Fantasy Football

Fantasy Football Week 5: Early Top 50 Wide Receiver Rankings

SEATTLE - OCTOBER 30:  Wide receiver A.J. Green #18 of the Cincinnati Bengals looks on during warmups prior to the game against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on October 30, 2011 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
Jamal CollierAnalyst IIIOctober 4, 2012

The story of wide receiver play in fantasy football last week was the glut of surprising performers that found themselves in the top 10 in scoring at week’s end.

Brian Hartline of the Miami Dolphins, Andre Roberts of the Arizona Cardinals and James Jones of the Green Bay Packers all wound up with very productive fantasy days.

Hartline had an NFL-high 253 receiving yards to his credit in Week 4 to go along with 12 catches and a touchdown.

He was targeted 18 times.

Roberts scored two touchdowns while gaining 118 yards on six catches (nine targets). Jones, mainly in relief duty for Greg Jennings, caught five of his six targets for 56 yards and a pair of his own scores.

I’m not ranking the Buffalo Bills’ Donald Jones or the New Orleans Saints’ Joe Morgan this week. The two of them combined for 170 yards and two touchdowns in Week 4.

But they had three catches and four total targets between them. That’s not exactly offering much in the way of predictive value for Week 5.

A.J. Green leads standard-scoring fantasy wideouts on the season with 60 points. I don’t expect him to come off of his perch in Week 5 against a Dolphins defense that has given up nearly 500 receiving yards and four touchdowns to wide receivers in its last two games.

Julio Jones is due for a big outing after having big games in Week 1 and Week 3 sandwiched by not-so-good ones in Week 2 and Week 4.

He’ll be facing a Washington Redskins defense that has allowed almost 600 receiving yards and four touchdowns in its last two contests.

Roddy White should have a big game, too.

The Indianapolis Colts are another team that has not kept opposing receivers out of the end zone. I’m looking for a big outing from Jordy Nelson. Randall Cobb is worth a start (especially in PPR leagues), and if Jennings doesn’t go, Jones should be worth a starting spot as well.

The emergence of Domenik Hixon and Ramses Barden should work wonders for establishing consistency with Victor Cruz’s fantasy value. Prior to those guys' big games, I didn't like Cruz as much when Hakeem Nicks is missing games.

Instead of defenses being able to focus solely on stopping Cruz and tight end Martellus Bennett in the passing game, they’ll have to worry about a couple more playmakers on the outside. That should allow Cruz to continue to do his damage for the New York Giants and for his fantasy owners.

I’ve got Hartline ranked pretty low this week, considering that he is the third-highest scoring fantasy wideout this season.

He could have a big game against the Cincinnati Bengals, but the fact of the matter is that he’s been inconsistent this season. He’s scored five, 11, four and 31 fantasy points in each game this year.

Furthermore, now that he’s legitimately broken out, I’ll be taking a wait-and-see approach to understand how defenses attack him in the coming weeks.

If they’re able to take him out of the game, then you’re not going to want him in your fantasy lineup. If he produces despite the added attention, you may have found your next undrafted fantasy superstar.


1. A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals (vs. Miami Dolphins)

2. Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons (at Washington Redskins)

3. Jordy Nelson, Green Bay Packers (at Indianapolis Colts)

4. Andre Johnson, Houston Texans (at New York Jets)

5. Roddy White, Atlanta Falcons (at Washington Redskins)

6. Victor Cruz, New York Giants (vs. Cleveland Browns)

7. Percy Harvin, Minnesota Vikings (vs. Tennessee Titans)

8. Brandon Marshall, Chicago Bears (at Jacksonville Jaguars)

9. Demaryius Thomas, Denver Broncos (at New England Patriots)

10. Torrey Smith, Baltimore Ravens (at Kansas City Chiefs)

11. Wes Welker, New England Patriots (vs. Denver Broncos)

12. Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis Colts (vs. Green Bay Packers)

13. Mike Wallace, Pittsburgh Steelers (vs. Philadelphia Eagles)

14. Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City Chiefs (vs. Baltimore Ravens)

15. DeSean Jackson, Philadelphia Eagles (at Pittsburgh Steelers)

16. Marques Colston, New Orleans Saints (vs. San Diego Chargers)

17. Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals (at St. Louis Rams)

18. Steve Smith, Carolina Panthers (vs. Seattle Seahawks)

19. Pierre Garcon, Washington Redskins (vs. Atlanta Falcons)

20. Jeremy Maclin, Philadelphia Eagles (at Pittsburgh Steelers)

21. Brandon Lloyd, New England Patriots (vs. Denver Broncos)

22. Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers (vs. Philadelphia Eagles)

23. Eric Decker, Denver Broncos (at New England Patriots)

24. Lance Moore, New Orleans Saints (vs. San Diego Chargers)

25. Brian Hartline, Miami Dolphins (at Cincinnati Bengals)

26. Jerome Simpson, Minnesota Vikings (vs. Tennessee Titans)

27. James Jones, Green Bay Packers (at Indianapolis Colts)

28. Danny Amendola, St. Louis Rams (vs. Arizona Cardinals)

29. Domenik Hixon, New York Giants (vs. Cleveland Browns)

30. Malcom Floyd, San Diego Chargers (at New Orleans Saints)

31. Donnie Avery, Indianapolis Colts (vs. Green Bay Packers)

32. Steve Johnson, Buffalo Bills (at San Francisco 49ers)

33. Kenny Britt, Tennessee Titans (at Minnesota Vikings)

34. Randall Cobb, Green Bay Packers (at Indianapolis Colts)

35. Andrew Hawkins, Cincinnati Bengals (vs. Miami Dolphins)

36. Michael Crabtree, San Francisco 49ers (vs. Buffalo Bills)

37. Andre Roberts, Arizona Cardinals (at St. Louis Rams)

38. Greg Little, Cleveland Browns (at New York Giants)

39. Anquan Boldin, Baltimore Ravens (at Kansas City Chiefs)

40. Leonard Hankerson, Washington Redskins (vs. Atlanta Falcons)

41. Donald Jones, Buffalo Bills (at San Francisco 49ers)

42. Davone Bess, Miami Dolphins (at Cincinnati Bengals)

43. Nate Washington, Tennessee Titans (at Minnesota Vikings)

44. Justin Blackmon, Jacksonville Jaguars (vs. Chicago Bears)

45. Alshon Jeffery, Chicago Bears (at Jacksonville Jaguars)

46. Brandon LaFell, Carolina Panthers (vs. Seattle Seahawks)

47. Cecil Shorts, Jacksonville Jaguars (vs. Chicago Bears)

48. Jacoby Jones, Baltimore Ravens (at Kansas City Chiefs)

49. Jonathan Baldwin, Kansas City Chiefs (vs. Baltimore Ravens)

50. Ramses Barden, New York Giants (vs. Cleveland Browns)


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