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August 12, 2008

Fantasy Football Week 2 WR Rankings

1. Plaxico Burress (NYG) – After watching the Rams secondary get torched last week by the Eagles second string WR’s and watching Burress go off on the Skins, it only makes sense that Burress is a must start WR1 for week 2.

2. Reggie Wayne (IND) – He is coming off of a big week 1, and week 2 looks equally promising against a shaky Vikings pass defense.

3. Greg Jennings (GB) – In his only start against the Lions last season, Jennings pulled in 5 passes for 60 yards and 2 TD’s. The Lions secondary looks to be even worse this season, so another monster game is highly possible.

4. Randy Moss (NE) – There is no doubt that losing Tom Brady for the season will have an impact on Moss’ fantasy value. How much will depend on back up QB Matt Cassel and his ability to develop chemistry with Moss. Regardless, Moss should maintain his status as one of the better week to week WR options. We’ll know more after week 2, but Moss is still a must start. Check injury report: back

5. Larry Fitzgerald (ARI) – He had a solid week 1, mostly because he found the end zone, but Fitzgerald was not targeted nearly as much as we expected. We anticipate that he will be targeted early and often against the Dolphins in week 2, and is a no brainer for your fantasy roster.

6. Terrell Owens (DAL) – Owens has had very mixed results against his former team (Eagles) over the last 2 seasons as a Cowboy, but he really only has one huge game against them to his credit. The week 2 match up against Philadelphia will once again be a difficult challenge for him, but T.O. is more than capable.

GAME POSTPONED DO NOT START 7. Andre Johnson (HOU) – When he is healthy, Johnson is without question one of the top 3 WR’s in the NFL. It doesn’t seem to matter who he is up against, this guy produces and produces big. Johnson made a very good Steelers secondary look silly in week 1. He will have an equally tough match up in week 2 against the Ravens, but we fully expect him to be up for the challenge.

8. Calvin Johnson (DET) – After a strong week 1 performance, it appears that a healthy Calvin Johnson is finally going to live up to expectations. Johnson's best fantasy effort of the ’07 season came at home against the Packers with 7 receptions for 83 yards and a TD in spite of a bad back. We would not at all be surprised if he surpasses those numbers this time around against Green Bay. Plus, we expect the Lions will have to throw the ball a lot in week 2 with that defense.

9. Brandon Marshall (DEN) – He will return after serving a one week suspension, and after the air show that Jay Cutler put on last week, the timing couldn’t be better. Marshall will likely be matched up against All Pro CB Antonio Cromartie when the Broncos take on the Chargers at home, so week 2 will not be a cake walk for him, but he has the tools to get the job done.

10. Hines Ward (PIT) – While last week’s stellar 2 TD performance was impressive in its own right, that is not the biggest reason why Ward cracks our top 10 this week. The real reason is that Ward was able to hit pay dirt against his week 2 opponent, not once, but twice last season, and after watching the Browns secondary in week 1; Ward’s odds of finding the end zone again on Sunday night look fairly promising.

11. T.J. Houshmandzadeh (CIN) – He accounted for nearly half of Carson Palmer’s week 1 passing yards, unfortunately, Palmer only threw for 99 yards in week1, so that isn’t saying much. This offense will have to really step it up if Houshmandzadeh is going to even come close to last year’s success. The good news is that Houshmandzadeh had 7 catches for 66 yards against the Titans last season. The bad news is that this Titans defense (supposing Albert Haynesworth is healthy) is much better than the beat up version that played the Bengals in ’07. It will be another big test for him and the Cincinnati offense, but he should bounce back from a mediocre week 1.

12. Anquan Boldin (ARI) – He ended up with 8 catches for 82 yards in week 1, not bad for a guy that had 0 touches in the first half. Unfortunately, he was shut out of the end zone in both halves, but that is all the more reason to believe that he will make up for it in week 2 against a sub par Dolphins secondary.

13. Marvin Harrison (IND) – While the Harrison and Manning show had its shaky moments in week1, it looked pretty solid under the circumstances. Now that they each have a game under their belt, and the rust is knocked off, we like Harrison’s chances to better his week1 numbers against a shaky Vikings pass defense.

14. Jerricho Cotchery (NYJ) – He only had 3 catches in week 1, but he made it a successful fantasy day when he streaked to the end zone on a 56 yard pass from Brett Favre that was reminiscent of Favre to Greg Jennings last season. The magic number for Cotchery in week 2 is 6, because that is exactly how many receptions he has had against week 2 opponent New England in each of his last 4 games against them, and it is also the number of points he will get if he finds the end zone. We like his chances with the budding chemistry between himself and Favre.

