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July 10, 2008

Fantasy Football Week 6 Wide Receiver Rankings


1. Larry Fitzgerald (ARI) – Fitzgerald and fantasy owners alike probably couldn’t ask for a better set of circumstances heading into week 6. For starters, Anquan Boldin will likely be out again this week making Fitzgerald the obvious go to guy for Kurt Warner. Next, you factor in a favorable match up against Dallas’ 17th ranked pass defense that has allowed 6 receiving TD’s in 5 games. Then you take into account that the Cowboys will be without their best cover CB Terence Newman, who is injured, and finally, you figure in Fitzgerald’s obvious top flight talent and you have yourself a legitimate must start fantasy WR for week 6.

2. Brandon Marshall (DEN) – Marshall had embarrassed every defense he’d faced since returning from a week 1 suspension, that is until the tides turned in week 5 against Tampa. Even the best WR’s are entitled to an off week, but they typically bounce back quickly, and that is exactly what we anticipate for Marshall in week 6. He should have a field day against Jacksonville’s 26th ranked pass defense. The Jaguars have allowed 9 receiving TD’s in 5 games, and they were torched by the Steelers wide outs last week. Marshall will likely be paired up with CB Rashean Mathis. While Mathis is a big time player, he likes to gamble a lot in man coverage and if he does, Marshall will eat him alive. We would be surprised if Marshall didn’t rebound with a big week 6 fantasy performance.

3. Terrell Owens (DAL) – Just because Owens is a basket case doesn’t mean he should give fantasy owners reason to crack up as well. It must be torture having T.O. on your fantasy roster of late. While he has posted strong fantasy numbers in each of his last 2 games, the majority of his production has come late in the 4th quarter of both games. Talk about sweating it out. Regardless, Owens remains one of the best, if not the best, fantasy WR’s to own. He hasn’t been ripping it up from a reception or yardage standpoint, but he is tied for the most receiving TD’s in the NFL with 5. We think he is well overdue for a monster game, and a week 6 match up against a shaky Arizona pass defense looks promising.

4. Greg Jennings (GB) – He is arguably the most consistent and complete fantasy WR in the NFL. Jennings has had at least 90 yards receiving, a TD, or both in every game so far this season. Needless to say, we like his chances for another strong fantasy effort in week 6. Jennings will face the struggling 25th ranked pass defense of Seattle. The Seahawks have been torched through the air in most of their games this season allowing 7 TD receptions in just 4 games. Aaron Rodgers should find an open Jennings early and often in this one.

5. Andre Johnson (HOU) – Fantasy owners breathed a sigh of relief as Johnson finally broke out of a two game slump with a monster week 5 performance. He will face the 15th ranked Miami pass defense in week 6. The Dolphins have shown great improvement against opposing passing games of late, but they have still been very kind to stud WR’s so far in 2008. We like Johnson’s chances for yet another standout fantasy performance in week 6.

6. Reggie Wayne (IND) – He should continue a fine 2008 fantasy campaign in a week 6 match up against Baltimore. While the Ravens currently rank #1 in the NFL against the pass, they have yet to face a passing game as stout as the one they are about to see. In addition, the Ravens will be a little thin at defensive back this week with Samari Rolle, Fabian Washington, and Dawan Landry all expected to be out. Wayne only had 2 catches in a 2007 meeting with Baltimore, but he still managed to accumulate 42 yards and a TD. Wayne is a must start as usual.

7. Santana Moss (WAS) – While the Redskins use of Moss as a decoy may have helped lead them to a win over the Eagles, it did absolutely nothing for fantasy owners. The good news is that there will be no need to pawn Moss off in a week 6 meeting with the Rams, and you should expect him to get back to business as usual. St. Louis features one of the worst pass defenses in the NFL allowing an average of 246 yards and 2 TD’s per game through the air. Moss should get back on track with this fantasy friendly match up in week 6.

8. Steve Smith (CAR) – While Smith only had mediocre success against Tampa Bay in 2 games last season, it is still fair to say that he has owned them for the most part in his career, especially with Jake Delhomme under center. With Delhomme at QB, Smith has 4 consecutive games against the Bucs with over 100 yards receiving. Granted, those games took place in 2005 and 2006, but they are still relevant because Delhomme, who was absent during the 2 meetings last season, will be at QB for this match up. In addition, the Buccaneers 2008 pass defense ranks in the bottom half of the NFL and has allowed 8 passing TD’s in just 5 games.

