T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Bengals - Moving Up
I said it in several discussions during the draft season, but T.J. is almost a more consistent option than Chad Johnson, and now he’s beginning to have better numbers. They will stay 1 and 1A overall, but T.J. deserves to be ranked in the top ten, because that is where he belongs.
Chris Chambers, Dolphins - Moving Up
You could be surprised by the fact that Chambers ranks sixth in passes caught and sixth in average yards per game…one of only seven who are averaging over 100 yards or more a game. The place he gets dinged is in the TD category, where he has yet to catch one. Playing for an offense that isn’t at the top of its game makes this feat much more amazing, warranting a move up. Add some scores and he’s up with the best this season.
Anquan Boldin, Cardinals - Moving Up
About the time I said he wasn’t producing, he went nuts. Problem is, he went off with Kurt Warner at QB, something that won’t happen every week. He’s obviously going to be a must start every week, but we now know that the team at least still knows he exists.
Shaun McDonald, Lions - Moving Up
He’s not going to be the number one guy in Detroit, and yes, the ball gets spread around a lot, but one thing is becoming very obvious – McDonald IS Kitna’s favorite receiver. Not only is he the favorite ‘escape valve’ receiver, he’s also the favorite target in the end zone…something fantasy owners love to see. He won’t light things up, but he’ll put up solid, consistent numbers for you each week.
Wes Welker, Patriots - Moving Up
He doesn’t get touchdowns on regular basis, which is becoming his only downside. The upside is he has twenty receptions in three games. He’s playing opposite Randy Moss, which means he’ll never be double covered, so he is a must start every week and gets a nice boost in the rankings.
Kevin Curtis, Eagles - Moving Up
The Eagle offense woke up this week, and while they may not put up the amazing numbers they had this week every week, Curtis has proven to be the go to guy for Donovan McNabb. Look for his numbers to be somewhere between what he had the first two weeks and what he had in week three for the remainder of the season…on average.
Reggie Brown, Eagles - Moving Down
While Curtis is moving up, Brown is falling like a rock. Here’s the bottom line though, when your team puts up 381 passing yards and scores more than fifty points and you only have two catches for twenty-three yards…you’re not a factor. Another week of not being a factor and Brown will likely find himself out of the top 70.
Hines Ward, Steelers - Moving Down
This one is tough to call and even harder to read, but the bottom line is Ward has nine catches for 108 yards and one score in three games. These are not the numbers of someone who is a top ranked wide receiver. He’s going to continue moving down unless something begins to change in the steel city.
Santonio Holmes, Steelers - Moving Down
He’s ranked one below Ward even though his numbers are better…but only slightly. The reason he’s below is because I’m giving Ward the benefit of the doubt. Either way, Pittsburgh is not lighting things up in the receiving world, so you’re better off trying to find help elsewhere. Holmes is serviceable as a starter, but only as a third guy and not if you have better option.
Darrell Jackson, 49ers - Moving Down
He’s still a top target and likely will climb eventually, but had to be dropped based on current production. Eleven catches in three games for 166 and no scores won’t keep you in the top twenty…or even close.
Bobby Engram, Seahawks - Moving Up
Not a threat to light up the scoreboard like some of the flashier receivers out there, but he’s steady and his quarterback is comfortable with him. He’s not the number one guy in Seattle, and he’s not really the number two either, but he’s probably the most consistent. Feel comfortable starting him any time you have need of some sure points.
Dwayne Bowe, Chiefs - Moving Up
Something to think about. Bowe basically duplicated his numbers from the first two games in his third game. He now has ten catches for 135 and two scores. Now, remember this: He plays for Kansas City. These numbers tell the seasoned NFL fan that the Chiefs have quite possibly found ‘that’ guy they’ve been looking for. If he’s still available you should pick him up this week, he won’t stay available long.
Reggie Williams, Jaguars - Moving Up
Giving credit where credit is due. He’s not moving up much, but touchdowns for two strait weeks say that Garrard likes him in the end zone at least, which is music to fantasy owner’s ears, especially if you play in a TD heavy scoring system.
Mike Furrey, Lions - Moving Down
Tough call considering the offense he plays for, but he’s looking like the fourth option among four primary targets. This isn’t enough to drop him out of the rankings…he’ll still have quite a few receptions and yards – he’s averaging five catches and fifty yards a game – but he doesn’t get many looks in the end zone. A nice start and likely higher rank if you play in a PPR scoring system.
Lee Evans, Bills - Moving Down
Drops even more this week, as it is becoming painfully obvious to many owners that they wasted a very high draft pick on a bust. For whatever reason, quite possibly the fact that Buffalo has a disgustingly awful offense, he has become a complete non-factor. I wouldn’t drop him, as he could come around later in the season, but I sure wouldn’t be starting him right now.
D.J. Hackett, Seahawks - Moving Down
It is hard to keep someone who isn’t playing from dropping off the charts, but Hackett is going to have to come back like gang busters to move back up the list. Until then, Branch and Engram are your guys.
Drew Bennett, Rams - Moving Down
There is a lot of potential here, but so far it is unrealized. The Rams in general are struggling mightily which means Bennett has become a virtual non-factor. Wait until the Rams find some stable offense before putting him in your lineup.
Mark Clayton, Ravens - Moving Up
There are some out there who will jump all over Clayton’s re-entry into the top 70…don’t get too excited. One week with a couple of extra looks isn’t enough to make me believe he’s anything better than he was. The one indicator that I feel matters doesn’t help him too much, but maybe just a tad – he was thrown to six times to William’s four this week. Bottom line though is that Mason is still getting two-to-three times the throws a game as either Clayton or Williams, and Williams is still the deep threat.
Nate Burleson, Seahawks - Moving Up
With D.J. Hackett out Burleson has been getting a lot of action, especially in the end zone. Whether or not it will continue when Hackett returns is anyone’s guess. All we know is there won’t be enough to go around to four top receivers, so something will have to give. We’ll put Nate up a little, but know it may be short lived…we’ll see.
And now a few observations…Some teams are in danger of losing representation in the top 70, namely Buffalo. The offense is anemic, with no fix in sight. A few guys are hit and miss from week to week but have yet to separate themselves, so plenty of movement can be expected as teams settle in and get the kinks worked out. Not much new this week overall to report.
Players climbing toward top 70: Roscoe Parrish, Buffalo Bills; Nate Washington, Pittsburgh Steelers
Players falling: Joe Horn, Atlanta Falcons; Jerry Porter, Oakland Raiders; Eddie Kennison, Kansas City Chiefs; Dwayne Jarrett, Carolina Panthers; Jacoby Jones, Houston Texans