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Wide Receiver Player Rankings – Week 15
Wide Receivers (Updated: Sunday, Dec. 16 - 10:55AM CT)
1. A.J. Green (at Phi, Thursday night) – After a dismal three-catch, 44-yard game last weekend, Green has now gone three straight weeks without a TD after grabbing one in each of the Bengals previous nine games. He has also been held to just one 100-yard game in the last seven, but should be able to get back on track in the national spotlight this Thursday night. The Bengals are in desperate need for a big game out of A.J. here, and I believe he gives it to them against this bottom-feeding Eagles pass defense. In the last five weeks, Philadelphia has allowed the most touchdowns and third most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers. Green is a lock to put up top-tier numbers this Thursday. FINAL STATISTICS: 6 catches - 57 yards - 1 TD
2. Calvin Johnson (at Ari) – Though he caught 10 passes for the fourth time this season and put up over 100 yards for a sixth straight week, Calvin Johnson failed to get into the end zone against the Packers in Week 14, thus snapping his season-high four-game scoring streak. That being said, I fully expect a new one to be started this Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals. If the Lions could run the ball like the Seahawks, I might be fearful of Megatron’s involvement this week as the Cards can obviously be destroyed on the ground at this point. However, they can’t, so Stafford will undoubtedly turn to Johnson again to lead the team to victory… and he will.
3. Vincent Jackson (at NO) – Because it rang true again last week versus the Eagles decrepit pass D, I’ll say it one more time—if there’s one thing Vincent Jackson does super-duper well for his fantasy owners, it’s that he destroys poor pass defenses. The pass D he’ll be facing this week, the New Orleans Saints, had been progressing nicely over the last handful of games—that is, until they ran into Eli Manning and the Giants WR corps last weekend. Assuming he saw the game, V-Jax should be chomping at the bit to inflict his own damage on the Saints this Sunday, especially since he knows he can after putting up 216 yards and a touchdown against them in their first meeting. A repeat of those numbers isn’t likely, but I wouldn’t bet against it either.
4. Brandon Marshall (vs. GB) – Brandon Marshall now holds the top spot in fantasy scoring for wide receivers this season and is currently on one of the hottest tears of his seven-year career. Yes, the Green Bay Packers held him to a season-low 2.4 fantasy points (two catches for 24 yards) back in Week 2, but the Pack won’t have Charles Woodson as part of their double-team attack against Marshall this weekend, so all bets are off this time around. If Brandon sees close to the 16.7 targets he’s been averaging the last few weeks, I can all but guarantee his spot within the top ten fantasy scorers this Sunday.
5. Demaryius Thomas (at Bal) – Even though he missed a full quarter with a shoulder injury against the Raiders last week, I was still a bit disappointed by Thomas’ final stat-line of five catches for 83 yards. I expected more, and I’m sure his many fantasy owners out there did as well. This week he’ll be in Baltimore taking on a Ravens pass D that has had trouble containing the opposing team’s top receiver ever since CB Lardarius Webb went down back in Week 6. Emotions will likely be running high in this game with the possible return of MLB Ray Lewis, so I expect the Ravens to come out firing and possibly take an early lead. If so, the Broncos will have to pass the ball to keep up, so Thomas will have his fair share of opportunities to score big fantasy points this Sunday.
6. Andre Johnson (vs. Ind) – Though I’ve always been a huge fan of his, I’ll admit that Andre Johnson has surprised me a bit this year. At 31 years old, I thought his best playing days were certainly behind him and that he would continue his trend of missing at least a few games throughout the season. Obviously, I was wrong. I can’t say he’s a better player than he was in his prime, but he can definitely still come up with those big games we were all used to seeing back then. This week he comes home where he loves to play after being on the road the last three weeks. In fact, ‘Dre has averaged over eight receptions for 121.2 yards at home this season while also catching two of his three TDs there as well. The Texans may ride Arian Foster and Ben Tate for most of this game, but with the Colts allowing the fourth most fantasy points to wide receivers this year, you have to think that Johnson will at least be able to do some damage himself as well.
7. Marques Colston (vs. TB) – Colston hasn’t posted a 100-yard game since Week 5 and only has one touchdown in his last four games, but there’s nothing like a little home cookin’ against a pass defense that has allowed the most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this season to turn his fortunes around. In fact, the Buccaneers have allowed 12 different receivers to put up double-digit fantasy points against them in their last eight games alone, so the opportunity for a big game is obviously there. The last time these two teams met back in Week 7, Colston grabbed seven of his 10 targets for 73 yards and a touchdown, numbers he should at least be able to repeat in this one.
8. Roddy White (vs. NYG) – Roddy had himself a top ten fantasy day last Sunday against the Carolina Panthers grabbing nine of his 11 targets for 117 yards and a touchdown. This week he’ll take on the same Giants team that knocked him out of the playoffs last season, so a little payback could be in order for the Super Bowl ring-less 31 year old here. White has had either a touchdown or 100 yards (or both) in eight of his last ten home games, so against a Giants pass D that has allowed the third most touchdowns, fourth most yards and fifth most fantasy points to wide receivers this season, it wouldn’t shock me to see both come his way this weekend.
