Fantasy Football Week Four Rankings: Wide Receivers

Michael WhooleySenior Writer ISeptember 30, 2009

GLENDALE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 27:  (L-R) Wide receiver Reggie Wayne #87 of the Indianapolis Colts celebrates his 20-yard second quarter touchdown catch with Dallas Clark #44 against the Arizona Cardinals during the game at University of Phoenix Stadium on September 27, 2009 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

There is a lot of star power missing from this week’s rankings, as the bye weeks officially begin. Members of the Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, and Philadelphia Eagles get to relax in front of their TVs this Sunday, so fantasy owners will have to do without the likes of Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin, Roddy White, Steve Smith, and DeSean Jackson. Hopefully, the Bruno Boys Fantasy Football Week 3 Wide Receiver Rankings will help you decide on a suitable replacement.

1. Randy Moss (New England Patriots) vs. Baltimore

Moss leads the NFL with his 26 catches, and is fifth with 281 receiving yards. His 10 receptions last week were the second time this season he’s accumulated at least that many. This week he faces a Baltimore pass defense that is struggling somewhat, at least compared to what we’re all used to seeing. They are coming into this one 17th in the league in pass defense and have allowed four players to gain at least 70 receiving yards this year.
Point Projection: 19 points

2. Andre Johnson (Houston Texans) vs. Oakland

Oakland is a respectable 14th in the NFL in pass defense, but shouldn’t be able to slow Johnson, who is coming off a game where he had four catches for 84 yards. The Raiders have had trouble with bigger receivers in each of their first three games—Vincent Jackson had five catches for 56 yards and a score in week one, Dwayne Bowe put up identical numbers in week two, and last week Brandon Marshall had five receptions for 67 yards and a touchdown.
Point Projection: 18 points

3. Reggie Wayne (Indianapolis Colts) vs. Seattle

In the Colts’ win in week three, Wayne had at least 125 yards and a touchdown for the second time this season, helping him to become the NFL’s leader in receiving yards. Jay Cutler tore apart the Seahawks last week for three touchdowns, so Peyton Manning should be able to do similar things this week.
Point Projection: 18 points

4. Calvin Johnson (Detroit Lions) @ Chicago

Johnson has combined to catch 10 passes for exactly 100 yards the last two weeks, as Matthew Stafford is in the incubator stage of becoming a reliable starting quarterback in the National Football League. This week, though, Johnson goes to Chicago, a place he had great success last season. In week nine of 2008, Johnson had eight receptions for 94 yards and one score. Look for Megatron to finally put up the points you expected when you took him as your WR1.
Point Projection: 17 points

5. Greg Jennings (Green Bay Packers) @ Minnesota

Jennings’ opponents this week, the Vikings, are fourth in the NFL in passing defense, but they have yet to be truly tested, as they have not faced a passing offense ranked higher than 23rd. Jennings, after being shut out in week two, had just two catches last week, but still wound up with over 100 receiving yards. Last season, in two games against the Vikings, Jennings had a total of eight catches for 128 yards.
Point Projection: 17 points

6. Steve Smith (New York Giants) @ Kansas City

Smith is second in the NFL with 23 catches, and sixth with 277 receiving yards. He’s caught at least six passes and gained at least 60 yards in each of the Giants’ three games this season, which is a testament to his consistency, a word that fantasy owners love. This week he and the Giants go up against Kansas City, a team ranked 20th in passing, though they’d be much worse if not for going up against JaMarcus Russell in week two.
Point Projection: 17 points

7. Vincent Jackson (San Diego Chargers) @ Pittsburgh

Jackson is absolutely on fire through three games this season, as he is second in the NFL with 317 receiving yards. He’s put together two consecutive games of at least 120 receiving yards and has a better-than-you-think match-up against the Steelers this week. Pittsburgh is 15th in the NFL in pass defense, and has allowed four touchdown passes, which is tied for 16th in the league.
Point Projection: 17 points

8. Marques Colston (New Orleans Saints) vs. New York Jets

The Jets have bottled up elite receivers this year, holding both Andre Johnson and Randy Moss to 35 receiving yards or less. Colston also did not catch a touchdown pass in the Saints’ game against the Bills last week, the first time this season he’s failed to do so. While the Jets’ defense has been impressive, they will be scored upon in the air from time to time this season, and the Saints have the firepower to do just that this week.
Point Projection: 17 points

