Fantasy owners were giddy on Thursday night after Mike Wallace took a Ben Roethlisberger pass 82 yards for a first-quarter touchdown. And visions of the monster day that Wallace was about to have ran wild through our heads.
One catch and 12 yards later, things didn't quite work out as we hoped they would. And nobody expected to see Issac Redman be the only Steeler to eclipse the 100-yard mark in receiving yards, that's for sure.
Whether you are faced with one of your receivers being out of action due to a bye week or due to injury—the Packers' Greg Jennings will not play, according to ESPN's Matthew Berry—there are still plenty of excellent wide receivers who will be in action.
Here are your 10 best options for racking up points at the receiver position for your fantasy squad as we head into another football Sunday.
He's not the stud receiver that he used to be, and he's not even the leading receiver for the Texans—that honor falls to TE Owen Daniels. But Andre Johnson has a favorable matchup this week against the Green Bay Packers.
Houston is certainly going to feed the Packers defense a steady diet of Arian Foster, but Matt Schaub won't be handing the ball off all night long.
Green Bay has allowed 10 touchdowns through the air this year, and over the last two weeks, New Orleans' Marques Colston and Indianapolis' Reggie Wayne combined to catch 22 passes for 365 yards and two touchdowns against the Packers secondary.
Johnson is certainly on the same level as those two veterans, and as such, he will come through with a solid performance for your fantasy squad on Sunday night.
On the heels of the best game of his 12-year career, in which he caught 13 passes for 212 yards and a touchdown against the Green Bay Packers, Reggie Wayne will go up against a New York Jets secondary that's without its best player and leader, corner Darrelle Revis.
Antonio Cromartie has done an excellent job filling in for Revis, and his presence will limit Wayne from putting up the gaudy numbers that we saw last week.
But Colts quarterback Andrew Luck looks to Wayne all the time—to the tune of 60 targets in four games—so Wayne is going to get his fair share of catches. Cromartie's good, but he can't stop Wayne on every play.
If we have learned anything from watching Eli Manning over the years, it's that he doesn't care who his opposition is—he's is going to air it out, and he's going to be successful doing so.
It must be a Manning thing.
Against a tough 49ers defense, Eli will have his hands full. But it also sounds as if he'll have a full compliment of receivers to attack the San Francisco secondary with too, according to ESPN New York's Ohm Youngmisuk—or, as he's better known these days, the Notorious OHM:
Hakeem Nicks is on flight to SF. Still may be game time decision but big step toward playing.— Ohm Youngmisuk (@NotoriousOHM) October 13, 2012
If Nicks plays, that's only good news for Victor Cruz and those who have him in fantasy. While Nicks might take some looks away from Cruz, he'll find himself in more favorable matchups. And we know what Cruz is capable of doing when he's left one-on-one with a defender.
If Nicks can't go, that will certainly increase the attention he receives from San Francisco, but Cruz has shown that he's capable of putting up big numbers whenever Eli is under center.
Start Cruz with confidence this week.
Broncos QB Peyton Manning put the notion that he'd stop throwing the ball to the fumbling Demaryius Thomas (and Willis McGahee) to rest in comments he made to Andrew Mason of the Sporting News earlier this week:
I stick with them. I told Willis after the fumble and the other fourth down when we had it, and I told Demaryius—I'm with them. We're going to need those guys all season. You don't see me not throwing to Demaryius or not calling Willis' number. They're out there; they're going to get the ball, and they're going to make more plays than they're going to miss, I assure you of that.
With that no longer in doubt, Thomas gets set to face off against a Chargers defense that allows 260 passing yards a game and has watched 11 touchdowns be thrown against it.
Over the team's last two games, three receivers have gone over 100 yards receiving against the Chargers: Kansas City's Dwayne Bowe and New Orleans' Marques Colston and Devery Henderson. Combined, the trio has caught 24 passes for 355 yards and five touchdowns.
In two games.
If that wasn't enough of a reason to plug Thomas into your starting lineup, consider this nugget, courtesy of the Denver Post's Mike Klis:
WR Demaryius Thomas in his last 12 games: 65 catches, 1,258 yards. That's Megatron stuff. denverpost.com/broncos/ci_217…— Mike Klis (@MikeKlis) October 10, 2012
As the Cleveland Browns were no doubt thrilled to announce, corner Joe Haden is back from his four-game suspension, and his presence on the field will alter what the Bengals do on offense slightly.
