1. Larry Fitzgerald (ARI) – He still needs to improve on his reception and yardage totals, but Fitzgerald is still the safest bet going with regard to finding pay dirt each week and as you know, TD’s are the key to fantasy success. While the Seattle secondary has been surprisingly effective for the most part this season, they did struggle mightily against the only two passing attacks of quality they have faced so far this season (IND and CHI). It is safe to say that the Cardinals passing attack qualifies as quality and they should embarrass the Seattle pass defense in week 6. Fitzgerald had 281 receiving yards and 2 TD’s on 15 receptions in 2 combined games against the Seahawks last season.
2. Randy Moss (NE) – Sure, he was lousy in week 5, but Moss should more than make up for it against the Titans in week 6. The Tennessee secondary has been torched by elite receivers on a weekly basis this season en route to giving up 13 receiving TD’s in just 5 games. Moss rebounds in a big way on Sunday.
3. Greg Jennings (GB) – His ineffectiveness so far this season has been due in large part to poor pass protection and Aaron Rodgers inability to stay upright long enough to find him downfield. That should not be much of an issue against Detroit and the Packers get their best pass blocker, Chad Clifton, back from injury this week which should help as well. The Lions have already given up 15 TD passes through the air in just 5 games this season and Jennings had well over 100 yards receiving in each of the 2 games in which he faced Detroit in 2008. He will not disappoint again in week 6.
4. T.J. Houshmandzadeh (SEA) – Up until two weeks ago, the thought probably crossed your mind to unload this guy, but 180 yards and 2 TD’s later, aren’t you glad you didn’t? Housh is starting to get things rolling and a match up against the Cardinals could not have come at a better time. Arizona currently ranks dead last in the NFL in pass defense and they have already given up 9 TD’s to receivers in just 4 games. Week 6 is promising for Houshmandzadeh to say the least.
5. Chad OchoCinco (CIN) – Whether it be TD’s, receptions, or receiving yards; #85 continues to find a way to get the job done each and every week. He doesn’t have the best of match ups in week 6, but it is far from the worst against a middle of the road Houston secondary. Expect OchoCinco to find a way to get his numbers once again.
6. Steve Smith (NYG) – Smith has a tough task at hand in week 6 against a solid New Orleans secondary, but the NFL’s leading receiver will be targeted early and often as usual and we like his chances. He is a must start in all formats in spite of the difficult match up, but Smith should pay out bigger dividends in PPR fantasy formats.
7. Brandon Marshall (DEN) – He continues to get better with each passing week. Marshall has now scored at least 1 TD in each of his last 3 games and he has no less than 67 receiving yards during that span. In week 6, he will face a San Diego pass defense that he torched last season with a combined 24 receptions for 221 yards and a TD in 2 games. That said, the Chargers secondary is much improved over 2008, Marshall has a different QB this time around and we expect the Broncos to run the ball more this time as well. Regardless, Marshall is on a roll and makes for an excellent fantasy play once again.
8. Wes Welker (NE) – What is not to like about this guy? He is coming off of his best fantasy effort of the season and heading into his most promising match up of the season against Tennessee in week 6. Welker is a virtual lock for solid production against an extremely generous Titans secondary. Check injury report: knee
9. Mike Sims-Walker (JAC) – He was expected to have a big week 5 against Seattle. Instead, he spent the afternoon on the bench after being deactivated. Reason being that he missed bed check the night before because he apparently spent the evening entertaining a lady friend. There aren’t many reasons to excuse a guy for costing you valuable fantasy points, but in our book, that deserves a pass. Regardless, Sims-Walker will be back in week 6 (barring any lovely ladies he may come across the night before of course) and he has an excellent match up against a very shaky Rams pass defense. Sims-Walker should more than make up for last week’s debacle.
