Fantasy Football Week Five Rankings: Wide Receivers

Michael WhooleySenior Writer IOctober 8, 2009

KANSAS CITY, MO - OCTOBER 04:  Brandon Carr #39 of the Kansas City Chiefs breaks up a pass intended for Steve Smith #12 of the New York Giants during the game on October 4, 2009 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

It’s another week of NFL action, which means it’s another ranking of wide receivers for you fantasy football enthusiasts to feast your eyes on. It was tough for some fantasy owners who were dealing with a bye week that saw players like Larry Fitzgerald and Steve Smith sitting it out, but it doesn’t get any better this week. It fact, it may even be worse. With Chicago, Green Bay, New Orleans and San Diego all out of the mix, you’ll be facing a week without the likes of Greg Jennings, Donald Driver, Vincent Jackson and the treasure trove of Saints wideouts.  With that in mind it’s time to check out our Bruno Boys Fantasy Football Week Five Wide Receiver Rankings to find the perfect bye week plug in.

1. Reggie Wayne (Indianapolis Colts) @ Tennessee

The Titans have given up a minimum of 90 yards and a touchdown to at least one wide receiver in every game this season, are tied for dead-last in passing defense, and are second-to-last in passing scores allowed. Wayne is second in the NFL in both receiving yards and touchdown catches, so we’d say this is a fairly decent matchup for him.
Point Projection: 17 points

2. Larry Fitzgerald (Arizona Cardinals) vs. Houston

Fitzgerald returns after the Cardinals’ bye week having been something of a disappointment after only one game with double-digit fantasy football points (in traditional scoring formats). The University of Pittsburgh product is simply too good for that to continue, as is his streak of three straight games of fewer than 80 receiving yards. That all changes this week.
Point Projection: 16 points

3. Andre Johnson (Houston Texans) @ Arizona

The Cardinals are 11th in the league in passing yards allowed, but that’s partially due to the fact they’ve had a bye week, as they have also allowed seven touchdown throws, which is more than any other team that is in the top half of the league in pass defense. Johnson only caught two passes last week, but he did scamper for 66 yards, and is sixth in the NFL in targets this season.
Point Projection: 15 points

4. Steve Smith (New York Giants) vs. Oakland

Smith was targeted 16 times in Week four, and wound up having a huge day, with 11 catches, including two for touchdowns, and 134 receiving yards. He’s second in the NFL in targets with 44, but leads the league in receptions, receiving yards, and touchdown catches. He’s obviously a must-start each week, and even though Eli Manning’s heel injury is a bit of a worry, Smith has been rolling, and there’s no reason to sit him.
Point Projection: 15 points

5. Santonio Holmes (Pittsburgh Steelers) @ Detroit

Detroit is still dead-last in the NFL in touchdown passes allowed, and are 27th in the league in pass defense. Holmes has dropped off in the last two weeks after a stellar start, but this matchup screams bounce-back for Holmes, who should find his way into the end zone for the second time this season.
Point Projection: 14 points

6. Calvin Johnson (Detroit Lions) vs. Pittsburgh  **CHECK INJURY STATUS**

Johnson had the best day of the year so far last week, and put up the numbers fantasy football owners have been looking for by hauling in eight passes for 133 yards. It really should have been one touchdown, but Lions rookie QB Matthew Stafford missed a W-I-D-E open Johnson in the end zone. The Steelers have a formidable defense, true, but they are average in pass defense, coming in 17th in the league in that department, and 24th in touchdown throws allowed.
Point Projection: 14 points

7. Steve Smith (Carolina Panthers) vs. Washington

Smith, who is fifth in the NFC with 35 targets despite having a bye week, has been up and down in his three games this season, with 21 receiving yards in Week One, 131 in Week Two, followed by 38 in Week Three. It is scientific fact that the pattern will hold, and he’ll put up more than 100 yards this week. Okay, that’s pushing it, but the Washington Redskins have allowed one touchdown to a receiver in each of their four games. Smith will extend that streak.
Point Projection: 13 points

8. Randy Moss (New England Patriots) @ Denver

After some questions about it, the Denver Broncos’ pass defense seems to be wholly legit—just ask Tony Romo. The Broncos are fourth in the league in pass defense, and a quarter of the way through the season, are still the only team in the league yet to allow a touchdown pass. We think that likely changes this week with Moss, because Denver won’t go the whole year without giving up a scoring throw, and Moss is as good a candidate as there is to be on the receiving end of one.
Point Projection: 13 points

9. T.J. Houshmandzadeh (Seattle Seahawks) vs. Jacksonville

He lives! And his matchup means he may live for two weeks in a row! Hooray! Despite being tied for seventh in the NFL, Houshmandzadeh had not been performing up to expectations for fantasy owners. Until last week, however, when he caught eight passes for over 100 yards in Seattle’s losing effort to the Colts. But he and the ‘Hawks face off against the Jaguars at home this week, and Jacksonville is tied for dead-last in pass defense this season. Look for him to find the end zone for the first time this season.
Point Projection: 13 points

10. Chad Ochocinco (Cincinnati Bengals) @ Baltimore

Though everyone thinks of the Ravens as a defense to be intimidated by, the fact is that they’re 25th in the league in pass defense, and have allowed at least 10 fantasy football points (in traditional scoring formats)to an opposing wideout in each game they’ve played this season except for their contest against the Browns. Ochocinco has yet to top 100 receiving yards this year, but he has caught three touchdown passes.
Point Projection: 12 points

11. Anquan Boldin (Arizona Cardinals) vs. Houston

Like his teammate Larry Fitzgerald, Boldin has had just one game in double-digits in fantasy points (in traditional scoring formats). That happened to be in Week three, when he piled up over 80 receiving yards and one score. The Texans have not really been tested by a powerful passing offense, having faced the likes of the Jets and Raiders, so we’ll see if they’re the real deal starting this week. We’re betting they’re not.
Point Projection: 12 points

12. Hines Ward (Pittsburgh Steelers) @ Detroit

Ward had his best game last week in terms of yards, accumulating 113, which was his second game of at least 100 receiving yards this season. With a great matchup against the Detroit Lions, don’t be surprised if Ward finds his way into the end zone for the first time this season.
Point Projection: 12 points

13. DeSean Jackson (Philadelphia Eagles) vs. Tampa Bay

The Buccaneers have allowed big plays often this season, and have been burned for a pass play of 40 or more yards in three of their four games. They have allowed 8.6 yards per pass attempt, which is 31st in the NFL. This is a very good thing for Jackson, who has two plays of at least 60 yards in each of his past two games. He’s also seen his reception total rise in three straight games, from two catches in Week One, to four in Week Two, to six in Week three. Naturally, he’ll catch eight this week, right?
Point Projection: 11 points

14. Brandon Marshall (Denver Broncos) vs. New England

The play Marshall made on his catch-and-run for a touchdown last week against the Cowboys was one of the finer plays of the week, and the type of thing that fantasy football owners know he can provide on a weekly basis. His receiving yards have gone up in each week this season, and he’s caught a touchdown in his last two games. That said, the New England Patriots are a difficult matchup, so he may not see a further increase in production this week.
Point Projection: 11 points

15. Mike Sims-Walker (Jacksonville Jaguars) @ Seattle

Sims-Walker scored two more touchdowns last week, and is quickly becoming a fantasy stalwart. He’s 11th in the AFC in targets with 31, and has caught at least six passes and gained at least 80 yards in each of his last three contests. Seattle is 18th in the league in pass defense, and 13th in passing scores allowed, so they’re certainly nothing to be feared.
Point Projection: 11 points