15. Donald Driver (GB) – His 4 catch 38 yard performance in week 1 is a little deceiving when you take into account that Driver had a 70 yard TD catch called back on a ticky tack penalty. There should be greener pastures ahead for Driver in week 2 against Detroit. In his only game against them last season, Driver had 10 receptions for 147 yards. He probably won’t match that this time around, but karma should get him into the end zone.

16. Wes Welker (NE) – Like Randy Moss, you have to expect some drop off in Welker’s production with Tom Brady gone for the season, but it probably won’t be as prominent with Welker as he will remain the safety net, and should continue to see plenty of targets. The question is can Matt Cassel get him the ball? Our guess is yes, but it is too early to tell. Regardless, he has a pretty good match up against New York in week 2. Welker had 6 catches for 61 yards and a TD last season against the Jets at the Meadowlands.

17. Santonio Holmes (PIT) – He was a huge disappointment in week1 after catching only 2 passes for 19 yards. We fully expect him to rebound in week 2 against a soft Browns pass defense. He is too talented to play that poorly in back to back weeks.

18. Roy Williams (DET) – He doesn’t have the best track record against week 2 opponent Green Bay, but we expect the Lions will throw a bunch in this one, and Williams has a good shot to reverse his fortunes against them. He is not a lock, but he is still a must start.

19. Braylon Edwards (CLE) – After watching an out of shape Edwards huff and puff his way to a poor 2 catch 14 yards performance in week 1, we suggest you lower your expectations of him for a couple of weeks. In addition, he faces another tough match up in week 2 against the Steelers. Edwards should be in your starting line up, basically because he’s Braylon Edwards, and he always has a shot at scoring, but don’t expect a colossal turnaround in week 2.

20. Dwayne Bowe (KC) – It doesn’t appear that Bowe is headed for a sophomore slump after snagging a TD against a solid Patriots pass defense in week 1, and after watching what Denver’s rookie WR Eddie Royal did to the Raiders secondary last week, Bowe’s week 2 match up looks to be equally promising.

21. DeSean Jackson (PHI) – After watching this guy carve up the Rams secondary for 106 receiving yards in week 1, we have confirmation that this kid is for real. We will find out just how for real in week 2 against a much tougher Dallas team on the road. If he pulls off another performance like last week and can somehow add a TD, Jackson officially makes the Mac Bros. Christmas list and becomes our new hero (even if he did stomp all over our beloved Vols last year). It’s a tall order, but he has earned another start in week 2.

22. Chad “Ocho Cinco” Johnson (CIN) – He was basically non existent for much of the Bengals week 1 game against the Ravens, but then again, so was the entire Cincinnati offense. The good news is that 85 will face the Titans defense in week 2. Johnson had a career game against them last season catching 12 passes for 103 yards and 3 TD’s. The bad news is that he will be facing a much better and very angry Titans defense in week 2. Tennessee has been waiting all year for pay back after Johnson rubbed his big day in their faces every chance he got. Johnson may continue to be limited by his injured shoulder, but he is still a must start.

23. Chris Chambers (SD) – Despite being targeted early and often in week 1, Chambers only had 1 catch, but it was a big one that went for a 44 yard TD. He had 4 catches for 71 yards and a TD against week 2 opponent Denver last season. Chambers is not as consistent as fantasy owners would like, but he may be the Chargers best weapon this week with Antonio Gates and LaDainian Tomlinson a bit gimpy with toe and hip injuries.

24. Joey Galloway (TB) – Despite a 44 yard TD catch, Galloway did not fare all that well in 2 games against the Falcons last season, but that was with DeAngelo Hall covering him. Now that Hall is gone off to Oakland, Galloway has a fresh start against Atlanta’s young and inexperienced corner backs. While this is purely speculation on our part, we like Galloway’s chances against the Falcons in week 2.

25. Torry Holt (STL) – Hopefully father time has not finally caught up with the NFL’s most consistent WR, but after an unheard of 1 catch 9 yard outing in week 1, you have to wonder if the days of “Big Game” Torry Holt might be winding down. Holt was consistently double teamed after Drew Bennett was lost with a broken foot, and the Rams were left without a viable #2 WR to take the heat off of him. Even though he will likely face a similar situation against the Giants in week 2, we still have hope that last week’s performance was just a fluke, but it does not bode well. Regardless, Holt is worthy of another chance and should rebound when the match ups are a little better.