9. Josh Gordon (vs. Was) – There was never a doubt about Josh Gordon’s talent, that’s for sure. However, it was a major question as to how long it would take for his understanding of the professional game to catch up to his dominating skills. Not very long at all is the answer. Gordon is in the top-15 in fantasy points over the last three weeks as well as the top 10 in both receiving yards and receptions. This week, fantasy owners have the joy of watching him face a bottom-three pass defense with the Browns welcoming the Redskins to town. Washington doesn’t have a single man in their secondary with either the size or speed to cover Gordon, so it wouldn’t be too far-fetched to see the 21 year old phenom to put up his best fantasy numbers of the year here.
10. Victor Cruz (at Atl) – As I thought he would, Victor Cruz came back last week to post top ten fantasy numbers catching eight passes for 121 yards and a touchdown against the New Orleans Saints. Although the Atlanta Falcons pass D has been far superior to the Saints’ this season, I believe Cruz has another top tier performance this weekend. With the Falcons being amongst the highest scoring teams in the league this season, the Giants will need to pass the ball to stay in the game, which should mean plenty of targets for young Mr. Cruz. With Eli Manning on a roll and the Giants fighting to stay atop the NFC East, Victor should be able to contribute to what I believe will be a high scoring affair indoors at the dome in Atlanta.
Wide Receivers 11-80
11. Julio Jones (vs. NYG)
12. Danario Alexander (vs. Car)
13. Cecil Shorts (at Mia)
14. Wes Welker (vs. SF, Sunday night)
15. Steve Smith (at SD)
16. Reggie Wayne (at Hou)
17. Randall Cobb (at Chi)
18. Lance Moore (vs. TB)
19. Dez Bryant (vs. Pit)
20. Mike Wallace (at Dal)
21. Michael Crabtree (at NE, Sunday night)
22. Hakeem Nicks (at Atl)
23. Mike Williams (at NO)
24. Eric Decker (at Bal)
25. Greg Jennings (at Chi)
26. T.Y. Hilton (at Hou)
27. Pierre Garcon (at Cle)
28. Danny Amendola (vs. Min)
29. Denarius Moore (vs. KC)
30. Justin Blackmon (at Mia)
31. Stevie Johnson (vs. Sea)
32. Kenny Britt (vs. NYJ, Monday night)
33. Brandon Lloyd (vs. SF, Sunday night)
34. Sidney Rice (at Buf)
35. Malcom Floyd (vs. Car)
36. Golden Tate (at Buf)
37. Torrey Smith (vs. Den)
38. Jeremy Maclin (vs. Cin, Thursday night) – FINAL STATISTICS: 4 catches - 73 yards - 0 TDs
39. Darrius Heyward-Bey (vs. KC)
40. Chris Givens (vs. Min)
41. Miles Austin (vs. Pit)
42. Brian Hartline (vs. Jax)
43. Jeremy Kerley (at Ten, Monday night)
44. Antonio Brown (at Dal)
45. Anquan Boldin (vs. Den)
46. Kendall Wright (vs. NYJ, Monday night)
47. Greg Little (vs. Was)
48. Alshon Jeffery (vs. GB)
49. Marvin Jones (at Phi, Thursday night) – FINAL STATISTICS: 0 catches - 0 yards - 0 TDs
50. James Jones (at Chi)
51. Rod Streater (vs. KC)
52. Donnie Avery (at Hou)
53. Larry Fitzgerald (vs. Det)
54. Nate Washington (vs. NYJ, Monday night)
55. Santana Moss (at Cle)
56. Andrew Hawkins (at Phi, Thursday night) – FINAL STATISTICS: 0 catches - 0 yards - 0 TDs
57. Emmanuel Sanders (at Dal)
58. Jason Avant (vs. Cin, Thursday night) – FINAL STATISTICS: 3 catches - 44 yards - 0 TDs
59. Brandon Stokley (at Bal)
60. Randy Moss (at NE, Sunday night)
61. Louis Murphy (at SD)
62. Tiquan Underwood (at NO)
63. Domenik Hixon (at Atl)
64. Jonathan Baldwin (at Oak)
65. Jarius Wright (at StL)
66. Juron Criner (vs. KC)
67. Brandon Gibson (vs. Min)
68. Andre Roberts (vs. Det)
69. Doug Baldwin (at Buf)
70. Mike Thomas (at Ari)
71. Riley Cooper (vs. Cin, Thursday night) – FINAL STATISTICS: 3 catches - 20 yards - 1 TD
72. Donald Jones (vs. Sea)
73. Joseph Morgan (vs. TB)
74. Dexter McCluster (at Oak)
75. Mohamed Massaquoi (vs. Was)
76. Josh Morgan (at Cle)
77. Lestar Jean (vs. Ind)
78. Devery Henderson (vs. TB)
79. LaVon Brazill (at Hou)
80. Austin Pettis (vs. Min)
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