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The Shot Caller's Report - WRs/TEs
Your Weekly Guide To Fantasy Lineups
Positions: QBs | RBs | WRs/TEs

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

Must Start: The Top 15

1. Steve Smith v. DAL – Gotta hand it to the Panthers. They know who their playmaker is and will do almost anything imaginable to get the ball in his hands. He catches balls, runs end-arounds, and even returns kicks, a relative rarity in this age of prima donna wideouts. He scored twice last weekend and will be the focal point of the Carolina attack again this weekend. Make him the focal point of yours, too.

2. Chad Johnson v. BUF – On Carson, on Rudi, on T.J., on Chad! The league’s preeminent showman is promising the “greatest celebration of all time, man,” complete with leftover reindeer. Though that may not please the folks at PETA, it could be a real hoot for the rest of us. Well, that and the 75-100 yards and a score he’s likely to tally against the Bills.

3. Larry Fitzgerald/Anquan Boldin v. PHI – Their numbers are eerily similar this year (1,236 v. 1,240 yards, respectively), forcing opposing defenses to pick their poison on a weekly basis. Fitzgerald is SLIGHTLY more valuable (less injury-prone and more of a scoring threat), but that’s splitting hairs, really. If the Cards could mount some semblance of a rushing attack, they might actually have the most potent O in the league. Of course, if we had some ham, we could also have ham and eggs…if we had some eggs.

4. Santana Moss v. NYG – You want eerily similar? Check out Moss’ statistics vis-à-vis Boldin’s. Yeah, identical (1,240 yards and six scores). I like the Cardinal more than I do the less consistent Moss but at least the latter doesn’t have as much competition in Washington, save for the occasional explosion from Chris Cooley. Expect a couple of bombs and, I think, a score this weekend against the G-Men.

5. Torry Holt v. SF – The presumed switch back to Jamie Martin probably won’t affect Holt’s value much, as he’s been fairly consistent through several QB shufflings already. If anything, the Niners won’t be able to take advantage of the more experienced Martin as much, opening things up for the Rams both in the running game and the passing game. I like Holt’s chances of scoring again this weekend.

6. Chris Chambers v. TEN – Thanks to a dynamite December, Chambers is making a late push for Top 5 honors and has already secured a trip to Honolulu in February. He’s always been freakishly talented but finally seems to be getting consistent looks from his adequate QBs (Frerotte and Rosenfels). Not sure what took so long but let’s hope it continues in Week 16. He’s scored four times in his last three and could make it four (or five) of five this Saturday.

7. Rod Smith v. OAK – Smith tallied 137 yards on eleven catches last Saturday, both career highs for a guy who’s had a pretty illustrious career. It’s no wonder he was named to the AFC Pro Bowl roster, where he’ll be the oldest representative for the red guys. Expect another solid day against the hated Raiduhs in Week 16. It’s what he does.

8. Plaxico Burress @ WAS – This year’s crop of wideouts seems to be even more unreliable than most, as evidenced by the number of guys who have graced this list. Plax has been a regular member, for sure, but he’s slipping ever so slightly toward the bottom half, thanks mostly to his QBs recent ineffectiveness. Three straight games of sub-50-yard production won’t cut it this week so if you own him, hope for a sudden turnaround.

9. Antonio Gates @ KC – The league’s best tight end was held mostly in check at Indy but that’s nothing to be concerned about. He got at least one end zone look and will continue to be a go-to guy near the goal line, especially this weekend at Arrowhead. His career numbers against KC? 95.3 yards per and SIX touchdowns in three games. Yeah, I’d say he likes playing against the Chefs.

10. Joey Galloway v. ATL – Are opponents starting to figure out the Bucs’ one-dimensional passing attack? Sure seems that way of late as Galloway has now posted his two worst performance of the year in back-to-back weeks. I suspect Coach Chucky will make a concerted effort to reverse that trend this weekend. Whether he’s successful or not could have a lot to do with whether Tampa makes the playoffs. Stay tuned.

11. Drew Bennett @ MIA – It’s been a fairly disappointing campaign for the former Bruin but he’s fighting through the nagging injuries and seems to have reestablished a rapport with Air McNair. His best game of the year occurred last weekend (93 yards and two scores) and now he faces a Miami D that ranks in the lower third v. the pass. Start him.

