Week 17 Rankings: Top 50 Wide Recievers

by Will Overton

It’s time to take a look at the top wide receivers of the week. There are a lot of injuries and potential returns from injuries that could change these, but as we stand right now this is how I see the top 50 playing out:

  1. Calvin Johnson – Detroit Lions @ Green Bay
  2. Larry Fitzgerald – Arizona Cardinals vs. Seattle
  3. Wes Welker – New England Patriots vs. Buffalo
  4. Roddy White – Atlanta Falcons vs. Tampa Bay
  5.  Steve Smith – Carolina Panthers @ New Orleans
  6. Stevie Johnson – Buffalo Bills @ New England
  7. Victor Cruz – New York Giants vs. Dallas
  8. Marques Colston – New Orleans Saints vs. Carolina
  9. Miles Austin – Dallas Cowboys @ NY Giants
  10. Dwayne Bowe – Kansas City Chiefs @ Denver
  11. Brandon Marshall – Miami Dolphins vs. NY Jets
  12. Hakeem Nicks – New York Giants vs. Dallas
  13. Santonio Holmes – New York Jets @ Miami
  14. Mike Wallace – Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cleveland
  15. Percy Harvin – Minnesota Vikings vs. Chicago
  16. Malcolm Floyd – San Diego Chargers @ Oakland
  17. Michael Crabtree – San Francisco 49ers @ St. Louis
  18. A.J. Green – Cincinnati Bengals vs. Baltimore
  19. Jabar Gaffney – Washington Redskins @ Philadelphia
  20. Demaryius Thomas – Denver vs. Kansas City
  21. Dez Bryant – Dallas Cowboys @ NY Giants
  22. Jeremy Maclin – Philadelphia Eagles vs. Washington
  23. Jordy Nelson – Green Bay Packers vs. Detroit
  24. Mike Williams – Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Atlanta
  25. Reggie Wayne – Indianapolis Colts @ Jacksonville
  26. Lance Moore – New Orleans Saints vs. Carolina
  27. Desean Jackson – Philadelphia Eagles vs. Washington
  28. Torrey Smith – Baltimore Ravens @ Cincinnati
  29. Darrius Heyward-Bey – Oakland Raiders vs. San Diego
  30. James Jones – Green Bay Packers vs. Detroit
  31. Vincent Jackson – San Diego Chargers @ Oakland
  32. Doug Baldwin – Seattle Seahawks @ Arizona
  33. Julio Jones – Atlanta Falcons vs. Tampa Bay
  34. David Nelson – Buffalo Bills @ New England
  35. Nate Burelson – Detroit Lions @ Green Bay
  36. Laurent Robinson – Dallas Cowboys @ NY Giants
  37. Nate Washington – Tennessee Titans @ Houston
  38. Brandon Lloyd – St. Louis Rams vs. San Francisco
  39. Andre Roberts – Arizona Cardinals vs. Seattle
  40. Denarius Moore – Oakland Raiders vs. San Diego
  41. Santana Moss – Washington Redskins @ Philadelphia
  42. Roy Williams – Chicago Bears @ Minnesota
  43. Pierre Garcon – Indianapolis Colts @ Jacksonville
  44. Antonio Brown – Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cleveland
  45. Deion Branch – New England Patriots vs. Buffalo
  46. Brandon LaFell – Carolina Panthers @ New Orleans
  47. Jerome Simpson – Cincinnati Bengals vs. Baltimore
  48. Donald Driver – Green Bay Packers vs. Detroit
  49. Damien Williams – Tennessee Titans @ Houston
  50. Jacoby Jones – Houston Texans vs. Indianapolis
  • So far the word coming out of Detroit this week is that the Lions are going to play to win against the Packers and that means their starters will stay on the field as long as the game is close. Unless that changes Calvin Johnson has to stay at the top of these rankings. Johnson is dominating every single week and there is no better receiver.
  • After taking care of business while on Revis Island last week there is no question that Victor Cruz has gone from nowhere to become one of the better receivers in fantasy. Cruz had a couple of down weeks after going over 100 yards three straight weeks, but he got right back on track last Sunday and he’s in the top ten again this week.
  • One of the most popular questions that gets asked every week is; which Cowboy receiver should I play? After scoring three straight weeks and getting things back on track with Tony Romo the answer has to be Miles Austin now. It’s a little scary to play any Cowboys receiver because there are so many weapons, but if you have Austin you have to get over that fear and play him.
  • Santonio Holmes didn’t find the endzone on Sunday against the Giants, but prior to that he had scored in four straight games. I like the matchup for Holmes against the Dolphins and this is the time the Jets shine, when the pressure is on. Unless you have some incredible options, Holmes is a must start.
  • You might be shaking your head at the notion of Jabar Gaffney being a top 20 reciever, but he has something very solid going right now with Rex Grossman. The matchup with the Eagles isn’t the best, but the numbers don’t lie. The last three games Gaffney has 18 catches, 254 yards and 2 TD’s. Those numbers are up there with the likes of Stevie Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald over that time.
  • It’s not clear if Desean Jackson will play on Sunday or not. It’s also not clear if he does play, whether or not he can help your fantasy team. Jackson has been a huge disappointment this season and if he is not 100% he should not be considered a must start. He has lost that title at this point.
  • Every week this season the Raiders top receiver has changed. Right now the title has gone from Denarius Moore back to Darrius Heyward-Bey had a nice four game run earlier this season. He’s back on track these last three games with 17 catches, 303 yards and a TD. It would be tough to bench Heyward-Bey at this point, especially with the Raiders playoff chances on the line.
  • Injuries could change these results an awful lot. Andre Johnson and Mario Manningham are currently questionable to play on Sunday and either one could crack the top 50 if they play. Also, if Vincent Jackson looks to be 100% healthy come Sunday he would move a few spots up the board. You are going to want to keep checking the news feed to make sure you don’t miss anything.
Week 17 Rankings: Top 15 Defenses
Week 17 Rankings: Top 40 Running Backs


