Is it cool to hype up wide receivers in fantasy football again?
There was that time when many draft experts advocated going with the WR-WR strategy in the first two rounds in order to maximize your value. Then running backs became the crown jewel again, leaving wideouts in the dust.
Don't be fooled, though, as wide receivers have plenty of value. A.J. Green has almost single-handedly kept me afloat this year.
This week isn't shaping up to be a banner one for the Cincinnati Bengals receiver, though. The New York Jets are very tough defensively.
These three wideouts, on the other hand, should have big performances as they take advantage of defensive mismatches.
Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals
2013 has been a season to forget so far for Larry Fitzgerald. Only twice has he been able to rack up more than 80 yards receiving in a game. You'd be forgiven if you've completely given up on him becoming a WR1 again this year.
However, against the Atlanta Falcons, this could be the time for Fitzgerald to have a huge game. The Falcons secondary is so bad that even Carson Palmer should look like a productive quarterback. Football Outsiders ranks Atlanta dead last against the pass.
The good thing with Fitzgerald is that even his basement for Week 8 isn't all that low. He should give you at least 10 or 11 points, with the potential for 15-20.
Jordy Nelson, Green Bay Packers
Certainly he wouldn't want it to happen this way, but injuries have opened the door in a big way for Jordy Nelson. While he always figured to be a pivotal part of the Green Bay Packers offense, Nelson is now the unquestioned No. 1 wideout.
The Packers' receiving corps is decimated in a big way, via ESPN Stats and Info.
Jermichael Finley, Randall Cobb & James Jones have made up nearly half of Aaron Rodgers' passes this season. All 3 are likely out for Week 8— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 22, 2013
Jarrett Boykin is the other top target in the passing game. As a result, Aaron Rodgers will be looking to Nelson early and often.
Even more encouraging for those with Nelson is the fact that Green Bay has the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday night. The Vikes aren't great against the pass, and with Josh Freeman struggling under center, it could mean three-and-outs and Rodgers getting the ball in his hands more often.
Victor Cruz, New York Giants
Ever since that huge Week 4 against the Kansas City Chiefs, Victor Cruz has been stuck in the fantasy periphery. Most of that is because of how awful Eli Manning has been. You can't expect a receiver to succeed when his QB is targeting the opposing corners more than he is his own teammates.
There could be a turnaround in the cards this Sunday. Manning wasn't great on Monday night against the Vikings, but at least he didn't throw any picks. That's a good start.
What should continue that positive performance is a date with the Philadelphia Eagles. Manning had 334 yards passing and two touchdowns when he played Philadelphia earlier in the season. Although Cruz had just five receptions for 48 yards, you should feel confident that he's going to be using that patented salsa dance on at least one occasion this Sunday.
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