9. Jerricho Cotchery (New York Jets) @ New Orleans

Four different receivers have come up with at least 75 receiving yards against the Saints this season, who rank just 22nd against the pass. Cotchery, who grabbed his first touchdown last week, has not had a game with fewer than 87 receiving yards, so there’s a whole lot to like about this matchup.
Point Projection: 16 points

10. Chad Ochocinco (Cincinnati Bengals) @ Cleveland

The Browns might be the single worst team in the NFL, which says a lot considering the likes of the Rams, Chiefs and Buccaneers’ woes. Ochocinco has found new life this season, but last week’s 54-yard effort was the least productive of his season so far. Still, the Browns have allowed at least eight fantasy points to a receiver in each of their first three games, and Ochocinco should easily top that.
Point Projection: 16 points

11. Terrell Owens (Buffalo Bills) @ Miami

After not catching a pass for the first time in, well, a really long time, there’s absolutely no reason to rank Owens this high. That’s understood. So just call this one a hunch, a gut feel that you have to go with from time to time. Something just says that Owens will explode this week against the Dolphins, who have a poor (26th in NFL) pass defense.
Point Projection: 15 points

12. Santonio Holmes (Pittsburgh Steelers) vs. San Diego

Holmes is fourth in the entire NFL with 30 targets so far this season. He did not have a good game on Sunday, catching just one pass, but that may have been due to a wrist injury more than anything else. The injury was not deemed significant last week, but check on his health status this week before employing him in your lineup.
Point Projection: 15 points

13. Brandon Marshall (Denver Broncos) vs. Dallas

Marshall finally broke through with his first touchdown of the season last week and, also, had season-highs of five catches and 67 yards. Those are the totals most fantasy owners have come to expect from him, and his numbers should only improve now that he’s more familiar with the offense. He has a solid matchup this week against a Dallas pass defense that is ranked 27th in the NFL.
Point Projection: 15 points

14. Devin Hester (Chicago Bears) vs. Detroit

Lost in the glow of Detroit’s win over the Redskins on Sunday was the fact that they gave up nearly 200 receiving yards and a touchdown to Santana Moss. The Lions have the third-worst pass defense in the NFL and have allowed a whopping 10 touchdown passes, which is three more than any other team in football. In two games against the Lions last year, Hester had eight catches for 108 yards and a score.
Point Projection: 15 points

15. Wes Welker (New England Patriots) vs. Baltimore **CHECK INJURY STATUS**

Though Welker missed the Patriots’ game on Sunday, it is expected that he’ll be able to go this week against Baltimore. If so, he brings the short passing game into prominence for New England, which should help free up Randy Moss and lead to a solid day for both wide receivers.
Point Projection: 15 points

16. Mario Manningham (New York Giants) @ Kansas City

Manningham has stepped up in a big way so far this season, and though he didn’t catch a touchdown last week for the first time this year, he did have 55 receiving yards—the third consecutive game in which he’s amassed at least that many. He has a superb matchup this week against the Chiefs.
Point Projection: 14 points

17. Nate Burleson (Seattle Seahawks) @ Indianapolis

It doesn’t seem to matter who is at quarterback for Burleson this season, who looks like the team’s No. 1 wide out despite the presence of T.J. Houshmandzadeh. Burleson had nine receptions for 109 yards in week three and is third in the NFL with 33 targets this year, which my calculator says is exactly 11 targets per game. There’s no reason to think those looks will disintegrate this week.
Point Projection: 14 points

18. Mike Sims-Walker (Jacksonville Jaguars) vs. Tennessee

Sims-Walker seems like the clear No. 1 receiver, even with Torry Holt in the lineup. He’s caught six passes in consecutive games, and last week, he racked up 81 receiving yards. His matchup against the Titans this week is juicy, as they are 29th in pass defense in the NFL and have allowed six different receivers to amass 70 or more receiving yards.
Point Projection: 13 points

19. Hines Ward (Pittsburgh Steelers) vs. San Diego

Ward had four catches for 82 yards in the Steelers upset loss to the Bengals in week three. Still, he did not find pay dirt and has yet to do so in the season’s first three weeks. The Chargers have a solid pass defense, but Ward is past due for a trek into the end zone.
Point Projection: 13 points

20. T.J. Houshmandzadeh (Seattle Seahawks) @ Indianapolis

Houshmandzadeh has a difficult matchup against the Colts, who are 10th in the NFL in pass defense. It also seems that he has not been clicking so far this season in Seattle, as Housh has just 14 receptions for 145 yards and has not scored. He will find the end zone, however, and it will only help his cause if Matt Hasselbeck comes back.
Point Projection: 13 points




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