1. Larry Fitzgerald (ARI) – He has flat out been ripping it up over his last 3 games. In that span, Fitzgerald has accumulated 25 receptions for 323 yards and 5 TD’s. He has his best match up of the season this week against the Browns 30th ranked pass defense. Fitzgerald should terrorize the Cleveland secondary with a monster effort. (Check injury report: groin)
2. Randy Moss (NE) – We realize that he is coming off of his worst game of the season with 5 catches for 43 yards, but even the biggest fantasy studs are entitled to an off game here and there. Expect Moss to get back on track this week against Baltimore.
3. Braylon Edwards (CLE) – He is looking at a very favorable match up this week against a banged up Cardinals secondary which will be without starting CB Eric Green and SS Adrian Wilson. The Arizona pass defense ranks a poor 20th in the NFL even with those guys healthy. In addition, they were hammered last week by a 49er passing attack that ranks last in the NFL. Edwards has been battling a hamstring issue which should warrant some concern, but if there are no setbacks with the hammy, he should have a big game. (Check injury report: hamstring)
4. Reggie Wayne (IND) – He will be in for a tough match up against top flight CB RaShean Mathis this week when his Colts take on the Jaguars, but Wayne has posted 2 consecutive 100 yard efforts against Jacksonville. He should once again be the go to guy in the Colts passing game with Marvin Harrison expected to miss yet another game. Wayne will have his hands full in week 13, but he is talented enough to overcome any match up. He is a must start.
5. Marques Colston (NO) – He has played lights out in his last 5 games with 41 receptions for 584 yards and 4 TD’s. This week he will face a tough Tampa secondary, but in Colston’s last 2 games against them, including 1 earlier this season; he has accumulated a sparkling 19 receptions for 193 yards and 2 TD’s. He is no lock against Ronde Barber and the Bucs 5th ranked pass defense, but his track record should speak for itself.
6. T.J. Houshmandzadeh (CIN) – He has failed to find the end zone in 2 out of his last 3 games, but he is still producing solid numbers, and with 11 TD’s on the season; Houshmandzadeh is still a threat to find pay dirt any week. The reemergence of Chad Johnson last week and the return of Chris Henry cut into his production a bit, but he is still the big weapon in the Bengals passing attack, and there is plenty to go around for everyone. He has a tough match up against Pittsburgh this week, but he pulled in 7 passes for 81 yards and a TD against them in an earlier meeting this season. (Check injury report: back)
7. Wes Welker (NE) – He may not have found pay dirt last week against the Eagles, but he did everything else to qualify him for stud status with 13 receptions and 149 yards receiving. It is obvious that he is Tom Brady’s safety net when Randy Moss is being doubled. Welker should receive plenty of attention once again when he faces the Ravens in week 13.
8. Andre Johnson (HOU) – After a huge return to the field in week 11, Johnson was a big disappointment in week 12. Johnson is typically a reliable fantasy option, but he has been known to have the occasional bad game throughout his career. The good news is that he rarely posts back to back poor outings, and he has as much potential for a monster game as any top fantasy WR, including T.O. and Randy Moss. He should bounce back against the Titans in week 13. (Check injury report: knee)
9. Anquan Boldin (ARI) – He appears to be regaining some of his swagger after 2 productive fantasy outings in a row. Boldin has a great shot at a huge performance this week when he faces off against Cleveland’s 30th ranked pass defense. The Browns have allowed a ridiculous 25 TD’s through the air this season, so the sky is the limit for Boldin. It should be one of his better efforts of the season.
10. Hines Ward (PIT) –Some of Ward’s fantasy value for week 13 depends on the availability of Santonio Holmes. As of right now, it does not look good for Holmes, which means that Ward will benefit greatly from his absence. Even with Holmes in the line up, Ward is still capable of producing big numbers. He faces a very mediocre Bengals pass defense this week, and he enjoyed his best game of the season against them back in week 8, with 8 catches for 88 yards and 2 TD’s. He is a must start with monster week 13 potential, especially if Holmes is out.
