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Each week we will analyze the playoff matchups for each position and give you our fantasy outlook.
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WR Playoff Player Rankings - Week 1
1. Marques Colston (@ Sea) – Everyone knows Colston just had his knee scoped and might not be 100 percent in this game, but that’s not going to make a bit of difference for the big wide receiver. In their first meeting, Marques had a season high 113 yards on eight catches to go along with his two TDs, numbers I could actually see him coming away with again this Saturday despite his gimpy knee.
2. Pierre Garcon (vs NYJ) – Garcon, not Wayne, was the receiver doing the most damage in last year’s playoff meeting between these two teams. I’m not expecting him to repeat his 11-catch, 151-yard with a TD performance, but if the Jets decide to put Revis Island on Reggie Wayne and Manning starts out hot, Garcon could easily surpass the 100-yard mark again with another possible TD.
3. Dwayne Bowe (vs Bal) – Bowe has been nothing short of amazing this year putting up the second-most touchdowns in the league (first for WRs) and setting personal bests in every WR category besides receptions. If there’s one part of the Ravens defense that’s suspect, it’s their pass D, and Bowe will be depended on by Cassel and the Chiefs to exploit it. Expect at least double-digits in targets and every opportunity to shine this Sunday.
4. Jeremy Maclin (vs GB) – Maclin has had his ups and downs this season, but his 10 touchdowns in 15 games can’t be ignored. Packers CB Charles Woodson will likely have the pleasure of keeping up with DeSean Jackson on Sunday, so Maclin could be the one Vick looks to more often than not. If so, expect some big numbers in his stat-line when all is said and done.
5. Greg Jennings (@ Phi) – I would have ranked Jennings as the top wide receiver this week, but I don’t like his prospects as much with the possibility of Asante Samuel shadowing him all game long. I’m sure he’ll still see a ton of targets from Rodgers regardless of Samuel, but the chance of him having the best WR game of the weekend is pretty low because of him.
6. Reggie Wayne (vs NYJ) – If Wayne is shadowed by Darrelle Revis all game, he might be held to merely average numbers this weekend. If not, he’ll get over 10 targets and come up big for the Colts. It’s really that simple.
7. DeSean Jackson (vs GB) – DeSean will have fits trying to get open this Sunday if Woodson shadows him all game as expected. However, his ability to do damage both on reverses and as a punt returner make him different than most wide receivers, so even though he may be shut down in one respect of his game, there’s still two other aspects Green Bay will have to worry about.
8. Robert Meachem (@ Sea) – Meachem is starting to see a lot more targets come his way and is always a threat for a long TD no matter who the Saints are playing. However, this weekend Meach’s odds at grabbing a long one have got to be pretty good seeing that the Seahawks pass D sucks and that two of his five TDs came against them in their first matchup.
9. Mike Williams – Sea (vs NO) – BMW had one of his three 100-yard games against the Saints earlier this year, and with Seattle likely to be passing the ball a bunch this game, he could very well end up with his fourth.
10. Santonio Holmes (@ Ind) – When the Jets DO pass the ball, expect to see Holmes featured on a bunch of underneath routes for a couple of reasons. First, Sanchez’s shoulder isn’t strong enough at this point to throw the ball deep with any sort of accuracy. Second, the Colts pass rush can get to the QB in a hurry, so less risky plays like a quick slant or WR screen are more likely to be called than fly patterns. This plays to Santonio’s strengths, so the opportunity should be there for the former Super Bowl MVP to shine.
11. Anquan Boldin (@ KC) – Boldin’s play has been erratic this season, so I have no idea what to expect here. If the Chiefs put their young stud cornerback (Brandon Flowers) on him, he might end up with some paltry numbers. However, I’m guessing Flowers will be on Mason in this one and if so, Boldin’s chances of having a good game go up significantly.
12. Donald Driver (@ Phi) – Veterans like Driver can’t be underestimated come playoff time, and you can bet Rodgers will use him accordingly. Driver had a touchdown against the Eagles in the first game of the year, and with Samuel likely to be on Jennings all game, I could easily see another one come his way this Sunday.