26. Eddie Royal (DEN) – While you can’t expect him to repeat the amazing totals he reached in week 1 with the return of Brandon Marshall, Royal should remain a productive and prominent part of the Broncos offense in week 2. He has earned a second start on your fantasy roster, and with star Charger’s CB Antonio Cromartie likely covering Marshall for most of the game, Royal could even end up with the better day. Check injury report: ankle, full practice on Thursday, expected to start

27. Santana Moss (WAS) – You probably can’t expect Moss to return to elite prominence as a fantasy WR, but 5 catches and a week 1 TD, was not a bad way to kick off the season. He should have ample chance to repeat or exceed his week 1 totals against the Saints at home in week 2.

28. Roddy White (ATL) – With rookie Matt Ryan at QB, it may take some time for White and Ryan to develop a strong chemistry. Ryan did connect with White last week for a 46 yard gain, but he was pretty quiet otherwise. The fact of the matter is that the Falcons really didn’t need much from Ryan or White last week as Michael Turner basically stole the show against the Lions, but this week is a different story. Turner will have a harder time running all over Tampa Bay’s defense, and White’s services will likely be called upon much more. White does not have a rich history against the Bucs, but he should be in your fantasy line up as a #2 or 3 WR.

29. Muhsin Muhammad (CAR) – He had a decent week 1 pulling in 6 passes for 56 yards against a stout Chargers secondary. Muhammad was targeted often in week 1 and we expect more of the same in week 2. This is the last week that Carolina will be without go to WR Steve Smith, so it is probably Muhammad’s best opportunity for a strong fantasy week. Plus, Muhammad will be facing his former team, the Bears, so we are sure he will play with a little more fire than usual this week. He is not a bad fantasy option for week 2.

30. Lee Evans (BUF) – The often inconsistent Evans had a pretty nice start to his ’08 campaign going over 100 yards receiving in week 2. While Evans has the tools to produce against any defense, he will have his work cut out for him in week 2. Evans will be matched up against Jacksonville’s shut down CB Rashean Mathis. Mathis held Evans to just 2 catches and 19 yards last season. This is not an ideal match up for Evans, but he has far too much talent to sit him on your bench.

31. David Patten (NO) – He is not an ideal starting fantasy WR, but he is a battle tested veteran capable of making big plays when given the opportunity. Now that Saints go to WR Marques Colston is sidelined for several weeks after hand surgery, that opportunity is now for Patten. He is a slightly risky start, but you know the Saints are still going to throw the ball a ton, and Patten is likely to be one of the bigger beneficiaries. Patten caught a 39 yard TD pass in week 1 as well.

GAME POSTPONED DO NOT START. 32. Derrick Mason (BAL) – Mason is probably going to have his ups and downs this season so long as rookie QB Joe Flacco is at the helm, but week 1 was not a bad start for him. We like his chances even better in week 2 against the Texans. He plays a very similar brand of football to Pittsburgh WR Hines Ward, who scored 2 TD’s against Houston last week. Mason also has a very good history against the Texans.

33. Bryant Johnson (SF) – While Johnson was not that impressive in week 1, we like his chances in week 2. In his last 4 games against Seattle, he has 3 TD catches, and they all came in mop up duty as a back up in Arizona. Now that he is the anticipated go to WR for the Niners, Johnson’s fantasy potential is on the rise. The week 2 match up against the Seahawks looks somewhat promising for this undervalued wide out.

34. Vincent Jackson (SD) – While Jackson’s inconsistency scares us, he is coming off of a solid week 1, and he has a pretty good history against week 2 rival Denver. Jackson is never a safe start in fantasy football, but he might be worth a shot in week 2.

35. Matt Jones (JAX) – Even Jag’s QB David Garrard admits Jones has come a long way since last season and Garrard’s actions spoke even louder as he targeted Jones early and often in week 1. Jones ended up with 6 catches for 80 yards and should remain Garrard’s favorite target in week 2; even with WR Jerry Porter expected to play.

36. Patrick Crayton (DAL) – Crayton had a solid week 1 performance and looks to play a prominent role in the Cowboys offense this season. Crayton can put up numbers that rival those of top flight WR’s any week, the problem is, he can also rival numbers of the worst fantasy WR’s any week as well. Hopefully, Crayton’s days of inconsistency are behind him, but a week 2 match against Philadelphia does not bode well. Crayton has not had more than 2 catches in any of his last 4 games against the Eagles. You should consider him a talented liability for your starting fantasy roster in week 2.

