Fantasy Football Week 17 Rankings: Wide Receivers

Kevin Hanson@EDSFootballAnalyst IIIDecember 29, 2011

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 24: Victor Cruz #80 of the New York Giants reaches for a pass during the second half against the New York Jets on December 24, 2011 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Christopher Pasatieri/Getty Images)
Christopher Pasatieri/Getty Images

Five top receivers play in the final game of the regular season, when the Giants host the Cowboys in an NFC East-deciding matchup.

With both teams controlling their own destinies, there is plenty of incentive for both teams to play their starters. That's critical for Week 17 fantasy success.

Giants receiver Victor Cruz ranks third in the NFL in receiving yards and needs 142 yards to reach 1,500 for the season. Including his breakout performance in Week 3, Cruz has six 100-yard games this season.

More impressively, he has nine games with at least 90 receiving yards this season. No player has more yards than Cruz (1,341) since Week 3.

Meanwhile, teammate Hakeem Nicks ranks 11th in the league with 1,116 yards, a career high. Limited to only one reception for 20 yards against the Jets last week (yes, I guess Derelle Revis is indeed a "decent" cornerback), Nicks had 27 receptions for 411 yards and two touchdowns in his previous four games.

In his first matchup against the Cowboys, Nicks had eight receptions for a season-high 163 yards.

One of the concerns with the Cowboys receivers this week is the ability of quarterback Tony Romo to play with his bruised hand. It was good news that he was able to practice on Wednesday.

Since becoming a Cowboy, Laurent Robinson had his worst game of the season last week: one reception for five yards and no touchdowns. His numbers would have likely been better if Romo hadn't suffered the hand injury.

Before last week, Robinson scored a total of nine touchdowns in his previous eight games.

Mile Austin caught a (last-minute) touchdown for Dallas and has now caught a touchdown in three consecutive games since returning from his hamstring injury. In the seven games Austin played since his hamstring injury, he has yet to have more than 74 receiving yards in a game.

Teammate Dez Bryant led the team in receiving last week with six receptions for 62 yards, but he ended his three-game streak of scoring a touchdown. Bryant had scored a touchdown in five of his previous six games before last week.

[Related: Take our poll on who will win the NFC East.]

Here are some notes on wide receivers that will play in Week 17:

No receiver has more receiving yards than Denver's Demaryius Thomas over the past four games. Thomas and Lions receiver Calvin Johnson actually have identical stats during that four-game span: 22 receptions for 414 yards and three touchdowns each.

Patriots receiver Wes Welker set a career high in yards (1,518) and touchdowns (nine), but needs another seven receptions to tie the career high (123) he set in 2009.

Bengals rookie receiver A.J. Green has 63 receptions for 1,031 yards and seven touchdowns. Only 12 rookies have had more receiving yards than Green during their rookie seasons. He is only the fourth rookie to reach 1,000 receiving yards since 2000.

Ravens rookie receiver Torrey Smith is having a solid rookie season: 45 receptions for 808 yards and seven touchdowns. In his past eight games, Smith has four games with a score and double-digit fantasy points, and four games with three or less fantasy points.

Chargers receiver Vincent Jackson is dealing with a groin injury. Considering the team is eliminated from the playoffs, it seems unlikely that he'll play. Meanwhile, Malcom Floyd has been spectacular in three of his past four games. In that span, Floyd has 95-plus yards and a touchdown (at least 15 fantasy points).

Going into the final week of the season, Colts receiver Pierre Garcon has set a career high in receptions (68), yards (925) and touchdowns (six, tied previous career high). In his first matchup against the Jaguars, he had three receptions for 30 yards. Garcon has averaged only 28.5 yards per game in his four matchups against the Jaguars compared to more than 50 yards per game against other division rivals: Titans (53.4) and Texans (55.5).

Two of the eight players that have at least five 100-yard receiving games this season play for the Falcons. Roddy White and Julio Jones both have exactly five. Scoring in three straight games, Jones has two of his five 100-yard games and a total of four touchdowns during that span. White's four-game scoring streak ended last week, but he has back-to-back games with 10-plus receptions and 125-plus yards.

