Randall Cobb became the latest top wide receiver to go down with a long-term injury this week as the elite ranks of fantasy WR’s gets thinned out as the season moves on. If you lost Cobb or are trying just to figure out your strategy at WR, these rankings can help.
Wide receiver can be a tough position to decide who to start on a weekly basis since gameplan, opposing defense, and ball distribution go a long way to determining who gets the points. Here’s the top 20 receivers for week 7 based on the composite rankings of myself and Leo Howell who also covers fantasy football for Fansided. These would be the WR1 and WR2 in ten-team leagues which means these players are starters in most formats.
If you have a question or comment on the rankings or want to know who I’d start on your team, send it to me on twitter @ZT_Sports or write it in the comments at the bottom of the post. I’ll do my best to answer as many as I can.
Here’s our top 20 wide receivers for week 7:
1. Brandon Marshall-Chicago Bears
Marshall faces the Redskins who have struggled against WR all season including getting beaten badly by the Packers and Lions receivers before their bye. Marshall is coming off a nice game where he caught nine of the 11 passes thrown his way for 87 yards and a pair of scores. He’s a clear WR1, and as long as he’s healthy he needs to be in your lineup.
2. Dez Bryant-Dallas Cowboys
Bryant had a down week last week since the Cowboys didn’t take to the air much against the Redskins on Sunday Night Football. Still, he lead the team in targets and catches and it was just his second game of the season without finding the end zone. In six games, he has six scores and 459 yards headed into this week’s tasty matchup against the Eagles who give up more fantasy points to opposing WR than any team in the NFL. Bryant was my overall #1, but Leo had him a bit lower. He’s definitely WR1 material this week, as usual.
3. Calvin Johnson-Detroit Lions
Johnson wasn’t himself this last week after not practicing and missing week 5 with a knee injury. This week he’ll look to return to form against the Bengals as they visit Johnson in the Motor City. He should bounce back just fine this week and be a top fantasy option.
4. A. J. Green-Cincinnati Bengals
Across the field from Johnson Sunday will be A.J. Green who was fading out of our top 10 until a nice performance last week. He was targeted 11 times against Buffalo Sunday and caught six passes for 103 yards and a touchdown. The Detroit defense is in the top ten for most points allowed to opposing WR and have given up four receiving TD’s to WR in their last three games. Expect another solid day for Green in what could be a bit of a shoot out in Detroit.
5. Reggie Wayne-Indianapolis Colts
Speaking of shootouts, The Colts and Broncos meet in Indy as Peyton Manning faces his successor and one of his former WR comes in on our list higher than any of his current ones. Denver has struggled to defend the pass especially the last two weeks and have allowed over 200 yards to opposing WR in five of their six games this year. Wayne has been targeted eight times or more in all but one of the Colts games this season and will get a chance to make plays against a beatable defense making him a good start.
6. Wes Welker-Denver Broncos
Staying in the same game, Welker has become the Broncos most reliable receiver on a weekly basis and has caught a touchdown pass in every singly Broncos game this season. He hasn’t hit a hundred yards yet in any game this season but is a weekly point machine since he finds the end zone every game.
7. Jordy Nelson-Green Bay Packers
With the rest of the top three Packers receivers down and possibly out, Nelson steps into a much bigger role for Green Bay in a tough matchup this week against the Browns underrated secondary. Last week, Nelson finished with 130 yards on seven catches and his third TD in the last two weeks. The downside to Nelson in the past has been the way the Pack spreads the ball around, but with fewer mouths to feed his numbers should uptick this week.
8. DeSean Jackson-Philadelphia Eagles
Jackson is the highest scoring receiver in ESPN standard scoring right now after a multi-TD game last week even with Michael Vick sidelines. Play his as a WR1 no matter who is under center this week as the Eagles face the Cowboys.
9. DeMaryius Thomas-Denver Broncos
Thomas has been the odd receiver out in Denver lately, but his explosive down-the-field ability coulg be just what Denver needs this week against the Colts. With Thomas, if he gets the catches he’ll give the points, but the last two weeks he’s only gotten a total of 11 targets. Don’t worry, hell be back, but he’s further down this list than he has been in the past.
10. Antonio Brown-Pittsburgh Steelers
Brown has earned his way up this list as he becomes a bigger part of the Steelers less dysfunctional offense. At the beginning of the year, Pittsburgh was struggling but they’ve turned it around a bit while increasing Brown’s targers. In the last three games, Brown has had 37 passes thrown his way and has caught an amazing 30 of them while logging three straight 85+ yard games and scoring a pair of TDs. This week he and the Steelers host their arch-rivals the Ravens in what will probably be a defensive struggle, but make sure you still start Brown since he keeps getting plenty of passes thrown his way.
11. Victor Cruz-New York Giants
Cruz should also get some serious targets on Monday Night as the Giants try to get their first win of the season as they host the Vikings. Minnesota gives up the 11th most points to opposing WR, and Cruz should run wild as long as Eli gets him the ball.
12. Justin Blackmon-Jacksonville Jaguars
Two weeks ago Blackmon was owned in only one in five leagues; now, he’s one of the hottest receivers on the planet. He’d easily be a WR1 if he didn’t play for Jacksonville, but is on the fringe since teams are sure to load up against him since he’s all the Jags have. Cecil Shorts may not play this week, and if he doesn’t Blackmon will again get tons of targets from Chad Henne. Last week agains the Broncos, Blackmon had a jaw-dropping 20 targets and caught 14 passes for 190 yards. He’s been over 130 yards in both games he’s played this year despite the QB issues in Jacksonville. He’s a must start if you were quick enough to grab him before his meteoric rise.
13. Vincent Jackson-Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Jackson came back last week with the highest scoring week in standard scoring for any WR in the NFL. He finished with a pair of TDs-his first two of the year-and 114 yards on a solid 14 targets. Mike Glennon is coming along and V-Jax is his #1 option. Jackson has had double-digit targets in every game but one so far this season.
14. Eric Decker-Denver Broncos
Decker’s the third WR on his own team, but he can be a solid WR2 on your fantasy team since he gets the looks, yards, and scores in the Broncos high-octane offense. This week they’ll need to be back to their elite level as they face the Colts.
15. Torrey Smith-Baltimore Ravens
Smith has the unenviable task of facing Ike Taylor and the Steelers this week and is coming off a week where he had just one catch for 12 yards. Last year he also struggled against the Steelers totaling four catches in two games and only getting 40 yards. Smith is still a WR2 but proceed with caution this week even though he’s definitely the Ravens top pass-catching option.
16. Alshon Jeffery-Chicago Bears
Jeffery came back to earth Thursday Night after two incredible games. He only caught one pass for 27 yards against the Giants in the Bears win, and he’ll be looking for a bounceback week against the Redskings who have struggled to contain big-play threats like Jeffery. He should have a solid week and is a good WR2.
17. Josh Gordon-Cleveland Browns
Last week, I-like many other Gordon owners-was worried that Brandon Weeden would single-handedly kill Josh Gordon’s fantasy value. Thanfully, that wasn’t the case as Gordon still had 126 yards on seven catches against the Lions. This week he faces Green Bay which allows the fourth-most points per game to opposing WR’s meaning getting Gordon in your lineup should again pay off this week.
18. Mike Wallace-Miami Dolphins
The only one of the three teams worse than the Packers not already discussed in this post are the Bills. Buffalo allows the second-most points to opposing WR and they travel to Miami this week to face Mike Wallace and the Dolphins coming off a bye. I’m ready for one more time rolling the dice with Wallace who is an electric talent who has under-performed this season. In this matchup though, he should be able to have a nice week.
19. Pierre Garcon-Washington Redskins
Garcon only had 69 yards on Sunday Night against the Cowboys but was targeted 15 times. That should turn into a solid week for him as RGIII continues to throw the ball his way this week against the Bears.
20. Anquan Boldin-San Francisco 49ers
Another high-target receiver, Boldin has struggled since his opening breakout game. He continues to get plenty of looks from Colin Kaepernick and Leo has him in his top 20 which means he squeaks into this list as our low-end WR2.
Honorable Metion: TY Hilton-Indianapolis Colts, Andre Johnson-Houston Texans, Keenan Allen-San Diego Chargers, Steve Smith-Carolina Panthers, Greg Jennings-Minnesota Vikings, Julian Edelman-New England Patriots