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August 25, 2009

Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Start/Sit Rankings (Week 3)


1. Andre Johnson (HOU) – He was able to more than make up for a disappointing week 1 by toasting the Titans secondary for 149 receiving yards and 2 scores. While you probably can’t expect him to repeat week 2’s lofty fantasy effort, Johnson might just be in the neighborhood against a suspect Jacksonville pass defense. Start the man.

2. Marques Colston (NO) – It’s like 2007 all over again as the Brees to Colston connection appears to be back in full swing. Colston has already managed to find the end zone 3 times in his first 2 games. He should be able to continue the trend with a very favorable match up against a Buffalo pass defense that has been more than kind to wide outs through the first 2 weeks.

3. Reggie Wayne (IND) – Following a monster week 1, Wayne had high expectations heading into week 2 in what looked to be a cupcake match up against Miami. Unfortunately, the Colts barely had the ball on offense and when they did, the Dolphins threw everything but the kitchen sink at Wayne. It made for a nice evening for TE Dallas Clark, but Wayne never really had a chance. Look for him to rebound nicely against a generous Arizona secondary. He should have plenty of opportunities this week.

4. Larry Fitzgerald (ARI) – He will have his work cut out for him in a tough week 3 match up against a solid Colts pass defense. The good news is that Indianapolis has yet to see a passing attack anywhere close to that of Arizona and they certainly haven’t faced a WR of Fitzgerald’s caliber this year. When it comes to Fitzgerald, we have never seen a match up we didn’t like and he may be the only receiver we can say that about. That said, he does need to improve his reception and yardage totals to get back to top shelf form, but we like that he’s finding pay dirt as usual.

5. Randy Moss (NE) – We were optimistic that Moss could overcome a bad week 2 match up against shut down corner Darrelle Revis and the Jets. It just wasn’t meant to be, but week 3 has rebound written all over it against an inexperienced Falcons pass defense. Look for Moss to get back on track with this match up. Hopefully, Wes Welker will be back this week to take the heat off. Check injury report: back

6. Steve Smith (CAR) – Let’s see, a stud receiver leading the NFL in targets against a Cowboy secondary that has been torched in each of their first 2 games. We like the odds. Start him.

7. Greg Jennings (GB) – Maybe it was his sore wrist or maybe the stars were just out of alignment, but something was definitely a miss for Jennings to get shut out in week 2. It just goes to show that even the best fantasy options can go AWOL from time to time. We wouldn’t bet a major organ that it can’t happen again, but so long as he is healthy, which he now appears to be, we will recommend him for your starting line up. Jennings should rebound nicely against a weak Rams secondary. Start him with confidence in week 3.

8. Calvin Johnson (DET) – In spite of a poor set of circumstances, Megatron continues to put up numbers. He has a tough match up against the Redskins in week 3, but we haven’t seen a secondary that could shut him down yet. Johnson caught 4 passes for 57 yards and a TD against Washington last season.

9. Anquan Boldin (ARI) – If week 2 was any indication, Boldin’s hamstring is at least close to 100% and that’s bad news for the Colts pass defense in week 3. Indianapolis has given up just 278 passing yards through 2 games ranking them 1st in the NFL in pass defense. That ranking is a bit misleading, however, as the Colts have yet to face a quality passing attack. They will get their chance against Arizona and rest assured that Boldin will be at the forefront of that passing attack. Check injury report: hamstring

10. Santonio Holmes (PIT) – The Bengals pass defense is much improved, but then again so is Holmes and he has had no less than 84 receiving yards in 3 previous games against them. Holmes has developed into a high end fantasy option and should be started accordingly.

11. Vincent Jackson (SD) – He made a huge leap as a fantasy option in 2008, and following big performances in back to back weeks, Jackson appears poised to transcend to elite status in 2009. He should have ample opportunity to further that argument with a favorable week 3 match up against Miami. In 2 games, the Dolphins have allowed 8 receptions of 20 yards or more and 3 pass plays of 40 yards or more. This bodes well for the home run threat.

12. Terrell Owens (BUF) – He left quite a few fantasy points on the field last Sunday after dropping a deep ball that was sure to be a TD, but he did mange to make amends by hitting pay dirt on a late game 43 yard strike. It is disappointing to see Owens continue to drop balls and he is certainly going to need more than 4 targets a game to be effective. That said, we really like his chances in week 3 against a suspect Saints secondary. The Bills will likely be playing from behind in this game, so the passing game should be prevalent. If this turns out to be the case, targets should be plentiful for T.O. in week 3.

