Mike Walker, Jaguars – After not recording a catch in the first two weeks and one in week three, Walker has had five and six catches the past two games respectively. With a glut of receivers on the team, there is no guarantee he’s going to remain a factor, but it should be noted that the six catches came against a good Pittsburgh defense, and with Denver’s less than stellar unit on deck, look for at least one more productive week for Walker, with good upside beyond that. While Jacksonville is primarily a running team, they do wind up with a solid number of passes and if he continues getting five or six a week he’s bound to wind up in the end zone as well sooner or later. He’s only in his second year, so could be one to watch especially in keeper leagues.
Rashied Davis, Bears – While no one is getting too close to referencing Chicago as being a passing team, the steady growth in confidence that Kyle Orton is displaying is helping guys like Davis. He hasn’t lit up the show all season, but has at least a catch in every game, multiple catches in most. He’s not a starter…yet, but if he continues earning the trust of his quarterback, he’ll continue to see more opportunity and bears watching as injuries and bye weeks continue to mount. His six catches for 97 yards Sunday did come against the Lions and this must be taken into effect, as does the fact that Brandon Lloyd is banged up. Either way, he’s earning playing time and fantasy attention.
Greg Olsen (TE), Bears – In his second year, Olsen seems to be finally taking the steps necessary to become the number one TE option in Chicago. Desmond Clark is still the ‘starter’, but Olsen likely will be officially by season’s end. He’s had two very solid weeks and could be in for another against Atlanta this week. Look for him to be good for a minimum of 2-3 catches and 40-50 yards a week on average, with bigger outputs thrown in here or there. While these may not be top TE numbers, during the bye weeks they can become very valuable.
Ted Ginn, Jr, Dolphins – It was a struggle determining whether or not to include Ginn on this week’s report, but here’s why I did. After looking like they’d be as hapless as they were last year after two weeks of play, this team seemingly has remade themselves and now are defeating teams like New England and San Diego. While some may argue New England isn’t as good as they were, San Diego certainly is a quality team, so it is getting harder to make the argument that Miami isn’t that good anymore. Ginn hasn’t been outstanding, his catches don’t go for many yards, he’s been solid, and with Camarillo coming on to make defenses honest, his stock is beginning to rise as he and Pennington become more familiar.
Hank Baskett, Eagles – With one big touchdown catch in week one and a solid outing in week three, Baskett looked like he’d be someone on the rise. However, his other outings and the team’s slide in its passing game that started out so promising have left him way down on the list among a stable of capable receivers. He may still have a flare up now and then, but barring injuries, he’s going to be bench fodder much of the rest of the season. Feel free to move him to make room for better receivers.
Miles Austin, Cowboys – Well, from climbing to falling in a week. His no catch performance…I suppose that isn’t the right word to use…came just when it seemed he was making a play for the starting role. The matchup Sunday should have been better for all Dallas receivers, but turned out differently, so it could be a one week slide, but with someone in his position it is best to be cautiously optimistic, and as it stands, zero’s on the board are not an indication of a climb.
Detroit Receivers, Lions – What at first looked like a season that would be long for the team but productive for the receivers, the wheels have come off big time. It is becoming quite likely that the quarterback situation will be sporadic at very best. There are a few times each game where the four receiver set looks like things could start exploding and then boom…things fall apart. This is enough to drive fantasy owners crazy. Roy Williams and Calvin Johnson have tons of upside potential, but it’s getting tougher and tougher to rely on them. In most cases it will be hard to do much with them, other than suck it up, but if you’re able, it is best to look elsewhere for help until they begin to perform more consistently.
One Hit Wonders?
Sinorice Moss, Giants – Before his two touchdown performance makes you snatch him up off the wire this week, consider the fact that the only reason he was on the field this week was due to Plaxico Burress’ one week suspension and the fact that the guy who started in place of Burress went out with injury. This is a great case of keep an eye on but don’t pick up…because he’s not going to help you much, even as depth.
Early Doucet, Cardinals – He’s battled injury, so will likely see some time going forward, but his ‘big day’ was primarily due to the absence of Boldin. He’s at best the fourth receiver on a high voltage passing offense, but once Boldin comes back only the top three have regular value, and he’s in a battle for the fourth with Jerheme Urban. The upside is this, he’s a rookie, and Boldin could be gone after the season, meaning he has amazing potential in keeper leagues, so weigh grabbing him accordingly.