Fantasy Football Today - fantasy football rankings, cheatsheets, and information
A Fantasy Football Community!

Create An Account  |  Advertise  |  Contact      

Staff Writer
Email Joseph

Joseph's Articles

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 @ TB – When you light up a notorious motor-mouth like Fred Smoot to the tune of 11 catches, 201 yards, and a score, you earn the Shot Caller’s seal of approval. When you celebrate said score with a C.J.-esque row, row, row your boat routine, you earn a special place in his heart for the rest of your career. Encore, encore!

2. Chad Johnson @ BAL – C.J. had a little fun with the Vikings’ “shutdown” corner earlier this season, as well, but has hit some choppy waters of late. The reasons? T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Chris Perry. More weapons = better Bengals and I’m sure even the selfish Johnson would admit that’s a good thing. Give him the start against a Ravens team he absolutely demolished in the last meeting (161 yards and two scores in ‘04).

3. Terrell Owens @ WAS – He’s not a lock to play at press time but he HAS practiced the last two days, meaning he’ll probably start. Whether he’ll make it a full sixty minutes remains to be seen. If he does, you can mark him down for 100 yards and a score or two, despite the fact Washington fields the league’s best pass defense through eight weeks (152.7 yards/game). Matchups don’t matter to guys as talented as him.

4. Randy Moss @ KC – Nor to him. Unfortunately, Randy’s even more banged-up than the aforementioned T.O. at present, and seems to be playing a lot more decoy than he did at the start of the season. Through six games (he sat one out), he’s caught only 25 balls, barely more than four per contest. That’s not enough (it’s never enough) but there aren’t too many guys who can turn four or five touches into 125 yards and a score on a regular basis.

5. Santana Moss v. PHI – The other Moss finally had an off-day (four catches for 34 yards) but he had plenty of company as the ‘Skins posted a big, fat goose egg at the Meadowlands. Any chance they duplicate the ignominious feat v. the Birds this Sunday night? In a word, no. Philly now fields one of the bottom third pass defenses and will be hard-pressed to hold Santana down all night. Keep him in there.

6. Plaxico Burress @ SF – Plax has been everything the G-Men hoped he would be (and more) this season and now faces a San Fran squad giving up 315 yards and two scores per tilt. That’s a long-winded way of saying he should be good for at least 100 yards and a score or two by the bay. Start him.

7. Larry Fitzgerald v. SEA – One man’s loss is another man’s gain in the world of fantasy football. Nobody will benefit more from the injury to Anquan Boldin than Mr. Fitzgerald. Not that he was struggling to post good numbers when Boldin was around (87.3 yards/game and four scores). He’ll certainly draw more attention than usual but is too big and too talented to be flummoxed by anything the ‘Hawks can throw at him.

8. Marvin Harrison @ NE – Marvin is similarly interfered with by the young buck, Reggie Wayne, but that hasn’t stopped him from scoring five times this season. This week, he draws the archrival Pats in a game that will go a long way toward clarifying the balance of power in the AFC. Keep in mind he’s caught more balls for more yards and more touchdowns against New England than against any other opponent.

9. Joey Galloway v. CAR – Chris Simms has hindered the Bucs’ chances of making a strong playoff push but if last week is any indication, he hasn’t hindered Galloway’s personal push to become comeback player of the year. In fact, the former Buckeye didn’t even seem to notice the switch at QB, tallying eight grabs for 149 yards and a score against the Niners in Week 8. Give him the start v. Carolina’s somewhat suspect secondary in Week 9.

10. Antonio Gates @ NYJ – He’s not just a wide receiver in a tight end’s body. He’s a top 10 wide receiver in a tight end’s body. His six scores put him behind only Steve Smith for the league lead and the 82 yards/game tell us he’s not just a goal-line go-to guy, a la Heath Miller. He’s a go-to guy anywhere on the field. Think Gonzo circa turn of the century…only LOTS better.

11. Donald Driver v. PIT – Not many 1-6 teams field a start-worthy wide receiver but the Green Bay Packers aren’t most 1-6 teams. They field a future HOF’er at QB and can still score enough points to beat any given opponent on any given day. That includes, by the way, the 5-2 Steelers this weekend. In fact, I’m gonna give you a different variation of the Shot Caller guarantee this week: Driver scores AND the Pack wins. Call it the Shot Caller parlay. Heard it here first, folks.