13. Wes Welker (NE) – Welker’s last second scratch in week 2 came as a complete surprise to everyone and probably cost some of you big time. The good news is that he did practice on a limited basis on Thursday and we are fairly optimistic that he will play, but you need to monitor his status closely as kick off nears and have a back up plan in place. If healthy, Welker should provide the missing piece in the puzzle for the Patriots passing game. We expect a big outing against an inexperienced Falcons secondary. Check injury report: knee (no practice on Friday: monitor closely)

14. Roddy White (ATL) – While he has been solid through the first 2 weeks, White has yet to perform on the level he did last season. He will likely have a big game from time to time, but with Tony Gonzalez in the picture, don’t expect it week in and week out. White will face his biggest test of the season so far against a solid Patriots pass defense in week 3. It is not a match up that he can’t easily overcome, but based on the first 2 weeks, don’t expect anything huge.

15. Chad OchoCinco (CIN) – He appears to be on the same page with QB Carson Palmer and the future is bright for #85 once again. Even with Ryan Fitzpatrick at QB, Ocho fared pretty well against the Steelers in 2008 hauling in 8 balls for 52 yards and a TD in his only game against them. The Steelers pass defense has looked pretty average without Troy Polamalu in the line up and we have high hopes for Ochocinco in week 3.

16. Steve Smith (NYG) – Consistency and big play ability is what makes a quality fantasy WR and Smith appears to posses both of those attributes, at least so far anyway. We expect the trend to continue with a favorable week 3 match up against a struggling Tampa Bay pass defense.

17. Hines Ward (PIT) – Santonio Holmes may be Big Ben’s big play receiver now, but Ward is still his go to guy. We also like the fact that Ward has had a dominate track record against the Bengals throughout his career, especially in 2007 when he had 19 receptions for 178 yards and 4 TD’s in 2 games against them. He had mixed results against the Bengals last season, but managed 60 receiving yards and a TD when he faced them in Cincinnati.

18. Dwayne Bowe (KC) – He continues to find the end zone each week, but his stats are rather unimpressive otherwise and he is not going to be able to rely on TD’s all season to save face. Bowe will certainly need to it up in a tough test against Philadelphia in week 3. He has a legitimate shot at an all around quality game as the Chiefs will likely be forced into passing mode early against the Eagles. Check injury report: hamstring

19. Donald Driver (GB) – With so much attention being paid to Greg Jennings and pass protection struggling, Driver should continue to benefit. We expect him to be targeted early and often against a weak Rams secondary.

20. DeSean Jackson (PHI) – He is battling a slight groin strain, so you need to monitor his health closely, but the multi talented sophomore receiver should be able to carry the momentum of a big week 2 into a promising week 3 match up against the Chiefs. Even with the groin strain you have to like his chances to torch Kansas City at least a couple of times on Sunday. Check injury report: groin

21. Jerricho Cothery (NYJ) – He has been a long shot to find the end zone throughout his career and that hasn’t changed, but he typically makes up for it with consistent reception and yardage totals. Cotchery should continue to be targeted often against a Titans pass defense that has been nothing short of terrible to this point. He is a must start in PPR leagues.

22. Lee Evans (BUF) – With the exception of last week’s 32 yard TD reception, Evans has done little to get excited about. That said, week 3 has the potential to be a good one. The Bills will likely be forced into passing mode early against the Saints which should breed opportunity in bunches for the speedy wide out.

23. T.J. Houshmandzadeh (SEA) – While receptions and yards are nice, we want TD’s, and so far Housh hasn’t delivered. He should continue to see plenty of targets this week even if Matt Hasselbeck doesn’t play, but needless to say, we like his chances better with Hasselbeck. He will also have his work cut out for him against a Bears secondary that has looked solid to this point. Consider Housh as more of a WR2 this week.

24. Mario Manningham (NYG) – The jury may still be out on this guy to some degree, but he looks like the real deal to us. Following 2 big weeks in a row, you would have to be nuts to leave Manningham out of your week 3 line up against a soft Bucs pass defense. Check injury report: shoulder

25. Roy Williams (DAL) – We know he has the ability and the potential, but outside of one play in week 1, he hasn’t shown us much of anything. While we like his chances to get things going against an overrated Panther pass defense in week 3, don’t get your hopes up too high.

26. Santana Moss (WAS) – It’s put up or shut up time for Moss in week 3. It doesn’t get any easier than a match up with Detroit and he should finally earn his keep. Moss torched the Lions last season with 9 catches for 140 yards and a TD and Detroit’s secondary isn’t looking much improved in 2009.

27. Braylon Edwards (CLE) – Following a solid week 2 fantasy effort, it looks like Edwards is starting to get on the same page with Brady Quinn. Look for him to be targeted early and often again in week 3 against a Ravens secondary that gave up over 436 passing yards in week 2.

28. Bernard Berrian (MIN) – He’s finally on Brett Favre’s radar and that’s never a bad thing for a big play receiver like Berrian. San Francisco is tough against the pass, but you might seriously regret not having Berrian in your week 3 fantasy line up.

