Week 3 Rankings: Top 50 Wide Receivers

How do all the injuries shake-up the wide receiver rankings?  Who should we expect to rise to the occasion?  Who should we steer away from?  Let’s take a look at how everything currently shakes out:

  1. Calvin Johnson – Detroit Lions – at Minnesota
  2. Andre Johnson – Houston Texans – at New Orleans
  3. Vincent Jackson – San Diego Chargers – vs. Kansas City
  4. Larry Fitzgerald – Arizona Cardinals – at Seattle
  5. Greg Jennings – Green Bay Packers – at Chicago
  6. DeSean Jackson – Philadelphia Eagles – vs. New York Giants
  7. Kenny Britt – Tennessee Titans – vs. Denver
  8. Roddy White – Atlanta Falcons – at Tampa Bay
  9. Mike Wallace – Pittsburgh Steelers – at Indianapolis
  10. Wes Welker – New England Patriots – at Buffalo
  11. Brandon Marshall – Miami Dolphins – at Cleveland
  12. Dez Bryant – Dallas Cowboys – vs. Washington
  13. Stevie Johnson – Buffalo Bills – vs. New England
  14. Steve Smith – Carolina Panthers – vs. Jacksonville
  15. Mike Williams – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – vs. Atlanta
  16. Brandon Lloyd – Denver Broncos – at Tennessee
  17. Jeremy Maclin – Philadelphia Eagles – vs. New York Giants
  18. Santana Moss – Washington Redskins – at Dallas
  19. Hakeem Nicks – New York Giants – at Philadelphia
  20. Reggie Wayne – Indianapolis Colts – vs. Pittsburgh
  21. Anquan Boldin – Baltimore Ravens – at St. Louis
  22. Dwayne Bowe – Kansas City Chiefs – at San Diego
  23. Nate Burleson – Detroit Lions – at Minnesota
  24. Santonio Holmes – New York Jets – at Oakland
  25. Deion Branch – New England Patriots – at Buffalo
  26. Mike Thomas – Jacksonville Jaguars – at Carolina
  27. Devery Henderson – New Orleans Saints – vs. Houston
  28. A.J. Green – Cincinnati Bengals – vs. San Francisco
  29. Mike Sims-Walker – St. Louis Cardinals – vs. Baltimore
  30. Percy Harvin – Minnesota Vikings – vs. Detroit
  31. Jerome Simpson – Cincinnati Bengals – vs. San Francisco
  32. Eric Decker – Denver Broncos – at Tennessee
  33. Jordy Nelson – Green Bay Packers – at Chicago
  34. Robert Meachem – New Orleans Saints – vs. Houston
  35. Mario Manningham – New York Giants – at Philadelphia
  36. Dexter McCluster – Kansas City Chiefs – at San Diego
  37. Plaxico Burress – New York Jets – at Oakland
  38. Julio Jones – Atlanta Falcons – at Tampa Bay
  39. Johnny Knox – Chicago Bears – vs. Green Bay
  40. Nate Washington – Tennessee Titans – vs. Denver
  41. David Nelson – Buffalo Bills – vs. New England
  42. Malcolm Floyd – San Diego Chargers – vs. Kansas City
  43. Lance Moore – New Orleans Saints – vs. Houston
  44. Denarius Moore – Oakland Raiders – vs. New York Jets
  45. Jabar Gaffney – Washington Redskins – at Dallas
  46. Davone Bess – Miami Dolphins – at Cleveland
  47. Mohamed Massquoi – Cleveland Browns – vs. Miami
  48. Jacoby Jones – Houston Texans – at New Orleans
  49. Devin Hester – Chicago Bears – vs. Green Bay
  50. Emmanuel Sanders – Pittsburgh Steelers – at Indianapolis

 

Thoughts:

  • The performance of Kenny Britt this season has been astounding.  After dropping down draft boards due to the fears of an impending suspension (he had numerous indiscretions this offseason), all he has done is catch 14 passes for 271 yards and 3 TD.  It’s impossible not to consider him a WR1 this week.
  • The Green Bay Packers (400.0 yards/game) and New England Patriots (381.0 yards/game) are the two worst passing defenses in the league over the first two weeks.  That’s because everyone feels the need to open things up and throw the ball around the field in order to keep up with them.  If healthy, that really tells us all we need to know about Steve Johnson, who should be considered a solid WR2 with the potential to post WR1 type numbers.
  • With Miles Austin expected to miss the next few weeks, the focus will shift to Dez Bryant…  Well, assuming he is healthy as well.  As long as he is, Bryant will have the potential to post solid numbers.  If he’s dressing, consider him a must use option.
  • The New York Giants have struggled against the pass this season, allowing 283.0/yards per game (ninth worst in the league) and failing to intercept a ball.  Of course, the Eagles offense has a lot of questions surrounding it heading into their Week 3 match-up.  If Michael Vick plays…  AND If DeSean Jackson plays (which is likely), the numbers could be huge.  If Vick is out, however, you will have to downgrade Jackson slightly, though he will remain an extremely good option in all formats.
  • So much for Mike Wallace being a deep threat and nothing more, huh?  He has already been targeted 20 times over the first two weeks, producing a pair of 100+ yard games.  It’s hard to imagine a seemingly lifeless Colts’ team slowing him down, doesn’t it?
  • A healthy Hakeem Nicks would probably be a WR2 against the talented Eagles’ secondary.  One that is banged up and managed just 3 receptions for 15 yards and a TD in Week 2?  He’s a definite WR2, though don’t expect to see that very often.
  • You may not think that Steve Smith can continue his torrid start to the season.  The truth is, it’s impossible that he will.  However, we can’t overlook his league leading 334 yards or his 7 receptions for 20+ yards or his 2 receptions for 40+ yards.  He clearly has quickly developed an excellent rapport with Cam Newton and has to be considered a good play in all formats.
  • Mike Williams (TB) had a pretty poor Week 1 performance, but do not get too down on him over one game.  He gets a Falcons team that is sixth worst against the pass in 2011 (301.5 yards/game) and should still be considered a good option in all formats.
  • Assuming Brandon Lloyd plays he is going to be a very good option.  Just be sure to monitor the news to be 100% sure.
  • Devery Henderson is the epitome of a big play receiver, with 9 receptions for 203 yards and 2 TD.  Obviously, with Drew Brees slinging the ball there is a good chance he continues to pile up the numbers.  Still, it’s hard to count on him.
  • The Rams need a go to receiver and Mike Sims-Walker looks like he is trying to rise to the occasion.  After struggling in Week 1 he was targeted 11 times in Week 2 and delivered 6 receptions for 92 yards.  We’ve all seen him go Jekyll and Hyde before, so don’t consider it a given that he continues to produce, but as a WR3 he is well worth it.
  • Mike Thomas has been getting plenty of opportunities and faces a Panthers defense that has allowed 295.0 receiving yards/game as well as 4 TD without an interception.  How can you not like him for the coming week?  He’s a borderline WR2 for me, but a must use as a WR3.
  • Mario Manningham is a risk because of his concussion, as well as the matchup.  Monitor the news and hope for the best.

Make sure to check out the rest of Rotoprofessor’s Week 3 information:

 

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46 Responses to Week 3 Rankings: Top 50 Wide Receivers

  1. JR says:

    In a 3 WR – 12 team league, is Lee Evens worth hanging on to in hopes that he will see some numbers eventually or should I look to drop him and pick up someone unproven like David Nelson or Roy Helu? Do not need them to start right away but will a WR in a couple weeks when Bye-week hell starts.

    • If you need RB depth, I do like Helu, though he’s not a guarantee. Lee vs. Nelson is pretty close, so I could see making that move. Evans has consistently disappointed during his career, so I wouldn’t consider him undroppable at all.

  2. Alex says:

    If it helps, I just dropped Lee Evans for David Nelson in one league. Not only is Fitzpatrick more of a gunslinger, he’s a much bigger RZ target.

