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Player Trends Report - Receivers - Week 8
Tim Van Prooyen
October 21, 2008
Quarterbacks  |  Running Backs  |  Receivers
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RISING

Josh Morgan, 49ers - San Francisco may be wavering from week to week, but one thing appears to be certain and that is that rookie Josh Morgan is going to be seeing a good bit more action than he did earlier in the season.  His looks have become more prevalent and this week he took a big step with five catches on ten throws, and added a touchdown to boot.  In a pass happy offense without much of a consistent star, he’s someone you may be able to grab who could help you with a solid outing here and there.

Steve Smith, Giants - If you look at his stats you see some good things and some not so good things in what you find.  The best news, and what makes him an interesting low end fantasy option, is the number of receptions he’s getting.  He’s had 13 in the past two weeks.  If you add in the two weeks prior to that he has another nine.  One would think that with so many catches he’d be getting a ton of yards and a few touchdowns, but he’s had no touchdowns and only 250 or so yards on the season.  In PPR leagues he’s got some solid value and with the propensity for injuries on the Giants receiving corps the past couple of years means he has tremendous long term upside.  It could be wise to stash him on your lineup now and use him in bye week situations, waiting for the inevitable injury to Toomer.

Mike Furrey and Shaun McDonald, Lions - I thought McDonald would be the biggest target with the departure of Roy Williams, but it turned out, at least for a week, to be Furrey.  Both were thrown to multiple times and will continue to be used in abundance in the future.  Furrey had a solid day with six catches, and in PPR leagues becomes valuable.  Both have been solid fantasy starters in the past in Detroit, so have the potential to be again.  It’s unlikely that either will end up being the main guy opposite Calvin Johnson, so there is a bit of a gamble there, but both will usually only deal with single coverage and will have plenty of opportunity for solid fantasy outings each week.

Antwaan Randle El, Redskins - He doesn’t get a ton of notice because he doesn’t score a bunch of touchdowns, but Randle El hasn’t had less than three catches in any given week and usually has four or more.  He has over 350 yards on the season, but only one touchdown.  With Washington playing well balanced ball, things aren’t likely to get worse.  What’s more, in many leagues he may still be available as he’s not a very glamorous pick these days.  With added value in PPR leagues, he is a solid low end starter every week for owners whose receiving corps has taken a hit this season.

Visanthe Shiancoe (TE), Vikings - With one of the more interesting names in the game, it might be easy to overlook his ability.  He has seventeen catches and three touchdowns now in seven games, not stud numbers, but solid ones for a tight end.  With the exception of last week and the first couple weeks on the season, he’s had good fantasy outings.  He has a bye week this week, so he won’t go anywhere fast off the waiver wire, but if you’re needing help at the position, he’s as good an option as any at this point in the season.

FALLING

Ike Hilliard, Buccaneers - After a fairly solid start to the season, Ike has seen his production slip dramatically.  This could be due to the change in quarterbacks, but that’s a tough one to argue.  The reality could be more due to the rise of Antonio Bryant.  Ike is in his thirties and it may also be starting to show on the field.  If you’re desperate, he’s still playing, but if you’re not, you are much better looking for help anywhere else.

Mark Clayton, Ravens - I have resisted the urge to put him on this list for a couple of weeks, somewhat expecting at some point that he’d begin to become more a part of the offense.  It doesn’t appear that this is going to happen anytime soon.  In fact, it may not happen at all if something doesn’t change soon.  With a new regime in town and new rookie quarterback, it appears that rather than increase his value with the team he has decreased it.  The pickings were already slim for him in Baltimore, now it appears they’ve dried up even more.  If you are continuing to hold on to him, now would be a good time to replace him with one of the up and comers.

Patrick Crayton, Cowboys - The Roy Williams trade happened after we ‘went to press’ last week, so obviously his ‘on the rise’ placement moves to an ‘on the decline’ spot this week.  Don’t let his use this week fool you, as soon as Romo is back and Williams has a week or two to adjust, Crayton will be the forgotten man.

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