11. Chad Johnson (CIN) – Ocho Cinco was back in week 12, putting on a show to the tune of 12 catches for 103 yards and 3 TD’s against the Titans. It may have just been a fluke, but it is definitely promising for those of you who have been waiting patiently since week 3 for him to breakout. It was just what he needed to jumpstart an otherwise blah fantasy season. This week he faces Pittsburgh’s top ranked pass defense on the road, so those of you expecting a repeat of last week, Don’t! Although last week serves as a positive sign for the rest of his season, do not get your hopes up for another huge performance in week 13. Johnson had 5 catches for 51 yards against the Steelers back in week 8. (Check injury report: knee)
12. Deion Branch (SEA) – You can not always count on Branch to produce big numbers, but with Hackett out this week, his chances go way up. He had a great week 12 hauling in 5 passes for 92 yards and a TD. Hasselbeck loves to spread the ball around to multiple receivers, but Branch will likely be the go to guy this week against Philadelphia. As often as the Seahawks go to the air, Branch along with fellow WR Bobby Engram, should be able to post impressive stats.
13. Roy Williams (DET) – He has top flight potential any given week, but Williams has proven to be fairly unreliable this season. The good news is that he faces Minnesota’s league worst pass defense this week. In an earlier meeting this season, he torched the Viking secondary with 7 receptions for 111 yards and a TD. While this match up is very favorable for Williams, keep in mind that he is not always the go to guy in the Detroit offense these days. That said, we do expect him to bounce back after a poor week 12 performance.
14. Brandon Marshall (DEN) – He continues to build confidence with fantasy owners after 2 great performances in a row. Marshall has been about as consistent a fantasy player as one could ask for this season, and he appears to be getting better. He faces a tough Raiders secondary this week, but he has yet to have a disappointing game all season, including a 5 catch 82 yard performance against Oakland in week 2. On a slightly negative note, the Broncos are expecting Javon Walker to play a bigger role in the offense this week which could cut into Marshall’s production a bit, but that should not be of huge concern at this point.
15. Torry Holt (STL) – He may not be having his typical all star fantasy season, but Holt continues to produce solid numbers on a weekly basis. He has been troubled by a knee injury throughout the season, and with QB Marc Bulger coming in and out of the line up, along with a host of other key injuries in the Rams offense; Holt has really not had the chance to get into his “BIG GAME” zone. Bulger has officially been ruled out to play in week 13. Holt should still produce on a high level, but do not expect the same kind of output that he would have with Bulger. (Check injury report: knee)
16. Joey Galloway (TB) – Since joining Tampa Bay, Galloway has played the Saints 6 times. In those 6 meetings, he has scored at least 1 TD in every game, and has 9 TD’s total. In week 2 of this season, he torched the New Orleans secondary for 135 yards and 2 TD’s. Now for the bad news, it looks as though Galloway will be without QB Jeff Garcia this week which could limit his potential considerably. As of right now, Luke McCown appears to be the likely starter. While Galloway should still be the go to guy and is capable of continued success against the Saints, the QB situation should lower your expectations for him a bit.
17. Calvin Johnson (DET) – Fantasy owners had a lot to be thankful for last Thursday as Johnson pulled in 7 passes for 83 yards and a score. He was targeted early and often, and could have produced much more if not for a couple of penalties, and a pair of dropped passes in the end zone. Johnson has an extremely promising match up this week against the Vikings 32nd ranked pass defense. He has been unreliable as a fantasy starter much of the season, but if Kitna targets him as much as he has in the last few weeks, Johnson could have a beast of a game. He had 4 catches for 61 yards and a TD against Minnesota in week 2. It was only his 2nd NFL game ever.
18. Steve Smith (CAR) – He failed to wow fantasy owners again last week with another very average performance. The good news is that he will get Vinny Testaverde back this week, and he faces the 49ers 24th ranked pass defense. The match up bodes well, and with Testaverde getting him the ball, Steve Smith should look more like Steve Smith this week.
19. Dwayne Bowe (KC) – He has not exactly proven to be Mr. Reliable this season, but for a rookie, Bowe has done exceptionably well for fantasy owners. He will face San Diego’s 23rd ranked pass defense this week. In week 4, Bowe dismantled this secondary posting 8 catches for 164 yards and a TD. You probably should not expect him to equal that this week, as the Chargers will probably key in on him this time around, but he should still produce a solid game.
