2011 NFL Fantasy Football Week 9: Wide Receivers (WR) Rankings / Projections

Sean E. DouglasSenior Writer IIIOctober 31, 2011

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 30:  Victor Cruz #80 of the New York Giants celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Miami Dolphins at MetLife Stadium on October 30, 2011 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Victor Cruz @ Patriots 

While the Giants' offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride limited Victor Cruz’s snap count in the team's victory over the Bills, because of his up and down play in previous weeks, this young receiver needs to stay on the field.

This shifty playmaker seems to be one of Eli Manning's favorite targets when the game is on the line. Cruz scored a go-ahead 25-yard touchdown last week against the Dolphins.

With Hakeem Nicks suffering a hamstring injury, Cruz could receive the nod as a starter for the second time this year.

The amount of snaps Cruz gets will determine whether he can be a potential weekly WR-2 play in fantasy leagues. As of Monday, we are still waiting to find out the test results from Nicks'  MRI, but I’ve failed to list him as a starter.

Even if Nicks plays, Cruz is a must start WR-3 at the lowest this week, as the Giants will face off against a Patriots secondary that has yet to stop the passing game when tested. Look for New York to do just that, and if Nicks is out, I feel confident that Cruz can perform as the low-end WR-1 player I have him listed as early in the week.


Darrius Heyward-Bey vs Broncos 

Not much went right for the Raiders in their last game against the Chiefs, except for the play of Darrius Heyward-Bey. Quickly becoming the teams go-to top receiver, Heyward-Bey has been playing at a level above his fellow receivers for a month now.


It doesn’t seem to matter if the Raiders have Jason Campbell, Kyle Boller or Carson Palmer off the street, because they all use Heyward-Bey as their main target. This kid is finally figuring out how to play at this level.

Talent has never been a problem for Heyward-Bey, and that was a big reason why the Raiders selected him as high as they did a few years back. Heading into the draft, NFL analysts graded DHB as a late first-round pick because he was a raw talent who would take a few years to develop.

With a matchup against the Broncos, DHB is a respectable WR-2 play this week, even if Palmer is still picking up the offense.


Stevie Johnson vs Jets 

Ryan Fitzpatrick is playing well for the Bills, but he still has a weak arm and is struggling to get the football down the field to Steve Johnson. Without a vertical threat in Johnson’s game, he’s failing to live up to the production of WR-2-type talent.

This week the Bills will take on the Jets and Darrelle Revis, so if you have other respectable options to start, this would be a good week to go with them.

More WK 9 Rankings – QB | RB | WR | TE | Flex | K/D | Waivers | Start / Sit |

1 Dwayne Bowe Dolphins
2 Wes Welker Giants
3 Mike Wallace Ravens
4 Greg Jennings @ Chargers
5 A.J. Green @ Titans
6 Jeremy Maclin Bears
7 Marques Colston Buccaneers
8 Roddy White @ Colts
9 Dez Bryant Seahawks
10 Victor Cruz @ Patriots
11 Anquan Boldin @ Steelers
12 DeSean Jackson Bears
13 Larry Fitzgerald Rams
14 Vincent Jackson (I) Packers
15 Miles Austin Seahawks
16 Darrius Heyward-Bey Broncos
17 Brandon Lloyd @ Cardinals
18 Mario Manningham @ Patriots
19 Santonio Holmes @ Bills
20 Brandon Marshall @ Chiefs
21 Nate Washington Bengals
22 Antonio Brown Ravens
23 Sidney Rice @ Cowboys
24 Torrey Smith @ Steelers
25 Reggie Wayne Falcons
26 Steve Johnson Jets
27 Mike Williams (TB) @ Saints
28 Jordy Nelson @ Chargers
29 Steve Breaston Dolphins
30 Michael Crabtree @ Redskins
31 Greg Little @ Texans
32 Greg Salas @ Cardinals
33 Jabar Gaffney 49ers
34 Ben Obamanu @ Cowboys
35 Eric Decker @ Raiders
36 Pierre Garcon Falcons
37 James Jones @ Chargers
38 Emmanuel Sanders Ravens
39 Arrelious Benn @ Saints
40 David Nelson Jets
41 Devin Hester (I) @ Eagles
42 Harry Douglas @ Colts
43 Demaryius Thomas @ Raiders
44 Early Doucet Rams