9. Plaxico Burress (NYG) – He will return this week from his two week suspension. It does worry us a bit that the Giants were so successful without him last week, and it is possible that Eli Manning might try to prove a point by snubbing him this week, but that seems doubtful given Burress’ potential to help them win. If anything it should motivate him to play harder. He has a surprisingly tough, but workable match up against the Browns top 10 pass defense in week 6. The Cleveland secondary has been solid so far this season holding opposing passing games to 187 yards per game and allowing only 3 passing TD’s in 4 games. This defense may challenge Burress to some extent, but ultimately, the Browns secondary is no match for his athleticism.

10. Randy Moss (NE) – While it was nice to finally see Matt Cassel unload the deep ball to Moss in week 5, we were still pretty under whelmed with Moss’ overall performance. He did have an impressive111 receiving yards on 5 receptions and a TD, but if you take away his 66 yard TD grab, Moss only had 4 receptions for 45 yards otherwise. Don’t get us wrong, we still love Moss as a fantasy WR, and week 5 demonstrated promise, but it wasn’t enough to say that Moss is officially back. That said, we do like his potential for a week 6 meeting with San Diego. The Chargers currently lay claim to the worst pass defense in the NFL. They give up an average of 265 yards and 2 TD’s through the air per game. Hopefully, last week instilled enough confidence in Cassel to continue throwing Moss the deep ball in week 6 because it should pay off big with this match up, but there are no guarantees.

11. Roddy White (ATL) – Few, if any fantasy WR’s have been as hot as White in recent weeks. He now has 20 receptions for 341 yards and 2 TD’s in his last 3 games. He is really starting to click with improving rookie QB Matt Ryan and they are quietly becoming one of the NFL’s most dangerous pass - catch duos. White has a good chance to continue his stellar play in a week 6 match up with the Bears. The Chicago pass defense currently ranks just 23rd in the NFL and have proven vulnerable against big play WR’s like White all season. Check injury report: head

12. Laveranues Coles (NYJ) – If fantasy owners couldn’t see that Coles and Brett Favre were starting to get on the same page after a strong week 3 performance, then surely a monster 3 TD performance by Coles in week 4 had eyes wide open. Coles has been spectacular in his last 2 games amassing 180 receiving yards and 4 TD’s. He should continue his strong play in week 6 against the Bengals. While the Cincinnati pass defense has been impressive so far this season ranking 6th in the NFL in passing yards allowed, they may meet their match this week with Brett Favre under center. Coles had 8 catches for 133 yards and 2 TD’s in a 2007 meeting with the Bengals. Check injury report: thigh

13. Bernard Berrian (MIN) – We had a strong feeling about Berrian in week 5 as it was apparent that he and Gus Frerotte were really starting to click. The good news is that we have that same feeling about the emerging duo for week 6. Berrian continues to suffer through a knee injury, but if he is up to the challenge, he could be in store for another big fantasy week against the Lions. The Detroit secondary has once again become the laughing stock of the NFL by getting torched on a weekly basis by opposing passing attacks. The Lions 29th ranked pass defense should be no match for Berrian, that is if he’s healthy, and stops dropping passes which prevented him from having an epic fantasy total in week 5. Check injury report: knee

14. Jerricho Cotchery (NYJ) – Cotchery has had some impressive performances this year, but he isn’t that consistent big play receiver that hauls in 70 yard TD passes every week. In fact, it is fair to say that his potential has become more prevalent than his actual production to this point. That said, we like his potential for week 6. He will face a Cincinnati pass defense that has proven strong so far this season, but the Bengals have yet to face a team as pass happy as the Jets. Cotchery should be solid in this match up, and he is always a TD threat with Brett Favre under center. Cotchery had 6 catches for 60 yards and a TD in a 2007 game against the Bengals. It’s reasonable to expect similar numbers this time around.

15. DeSean Jackson (PHI) – If your fantasy league does not account for return yards or return TD’s, you were probably pretty disappointed with Jackson’s numbers last week. We do take return stats into account in our rankings, so if you fall under that category, you might want to consider lowering your expectations a bit for Jackson. That said, we do expect him to rebound as a WR this week and he is at least worthy of a WR3 spot in any fantasy format. He will match up against a shaky 49ers pass defense that has had difficulty containing speedy WR’s throughout the young season. The return of Reggie Brown to the Eagles line up may continue to cut into Jackson’s looks as it has over the last 2 weeks, but we still like Jackson’s big play potential in this match up. UPDATE: With Reggie Brown and Brian Westbrook both out for Sunday's game against San Francisco, Jackson will be the go to guy in the Eagles offense. He is a must start.

