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Wide Receiver Watch - Week 13
Todd Gray
November 30, 2004
Top Ten Fantasy WR ’s To Own Comment
1 PHI Terrell Owens Owens’ pedestrian numbers (4 catches, 61 yards) against the Giants made it two weeks in a row and three of four in which he’s been relatively quiet. The special emphasis placed by opposing defenses on shutting him down won’t change, but the results should against Green Bay’s porous secondary in Week 13.
2 GB Javon Walker Walker was quiet against the Rams with two catches for 15 yards and a TD, and his production is down somewhat from the first half of the season. There are no guarantees when Green Bay visits Philadelphia this weekend.
3 MIN Randy Moss Moss was on the field for more than twice as many plays (51) as was widely anticipated and the results were encouraging, if not spectacular. His four catches for 40 yards and a TD marked his first production since Oct. 17. Though he never ran at full speed, he did ramble without a limp and his hamstring woes appear to be a thing of the past.
4 IND Marvin Harrison One week, Harrison is having a subpar year. The next week, he’s right where everyone thought he’d be. Harrison owners would appreciate more consistency, but no one can complain about the final results. His 11 TD receptions are No. 2 in the league at WR following his 12-catch, 127-yard, three-TD day in Detroit. Finally, a Harrison kind of performance.
5 NO Joe Horn You have to wonder what Horn (elbow) would accomplish if he wasn’t battling one injury after another. Then again, who’s complaining? Nine catches, 101 yards and a TD against the Falcons, which is probably what can be expected of him in the Saints’ Week 13 home game against Carolina.
6 IND Reggie Wayne What a bummer - Peyton Manning throws six TD passes and Wayne catches not three of them, not two of them, not one of them – you get the picture. Just a nasty bump in the road for Wayne owners, who can be confident that their draft-day steal will get into the action the next time around.
7 STL Torry Holt Holt (sore knee) has been flip-flopping between strong performances and duds the past seven weeks or so, and his production against the Packers on Monday night fell into the latter category. He’s due for a big game and should have it when the Rams host the 49ers on Sunday.
8 DEN Ashley Lelie Lelie has been the picture of consistency this season, though he was kept out of the end zone against the Raiders. He’s scored in more games than not (6-5) and is a smart bet to hit pay dirt again when the Broncos play in San Diego this Sunday.
9 CAR Muhsin Muhammad Muhammad remains the most productive fantasy wideout over the past month despite catching only two passes for 52 yards against Tampa Bay. In Week 13, Muhammad and the Panther offense faces a New Orleans pass defense ranked last in the league in yards allowed per game (264.5) and near the bottom of the rankings in TDs allowed (20).
10 GB Donald Driver In the past three games since the Packers’ midseason bye, Driver (261 yards, 2 TDs) has shared the attentions of Brett Favre pretty evenly with teammate Javon Walker (177, 2).

(Note – this listing considers the rankings of WR ’s if a draft was held today)

Climbing The Ladder

Derrick Mason (TEN) – He’s been catching balls all year long and his yardage has been decent, it’s just that he was an infrequent visitor to the end zone until a few weeks ago. Since then, he’s scored in three straight games and seems set to deliver the kind of stats Mason owners have been hoping for all along. It goes without saying that the Titans’ matchup against the Colts in Week 13 holds a lot of promise.

Darrell Jackson (SEA) – Jackson doesn’t get here on merit alone. Hardly at all, as a matter of fact. His propensity to drop the ball was tolerable when he was racking up big yards and an occasional score. Lately, that bad habit (he had three more drops on Sunday) has mattered much more to Jackson owners who’ve seen his stats plummet along with the rest of the Seahawks’ offense. His sore ankle isn’t helping matters any, as well. Good news arrives on Monday night in the form of the Dallas Cowboys, who have kindly given up as many touchdown passes (22) as any team outside of Detroit (22) and Houston (27). The Seahawks should break out of their offensive doldrums for that one and the next: a Week 14 date with the Vikings in Minnesota.

Ronald Curry (OAK) – Curry’s performance against the Broncos was overshadowed somewhat by Jerry Porter’s three-TD explosion, but it is Curry, not Porter, who is almost certainly available in all but the deepest leagues. He’s not a long-term fit, because these are the Raiders, after all, but this week’s home date against the reeling Chiefs reeks of big-play potential. Owners who are stuck with No. 3 options like Nate Burleson, Eddie Kennison or the like may want to consider giving Curry a shot.

Sliding Back

Nate Burleson (MIN) – Burleson owners had better hope they used his productive month to find themselves another quality No. 3 receiver. There will be no more five-TD-in-four-week binges for Burleson for as long as Randy Moss’ hammy issue is resolved, beginning with his two-catch, 21-yard performance against Jacksonville in Week 13. That isn’t to say he won’t be good for an occasional score, but since his yardage totals weren’t great too begin with the one good reason to start him has been cut in half. Which essentially makes half of a half of a reason to stick him in your starting lineup, or something like that. This week’s game at Chicago doesn’t look too promising, either.

Chad Johnson (CIN) – Perhaps it’s unfair to put the streaking Johnson on this list. After all, he’s coming off a fine performance against the Browns (10 catches, 117 yards, 1 TD) and has been panning out reasonably well of late after being a disappointment for much of the first half of the season. Problem is, the Bengals play at Baltimore in Week 13, and the Ravens have given up a league-low seven passing touchdowns this season. Johnson may be an easy play in the weeks ahead, but owners with solid WR depth in two-receiver leagues may want to think twice about giving him a Week 13 start.

Keyshawn Johnson (DAL) – Johnson was a nice surprise in the first half of the season, but then Vinny Testaverde got hurt, the Drew Henson experiment wasn’t ready for prime time and the Cowboys, as it turns out, are truly that bad. Now Johnson, who hasn’t scored since Oct. 31, has his own sore knee to worry about. It does appear that Testaverde is back in the saddle for the Cowboys, but his three touchdowns and seven interceptions over the past four games is uninspiring, to say the least. Fantasy owners had best temper their expectations when the Cowboys play in Seattle on Monday night.