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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Player Trends Report - Receivers - Week 15
Tim Van Prooyen
December 9, 2008
Quarterbacks  |  Running Backs  |  Receivers
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RISING

Vincent Jackson, Chargers – With the exception of the week before last, Jackson has been doing fairly well in a quiet way for a good part of the season.  He hasn’t been putting up monster numbers, but solid mid tier numbers for sure.  He has Kansas City coming up this week and did well against them earlier in the year, so he should be able to do a good job building on his huge output from this past weekend.  Don’t expect him to grab another 140+ yards this week, but a TD and 80 yards won’t be too far outside the realm of possibility.

Kevin Walter, Texans – Walter has quietly amassed 558 yards on 31 catches for five touchdowns in the past seven weeks, topped off by his 146 yard effort this week.  He is having a solid year opposite Andre Johnson and is likely going to finish with over ten TDs and 1000 yards.  He does have a couple of tougher opponents coming up, Tennessee this week and Chicago in week 17, but he has performed well even against tough defenses this year, so he’s still a viable start.

Josh Reed, Bills – Reed gets a mention here primarily based on his consistency.  Since returning from injury he has logged five catches a week for three weeks, and 50, 58 and 58 yards in those same weeks.  He also had a touchdown one of those weeks.  It is obvious the team is calling his name in the plays, so he’s therefore worth a consideration for owners besieged by injuries.

Anthony Gonzalez, Colts – He was a big name coming into the season, but he hasn’t lived up to the job for much of the season.  However, he’s had 135 yards on 11 catches and two TDs the past three weeks, and with Detroit coming up this week should have another solid performance.  He is a solid start for the rest of the year if you’ve been hit by injuries and need help.

Deion Branch, Seahawks – Branch had a two touchdown performance this week, without his usual quarterback behind center, and appears to be settling into the game again after two long, injury plagued years.  With a season finish that includes matchups against the Rams, Jets and Cardinals, look for him to be very busy and finish with a flurry.  If he can stay healthy over that stretch, he’ll be a top draft candidate going into next season.

Visanthe Shiancoe (TE), Vikings – With the quarterback situation unsettled in Minnesota, Shiancoe has been the recipient of a few fairly nice outings this year. He’s not as reliable as owners would prefer, but if you are looking for help, he is most definitely an option in the passing game, so is a decent enough start in tough times.  His five catch, 65 yard, one touchdown performance this week was his best in a few weeks, and he gets Arizona this week, so should have another good outing in store.

FALLING

Ted Ginn, Jr., Dolphins – A couple of weeks ago it looked like Ginn was about to become the top guy in Miami, but that hasn’t happened.  After some big games, he’s come back to earth a bit and this week registered only one catch for 18 yards.  There are few things not to like here, but until he starts getting a bit more consistent, he takes a step back.

Laveranues Coles, Jets – Three catches, seven yards, one loud complaint.  That is the stat line for Coles the past two weeks.  With his getting vocal about his dislike for Brett Favre, he’s now put a cloud over himself that may be tough to climb out from under.  It doesn’t often pay to call out the guy throwing you the ball and say his skills are gone.  If you have Coles, you really should be worried, because this slide is hitting hard.

Bo Scaife (TE), Titans – Usually when your team is having one of its best years, usually you tend to have a good season yourself.  This was somewhat true of Bo for the first part of the season, but the past few weeks have been a dive.  With eight catches for 97 yards and no touchdowns in the past four weeks, it can be legitimately said that he is not doing so well.  With two of the next three games against Pittsburgh and Indianapolis, things don’t look so good going forward.

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