16. Wes Welker (NE) – While he still hasn’t found the end zone yet this season, he is about as rock solid consistent as you could ask for with his reception and yardage totals from week to week. He is especially solid in PPR leagues. It is only a matter of time before he hits pay dirt and week 6 appears as promising as any for him to do so. He will face San Diego on Monday night and the Chargers have given up more receiving yards and TD’s (10) than any other team in the NFL.

17. T.J. Houshmandzadeh (CIN) – He is starting to settle back in as an elite fantasy WR and now has 3 TD grabs in his last 3 games with no less than 50 yards receiving. As long as Carson Palmer remains healthy, Housh should continue to play at a high level, and that includes a week 6 meeting with the Jets. The Jets rank 31st in the NFL against the pass and they have allowed 7 passing TD’s in just 4 games. Houshmandzadeh is a must start with this very favorable match up. UPDATE: Ryan Fitzpatrick will start in place of Carson Palmer at QB against the Jets on Sunday. This will likely prove detrimental to Houshmandzadeh's fantasy value this week. While you should lower your expectations, the match up is still excellent and Housh is far too talented to bench.

18. Steve Breaston (ARI) – With the exception of his lack of a TD catch, Breaston has come up huge in the absence of Anquan Boldin with 16 catches for 199 yards in the last 2 games. Boldin looks doubtful to return again this week, so you obviously have to like his chances for another big fantasy effort against the Cowboys. Dallas ranks mid pack in pass defense and they will be without two of their best defensive backs in this match up. Breaston makes for a solid WR2 or flex, so long as Boldin is out of the Cardinals line up.

19. Donald Driver (GB) – He had a solid rebound in week 5 with 68 receiving yards and a TD. Driver should stay on track in week 6 with a favorable match up against Seattle. The Seahawks pass defense ranks 25th in the NFL and they have allowed 7 TD receptions in 4 games. Seattle’s secondary has progressively taken a turn for the worse every week, and they are no match for a Green Bay passing attack in which Driver is a key component.

20. Isaac Bruce (SF) – You can’t say much for his reception and yardage totals this season, but Bruce certainly has a nose for the end zone. He now has 4 receiving TD’s in his last 3 games. While he will be challenged this week by a solid Eagles secondary, we like any fantasy WR that is on a TD streak. Hopefully, Bruce’s momentum will carry over to week 6, but it will be a tough match up.

21. Marques Colston (NO) – He is probably questionable at best this week, but he has been practicing, and that’s always a good sign. You should monitor his situation closely and if it appears that he will play without limitations, get him in your line up fast. If you already have three quality options at WR this week, you might be best served taking a wait and see approach with Colston as he might be a little rusty or limited, but if you don’t, we suggest rolling the dice. He is risky for week 6, but if he looks good to go, you should have him on your fantasy roster. UPDATE: Colston is expected to play on Sunday. He may be limited and/or rusty to some extent, so there is some risk here, but Colston should be in your starting fantasy line up unless you already have great options in place for week 6.UPDATE2: Colston has been declared inactive for week 6 after all. Do not use him. OUT FOR WEEK 6: thumb

22. Torry Holt (STL) – He has been fairly quiet so far this season with constant double teams and sputtering QB play. We still believe Holt is a capable fantasy WR, but he is going to need more help than he is currently getting to truly be effective. Hopefully, the Rams recent coaching change will have a positive impact. Holt will face the Redskins in week 6, and while the Washington defense is playing well overall, they are vulnerable against the pass. Holt is capable of a big game any week, but you will probably want to continue to lower expectations until he starts showing some consistency.

23. Braylon Edwards (CLE) – Hopefully, Edwards had a chance to work out the kinks during the bye week. He did have a TD in his last game, but he still looked fairly pathetic otherwise. Edwards has a tough week 6 match up on Monday night against the Giants. The Giants currently have the 2nd best pass defense in the NFL and have only allowed 3 TD’s through the air so far this season. There is no question that Edwards will have his work cut out for him with this match up, but maybe the big Monday night stage and the long awaited return of Donte’ Stallworth will help bring out the best in him, but don’t count on it. At this point, Edwards is living off of potential alone. If it weren’t such a poor match up week for WR’s, we might even suggest benching him if you have better options, but there just aren’t many great ones out there this week.

