Week 11 lineup calls: Wide receivers
There were two signature plays in Week 10.
The Eagles opened up their decimation of the Redskins with an 88-yard reception by DeSean Jackson, who quickly quieted DeAngelo Hall. (Hall was talking about Jackson being sleepy and quiet in that game. Instead, he was knocked out quickly.). The other big play is still being noted around water coolers, as the Jaguars upended the Texans on a “Hail Mary” pass to super-sleeper special Mike Thomas.
Who’s the next hero of the day to emerge?
Top Wide Receivers
(Other than Roddy White, Andre Johnson, Calvin Johnson, Hakeem Nicks, DeSean Jackson, Larry Fitzgerald, Brandon Lloyd, Terrell Owens, Reggie Wayne, Miles Austin, Greg Jennings, Anquan Boldin, Percy Harvin, Dwayne Bowe)
Dez Bryant vs. Detroit
What else needs to be said? Bryant is headed for superstardom, and he’s shining brightly with Jon Kitna under center for the Cowboys. He’s topped 80 receiving yards in three consecutive games while averaging 6.3 receptions per game. Taken further, Bryant has scored in four of his past five games.
The Cowboys will scheme to keep Kitna upright, thereby giving him time to connect with his electrifying rookie receiver. Detroit cedes 240.7 yards and 1.4 touchdowns to opposing receivers per game.
Jeremy Maclin vs. New York Giants
Lost in Michael Vick’s absurd statistical output on Monday night was the fantastic grab Maclin made in the end zone to continue the onslaught. He’s caught four or more passes in seven of nine games this season while averaging 65 receiving yards per game. As we recall Vick’s early season brilliance, we recognize that Vick and Maclin had established a tremendous connection with the safety rolling over onto DeSean Jackson downfield. Watch for additional madness in what could be a high-scoring Sunday night affair. The Giants rank fifth in terms of receiving yardage allowed (205.9 yards allowed per game), but have surrendered 14 touchdowns.
Marques Colston vs. Seattle
Colston had been a strong PPR option through the first six weeks of the season, but his game rose to another level in the three games prior to the Saints’ Week 10 bye. He averaged eight receptions and 84 receiving yards in those games and scored his first touchdowns of the season. The return of Reggie Bush helps stretch the offense and affords Drew Brees more space downfield. Seattle allows 291.1 receiving yards and 1.3 receiving touchdowns per game.
Santonio Holmes and Braylon Edwards vs. Houston
Holmes caught five passes from Mark Sanchez for the second straight game, including the 37-yard game-winning touchdown reception. He’s caught three or more passes in each game with the Jets and will undoubtedly be active this week against the league’s bottom-ranked pass defense against opposing receivers (313.8 yards and 2.4 touchdowns allowed per game).
Braylon Edwards is obviously on the radar for this matchup as well. His reception totals are down since Holmes’ return, but he’s getting quality looks downfield. Load them up against Houston.
Mario Manningham at Philadelphia
Manningham did fantasy owners proud with his 10-reception, 91-yard effort in the loss to Dallas. He scored his third touchdown in the past four weeks (four overall). Manningham has recorded a reception of at least 25 yards in seven of nine games this season.
Teammate Steve Smith remains sidelined this week, putting Manningham in line for another huge target count. The Eagles surrender 241.9 receiving yards and 1.8 receiving touchdowns per game.
Mike Williams (Tampa Bay) at San Francisco
Williams caught four passes for 68 yards against the Panthers, and fantasy owners were left disappointed. The rookie has been that good and such a consistent option that we’re looking down at such an effort. Williams has caught four or more passes in seven consecutive games (eight overall) while averaging 69.7 receiving yards per game.
I’m anticipating another solid effort this week against the 49ers. Williams continues to pile up weekly opportunities (he ranks 11th in total targets with 80 this season) and will be featured prominently this week. Josh Freeman appears to get more comfortable each week.
