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

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

Must Start: The Top 15

1. Chad Johnson @ PIT – I told you he’d lead all receivers in fantasy points at the start of the year and I’m not backing off that prediction now, especially with Steve Smith coming back to earth of late. C.J. has tallied 368 yards and two scores in his last three games and gets a chance this Sunday to put some room between the Bengals and Steelers in the AFC North. It won’t be easy but when have you known him to back away from a challenge? Get those mikes ready if Cincy pulls off the upset.

2. Steve Smith v. ATL – Considering where he’s been (the stratosphere), you shouldn’t read too much into that “coming back to earth” comment. He’s still the most productive fantasy wideout in the game and could remain so if the Panthers get their suddenly stagnant offense back in gear. I think they will against Atlanta’s somewhat overrated bunch.

3. Larry Fitzgerald @ SF – If the Cardinals ever develop a legit rushing attack, look out. Even without one, nobody’s been able to stop Fitzgerald and his running mate, Anquan Boldin, this season. “Nobody” includes the band of nobodies masquerading as defenders in the San Fran secondary. Expect big numbers and at least one score for the former Panther this Sunday.

4. Marvin Harrison v. TEN – I’ve been taken to task for favoring Marvin over his more dynamic and almost-as-prolific teammate, Reggie Wayne, this season. Shall we peek inside the numbers? Marvin’s scored nine touchdowns to Wayne’s four. Any questions? Enough, already!

5. Anquan Boldin @ SF – The same logic dictates I put Fitzgerald over Boldin, though the margin is even slimmer between these two. He’s actually averaging more yards/game (92.9) than his more celebrated teammate (90.8) and is always capable of posting bigger numbers in any given week. Heads you win, tails you win.

6. Santana Moss @ STL – It didn’t help you much (since the article didn’t get published in time), but I actually predicted a score for him last weekend. I feel even more confident he’ll find the end zone this Sunday as he’s facing a Rams team that has given up a league-worst 23 touchdown passes thus far. In fact, let’s go ahead and guarantee that score.

7. Torry Holt v. WAS – He’s failed to score in only two games this season and is averaging over 104 yards per contest, good for third in the league. So why is he all the way down at #7? Let’s just say I’m not convinced Ryan Fitzpatrick can catch lightning in a bottle. The Redskins are a far cry from the ragtag outfit Houston trotted out on the field last weekend. Start him but temper your expectations a bit.

8. Randy Moss @ SD – I can’t remember the last time a healthy Randy fell out of the top 5 but the numbers don’t lie: just six catches for 68 yards and no scores in his last two tilts. You certainly don’t sit him but you might think twice about starting him over Jerry Porter if you own the both of them.

9. Joey Galloway @ NO – Even if he doesn’t catch another pass all season, Galloway has locked up my vote for Comeback Player of the Year. Seriously, did anyone think he was capable of topping the 1,000 yard mark again? He’s already done it through twelve weeks and might even best 1,500 if he keeps up his current pace (269 in his last two efforts). Start him, as usual.

10. Plaxico Burress v. DAL – The Panthers are still my favorite to win the NFC but it wouldn’t surprise me greatly to see the G-Men steal the championship should they make it that far. They outplayed the other title contender, Seattle, last weekend and have the most offensive talent east of San Diego. Manning v. Manning, anyone? You know what the folks at NFL corporate would think about that prospect. Cha-ching!

11. Antonio Gates v. OAK – Gates did almost nothing in the first meeting with Oakland but is too good to be shut out this time around. Besides, with L.T. running rampant, how can the already challenged Raiders throw extra coverage his way? Expect 75 yards and a score as the Bolts inch ever closer to a playoff berth.

12. Jerry Porter @ SD – I took the Chargers in our local survivor pool but it’s not because Oakland lacks talent. It’s because the talent they DO have plays on only one side of the ball, the offensive side. Porter has become Collins’ favorite target of late and should have no problem racking up 50-75 yards and a score in the inevitable shootout. Start him.

