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Fantasy Football Week 3 Rankings: Early Top 50 Wide Receivers

OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 18:  Calvin Johnson #81 of the Detroit Lions tries to break free from DeMarcus Van Dyke #23 of the Oakland Raiders at Coliseum on December 18, 2011 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Jamal CollierAnalyst IIISeptember 18, 2012

Through two games, your first-round pick in fantasy football has just 14 touches. He has 205 scrimmage yards, but no touchdowns. He has ranked outside of the top 20 at his position in standard scoring each of the first two weeks.

But you’re not concerned.

Why aren’t you concerned?

Because the player in question is none other than the Detroit Lions’ Calvin Johnson. As a fantasy owner, you know that’s basically the nature of the wide receiver position.

Sure, you took him in the first round of your fantasy draft hoping for a bigger initial splash from Megatron. Perhaps, a continuation of the final two games he put together in 2011 (including playoffs): 23 catches, 455 yards and three touchdowns.

But fear not, Johnson is still a must-start option. Unlike another player with the same initials and last name.

Big things should be in store for Calvin this week against the Titans. Even if he doesn’t score, it’ll come. Fantasy owners need not worry about this C. Johnson just yet.


1. Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions (at Tennessee Titans)

I think he does score this week. Maybe even a couple of times.


2. Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons (at San Diego Chargers)

After watching Monday Night Football, it almost seems like Jones and White are taking turns being Matt Ryan’s best buddy on the field of play. Jones’ turn would be Week 3.


3. Victor Cruz, New York Giants (at Carolina Panthers)

As if you needed more proof that he’s a legitimate NFL talent, Cruz put together a 11-catch, 179-yard and one super-long touchdown performance in Week 2.


4. A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals (at Washington Redskins)

The Redskins will be without front-seven guys Brian Orakpo and Adam Carriker. Their absence should give quarterback Andy Dalton time to find Green down the field.


5. Percy Harvin, Minnesota Vikings (at San Francisco 49ers)

You have to like a fantasy wide receiver prospect when the player’s NFL team is absolutely determined to get him the ball. Harvin has had at least one rushing attempt in 23 straight games.


6. Steve Smith, Carolina Panthers (vs. New York Giants)

The Giants have had some trouble covering people.


7.  Miles Austin, Dallas Cowboys (vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

He scored a touchdown in two straight games, and a big game here would get rid of questions about his hamstring.


8. Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis Colts (vs. Jacksonville Jaguars)

He’s worth a look as a strong fantasy starter at home with Andrew Luck chucking him the football.


9. Hakeem Nicks, New York Giants (at Carolina Panthers)

Nicks was limping at the end of his Week 2 performance against the Bucs. But he was the highest-scoring WR last week in fantasy and has a track record of excellence. If he’s playing, he’s worth a start in Week 3.


10. Demaryius Thomas, Denver Broncos (vs. Houston Texans)

The Broncos probably aren’t going to run the ball very much in this game. Peyton Manning likes throwing shots to Mr. Thomas.


11. Andre Johnson, Houston Texans (at Denver Broncos)

He’s still healthy and really good. But so is Champ Bailey, and the Houston Texans prefer to run the ball these days.


12. Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals (vs. Philadelphia Eagles)

Fitzgerald’s fantasy owners are likely on the brink of panicking. The Cardinals have got to find a way to get the ball to the fan favorite at home.


13. Brandon Marshall, Chicago Bears (vs. St. Louis Rams)

The Rams have done a pretty good job at taking away opposing teams’ No. 1 options. They gave up 111 to the great Megatron but kept him out of the end zone in Week 1.


14. Steve Johnson, Buffalo Bills (at Cleveland Browns)

Steve Johnson gets the next crack at the Browns without Joe Haden.


15. Greg Jennings, Green Bay Packers (at Seattle Seahawks)

Jennings was campaigning to play against the Bears on Thursday night in Week 2. The team ultimately held him out for that game, but after 10 days of rest he should be ready to go at Seattle.


16. Roddy White, Atlanta Falcons (at San Diego Chargers)

17. Wes Welker, New England Patriots (at Baltimore Ravens)

18. Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys (vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

19. Jordy Nelson, Green Bay Packers (at Seattle Seahawks)

20. Mike Wallace, Pittsburgh Steelers (at Oakland Raiders)

21. Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City Chiefs (at New Orleans Saints)

22. Danny Amendola, St. Louis Rams (at Chicago Bears)

23. Brandon Lloyd, New England Patriots (at Baltimore Ravens)

24. Marques Colston, New Orleans Saints (vs. Kansas City Chiefs)

25. Torrey Smith, Baltimore Ravens (vs. New England Patriots)

26. Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers (at Oakland Raiders)

27. Vincent Jackson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (at Dallas Cowboys)

28. Eric Decker, Denver Broncos (vs. Houston Texans)

29. Michael Crabtree, San Francisco 49ers (at Minnesota Vikings)

30. DeSean Jackson, Philadelphia Eagles (at Arizona Cardinals)

31. Lance Moore, New Orleans Saints (vs. Kansas City Chiefs)

32. Sidney Rice, Seattle Seahawks (vs. Green Bay Packers)

33. Donnie Avery, Indianapolis Colts (vs. Jacksonville Jaguars)

34. Anquan Boldin, Baltimore Ravens (vs. New England Patriots)

35. Randall Cobb, Green Bay Packers (at Seattle Seahawks)

36. Greg Little, Cleveland Browns (vs. Buffalo Bills)

37. Malcom Floyd, San Diego Chargers (vs. Atlanta Falcons)

38. Kenny Britt, Tennessee Titans (vs. Detroit Lions)

39. Kevin Ogletree, Dallas Cowboys (vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

40. Randy Moss, San Francisco 49ers (at Minnesota Vikings)

41. Mike Williams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (at Dallas Cowboys)

42. Brandon LaFell, Carolina Panthers (vs. New York Giants)

43. Brandon Gibson, St. Louis Rams (at Chicago Bears)

44. Andrew Hawkins, Cincinnati Bengals (at Washington Redskins)

45. Emmanuel Sanders, Pittsburgh Steelers (at Oakland Raiders)

46. Alshon Jeffery, Chicago Bears (vs. St. Louis Rams)

47. Laurent Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars (at Indianapolis Colts)

48. Leonard Hankerson, Washington Redskins (vs. Cincinnati Bengals)

49. Austin Pettis, St. Louis Rams (at Chicago Bears)

50. Rod Streater, Oakland Raiders (vs. Pittsburgh Steelers)

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