My condolences to owners of Marques Colston, Mike Wallace, Antonio Brown and Andre Johnson as your team battles for a playoff spot in spite of this stupid bye week so late in the season. I don't offer any condolences to owners of Reggie Wayne and Pierre Garcon because you obviously have either given up on the season or abandoned your free public league. No Colt in the passing game can be trusted right now. What a mockery of a team. And I use the word "team" loosely as it appears Peyton Manning is 99% of the team.
By now the contenders and the pretenders should be separated. In all of my leagues, so many teams are vying for playoff spots, even at this juncture of the season; so I hope the same is occurring for all of you readers. This is the last week of teams on bye, so the rankings will look a little incomplete.
Key injuries of note:
Houston Texans QB Matt Schaub has suffered a Lisfranc injury in his foot, and as a result will likely be out for the season. Our own Mike Gallagher analyzed this injury here. For purposes of the WR ranks, Andre Johnson will continue to be a WR1, but a low-end one at best until we see if Matt Leinart has actually improved his game. I expect the Texans to ride Arian Foster and Ben Tate (aka "The Fostate Exam") to the playoffs.
Dallas WR Miles Austin is still suffering from a hamstring injury that may keep him out up to a month. Dez Bryant will be a WR1 with sky-high potential in his absence, and Laurent Robinson will continue to produce as a WR2/3.
Julio Jones of the Falcons re-injured his hamstring last week in a shoot-out against the Saints (What is up with the hamstring injuries?) and has yet to practice this week. I will not be ranking him until I see him put in some work on the practice field. Harry Douglas would be a sneaky play.
Chiefs QB Matt Cassel underwent surgery on his throwing hand and will likely not be back this season. Career backup Tyler Palko has shown nothing to prove he is an NFL QB, which brings down Dwayne Bowe's value immensely. Bowe will probably put up numbers from time to time as I expect the Chiefs to suffer without a running game or a starting QB; he just won't be as consistent as he was with Cassel.
Hakeem Nicks looks okay this week as he escaped last week's loss to the 49ers pain-free. Sidney Rice suffered a concussion in the win over the Ravens in Week 10 but may play against the Rams. Jacoby Ford will not play against the Vikings, making Denarius Moore a must-start against the awful Minnesota Secondary. The Chargers' Malcolm Floyd likely will not play this week, so rookie Vincent Brown (who looked impressive last week) will draw another start. A.J. Green is a game-time decision this week due to his hyper-extended knee on an amazing TD grab against the Steelers. Jeremy Maclin injured his shoulder in last week's loss to the Cards and is questionable this week against the Giants. Even without Vick, he'd be a top-25 play. I'm not ranking him yet, however. Calvin Johnson scared his owners with a potential concussion against the Bears, but he is fine and is not on the injury report.
Onto the ranks...
With your league's trade deadline likely looming, I remain firm on my stance of buying these WRs I mentioned last week (added Dez Bryant if you can get him):
Percy Harvin, Julio Jones, Antonio Brown, Victor Cruz, Brandon Lloyd, Laurent Robinson, Andre Johnson (if his owners are fed up or out of contention), Jacoby Ford/Denarius Moore, Santonio Holmes, Dez Bryant
I hope you waited a week to sell Fitzgerald. Skelton LOVES him. I'd still sell Fitz as his value is sky-high.
Sell these potentially declining WRs: Larry Fitzgerald, DeSean Jackson (wait until after the Cardinals Game, if possible), Roddy White, A.J. Green (all the talent in the world, but that schedule looks BRUTAL), Nate Washington, Greg Little (cut bait - the Browns are godawful), Mike Williams
Rankings are below, and please let me know if you have any questions or concerns with the list. You can follow me on Twitter or ask any questions there.
|1. Calvin Johnson||Lions||Panthers|
|2. Steve Smith||Panthers||Lions|
|3. Wes Welker||Patriots||Chiefs|
|4. Greg Jennings||Packers||Bucs|
|5. Dez Bryant||Cowboys||Redskins|
|6. Roddy White||Falcons||Titans|
|7. Brandon Lloyd||Rams||Seahawks|
|8. Hakeem Nicks||Giants||Eagles|
|9. Desean Jackson||Eagles||Giants|
|10. Larry Fitzgerald||Cardinals||49ers|
|11. Brandon Marshall||Dolphins||Bills|
|12. Steve Johnson||Bills||Dolphins|
|13. Denarius Moore||Raiders||Vikings|
|14. Vincent Jackson||Chargers||Bears|
|15. Jordy Nelson||Packers||Bucs|
|16. Anquan Boldin||Ravens||Bengals|
|17. Santonio Holmes||Jets||Broncos|
|18. Laurent Robinson||Cowboys||Redskins|
|19. Dwayne Bowe||Chiefs||Patriots|
|20. AJ Green (GTD)||Bengals||Ravens|
|21. Percy Harvin||Vikings||Raiders|
|22. Victor Cruz||Giants||Eagles|
|23. Michael Crabtree||49ers||Cardinals|
|24. Earl Bennett||Bears||Chargers|
|25. Mario Manningham||Giants||Eagles|
|26. Greg Little||Browns||Jaguars|
|27. Harry Douglas||Falcons||Titans|
|28. Plaxico Burress||Jets||Broncos|
|29. Sidney Rice||Seahawks||Rams|
|30. Mike Williams||Bucs||Packers|
|31. Vincent Brown||Chargers||Bears|
|32. David Nelson||Bills||Dolphins|
|33. Jason Avant (if Maclin is out)||Eagles||Giants|
|34. Torrey Smith||Ravens||Bengals|
|35. Eric Decker||Broncos||Jets|
|36. Damian Williams||Titans||Falcons|
|37. Jon Baldwin||Chiefs||Patriots|
|38. Steve Breaston||Chiefs||Patriots|
|39. Steve Smith (see Avant above)||Eagles||Giants|
|40. Braylon Edwards||49ers||Cardinals|
|41. Titus Young||Lions||Panthers|
|42. Austin Pettis||Rams||Cardinals|
|43. Nate Washington||Titans||Falcons|
|44. Early Doucet||Cardinals||49ers|
|45. Jabar Gaffney||Redskins||Cowboys|
|46. Eddie Royal||Broncos||Jets|
|47. Donald Jones||Bills||Dolphins|
|48. Nate Burleson||Lions||Panthers|
|49. Mike Thomas||Jaguars||Browns|
|50. Johnny Knox||Bears||Chargers|