Must Start: The Top 15
1. Randy Moss vs. TEN - Randy
misses games about as often as Mike Tice misses dinner but, as
of this writing, things don't look good. Though he could be hampered
by the tender hammy if he plays, you should bear in mind he needed
only two catches to post 89 yards and a touch against New Orleans
last week. Even in a limited role, he's better than everyone on
this list. And I mean everyone.
2. Terrell Owens @ CLE - How's
the saying go? It's better to be thought foolish than to open
one's mouth and remove all doubt? Too late. They don't make bulletin
boards big enough to contain his material but at least T.O. has
the ability to make others look foolish, as well. Expect a monster
game and some monstrous quotations afterward.
3. Torry Holt @ MIA - Sure hope
you didn't deal him before Monday's huge game against Tampa. Receivers
are an unpredictable lot and though he's no exception, he's certainly
more predictable than most. Expect solid numbers (100 yards?)
and another touch against a Miami team that can't keep up with
anyone, especially the Rams.
4. Joe Horn @ OAK - You dared
doubt the Shot Caller? I promised you a touchdown last week and
like he usually does. This week, he draws
a Raiders squad reeling from three consecutive (ugly) defeats.
I'm not sure New Orleans will win but I'm quite sure they'll score
20+ points. It's no stretch to think Horn will be responsible
for six of them.
5. Javon Walker vs. DAL - His
33 receptions are good but his 99.5 yards per game is even better.
Better as in better than every other NFL receiver to date. Few
corners match up with him on a size/speed basis and Dallas' undersized
duo is no exception. Expect a couple bombs and perhaps a score
at Lambeau this Sunday.
6. Reggie Wayne vs. JAX - Walker's
AFC alter ego, the emerging Wayne, is potentially even more dangerous
because of who lines up opposite him. I suspect teams will eventually
realize they can live with Marvin underneath but until they do,
the former Hurricane should be good for some more home runs.
7. Derrick Mason @ MIN - Word
on the street is he's the only receiver Air McNair trusts right
now. That's not a good thing for the Titans but it certainly bodes
well for Mason's owners. He simply must score this weekend if
the Titans have any hope of keeping apace with Minnesota. He will.
I (drum roll, please) promise.
8. Darrell Jackson @ ARI - I'm
not sure Hasselbeck trusts ANY of his receivers but if he does,
Jackson's the guy. The loss of Koren Robinson makes him a marked
man as Bobby Engram and the newly acquired Jerry Rice aren't capable
of stretching the field. Not to worry. He's more than capable
of handling the load and will rise to the challenge in Phoenix.
9. Roy Williams @ NYG - If you're
wondering how important a rookie can be, take a look at Joey Harrington's
stat line last week. The Lions simply don't' have enough weapons
to survive the loss of a playmaker such as Williams. He's healthy
for the matchup in Jersey so do yourself a favor and follow Mooch's
lead: get him back in your lineup.
10. Isaac Bruce @ MIA - He finally
laid an egg last week as his buddy, Mr. Holt, grabbed the national
spotlight. That doesn't mean he's any less valuable. Teams will
always look to contain Torry which means Bruce will still see
plenty of man-to-man coverage. I like his chances of beating most
NFL corners one-on-one.
11. Marcus Robinson vs. TEN
- Even with Moss on the field, Robinson has become a dangerous
threat in the red zone. If he ends up being the go-to guy this
weekend, you can at least take heart in the fact he's done it
before (in Chicago and, to a lesser extent, in Baltimore last
year). Make him your #2 receiver and be happy you got him so cheaply.
12. Jimmy Smith @ IND - When
you consider the Jags have only rookies and journeyman to complement
him, it's amazing he's been able to stay so productive. Nevertheless,
productive he has been. This week, he faces an Indy secondary
that is still far and away the NFL's worst (313.8 yards/game).
Expect big numbers and a score as the Jags attempt to hang with
the high-flying Colts.
13. Keyshawn Johnson @ GB -
If the Packers are smart, they won't let the diminutive Ahmad
Carroll anywhere near Meshawn. That's a fairly big "if."
Though he won't beat anyone deep, he should be able to carve out
some nice medium-range yardage and maybe a score (or two) this
14. Donald Driver vs. DAL -
Don't look now but Driver has put up two huge games in a row and
seems to be reestablishing himself as Fav-ruh's favorite target
again. Though "favorite" is a relative term in the Green
Bay offense, he's hotter than a pistol right now and should see
plenty of opportunities against an overmatched Dallas secondary.
15. Chad Johnson vs. DEN - The
one that coats is the only one he needs. Actually, make it a double.
Three catches and four drops isn't the way to make cornerbacks
ill but it's gonna take more than one lousy performance to shut
the Oracle up. He gets a chance for redemption on Monday night
and if he ever wants to play on Monday night again, he'd better
Grab A Helmet:
Michael Clayton vs. CHI - Who'd
have thought Brian Griese (of all people) would bring out the
best in him? Though he won't beat out Roy Williams for title of
best rookie receiver, he's gonna make a lot of teams wish they'd
drafted him by year's end. Listening, Jacksonville? Go ahead and
start him against a so-so Bears bunch.
Drew Bennett @ MIN - He's listed
as questionable at the moment but if he's able to go, he's a great
start against the Vikes. Games involving Minnesota are almost
always high scoring and that means you want as many participants
as you can get your hands on.
Nate Burleson vs. TEN - Like
I said: "games involving Minnesota are almost always high
." He has a decent chance of being the Vikes'
#2 receiver this week and since Daunte is throwing more than three
TD passes per game, it's not unreasonable to think he'll come
down with one of them.
Amani Toomer vs. DET - He has
yet to score a touchdown this season and don't think for a second
that's escaped the notice of Commandant Coughlin. The bye week
gave him time to figure out a way to get Amani more involved.
I suspect that scheming will manifest itself in the form a Toomer
TD this Sunday.
Ashley Lelie @ CIN - He's only
caught 16 balls in six games but when he does catch them, he makes
opponents wish he hadn't. The 19.3 yards-per-catch average is
stellar. The three touchdowns is better. The matchup with Cincy's
awful D? Best.
Grab Some Wood:
Any Ravens receiver vs. BUF
- See my Week 5 report. When you're done with that, check out
and then Week 3
Jerry Porter vs. NO - I'm starting
to think this guy needs a change of scenery. Then again, maybe
our expectations were simply too high. He has prototypical speed
and plays in the prototypical vertical offense but his stats are
anything BUT prototypical. If you were counting on a breakout
year, I'm sorry. So was I.
Donte Stallworth @ OAK - He's
another example of wasted talent but not because he plays in a
lousy offense. His hands are mostly to blame for career numbers
that fall well short of expectations. If you've been playing him
regularly, stop it. You can do better.
Best of luck, folks!