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The Shot Caller's Report - WRs
Your Weekly Guide To Fantasy Lineups: Week 5
Positions: QBs | RBs | WRs

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

Bye Weeks: Miami, New England, Pittsburgh, and Seattle; so that means Brandon Marshall, Davone Bess, Brian Hartline, Wes Welker, Hines Ward, Mike Wallace, Deion Branch, and Mike Williams are all benched.

Always start your studs: Andre Johnson, Reggie Wayne, Wes Welker, Larry Fitzgerald, Miles Austin, Roddy White, and Brandon Marshall

Start 'Em:
Receivers Who Will Outperform Relative To Their Draft Position And Recent Hype

Calvin Johnson vs. STL
Whether it’s the surprising Shaun Hill or Matthew Stafford in his return (unlikely), look for Johnson to inch his way toward the top 15 of the major receiving categories (catches and yards) with a big game this week. He has 3 TDs this year, which is nice, but he may need to step it up a bit to score on the surprising Rams and their ridiculous 13-points-allowed-per-game defense—but I’m sure he can manage that. Johnson’s 237 total yards ranks 23rd in the league, and his 20 receptions ranks 20th, so he obviously hasn’t been having the type of year we all expected. But it’s just a matter of time before the Lions “deadly” passing attack, featuring their two tight ends, shifts over to the wideouts, namely Johnson. Plus, even though the Rams only give up 13 points per contest, they are 21st in the league in pass defense, giving up 231 yards a game and the sixth-most 20-plus yard passing plays.

Kevin Walter vs. NYG
With Andre Johnson’s status still up in the air at the time of writing this, I look for Kevin Walter to have his way on Sunday—yes, even against the second-ranked pass defense of the Giants. The Giants are giving up just 140 yards per game, with very few big plays, and have been pressuring quarterbacks like crazy. Still, Walter is the type of player who could reel in 10 catches for decent yardage against the Giants, especially if he’s the main target this week. I’m kind of going against the grain with this recommendation, but I just don’t think the Giants secondary is as good as the current numbers and rankings indicate. Plus they’ll be too focused on stopping Arian Foster.

Donald Driver @ WAS
Driver is tied for 17th in the league in receptions and 25th in receiving yards. He also has 3 TDs, and this is on a Packers team that hasn’t clicked yet and whose offense should only get better each week. He’s once again outperforming Greg Jennings, who just can’t breakout the way everyone expects him to each year. But my main reason for recommending Driver is because he’s going up against the league’s 31st-ranked pass defense—a defense that allows 305 yards and 1.5 TDs per game on average. Between the Redskins’ horrid defense and Aaron Rodgers throwing him the ball, Driver is poised for a big game this week.

Hakeem Nicks @ HOU
I recommended Kevin Walter on the Texans’ side and now I’m recommending Hakeem Nicks on the Giants’ side. Do you get the feeling I’m anticipating a shootout in Houston this week? The Texans have the league’s worst pass defense, giving up 338 yards and 2 TDs per game while allowing quarterbacks a rating of 107.8 and a completion percentage of 70. These numbers are ridiculous, and Nicks should add to his 15th-ranked receiving yardage, 19th-ranked receptions total, and second-ranked touchdown total. Manning to Nicks is really starting to turn into something special, so you want to be on that bandwagon—especially this week against the Texans.

Bench 'Em:
Receivers Who Will Under Perform Relative To Their Draft Position And Recent Hype

Brandon Lloyd @ BAL
Lloyd is having a great year so far. He’s second in the league in receiving yards (454) and seventh in receptions (25), and although he leads the league in number of big plays (of 20 or more yards) he has only a single touchdown. On the other side of the ball, the Ravens have allowed just one score through the air, are giving up the fewest yards per game (119), and have allowed the least number of big plays. Something has to give, and I say it’ll be Brandon Lloyd rather than the Ravens defense.

Roy Williams vs. TEN
Williams, the “other” Dallas wideout, has 12 catches for 191 yards (64 yards per game average) and 2 TDs. He has fewer catches than rookie Dez Bryant and only about 40 more yards. As the season progresses, I expect Bryant to become more prominent in the Cowboys passing game, and coming off a bye week could be a good start to that. The Titans pass defense is just average at the moment, but they lead the league in sacks and have more INTs than TDs allowed, so this is probably a good week to bench Williams.

Percy Harvin @ NYJ
“Headaches Harvin” has been improving each week, and last game he got his first TD of the year. Still, he has just 12 catches for 109 yards in three games, and this week he faces the Jets defense. The Jets pass defense is ranked just 22nd in the league and they are allowing 233 yards per game, but there’s a chance Darrelle Revis might be back this week. And even with the yardage they allow, the defense is still solid and only giving up 14 points per game. Considering how the Vikings—including Favre and his receivers—have struggled this year, it seems like a safe bet to pass over Harvin this week, especially if Revis is back.

Malcom Floyd @ OAK
The most surprising and impressive thing about Malcolm Floyd this year isn’t that he’s 14th in the league in receiving (with 285 yards) or that he’s become the main man in San Diego in Vincent Jackson’s absence, nor is it his impressive 20.4 yards per catch average. It’s that all 14 of his receptions have resulted in first downs for the Chargers. Now that means squat in fantasy land, but c’mon, a 100 percent first down ratio is pretty incredible. Okay, so we know he’s a surprise performer so far this year, but this week he faces an even bigger surprise performer—the Raiders defense. Oakland is currently third in the league in pass defense, giving up just 144 yards per game. They do give up a lot of touchdowns and points overall, however, so Floyd might still do well enough for you. Just be wary of the matchup and thus a potential flop from him this week.