  1. Triz says:

    I’ve got Rivers, Gates, Steelers D and Akers. I guess those are set (though QB because there is no one better to pick up).

    WR/RBs is confusing this week though. I was thinking it would be easy – Arian Foster, Mathews, Spiller, Calvin Johnson, Stevie Johnson – but these comments about Arian Foster make me nervous.

    I guess from the rankings my next top choices would be McGahee or Holmes, since Spiller can be either. Which one do you think?

    And do I switch Foster out even if he is not officially on the bench? He’s been so great this year, but I can really see why it would be smart of them to sit him out.


    • The final week of the season is always extremely tough to predict. I’ve never been a big Holmes fan and would probably play McGahee if I was going to switch Foster out.

      Before we make that decision, though, where do you stand for the week? Are you in the lead? Playing from behind?

      • Triz says:

        I’m 19 points ahead. :)

        (though this is the guy that has Cam Newton – who got 37 points last time we played!)

        • Triz says:

          PS since Mathews didn’t practice today, I picked up Kahlil Bell as backup.

        • At this point I would actually go with Bell over your other options. Foster is too big of a risk and, if Mathews is banged up, who knows what they are going to do. However, let’s check bck in on Sunday and see where the news is.

          • Triz says:

            Okay, I will check back tomorrow. At least Foster / Bell and McGahee / Mathews play at the same times!

            Thanks again for all your help. Happy New Year! :)

          • Happy New Year to you too!

            I find it hard to believe that Foster is going to play the entire game today so I would actually lean against using him. They are not going to have a first week buy, so would it be surprising to see him pulled after the first quarter?

            I would slot Bell in over him.

            As for McGahee/Mathews, if Mathews is healthy he’s the choice. We’ll have to monitor the news today and see what happens, though.

            I don’t like Holmes, so I wouldn’t move spiller at this point.

  2. Tony54 says:

    I need some help here for the championship game.

    I have a 3 WR format. I have an idea of who to start, but wanted to get your take. On a side note, I do have the option to pick up Heyward-Bey and or Darrius Moore. Also Dexter McLuster is a WR/RB in my league (Could that be a sneaky pick up)

    WR’s: Sanatana Moss, VJax, Malcom Floyd, Antonio Brown, Crabtree.

    My RB’s are Foster (might sit), Kahlil Bell, Helu, CJ Spiller, Felix jones

  3. Philly Snowball Thrower says:

    I recently discovered this site and I am really impressed. Up 33 pts 2nd week of championship (PPR): QB -Stafford, RB Rice, RB Lynch, Flex Kahlil Bell, TE Vernon Davis DEF Eagles……………Based on your ratings I am starting Dem. Thomas and Malcolm Floyd over Laurent Robinson and Antonio Brown. Is that correct? Also have Tebow. Is he a safer choice in week 17 over Stafford? Thanks

  4. Greg says:

    Looking for some tips for my championship game. Our format is QB, 3 WR, 2 RB, TE, K, Def. Would it be wise to sit any of my top players? I’m not sure which, if any, won’t play much since their team won’t need the win. Specifically Ryan, Welker, Nelson, and Gronkowski.

    My QB’s are: Matt Ryan, Hasselbeck
    My RB’s are: Jones-Drew, McGahee, Donald Brown, Saine
    My WR’s are: Welker, Jordy Nelson, Malcom Floyd, Doug Baldwin, Eric Decker
    Gronkowski is my only TE right now. I’m playing Nugent (K) and Pittsburgh (Def).

    Any help is appreciated.

  5. Tony54 – How many RB do you start? Is there a FLEX?

    Philly Snowball – Welcome! That’s exactly how I’d go with the WR. With Brown you just don’t know how much Pittsburgh is going to push their stars, plus you have Roethlisberger banged up. With Robinson, he himself is banged up and Romo has proven very comfortable with Miles Austin at this point. Go with those two and hope for the best!

    As for the QB, I would definitely roll with Stafford. Good luck!

    Greg – Here’s how I’d do it:
    QB – Ryan
    RB – Jones-Drew & McGehee
    WR – Welker & Floyd are definites. With Nelson, there’s a definite chance that GB doesn’t use him much, if at all. I’d monitor the news on what GB’s plans are, because the other options you have are not very promising.
    As for the TE, I’d still anticipate Gronkowski having a big day.

  6. Mike says:

    I have Crabtree on my bench but am wondering if I should start him instead of: Brandon Marshall, Percy Harvin or Larry Fitz?

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