But A.J. Green is going to put up numbers regardless.
Haden hasn't played since Week 1, when he held the Eagles' DeSean Jackson to four catches and 77 yards receiving.
It's fair to say that Green is a superior receiver to Jackson, and Andy Dalton is certainly throwing the ball much better than Michael Vick did earlier this season.
The Browns have allowed 280 yards per game through the air and let receivers find the end zone a dozen times.
Green's already faced the Browns once in 2012—without Haden—and caught seven passes for 58 yards and a touchdown.
Expect more of the same on Sunday.
Disclaimer: Everything you read here is applicable to Julio Jones as well.
The Oakland Raiders give up more than 280 passing yards a game, have allowed nine passing touchdowns and are one of two defenses in the NFL still without an interception.
Don't expect that to change when Matt Ryan and his high-powered Atlanta Falcons offense prove to be inhospitable hosts in Atlanta on Sunday afternoon.
Over its past three games, Oakland has allowed Miami's Brian Hartline, Pittsburgh's Mike Wallace and Denver's Demaryius Thomas to all eclipse the 100-yard receiving mark. Combined, the trio caught 22 passes for 337 yards and a touchdown against an over-matched Raiders secondary.
With Ryan throwing the ball as well as anyone in the league, look for White to make it four wide receivers in four weeks to post triple-digit receiving yardage. And chances are that he'll find the end zone as well.
The only reason I put Jones over Roddy White is because I think Jones has a bit more explosive ability. But both are going to have monster days against a putrid Raiders secondary.
As previously noted, check Roddy White's slide for the complete breakdown as to why Jones is such a great start this week—and really every week for that matter.
There may not be a more dangerous offensive weapon in the NFL than the Vikings' Percy Harvin—something that ESPN Stats and Info made note of:
Percy Harvin leads NFL with 319 yards after the catch. 234 of those on catches from at or behind the line of scrimmage (leads all WRs).— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 10, 2012
That's great news for Harvin owners as he takes on a Redskins defense that is about as inept against the pass as any defense in the league.
The Redskins allow more than 325 yards passing per game, and the 13 passing touchdowns they have allowed is tied with the Tennessee Titans for the most in the NFL.
Speaking of the Titans, Harvin had a big day against them last week. He caught eight passes for 108 yards and a touchdown while carrying the ball twice for a fantasy-irrelevant eight yards. And he found the end zone on the ground as well.
If you are like me, you are kicking yourself for allowing concern over Christian Ponder leading you to pass on Harvin in your draft.
Buffalo's pass defense is terrible, allowing nearly 280 yards passing a game and 12 touchdowns through the air.
Arizona's offensive line is terrible, resulting in the Cardinals utilizing a no-huddle, quick-strike offensive attack seeing how its running game is in shambles, with both Ryan Williams and Beanie Wells out of action.
It goes without saying that Fitzgerald is one of the elite receivers in football, and after catching only five passes for 67 yards over the first two weeks of the season, he's gotten going. Over his last three games, Fitzgerald has caught 25 passes for 270 yards and two touchdowns.
Expect him to build of off his recent success and have his best game of the season against a Bills secondary that has no answers for him.
The Philadelphia Eagles have a solid pass defense, one that allows just over 200 passing yards a game and has as many interceptions, six, as touchdowns allowed through the air.
But cracks are starting to show in the Eagles secondary.
Three receivers have gone over the 100-yard mark in two of the last three games against the Eagles: Fitzgerald, Cruz and the Giants' Domenik Hixon. The Steelers' Antonio Brown came close, finishing last week's game with 86 yards receiving.
Combined, the four caught 31 passes for 423 yards and two touchdowns.
Johnson is unquestionably the best wide receiver in football, and he's over the concussion that he suffered two weeks ago at the hands of the Minnesota Vikings. (h/t USA Today)
Megatron will continue the string of recent success that elite receivers have had against the Eagles secondary, breaking 100 yards receiving and finding the end zone—at least once.