Week 16 Rankings: Top 50 Wide Receivers

Who are the best plays at wide receiver this week?  Is there a Cowboys’ receiver who is better than the rest?  What does facing the Jets do to the Giants wide receivers?  Let’s take a look at who the recommended options are for Week 16:

  1. Calvin Johnson – Detroit Lions – vs. San Diego
  2. Wes Welker – New England Patriots – vs. Miami              
  3. Roddy White – Atlanta Falcons – at New Orleans
  4. A.J. Green – Cincinnati Bengals – vs. Arizona
  5. Steve Smith – Carolina Panthers – vs. Tampa Bay
  6. Marques Colston – New Orleans Saints – vs. Atlanta
  7. Jordy Nelson – Green Bay Packers – vs. Chicago
  8. Brandon Marshall – Miami Dolphins – at New England
  9. Mike Wallace – Pittsburgh Steelers – vs. St. Louis
  10. Hakeem Nicks – New York Giants – at New York Jets
  11. Larry Fitzgerald – Arizona Cardinals – at Cincinnati
  12. Vincent Jackson – San Diego Chargers – at Detroit
  13. Julio Jones – Atlanta Falcons – at New Orleans
  14. Miles Austin – Dallas Cowboys – vs. Philadelphia
  15. Dwayne Bowe – Kansas City Chiefs – vs. Oakland
  16. Demaryius Thomas – Denver Broncos – at Buffalo
  17. Victor Cruz – New York Giants – at New York Jets
  18. Laurent Robinson – Dallas Cowboys – vs. Philadelphia
  19. Percy Harvin – Minnesota Vikings – at Washington
  20. Antonio Brown – Pittsburgh Steelers – vs. St. Louis
  21. Santana Moss – Washington Redskins – vs. Minnesota
  22. Dez Bryant – Dallas Cowboys – vs. Philadelphia
  23. Stevie Johnson – Buffalo Bills – vs. Denver
  24. Santonio Holmes – New York Jets – vs. New York Giants
  25. Jabar Gaffney – Washington Redskins – vs. Minnesota
  26. DeSean Jackson – Philadelphia Eagles – at Dallas
  27. Lance Moore – New Orleans Saints – vs. Atlanta
  28. Jeremy Maclin – Philadelphia Eagles – at Dallas
  29. Nate Washington – Tennessee Titans – vs. Jacksonville
  30. Mike Williams – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – at Carolina
  31. Michael Crabtree – San Francisco 49ers – at Seattle
  32. Darrius Heyward-Bey – Oakland Raiders – at Kansas City
  33. Malcolm Floyd – San Diego Chargers – at Detroit
  34. Anquan Boldin – Baltimore Ravens – vs. Cleveland
  35. James Jones – Green Bay Packers – vs. Chicago
  36. Torrey Smith – Baltimore Ravens – vs. Cleveland
  37. Brandon Lloyd – St. Louis Rams – at Pittsburgh
  38. Mario Manningham – New York Giants – at New York Jets
  39. Plaxico Burress – New York Jets – vs. New York Giants
  40. Donald Driver – Green Bay Packers – vs. Chicago
  41. Kevin Walter – Houston Texans – at Indianapolis
  42. Eric Decker – Denver Broncos – at Buffalo
  43. Golden Tate – Seattle Seahawks – vs. San Francisco
  44. Greg Little – Cleveland Browns – at Baltimore
  45. Davone Bess – Miami Dolphins – at New England
  46. Nate Burleson – Detroit Lions – vs. San Diego
  47. Denarius Moore – Oakland Raiders – at Kansas City
  48. Jerome Simpson – Cincinnati Bengals – vs. Arizona
  49. Pierre Garcon – Indianapolis Colts – vs. Houston
  50. Damian Williams – Tennessee Titans – vs. Jacksonville


  • Last time Wes Welker faced the Dolphins he had 8 receptions for 160 yards and 2 TD.  For his career he is averaging 105.4 receiving yards per game.  I know the two young tight ends are now a much bigger part of the offense, but it is impossible not to consider Welker among the best in the league.
  • Was the poor passing game of Ben Roethlisberger due to the matchup or the injuries?  Obviously the 49ers played a role, but it’s possible that the Steelers ride the running game this week against the St. Louis Rams.  That’s not to say that Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown aren’t tremendous options, but they may just not be quite as high as we would normally expect them to be.
  • With the weapons the Giants have, will Darrelle Revis shadow one receiver?  I wouldn’t expect it, meaning it’s hard to downgrade either Hakeem Nicks or Victor Cruz very far based solely on the “Revis Effect”.  In other words, consider them both solid plays as the Giants season is on the line (unless there is some news during the week where we hear Revis will get matched up with someone).
  • Tony Romo continues to get all three receivers into the mix, as Miles Austin, Dez Bryant and Laurent Robinson all scored a TD in Week 15.  At this point Austin appears to be his go to receiver once again, but consider all of them viable for Week 16.
  • He didn’t find the end zone, but Demaryius Thomas had another big day in Week 15 with 7 receptions for 116 yards.  Over the past three weeks he has 18 catches for 338 yards and 3 TD.  He clearly is the go to option for Tim Tebow making him a solid play in all formats.
  • Stevie Johnson has been coming alive once again with 198 yards over his past two games.  He draws a Broncos defense that has allowed 24 TD (and has just 9 INT).  Consider him a good play as a WR2 in all formats.
  • Over his past four games Jabar Gaffney has averaged 91 receiving yards per game, while he’s also scored 2 TD.  Against a Vikings defense that struggles against the pass (260.4 passing yards per game, 31 TD, 6 INT), he is a very good play.  Santana Moss may be the top receiver for the team, but Gaffney is nearly just as good of an option.

