Welcome to the Wide Receiver portion of our Start/Sit. Each week we will preview the best of the best and the worst or the worst.
Last week, my list yielded six quality starters out of a possible ten (Wayne, Ocho Cinco, Smith, Marshall, Cotchery, Sims-Walker) with Cotchery being the only one out of those six without a TD, and had it not been for the entire Lions secondary and Oakland secondary I could’ve had a perfect ten.
Still, only three of these players were top ten receivers all day; who would’ve thought Mohamed Massaquoi was gonna wind up being last week’s overall leader for cripes sake.
This week presents us with a plethora of tasty matchups with a side of uncertainty, namely the Roy Williams issue which we’ll get to in a bit.
Let’s take a look at the up and coming week.
Must Start of the Week.
This week’s Must Start of the Week is none other than Steve Smith of the New York Giants. Smith has recently become Manning’s favorite target both down field, and in the end zone which is a win-win for Fantasy owners.
This week’s contest against the lowly Raiders should prove to be another fine matchup for Smith. With Manningham and Nicks in the mix as well, the Raiders will eventually give up the big plays and TDs to him.
Through four weeks, Smith has accumulated 34 catches for 411 yards and four TDs; he has at least one TD in his last three games with Oakland knocking at the door.
Two through Ten:
|No. 2 Steve Smith: Yes that’s right the other Smith is being featured as our number two option this week. Smith should have no problem making quick work of the Washington secondary, not because they are all that bad against the pass, but because they are that bad against the run. The Redskins will try to slow down the Panthers’ backfield, making Smith’s opportunities open up early. Plus, after his last botched late game outing he has some making up to do with Delhomme.|
|No. 3 Reggie Wayne: Wayne comes down a bit, but is still a featured play against a surprisingly horrible Titans’ pass defense. With little help in the backfield, Manning won’t have to wait until he gets to the red zone to find Wayne.|
|No. 4 Hines Ward: The happiest WR in the history of football goes up against a Detroit secondary that will have worlds of trouble trying to defend against him. Ward is primed to have a break out game against an overly injured Detroit team.|
|No. 5 Larry Fitzgerald:Fitzgerald blames himself for what he calls a so-so performance thus far this year, but it isn’t entirely his fault. The Cardinals have introduced the short yardage passing game this year with Breaston, and it has worked against some stiff competition. But Houston’s horrible pass coverage will be the perfect cure for Fitzgerald’s woes, and starting him will help your team immensely.|
|No. 6 Andre Johnson: Last week Johnson had a dismal performance, but not enough to cause any concern—after all, every dog has his day. The matchup vs. the Cardinals could turn out to be a shootout which means good things for Johnson.|
|No. 7 Mike Sims-Walker: Well, if you haven’t picked this guy up yet or still doubt him you should stop now because this guy is the real deal. Sims-Walker is averaging 80 yards a game and has three TDs in four games and is fast approaching an every week Fantasy start. Who am I kidding, he IS an every week start.|
|No. 8 DeSean Jackson: The most electrifying WR to come to Philadelphia since I can remember; this kid just gets it done. He is a bona-certified Fantasy start in all formats, and is quickly turning into an every week stud. Tampa’s lack-luster defense won’t have any answers for him this week, and owners should enjoy his duel threat as a receiver and return man.|
|No. 9 Percy Harvin: Harvin, much like Jackson, is a double threat and if it’s one thing Favre loves doing is letting a young rookie feast on a weak team—well you don’t get much weaker than the Rams. I think Harvin will have a breakout game against the Rams and should be started in all formats.|
|No. 10 Brandon Marshall: The Patriots are having some trouble dealing with sizable sure handed receivers down field, and the Broncos are putting together a nice season so far. The Broncos D will take care of Brady on their home turf setting up a big day for Marshall.|
Must Sit of the Week:
This week’s Must Sit of the Week goes to Roy Williams. The Cowboys have disclosed that Williams has damaged cartilage in three of his ribs and even if he does start there’s no way to trust him. I think they will sit Williams since they have plenty of other options at WR, and since the Cowboys have a bye the week after it just makes sense.
Williams is a very pricey investment that the Cowboys likely don’t want to take any chances on, but this type of injury is better than cracked or broken ribs, so don’t be too worried as this should remedy itself after the Week six bye. Romo, on the other hand, is something to worry about.
