Fantasy Week 9 WR Rankings: Every Receiver Under the Dwayne Bowe
With so many wide receivers either doubtful, out or on a bye, along with all those others who went down for the year, it's getting tougher to get a handle on who the top plays are from week to week.
That's why those of us in the fantasy industry put together these lists for you—to give the reader a gauge of what to expect from the players on his or her team on any given Sunday.
With that, here are the top 10 wide receivers for Week 9 of the 2011 season along with some detailed analysis on each player's overall game and matchup for the week.
10. Dez Bryant (Dallas Cowboys vs. Seattle Seahawks)
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The Seahawks have had some trouble holding back their opposition’s WR1 this season but may have had even more trouble containing a team’s second option in the passing game.
Both of their starting cornerbacks are huge with Brandon Browner being 6’4” and Richard Sherman standing 6’3”, so they like to get physical with receivers as quickly as possible. The problem is, once the WR releases, they’re done for as both of them boast cover-skills that are less than average.
Dez won’t have a problem with being chunked at, at the line, so I expect him to get open early and often during passing plays and be targeted by Romo a ton because of it.
Since Dallas might not be able to run very effectively against a strong Seattle rush D, Bryant could see the most targets of his career this Sunday (12 is his high).
9. A.J. Green (Cincinnati Bengals at Tennessee Titans)
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A.J. Green looks like one of those characters in Avatar running around out there on the field—just a big, striped, lanky beast that towers over anyone standing next to him.
The numbers tell us that the Titans have fielded a pretty stout pass defense so far this season, but those statistics are more of the “on paper” variety than anything else as the only strong passing team they’ve faced this year were the Steelers (Big Ben threw for five TDs in that game).
With Green either scoring a TD or putting up 100 yards in six of seven games thus far, I’m betting one or the other happens again with a decent shot at both coming through for you this weekend.
8. Jeremy Maclin (Philadelphia Eagles vs. Chicago Bears)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Can you believe that just two months ago, this top-10 fantasy wide receiver’s entire 2011 season was actually questionable to even happen?
As it turns out, he wasn’t kidding when he said there was nothing to fear as Jeremy Maclin has done everything possible so far to make people forget he was ever even sick in the first place.
The Chicago Bears have uncharacteristically been torched by big plays all season, with many of them coming from the opposing team’s top wide receiver.
Make no mistake about it, folks—Maclin IS Philadelphia’s best WR and will prove it once again this Monday night.
7. Marques Colston (New Orleans Saints vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
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In their first matchup of the season just a few weeks ago, Colston grabbed seven passes for 118 yards and a touchdown against this mediocre Buccaneers pass defense.
With the Saints coming off an embarrassing loss to the (then) winless St. Louis Rams last weekend, you can bet Drew Brees and company will come out super-pissed off this Sunday and show the NFL-watching world that they’re still a Super Bowl contender despite their recent hiccup.
With only a half game lead in the division, they’ll need every win they can get and will turn to the guys they’ve always depended on to get it for them.
That means a whole lot of Colston coming at you in Week 9.
6. Roddy White (Atlanta Falcons at Indianapolis Colts)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images
Roddy took the bye week to get himself healthy—which he is—and I expect him to finish strong after his mediocre run through the first half of the season because of it.
With the Colts owning one of the worst defenses in the league, Roddy should be able to hit the ground running this weekend and give owners what they’ve been waiting for all year.
Indy allows the fourth-most fantasy points per game to wide receivers, so I can’t help but think we're going to see a big one out of White this Sunday.
5. Larry Fitzgerald (Arizona Cardinals vs. St. Louis Rams)
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images
Even if QB Kevin Kolb doesn’t suit up for this game and the Cards are forced to put John Skelton under center, I still think Fitz comes out of the game with WR1 numbers. The Rams defense is just that bad.
When Skelton was thrown in to start the last four games in 2010, he ended up tossing the ball Larry’s way over 10 times a game on average with a high of 17 targets in the season finale.
In those four games, Fitz had two of his three 100-yard games on the year—which is exactly what I expect this Sunday along with a possible touchdown or two to boot.
4. Hakeem Nicks/Victor Cruz/Mario Manningham (NY Giants at New England Patriots)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Nicks has a dream matchup against the Patriots this week, but he’ll have to make it out on the field first for the dream to come true.
(***At this point, Hakeem is extremely doubtful to play, which is why I have Victor Cruz and Mario Manningham listed along with him here. If Nicks sits, then both Cruz and Manningham have shots to put up WR1-type stats this Sunday.***)
In a game that should be the highest scoring contest of the week, we should see at least one and maybe two Giants receivers go over 100 yards with the Patriots pass defense not only allowing the most passing yards per game in the NFL (323), but the most fantasy points to opposing WRs as well.
Add in the fact that Ahmad Bradshaw will likely be sitting this one out and you can only hope Nicks makes it back in time to play.
3. Greg Jennings (Green Bay Packers at San Diego Chargers)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
It’s not unfathomable to think that Aaron Rodgers could do what he’s doing this year with almost any group of receivers in the league, but it certainly doesn’t hurt having Greg Jennings running routes for him every week.
It was thought before the 2011 season started that Jennings might see a drop-off from his second-half production last year due to the fact that TE Jermichael Finley was coming back healthy, but in fact, it’s been quite the opposite.
The Chargers may have one of the better pass defenses in the game, but they simply don’t have the depth to stop this Packers offensive juggernaut for four quarters.
2. Wes Welker (New England Patriots vs. New York Giants)
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Even though he’s hit a bit of a rough patch as of late, Welker still has the most targets and receptions in the league through eight weeks of the season.
Considering the Patriots lost to the Steelers last weekend after getting Welker only six catches for 39 yards, it’s more than likely Tom Brady and the Pats coaching staff recognize how important it is to get Wes more involved the offense and should get him a healthy dose of targets this week because of it.
With the Giants allowing rookie WR Doug Baldwin (Seahawks) to catch eight passes for 136 yards and a TD coming out of the slot a few weeks ago, you have to believe the real Slot Machine can at least do the same.
1. Dwayne Bowe (Kansas City Chiefs vs. Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins have allowed the sixth-most passing yards per game in the NFL this season as well as the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing WRs, so Bowe should comfortably be able to put up top-notch WR1 numbers this weekend.
Matt Cassel has targeted him over 10 times in each of the last three games, and with rookie Jonathan Baldwin all of the sudden becoming a legitimate threat, the field should open up for Bowe even more because of it.
Expect some monster stats from Somewhere Over the Dwayne Bowe this Sunday.
Click here to see the Full List of WRs 1-75 and Rankings For All Other Positions
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