NFL Fantasy Football Week Eight Rankings: Wide Receivers

Michael WhooleySenior Writer IOctober 29, 2009

MIAMI - OCTOBER 25:  Cornerback Nathan Jones #33 of the Miami Dolphins takes a pass away from wide receiver Marques Colston #12 of the New Orleans Saints at Land Shark Stadium on October 25, 2009 in Miami, Florida. The Saints defeated the Dolphins 46-34.  (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)
Doug Benc/Getty Images

Of the NFL leaders in receiving yards, three of the top five—Hines Ward, Chad Ochocinco, and Randy Moss—will not be in action this week as their respective teams go on byes.

However, the good news for fantasy owners is that a number of impact players will return, such as Brandon Marshall, Mike Sims-Walker, and, if he’s healthy, Calvin Johnson, so there will still be fantasy points produced by the wide receiver position.

With that said, let’s get to it and look at the Bruno Boys Fantasy Football Week Eight Wide Receiver Rankings.


1. Marques Colston (New Orleans Saints) vs. Atlanta

Colston and his teammates are coming off a stirring 46-34 come-from-behind victory over the Miami Dolphins to face NFC South division foe Atlanta, a team that is 26th in the NFL in pass defense this season. The 6'4" Hofstra product caught five passes for 72 yards and scored a touchdown for the second straight game.

Colston had a huge game against the Falcons in Week 10 of last year, catching seven passes for 140 yards.

Point Projection: 19 points


2. Reggie Wayne (Indianapolis Colts) vs. San Francisco ** CHECK INJURY STATUS**

Wayne is in a groove right now that would make Funkadelic envious. As Peyton Manning’s go-to receiver, Wayne has caught a touchdown in all but one of the Colts’ games, including last week, when he had seven receptions for 83 yards during Indianapolis’ destruction of the Rams.

Aside from his one off week, Week Three (three catches, 37 yards, no touchdowns), the lowest number of fantasy points Wayne has accrued in one game (standard scoring) is 12.

One word of caution: Wayne has a strained groin, so check on Sunday to be certain he’s active.

Point Projection: 18 points


3. Larry Fitzgerald (Arizona Cardinals) vs. Carolina

The Panthers are No. 1 in the NFL against the pass and have not allowed a wide receiver to gain more than 75 receiving yards against them in any game this season. So, Fitzgerald should be significantly downgraded, right?

Absolutely not. Fitzgerald has one game with fewer than 70 receiving yards this season and has scored a touchdown in four of his six contests. The Panthers are formidable, but Fitzgerald has as good a chance to score on a weekly basis as anyone in the league—not surprisingly, he leads all wideouts in red zone targets this year.

It’s also difficult to forget what he did against Carolina in the playoffs last year, when he caught eight passes for 166 yards and a touchdown.

Point Projection: 18 points


4. Vincent Jackson (San Diego Chargers) vs. Oakland

Oakland is a respectable 12th in the NFL in pass defense, but Jackson’s unique size (6'5", 220 pounds) and skill set make him a player that shouldn’t be stopped by any foe. The Chiefs certainly didn’t come close to doing that last week, as Jackson galloped to 142 receiving yards and one score. It was the third time in six games that Jackson has accumulated at least 120 receiving yards.

In two games against Oakland last season, Jackson had eight catches for 200 yards and one score.

Point Projection: 17 points


5. Mike Sims-Walker (Jacksonville Jaguars) @ Tennessee

Sims-Walker comes off a bye week and gets to feast on the Titans, who are dead last in the NFL in both pass defense and touchdown passes allowed. The Titans have given up an average of 311 passing yards per contest this year, which is almost 50 more yards than the second-worst team in the league, which happens to be the Jaguars.

Point Projection: 17 points


6. Andre Johnson (Houston Texans) @ Buffalo   **CHECK INJURY STATUS**

Johnson is out of the top five in our rankings for the first time this season due to a couple factors. One is the lung contusion—which sounds awfully painful—that he suffered last week against the 49ers, a game in which he grabbed two passes for 62 yards.

The other is the Buffalo pass defense, which is 10th in the NFL but is allowing opposing passers to complete just 54.7 percent of their passes and leads the league in interceptions. Steve Smith had 99 yards against them last week, which was the most they’ve given up to a receiver since Week One.

Point Projection: 16 points


7. Brandon Marshall (Denver Broncos) @ Baltimore

Before Denver’s bye week, Marshall had his least productive outing since Week One, catching five passes for 49 yards in the Broncos’ win over the Chargers. This week, he and the Broncos face the Ravens, who are 23rd in pass defense and who in their previous game got lit up by Sidney Rice for 176 yards and a few weeks ago saw Vincent Jackson procure 141 receiving yards.

Point Projection: 16 points


8. Steve Smith (Carolina Panthers) @ Arizona

Smith was oh-so-close to obtaining his second 100-yard game of the season last week, when he caught six passes for 99 yards in his team’s loss to the Bills.

Jake Delhomme has been terrible for most of the season, and that clearly has impacted Smith’s play, but the duo may get a respite this week against the Cardinals, who are 29th in the league in pass defense and who have given up 10 passing scores this season, which is tied for 20th in the NFL. Look for Smith to find the end zone for the first time this week.