10. Steve Smith (CAR) – To this point, Smith has not given fantasy owners much cause for celebration, but we are fairly optimistic that will change in week 6. The Tampa Bay secondary has been more than generous to big play receivers all season. They have already allowed 8 pass plays of 40 yards or more in 5 games, by far the most in the NFL. The Bucs have also allowed 12 TD’s through the air. In addition, Smith had over 100 receiving yards in each of his 2 games against Tampa in 2008 and he also added one TD. The odds are strongly in his favor for week 6 in spite of his rocky season so far. Check injury report: knee
11. Nate Burleson (SEA) – He is coming off of a huge 98 yard 2 TD performance in week 5 and you might be surprised to know that Burleson now ranks no worse than 8th in the NFL in any of the following categories: receptions (4th), receiving yards (8th), receiving TD’s (6th) and targets (2nd). He should keep his impressive ’09 fantasy campaign rolling with a promising week 6 match up against Arizona. The Cardinals currently rank dead last in the NFL in pass defense. Burleson is suffering from an apparent back injury, so you will want to keep tabs on his status heading into Sunday. Check injury report: back
12. Anquan Boldin (ARI) – He is not always going to put up monster numbers, but there are only a handful of fantasy receivers that you know are going to give you something week in and week out and Boldin is one of them. In week 6, he will face a Seahawks secondary that appears solid on paper ranking 9th in the NFL against the pass. The good news is that ranking is very misleading as Seattle has only faced two opponents with formidable passing attacks and both times they got toasted (IND and CHI). Arizona falls into the category of having a formidable passing attack and they should follow suit in torching this secondary with Boldin being a major beneficiary. Boldin had 13 catches for 186 yards in his one and only appearance against Seattle in 2008.
13. Roddy White (ATL) – Surprisingly, he was able to return to elite form in week 5 with a monster performance that included 210 receiving yards and 2 TD’s. While it was promising to see him put up such huge numbers against a seemingly quality defense, you probably shouldn’t grow to expect 100 yard plus games and TD’s from him every week. As we have already seen this season, his consistency is an issue. White obviously won’t repeat last week, but he does have a decent match up against a Bears pass defense that ranks a mediocre 20th in the NFL. With momentum on his side, White should perform well in week 6.
14. Andre Johnson (HOU) – He is far too talented to bench against any opponent, but we do have a serious concern with regard to his week 6 match up against the Bengals. In the Bengals first 5 games, they have virtually shut down each and every number 1 receiver from the opposing team. The list goes as follows: Week 1- Brandon Marshall (DEN) 4 catches 27 yards, week 2 – Greg Jennings (GB) 0 receptions, week 3 – Santonio Holmes (PIT) 1 reception 18 yards, week 4 - Braylon Edwards (CLE at the time) 0 catches week 5 – Derrick Mason (BAL) 0 catches. As you can see, this does not bode well for Johnson as Houston’s top receiver, but Johnson is in a class of his own and we would not be surprised in the least if he was able to break the trend.
15. Hines Ward (PIT) – As we have stated before, Ward may not be spectacular most weeks, but he is always reliable as the go to receiver in the Steelers offense. That held true with a big performance in week 5 and we expect more of the same against Cleveland in week 6. Ward had 130 receiving yards and a TD against the Browns in 2 games last season.
16. Vincent Jackson (SD) – With week 4 being the exception, Jackson has played at an elite level so far this season and we expect that to be a continuing trend for him moving forward. That said, Jackson should be viewed as more of a WR2 prospect against a solid Broncos secondary in week 6.
17. Santana Moss (WAS) – Moss’ consistency leaves plenty to be desired, but we really like his chances in week 6 against a very generous Kansas City pass defense. The Chiefs rank just 29th in the NFL against the pass and they have already given up 10 TD’s through the air in 5 games. They were also torched by the Cowboys’ Miles Austin just last week as he accumulated 10 receptions for a ridiculous 250 yards and 2 TD’s. You can’t possibly expect Moss to match that, but a big game is certainly not out of the question.
18. Donald Driver (GB) – With the Packers recent pass protection woes, they are expected to lean more on their short passing game against Detroit this week. This should benefit Driver tremendously as Aaron Rodgers go to option in that regard. Driver is a better play in PPR fantasy formats, but he should prove productive in any format. He had 13 receptions for 163 yards in 2 games against Detroit last season and he scored a TD in each of those match ups. Pay dirt is not out of the question this time around either as the Lions have already allowed 15 TD’s through the air in just 5 games.
19. Marques Colston (NO) – He is one of the best receivers in the NFL playing in arguably the best passing offense in the NFL, but Colston’s numbers have dropped significantly in his last 2 games and it will be difficult for him to get back on track against shut down CB Corey Webster and the Giants top ranked pass defense in week 6. Regardless, you can never count him out and Colston often steps up when you least expect it.