Packers receiver Jordy Nelson has shattered his previous career highs of 45 receptions, 582 yards and two touchdowns. Nelson has 59 receptions for 1,101 yards and 12 touchdowns this year, but he may not be on the field for many snaps considering the Packers have secured home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

Here are our top 60 fantasy wide receivers for Week 17 (standard-scoring):

1. Calvin Johnson, Lions (at GB)
2. Wes Welker, Patriots (vs. BUF)
3. Victor Cruz, Giants (vs. DAL)
4. Roddy White, Falcons (vs. TB)
5. Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals (vs. SEA)
6. Steve Smith, Panthers (at NO)
7. Miles Austin, Cowboys (at NYG)
8. Hakeem Nicks, Giants (vs. DAL)
9. Marques Colston, Saints (vs. CAR)
10. Stevie Johnson, Bills (at NE)
11. Brandon Marshall, Dolphins (vs. NYJ)
12. Julio Jones, Falcons (vs. TB)
13. A.J. Green, Bengals (vs. BAL)
14. Mike Wallace, Steelers (at CLE)
15. Percy Harvin, Vikings (vs. CHI)
16. Dez Bryant, Cowboys (at NYG)
17. Malcom Floyd, Chargers (at OAK)
18. Demaryius Thomas, Broncos (vs. KC)
19. Dwayne Bowe, Chiefs (at DEN)
20. Santana Moss, Redskins (at PHI)
21. Jabar Gaffney, Redskins (at PHI)
22. Jordy Nelson, Packers (vs. DET)
23. Santonio Holmes, Jets (at MIA)
24. Antonio Brown, Steelers (at CLE)
25. Laurent Robinson, Cowboys (at NYG)
26. Jeremy Maclin, Eagles (vs. WAS)
27. Michael Crabtree, 49ers (at STL)
28. Darrius Heyward-Bey, Raiders (vs. SD)
29. Denarius Moore, Raiders (vs. SD)
30. DeSean Jackson, Eagles (vs. WAS)
31. Torrey Smith, Ravens (at CIN)
32. Nate Washington, Titans (at HOU)
33. Brandon Lloyd, Rams (vs. SF)
34. Mike Williams, Buccaneers (at ATL)
35. James Jones, Packers (vs. DET)
36. Plaxico Burress, Jets (at MIA)
37. Reggie Wayne, Colts (at JAX)
38. Vincent Brown, Chargers (at OAK)
39. Pierre Garcon, Colts (at JAX)
40. Nate Burleson, Lions (at GB)
41. Doug Baldwin, Seahawks (at ARI)
42. Deion Branch, Patriots (vs BUF)
43. Greg Little, Browns (vs. PIT)
44. Eric Decker, Broncos (vs. KC)
45. Damian Williams, Titans (at HOU)
46. Titus Young, Lions (at GB)
47. David Nelson, Bills (at NE)
48. Jerome Simpson, Bengals (vs. BAL)
49. Lance Moore, Saints (vs. CAR)
50. Kevin Walter, Texans (vs. TEN)
51. Randall Cobb, Packers (vs. DET)
52. Robert Meachem, Saints (vs. CAR)
53. Donald Driver, Packers (vs. DET)
54. Golden Tate, Seahawks (at ARI)
55. Brandon LaFell, Panthers (at NO)
56. Andre Roberts, Cardinals (vs. SEA)
57. Steve Breaston, Chiefs (at DEN)
58. Mario Manningham, Giants (vs. DAL)
59. Andre Johnson, Texans (vs. TEN)
60. Devin Aromashodu, Vikings (vs. CHI)

If you're in a point-per-reception (PPR) league, here are our wide receiver PPR rankings for Week 17.

For more positions and/or flex rankings, visit our fantasy section.

To keep track of our fantasy updates throughout the week, you can follow us on Twitter @EDSFootball and "like" us on Facebook.

Good luck in Week 17!


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