Must Start: The Top 15
1. Randy Moss @ NO - Moss' numbers
against Green Bay alone would comprise a pretty good career for
most receivers. Imagine his glee, then, upon finding out he'll
be lining up against Packer exile, Mike McKenzie, and his hair
this weekend. If you needed another reason to lick your chops,
there you go.
2. Terrell Owens vs. CAR - Let's
hope the friendly wager didn't stipulate Coach Reid has to wear
the Spidey tights on national television. Move over, Janet! The
fifteen touchdowns seems a fait accompli at this point and you
should expect nothing to change against a Carolina team suffering
one of the worst Super Bowl hangovers to date.
3. Andre Johnson @ TEN - He's
surpassed Keyshawn, Rudi, and Eric and is closing fast on Chad
for title of NFL's best Johnson. Wait
what I mean. He's what David Boston would have been had he ever
stopped taking supplements and pumping iron
Make a deal for him if you still can.
4. Javon Walker @ DET - Johnson
leads the AFC in receiving yards but Walker leads the entire league
(535 so far). That's amazing when you consider Green Bay's 1-4
start. Thanks to him and Randy, my experimental great receiver/average
running back draft strategy is paying off. Shoot me an e-mail
if you want specifics.
5. Roy Williams vs. GB - The
Pack swore they'd never draft another Terrell Buckley but, lo
and behold, that's exactly what they've done. His name is Ahmad
Carroll and he stands 5'9" on his tippy toes. The worst part?
He doesn't even know how to locate the football. That spells trouble
against a glue-fingered superstar-in-the-making, 6'2" Roy
6. Chad Johnson @ CLE - The
Oracle's latest stunt should have the marketing folks at FedEx
scrambling for his agent's cell number. Seriously, what will he
think of next? To his credit, he doesn't write too many checks
his butt can't cash. He's owned the Browns in recent years and,
provided Palmer has learned something over the bye week, should
do so again this Sunday.
7. Joe Horn vs. MIN - Readers
ask me about him on a weekly basis. What am I missing? If you
own him, you start him. Simple as that. This week, he'll take
part in a shootout against the high-octane Vikes. Do you smell
Shot Caller Guarantee? I do. Mark it down, folks.
8. Hines Ward @ DAL - Oddly
enough, the emergence of Big Ben has rendered him slightly less
valuable. The reason? His running mate is getting more looks.
It's hard to put too much faith in the mercurial Burress but for
now, keep an eye on the situation. You still want Ward, even if
his days as a one-man show are numbered.
9. Isaac Bruce vs. TB - Now
here's a running mate you can ALWAYS count on. The Reverend failed
to reach the century mark in Seattle but still notched 78 yards
on six catches. Though he's competing with several folks for attention
right now (Holt, McDonald, and even Kevin Curtis), we all know
there are plenty of touches to go around in Martz's aerial attack.
Keep playing him, even against Tampa.
10. Derrick Mason vs. HOU -
His QB appears to be healthy again and he recently put to bed
an early-season TD drought. This week, he faces a Texans squad
that was scorched by Culpepper and company on its home turf. Star
wideout plus great matchup plus rookie DB (Dunta Robinson) = stellar
11. Eric Johnson @ NYJ - He
wasn't even supposed to play last week but still managed to catch
13 balls for 162 yards and a score. Ever quick with the analysis,
his teammate, Mr. Barlow, called it a "big-ass game."
Those are certainly "big-ass" numbers for a wide receiver.
Just one problem. He's not a wide receiver. He's a FREAKIN' TIGHT
END!!! Go get him if your league mates have been sleeping at the
12. Darrell Jackson @ NE - He
finally scored a touch last Sunday (you're welcome) and all signs
point to a shootout between Super Bowl contenders this week. For
Seattle's sake, it had better be high-scoring. They have the weapons
to match the champs and nobody beats the Pats in grind-it-out
especially in Foxboro.
13. Torry Holt vs. TB - This
is probably the lowest I've rated him in over a year. That's not
so much an indictment of him as it is a testament to the number
of great receivers out there. In case you hadn't noticed, it's
a wide receivers league now. He's still one of the best so you
gotta keep starting him. Again, even against Tampa.
14. Jimmy Smith vs. KC - I thought
he lost a step? He's averaging over 18 yards per reception, a
good four yards over his career mark. Moreover, he's starting
to see the ball a lot more now that Leftwich is being forced to
air it out. That trend should continue this week as the faltering
Jags attempt to keep pace with the high-flying Chefs.
15. David Givens vs. SEA - Injuries
to Deion Branch and Troy Brown make him Brady's primary weapon
heading into Week 6. I can think of a lot worse things to be than
Tom Brady's primary weapon. After three 80+ yard games, he finally
broke through for a touch last Sunday. I wouldn't be surprised
to see him do it again in the marquee matchup this week.
Grab A Helmet:
Plaxico Burress @ DAL - For
no apparent reason whatsoever, the switch to Big Ben has breathed
life into the lungs of Plaxico's foundering career. He's running
good routes, getting deep, and making some pretty sweet catches.
Though it's dangerous to trust him (I think we've been over this),
it's difficult to ignore 60+ yards for three consecutive weeks.
Give him another shot
if you dare.
Rod Smith @ OAK - He's more
steady than spectacular but sometimes steady is all it takes.
The Broncos have a favorable matchup against the hated Raiders
this week and I'm guessing there aren't too many Broncos (Shanahan
not included) who hate them more. He steps up this week in a bitter
Brandon Lloyd @ NYJ - So THAT'S
what everyone was so stoked about. Lloyd was finally healthy enough
to contribute last week and contribute he did with a brilliant,
game-tying TD grab in the final minutes. He should see plenty
more balls thrown his way as the Niners attempt to overcome defensive
deficiencies with lots of offense. They won't succeed very often
but success is relative in the fantasy world. Give him a go if
you're short at wideout.
Drew Bennett vs. HOU - He's
quietly getting about ten looks a game which is pretty good for
a #2 receiver. He also showcased his versatility on Monday night
by throwing for a score against the hapless Pack. Hey, Drew. The
Dolphins are looking for a QB.
Reche Caldwell @ ATL - I can't
remember the last time I recommended a Chargers receiver not named
David Boston but the kid deserves some pub. He wasn't needed last
week but he's already tallied three touchdowns this year and has
solidified himself as Brees' favorite wideout. Usually, that's
not a good thing. This year? That's why I love the NFL, folks.
Grab Some Wood:
Chris Chambers @ BUF - All the
talent in the world doesn't amount to a hill of beans in this
offense. He's managed to score two touchdowns (two of Miami's
THREE touchdowns on the year) but it's hit-and-miss almost every
week. Mostly miss. Leave him on your bench if you're in a keeper
league and give him the boot if you're not. It isn't going to
Any Browns receiver vs. CIN
- Jeff Garcia and Butch Davis are clashing again, this time over
Garcia's alleged "skittishness" in the pocket. When's
the last time a verbal spat between coach and QB resulted in anything
positive? I'm waiting.
Laveranues Coles @ CHI - He
has the ability to burn me on this one but I'm only recommending
a sit because his QB sucks. Nothing personal, Lav, but wouldn't
you have been much happier in New York?
Jerry Porter vs. DEN - Alas,
it was too good to be true. The perpetually-on-the-verge Porter
seemed to get a break when the weak-armed Gannon was replaced
by the strong-armed Collins. It hasn't turned out that way. Though
we should probably give him more time, I'm cutting bait. There
are too many good receivers out there to mess around with an inconsistent
guy whose resume doesn't match his potential.
Best of luck, folks!