29. Mike Sims-Walker (JAC) – We may be wrong, but we truly believe that this guy is the real deal and much more than just a one game wonder. Sims-Walker has big play potential and we recommend using him in week 3 against a suspect Houston secondary.

30. Derrick Mason (BAL) – He may be down, but he isn’t out. Mason has a rich tradition of beating up on the Browns and you might kick yourself for leaving him out of your week 3 line up. That said, if he doesn’t perform at a high level this week, you may want to look elsewhere for a WR3.

31. Ted Ginn (MIA) – While we have never really had much faith in Ginn as a fantasy receiver, he looks like he might be starting to put it together. We were disappointed to see him drop 2 balls in the end zone against Indy, but they were tough catches and he played a great game otherwise. He seems to be developing a solid rapport with Chad Pennington and that bodes well for week 3 against a suspect Chargers pass defense.

32. Percy Harvin (MIN) – As much as we like Harvin and his fantasy potential moving forward, his numbers are rather pedestrian if you take away the 2 TD catches. Surely you can’t expect him to find the end zone every week. He has plenty of upside, but he’s plenty risky at this point too. Hopefully, Favre will continue to look his way in the red zone, otherwise, he might be pretty quiet in week 3. Check injury report: illness

33. Laurent Robinson (STL) – So far, this kid appears to be legit. He probably won’t give you monster numbers against a solid Packers pass defense in week 3, but we do think he will see plenty of targets.

34. Johnny Knox (CHI) – We may be premature in saying this, but Knox seems to be emerging as Jay Cutler’s favorite target in the Bears passing game and we all know what that did for Brandon Marshall’s fantasy value in Denver. The speedy rookie appears to have all the necessary tools to produce on an elite level. At the very least, he’s worth a look as a WR3 against Seattle.

35. Devery Henderson (NO) – He is capable of a monster game any week, but he’s equally capable of putting up zeros on fantasy score sheets. That said, we like his chances against a struggling Bills secondary in week 3, especially if Lance Moore is out.

36. Brandon Marshall (DEN) – Until he can get on the same page with QB Kyle Orton, Marshall may be a liability in your fantasy line up.

37. Steve Breaston (ARI) – He is going to have his big games, but there are no sure things playing behind Fitzgerald and Boldin. Check injury report: knee

38. Torry Holt (JAC) – Week 2 was promising, now he has to do it on a consistent basis and find the end zone.

39. Devin Hester (CHI) – He is going to make big plays. The problem is, you never know when or where. He may also be falling out of favor with Cutler with the emergence of Johnny Knox.

40. Eddie Royal (DEN) – He has a ton of talent and fantasy potential, but it’s going down the tubes so long as Orton continues to disregard his existence.

41. Chansi Stuckey (NYJ) – He should already have 2 TD’s and he could be a sneaky play against a Titans pass defense that has been beyond terrible through the first 2 weeks.

42. Pierre Garcon (IND) –He has sleeper value this week against a suspect Arizona secondary.

43. Laveranues Coles (CIN) – The TD in week 2 was nice, but 3 catches for 20 yards in 2 weeks isn’t going to cut it. Coles is better than that. He just hasn’t proven it yet.

44. Bobby Wade (KC) – He was targeted way more than Dwayne Bowe in week 2, but big plays aren’t his specialty. Wade should serve you well in a PPR league though.

45. Nate Burleson (SEA) – He’s been solid the first 2 weeks, but he may be a liability without Hasselbeck.

46. Patrick Crayton (DAL) – You can’t underestimate him, but his inconsistency has always been an issue.

47. Nate Washington (TEN) – If our suspicions are correct, Justin Gage will be the unlucky guy that draws Jets shut down CB Darrelle Revis this week. Should that happen, Washington would be the beneficiary, immediately becoming the go to guy for Kerry Collins.

48. Jason Avant (PHI) – He’s a long shot, but based on last week’s performance, Kevin Kolb likes to throw to him and Avant is the only completely healthy receiver the Eagles have right now.

49. Mark Clayton (BAL) – A hit or miss guy with big game potential. Unfortunately, Clayton misses way more than he hits.

50. Isaac Bruce (SF) – There’s not a ton of value here, but the crafty veteran seems to be the only guy that can get open for Shaun Hill and he is due to find the end zone.

Additional noteworthy WR options for week 3:
Davone Bess (MIA)
Kevin Walter (HOU) – Check injury report: hamstring
Earl Bennett (CHI)
Donnie Avery (STL)
Brandon Stokley (DEN) – Check injury report: thigh
Muhsin Muhammad (CAR)
Robert Meachem (NO)
Antwaan Randle El (WAS)
Justin Gage (TEN)
Kelly Washington (BAL)
Louis Murphy (OAK)
Kevin Curtis (PHI) – Check injury report: knee
Chris Henry (CIN) – Check injury report: quad
Michael Clayton (TB)
Chris Chambers (SD)

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