WR Player Rankings – Week 15
1. Roddy White (@ Sea) – Roddy has been one of those guys (Kyle Orton and Dwayne Bowe are a couple others) who have killed many an owners playoff hopes the last few weeks, but if you happened to skate by and make it into the post-season, he won’t disappoint you again. Seattle’s pass D is close to as bad as it gets (30th in the NFL), so have confidence in Roddy serving well as your WR1 this week, just as the Falcons will down the stretch.
2. Andre Johnson (@ Ten) – Andre vs. Cortland, Part II: The Rematch. To be honest, I don’t know if the Titans can afford to put Finnegan on him this weekend seeing that before their little Brouhaha a few weeks ago, ‘Dre was consistently making him look like a kindergartner out there. Finnegan or not, Johnson is going to light it up this weekend.
3. Reggie Wayne (vs Jax) – Wayne had a monster game against Jacksonville the first time around going off for 15 catches and 196 yards. With Manning realizing his Colts are backed into a corner right now, I’m not sure it’s going to matter what the Jags do to slow him and Wayne down this Sunday. Their 28th-ranked pass D is simply overmatched.
4. Terrell Owens (vs Cle) – Terrell Me-O Owens went absolutely ballistic in their first showdown to the tune of 10 catches, 222 yards and a 78-yard TD. Those numbers won’t be repeated this weekend, but then again, hell, they just might!
5. Hakeem Nicks (vs Phi) – Nicks came back looking like he never left last weekend and won’t have a whole hell of a lot around him to compete for targets with this Sunday. Steve Smith is gone for the year due to knee surgery, Mario Manningham is hobbled by a hip flexor, and Derek Hagan is, well, Derek Hagan. Expect Nicks to put up nice WR1 numbers this week.
6. Calvin Johnson (@ TB) – Megatron won’t have to deal with the Bucs top cover-corner (Aqib Talib) as he’s out for the season, so there’s hope for Calvin despite the Lions being down to their third-string QB, Drew Stanton. Stanton isn’t what you’d call an “elite” QB, but he’s not bad, and you can bet your ass he’ll be looking Johnson’s way a ton this game.
7. Marques Colston (@ Bal) – Colston is one of the hottest receivers in the game right now as he’s put up seven TDs and three 100-yard games in his last starts. Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson showed that a good QB and a big WR can beat the Ravens D, so expect Marques to keep his hot streak alive in Week 15.
8. Vincent Jackson (vs SF) – He’s back, and he looks like he might even be in mid-season form! Rivers didn’t seem to have a problem making fourth-string WRs look good this year, but believe me, the guy is ecstatic to have his main man back. Plant VJax in your starting lineup this Sunday against a beatable 49ers secondary and expect some WR1 numbers to come your way.
9. Pierre Garcon (vs Jax) – Manning has been passing the ball a ton lately, and I don’t expect the Colts to all of the sudden turn to the run at this point in the season. Garcon’s numbers have been steadily increasing since he was called out for his butterfingers problem over a month ago, culminating in a two-TD, 93-yard effort last week against the Titans. Both Pierre AND Wayne have a chance to put up WR1 numbers this weekend.
10. Miles Austin (vs Was) – With Dez Bryant going down for the year, Austin becomes the sole WR1 on this team and will demand a ton of targets because of it. He may have been held at bay last week against the Eagles, but Miles showed that the Redskins D isn’t nearly as good as them by putting up 146 yards and a TD on 10 catches during their first game this season.
11. DeSean Jackson (@ NYG) – DeSean had himself quite a game last week against the Cowboys weak-ass defense, but it won’t come as easily this Sunday playing a top-five Giants defense. He’ll get his chances to shine, and he might come away with another great performance, but it’s hardly a game where you can expect WR1 numbers from The Green Blur.
12. Wes Welker (vs GB) – The Slot Machine just keeps on churning out the big paydays. Wes continued his hot streak last week against the Bears putting up 115 yards on eight catches in basically the worst weather the NFL season has seen so far this year. Ride this kid as a solid WR2 play through to the end of the year.
13. Larry Fitzgerald (@ Car) – Whether it’s John Skelton or Skeletor himself, Larry is going to be getting a ton of targets from here on out and should be able to capitalize on them against the Panthers this weekend. He’s no longer a dependable WR1 for your team (nor has he been all year), but he should be able to put up WR2 stats this fantasy playoff weekend.