12. T.J. Houshmandzadeh v. BUF – He’s the consummate straight man to the highly comedic C.J., playing the part of self-effacing second banana while his outlandish teammate grabs all the laughs. All the attention, though? Not likely, especially if he keeps scoring a touchdown a week. Expect another one this weekend as the Bengals hammer the hapless Bills in the Queen City.

13. Darrell Jackson v. IND – I didn’t expect a productive return for Jackson, as several of you found out, and that turned out to be a mistake. Mea culpa? At any rate, it appears D-Jax is back in fine form. Give him the start against a Colts squad that will be looking to do one thing and one thing alone: get home safe.

14. Hines Ward @ CLE – When you think about the two clowns who filled in for Big Ben this season (Maddox and Batch), it’s amazing Ward has been able to do what he has (63.8 yards/game and ten scores). Last weekend’s performance was nothing to write home about (two grabs for eleven yards) but he should bounce back against Cleveland in Week 16.

15. Roy Williams @ NO – Like most of the other Lions, he’s had a seriously disappointing season. However, he finally appears to be healthy and has even managed to build a little momentum as the ordeal winds down. He’s scored six times in his last six contests and is a good bet to punch one in this weekend, as well. Give him a start if you’re short on bodies.

Grab a Helmet:

Deion Branch/David Givens @ NYJ – If you’re wondering why I’m sitting on the sidelines in Week 16, look no further than Mr. Givens. I sat him down in favor of Joe Horn last Saturday and instantly paid the price as the former Domer tallied 137 yards and a score in the first game of the weekend. Nice move, Shot Caller. Note to self: stay away from the Pats receivers next year!!!

Samie Parker v. SD – I talked up my fellow Duck at the beginning of the year but it wasn’t until recently that he’s made me look good, averaging over 70 yards in his last four games. Though he hasn’t found the end zone since Week 11, he could find his way there this weekend in a game that promises to feature points, points…

Keenan McCardell @ KC – …and more points. I’ve recommended every other Charger, so why not McCardell, the most consistent wideout and a scorer in his last two games? I don’t think he tops the 100-yard mark (he’s done it just once this year) but 75 and a score sounds reasonable. What do you think?

Jimmy Smith @ HOU – I think the Jags would be a damn tough team to stop if they still paired McCardell with his former running mate, the ageless Jimmy Smith. After a mid-season swoon that no doubt had some of you thinking he might be slowing down, the former Tiger has turned it on of late, averaging 76 yards per over his last five. That makes him a pretty sweet start against Houston’s 26th ranked pass defense.

Eric Moulds @ CIN – He went from possibly deactivated to merely suspended to very productive in the span of two weeks, notching nine catches and 110 yards in the loss to Denver last Saturday. This Saturday, he faces a Bengals D that is willing to bend (a lot even) so long as their offense gives them a sufficient cushion. Start him.

Donte Stallworth v. DET – The switch to Todd Bouman did nothing to reverse New Orleans’ flagging fortunes (five turnovers) but it didn’t seem to affect Stallworth much, as he continued his strong play with a five-snag, 102-yard effort at Baton Rouge. No reason to think he can’t approach those numbers against the equally crummy Lions in San Antone this weekend. Give him the nod.

Grab Some Wood:

Donald Driver v. CHI – Driver hasn’t scored since November and is having a hard time finding holes in opposing secondaries these days. That happens when there’s nobody on the opposite side consistently demanding attention. I think you’re best steering clear of Packers the rest of the way, even the ones, like Driver, who have been big for you in the past.

Any Minnesota receiver @ BAL – I’ve been wrong before but I think the game in Baltimore this weekend could end up being a real snoozer, at least from a fantasy perspective. The Ravens scored a season’s worth of points last Monday night but won’t be able to duplicate the feat against Minnesota’s desperate, and fairly talented, D. Minnesota’s O? Yeah, they’re desperate too…just not that good.

Randy Moss @ DEN – Know why they’re not any good? You’re looking at him. Not that Randy’s setting the world on fire in Oakland. Yes, he caught a touchdown pass last week. Unfortunately, that’s the only thing he caught. That gives him three grabs in the last two games, about ten fewer than we should legitimately expect. How can you rely on him in the most important game of the season?

Andre Johnson v. JAX – It seemed pretty unlikely that Moss and Johnson would end up on the “S” list at year’s end but here we are and…well, here they are. Nagging injuries and spotty QB play are the primary culprits but there’s no question that they’ve both underperformed. Will they be back near the top in ’06? That depends on what transpires in Houston and Oaktown this offseason.

Best of luck, folks!