37. Laveranues Coles (NYJ) – He got off to a rocky start in week 1 only catching 1 ball for 5 yards. After missing most of camp and pre season with injuries, it is clear that Coles has yet to mesh with QB Brett Favre’s style of play. It may take a little time for them to build chemistry, but we think it will happen eventually, until then, lower your expectations for him if you decide to start him. Coles can explode for a big fantasy day in any week, so do not be too quick to give up on him, but until he proves himself, don’t be anxious to start him either. Coles caught 7 passes for 59 yards and 2 TD’s against week 2 opponent New England in his only game against them last season. Check injury report: thigh

38. Anthony Gonzalez (IND) – We were actually surprised at the number of looks Gonzalez got in last week's game, but we were not surprised that he had so many crucial drops. As long as Manning keeps throwing it to him, he has a chance to have solid fantasy numbers, but if he keeps up with the butter fingers; Manning will give up on him in a hurry. Gonzalez might make a decent WR3 or flex in week 2 against a soft Minnesota pass defense.

39. Ronald Curry (OAK) – He might be worth a look if you are in need of a week 2 fantasy fill in. Curry had 10 catches and a TD in 2 games against the Chiefs last season, and figures to be JaMarcus Russell's top target this week.

40. Antwaan Randle El (WAS) – He is almost always a safe bet to catch a few passes, but TD’s are hard to come by for Randle El for whatever reason. He had a solid week 1 catching 7 passes for 73 yards, but he is not a reliable fantasy WR every week. He should get some looks in week 2 against the Saints and possibly even break his TD drought.

41. D.J. Hackett (CAR) – He could be a decent flex or WR3 fantasy play in week 2 against the Bears. Outside of a fumble that almost lost the game for the Panthers, he had a decent fantasy day against the Chargers in week 1.

42. Logan Payne (SEA) – It may seem like sort of a reach that we even have this guy ranked, but considering the WR situation in Seattle, Payne has potential in week 2’s match up against the 49ers. Courtney Taylor looks to be unreliable, and Payne looked pretty good in the short time he was in the game last week. This week he is starting, and call it a hunch, but we like his chances. That said, you would have to be somewhat desperate to start him.

43. Ike Hilliard (TB) – He had a nice week 1 with 6 catches for 45 yards and a TD coming off the bench for the Bucs. Hilliard is likely to start in week 2 against the Falcons with Antonio Bryant nursing a knee injury. He could have another solid game against a young Atlanta secondary.

GAME POSTPONED DO NOT START 44. Kevin Walter (HOU) – He is not flashy, but Walter is always capable of putting up decent fantasy numbers, as he did in week 1. Week 2 against the Ravens is not a great match up for him, but neither was last week and he scored a TD. Walter is worth a look in deep fantasy leagues only.

45. Bernard Berrian (MIN) – While Berrian has the tools to put together the occasional big game, good luck guessing when that will be. As long as Tavaris Jackson is the QB for the Vikings, Berrian is not a safe bet in any match up. He is a capable but unreliable fantasy option for week 2 against the Colts.

46. Devery Henderson (NO) – While his fantasy stock has risen somewhat with the injury to Saints go to WR Marques Colston, Henderson is still unreliable in most match ups. He did have a big 84 yard catch for a TD in week1, but you can not expect that from him every week. He should have more opportunities, but he is notorious for dropping passes on a regular basis.

47. Jerry Porter (JAX) – He is expected to play this week, but one can never be sure how much after coming off of hamstring surgery. Porter has very solid fantasy potential when healthy, but unless you are desperate, you might want to take a wait and see approach with him this week to gauge his progress. Check injury report: hamstring, downgraded to questionable for week 2 on 9/12

48. Javon Walker (OAK) – He will return from a hamstring injury to play in Oakland’s week 2 match up against the Chiefs. Walker has potential, but coming off of that kind of injury is never easy. It will also be difficult to make a big splash with 2nd year QB JaMarcus Russell running the Raiders offense. You are best served seeing how he looks this week before throwing him into the fire that is fantasy football.

49. Amani Toomer (NYG) – Toomer has become increasingly unreliable as a fantasy wide out, but this week’s match up against a very weak St. Louis secondary holds a lot of potential for him.
50. Isaac Bruce (SF) – We were both surprised, and disappointed that Bruce was held without a catch in week 1. As the 49ers #1 WR in a Mike Martz offense, it is borderline absurd. Bruce may be worth another look in week 2 if you are desperate, but if he doesn’t produce this week, it may be time to look elsewhere.

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