    Hey professor, what would you do? I’m debating for my flex spot in a ppr league: Beanie Wells or Percy Harvin. On one hand, I know (pretty much for a fact) that the Vikings are going to be down against the Lions and will have to air it out. How much luck they have is questionable, but the throws will be there. On the other hand, this seems a big freaking mystery as to why they’re only playing Harvin on 51% of snaps. It’s all very cryptic. Wells seems to have a higher floor but to tell you the truth, I’ve always felt Seattle’s rush defense was underrated. Help! I also could put D. Thomas/MSW/J. Nelson there but they seem to be more of a crap shoot.

  3. Alex says:

    Thanks. That’s the way I was leaning. I’m baffled by Percy Harvin’s usage. I kinda want to see him play 75% of snaps in a game + see that McNabb still has a pulse before I play him.

  4. Brandon says:

    I just traded Matt Stafford, Tim Hightower, and Lee Evans for Michael Vick and Dexter McCluster. I figured if Vick is healthy he has more upside than Stafford due to his ability to scramble. I figured Hightower and Evans may have been a bit much for McCluster, but it seems as Hightower may begin to lose touches to Helu and Evans can’t seem to get healthy and McCluster is going in the opposite direction of them two guys seeing as Charles is done for the year.

    I just wanted so peace hoping that I didn’t give up to much.

  5. GT says:

    Rip Van Winklesque sleeper – Andre Caldwell. All of a sudden he’s a #2 in an improving offense. Much like Jerome Simpson, he went coconuts in the last 3 weeks of 2010 (270 yards, 15 catches on 22 targets) after a boring sophomore 2009.

  6. Gamer says:

    12 team non-PPR flex question
    You describe Steve Johnson as near #1 worthy this week if healthy. I also have Ben Tate who looks strong, and Ryan Mathews who should do well against KC. (I’m assuming my other flex option Steven Jackson won’t be playing). Assuming Arian Foster is likely not to play or play much, who of these three would you lean towards? I actually think Ryan Matthews will have a good week, but analysts are talking up Ben Tate, and you had good words for Steve Johnson. Appreciate the insight.

  7. Layin it down says:

    Should I play Bowe & AJ Green? I figure KC will have to air the ball out, although they wont win. I have David Nelson, Mike Thomas, Eric Decker, Dez Bryant.

    I figure to start Green because he has more production than Dez. I figure to not start Dez until he proves himself.

    I will start Gore, Best, and Tolbert at the RB and Flex. I will bench Steven Jackson until he proves his health. Plus Balt. Def still deserves respect.

  8. Let’s take these one at a time:

    Brandon – It’s debatable if you over paid or not. A lot of it depends on the other RB you have. If you didn’t need Hightower, the deal definitely works.

    Gamer – Assuming Foster isn’t playing, I’d probably go Tate this week in a non-PPR. RB always offer a little bit more potential. Would it shock me if Johnson outperformed him? No, but the potential is better with Tate.

    Layin it down – If Dez is playing, with Austin out, he’s a must play this week. Green has only outperformed him because Bryant has been a bit banged up. Don’t let the numbers deceive you.

    • Brandon says:

      Yeah my RB’s are Gore, Turner, and Green Ellis w/ Brandon Jacobs as my backup.. and It has been toss up on who I start week to week Hightower or Green Ellis so in all reality I gave up 2 bench players of mine and my Starting QB for a different starting QB and WR with upside depending on how he gets used.. plus its a PPR league so I felt McCluster could definitely help me.

    • Layin it down says:

      The Biggest problem is Dez has the monday night game and he is a game time decision. If he does not play then I will not have any other options.
      Considering this could very well happen as it did last week and with Romo playing hurt this could mean trouble.

      Would you agree?

  9. JR says:

    One more for you. In a league I have a bit of a quandary on who I should start in the flex position as all of the players are a little banged up to some degree. What order would you rank the following players as far as upside this week: Tolbert vs KC, Nicks vs Phi, Bryant vs Was (monday night game time dec.). Also throw in Hightower and Benson in there as well although I do not like their matchups this week. Thanks

    • If healthy, Bryant is the choice. The problem, as the previous commenter stated, is that he is playing on Monday night which complicates everything a little bit.

