Fantasy Football Playoff Rankings for Divisional Round Games: Wide Receivers

Kevin Hanson@EDSFootballAnalyst IIIFebruary 28, 2015

FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 24:   Wes Welker #83 of the New England Patriots runs during a game against the Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium on December 24, 2011 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

In the history of the NFL, a player has finished the season with 110-plus receptions 25 times and 120-plus receptions seven times.

Patriots receiver Wes Welker has two of the 120-reception seasons and four of the 110-reception seasons all during his five years in New England.

The one exception was his 86 receptions in 2010, which was the immediate full season after he tore his ACL.

As you would imagine, Welker leads the NFL in receptions (554) over the past five years. In other words, he's averaging more than 110 receptions during that span.

The next four players with the most receptions over the past five years are: Brandon Marshall (474), Reggie Wayne (472), Roddy White (471) and Larry Fitzgerald (463).

Here are our wide receiver rankings for the divisional round:

1. Wes Welker, Patriots (vs DEN): Welker set career highs in yards (1,569) and touchdowns (nine) and was only one reception shy of his career high (123) set in 2009. That said, Welker had one of his worst performances (four receptions for 41 yards) of the season against the Broncos a few weeks ago.

2. Hakeem Nicks, Giants (at GB): Nicks had his best game of the season in terms of fantasy points last week. He ended up with six receptions for 115 yards and two touchdowns or 23 fantasy points. The only other game this season in which he scored multiple touchdowns was his first matchup against the Packers.

3. Jordy Nelson, Packers (vs NYG): Nelson led the team in receptions (68), yards (1,263) and touchdowns (15) this season. In his final two games of the season, Nelson had 15 receptions for 277 yards and five touchdowns.

4. Victor Cruz, Giants (at GB): Cruz has had plenty of big games this season, but last week was not one of them. After finishing with 342 yards and two touchdowns in the final two regular-season games, Cruz had only two receptions for 28 yards last week.

5. Greg Jennings, Packers (vs NYG): A knee injury has kept Jennings out of the lineup since Week 14, but he is expected to return this week against the Giants. In his first matchup against the Giants, Jennings finished with seven receptions for 94 yards and a score. For the season (13 games), Jennings had 67 receptions for 949 yards and nine touchdowns.

6. Marques Colston, Saints (at SF): Colston did not score a touchdown last week after finishing with five touchdowns in the final four regular-season games. But he finished with seven receptions for 120 yards. In his past five games, Colston has seven-plus receptions and 81-plus yards every week and three 100-yard games.

7. Andre Johnson, Texans (at BAL): One of the league's elite receivers, Johnson has battled hamstring injuries most of the year. It appears that he is fully healthy (or close to it) again as he finished with 90 yards and a touchdown in last week's win over the Bengals.

8. Demaryius Thomas, Broncos (at NE): Thomas is coming off a 204-yard performance in which he caught the game-winning 80-yard touchdown in overtime. Thomas has three 100-yard games in December and January including his 116-yard performance against the Patriots in mid-December.

9. Torrey Smith, Ravens (vs HOU): In the nine games played since Week 9, Smith has scored a touchdown and finished with double-digit fantasy points in four of them. In the other five games during that span, Smith has had 23-38 receiving yards and three (or less) fantasy points.

10. Mario Manningham, Giants (at GB): It has been a disappointing and injury-plagued season for Manningham, who missed the first matchup against the Packers. Last week, however, Manningham finished with 68 yards and a score against the Falcons.

11. Michael Crabtree, 49ers (vs NO): Crabtree had his best game of the season in Week 17 against the Rams: eight receptions for 86 yards and two scores. That said, it was only the fourth time this season that Crabtree had double-digit fantasy points.

12. Anquan Boldin, Ravens (vs HOU): Boldin hasn't played since Week 15, but he is expected to return this week. Boldin had one of his two best games of the season when the Ravens and Texans met in mid-October as he finished with eight receptions for 132 yards.

13. Deion Branch, Patriots (vs DEN): Branch has been inconsistent this season after a strong start (15 receptions for 222 yards in his first two games). In the other 13 games he played, Branch had only 36 receptions for 480 yards and five touchdowns.

14. Robert Meachem, Saints (at SF): With so many talented receivers on the Saints' offense, it's hard to trust any of them except Colston. That said, Meachem's 111-yard performance last week was his second 100-yard game in the past six games.

15. James Jones, Packers (vs NYG): Jones has the potential to have a big week in any given week, but he has the potential to have a dud performance as well. Jones has only seven games with more than two receptions this season.

Other positions: QBs | RBs | TEs

Playoff Predictions: 49ers vs. Saints | Patriots vs. Broncos | Ravens vs. Texans | Packers vs. Giants

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