20. Bobby Engram (SEA) – With D.J. Hackett out this week, Engram will step back into the starting spot, a role he has done well with this season. He will match up against the Eagles 22nd ranked pass defense this week, and should be targeted often in the Seahawks pass heavy offense. He should come through with a nice game.
21. Bernard Berrian (CHI) – With Grossman at QB, Berrian has had a TD catch in 2 out of his last 3 games, and in the 1 game in which he did not score; he had 9 catches for 102 yards. He should be Grossman’s favorite target once again as the Bears take on the Giants in week 13.
22. Plaxico Burress (NYG) – After several pedestrian efforts in a row due to a bad ankle, Burress finally came alive last week. Granted, it was against the NFL’s worst pass defense, but it’s still promising none the less. Unfortunately, Burress can now add a bad knee to his growing list of injuries. While this week’s match up against the Bears holds potential, Burress could be limited once again. Keep an eye on his status leading up to Sunday. (Check injury report: knee and ankle)
23. Roddy White (ATL) – He is not the most reliable guy you can put in your line up as he has shown a great knack for inconsistency. The good news is that White has also shown a knack to put up huge numbers on occasion, even against great pass defenses, as was evident in week 12. He will face a decent Rams pass defense this week, but could have another big performance as Joey Harrington’s go to guy.
24. Chris Henry (CIN) – He had a bit of a let down last week pulling in only 3 catches for 41 yards. It was his weakest fantasy performance since returning to the team in week 10. While Henry remains a big game threat, you must remember that he is still the #3 WR on the depth chart. With a very good Pittsburgh pass defense focusing most of their attention on Houshmandzadeh and Chad Johnson this week, Henry could fly under the radar and turn in a big performance. We like his chances to bounce back with a nice game in week 13.
25. Laveranues Coles (NYJ) – He participated in practice on a limited basis on Wednesday which bodes well for the possibility of him playing this week against Miami. Coles is plenty capable of producing on a very high level when healthy, but considering he will likely not be 100 % this week if he plays; you should lower expectations. Plus, he will face a very good Miami pass defense. Keep a close eye on his status before deciding to start him. (Check injury report: ankle)
26. Santonio Holmes (PIT) – As of right now, it does not appear likely that he will play this week, and even if he does, it could be on a limited basis only. He has a promising match up if he does play, but keep expectations lower than usual with the ankle injury. Keep an eye on his status for any changes, but for now, keep him reserved. Holmes had 6 catches for 87 yards in a week 8 meeting with the Bengals. (Check injury report: ankle)
27. Isaac Bruce (STL) – He has played very well since getting back to full strength after several nagging injuries. Bruce has shown improvement in each game since week 10 and has a TD in 2 of his last 3 games. Atlanta does boast a very good pass defense, but most of their attention will be on Torry Holt, which should free Bruce up for some opportunities, especially in the red zone.
28. Santana Moss (WAS) – After a monster performance in week 11 against Dallas, Moss saw his production drop off quite a bit last week against Tampa. He should be able to rebound nicely with a very favorable match up against the Bills 29th ranked pass defense. Moss is not completely reliable, but he has shown drastic improvement as of late, and this could be a big outing for him. (Check injury report: heel)
29. Chris Chambers (SD) – While his transition from Miami to San Diego has not exactly been a smooth one for fantasy owners, he has shown glimpses of potential, including a week 12 TD. Chambers will face Kansas City’s 9th ranked pass defense this week. It will be a tough match up, but Chambers should get plenty of looks as Phillip River’s 2nd favorite target behind Antonio Gates. He is a risky proposition, and we can’t promise you he will have a big game, but it is not out of the question.
30. Derrick Mason (BAL) – Mason is not a TD machine by any means, but he is a steady performer that almost guarantees a fair amount of production on a weekly basis. He has a tough match up this week against Asante Samuel and the Patriots 6th ranked pass defense, but if Greg Lewis can score twice on them, Mason should at least be able to do some damage.
