it is never going to be.
Bryant’s increased presence on the Waiver Wire in ESPN, and Yahoo leagues—along with his lack luster numbers—is a clear indication that he is a must sit, and should be dropped in shallow leagues for better options going forward.
Two Through Ten:
|#2 Michael Crabtree: Green Bay has been notorious for covering guys that are supposed to come up big each week; Crabtree will be no different.|
|#3 Greg Jennings: Jennings is dealing with a bum knee, and although it won’t prevent him from starting, the Packers WILL NOT take any gambles with another receiver considering the level of injuries they are currently dealing with.|
|#4 Bernard Berrian: Berrian is not 100%, and with Harvin, Rice, Shiancoe, and the gruesome twosome in the backfield you can safely assume Berrian will not be a Fantasy option this week.|
|#5 Nate Burleson: How do you shut down Burleson? Double coverage with a solid pass rush….just what the Vikings had in mind. Sit him or suffer the consequences.|
|#6 Roy Williams: Last week Williams enjoyed a season high 105 yards but is still a huge risk in Fantasy. He can’t control the dropsy’s, and still is fumble prone, and it’s gonna take a lot more than one good game to convince me.|
|#7 Donnie Avery: Nate Burleson is far better than Donnie Avery and the Cardinals shut him down last week; the Cardinals own St. Louis…see where I’m going with this?|
|#8 Devin Hester: The Eagles are too talented to think the Bears are going to have a comeback game against the Birds. Hester is not an option in this one.|
|#9 Justin Gage: Gage has been dealing with back issues that has limited his production, and going forward there is no reason to think Gage is even worth a start; even in a pinch.|
|#10 Braylon Edwards: A lot of legal problems, and a poor matchup equals disaster if you start him.|
High Risk/High Reward?
Lance Long vs. Troy Polamalu: As everyone knows, Dwayne Bowe is suspended for four games and the immediate consensus is to go out and grab Chris Chambers. Now, although Chambers will undoubtedly see more action, it is Long that has the best favor going forward.
PPR leaguers need catches, yards, and TDs—the more the better—and when you look at an unproven outside receiver (Chambers) against a slightly more proven slot receiver (Long) things seem to point to a very unconsidered WR.
The slot position in football affords the QB another check down aside from the RB, and it also allows the QB to move the ball in small increments: Small increments= Catches and yards.
The Steelers are very, very good at down field coverage so the chances for Matt Cassel having to utilize the short passing game is pretty big which is where Long comes in.
If you are one of those guys desperate to find a WR plug-in this week Lance Long could be more High reward than High Risk.
Fantasy Player Highlight: Terrell Owens-Buffalo Bills
Well, the Bills organization have finally realized that their numerous inequities on offense are beginning to leave their season in ruination, and what better time to make a bold move—sitting Edwards and giving Jauron the ax—than with a matchup with the Jaguars.
If it wasn’t the failed over use of the flawed two minute offense, it was the fact that Trent Edwards couldn’t pass a ball farther than he could sneeze; now is the time for redemption.
Ryan Fitzpatrick is widely being accused of not being a Fantasy option due to his anemic performance thus far in fill-in roles, but that’s not enough to gauge him. What is enough is his performance last year as time went on in Detroit.
If the Bills are showing signs of intelligence, than you have to assume they are finally going to take some shots down field, and considering the Jaguars are incredibly banged up in the secondary, the Bills are primed to do just that: take advantage of a perfect situation.
Owens is still a huge down field target, and I have a gut feeling that Owens will have a huge day in a favorable matchup.
Here are our other position sections:
Good Luck this week everyone.