13. Derrick Mason (@ KC) – Mason had himself another solid season and turned back all the questions about his inclining age. However, like I said with Boldin, what he does in this game could greatly depend on who the Chiefs have covering him. His veteran savvy will get him some good looks regardless, but don’t expect too much here.
14. Blair White (vs NYJ) – With Collie out for the playoffs, the door is open for the Blair White Project to walk through. His potential as the third wide receiver on this team is for higher than those on other teams, especially when you look at what Collie did to the Jets in last year’s playoff game (seven catches, 123 yards, one TD). He’s not as good as Austin is, but Manning loves to use his slot guys, particularly in the red-zone.
15. Lance Moore (@ Sea) – Moore is nothing special as far as WRs go, but you can’t just ignore him either or else he’ll make you pay. In fact, Lance led the team with eight TDs this season, so it’s possible he could come away with a nice game here. You really never know who Brees will choose to throw to until it happens.
16. James Jones (@ Phi) – Jones probably has a better chance to do some damage than Driver does, though you never quite know what you’re going to get from him on a week-to-week basis. One thing’s for sure, the Pack will be throwing the ball a ton, so count on Jones to put up at least some sort of decent numbers this weekend.
17. Braylon Edwards (@ Ind) – Mark Sanchez’s arm is too weak at this point to heave it downfield to Braylon, so unless a lucky pass falls into his lap, don’t expect a whole hell of a lot from the all-or-nothing type receiver this weekend.
18. Jordy Nelson (@ Phi) – Nelson has carved out a nice little niche in this offense putting up career numbers across the board this year. At 6’3”, 217 pounds, he’s the biggest receiver Green Bay has and could end up as a preferred target for Rodgers in the red-zone.
19. Ben Obomanu (vs NO) – Obomanu is still the guy with the most upside in this WR corps, and like Big Mike Williams, he also had a great game the last time these two teams met. I’m not expecting the world here, but Ben could surprise and burn the Saints deep in this one.
20. Jerricho Cotchery (@ Ind) – Jerricho gets his targets by being the most dependable WR on the team, but with the Jets likely to employ a rush-heavy attack this Saturday night, he likely won’t do your fantasy team any favors.
21. Jason Avant (vs GB) – Avant has his good and bad games with his best ones coming on the road. If the Eagles get down early, Avant will have a chance to make a difference as the Eagles will have to turn to the pass. Other than that, he’s merely another number on the field.
22. Devery Henderson (@ Sea) – Henderson is a once-in-a-blue-moon type of player, as in he has one TD this season, one game with more than 65 yards, and one game with more than four catches.
23. T.J. Houshmandzadeh (@ KC) – Housh is another one of the Ravens vets that could see a few tosses come his way this Sunday, but he’s barely been fantasy-worthy the entire year and I can’t see that changing now.
24. Brandon Stokley (vs NO) – Like the others, Stokley also put up his best stats of the year against the Saints in Week 11 by catching all six of his targets and turning them into 76 yards. As the oldest player on offense next to Hasselbeck, Matty may look his way a bit more this Saturday.
25. Brad Smith (@ Ind) – Smith has been used in multiple fashions this year and will continue to take on the role of ‘Jack-of-all-Trades’ come Saturday. Expect at least a couple of runs with maybe a pass and a catch sprinkled in, but his real value comes on special teams.
26. Chris Chambers (vs Bal) – Five or six years ago? Absolutely, but the only way he does anything in this game is if the Ravens triple-team Bowe… which I suppose is a possibility.
27. Dexter McCluster (vs Bal) – McCluster is an electric piece for the future, but he hasn’t been the same since coming back from his ankle injury in Week 13. He has the ability to break off a long one, but the chances of it happening are slim to none.
28. Terrance Copper (vs Bal) – If the Chiefs get down early, Copper could get in there and see a few balls fly his way. Other than that, he’s useless.