NFL Fantasy Football Week Nine Rankings: Wide Receivers

Michael WhooleySenior Writer INovember 5, 2009

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 25:  Larry Fitzgerald #11 of the Arizona Cardinals breaks away from Hakeem Nicks #88 of the New York Giants on October 25, 2009 at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
Chris McGrath/Getty Images

Your troubles at the wide receiver position in your fantasy football league have nearly ceased. After this week, only two teams have a bye remaining (the New York Giants and Houston Texans in Week 10), and then that’s it—no more plugging in holes with whatever remains on the waiver wire.

Alas, we still have to make it through Week Nine with six teams on a bye, but the good news is, most of those teams don’t comprise much firepower at the receiver position. It will clearly hurt not having wideouts from the Minnesota Vikings or the New York Jets available, but, really, are we missing that much without the services of the receivers from the Buffalo Bills, Cleveland Browns, Oakland Raiders, or St. Louis Rams? Probably Not!

With that being said, it’s time to take a look at our Bruno Boys Fantasy Football Week Nine Wide Receiver Rankings.


1. Randy Moss (New England Patriots) vs. Miami

After a week of rest, Moss and his New England bretheren will take on the Miami Dolphins in an AFC East showdown. With Tom Brady finally looking totally comfortable, Moss once again becomes the most dangerous receiver in the NFL. The Dolphins, who are 21st in the NFL in pass defense this season, were torched by Moss in Week 12 of last year. The 6'4" wideout had his best game of the ’08 campaign that week, catching eight passes for 125 yards and three touchdowns.

Point Projection: 20 points


2. Reggie Wayne (Indianapolis Colts) vs. Houston

Wayne was targeted 20 times—yes, you read that right, 20: 19 by Peyton Manning and one by running back Joseph Addai—in the Colts’ win over the 49ers last week. The Miami product caught a season-high 12 passes for 147 yards and a touchdown on the day, running his streak of games with a touchdown reception to five this season.

He’s only been held scoreless once overall this year, in Week Two. Houston has a solid pass defense, but not one that Wayne hasn’t beaten before—in two games against the Texans last season, he had seven catches for at least 90 yards in each.

Point Projection: 19 points


3. Andre Johnson (Houston Texans) at Indianapolis

With Owen Daniels likely gone for the season with a torn ACL, Johnson will see even more targets from Houston quarterback Matt Schaub, if that’s even possible. Johnson currently leads the NFL with 80 targets after his 10 last week in Houston’s win over the Bills.

Johnson amassed six receptions for 63 yards in the game against a tough Buffalo pass defense. The Colts also have an excellent pass defense, and in fact, no team in the league has allowed fewer touchdown catches, but that won’t stop Johnson, who in Week Five of last season had nine catches for 131 yards and one score against the Colts.

Point Projection: 18 points


4. Larry Fitzgerald (Arizona Cardinals) at Chicago

Fitzgerald had six catches for 66 yards last week in Arizona’s stunningly bad performance against the Carolina Panthers. It was the sixth time in seven weeks he’s failed to gain at least 85 yards, and the second week in a row he’s failed to catch a touchdown pass. That mini-streak ends this week, however. While the Bears are 12th in the NFL in pass defense, they have allowed 11 touchdown throws this season, which is tied for 20th in the NFL.

Point Projection: 17 points


5. Vincent Jackson (San Diego Chargers) at New York Giants

For the third game in succession, Jackson caught a touchdown pass last week as the Chargers dispatched the Oakland Raiders. He finished the game with a season-high eight catches for 103 yards, and it was the fourth time in the last six games he’s had 100 or more receiving yards. The Giants are third in the league in pass defense, but they’ve not been able to keep the ball out of the end zone in that regard; they are tied for 24th in passing scores given up.

Point Projection: 17 points


6. Greg Jennings (Green Bay Packers) at Tampa Bay

Though Green Bay had a disappointing game all around in their loss to the Vikings on Sunday, it was a great effort on the part of Jennings. With eight catches for 88 yards and a touchdown, he had his most productive day since Week Three. This week, facing a Tampa team that consistently allows big plays in the passing game and has given up more passing scores than all but two teams, Jennings is an excellent play.

Point Projection: 16 points


7. DeSean Jackson (Philadelphia Eagles) vs. Dallas

Jackson’s big-play ability is downright ridiculous. He displayed it again last week as the Eagles took the Giants to the woodshed, catching a 54-yard touchdown pass. Each of his four receiving scores has been longer than 50 yards, and his one rushing score was a 67-yarder. He’s caught three or fewer passes in four of the Eagles’ seven games this season, but that hardly seems to matter.

Point Projection: 16 points


8. Marques Colston (New Orleans Saints) vs. Carolina

It’s rare that a receiver catches every pass thrown his way, but that’s the feat that Colston accomplished on Monday night in the Saints’ win over Atlanta when he caught six passes for 85 yards and a touchdown. It was his third straight game with a receiving score.

This week is a very tough matchup for the Saints’  passing game, however, as they take on the Panthers, who are first in the league in pass defense, and who turned Kurt Warner into a turnover machine last week. Last season, Colston did have his best game of the season against Carolina in Week 17 when he caught seven passes for 123 yards and one score.

Point Projection: 16 points


9. Brandon Marshall (Denver Broncos) vs. Pittsburgh

Marshall caught just four passes for a measly 24 yards last week as the Broncos suffered their first loss at the hands of the Ravens. Over the past two games, Marshall has a respectable nine catches, but for only 73 yards, and he hasn’t caught a touchdown in either contest. Pittsburgh is a middle of the road pass defense, so expect Marshall to get back on track.