12. Jimmy Smith v. HOU – Mr. Smith has been missing in action the past month or so and is starting to lose touches and scoring opportunities to everyone’s favorite free agent pickup, Ernest Wilford. Does that mean you should give up on him? You already know what I’m gonna say, don’t you? Guys who play Houston must start, recent history notwithstanding. So do it already.

13. T.J. Houshmandzadeh @ BAL – It’s pretty rare for a team to trot out two wideouts hailing from the same university, but two from the same school who were in the same draft class, as well? Somebody needs to find out if this has ever happened before. It’s been bugging me for some time now. While you’re at it, don’t forget to start T.J. this week.

14. Joe Horn v. CHI – Heh? What did I tell you? Guys returning from an extended absence often act as though they haven’t missed any time at all. Horn was no exception last week, as he notched seven grabs for 99 yards in his return to the fold. Better yet, his hammy appears to have survived the contest, making him a surefire start for Week 9.

15. Deion Branch v. IND – Every year, I tell myself to steer clear of the Pats’ receivers. Every year, one of them ends up making me feel like an idiot. It shouldn’t surprise us that Mr. Super Bowl MVP is starting to come into his own, but I’m betting his recent surge (18 for 286 in his last three) did indeed catch most of us off guard. Now you have no excuse. Give him the start against a Colts team he enjoys playing against (75 yards/per and two career TDs).

Grab A Helmet:

Jerry Porter @ KC – There you are! It’s about time the Raiders’ other stud target got into the act (six catches for 123 yards and two scores in Week 8). All it took, apparently, was the mere rumor he might be the go-to guy in Randy’s absence. Not sure what that means exactly, but let’s hope he continues to build upon his success against the highly susceptible Chefs D this weekend.

Eddie Kennison v. OAK – We haven’t talked about him much this year and the only time I mentioned him to readers was when I suggested (via e-mail) that they start him in Week 7. Oops! Sorry about that, whoever you were. Week 7 happens to be the only week in the past four he HASN’T gained over 100 yards. He and the KC passing game are gathering steam, it appears, just in time to face off against the Raiders in a classic AFC West shootout.

Heath Miller @ GB – We didn’t EXPECT to talk about him much this season but it’s kinda hard to ignore a guy who’s scored six touchdowns in his first seven professional games. If you know how shallow the talent pool is at TE, you know guys who can guarantee you a six-pointer every week are worth owning, not to mention starting. Do so against Green Bay’s very generous secondary this Sunday.

Hines Ward @ GB – For that matter, go ahead and give Miller’s teammate, Mr. Ward, a look, too. I’m not saying Charlie Batch is likely to throw two TD passes but I am saying it’s entirely possible. Moreover, if he does so, Miller and Ward are the most likely recipients. Start him as your #2 or #3 guy this weekend.

Courtney Roby @ CLE – Wanna know how short-handed the Titans are at wideout these days? Look no further than Roby, the third-round pick and ostensible go-to guy with Drew Bennett and Ty Calico on the shelf. He’s probably better than Calico, anyway, but it’s still pretty surprising to see him getting quality looks so early in his career. Give him a start against Cleveland if your top guys are on a bye. He’s already scored once and could do so again this Sunday.

Grab Some Wood:

Reggie Williams v. HOU – He’s still considered the starter in J-Ville but that doesn’t mean he should be starting for you. He only averages 30-some yards per game (fewer than Ernest Wilford) and is the only one of the top four Jaguars wideouts who’s failed to score a touch. I like the matchup but I don’t like much else about him right now. Find someone else.

Jabar Gaffney @ JAX – Gaffney responded reasonably well to the added responsibility in Andre Johnson’s absence. Nevertheless, Johnson has now returned and the former Gator has even slipped behind greenhorn Jerome Mathis as the primary playmaker for the playmaking-deficient Texans. You could do worse, for sure, but you could also do much better.

Brandon Lloyd v. NYG – Since Tim Rattay took a seat and subsequently got shipped, Lloyd has tallied only four catches for 61 yards and no scores. Coincidence? What do you think? Wait until the Niners are able to field a bonafide starting quarterback before thinking about using him again. Magazines are in the lobby.

Laveranues Coles v. SD – Has anyone been victimized by such lousy QB play for such an extended period of time? Save for a spell when Chad Pennington could actually throw a football, he’s been saddled with sub-par signal-callers almost his entire career. Nothing changes this week as he gets the geriatric Testaverde back.

Best of luck, folks!