***** Attention Fantasy Baseball Players!  Pre-order the Rotoprofessor 2012 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide, complete with updates from January through the start of the season, for just $6!  To place your order click here. *****

Make sure to check out all of our Week 16 articles:

Week 16 Rankings: Top 15 Kickers
Week 16 Rankings: Top 40 Running Backs


  1. kyle says:

    I made my leauges superbowl but kinda concerned about how much rodgers is gonna play should sit the main reason I made it this far other options fitzpatrick and grossman, also since falcons and saints expected to be a shootout should I sit turner for demariyus Thomas

  2. Triz says:

    So, should I play McGahee or Santana Moss? I’m presuming Arian Foster, Mathews, Calvin Johnson and CJ Spiller are givens :)

  3. Tony says:

    I need 3 wrs. I was thinking v Jackson, maclin and demar Thomas. But i also have Nate Washington and gaffney on the bench. What do you think?

  4. kyle – Rodgers is tough right now, but if he is playing it is impossible to sit him. I’d monitor the news over the next few days, but if indications are Rodgers is going to rest I would play Grossman. As for the FLEX, I’d probably stick with Turner but it is close enough that I’d go with your gut.

    Triz – If McGahee is healthy it’s him for me, and yes, the others are all better options

    Tony – I could see using Gaffney over Maclin, but it’s close. With the way Gaffney’s been playing, that’s the way I’d lean.

    • Triz says:

      Don’t say “all better options” like that! My poor guys have got me now to the final 2 (actually, this is making me want to pick back up Tolbert and David Nelson just because I like to have them on my bench) (oh, and Scott Chandler! I should drop the creeper and pick up Chandler next week).

      (Fine, fine, I know it is mostly Arian Foster and Calvin Johnson, your picks, that got me here. But I do love my team of misfit toys!).

      All joking aside, thanks so much for all your so patient help all this year. You’re the best!

  5. Playoffs says:

    Need 2 WRs non PPR
    Laurent Robinson, Victor Cruz, Torrey Smith, Santana Moss, Demariyus Thomas.

  6. AncientHunter says:

    I have Pettigrew as my flex, bout would you suggest I start Gaffney in his place?

    I also could put K Smith in there but I think he has been to inconsistent.

  7. Playoffs – A lot of them are very close, but I would probably go with Thomas & Cruz with Laurent Robinson as my next choice.

    AncientHunter – Smith is an injury risk, so that’s a tough call, but I would definitely roll with Gaffney over Pettigrew.

  8. Ruxtin says:

    Pick 2 WRs and 2 RBs and 1 Flex


    Marshawn Lynch
    CJ Spiller
    Felix Jones

    Thx Professor!

    • Here’s how I’d do it:

      RB – Spiller & Lynch
      WR – Jackson & Harvin
      FLEX – Gaffney

      We’ll have to monitor the news on Jones, though he is now a pretty big injury risk. If he appears healthy I’d probably slide him into the FLEX, but know that it’s possible to lose him in the first quarter. Not sure it’s worth the risk at this point, but we’ll have to see what the news says.

  9. Aaron says:

    Pick 2
    Malcolm Floyd, Dwayne Bowe, Julio Jones????

    Im liking Floyd this week, just needs someone elses opinion

  10. Ramblin' Wreck says:

    What would you do with flex choosing between Harvin and AHer. Got Witten, Welker, and Fitz to round out the rest of the WR and TE positions. This is a PPR, and thanks for the help all year long. You guys rock. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours.

    • It’s what we’re here for and a Happy Holidays to you as well!

      As for Harvin vs. Hernandez, it is very close but I actually think I would go with Hernandez. We all know what NE did the last time they faced Miami and Hernandez is on a roll.

  11. mike almeida says:

    who do u start cruz or austin

  12. Kelly says:

    Merry Christmas! I’m starting WR Steve Smith (Car) and RBs MJD and Kahlil Bell. Still need 2 more WRs and a flex. Very torn. Options are:

    L Rob
    Demaryius Thomas
    Jordy Nelson
    Jabar Gaffney
    Antonio Brown
    Cedric Benson

    Jordy’s awesome and ranked high again this week but I thankfully benched him last week. He seems very risky. Please help! Thanks.

  13. Kevin says:

    Tough one here for me in a PPR league…
    Mike Wallace or Julio Jones
    Leaning towards Wallace, but with Batch and the St. Louis run D and the shootout expected with NO, I think Jones might be worth starting. What do you think?

    • I think you can really go either way. I agree with you that Wallace is probably the better play, however. Pittsburgh is still going to throw the ball and Wallace is their best option. Shootout or not, Jones will be battling for targets.

      I would go with Wallace.

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