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Joseph Hutchins | Archive | Email |
Staff Writer

The Shot Caller's Report - WRs
Your Weekly Guide To Fantasy Lineups: Week 15
Positions: QBs | RBs | WRs

Bye Weeks:

Grab a Helmet

Keenan Allen @ DEN: Allen commanded an unusually low number of targets in the Week 14 win over New York (three), but still managed to convert his opportunities into fantasy gold by tallying three receptions, 59 yards, and two scores for 17.9 total points in the Chargersí big win. It was his third consecutive double-digit day and his sixth this season, not bad for a guy who was on basically nobodyís radar back in August. Well, except mine, of course. What I liked about Allen then was his size, his athleticism, and his potential role in the San Diego offense (thanks to Danario Alexanderís season-ending injury). That potential has clearly been realized and heís now unquestionably Philip Riversí most important pass-catcher. There should be plenty of passes to catch on Thursday night as the Bolts attempt to keep pace with the leagueís most lethal offensive machine. Allenís must-start material.

Andre Johnson

Andre Johnson had 229 yards and 3 TDs against the Colts in Week 9.

Andre Johnson @ IND: The Gary Kubiak era finally ended last week in Houston, a predictable, yet sad conclusion for only the second coach in the franchiseís history. The Texans entered 2013 as Super Bowl contenders, but are instead mired in an 11-game skid and will likely end it holding the #1 pick in the draft. Thatís if they donít turn things around these last three weeks under Wade Phillips. Iím not sure they actually want to (wink, wink), but Johnson will be a huge part of that turnaround if it happens. Heís been targeted more than any other receiver this season (including Megatron) and posted the second highest point total for a wide receiver this season back in Week 9 (40.9) against these very same Colts. In case youíre wondering, Case Keenum was his battery mate that evening and will be again this Sunday. You donít sit him despite his teamís struggles.

Torrey Smith @ DET: Smithís uncharacteristically poor performance last Sunday (one snag, 11 yards, and thatís it) may have got you bounced from the playoffs. If you managed to cover for his ineptitude, however, and are hesitant to roll him back out there, Iíd urge you to reconsider. It was only his second useless outing of the season (his first came in Week 6 against the Pack) and, despite those two throwaway efforts, heís still ranked 19th at the position. This despite playing in an offense thatís been far from explosive in 2013. If thatís not enough to convince you, maybe this will: The Lions are allowing 27 points per game to opposing wide receivers. Yes, theyíve faced some of the best the league has to offer (Josh Gordon, Antonio Brown, A.J. Green, Brandon Marshall), but Smith has the deep speed to really hurt a Detroit secondary especially susceptible to the long ball. Give him another shot.

Grab Some Wood

Victor Cruz v. SEA: Eli Manning has been a fantasy vortex this season and Cruz has just barely avoided being completely sucked into it. The breakout star of 2011 was slightly less spectacular in 2012 and has been even less so in 2013, but heís still the 18th best at the wide receiver spot, directly in front of the guy we just talked about, and looks like a solid WR2 statistically. Looks, as they say, can be deceiving. Cruz scored 66.5 points in the Giantsí first four games, but has only tallied 54.8 in the nine games since. Thatís an average of only six per game, about what Greg Jennings and Nate Washington are averaging this year. Heís better than those guys, agreed, but you wouldnít know it by watching him these past two+ months. Nor will you know it by watching him square off against the leagueís most dominant corner, Richard Sherman, this Sunday. Avoid Cruz.

Tavon Austin v. NO: Jeff Fisher is one of my favorite NFL coaches. Heís smart, has a dry sense of humor, and sports one of the worldís best (read: bushiest) moustaches. Heís also been hugely successful over the course of 19 professional seasons as a head man and is, unsurprisingly, getting tons out of his under-talented Rams team this year, a team that plays in the leagueís toughest division. All that aside, Iím puzzled by the way heís currently utilizing his most talented player. Austin scares the bejesus out of opposing defensive coordinators and has scored 52.6 points in his last four games. Yet, hereís how many times heís touched the ball in that same span: 13. How does a guy capable of scoring every single time he touches the leather command only three or four opportunities a game? Fisherís smarter than I am so Iím guessing thereís a pretty good reason, but.... Too risky, folks. There are way more reliable options.

Danny Amendola @ MIA: Amendola started the season as, inarguably, New England’s most important receiver. Minus Wes Welker and the injured Rob Gronkowski, the Pats needed him to be that many-targeted slot guy who could serve as Tom Brady’s release valve and keep the chains moving. And for about one week (Week 1), he proved to be exceptionally good at this. Predictably, he was injured late in that first game and has never once received double-digit looks since, despite being continuously healthy the last couple months. Moreover, he’s now clearly fallen behind Julian Edelman and Shane Vereen in the New England pecking order. I don’t expect that to change even with Gronk now out for good and a tough matchup with Miami’s vastly underrated secondary doesn’t make him very attractive this weekend. I’d stay away from Amendola if my playoff life depended on it and you should too.
Good luck, folks!