20. DeSean Jackson (PHI) – He took a back seat to the surprising Jeremy Maclin in week 5, but now that Maclin is on opposing defenses radars, that should draw more attention away from Jackson, potentially making him even more dangerous moving forward. Jackson will likely draw coverage from Oakland’s lock down CB Nnamdi Asomugha this week, but the Eagles will move Jackson around and find ways to get him the ball. Even with the talented Asomugha, Oakland’s secondary has yet to shut down an opposing team’s top receiver all season and Jackson isn’t likely to be the first.
21. Braylon Edwards (NYJ) – If week 5 was any indication, Edwards is once again a viable fantasy option capable of big numbers any given week. He will face a Bills pass defense that has been solid to this point despite their many shortcomings otherwise. Regardless, Edwards gets targeted early and often in this match up and he makes for a solid WR2 play in week 6.
22. Dwayne Bowe (KC) – On paper, a match up against the Redskins 3rd ranked pass defense does not appear at all favorable, but when you consider that Washington has faced arguably 4 of the worst passing offenses in the NFL in the last 4 weeks (Carolina, Detroit, Tampa Bay and St. Louis), that ranking is not quite as impressive. The Kansas City passing attack is not exactly a juggernaut themselves, but Bowe is a definite bright spot for them and he will be targeted often in this match up. He is especially valuable in the red zone where he has been clutch so far this season scoring a TD in 3 of his 4 starts. While this match up does present some risk, Bowe is still plenty capable as a WR2 in week 6.
23. Santonio Holmes (PIT) – While Holmes numbers have dropped off significantly since week 1, he is always a threat to put in a huge fantasy performance any week. He doesn’t have the ideal match up to do so in week 6 against Cleveland, but Holmes is due and should produce adequate numbers to qualify as a serviceable WR2 fantasy option.
24. Derrick Mason (BAL) – We weren’t expecting him to get completely shut out, but as we stated last week, we did have a bad feeling about his week 5 match up considering Cincinnati had already shut down the top receiver of every team they had previously faced. Sure enough, they got Mason too. That said, we actually like his chances in week 6 against a shaky Vikings secondary. Mason matches up well against this defense because they love to blitz and Mason almost always performs well against blitz happy defenses. He should rebound nicely in week 6.
25. Kevin Walter (HOU) – While Walter’s production has been way down in recent weeks, we expect him to get back on track in week 6 against the Bengals. If you look at the numbers (there is actually a list under the Andre Johnson write up), you will see that the Bengals have virtually shut down each and every number 1 receiver they have faced to this point in the season. This is actually good news for Walter as he is the Texans #2 receiver and it should open the door for plenty of targets if the Bengals do in fact go hard after Johnson and they will.
26. Mario Manningham (NYG)
27. Bernard Berrian (MIN)
28. Donnie Avery (STL)
29. Antonio Bryant (TB) – Check injury report: knee
30. Percy Harvin (MIN) – Check injury report: shoulder
31. Nate Washington (TEN)
32. Steve Breaston (ARI) – Check injury report: knee
33. Devin Hester (CHI)
34. Jeremy Maclin (PHI)
35. Sidney Rice (MIN)
36. Eddie Royal (DEN)
37. Johnny Knox (CHI)
38. Torry Holt (JAC)
39. Hakeem Nicks (NYG)
40. David Clowney (NYJ)
41. Terrell Owens (BUF)
42. Devery Henderson (NO)
43. Bryant Johnson (DET)
44. Lee Evans (BUF)
45. Mike Wallace (PIT)
46. Andre Caldwell (CIN)
47. Earl Bennett (CHI)
48. Mohamed Massaquoi (CLE)
49. Bobby Wade (KC)
50. Jabar Gaffney (DEN)
Additional noteworthy WR’s for week 6:
Kelley Washington (BAL)
Dennis Northcutt (DET)
Muhsin Muhammad (CAR)
Jordy Nelson (GB)
Chris Henry (CIN)
Robert Meachem (NO)
Mark Clayton (BAL)
Mark Bradley (KC)
Julian Edelman (NE)
Lance Moore (NO)
Chris Chambers (SD)
Kenny Britt (TEN)
Michael Jenkins (ATL)
Laveranues Coles (CIN)
Justin Gage (TEN)
Mike Thomas (JAC)