24. Calvin Johnson (DET) – With Dan Orlovsky as the likely starter at QB for Detroit against the Vikings, you have to be concerned about Johnson’s fantasy potential heading into week 6, and with just cause. It’s not like Johnson has been tearing it up of late even with Jon Kitna under center, but Orlovsky certainly won’t help matters any. Johnson still has decent potential with a favorable match up against Minnesota’s 24th ranked pass defense, but you might want to lower expectations if Orlovsky is running the already sputtering Lions offense. Check injury report: knee

25. Muhsin Muhammad (CAR) – He has been playing very well of late and now has a TD catch in each of his last 2 games. With his recent success, we would have him ranked higher, but we are a little skeptical about his week 6 match up. While the Tampa Bay pass defense doesn’t look all that scary on paper, they have been extremely tough on #2 WR’s this season. Just look at Eddie Royal’s numbers last week, Donald Driver’s stat line in week 4 and so on and so on. Muhammad is certainly talented enough to buck the trend, but just beware.

26. Roy Williams (DET) – He is coming off of his best game of the season from a yardage and reception perspective, but Williams hasn’t shown much in the way of consistency to this point, and he hasn’t found the end zone since week 1. While Williams has a favorable match up against the Vikings 24th ranked pass defense in week 6, he will likely be limited to some extent with back up QB Dan Orlovsky expected to start for the Lions. Williams is talented enough to merit a starting spot on your fantasy roster, and he does have a nice track record against Minnesota, but expectations should be lowered a bit if Orlovsky is running the Lions offense this week. Check injury report: hip

27. Bobby Engram (SEA) – He didn’t find the end zone in week 5, but he was impressive returning from injury against a stout Giants secondary with 8 catches for 61 yards. He has amazing chemistry with QB Matt Hasselbeck and we really like his potential for week 6 against Green Bay. The Packers secondary is pretty beat up right now and they have really struggled in recent games stopping the pass. Engram is definitely worth using as a WR2 in week 6. UPDATE: Charlie Frye and not Matt Hasselbeck is expected to start for the Seahawks at QB this week. Frye is a capable QB, but he likely won't have the chemistry that Engram had with Hasselbeck. You should lower previous expectations.

28. Vincent Jackson (SD) – With Chris Chambers expected to miss Sunday night’s game against the Patriots with an ankle injury; Jackson should see an increased role in the Chargers passing attack. He still isn’t the top receiving option for Phillip Rivers and he is far from dependable, but he should have more opportunities than usual. A match up against New England isn’t extremely promising, but Jackson does possess big play potential. Check injury report: knee

29. Matt Jones (JAX) – While Jones took a back seat to Mike Walker last week as David Garrard’s favorite target; week 6 will be a different story. Why you ask? because Mike Walker probably won’t play due to a knee injury and the rest of the Jaguars WR’s have been pretty much worthless to this point. We also really like his match up this week. Jones will face Denver’s 30th ranked pass defense, and he should be targeted early and often. We think this could be a breakout week for him, but Jones is still a bit risky with Jacksonville’s inconsistent passing game.

30. Lance Moore (NO) – He was mildly disappointing last week and there is a decent chance that Marques Colston could return in week 6. That said, we still expect Moore to start this week and receive plenty of targets in the Saints pass heavy attack. The match up might prove difficult for Moore as Oakland is fairly solid at CB, but the Raiders are only middle of the road in pass defense on paper, and they will probably have difficulty of their own matching up with the potent passing attack led by Drew Brees. UPDATE: Marques Colston is expected to play this week. We still believe Moore will continue to play a fairly significant role for the Saints, but you may want to lower expectations a bit.

31. Marvin Harrison (IND) – So far, he is looking more like the old Marvin Harrison rather than the Marvin Harrison of old that we were expecting to see. He has shown flashes of his former glory from time to time, but they have been few and far between. We still think he has a big game or two left in him, but it doesn’t seem very likely to come in week 6 against the Ravens top ranked pass defense. Regardless, Harrison is still worthy of fantasy use as a WR3 in the pass heavy Colts offense.

32. Devin Hester (CHI) – He is actually starting to show promise as a WR, and with Brandon Lloyd expected to be out again in week 6, Hester is a worthy fantasy option. In his last 2 games, Hester has totaled 108 yards with 2 TD’s. He should continue to get looks in a favorable week 6 match up against Atlanta. Hester also adds fantasy value as a very dangerous return specialist.