31. Donte’ Stallworth (NE) – Despite the fact that Stallworth has produced 4 mediocre games in a row, he remains a dangerous threat as a fantasy WR. It is only a matter of time before he has that breakout game. The question is when? We realize that patience can quickly wear thin in fantasy football, and there is really no reason to continuously start a guy who puts up sub par numbers more times than not, but there will come a week when you will kick yourself in the butt for not starting him.
32. Lee Evans (BUF) – After a huge resurgence in weeks 8 and 9, Evans has posted 3 poor outings in a row. In his defense, all 3 of those games were very tough match ups for him, and J.P. Losman was at QB. Evans has not done well with Losman under center. On a positive note, he will get Trent Edwards back at QB this week. Evans seems to have much better chemistry with Edwards, and he turned in his best fantasy performances while Edwards was taking the snaps. The prospects of him turning things around again at Washington this week look promising, but there are no guarantees.
33. Jerricho Cotchery (NYJ) – He will look to get on track this week after 2 poor performances in a row. Cotchery will face a very good Miami pass defense this week, and he has an issue with his finger which may prove to be troublesome. Cotchery has big game potential, but keep expectations on the light side in week 13. (Check injury report: finger)
34. Shaun McDonald (DET) – He turned in one of his worst performances of the season last week, but he did have 2 or 3 big plays taken away from him because of penalties, including a TD. McDonald always sees plenty of targets, and has become a red zone favorite for Kitna. He should bounce back against the Vikings pass defense which is the worst in the NFL.
35. Javon Walker (DEN) – He did return to action last week, but he only participated in 8 plays due to the poor weather conditions. The Broncos coaching staff plans to utilize him much more this week against Oakland, but it is still unclear how much, and his knee is still not 100%. In a week 2 meeting with Oakland, Walker had 8 catches for 101 yards. When healthy, he is considered a top level fantasy WR, but he must prove that he can produce to be considered amongst the elite. He is capable of producing big numbers as soon as this week, and could make for a nice sneaky start. We suggest giving him 1 more week to prove he is healthy enough to produce before putting him in your starting line up, but if you are desperate for help at WR, he could definitely be worth the risk. (Check injury report: knee)
36. Kevin Walter (HOU) – With the return of Andre Johnson, many fantasy owners expected Walter to fall off the map, but that has not exactly been the case. In week 12, he hauled in 6 passes for 65 yards and a TD, proving that he still has value. He will face a struggling Tennessee defense this week that he torched for 97 yards and a TD back in week 7. While Walter has proven that he can be an effective fantasy receiver even with Andre Johnson in the line up, he is still the #2 guy, so do not expect big numbers on a consistent basis.
37. Justin Gage (TEN) – Over the last 3 weeks, Gage has shown solid consistency as Vince Young’s favorite target. Gage is a little risky this week given the unpredictability of the Titans offense, but he has proven reliable enough to give him a shot in your starting line up. He could have a big game against a mediocre Houston secondary.
38. Reggie Brown (PHI) – No one expected the Eagles passing game to do anything last week against the Patriots, especially with A.J. Feeley taking the snaps, but they shocked the world, and almost pulled off the huge upset. A big reason for the Eagles success was the play of Reggie Brown who scored a go ahead TD late in the 3rd quarter. Brown has not had a spectacular season to this point, but he has had some nice games. He could make for a decent #3 starter in your roster this week against Seattle, but do not expect anything major from him.
39. Anthony Gonzalez (IND) – He finally had a game worth writing home about last week as he brought in 6 passes and surpassed the 100 yard receiving mark for the first time this season. Now that Gonzalez is in the starting line up and finally has Peyton Manning’s attention and trust, he could do some real damage. With all eyes on Reggie Wayne, Gonzalez could fly under the radar and post a repeat performance, or better, against Jacksonville’s 28th ranked pass defense. While the potential is there, do not get your hopes up too high. It was only 1 game, and he has done little otherwise this season with plenty of opportunities. Gonzalez is still risky, but he earned a shot as a #3 starter.
