In the boom-or-bust fantasy world of wide receivers, making the right lineup calls is never easy...until now. Well, at least in regards to the following three receivers.
Trends in both the players, their teams and their opposition make the "to play or not to play" conundrum for the next three, moot.
Jeremy Maclin, WR, Eagles
Opponent: Detroit Lions
Oh yeah, I remember Jeremy Maclin, and so did Michael Vick last week. Maclin had a sexy eight targets as he displayed he was ready to put the injury which derailed his early season behind him.
He ended the game with a modest five catches for 39 yards, but he was still knocking the rust off and getting back in the flow of the offense.
Maclin will be more in tune with the offense this week, and that offense will be going against the Detroit Lions.
Detroit is 10th in passing yards allowed, but they have not played anything anyone would call an elite passing attack. As a result, Football Outsiders has them ranked 24th in passing defense, and they are also 21st against No. 2 wide receivers.
Jordy Nelson, WR, Green Bay Packers
Nelson, like most Packers, has been somewhat of a disappointment this year. He has just one touchdown and just two catches in two of the last three games.
However, he is still getting targets, his 36 lead the Pack, and the big-play ability is there. Nelson would have had a much better day last week had Aaron Rodgers not played his worst game in recent memory and missed him on some big plays.
While the Texans offer a formidable defense, there is little choice but for Nelson to produce this week. Greg Jennings is out and tight end Jermichael Finley is battling shoulder issues (view the official injury report here).
Nelson will get plenty of looks in this game, and there is every reason to think Rodgers will be much better this time out.
Brian Hartline, WR, Miami Dolphins
Opponent: St. Louis Rams
Very quietly, the Rams have put together a budding defense, and they are proving to be especially tough against the pass.
St. Louis gets a great rush from their defensive line, which leaves plenty of help in the secondary. This team has already faced the likes of Larry Fitzgerald, Brandon Marshall and Calvin Johnson and they have not allowed a TD to any of those elite pass grabbers.
This pass defense is ranked fifth by Football Outsider against No. 1s and they have allowed the sixth fewest fantasy points, in standard leagues, to wide receivers.
I like Brian Hartline, but he and the Dolphins offense have shown how sporadic their production can be. This is a good matchup to leave Hartline on the bench.