33. Chad “OCHO CINCO” Johnson (CIN) – Once again, Johnson played another gem in week 5. Johnson now only has 14 receptions, 1 TD reception, and has yet to reach the 50 yard mark in any of his 5 games this season. While you have every right to ignore what we are about to tell you and bench him, Johnson does have potential for week 6. Not so much because he is playing well, because he isn’t, but mostly because the Jets are just that bad in defending the pass. The Jets have given up 7 TD’s through the air in 4 games and only 1 other team in the NFL has given up more passing yards on average than they have. He is obviously a liability at this point, but this match up may be too good to pass up. UPDATE: Carson Palmer will be out at QB this week which means that Ryan Fitzpatrick will be throwing to Johnson against the Jets. While this might sound like horrible news for Johnson, he did have his only TD catch and best fantasy effort of the season with Fitzpatrick under center against Cleveland.

34. Greg Camarillo (MIA) – He has seen an increase in his fantasy production every week this season. In week 5, Camarillo had 68 yards receiving and a TD, so if the trend continues, he could be in for a big game against Houston in week 6. That said, the Texans pass defense is not a pushover and Camarillo will be hard pressed to better his week 5 numbers.

35. Brandon Stokley (DEN) – He is on a hot streak, but if Eddie Royal plays this week, Stokley’s fantasy potential will be limited. While he makes for a decent bye week fill in, we still aren’t sold on him as a week to week fantasy option. UPDATE: Royal's ankle injury looks shaky at best. Feel free to use Stokley this week as he will likley see a fair number of targets against a soft Jacksonville secondary. If Royal is unable to play, Darrell Jackson, not Stokley will take his place. Stokley will remain in the slot, but that is where he is most effective anyway.

36. Antonio Bryant (TB) – He isn’t lighting up opposing defenses in relief of the injured Joey Galloway, but he possesses the potential to do so. Bryant will face the Panther’s 3rd ranked pass defense in week 6. While the match up does not look all that great on paper, Bryant should see plenty of targets, and he is capable of solid production.

37. Derrick Mason (BAL) – In spite a difficult week 6 match up against the Colts 4th ranked pass defense, Mason should continue to produce on the consistently acceptable level fantasy owners are accustomed to. He is one of the most heavily targeted WR’s in the NFL, and as long as Flacco continues to look his way, Mason is a threat. Like any week, you shouldn’t expect huge numbers from him, but he is a lock to get you something.

38. Eddie Royal (DEN) – It was believed that Royal would be a no go for week 6 due to an ankle injury, but he apparently practiced on Thursday, and is expected to play. There is still a chance that Royal could be a scratch on Sunday, so monitor his situation closely. If he does play, a week 6 match up against the Jaguars is certainly favorable. Jacksonville’s secondary has been torched in recent weeks and who better to exploit them again than Jay Cutler. Keep in mind that even if Royal plays, it probably won’t be at 100%, so he may be limited in that respect. Check injury report: ankle

39. Amani Toomer (NYG) – In his last 3 games, Toomer has amassed no less than 64 yards receiving, and he even has a TD catch in that stretch. He probably isn’t going to put up monster numbers against any opponent, but he may be worth a look if you are in need of a WR3 for week 6.

40. Ike Hilliard (TB) – He is a hit or miss fantasy prospect, but Hilliard does have 3 TD catches on the season including 1 in week 5. He has a tough week 6 match up against a stingy Carolina pass defense, but he should make for a capable bye week fill in.

41. Patrick Crayton (DAL) – Hit or miss as usual for a week 6 match up at Arizona.

42. Anthony Gonzalez (IND) – He has potential, but his numbers are way down of late and the match up is poor. Check injury report: concussion

43. Robert Meachem (NO) – If Colston returns this week, Meachem will likely get lost in the shuffle, but he has big play potential and should see a few targets.

44. Antwaan Randle El (WAS) – He has a great match up against a poor St. Louis pass defense, but Randle El is not a very reliable fantasy WR.

45. Rashied Davis (CHI) – A long shot with sleeper value against a shaky Falcons pass defense in week 6.

46. Devery Henderson (NO) – He’s capable, especially coming off a big week 5, but fairly unreliable for week 6 against Oakland.

47. Kevin Walter (HOU) – The potential is always there, but his production has been on the downward slide of late.

48. Bryant Johnson (SF) – With the exception of a strong week 2, he has yet to really show up.

49. Bobby Wade (MIN) – Possession receiver with solid potential in PPR leagues.

50. Chansi Stuckey (NYJ) – He’s a legit TD threat, but you can’t always count on that.

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