Chris Wesseling

Goal Line Stand

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Week 15 Rankings

Sunday, December 16, 2012


Week 15 Wide Receivers 

Rank Player Name Opponent Notes
1 Calvin Johnson at ARZ Probable (knee)
2 A.J. Green at PHI -
3 Julio Jones vs. NYG -
4 Brandon Marshall vs. GB -
5 Demaryius Thomas at BAL Probable (shoulder)
6 Andre Johnson vs. IND -
7 Vincent Jackson at NO -
8 Victor Cruz at ATL -
9 Reggie Wayne at HOU -
10 Wes Welker vs. SF Questionable (ankle)
11 Marques Colston vs. TB -
12 Danario Alexander vs. CAR -
13 Roddy White vs. NYG -
14 Randall Cobb at CHI -
15 Dez Bryant vs. PIT Questionable (finger)
16 Steve Smith at SD -
17 Mike Wallace at DAL -
18 Hakeem Nicks at ATL -
19 Miles Austin vs. PIT Probable (hip)
20 Danny Amendola vs. MIN Probable (heel)
21 Eric Decker at BAL -
22 Mike Williams at NO -
23 Josh Gordon vs. WAS -
24 Cecil Shorts at MIA Probable (concussion)
25 Pierre Garcon at CLE Probable (foot)
26 Michael Crabtree at NE -
27 T.Y. Hilton at HOU -
28 Torrey Smith vs. DEN -
29 Lance Moore vs. TB -
30 Kenny Britt vs. NYJ -
31 Stevie Johnson vs. SEA -
32 Jeremy Maclin vs. CIN -
33 Larry Fitzgerald vs. DET -
34 Greg Jennings at CHI -
35 Denarius Moore vs. KC -
36 Brandon Lloyd vs. SF Questionable (knee)
37 Brian Hartline vs. JAC -
38 Antonio Brown at DAL Probable (illness)
39 Sidney Rice at BUF Probable (foot)
40 Anquan Boldin vs. DEN -
41 Malcom Floyd vs. CAR -
42 Justin Blackmon at MIA -
43 Golden Tate at BUF -
44 Donnie Avery at HOU Probable (ribs)
45 Chris Givens vs. MIN -
46 James Jones at CHI -
47 Greg Little vs. WAS -
48 Riley Cooper vs. CIN -
49 Kendall Wright vs. NYJ -
50 Andre Roberts vs. DET Questionable (ankle)
51 Jeremy Kerley at TEN -
52 Alshon Jeffery vs. GB -
53 Nate Washington vs. NYJ -
54 Darrius Heyward-Bey vs. KC -
55 Kris Durham at ARZ -
56 Rod Streater vs. KC -
57 Brandon LaFell at SD Questionable (foot)
58 Donald Jones vs. SEA Probable (calf)
59 Andrew Hawkins at PHI -
60 Jon Baldwin at OAK -
61 Randy Moss at NE -
62 Louis Murphy at SD Probable (hamstring)
63 Marvin Jones at PHI -
64 Jason Avant vs. CIN -
65 Brandon Stokley at BAL -
66 Emmanuel Sanders at DAL Probable (shoulder)
67 Michael Floyd vs. DET -
68 Dwayne Harris vs. PIT -
69 Brandon Gibson vs. MIN -

 

WR Notes: Calvin Johnson has 30 receptions of 20+ yards this season. The Vikings have 21 such catches. All signs out of Arizona suggest the Cardinals will allow Patrick Peterson to check Johnson in man coverage. While Peterson’s size and athleticism make for a fascinating matchup, no cornerback can single-handedly shut down Megatron with Matthew Stafford throwing more frequently than any QB in the NFL.

The NFL’s best receiver in the first half of the season, A.J. Green is coming off what may have been his worst performance as a pro. He had a costly penalty and two drops, including a potential touchdown that would have been the difference in the game. Green certainly won’t lack for motivation this week against an Eagles defense that has allowed the ninth-most fantasy points to wide receivers. Even better, Philadelphia is 31st in pass defense against No. 1 receivers.

Only eight receivers have 1,075+ yards this season. Brandon Marshall has 1,086 more receiving yards than the next closestBears player. Just as telling, Marshall’s 1,342 receiving yards are more than the next seven Bears combined. It’s no surprise that he’s been targeted on 39 percent of the Bears’ attempts this year. … Andre Johnson and Vincent Jackson both have excellent matchups against defenses that rank in the top-four in fantasy points allowed to wide receivers. … Over his mini-slump, Cruz played as well as he has all year in last week’s win over the Saints.