      Given Nicks’ injury and match-up, Tolbert is my #2 choice. However, I like Benson (assuming he’s playing) and Hightower both a little bit more.

      • JR says:

        Yeah, my team is pretty stacked so I’m probably going to lay off Bryant just because of the monday night issue. Tolbert was where I was thinking as well. Thanks for the peace of mind ha.

  10. Sean says:

    How should I start as my WR3 in a PPR league in week 3? Mike Thomas, Eric Decker or Robert Meachem?

    • Sean says:

      or should I drop one of these guys and go get David Nelson from Buffalo?

    • Mikey says:

      Dwayne Bowe at #22? Really? Ahead of Deion Branch, among others? I don’t see Bowe doing much of anything anytime soon, especially this week, with SD, still stinging from their beatdown at NE, looking to take it out on KC like Pitt did to TB. I’m thinking time of possession will have Matt Cassel, Bowe etc. watching most of the game on the sidelines. Agree? Disagree?

    • Mikey says:

      Sorry, I screwed up last post: Eric Decker. He’s on fire and has earned trust from Orton

  11. Noah says:

    I need to start two of these three WR. Dez Bryant, Britt, and Meachem. My biggest concern is Bryant and injuries. Standard PPR. Please help!

  12. All of the lights says:

    10-Team PPR League (3 WRs)
    WRs: Roddy White, Julio Jones, Devery Henderson, Eric Decker, Dexter McCluster(Yes, he’s a RB, but I can play him as a WR).
    To Note: My opponent is playing Matt Ryan.

    I was thinking Jones/Henderson/Decker because White didn’t see too many looks last week, and Jones performance was greatly hindered by Nnamdi. I would normally probably play Jones/White/Decker, but with him playing Ryan, it seems he would nullify many of my points.

  13. Let’s take these one at a time:

    Sean – I’d probably go with Thomas. He’s been getting plenty of opportunities and should continue to do so.

    Mikey – I do think SD will win, but I can see KC putting up a bit more of a fight.

    Noah – Assuming Bryant plays, it’s a no-brainer going with Bryant & Britt. You need to monitor the news over the next day or so to get a better grip on if he’s going to play. Meachem isn’t a bad fallback, but with so many options it is tough to depend on him.

    All of the lights – I would def. go with White, then the other two would be Henderson & Decker. White’s upside is way too high to put him on the bench.

    • Sean says:

      Thanks. I was leaning towards him because he is getting a lot of looks and has yet to score, so I think he will put one in this week.

  14. Christian Oliver says:

    Have a quandry. 10-team PPR League

    Should i start stevie Johnson or David Nelson, or maybe even both? It’s going to be a shootout but from what ive been reading the pats have a harder time with big guys like nelson. but if its going to be a shootout maybe they can both get in on the feast?

    also have devery henderson and santana moss for flex and cant decide??

    thanx for the help.

  15. Mr. Rection says:

    I need to start 2 out of these

    Bowe
    Decker
    McCluster
    Henderson

    12 team standard scoring.

  16. Tony says:

    Who to start at Flex. Need to pick 1

    Lance Moore
    David Nelson
    Mike Sims-Walker
    Roy Helu

  17. Mr. Win says:

    Professor,
    im in a toss up between vernon davis, willis mcgahee, Da williams, and julio jones. i have to pick two of them to start in my W/R and T/W/R positions, which two do you feel would do me best this week?

    thanks

  18. the shiva says:

    julio jones or david nelson week 3?

  19. Sam says:

    who to play this week in my W/R and R/W/T positions in week 3?

    V Davis
    Julio Jones
    D Williams
    W McGahee

  20. Tony – I like Sims-Walker this week. The Rams are looking for a go to receiver and he and Bradford appear to be getting a good rapport.