13. Reggie Wayne v. TEN – He’s nowhere near his 12-TD pace of last season but is still a dangerous target capable of posting huge numbers when the circumstances warrant. I’m not sure they will this Sunday, either, but you can’t sit him down against a Tennessee team that has yielded 22 TD strikes this season. Give him the nod and hope like hell Peyton feels like throwing a little love his way.

14. Rod Smith @ KC – He’s caught five balls in every one of his last four games and has also scored three times in that same span. Not top 5 numbers by any stretch, but better than the proverbial poke in the eye with a sharp stick. Get him in there against a KC D giving up over 240 yards per game through the air.

15. Hines Ward v. CIN – The absence of Big Ben didn’t hurt his bottom line as much as I thought it would. Now that the big guy is back, he should be a good start the rest of the way. He doesn’t play in the most dynamic offense, but he’s usually good for 50-75 yards and a score. Expect something along those lines against a fairly generous Bengals defense.

Grab a Helmet

Donte Stallworth v. TB – He hadn’t scored through the first five weeks of the season but has since tallied six TDs and is finally becoming a great sidekick to the always productive Joe Horn. We’ll see what he’s really made of this weekend as the Saints square off against the tough Tampa secondary. Expect 50 yards and, if you’re lucky, another score.

Donald Driver @ CHI – It’s hard to figure the Pack this year. They don’t win games (just two “W”s thus far) but they don’t get blown out and have even managed to score more points than their opponents through twelve weeks, a statistical anomaly bordering on the unbelievable. What does all this mean? You shouldn’t sit Driver, no matter how bad things appear to be in Green Bay.

Deion Branch v. NYJ – David Givens is supposed to return to the lineup this Sunday but he hasn’t played in almost a month and is unlikely to take over feature duties from Branch, anyway. Though he doesn’t catch a ton of balls, Branch is pretty adept at finding pay dirt, having scored thrice in his last five games. Give him a look if you’re short-handed at the position.

Jeremy Shockey v. DAL – He followed up a one-catch, one-yard performance in Week 11 with a 10-catch, 127-yard beaut in Week 12. Unfortunately, he was also caught prematurely celebrating one of Jay Feely’s three misses. That’s bad mojo, bud. Here’s hoping he’s satisfied the football gods enough to post solid numbers again this Sunday. Keep in mind he’s already posted one 100-yard effort against the ‘Boys this season.

T.J. Houshmandzadeh @ PIT – Despite two fewer games, the pony-tailed one has actually posted almost identical numbers to Reggie Wayne this season, the guy most of you think of as the best #2 option outside of Anquan Boldin. His totals last week against the supposedly stingy Ravens? Nine catches, 147 yards, and a score. To think I paid only a few bucks for him in our “experts” auction league. Suckers!

Grab Some Wood

Any NY Jets receiver @ NE – The Pats are no great shakes against the pass this season but perhaps they would be if they faced the Jets every week. The quarterback mess hasn’t helped things, for sure, but Messrs. Coles and McCareins have still only accounted for three TD receptions thus far. That’s not good, especially when you consider that former Jet, Santana Moss, has accounted for twice that many…all by himself. No way.

Any Detroit receiver v. MIN – Joey takes the heat and Mooch takes the fall but there’s no question they’d both be better off if these guys had lived up to their potential. Take away Roy Williams’ three-TD explosion against Arizona and you have only three scoring receptions by the wideouts this season. Blame whomever you want. I still blame these guys and a woeful offensive line. Of course, I’m a little biased (go Ducks!)

Any Cleveland receiver v. JAX – The Browns have some talent at receiver but not the means to maximize it until Trent Dilfer gives way to someone more dynamic. If you’re in a keeper league, you should definitely be stashing Braylon Edwards and Antonio Bryant on your bench. If you’re not, you shouldn’t be wasting the roster space. Sit them both down against Jacksonville’s second-ranked passing D this Sunday.

Best of luck, folks!