14. Dwayne Bowe (@ StL) – The fantasy-team killer struck again last weekend as Bowe was held to just one catch and three yards against the Chargers. The good thing heading into Week 15 is that he won’t have to face this week what he’s come up against the past two Sundays. Two weeks ago it was perennial All-Pro Champ Bailey on him, while last week it was the top ranked pass D in the league he had to deal with. The Rams won’t be able to throw either of them at Bowe.
15. Mike Williams – TB (vs Det) – Super-stud rookie Mike Williams was held to just one catch for 15 yards last week by DeAngelo Hall. Thank goodness the Lions don’t have anyone even close to that for him to have to worry about.
16. Greg Jennings (@ NE) – It’s looking more and more like it might be Matt Flynn running the show this weekend, and if it is, Jennings barely fits in here as a WR2 option. However, if Rodgers happens to make it back for the game, shoot Greg up the list and treat him like the WR1 he normally is.
17. Santana Moss (@ Dal) – It’s getting tough for wide receivers NOT to go off against the Cowboys this season, and even though Moss isn’t exactly the steadiest of plays, this weekend may be the best bet he’s had all year to put up some real nice fantasy numbers.
18. Sidney Rice (vs Chi) – Whether it will be Brett Favre, Tarvaris Jackson, Joe Webb, Patrick Ramsey or the Easter Bunny, Rice is looking like the stud he was last year and should get plenty of targets to do something this weekend. Last year Rice did just fine against the Bears D, and this year they may even depend on him a little more.
19. Kenny Britt (vs Hou) – Britt looked real good in his return to the field last week and was targeted a team-high eight times because of it. Against the worst pass D in the league this week, he stands to have himself a nice little game for your fantasy team.
20. Brandon Marshall (vs Buf) – Marshall had eight catches in his first game against Buffalo this season, and seeing that Henne finally found him for his second touchdown of the season last weekend, “Baby T.O.” may be looking to go on his yearly end-of-the-season roll right about now.
21. Deion Branch (vs GB) – Branch was supposedly a little gimpy going into last week’s matchup against the Bears, but he looked fine to me hauling in eight catches for 151 yards and a TD while playing in a blizzard. With a sizzling hot Tom Brady as his QB, it might not matter if Charles Woodson guards him or not this Sunday night.
22. Chad Ochocinco (vs Cle) – Schizocinco led the Bengals in yards once again last week and seems to have rebuilt his rapport with Palmer. If it continues to grow, Chad might be the one hauling in 10 catches for 222 yards this time around instead of T.O.
23. Jeremy Maclin (@ NYG) – Maclin has had his ups and downs this season, with last week’s one-catch, 11-yard performance being his worst on the year. However, one of his best games of 2010 came against these same Giants about a month ago when he put up 120 yards on nine catches. A repeat of those numbers would make fantasy owners very happy.
24. Santonio Holmes (@ Pit) – Holmes let one of the easiest touchdown catches of his career slip through his fingers last weekend, so you can bet he’ll be looking to atone for his bungle, especially against his former team back in the stadium he made his NFL name in.
25. Anquan Boldin (vs NO) – Boldin’s play has been erratic this season, but in a game that could possibly turn into a shootout, you have to like your chances of him putting up some nice fantasy numbers for your team.
26. Brandon Lloyd (@ Oak) – Lloyd wasn’t expected to do anything at all this year, so it sort of feels wrong saying that he’s been one of the guys who killed owners fantasy playoff dreams these past couple of games. That said, you really can’t blame Lloyd personally as Kyle Orton has been absolutely horrendous, which is partly the reason I have him ranked so low. The other part is that Nnamdi Asomugha might be guarding him this Sunday.
27. Malcom Floyd (vs SF) – Floyd had a sweet two-TD game last weekend, but he also came out of the game with a slight tweak to his old hamstring injury as well. He’ll most likely play Thursday night, but he’ll be a risky play being hobbled and Vincent Jackson looking to re-take his WR1 job.
28. Mike Wallace (vs NYJ) – Wallace’s production has been slowed since the initial onslaught that took place when Roethlisberger returned to the lineup earlier this year. It doesn’t look like it’s going to pick back up this week either with Revis Island in his hip pocket all game long. You might have to play him, but don’t expect too much.
29. Steve Johnson (@ Mia) – Ever since his embarrassing drop in the endzone to win the game in OT against Pittsburgh three weeks ago, Stevie J has pretty much fallen off the fantasy map. He’s still a touchdown waiting to happen, but the Dolphins don’t allow too many of those (15, sixth in the NFL) so temper your expectations a bit.
30. Percy Harvin (vs Chi) – If Harvin plays this week, which he should, he could be a nice sleeper against Chicago this weekend. He’s scored in two of his three career games against the Bears (including in the one earlier this year) and is always a threat to break the long one.
