Must Start: The Top 15
1. Randy Moss vs. NYG - Once
again, this is predicated entirely on whether Randy actually plays.
Though he suited up last week, the Vikes didn't need him and,
smartly, gave him most of the day off. They might need him this
week and if my sources are to be believed, he appears ready to
go. If you're a gambler, play him. If not, go with someone like...
2. Javon Walker @ WAS - I don't
know how your league tallies 'em up but in my league, he's the
top fantasy point-getter at the receiver position. Of course,
that might be because he hasn't had a bye yet. Nevertheless, there
isn't a corner in the league he can't get behind and we all know
Favruh can chuck it long with the best of them. He's a great play
regardless of the matchup.
3. Terrell Owens vs. BAL - Geez,
T.O. You think maybe the media keeps harping on you because you
can't stop SAYING STUPID THINGS??? His latest stunt (calling out
HOF'er Ozzie Newsome) is likely to put a great, big bull's eye
on his back this weekend
as if it wasn't already there after
he jilted the Ravens this past offseason. Start him but don't
be surprised if he gets carried off on a stretcher.
4. Andre Johnson vs. JAX - His
98.5 yards per game is tops in the AFC and good for third overall
(behind Walker and T.O.) He returns just in time for a shootout
with the Jags at Reliant this weekend. If Leftwich continues his
hot streak, the Texans will need several Johnson counterpunches
to keep it close.
5. Roy Williams @ DAL - Where
would Detroit be without him? Take a look at the Green Bay game
(Week 6) if you want an indication. He's the perfect package of
size, speed, leaping ability, and hands. Still can't believe I
grabbed him with the 7th pick (!!!) in our yearly rookie draft.
6. Derrick Mason vs. CIN - For
that matter, where would Tennessee be without HIM? He's never
caught 100 balls in a season but is on pace to do so this year
the Titans are still 2-5. The loss of McNair hurts but Billy Volek
is better than he's looked so far and will start showing it this
week against a dubious Cincy secondary.
7. Marvin Harrison @ KC - I
know, I know. I left him off the list last week and he promptly
made me look like an idiot by catching two touchdown balls. I
made a mistake but there's no question his value has taken a dip
this year. He's only averaging 61 yards per contest and also has
a lot more competition than he used to have. Take it for what
8. Hines Ward vs. NE - He's
caught no fewer than six balls in every single game this season,
which should be reason enough to make him your #1 guy. The only
problem? He's not getting into the end zone. Expect that to change
as Big Ben gets even more comfortable with the offense.
9. Darrell Jackson vs. CAR -
I have no idea when Koren Robinson's pending suspension will hit
but I'm not sure it makes any difference. D Jax is the man in
Seattle and, moreover, is the only reliable receiver on the roster.
That means he'll continue to get plenty of balls thrown his way.
Though he'll drop a few (who in Seattle doesn't?) he'll catch
more than enough to make up for it.
10. Jimmy Smith @ HOU - He's
been the leading receiver in every Jags game thus far, something
no other NFL receiver (not even T.O.) can boast of. Think maybe
teams will start figuring out he's the only reliable target? Until
they do, he's a great start as your #1 wideout.
11. Chad Johnson @ TEN - Predictably,
"7-11" saved his biggest splash for the national television
audience this past Monday (149 yards and a score). The touchdown
grab was hardly impressive (he was wide open) but the fact he
and Palmer attacked Champ Bailey all night certainly was. He needs
to build on the great performance against a Titans secondary that
has developed some leaks of late (235 yards per game and 12 TDs).
12. Amani Toomer @ MIN - He's
scored five or more touchdowns in each of the past six seasons
but is currently on pace to score
none. What the
looks like a good bet to break out this week as the G-Men will
be involved in a track meet at Minnesota. Of course, I've said
that before. Your guess is as good as mine, folks.
13. Marcus Robinson vs. NYG
- Maybe Toomer could take lessons from Mr. Robinson while he's
in the Twin Cities. Minny's #2 wideout has scored five touchdowns
the past three WEEKS. In fact, his six total TDs ties him with
Javon Walker and puts him right behind teammate Randy Moss and
T.O. for the league lead. Pretty rare company indeed for a guy
who probably went undrafted in some leagues.
14. Donald Driver @ WAS - Believe
it or not, his 40 catches and four TDs are good for 8th place
in both categories. Raise your hand if you knew this. He's not
Favre's #1 target anymore but he sure makes for a helluva good
#2 man. I know this because he's mine in two leagues.
15. Keyshawn Johnson vs. DET
- The injury to Terry Glenn leaves MeShawn as Vinny's go-to guy.
That's not entirely a bad thing when you factor in how much the
'Boys are chucking it these days. He's still a matchup nightmare
for smallish corners and though he won't be anyone deep, he's
a dangerous red zone threat
provided Dallas can GET in the
red zone occasionally.
Grab A Helmet:
Reggie Wayne @ KC - I wouldn't
read too much into his scuffle with Peyton this past Sunday. He
was no doubt frustrated by the lack of attention and simply picked
a bad time to vent. The head Colt is smart enough to know his
squad is infinitely more dangerous with Wayne in the mix and it
wouldn't surprise me at all if he looked for a deep hook-up with
the former Cane early on in the contest at Arrowhead. You heard
it here first.
Brandon Stokley @ KC - Of course,
if Peyton can't find Reggie, Stokley will probably be open. He
can usually be found running by an unsuspecting safety down the
seam, where he does most of his damage. I don't normally suggest
playing #3 receivers but the #3 receiver for the Colts is better
than most #2s and some #1s. Start him.
David Givens @ PIT - Here I
go again. You never know who's gonna step up for the Pats (wasn't
David Patten finished?) but he's as good a bet as any. He's the
most physical of the New England wideouts and definitely has the
most upside. Then again, upside and $3 might get me a double latte
at the local Starbucks. I said might.
Larry Fitzgerald @ BUF - Perhaps
we should hold off engraving Roy Williams' name on the Rookie
of the Year hardware? The return of Anquan Boldin (he's a go this
week) should make the exciting rook even more dangerous now that
teams are forced to contend with other receivers. He definitely
has the skills to make #2 cornerbacks look foolish on a regular
Rod Smith vs. ATL - There's
nothing particularly exciting about this sage veteran but he's
still managing to post some good numbers. It helps that The Snake
often looks for him in bailout situations (3rd down and long).
I imagine he'll continue to do so as the young Ash Lelie is still
more exciting than reliable.
Grab Some Wood:
Any Ravens receiver @ PHI -
No explanation necessary.
Plaxico Burress vs. NE - From
the doghouse to the penthouse and back to the doghouse. Who taught
this guy how to deal with the media, T.O.? He always manages to
say something stupid when he can least afford to do so. Last I
checked, calling out an all-Pro and two-time Super Bowl winner
(Ty Law) is no way to fly under the radar. Prepare for a disappointing
Week 8, Plax fans.
Any Panthers receiver @ SEA
- I can't imagine you rely on any of these guys but Delhomme is
looking more and more desperate with every passing week. The only
one worth owning is Keary Colbert and even he is likely to struggle
against an aggressive and opportunistic Seattle secondary. Steer
Chris Chambers @ NYJ - It's
feast or famine with this guy and though a coin flip could just
as easily decide what it'll be this week, I'm betting on famine.
The Jets are getting solid pressure up front and that will likely
negate Chambers' ability to get downfield.
Best of luck, folks!