Week Two fantasy tips: WRs

Posted Sept. 13, 2012 @ 2:53 p.m.
Posted By PFW staff

The PFW staff recommends sitting Jeremy Maclin, riding Anquan Boldin and giving Randall Cobb a shot this week in the late-week WR fantasy tips.

Eagles WR Jeremy Maclin (hip pointer) hasn’t practiced as of Wednesday and might be a no-go against the Ravens. He returned to the game after suffering the injury but looked hobbled. Seek other options this week.

With Packers WR Greg Jennings listed as doubtful for the Thursday-night game against the Bears, it makes perfect sense to expect second-year WR Randall Cobb to be an even more viable fantasy option than he ended up being in Week One, when he registered a team-leading nine catches for 77 yards. One more fantasy thought on a Packers wideout: It would be just like Mike McCarthy to suddenly thrust veteran Donald Driver into the Thursday-night game plan in a major way after hardly using Driver at all in Week One.

Cowboys WR Miles Austin remains a little slowed by a hamstring but is practicing and once more should play. As he showed last week, starting slowly vs. the Giants but finishing with a flourish and scoring the game-winning TD, Austin might take time to warm up but it’s difficult to justify benching him, even against a big, physical Seattle secondary.

Giants WR Hakeem Nicks (foot) is going through what might end up being a weekly regimen, a la Plaxico Burress from a few years ago: rest during the week, play Sundays. Although he missed Wednesday’s practice, Nicks’ absence should not raise additional worries. Just watch his progress and consider him for Sunday if he suffers no setbacks.

Redskins WR Pierre Garcon’s foot injury is not considered serious, but you should have another option at the ready in case he’s not able to go at St. Louis. That’s two weeks in a row on turf, which can aggravate such an injury. Garcon was big, however, in the Redskins’ Week One plans and would be an attractive option if he’s good to go.

Only A.J. Green (11) had more passes thrown his way by Cincinnati quarterbacks Monday night than Andrew Hawkins (nine). Green, of course, is a must-start. But what about Hawkins? Certainly, owners in PPR leagues should think about picking him up, and his value is highest in those formats after catching 8-86-0 in Week One. The Bengals have had some productive No. 3 wideouts in recent years, with Jordan Shipley and Andre Caldwell jumping to mind. Hawkins has a favorable matchup in Week Two with the Browns’ secondary losing CB Joe Haden for four weeks. Hawkins can be started in bigger leagues, particularly PPR formats.
 
A zero-catch Week One could cause some owners to give up on Browns WR Greg Little. In our view, Little is still the Browns’ wideout to have, but it’s hard to start any of the Cleveland pass catchers with any confidence after QB Brandon Weeden’s four-interception debut vs. Philadelphia. At best, Little is someone to keep on the bench until the Browns’ passing game improves.
 
Lions WR Titus Young has too much talent to think about dropping him after a one-catch performance vs. St. Louis in Week One. Young showed considerable potential as a rookie and looked to be improving leading up to this season. While Young isn’t a strong play in Week Two at San Francisco, he still has upside. Be patient.
 
Ravens WR Anquan Boldin remains a solid starting option, especially in three-WR formats. He’s a key target in an improved Baltimore passing game, as he reminded owners with four catches, 63 yards and a TD in Week One vs. Cincinnati. The Eagles’ secondary is strong, but Boldin’s still a solid play in bigger leagues.

Broncos WRs Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker do not have to worry about ever lining up opposite Falcons CB Brent Grimes on Monday night. Not to take anything away from Dunta Robinson and Asante Samuel, but Denver’s passing game caught a break with Grimes’ injury. In what could be a shootout, both players are definite starts in all formats.

Despite some preseason concerns over being on the same page as Tom Brady, Brandon Lloyd had five catches for 69 yards, and would have had a long touchdown catch if Brady threw a better ball early in the game. Wes Welker, who was ranked higher than Lloyd across the board, had only three catches and three fewer targets than Lloyd. The Patriots are a week-to-week team in terms of which player will be productive (outside the tight ends, who seem to always put up solid numbers), so keep an eye on that wideout situation.

The fantasy attention in Buffalo went to RB C.J. Spiller, rightfully so, but WR Donald Jones was one of the few bright spots for the Bills in their Week One loss. With David Nelson on injured reserve, Jones will likely move to the slot, a place Nelson has been productive. Jones may not be worth a waiver-wire pickup yet, but he’s certainly worth monitoring, and he doesn’t have a bad matchup this week against the Chiefs.

The Dolphins’ offense was bad on Sunday, but it appears that WR Davone Bess will continue to be the steady, consistent slot receiver he has been over the last few years. He is far from a fantasy stud, but he had seven targets and five catches, and will often be a safety outlet for Ryan Tannehill in the West Coast offense. Don’t be scared off by Miami’s offensive problems — Bess is worth a start in PPR leagues for sure and is a matchup play in standard leagues, and the Raiders’ secondary could provide him an opportunity for points.

You might want to take a chance on Seahawks WR Golden Tate, who looks fully healthy again after suffering a sprained knee in the Seahawks’ final preseason game that forced him to miss Week One. Tate has apparently looked good in early practices this week, showing a nice burst, and the Seahawks could really use the big-play dimension he can provide after having only one reception over 20 yards in the season opener.

Feisty Rams WR Brandon Gibson, who starts every year as an afterthought, is making the fantasy world stand up and take notice as probably St. Louis’ second-best fantasy option behind Danny Amendola. Gibson is a tough customer who excels at making tough catches, like the highlight-reel 23-yarder he hauled in from Sam Bradford in Week One among his four catches for 51 yards. At some point, perhaps soon, the Rams will turn more of their attention to rookies Brian Quick and Chris Givens. For the time being, Gibson should not be overlooked.

Colts WR Austin Collie (concussion) was cleared earlier this week, making it possible that he returns to the lineup Sunday against the Vikings. However, Collie practiced last week and didn’t suit up, making this a fluid situation to keep an eye on as the week progresses. The Colts clearly missed Collie’s services Sunday, as WR Reggie Wayne (18-9-135) accounted for 60 percent of the WR corps catches and 65 percent of the receiving yards. Colts rookie QB Andrew Luck was overreliant on Wayne, and the return of Collie would give him a second dependable receiver he can target. If Collie is on the field, he could put up solid WR3 production, as the Colts host a Vikings club that allowed Jaguars QB Blaine Gabbert to produce arguably the best game of his young career last week.
 
Texans WR Andre Johnson looked like the Johnson of old in Week One, snagging eight catches for 119 yards and a TD on a team-high 10 targets. No other Texans wideout was targeted more than twice on the afternoon, however. A healthy Johnson is fully capable of putting up WR1 numbers, particularly this week against a Jaguars “D” that could again be without its top corner, Derek Cox (hamstring). But starting any other Texans wideout is not a recommended play until the targets from QB Matt Schaub begin to sort themselves out. Johnson has totaled at least 97 receiving yards five times in 15 career games against Jacksonville.
 
Titans WR Kenny Britt is back from his one-game suspension and declared himself around 95 percent following multiple knee surgeries in the past 12 months. Britt is expected to resume his role as the Titans No. 1 wideout Sunday against the Chargers, though expectations should be tempered initially. However, Britt’s value shot up when the club named Jake Locker the starter, as Locker has the arm strength to find Britt downfield. What’s more, the offseason addition of Kendall Wright should also take attention away from Britt, making him a very intriguing fantasy player the rest of the season.