It's Week 7 of the 2012 NFL season, and as if injuries to wide receivers such as Pierre Garcon of the Washington Redskins and Greg Jennings of the Green Bay Packers weren't taking enough of a toll on fantasy football rosters this week, six NFL teams are on a bye.
That leaves many fantasy owners frantically scrambling to find startable options at the position for this week, and those owners should look to the following trio of players for whom the stars are aligned for big fantasy performances in Week 7.
Brandon Gibson, St. Louis Rams
With top wideout Danny Amendola out indefinitely with a shoulder injury, the job of number one wide receiver for the St. Louis Rams has fallen to Brandon Gibson, and the fourth-year pro responded with a strong showing in last week's game against the Miami Dolphins, hauling in seven passes for 91 yards.
Gibson's good game included a highlight-reel one-handed catch in the fourth quarter, but while head coach Jeff Fisher lauded Gibson's performance, according to Jim Thomas of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch Fisher also said that there is plenty of room for improvement in Gibson's game.
"It's hard to find a better catch than that catch in that last drive, and a couple of the other catches that he made," Fisher said. "But he double-catches one and he should get his feet (in bounds), in (Miami) territory. So he's had a great game, but what if we would've made that catch? Would things be different down there?"
The 25-year-old should have every opportunity to build on last week when the Rams face the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, as the Rams will all but certainly be forced to the air and the Packers have been a top-10 fantasy matchup for opposing wide receivers this season.
Denarius Moore, Oakland Raiders
For much of the early part of the season the passing attack of the Oakland Raiders was severely hampered by numerous injuries at the wide receiver position, but it appears that the Raiders are finally getting all of their horses back in the stable.
Second-year wide receiver Denarius Moore, who has been working his way back into form from a hamstring injury, had his best game of the season last week against the Atlanta Falcons, notching his first 100-yard game of the season and scoring a touchdown for the second time in three weeks.
Moore's role as the vertical threat in the Raiders' offense can sometimes make him an inconsistent fantasy option, but the 23-year-old has an excellent shot at solid fantasy production this week against the Jacksonville Jaguars and their 23rd-ranked pass defense.
Donnie Avery, Indianapolis Colts
Veteran Reggie Wayne has garnered the majority of headlines where Indianapolis Colts wide receivers are concerned after his phenomenal start to the 2012 season, but with Wayne shut down last week against the New York Jets, it was another player who stepped up to pick up the slack.
Fifth-year veteran Donnie Avery led the team in targets last week, turning those targets into four receptions for 60 yards, and while that stat line isn't eye-popping Avery's play has impressed quarterback Andrew Luck according to Evan Hilbert of CBS Sports.
“He's very dynamic, fast, quick-twitch, can really stretch the field and get across the field fast on some crossing routes,” quarterback Andrew Luck said of Avery. “I'm glad to see that it's showing up in the games because he's been doing it in practice."
It's very possible that Wayne will once again find the sledding tough this week against the Cleveland Browns, and with cornerback Joe Haden shadowing Wayne that should open things up for Avery against a Cleveland team giving up the second-most fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers in 2012.