Calvin Johnson at Raiders
After a monster start to the season, Calvin Johnson hasn’t been the same over the past month as defenses are taking him away. The Lions are struggling to find a credible running game, which would force a more balanced coverage. That said, it seemed as if last week's matchup against the Vikings was a can’t-miss, 20-plus-point performance, as Johnson dominated the Vikings earlier in the season and their secondary has played horrible of late.
Things didn’t work out as planned, as Johnson only totaled three receptions for 29 yards on the day. Defensive touchdowns and a big early lead seemed to satisfy the Lions into taking the foot off the peddle in the second half. That mindset almost cost Detroit the game as the Vikings came all the way back and were on the doorstep of a victory before a fumble (Lions should have been called for a facemask, but oh well) by Joe Webb sealed the game.
I can understand if you’re disappointed by Johnson recent struggles, but you can’t take him out of your lineup, and he’s still deserving of a WR-1 ranking; he could go off at any moment and he has another respectable matchup this week in Oakland. With Matthew Stafford’s throwing hand healed up, expect at least one more top-notch performance before the fantasy season is over.
Dez Bryant, Miles Austin and Laurent Robinson at Buccaneers
This is starting to become a tricky situation to evaluate in Dallas, as Tony Romo has three quality receivers to target and a Pro Bowl tight end as well. It’s fine to view all these players as start-worthy options when you’re likely to be in a shootout against the Giants, but even in a good matchup against the Buccaneers defense, this matchup could disappoint fantasy owners if Tampa Bay can’t force Romo to continue throwing (blowout) in the second half.
That said, I can’t recommend that you bench any of these receivers, as they all have a solid matchup and should be ranked no lower than a WR-3 play. Some may make the case that Robinson would be the one to bench, because with Austin back, Robinson’s snap count could be limited if Dallas isn’t in three-receiver formations.
True, but then again, no receiver has been better in this offense over the course of the season than Robinson, as Romo continues to look his way throughout games and he’s clearly a favorite in the red zone. Basically, the conclusion I come to is that you should have any of these receivers in your lineup because of the matchup and the opportunity they will have, but don’t be surprised if they come up short.
Maybe that’s not what you or I want to hear, but unless you have a worthy option to use over them, how can you sit one of these receivers as they “could” end up as the go-to option and have a performance that takes to you to your fantasy championship game?
|2||Jordy Nelson||@ Chiefs|
|3||A.J. Green||@ Rams|
|4||Calvin Johnson||@ Raiders|
|6||Marques Colston||@ Vikings|
|7||Wes Welker||@ Broncos|
|8||Steve Smith||@ Texans|
|13||Brandon Marshall||@ Bills|
|14||Mike Wallace||@ 49ers|
|15||Steve Johnson (I) ||Dolphins|
|16||Dez Bryant||@ Buccaneers|
|17||Antonio Brown||@ 49ers|
|18||Miles Austin||@ Buccaneers|
|20||Santonio Holmes||@ Eagles|
|22||Anquan Boldin||@ Chargers|
|23||Santana Moss||@ Giants|
|24||Laurent Robinson||@ Buccaneers|
|25||Torrey Smith||@ Chargers|
|26||Nate Washington (I)||@ Colts|
|27||James Jones||@ Chiefs|
|31||Mike Williams (TB)||Cowboys|
|32||Mario Manningham (I)||Redskins|
|33||Jabar Gaffney||@ Giants|
|36||Golden Tate||@ Bears|
|37||Donald Driver||@ Chiefs|
|39||Nate Burleson||@ Raiders|
|40||Deion Branch||@ Broncos|
|42||Plaxico Burress||@ Eagles|
|43||Darrius Heyward-Bey (I)||Lions|
|44||Jeremy Maclin (I)||Jets|