Week 15 Fantasy Rankings: Wide Receivers (WR) Rankings and Projections

Sean E. Douglas@@seanfantasyinfoSenior Writer IIIDecember 13, 2011

DETROIT, MI - NOVEMBER 24: Calvin Johnson #81 of the Detroit Lions warms up prior to the start of the game against the Green Bay Packers at Ford Field on November 24, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Leon Halip/Getty Images

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?

1 Percy Harvin Saints
2 Jordy Nelson @ Chiefs
3 A.J. Green @ Rams
4 Calvin Johnson @ Raiders
5 Hakeem Nicks Redskins
6 Marques Colston @ Vikings
7 Wes Welker @ Broncos
8 Steve Smith @ Texans
9 Larry Fitzgerald Browns
10 Victor Cruz Redskins
11 Roddy White Jaguars
12 Julio Jones Jaguars
13 Brandon Marshall @ Bills
14 Mike Wallace @ 49ers
15 Steve Johnson (I)
16 Dez Bryant @ Buccaneers
17 Antonio Brown @ 49ers
18 Miles Austin @ Buccaneers
19 Vincent Jackson Ravens
20 Santonio Holmes @ Eagles
21 Michael Crabtree Steelers
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
28 Demaryius Thomas Patriots
29 Brandon Lloyd Bengals
30 DeSean Jackson Jets
31 Mike Williams (TB) Cowboys
32 Mario Manningham (I) Redskins
33 Jabar Gaffney @ Giants
34 Eric Decker Patriots
35 Dwayne Bowe Packers
36 Golden Tate @ Bears
37 Donald Driver @ Chiefs
38 Early Doucet Browns
39 Nate Burleson @ Raiders
40 Deion Branch @ Broncos
41 Reggie Wayne Titans
42 Plaxico Burress @ Eagles
43 Darrius Heyward-Bey (I) Lions
44 Jeremy Maclin (I) Jets

More Week 15 Rankings: QB | RB | TE I Waivers | Start/Sit |