In our Week Seven wide receiver fantasy tips, the PFW staff says Packers WR James Jones has joined the Lions' Calvin Johnson as a must-start in fantasy leagues this week.
It would be a very good idea to keep playing the red-hot fantasy hand that Packers WR James Jones is suddenly offering with a league-high seven TD receptions that nobody saw coming. With two TDs in each of the last three games, Jones looks like a must-start player six weeks into the season, regardless of the opponent.
After catching one pass for six yards in the Lions’ first meeting against Chicago in 2011 — a game in which the Bears had a world of problems stopping Calvin Johnson — Lions WR Nate Burleson was more active and productive in the rematch at Soldier Field, catching 8-83-0 in nine targets. The Bears would figure to work to make pass catchers other than Johnson beat them on Monday night, making Burleson an interesting play in bigger leagues. As always, Johnson is a must-start, of course.
In two games against Houston in 2011 (including Baltimore’s divisional-round win), Ravens WR Anquan Boldin hauled in 12 passes for 205 yards and a TD in 17 targets. Boldin, who leads the Ravens in catches, yards and targets in 2012, is a solid play when the Ravens visit Houston in Week Seven.
Browns WR Josh Gordon merits a waiver claim if he still happens to be available in your fantasy league. He has hauled in three TD passes in the last two weeks, including 62- and 71-yard scores. Moreover, he leads the Browns in targets (12) in this span. He has the most fantasy upside of any Browns wide receiver on the roster.
If you’re looking for a deep sleeper at wide receiver this week, Jets WR Stephen Hill is an option. The rookie had three catches for 23 yards and a touchdown last week in his first game since Week Three. His speed could cause problems for a Patriots defense that struggled against the deep ball last week against Seattle. Dustin Keller and Jeremy Kerley are still better options at pass catcher when you’re looking at the Jets’ players from a fantasy perspective, but Hill has big-play potential with his speed.
Titans WRs Kenny Britt and rookie Kendall Wright both had up-and-down games in Week Six. Britt was responsible for a number of drops, but he also caught a critical fourth-quarter TD, displaying the ability to bounce back from a drop one play earlier. Wright also dropped what should have been a TD, but he led the team with six catches for 71 yards. Both of these players have major upside going forward as QB Matt Hasselbeck becomes more comfortable with his top two targets and Britt and Wright grow more in tune with the offense. Both players are solid starts against Buffalo.
Houston continues to be a wasteland for fantasy production at wideout outside of Andre Johnson, who has just one 100-yard receiving game and two TDs this season. However, Johnson looked good against the Packers, catching eight of the 12 passes he was targeted on for 75 yards. He is a great play Sunday against the Ravens, who just lost top cover corner Lardarius Webb for the season. Johnson hauled in eight receptions for 111 yards in the divisional round matchup against the Ravens in the 2011 postseason.
Saints WR Lance Moore is on the mend. He missed Week Five with a hamstring injury, but was a full participant in practice Wednesday and is expected to play Sunday vs. the Buccaneers, who are allowing 312.2 passing yards per game (31st in the league). Moore was QB Drew Brees’ most targeted wide receiver prior to his injury and is worth a start as a low-end No. 3 WR/flex against Tampa Bay.
Rams rookie WR Chris Givens officially qualifies as a solid fantasy option in a flex capacity after making a catch of 50-plus yards for the third straight week in Week Six. As for fellow rookie WR Brian Quick, who was drafted two rounds ahead of Givens, the quicker you forget about Quick having any fantasy use this season, the better, as he continues to be a rather large disappointment.
WR Jerome Simpson was mad at the Vikings for sitting him in Week Six against the Redskins for his nagging back because it cost him $60,000 in a unique contractual condition, but the matter has been worked out between Simpson and the coaches and it appears he’ll be in better shape to play Sunday against the Cardinals, which should help the downfield passing game.
Redskins WR Pierre Garcon’s nagging right foot injury has lingered longer than expected and it might keep him out another week in what is a big game against the Giants. The Redskins will adjust if they must with Leonard Hankerson, Santana Moss and Joshua Morgan, but the loss of Garcon would be felt if he misses. Check back Sunday.
As per usual, Giants WR Hakeem Nicks (foot, knee) was limited in practice Wednesday, but we expect him to play Sunday vs. the Redskins. He looked a little gimpy in Week Six vs. the 49ers.