Fantasy Football Rankings Week 3: Wide Receivers Destined for Huge Performances

Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistSeptember 19, 2013

Sep 16, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green (18) prior to the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Even the best wide receivers have their down weeks. Case in point: A.J. Green

The star wideout was a non-factor against the Pittsburgh Steelers, catching six passes for 41 yards.

With players like this, you know that it's going to even out in the end. After all, Green either recorded less than 100 yards, or failed to score a touchdown in only four games last year.

Whoever has the wideout on his or her fantasy team should feel comforted knowing the Cincinnati Bengals welcome in the Packers this weekend. Green Bay has struggled defensively so far, and Football Outsiders have it ranked 32nd against the pass through the first two weeks.

There's no doubt that Green will get the most targets from Andy Dalton. He'll have plenty of opportunity to make big plays against a suspect secondary, and he's still right up there with Calvin Johnson as the best wide receiver.

Here are the top 15 fantasy wideouts after the first two weeks, followed by three more who will put up big points this weekend.

 

Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions

Sep 15, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson (81) completes a pass for a touchdown in the second quarter against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Hilderbrand-USA TODAY Sports
Jennifer Hilderbrand-USA TODAY S

Perhaps the only thing better than seeing that your top wide receiver is facing the Packers is seeing that your top wide receiver is taking on the Washington Redskins.

For all the worry over Robert Griffin III and his knees, the bigger concern should be the Skins' defense. Washington has looked awful on defense through two games, giving up a total of 71 points and 1,023 yards.

The Redskins' problems are Calvin Johnson's gain.

He's the unquestioned No. 1 fantasy receiver, and he demonstrated exactly why last week. He had six receptions for 116 yards and two touchdowns to more than make up for his poor Week 1.

Although it will be hard for Johnson to repeat those two touchdowns again, you should count on him getting more receptions and yards in Week 3.

 

Julian Edelman, New England Patriots

Sep 12, 2013; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman (11) is tackled by New York Jets strong safety Dawan Landry (26) during the second half at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports
Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

Julian Edelman will be a feast or famine player this week. Either he's going to get stranded on Revis Island, or he'll still get enough receptions to be more of a volume guy who puts up another good fantasy performance.

As hyped-up as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers secondary is, it still surrendered 256 passing yards to Geno Smith and then 322 to Drew Brees. It looks like Darrelle Revis has yet to get back to his best following that ACL injury he suffered last season.

With the Patriots' passing game damaged and hobbled, the Buccaneers could key in on Edelman all game. However, even if that's the case, quarterback Tom Brady doesn't really trust any of his other receivers, so he's not going to stop looking toward his No. 1 target.

Edelman should still be able to get around 15 or so targets, which will be especially great if you're in PPR leagues.

 

Mike Wallace, Miami Dolphins

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - SEPTEMBER 15:  Mike Wallace #11 of the Miami Dolphins runs for a touchdown during the NFL game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on September 15, 2013 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

So maybe there aren't any problems for Mike Wallace in Miami.

After his horrid Week 1 performance, the talk already turned to how he was supposedly upset with how he was used in the Dolphins offense.

Wallace refuted those reports the best way he could: by playing well on the field.

In Week 2, he had nine receptions for 115 yards and a touchdown, as Miami didn't look to have any problems figuring how to use its big-money wideout.

You should expect another strong performance from Wallace. The Atlanta Falcons still have some issues in the secondary, and if Lamar Miller can put a good game together again it will take pressure off Ryan Tannehill and help to open up the passing game.

Don't be scared off too much by that shoulder injury that's causing problems for the signal-caller this week. According to NFL.com's Marc Sessler, Tannehill should be on the field against Atlanta.