Point Projection: 16 points


9. Calvin Johnson (Detroit Lions) vs. St. Louis **CHECK INJURY STATUS**

Johnson is still battling a knee malady, and as of this writing, it is unknown if he is going to suit up for the Lions’ game against the Rams; if he does, a great matchup awaits. St. Louis is 25th in the league against the pass and has allowed at least 80 yards to an opposing wideout in four of their six games this season.

Further helping Johnson’s cause is the fact that Rams rookie corner Bradley Fletcher, who was starting to play much better, was lost for the season last week.

Point Projection: 15 points


10. Roddy White (Atlanta Falcons) @ New Orleans

White had six receptions for 50 yards and one touchdown in the Falcons’ loss to the Cowboys last Sunday. It marked the third straight game that White has scored, and he now has five touchdowns in his last five games.

The Saints have been a very solid pass defense this season, but White has had great success against them in the past. In two games against them last year, White totaled 15 receptions for 232 yards and a touchdown.

Point Projection: 15 points


11. Steve Smith (New York Giants) @ Philadelphia

Smith’s production has waned a bit in recent weeks; over his last three games, he hasn’t caught more than four passes, gained more than 70 receiving yards, or scored a touchdown. Nonetheless, he remains fourth in the NFL in targets, including nine in the red zone, and even though Philadelphia is the 10th-ranked pass defense, they are tied for 20th in the league in touchdowns passes allowed.

Point Projection: 15 points


12. Greg Jennings (Green Bay Packers) vs. Minnesota

Jennings had just five catches for 52 yards last week against the Browns, but with the Packers winning by a score of 31-3, there really wasn’t much reason to try to stretch the field after halftime. He was targeted eight times in the game and this week has a solid matchup against the 20th-ranked pass defense of the Vikings, who will be without their top corner, Antoine Winfield.

Point Projection: 14 points


13. DeSean Jackson (Philadelphia Eagles) vs. New York Giants

Jackson was a one-man wrecking crew on Monday night against a solid Washington defense. He caught two passes for 69 yards and one touchdown and ran an end-around 67 yards for another score. That’s a ton of production for handling the ball just three times.

The Giants are second in the NFL in pass defense, but there’s really no way they can combat Jackson’s best asset—his speed.

Point Projection: 14 points


14. T.J. Houshmandzadeh (Seattle Seahawks) @ Dallas

Houshmandzadeh is tied with teammate Nate Burleson for 12th in the NFL in total targets, but he does hold one slight advantage over Burleson, and that’s in red zone targets. Houshmandzadeh has eight on the season compared to Burleson’s six. That may mean something against a Dallas team that is tied for 20th in the league in passing touchdowns allowed.

Point Projection: 13 points


15. Miles Austin (Dallas Cowboys) vs. Seattle

Austin led Cowboys wide receivers with eight targets in Dallas’ win over the Falcons last week, which was three more than Roy Williams, who was second. Austin has clearly become a focus of the Dallas offense, and why not? Over his last two contests he’s totaled 16 catches for 471 yards and four touchdowns. A fantasy star has been born.

Point Projection: 13 points


16. Sidney Rice (Minnesota Vikings) @ Green Bay

Rice was targeted a whopping 14 times last week in Minnesota’s loss to the Steelers, and he finished the day with 10 catches for 136 yards despite the Vikings loss. It was the second straight week that Rice put up at least 135 yards, and he hasn’t had fewer than 55 since Week Two.

It’s obvious he’s the man right now for Brett Favre, so there should be more good things to come from him, despite a tough matchup this week against the Packers and their fourth-ranked pass defense.

Point Projection: 12 points


17. Devin Hester (Chicago Bears) vs. Cleveland

The Bears were absolutely blown away by the Bengals last week, but it did produce one good result, at least for fantasy owners—Hester had a season-high 101 receiving yards on eight catches, including a touchdown.

He’s racked up at least 75 receiving yards in three of his last four games and has an excellent matchup this week against the Browns, who are 24th in pass defense and tied for 20th in passing touchdowns given up.

Point Projection: 12 points


18. Anquan Boldin (Arizona Cardinals) vs. Carolina

Boldin should be good to go this week and even healthier than he was last week, when he played on a bum ankle. Despite the injury, he came up with three catches for 75 yards in Arizona’s win over the Giants.

The Cardinals go from playing New York, who is second in the NFL against the pass, to playing the Panthers, who are first. That ranking isn’t as big a detriment to Boldin’s fantasy value as the fact that he’s scored just one time this season and is getting fewer than half the red zone targets of teammate Larry Fitzgerald.

Point Projection: 11 points


19. Donald Driver (Green Bay Packers) vs. Minnesota

Driver managed just two receptions last week against the Browns, but he made them count and wound up with 84 yards and one touchdown. It was his third touchdown reception of the season and the fourth time in six games he had at least 80 receiving yards in a game. He’s in line for another solid day against a mediocre Vikings pass defense, which is 20th in the NFL.

Point Projection: 11 points


20. Derrick Mason (Baltimore Ravens) vs. Denver

In the four weeks before the Ravens’ bye, Mason had at least 85 receiving yards and a touchdown in three of the team’s previous four games. Unfortunately, in the one game where he didn’t accumulate those numbers, he was blanked altogether.

Don’t expect anything like that for the rest of the season, even against a good Broncos pass defense. Mason has shown himself to be a threat and is Baltimore’s No. 1 receiving option.

Point Projection: 10 points