For the past 3 weeks I’ve done Tuesday rundowns of the backfield situations for lots of NFL teams. I figured I might as well do one for wideout situations following Week 4. Here it is.
I love T.Y. Hilton. A lot. Maybe I’m wrong. T.Y. Hilton is officially dangerous. Meanwhile, Reggie Wayne is what he is. If you have him, you start him, and at the end of the season you have a top-20 WR. In dynasty leagues, if you’re losing faith in Hilton, don’t like Darrius Heyward-Bey, and realize that Wayne is old, maybe pick up LaVon Brazill if he’s on waivers. He’s returning from suspension, and he was a sixth-round pick by The Wide Receiver Whisperer in 2012. Antonio Brown was a sixth-round pick in 2010. Keep your eyes open.
Cecil Shorts can get the job done with Blaine Gabbert at QB. Sort of. Week 4 wasn’t great, but it wasn’t horrible. He entered the season undervalued, and he’s still undervalued because of Jacksonville’s offense. He may lose touches to the returning Justin Blackmon, but Blackmon could also provide Shorts with looser coverage. If you believe in Shorts, he’s a prime trade target. Also, in deep dynasty leagues pay attention to Jon Moore favorite Jeremy Ebert. He’d be a great slot receiver for Teddy Bridgewater in 2014.
Anquan Boldin is like Reggie Wayne, except he’s younger, bigger, and without T.Y. Hilton. He’s a weekly fantasy starter. Did you see Jonathan Baldwin catch two passes in Week4? Neither did I. Quinton Patton’s breakout rookie season? R.I.P.
Tavon Austin won’t always be bad, but he’s not a consistent option yet. Austin Pettis? I wouldn’t start him, but maybe we should’ve seen his “dominance” coming. I think Chris Givens should be the best Rams WR, but his 2013 hasn’t looked good. Brian Quick? He may have star potential, but he could be the St. Louis version of Jonathan Baldwin. Stedman Bailey? I wish. He may get a shot in 2014, but for now avoid him and all the Rams WRs if you want to win.
It was only a matter of time for Torrey Smith. That’s why he was a RotoViz draft target. He’s a fantasy starter each week and a reasonable trade target. Marlon Brown? I don’t trust him, but you can if you want to. In dynasty leagues, maybe stash Aaron Mellette on IR. He’s got potential.
Buy low on Steve Johnson. Stevie’s a stalwart. He has his own all-stars. In Weeks 1-3, he was a top-20 WR. You want him. Robert Woods? RotoViz doesn’t really like him. He’s had some solid production, but he’s not a viable starter right now.
Who would you rather have right now? Josh Gordon or A.J. Green? Gordon’s a dynasty building block—and we told you to draft him. Repeatedly. If you can get him in a reasonable trade, do it. Ten weeks from now, you’ll be the winner.
If you have Brandon Marshall, you’re starting him, but maybe we should expect solid WR2 (not high-end WR1) production. Alshon Jeffery and Earl Bennett? I’m not buying it. If I have to choose one, I’ll take Jeffery. He could be the head of the 2012 WR class.
Victor Cruz is still the #1 WR in New York. Hakeem Nicks? It turns out that Rueben Randle wasn’t the guy to make Nicks expendable. That was Eli Manning. Or maybe Nicks himself. And Rueben Randle? He should’ve been a year-two breakout, but, as of now, he’s not. If he’s still on your roster, drop him if you have pressing needs.
Do you remember the mid-2000s when Donovan McNabb was throwing to a WR cast full of useless fantasy assets? Just checking.
Antonio Brown is a WR3 with WR1 upside. Jerricho Cotchery and Emmanuel Sanders are not starters. Don’t think that they are. Markus Wheaton? He could be a waiver wire wonder at some point in 2013.
Greg Jennings is a lesser Antonio Brown. Maybe sell high. Jerome Simpson is basically Jerricho Cotchery. He’s not a realistic fantasy option. Cordarrelle Patterson? Right now, it looks like I was wrong. He might be the new DHB. I still think he’ll be a top-30 WR at some point: DHB was in 2011.
Right now, the difference between Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd is 3 TDs and a hamstring tweak. Fitzgerald’s injury has passed, but a more even TD-distribution could exist from here on out. If you don’t have faith in Fitz, trading him for Floyd and another piece is a good move. Andre Roberts? He might not be Bruce Arians’ type after all.
Mike Williams and Vincent Jackson are being straight Glennoned, and Greg Schiano is just watching it happen. Don’t let it happen to you. For deep dynasty leagues, Eric Page is an intriguing stash. He has (good) Lance Moore potential. Also check out Chris Owusu in deep dynasty leagues. Think Doug Baldwin, but fast.
Sidney Rice, Golden Tate, and Doug Baldwin are fantasy killas. I actually think the Legion of Boom could be a more productive WR corps. Avoid until one of these guys establishes himself. But by then, Percy Harvin will probably be back.
Andre Johnson doesn’t care that you think he’s old. He’s like Reggie Wayne and Anquan Boldin. You start him. You’re not always thrilled, but he’ll finish the season as a top-20 WR (if he’s healthy). DeAndre Hopkins should be rostered—but not started (yet).
Stephen Hill and Santonio Holmes? This is what happens when you start guys who went off the week before. Hill is immensely talented, and he could be a waiver wire wonder in 2013, but I still think that he won’t peak until his third year as a solid WR2. With Hill and Holmes injured, Jeremy Kerley is the lead WR for the Jets. Some people like him. I don’t.
Kenny Britt, I’ll remember you for winning Weeks 1-2 of the 2011 season for me and then getting injured. R.I.P. I don’t know what to make of Justin Hunter and Kendall Wright, but I’m not rostering them. I know what to make of Nate Washington. He’s a WR4/5 with WR2 upside. The week you start him he’ll suck. Trade high if you can.
Trust DeSean Jackson, especially as a WR2/3, which is probably where you drafted him. If you want to trade him, fine, but wait till he has a big week.
Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker, and Wes Welker are all weekly fantasy starters. I will, however, gently restate what I said a few weeks ago. In dynasty leagues, if you can trade Welker for Decker, do it.
As Ryan Rouillard has put it, Pierre Garcon is a bigger D-Jax. He’s a weekly starter. If he suffers an injury, Leonard Hankerson and maybe even Aldrick Robinson will get some replacement action. Jon Moore likes HankTime. I prefer A-Rob.
Dez is playing like the first-round keeper I thought he was. He’s a top-5 WR. If you can swing a trade with someone who doesn’t value him like that, do it. Miles Austin? Meh. Terrance Williams, you’re killing Tony Romo.
None of these WRs are startable except for Marques Colston. He may have been one of your favorite draft targets, but you’re not thrilled with what he’s done so far. Lance Moore? We can’t always be right.
I might’ve gotten some calls wrong based on preseason performances, but it looks like I got this call right. Kenbrell Thompkins is playing like 2010 Deion Branch in the BOL Function. If you can reasonably get him in a trade, do it. Julian Edelman is playing like 2011 Wes Welker. Danny Amendola will be Welker-lite when he returns. All of these guys are legitimate starting options.