Two Through Ten:
|No. 2 Chris Henry: Henry is awarded the Mr. Irrelevant award in Fantasy, and should be avoided altogether until further notice. I’m thinking next year. Thanks to Kurt for introducing us to this prestigious award.|
|No. 3 Dwayne Bowe: It was obvious that Bowe wasn’t trusted last week with that hamstring, and against the Cowboys D you should still sit him for another week as it is an unfavorable matchup with Newman and Jenkins on cover duty.|
|No. 4 Antonio Bryant: Bryant is suffering through another year of QB uncertainty, and although Josh Johnson looked pretty good for his first outing—and showed some promise—Bryant will be shut down by the Philly D this week.|
|No. 5 Megatron aka. Calvin Johnson: Last week, nearly all of my Sit ‘Em picks were correct except for this guy. So, I’m putting him here again. Why? Stafford has a dislocated knee that popped back into place—the medical term called Subluxation—and even if he does go, the Blitz happy Steelers will be the hardest contest by far for Stafford which won’t yield too many looks for Johnson.|
|No. 6 Santana Moss: Washington continues to struggle under coach Zorn, and Carolina had a week to fix their problems and seethe over being 0-3. Carolina WILL NOT go 0-4, and the first way to prevent that is to shut down Moss.|
|No. 7 Nate Burleson: Burleson has come back down to earth a bit as he failed to come up with a third big game. Jacksonville will try to ride the momentum of last week’s win and control the Seahawks. I see this being more of a run thing than a pass thing.|
|No. 8 Roddy White: The problem with the Falcons passing offense from a Fantasy aspect is that they take what they are given. Give them the long ball they’ll take it. Give them the short yardage, they’ll take it. San Fran won’t give up much in the way of possession or yardage against the Falcons. The other problem with White is that he has only been thrown to 11 times in three games for 119 yards and a single TD.|
|No. 9 Jerricho Cotchery: I will admit that I am taking a chance listing Cotchery as a sit option, but I don’t think the Jets will have too many opportunities to get him the ball especially if the Dolphins try to pound out another win and control the clock. In my opinion, it’s a bad start this week for him.|
|No. 10 Kenny Britt: Kenny Britt led the Titans with 105 yards on seven catches last week, but don’t expect the 3rd receiver to do it again against the Colts. Indy has shown they can protect against the pass pretty well and Britt should settle back in to a menial role.|
Risky Starts: Proceed With Caution:
Wes Welker: In a perfect world, Welker is an every week guy in most formats, but this particular week is just not showing signs of a good matchup. The problem is, the Broncos are turning out to be a pretty good team defensively—I know it’s very odd ins’t it?
I think moving forward, as Welker has more time to heal, he will be a great option, but I would sit him this week.
Hakeem Nicks: In time, this guy could become a Fantasy stud in all formats and a great draft pick for the Giants—just not in the immediate future. The Giants don’t like messing around with what is working and Smith is the current go to guy. Keep Nicks on your watch list, and if you already own him sit him.
T.O: I know, right now you’re saying ‘Sit T.O against the Browns? Your nuts!” Well, that’s beside the point, but yes sit the guy. Owens is averaging just fewer than four looks a game with one lone TD and going forward he should be considered a risk until Edwards gets his act together.
Owens already faced one really bad pass coverage team in Tampa and did nothing, so I don’t think it’s a matter of who he faces. Start him if you want, but if he has a bad game (which I believe he will) don’t say I didn’t tell you so :)
Waiver Wire Specials:
These are a couple of great Waiver Wire options that could help your team in a pinch; whether your looking for a bye fill or an injury replacement, these players could help fill the void and give you a quick shot in the arm.
Austin Collie: When Peyton Manning finds success with a young guy who is filling temporarily you can bet he will reward him with more looks until his time is up and Collie is one of those guys. Last week he hauled in six catches for 65 yards and a TD.
He saw more looks than Garcion, and until ‘Gonzo” returns he is definitely worth a look.
Sam Hurd:He hasn’t done much so far, but with Williams nicked up, Hurd could be a great option this week vs. the Chiefs’ inability to defend against the pass. He is likely to see some downfield shots in this contest.
Hurd is not, however, a great option after this week unless he shows otherwise or Williams proves to be more hurt than originally thought.
Jeremy Maclin: Maclin is likely to see more looks as time goes on and since Curtis can’t seem to stay healthy he could even be a long term option going forward.
Maclin was brought in for a reason, and that reason may come to fruition quicker than originally expected so keep an eye on him.
Kelly Washington: Flacco is seemingly getting more comfortable with Washington and it could mean big tings for the No. 3 receiver. Everywhere I look he is still out there and could be a sleeper pick up.
Washington is averaging 12.5 yards a reception and has 198 total yards on 16 grabs this season with a lone TD.
Mohammed Massaqoui: With Anderson at the helm you can bet Massaqoui will get more looks down field considering Anderson is more aggressive than Quinn, and last week’s performance could be some insight to his future value.
Let’s face it, who else are they gonna throw to in Cleveland, and if the rookie can continue to make big plays he’s worth the look!
There are a ton of questions this week so don’t forget our Free Start/Sit column for all your last minute needs.
Also, for a look at our RB rankings please click here.
For a look at risers and fallers click here!
Good Luck everyone, and tune in next week to see how things turned out and who’s hot and who’s not!