Fantasy Football Week Three Rankings: Wide Receivers

Michael WhooleySenior Writer ISeptember 25, 2009

NASHVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 20:  Andre Johnson #80 of the Houston Texans catches a touchdown pass against the Tennessee Titans during the  NFL game at LP Field on September 20, 2009 in Nashville, Tennessee. The Texans won 34-31.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

It’s already week three of the NFL season, and fantasy owners have begun to take joy in their newest weapons at receiver (Johnny Knox) or are downright melancholy at players not fulfilling expectations (Eddie Royal). But is it too early? On that note, let’s examine the week ahead for the wide receivers.

1. Andre Johnson (Houston Texans) vs. Jacksonville

Predictably, Johnson exploded this week like a watermelon in one of Gallagher’s comedy acts (as an aside, how was that ever funny?) with 10 catches for 149 yards and two scores against the pliable Tennessee pass defense. This week, he faces a familiar foe in AFC South counterpart Jacksonville.

The Jags have faced two good passing teams in Indianapolis and Arizona, and have not been successful in stopping them, ranking 26th in pass defense.
Point Projection: 20 points

2. Marques Colston (New Orleans Saints) @ Buffalo

In two games, the Bills have allowed five receivers to accumulate at least 75 receiving yards against them. Colston will likely make that six. The Bills are 31st against the pass, and rank 26th in touchdown passes allowed. Colston already has three touchdown catches, and he’ll be a tough matchup for the smallish Bills corners.
Point Projection: 19 points

3. Larry Fitzgerald (Arizona Cardinals) vs. Indianapolis

Fitzgerald has a touchdown in each of the Cardinals’ two games this season, which is good, because his overall numbers are underwhelming. The former Pitt star has only 10 catches for 105 yards on the year, which are numbers many expect him to put up in a single game.

The Colts are No. 1 in the NFL against the pass, but you have to play the odds here and expect Fitzgerald to burst out with a big game.
Point Projection: 18 points

4. Greg Jennings (Green Bay Packers) @ St. Louis

Maybe the most shocking thing to happen in the fantasy world over the weekend was the fact that Jennings did not have a single catch in the Packers’ week two loss to the Bengals. He had never been held without a reception in any other game that he suited up for in his career, and he won’t be in this game.

An angry Green Bay team and a mediocre Rams pass defense equal big things for Jennings.
Point Projection: 18 points

5. Randy Moss (New England Patriots) vs. Atlanta

Four catches for 24 yards was all Moss could muster against the Jets as Tom Brady was under constant pressure. However, the Falcons are average against the pass (17th in the league), and were scorched by Carolina’s Steve Smith last week for over 130 yards. Moss hasn’t found the end zone once this season. That changes this Sunday.
Point Projection: 18 points

6. Reggie Wayne (Indianapolis Colts) @ Arizona

Wayne was held in check by the Dolphins in Indy’s win on Monday night, but that was largely due to the fact that they decided to focus on him and let Dallas Clark do whatever he pleased.

The Cardinals allowed Mike Sims-Walker to have a big game, and four receivers have gotten at least 60 receiving yards against them this year, so Wayne has a solid matchup here.
Point Projection: 17 points

7. Steve Smith (Carolina Panthers) @ Dallas

Nobody in the NFL has been targeted more by his quarterback than Smith has by Jake Delhomme. Twenty-eight times Delhomme has looked for Smith, but they’ve hooked up on just 11 of those throws.

Still, he caught eight passes for 131 yards in week two, and this week faces a Dallas team that has allowed three receivers to accumulate at least 90 receiving yards.
Point Projection: 17 points

8. Vincent Jackson (San Diego Chargers) vs. Miami

If Jackson can do what he did last week—six catches, 141 yards, one touchdown—against a good Baltimore defense, he should be able to exploit a Miami defense that is 23rd in the league in pass defense, and 25th in passing scores allowed.
Point Projection: 17 points

9. Calvin Johnson (Detroit Lions) vs. Washington

It’s obvious the Lions aren’t getting the most out of Johnson just yet, as he has only eight catches on the season, though he’s gained 141 yards and scored one touchdown. Johnson and Matthew Stafford should get better together as the year goes on, and if the Lions are going to score through the air, chances are it will be Johnson on the receiving end.
Point Projection: 16 points

10. Terrell Owens (Buffalo Bills) vs. New Orleans

Owens has only caught five passes this year, but he did grab his first touchdown last week and has a solid matchup in week three against a New Orleans team that is 28th in the league against the pass.
Point Projection: 16 points

11. Roddy White (Atlanta Falcons) @ New England

White doesn’t have gaudy numbers, but he did grab his first touchdown pass last week. Matt Ryan has a new weapon to deploy in Tony Gonzalez, but that shouldn’t stop White from getting his touches. In fact, he is fourth in the NFC with 20 targets.

New England hasn’t given up a lot of yards through the air, but they have allowed QBs a 108.0 passer rating (28th in the league) and 8.0 yards per attempt (26th).
Point Projection: 15 points

12. Anquan Boldin (Arizona Cardinals) vs. Indianapolis

After playing with a hamstring injury when he probably should not have in week one, Boldin got healthier in Week Two and led Arizona with eight receptions, though he gathered only 69 yards. He should be 100 percent this week, and his first touchdown will follow.
Point Projection: 14 points

13. Santonio Holmes (Pittsburgh Steelers) @ Cincinnati

The changing of the guard is getting more and more official every week. Hines Ward is still a highly productive player, but the numbers say that when Ben Roethlisberger looks for a target, he looks for Holmes first.

Holmes leads the AFC and is second in the NFL with 25 targets, and followed his 131-yard effort in Week One with 83 yards last week. The targets, and yards, will continue this week.
Point Projection: 14 points

14. DeSean Jackson (Philadelphia Eagles) vs. Kansas City

Assuming Jackson’s groin is up to snuff, his big-play ability is reason to be optimistic in his matchup against the Chiefs. KC is middle of the road in pass defense after two games, but consideration should be given to the fact that one of their games was against JaMarcus Russell, who’s accuracy, to say the least, is an issue.
Point Projection: 14 points

15. Jerricho Cotchery (New York Jets) vs. Tennessee

Cotchery has had games of 90 and 87 receiving yards, respectively, but he has yet to find the end zone this season. There is a very good chance that could change this week as he and Mark Sanchez go up against a Tennessee pass defense that is dead last in the league in yards allowed, and tied for second-to-last in passing scores allowed.
Point Projection: 14 points

For the rest of the Week Three Wide Receiver Rankings, click HERE!