Randy Moss and Nate Washington vs. Washington
Moss was held in check last week by Vontae Davis in his Tennessee debut with one reception for 26 yards (four targets). He’s in a better spot this weekend against the sieve-like Washington secondary. DeAngelo Hall’s huge game against Jay Cutler is a distant memory. Vince Young is back to run this offense and give his receiver an opportunity to break containment. Moss makes his mark this week at home.
Nate Washington has scored in back-to-back games. He’ll go for the hat trick opposite Moss against a Washington secondary that allows nearly 300 receiving yards and two touchdowns per game. Remember, the Washington defense was mostly horrible this season before Michael Vick obliterated them in Week 10. Vince Young gets his chance in Week 11.
Chad Ochocinco vs. Buffalo
Ochocinco scored for the third time this season in Week 10 against the Colts. He registered seven receptions for 86 yards, his third-best yardage total of the season. Interestingly, his three best games statistically occurred on the road.
This week, the Bengals have an advantageous matchup at home. The Bills have been run over between the 20s (I’ve been banging the Bernard Scott drum for weeks to try and jumpstart the Bengals’ sputtering ground game) and get obliterated in the red zone (18 passing touchdowns allowed). Carson Palmer isn’t getting wins, but he’s helping the bottom line in the fantasy realm.
Steve Johnson at Cincinnati
Johnson was finally quieted in Week 10. He still recorded three receptions, but the yardage total was weak (37). In fact, during his tremendous start to the season, Johnson has only topped 60 receiving yards in three games. Still, Johnson was targeted eight times, so Ryan Fitzpatrick is working to get him the ball.
Jonathan Joseph will likely miss this week’s game, but Johnson figures to see Leon Hall opposite him with regularity. I don’t anticipate a dominant effort, but Fitzpatrick’s elusiveness gives Johnson opportunities in the red zone.
Mike Thomas vs. Cleveland
Thomas obviously grabbed headlines and hit the interview trail following his “Hail Mary” reception to down the Texans. He finished the game with 149 receiving yards on the day. Thomas has logged four or more receptions in seven of nine games this season and warrants WR3 consideration against the Browns (245.3 yards and 1.9 touchdowns allowed per game). David Garrard is playing very well right now (turn back the clock?). I’ll ride out the streak in this home date with Thomas.
Jacoby Ford at Pittsburgh
When last we saw Ford, he was celebrating a 47-yard reception that allowed the Raiders to claim victory in Week 9 against the Chiefs. The rookie from Florida finished that game with six receptions for 148 yards. He’s on the radar this week against the banged-up Pittsburgh defense that cedes 268.3 receiving yards per game (1.2 touchdowns). Can you trust Jason Campbell coming out of the bye?
Mohamed Massaquoi at Jacksonville
Massaquoi has been virtually invisible, but he did score in Week 10. Might we see more of him this week against the Jacksonville defense that surrenders 283.2 yards and 2.1 touchdowns per game to opposing receivers?
Michael Crabtree vs. Tampa Bay
Crabtree has scored in four of his past five games, and would have had a dominant game in Week 11 had the 49ers been able to avoid penalty flags. As well as he’s played in the red zone, Crabtree has yet to become a dominant force between the 20s, having recorded more than 61 receiving yards just once this season. With a matchup against Aquib Talib on tap, I’m not anticipating huge output. He rates a play as a late WR3.
Hines Ward vs. Oakland
Ward passed his first post-concussion tests to begin the practice and should be available for Sunday’s game against Oakland. The question about his production for this week concerns the Steelers’ need to utilize his blocking skills given the injuries on the offensive line. He’d caught six passes for 25 yards and a touchdown before sustaining the injury early in Week 10 against New England.
Pierre Garcon at New England
Garcon is one of those players that fantasy owners want to start each and every week, but he’s yet to have that breakthrough moment in 2010. He’s produced one 100-yard game this season, and it came against the dismal Washington secondary. Garcon also recorded his only touchdown reception of the year in that game.
In the past three weeks, Garcon has recorded 14 receptions for 130 yards. The Colts might be able to get revved up and produce a big effort against the Patriots (the Peyton Manning-Tom Brady thing has its potential), but we just haven’t seen it from Garcon this season. Start him with reservations.