31. Hines Ward (vs NYJ) – Ward has been turning up his game lately as his career might be coming to a close. I would be hard-pressed to advise playing him against a stingy Jets pass D, but you never know what a wily old veteran will do when faced with the prospect of retirement.
32. Nate Washington (vs Hou) – With Kenny Britt back, Nate will likely be facing off against the Texans second-best corner this Sunday. If that happens, Washington could be in for a very nice game against this woeful Houston pass D.
33. Ben Obomanu (vs Atl) – If Obomanu returns (which Coach Carroll says he is), he could end up as a very nice sleeper against a Falcons pass D that happens to be their Achilles Heel. Make sure you check the news this week before making any moves.
34. Johnny Knox (@ Min) – Knox is one of the biggest burners in the league and shouldn’t have a problem getting behind the Vikings defenders at least a couple of times this weekend. If the Bears open up the playbook a bit, Knox could have a decent game. If not, you’ll want to look elsewhere for your fantasy production.
35. Austin Collie (vs Jax) – Collie went through a full practice on Wednesday, which bodes well for his return this Sunday against the Jags. He might be eased back into things a bit as the Colts will definitely want to take caution with his concussion issues, but he could be another nice sleeper for fantasy owners this weekend.
36. Derrick Mason (vs NO) – Mason had himself another awesome game last week grabbing two TDs in an overtime win against the Texans on Monday night. New Orleans isn’t likely to give up the same, though, as they are first in the league in allowing just eight passing TDs on the year.
37. Brandon Gibson (vs KC) – Bradford has gone through a bit of a rookie dry spell the last couple of weeks, but he’s too good to be held down for long. Gibson has been his main man lately leading the team in both catches and targets the last two games, so if Sam the Ram does happen to break out of his mini-slump, Gibson could be in for a nice little game.
38. Derek Hagan (vs Phi) – Hagan is clearly nothing special, but with Steve Smith out for the year and Manningham hobbled, he could be the beneficiary of the Eagles sliding their D towards Nicks this game. However, don’t play him unless you absolutely have to.
39. Arrelious Benn (vs Det) – The big rookie out of Illinois is starting to turn some heads down in Tampa. He was a well-known rookie coming into the season, but has been completely overshadowed by the play of fellow rookie Mike Williams for the greater part of the season. Last game he came up with four catches for 122 yards and was one yard short of adding a TD to that line. With Tampa playing Detroit this weekend, Benn deserves a look.
40. Lance Moore (@ Bal) – Baltimore can be beaten through the air, and that’s exactly what the Saints will be doing in this game. Besides Brees and Colston of course, Moore is the most consistent player on the team and should be used as a nice flex this week with a lot of upside potential.
41. Roy E. Williams (vs Was) – It’s tough for me to put this guy in my rankings, but with Dez Bryant and Kevin Ogletree both out for the year, Williams will be counted on to step up his game. Against the Redskins pass D, even Roy E. can surprise with a nice fantasy showing.
42. Louis Murphy (vs Den) – Murphy is hardly a guy you want to depend on in your fantasy playoffs, but if you’re stuck between him and another middling receiver, you might want to take a chance on him as the Raiders take on a Broncos defense that gives up the most points per game in the league (28.9).
43. Earl Bennett (@ Min) – Bennett is really no more than a desperation play, but he does have the best rapport with Cutler at this point. If you need to use him, don’t throw him in there as anything more than a flex this week.
44. Donald Driver (@ NE) – If Rodgers comes back to play this week, you can move Driver up about 10 slots or so in these rankings. If not, then keep him here and don’t expect much more than a few catches for maybe 40 yards or so.
45. Braylon Edwards (@ Pit) – It’s more than obvious how much Braylon hates playing in the cold weather as his normally butterfinger hands end up becoming big slabs of brown and orange ice. Don’t expect much more than flex numbers out of Edwards this week.
46. Michael Crabtree (@ SD) – San Diego has the best pass D in the league and regularly hold the opposing team’s top receiver to less than desirable numbers. If you have someone you can plug in for Crabtree this week, do it.
47. Jacoby Ford (vs Den) – He’s not a consistent play yet, but you could be trapping lightning in a bottle this weekend as the Raiders play possibly the worst defense in the league on Sunday. Whether you start him or not, the kid is a crapload of fun to watch.
48. Robert Meachem (@ Bal) – Meachem is about as frustrating of a fantasy player there is in the NFL. One week he’s exploding for either two TDs or 100 yards and a TD… the next, he’s throwing up a goose-egg. Start him at your own discretion and only if you’re the betting type.