Must Start: The Top 15
1. Randy Moss @ PHI - We've
heard of power backs usurping goal-line carries (see Bettis, Jerome)
but wide receivers? If you think about it, it makes perfect sense.
He's a matchup nightmare for any DB (taller, faster, better hands,
better hops) and D coordinators are loath to commit an extra defender
to a wideout (even Moss) on the one-yard line. Philly's new corners
could be in for a rough Monday night.
2. Torry Holt @ ATL - It's almost
shocking when he doesn't post a 100-yard game and a couple scores.
He came close last week (96 yards) but couldn't find the end zone.
If he fails to do so this week, I'll eat my hat.
3. Chad Johnson vs. MIA - Chad
knew it. The Jets knew it. The fans knew it. Hell, even the ghost
of Jimmy Hoffa knew it. He was gonna hit a deep one in the Meadowlands
on Sunday. Get used to it, opposing secondaries. Only Randy Moss
is a more dangerous long-ball threat.
4. Terrell Owens vs. MIN - The
only thing worse than listening to T.O. talk about T.O. is listening
to Michael Irvin talk about T.O (or anything else, for that matter).
He made me look a little foolish last week but he WAS playing
the Giants. Unfortunately for those facing him this week, he'll
be involved in another high-scoring affair on Monday night against
the Vikes. Gotta think he'll put up some more big numbers as a
5. Santana Moss @ SD - Stop
me if you've heard this before: the addition of Justin McCareins
makes the Jets a VERY dangerous team this year. Moss will benefit
the most and it starts this week against a better-but-still-crummy
San Diego secondary.
6. Marvin Harrison @ TEN - I
promised his numbers would go down this year and, at least for
one week, they did. That's more a reflection of the overall talent
Indy possesses in the receiving corps than anything else
no reason to sit him down. Play him with confidence.
7. Hines Ward @ BAL - Ward was
his usual reliable self against the Rai-duhs (seven receptions
for 99 yards) but couldn't find paydirt. That's OK. I'll take
ten fantasy points from the receiver position any day of the week.
The touchdowns will come so there's no reason to panic. It wouldn't
hurt if Mr. Burress chipped in every once in a while, either.
8. Derrick Mason vs. IND - There
weren't many receptions to go around in Tennessee's victory over
Miami. That should change this week when Peyton and the Colts
pay a visit. He's still the best fantasy receiver I've never owned
whatever that's worth.
9. Joe Horn vs. SF - There were
only seven 100-yard receivers in Week 1 and of those seven, only
one snared a touchdown pass (Ike Bruce). I'd be willing to wager
that changes in Week 2 and Horn is a prime candidate to make it
happen. I'll stop short of a Shot Caller guarantee, but
10. Andre Johnson @ DET - In
a mild surprise, he didn't do much against the vulnerable Bolts.
This week, he faces a Detroit secondary minus its top player,
'Dre Bly. David Carr would be foolish not to look for him early
and often at Ford Field. You'd be foolish not to start him.
11. Darrell Jackson @ TB - If
the 'Hawks are without the meal ticket (Alexander), Jackson and
Co. will be asked to step it up at Raymond James. It's not like
he didn't do that last week (seven catches for 98 yards) but a
touchdown or two couldn't hurt.
12. Deion Branch @ ARI - Starting
New England wide receivers has been a risky proposition the past
few years but if you can handle the gamble, take a chance on this
guy. He's got good wheels, great hands, and a nose for the goal
line. For the record, he's getting the nod in one of my dynasty
13. Eric Moulds @ OAK - He seems
to go off every other year. Eight grabs for 75 yards and a touch
in Week 1 tells me that trend will continue in '04. If you're
into that sorta thing, give him a shot. If not, you could always
go with the more reliable
14. Jimmy Smith vs. DEN - 35-year
olds aren't supposed to be deep threats but Smith had no problem
getting deep on Moulds' Bills at Ralph Wilson (four catches for
83 yards). Provided Leftwich becomes more consistent (questionable
at this point), he should have another Pro Bowl-caliber season.
15. Isaac Bruce @ ATL - It only
SEEMS like he's 35. The 11-year vet is a spry 31 actually, and
though he may have lost a step, you couldn't convince the Cardinals
of that. He torched them last week to the tune of nine catches,
111 yards, and a score. I'll say it again: no other #2 wideout
gives you #1 wideout production.
Grab A Helmet:
Justin McCareins @ SD - In case
you hadn't noticed, I love this guy. He measures 6'2" and
215 so there aren't many NFL corners who can out-maneuver him
on the slant routes or out-leap him on the long ones. That makes
him a perfect complement to the undersized but explosive Santana
Peter Warrick vs. MIA - Count
me as one of the folks who thought Kelley Washington would take
his place as Chad Johnson's #2. Silly me. Warrick is a better
fit for the offense and should continue to benefit from that field-stretching
demon on the other side. He's one of the few wideouts to get consistent
rushing attempts, too.
Roy Williams vs. HOU - His highlight
reel grab against the Bears was just a sign of things to come
good things. Though it would certainly help having Chas. Rogers
in the fold, he's still gonna make big plays. I've already declined
one trade offer for him.
David Terrell @ GB - Figures.
I label him a bust last week and he responds by throwing up the
most receiving yards of any wideout in Week 1. My penance? I'll
give him the benefit of the doubt this week. Actually, his size
could give Green Bay's smallish corners trouble, but it's VERY
questionable whether Grossman can consistently get him the ball.
Alge Crumpler vs. STL - He's
Michael Vick's favorite target and a load to bring down in the
open field. Tight end is not a deep position so if you have him,
you've got a leg up on the competition. Start him every week.
Grab Some Wood:
Keyshawn Johnson vs. CLE - I'm
making this recommendation on principle alone. He's the most insufferable,
immature, immodest receiver to ever play the game. I'd pay good
money to see him face his old teammates in Tampa or Warren Sapp
and the Raiders in the Black Hole. Good money, mind you.
Kevin Johnson vs. PIT - He's
not untalented but he's absolutely hamstrung by the Ravens' young
signal-caller. For that reason alone, I'd recommend you never
start him. Never.
Laveranues Coles @ NYG - This
one could come back to haunt me but, like Johnson, he's at the
mercy of a QB that won't consistently be able to take advantage
of his many gifts. Yes, he'll score some points, but do you really
wanna play the guessing game every week? Deal him if you can fetch
some value in return.
Any Tampa receiver vs. SEA -
Word on the street is the Bucs players are pleading with Keenan
McCardell to report. No wonder. The rook, Michael Clayton, is
the only legitimate weapon right now. Until further notice, steer
clear of this disaster.
Plaxico Burress @ BAL - The
Pittsburgh press was talking him up in the preseason but one catch
for a measly 13 yards in Week 1 tells us all we need to know.
Plaxico is still Plaxico
and that's not a good thing. Stay
away until he decides he wants to be a factor again.
Best of luck, folks!!