Wide receivers around the league continue to flash impressive numbers from week to week.
Exactly how do they stack up, now that some players are on a bye week? Let’s take a look.
- Calvin Johnson – Detroit Lions – vs. Chicago
- Roddy White – Atlanta Falcons – vs. Green Bay
- Vincent Jackson – San Diego Chargers – at Denver
- Wes Welker – New England Patriots – vs. New York Jets
- Greg Jennings – Green Bay Packers – at Atlanta
- Larry Fitzgerald – Arizona Cardinals – at Minnesota
- Hakeem Nicks – New York Giants – vs. Seattle
- Steve Smith – Carolina Panthers – vs. New Orleans
- Jeremy Maclin – Philadelphia Eagles – at Buffalo
- Mike Wallace – Pittsburgh Steelers – vs. Tennessee
- Stevie Johnson – Buffalo Bills – vs. Philadelphia
- Dwayne Bowe – Kansas City Chiefs – at Indianapolis
- Reggie Wayne – Indianapolis Colts – vs. Kansas City
- Julio Jones – Atlanta Falcons – vs. Green Bay
- DeSean Jackson – Philadelphia Eagles – at Buffalo
- Santonio Holmes – New York Jets – at New England
- A.J. Green – Cincinnati Bengals – at Jacksonville
- Jordy Nelson – Green Bay Packers – at Atlanta
- Brandon Lloyd – Denver Broncos – vs. San Diego
- Sidney Rice – Seattle Seahawks – at New York Giants
- Percy Harvin – Minnesota Vikings – vs. Arizona
- Mike Williams – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – at San Francisco
- Mike Thomas – Jacksonville Jaguars – vs. Cincinnati
- Eric Decker – Denver Broncos – vs. San Diego
- Lance Moore – New Orleans Saints – at Carolina
- Nate Washington – Tennessee Titans – at Pittsburgh
- Johnny Knox – Chicago Bears – at Detroit
- Denarius Moore – Oakland Raiders – at Houston
- Plaxico Burress – New York Jets – at New England
- Victor Cruz – New York Giants – vs. Seattle
- Pierre Garcon – Indianapolis Colts – vs. Kansas City
- Nate Burleson – Detroit Lions – vs. Chicago
- Marques Colston – New Orleans Saints – at Carolina
- Jacoby Jones – Houston Texans – vs. Oakland
- Arrelious Benn – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – at San Francisco
- Steve Breaston – Kansas City Chiefs – at Indianapolis
- Antonio Brown – Pittsburgh Steelers – vs. Tennessee
- Michael Crabtree – San Francisco 49ers – vs. Tampa Bay
- Mario Manningham – New York Giants – vs. Seattle
- Deion Branch – New England Patriots – vs. New York Jets
- Early Doucet – Arizona Cardinals – at Minnesota
- Kevin Walter – Houston Texans – vs. Oakland
- David Nelson – Buffalo Bills – vs. Philadelphia
- Robert Meachem – New Orleans Saints – at Carolina
- Malcolm Floyd – San Diego Chargers – at Denver
- Dexter McCluster – Kansas City Chiefs – at Indianapolis
- Devery Henderson – New Orleans Saints – at Carolina
- Jacoby Ford – Oakland Raiders – at Houston
- Brandon LaFell – Carolina Panthers – vs. New Orleans
- Devin Hester – Chicago Bears – at Detroit
The Chicago Bears are allowing 301.5 passing yards per game, fourth-worst in the league.
Calvin Johnson, meanwhile, has 24 receptions for 321 yards and a league-leading eight TDs. Is there any question as to who belongs as the top dog this week?
Roddy White and Greg Jennings
Is there any doubt that the Falcons-Packers game is going to break down into a shootout?
The Packers are the second-worst passing defense in the league (335.8 yards per game), thanks to forcing teams to try and play catch-up. The Falcons are also in the bottom 10, allowing 275.5 yards per game.
Even if they were in the top half, would you expect them to silence Aaron Rodgers? Both Roddy White and Greg Jennings, as well as the secondary receivers, are going to be strong plays.
Steve Smith (CAR)
At this point, is there a question as to what Steve Smith and Cam Newton can do together?
Smith is second in the league with 530 yards, including 12 receptions of at least 20 yards and three of at least 40 yards.
If the Panthers are going to keep up with the Saints, they are probably going to have to throw the ball, making Smith a solid play as a low-end WR1 and a great WR2 option.
DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin
Who would you rather use from Philadelphia—DeSean Jackson or Jeremy Maclin?
Both have produced, with Jackson having 16 receptions for 324 yards and a touchdown and Maclin having 26 receptions for 334 yards and two touchdowns. Maybe more telling is that Jackson has 30 targets (53.3 percent completion rate) vs. Maclin’s 36 targets (72.2 percent completion rate).
The moral of the story is Jackson is high risk, high reward, because when he makes catches it will likely be for a lot of yardage.
Maclin, meanwhile, has been consistent over the past three weeks with at least five receptions and 69 yards each week. He’s the more trustworthy option, though both are certainly usable.
Here we go again with Dwayne Bowe, who has now scored a touchdown in back-to-back games and has two 100-plus yard performances in his past three.
He seems like a tremendous WR2 in all formats, though he can also be considered a low-end WR1.
We all know that if the Jets are going to keep pace with the Patriots in Week 5, they are going to have to take to the air. New England has allowed a league-worst 368.8 passing yards per game thus far, at least in part because teams are always playing from behind.
As expected, the Jets tried to get Santonio Holmes more involved in the offense in Week 4 (12 targets), and while we would like to see better results (three catches for 33 yards), a bigger performance will likely be in his future.
Eric Decker and Brandon Lloyd
Eric Decker has been great of late (17 receptions for 217 yards and four TDs), but do we believe that he’s a better option than a healthy Brandon Lloyd?
Granted, Lloyd has yet to find the end zone, but you have to think it’s just a matter of time. He had a huge game in Week 4 (eight receptions for 136 yards) and should be the better option most weeks.
That’s not to say that Decker is not usable, but consider him more of a WR3.
It appears like Sidney Rice is just what the doctor ordered for the Seahawks offense, doesn’t it?
In two weeks, he’s gone off for 11 receptions for 188 yards and a touchdown while being targeted 16 times. Look for him to continue to be the focal point of the offense this week.
We all know that the Saints like to move the ball around the field and get many people involved. That is always going to limit the fantasy appeal of their wide receivers.
I would expect Marques Colston, who was targeted just three times in his return to the lineup in Week 4, to continue to be brought along slowly. I wouldn’t consider using him in two-receiver formats at this point.
It appears like the Giants are going to be depending on Victor Cruz a lot more now.
Even with Mario Manningham back and healthy, Cruz was targeted nine times, and he picked up six receptions for 98 yards. He appears to be the better option at this point.
Jacoby Jones and Kevin Walter
With Andre Johnson out, where will the targets go in Houston?
Honestly, the most likely place is Owen Daniels and Arian Foster, but you know both Jacoby Jones and Kevin Walter will get a few looks as well. Neither has been overly impressive, though the desperate could consider one in three-receiver formats.
Does anyone have faith in Deion Branch at this point?
Over the past two weeks, he has one reception for four yards and one touchdown on seven targets. There’s just too much risk involved in him at this point.
Word is that Vincent Jackson is nursing a hamstring injury that could limit him this week. We’ll have to keep a close eye on the news, but if healthy, he’s one of the best options around.
If he’s forced out (or is limited), Malcolm Floyd’s stock increases significantly.
Make sure to check out the rest of Rotoprofessor’s Week 5 information: