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Wide Receiver Watch - Week 16
Todd Gray
December 22, 2004
Top Ten Fantasy WR ’s To Own Comment
1 IND Marvin Harrison Harrison is 19 th in the league in receiving yards and 15 th in receptions, but he should end up first in touchdown catches with Owens out of the picture. On Sunday, Harrison scored his seventh TD in five games and now has 14 for the season. The Colts’ Week 16 home game against the Chargers should be good for nice offensive totals.
2 NO Joe Horn Horn scored his fifth touchdown in four games and has an outside chance to finish as the league’s top fantasy wideout. The schedule isn’t too imposing, either, with a home game against Atlanta followed by a road tilt at Carolina.
3 CAR Muhsin Muhammad Muhammad continues his tear (10 TDs in eight weeks), but this week’s game at Tampa Bay should give the Carolina passing game its biggest challenge to date. Joins Horn and Harrison as the best bets to be this year’s most productive fantasy receivers.
4 PHI Terrell Owens The Eagles have locked up home field advantage and Owens’ blow-up games were likely behind him, anyway. Try to tell that to Owens owners who are now faced with starting either Antwaan Randle El or Antonio Bryant. Todd Pinkston (knee) could be an option, but his status is questionable for Week 16.
5 MIN Randy Moss Moss recorded his second consecutive 100-yard game on Sunday, the first time this season he’d hit the century mark in back-to-back games. His touchdown catch made it three TDs in four games since returning from injury. Moss owners should feel safe this weekend when the Vikings host Green Bay.
6 STL Torry Holt Holt has scored two of the Rams’ total of three touchdowns in the past three games, which is sort of good but doesn’t bode well for future production. Relief may be on the way given the probable return of QB Marc Bulger against the Eagles on Monday night.
7 IND Reggie Wayne Against Baltimore, Wayne scored nary a TD for only the second time in eight weeks. He should be good for at least one big game the rest of the way starting with a Week 16 home game against the Chargers followed by a season-ending trip to Denver.
8 CIN Chad Johnson With Jon Kitna subbing for the injured Carson Palmer (knee), Johnson (2 catches, 10 yards) went without a touchdown for the first time since Nov. 14. Palmer is expected back for the Bengals’ Week 16 home game against the Giants, which should all but ensure a return to production for Johnson.
9 TEN Drew Bennett It’s hard to imagine Bennett going as a top 10 receiver in next year’s draft, but one thing is for sure: his freakish three-week outburst (517 yards, 8 TDs) has him planted comfortably as a top 10 fantasy producer at WR this season.
10 GB Javon Walker Eleven catches and 152 yards would look a lot better with a TD in the mix, but the performance breathed life into Walker’s flagging production nonetheless. Walker owners should have renewed hopes for the Packers’ Week 16 shootout against the Vikings in Minnesota.

(Note – this listing considers the rankings of WR ’s if a draft was held today)

Climbing The Ladder

Derrick Mason (TEN) – All the talk is centering on Drew Bennett and Billy Volek, but Mason has quietly racked up five TDs in six weeks, capped by Sunday’s nine-catch, 121-yard, one-TD performance against the Raiders. Volek’s record-breaking performances may not continue, but it appears there should be a lot of offense to go around with Week 16 & 17 homes dates against Denver and Detroit, respectively.

Roy Williams (DET) – Williams returned to the scoring column for the first time since Oct. 24 with his third two-TD game of the season. QB Joey Harrington rebounded from an awful outing at Green Bay to throw for 361 yards and two TDs, his first game of more than 200 passing yards since Nov. 7. So, leaning on Williams is something of a crapshoot, but his ankle woes appear to be behind him and the Lions finish the season with a pair of sub-par teams beginning with a Week 16 home game against Chicago.

Jimmy Smith (HOU) – Smith’s TD output the past two games (3) equals the number of touchdowns he’d scored in the season’s first 12 games. The playoff-hungry Jags wrap things up with games against Houston (Week 16) and Oakland (17) – a pair of squads that field two of the five lowest-ranked pass defenses in the league.

Sliding Back

Jerry Rice (SEA) – Rice has been a suitable emergency measure the past month or so, scoring three times and topping 100 yards once. But his value takes a hit with the return of Koren Robinson from a four-week suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. Rice may keep his starting spot, but he’ll have to share time with Robinson. The Seahawks are home in Week 16 against a respectable Arizona pass defense.

Antonio Bryant (CLE) – For those who picked up Bryant following his two-week, four-TD binge a couple of weeks back, the honeymoon is over. Since then, he’s totaled seven catches and 67 yards in two games. Cleveland’s offense has sunk to new lows (two weeks, seven points) and now faces a not-so-promising Week 16 game in Miami. Fantasy owners with any depth at all at receiver should steer clear of this one.