Reggie Wayne has drawn 8+ targets in all but one game this season. … Marques Colston is due for a breakout game in the best matchup he will see this year. … Danario Alexander signed with the Chargers in Week 8. He already has roughly the same number of fantasy points as Larry Fitzgerald and Hakeem Nicks. Over the past five weeks, only Calvin Johnson and Dez Bryant have more fantasy points. Extrapolated to 16 games, it would be fair to expect a stat line of 75/1,270/11 from the freakishly athletic DX.

Roddy White has never missed a game. I will be shocked if that streak ends in a marquee matchup with the team that knocked him out of the playoffs last year. … With 223 receiving yards over the final three games, Randall Cobb will become the first player in NFL history to reach 1,000 yards apiece receiving and on kickoff returns. How has Cobb managed to emerge as Aaron Rodgers’ go-to receiver? Simple, explains Rodgers, “It’s because he’s open. When there is a pure progression read, he’s the guy who has been open.”

The Cowboys desperately need Dez Bryant to play through his fractured finger. The offense averages 6.0 yards per play with Bryant on the field this season compared to 3.2 yards without him. "It's an easy argument to make that Dez Bryant is among the four best wide receivers in the NFL talent-wise," says NFL Films analyst Greg Cosell. “That’s a big man, and he [has run] by people like they were standing still. You’re dealing with a big-time wide receiver.” I don’t think Dallas would give Bryant the green light unless they believed he can catch passes with his finger in a splint. Do I trust him not to be used as a decoy? As much as I trust any receiver listed below him in the rankings. You need big games to win in the fantasy playoffs. Nobody has had more big games the past month than Bryant.

Steve Smith took turns stealing lunch money from Dunta Robinson and Chris Houston in another dominant performance against the Falcons last week, his second straight 100-yard performance. … Drop Pierre Garcon to the 26-28 range if Kirk Cousins ends up starting for the Redskins. … Danny Amendola is back on the WR2 radar after putting in a full practice on Friday. … The majority of Mike Wallace’s production came in garbage time last week, but he just missed a pair of big plays downfield early in the game. His upside is worth the risk with Big Ben back under center.

Now that Josh Gordon has emerged as a more complete receiver as opposed to a situational deep threat, the Browns are poised to become the first team since the 1968 Bills with a rookie leading the team in yards at quarterback, running back, and wide receiver. … Cecil Shorts is good to go this week, but his quarterback has taken a step back since the last time he played a full game. … Torrey Smith is expected to see more than his fair share of Champ Bailey this week. … Ditto Stevie Johnson and Richard Sherman, who has been the NFL’s top cornerback this season.

Coach Mike Munchak said before last week’s game that he wanted Jake Locker and Kenny Britt to develop chemistry. The duo responded with eight catches for 143 yards, more than doubling Britt’s season-high in yards. I would hesitate to declare Britt “back” as a reliable fantasy asset, though. Both of his 46-yard grabs last week came with a defender on his hip, so it’s not like he’s gaining easy separation. Britt also has a tough matchup this week against Antonio Cromartie.

Over the past four games, the Cardinals offense has produced seven touchdowns -- three for themselves and four for the opposition. Just how bad are Arizona’s QBs? Over the past four weeks, Larry Fitzgerald has as many receptions (6) as his QBs have interceptions on throws in his direction. Fitz’s season is reminiscent of the lost years of Randy Moss (2006) under Andrew Walter/Aaron Brooks and Steve Smith (2007, 2010) under Testaverde/Carr/Moore/Clausen/St. Pierre.

It’s hardly a surprise that Jeremy Maclin and Jason Avant are coming off their best statistical games of the season against a defense that allows an NFL-worst 312 passing yards per game. Maclin has been hit-or-miss since Nick Foles took over, reaching 12+ targets and 90+ yards in two games while being held under 60 yards in the other three.  In four career 100-yard performances, Avant has averaged 20 yards the following week. I’d play Riley Cooper over the Eagles’ possession receiver.

 

Sunday Update: Dropped Pierre Garcon from WR2 to a more risky WR3 with an unknown entity starting at QB for the Redskins. Bumped T.Y. Hilton slightly in a good matchup with Johnathan Joseph covering Reggie Wayne all over the field. 

 


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Chris Wesseling is a senior football editor and Dynasty league analyst for Rotoworld.com. The 2011 NFL season marks his fifth year with Rotoworld and his third year contributing to NBCSports.com. He can be found on Twitter @ChrisWesseling.
Email :Chris Wesseling



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