40. Kevin Curtis (PHI) – After a week 3 performance that was off the charts, many fantasy owners anticipated a big year for Curtis, but with the exception of a solid week 6 performance, he has been below par most of the season. It has been 6 weeks since he has found the end zone. Curtis remains the deep threat in this offense and it is only a matter of time before he has another breakout game. Unfortunately, it is a guessing game as to when it will happen. He has the potential to do some damage this week against Seattle, but we would not count on it if we were you.
41. Joe Jurevicius (CLE) – Jurevicius is unlikely to give you stud production any week, but he is almost certain to produce on a fair level at minimum. He is targeted often and the match up against Arizona bodes well for him.
42. Ted Ginn (MIA) – Unfortunately, Ginn is playing in a bad offense with a rookie signal caller, but on a positive note, he has become the top target in that offense. He also provides value as a return man. Ginn has a ton of upside and a lot of potential, which could be unleashed any week, but you probably won’t see anything huge from him until next season.
43. Brandon Stokley (DEN) – In week 2, Stokley had 3 catches for 43 yards and a TD against the Raiders. That is probably about as much as you can hope for this time around against Oakland, but TD’s are hard to come by. Stokley will also likely see his production reduce slightly with the return of Javon Walker. He has had a decent season, but you can not expect a lot from this point on.
44. Ronald Curry (OAK) – He has shown the potential for a big game any given week, but for the most part, Curry has been pretty average. He will face a tough Denver secondary this week that held him to just 2 catches for 12 yards back in week2. Keep expectations on the low end.
45. Arnaz Battle (SF) – Battle has put together a nice string of games in recent weeks. While he is probably not going to put up monster numbers any week, he has been consistent enough for you to consider starting him this week against Carolina.
46. Dennis Northcutt (JAC) – He is probably not going to get you big numbers, but he is the most targeted WR in the Jaguar arsenal, and that alone gives him some fantasy value. Keep expectations low if you start him against Indy, but a TD is not out of the question.
47. Reggie Williams (JAC) – He is not targeted often, but he has made the most of his opportunities in recent games, scoring a TD in 3 of his last 4 games. Williams has only 22 receptions on the season, but 6 of them have gone for TD’s. It is a bit of a stretch to think that he will get in the end zone again this week, but it is a possibility. He makes for a decent start if you are in desperate mode, but he may let you down.
48. Keenan McCardell (WAS) – He is definitely a gamble, but McCardell has posted 3 decent stat lines in a row. He could make for a nice sneaky start against a poor Buffalo secondary, especially if Randle El is out.
49. Muhsin Muhammad (CHI) – He is not very consistent, and has not done much in recent weeks, but he does have big play ability. While Muhammad is not highly recommended for your line up against the Giants, he is capable.
50. Nate Washington (PIT) – He only has real value if Santonio Holmes is out of the line up again this week. That was the case last week, but weather conditions pretty much shut the Steelers offense down including Washington. If Holmes is out again, Washington could be a sneaky start, but we do not suggest using him unless you are in dire need of a fill in WR.
*Other WR’s for consideration in week 13 include (in ranked order):
Drew Bennett (STL)
Amani Toomer (NYG)
Nate Burleson (SEA)
Jabar Gaffney (NE)
Mike Furrey (DET)
Antwaan Randle EL (WAS) – if healthy, check injury report
Greg Lewis (PHI)
Ike Hilliard (TB)
Drew Carter (CAR)
Vincent Jackson (SD)
Roydell Williams (TEN)
Eddie Kennison (KC)
Roscoe Parrish (BUF)
Mark Clayton (BAL)
David Patten (NO)
Darrell Jackson (SF)
Marty Booker (MIA)
Andre Davis (HOU)
Bobby Wade (MIN)
Brandon Jones (TEN)
Josh Reed (BUF)
Bryant Johnson B(ARI)
Sidney Rice (MIN)
Devery Henderson (NO)
Michael Jenkins (ATL)
Lance Moore (NO)
* WR’s in Thursday night’s Green Bay @ Dallas game are not included in this week’s rankings. Thursday night game participants are listed separately each Wednesday.