    Mr. Win/Sam – I assume that’s DeAngelo Williams? I would still probably go McGahee and Davis. It’s looking like McGahee is going to be the go to back for the Broncos right now and should get opportunities to produce. After 28 carries last week (for over 100 yards and 1 TD), there’s a lot to like.

    the shiva – it’s really close. I’d probably play Jones, but it’s a coin flip. Neither are a certainty by any stretch.

  21. Bez says:

    Cheers! I have a WR question; with the recent hype and highlight plays from Danarius Moore, would you consider dropping S. Moss, Mario Manningham or David Nelson (who I picked up Wed for Garcon) for the rest of the season? D. Branch is available too.
    Also, which one would you start this week? I’m starting Fred Davis at TE so worried with starting Moss too if they lay an egg Monday night. Never liked putting too many eggs in one basket so-to-speak. Thoughts?
    Thanks as always for your help!

    • Moore has a ton of potential, but you have to remember that the Raiders have been hit hard by injuries. Are we sure he’s going to be a focus of the offense when everyone is healthy? I’d probably stick with the guys you currently have. I think I would add Branch over Nelson, though.

      As for who to start, I can understand your concern. Manningham is likely to sit though, and Nelson is too big a risk. If you are set on sitting Moss I’d def. grab Branch.

      • Bez says:

        Yeah I know. My logic/conservative side tells me to start Moss this week. If I add Branch over Nelson, I’m worried that I’m riding with too many worn tires. But you can’t knock down experience, right?
        Thanks and good luck (skill) with yours this weekend.

  22. Rob says:

    Ok, In my league, I have V. Jackson, K. Britt and M. Wallace starting, since my running backs are pretty weak (I’m starting J. Best, and S. Greene, I have the LawFirm Benched for the week) and V. Jackson is in my Flex Slot. My problem is I’ve put Roddy White on the bench, as he has been sub-par this season. Any advice would be great!!!

    Thanks!!!

  23. BLC says:

    I’m in a ppr league and I’m deciding over a third WR to start. Lance Moore or Denarius Moore? Which Moore is a better pick this week?
    Also, what do you think of Cam’s chance at another good week?

  24. Corey says:

    I have only 4 wrs at the moment on my roster.. Andre Johnson and Jordy Nelson are sure starters but I got Ocho Cinco who hasn’t done jack but still can Breakout or RC Denarius Moore what should I do? Also RB this wk go with Beanie and Dmac? Otherwise I got Ben Tate as an option or Felix Jones? Any advice thank you

  25. Rob – I know White has been sub par this season, but the upside is tremendous. At the same time, you have a great WR group, so you do have the luxury to bench him, if you wanted to. I have White/Britt/Wallace all within a few spots of each other, and it really could go either way. I’d probably roll with it the way you have it, especially if that’s where your gut is pulling you. As for your RB, it’s not so bad. This could easily be the week Greene re-establishes himself (though, I would be looking for another depth option, just in case. Bernard Scott still available?)

    BLC – Both are complete risks. Denarius because he’s going up against the Jets and Lance because he’s a hit or miss option. I’d probably go Lance, but it really is a complete coin flip. As for Newton, I think he could still be productive, but there almost has to be a regression.

    Corey – In your case I’d probably go Moore, though I do think Ochocinco is a sleeper this week. Still, given what he’s done, it’s hard to start him. As for the RB, it’s McFadden all the way.

  26. RT says:

    RP – Who to start as my 3rd WR?

    AJ Green or Eric Decker?

    Thank you

    • I would probably roll with Green. With Jerome Simpson likely out, he is clearly the go to receiver for the Bengals. Coming off a week with 10 receptions for 124 yards (on 14 targets), he likely won’t match the numbers but should be extremely productive.

  27. Roll Tide says:

    HakeeM Nicks, Meachem, D Bowe and Plaxico. I have to start 2 and drop 1. Which 2 and 1?

    Thanks!

    • I’d definitely start Nicks & Bowe. As for who to drop, it’s close between the other two. Meachem is in the better offense, but he is far from a lock to get continued targets. Burress may not be the better receiver, but he’s going to continue to get the ball thrown his way.

      It really can go either way.

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