Point Projection: 15 points


10. Chad Ochocinco (Cincinnati Bengals) vs. Baltimore

The Ocho continued his resurgence in Week Seven, which was a win over the Bears, and the Bengals’ last game before the bye. He had 10 receptions for 118 yards and two scores in that game, and it was the second straight game he had at least 100 receiving yards, and the third game in succession in which he’s had at least 90 receiving yards. Ochocinco has been about as steady as they come this season for fantasy owners, with just one game of fewer than eight fantasy points (standard scoring).

Point Projection: 14 points


11. Miles Austin (Dallas Cowboys) at Philadelphia

If for some reason you still aren’t convinced of Austin’s ascension into the upper echelon of fantasy receivers after last week, well, there’s no hope for you. But we suspect most everyone has bought into Austin, who caught a touchdown for the third straight game last week as part of a five catch, 61-yard effort. Philly is in the top-10 against the pass, but is 20th in passing touchdowns allowed, and last week New York and three receivers gain at least 50 yards against them.

Point Projection: 14 points


12. Roddy White (Atlanta Falcons) vs. Washington

It’s been four consecutive games with a touchdown and counting for White, who scored on one of his four receptions (while gaining 108 yards) in Atlanta’s loss to New Orleans on Monday night. Yet, for all the criticism that has flown the Redskins’ way, they won’t make it easy on White. Washington is third in the NFL in pass defense, and fourth in the league in passing scores allowed. Still, it’s hard to believe they can shut down someone playing as well as White is at the moment.

Point Projection: 14 points


13. Wes Welker (New England Patriots) vs. Miami

Welker, who is fifth in the AFC with 62 targets this season, is coming off back-to-back games of 10 receptions for over 100 yards and at least one touchdown. In fact, of the five games Welker has participated in this season, he’s had at least eight catches and 85 receiving yards in four of them. Expect more of the same this week.

Point Projection: 13 points


14. Nate Burleson (Seattle Seahawks) vs. Detroit

With 12 targets last week in Seattle’s loss to the Cowboys, Burleson vaulted past teammate T.J. Houshmandzadeh for the team lead in that category, and up to third in the NFC and sixth in the NFL with 66 targets. He turned last week’s 12 targets into six receptions for 89 yards, and has a good chance to do even bigger things this week against the Lions. Detroit is 27th in pass defense, and has allowed more passing touchdowns than all but one team.

Point Projection: 13 points


15. Calvin Johnson (Detroit Lions) at Seattle **CHECK INJURY STATUS**

It’s never been more evident how much the Lions need Megatron than it was last week, when the Lions, with Johnson on the bench with a knee injury, couldn’t move the ball through the air against the woeful Rams. In fact, Detroit completed just two passes to its wideouts in the game. It was thought that Johnson might actually play last week, and though he didn’t, the chances of him suiting up this week are significantly higher.

Point Projection: 13 points


16. Dwayne Bowe (Kansas City Chiefs) at Jacksonville

Though Bowe, KC’s lone consistent receiving threat had just two catches for 11 yards in the Chiefs’  last game, a loss to the Chargers, he did catch his fourth touchdown of the season in that contest. This week, he should be able to find the end zone once again when he takes on the Jaguars, who are simply rotten against the pass. Only three teams have allowed more passing scores this season than they have.

Point Projection: 12 points


17. Donald Driver (Green Bay Packers) at Tampa Bay

Driver is battling a sore neck that he got in the fourth quarter of last week’s loss to Minnesota in a game that saw him catch six passes for 63 yards on 10 targets. It was just the third time this season that Driver had a game with fewer than 80 receiving yards, despite coming up with the second-most catches of the season. He continues to be a solid fantasy football option, especially against a struggling Tampa pass defense.

Point Projection: 12 points


18. Steve Smith (New York Giants) vs. San Diego

Smith’s eight receptions last week marked the most he’s had in a game since he caught 11 passes in Week Four. Yet his 68 receiving yards marked the fourth straight game he’s had 70 or fewer yards, and he hasn’t caught a touchdown in that time either. Smith is clearly sliding because of the recent struggles of Eli Manning, who is prone to these types of slumps. San Diego sports a top-10 unit against the pass, so it won’t be easy for Smith to come around this week, though he’s clearly still a threat.

Point Projection: 11 points


19. Steve Smith (Carolina Panthers) at New Orleans

It took until nearly halfway through the season, but Smith finally traversed into the end zone for the Panthers last week as they knocked out the Arizona Cardinals. He finished the game with only three catches, but managed 56 yards. The Saints can be thrown on, as they are in the bottom half of the league in pass defense, but they don’t allow many scores—just six through the air all season—so this will be another challenge for Smith. However, in two games against New Orleans last season, he had at least five catches for 120 yards in both contests.

Point Projection: 11 points


20. Hines Ward (Pittsburgh Steelers) at Denver

Ward was a major disappointment in his previous outing, catching just one pass for three yards in Week Seven as the Steelers took down the Minnesota Vikings. Still, it was only the second time this season he had less than 80 receiving yards, and he’s clearly established himself as the sole No. 1 wideout in Pittsburgh after many thought Santonio Holmes would take over in that spot. He has a difficult matchup this week, however, as the Broncos are eighth in the NFL in pass defense and have allowed the second-fewest passing touchdowns in the league.

Point Projection: 11 points