Nov 24, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions wide receiver Nate Burleson (13) celebrates his touchdown during the second quarter against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports
If you find your fantasy football team in a critical playoff game this week, get your wide receivers lined up and ready to roll. As usual, there are plenty of options on the waiver wire who can help you this week and beyond. All nine receivers on this list are available in more than half of ESPN leagues and the percentage of ownership are listed in parentheses.
1. Nate Burleson-Detroit Lions (3.4%)
If you need instant points, the top name to look for on the wire is Burleson. He has been a huge part of the Lions passing attack when he’s been healthy this season coming back last week with seven catches for 77 yards and a touchdown. He has at least six catches in every game that he’s started and should have a feast on Thanksgiving against the Packers secondary that has allowed the 12th most fantasy points per game to opposing WR including 27 ESPN standard points in three of their last four games.
2. Michael Crabtree-San Francisco 49ers (12.0%)
Crabtree is expected to return this week against the Rams for San Francisco. He was activated Tuesday and should step in as the #1 option for Colin Kaepernick. The reason he isn’t number one on this list is that he may be on a snap count for the first week or take some time to knock the rust off. Crabtree has more upside for the rest of the season, but he’s a high-risk play for week 13.
3. Rod Streater-Oakland Raiders (6.1%)
November 24, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders wide receiver Rod Streater (80) catches a pass against the Tennessee Titans during the fourth quarter at O.co Coliseum. The Titans defeated the Raiders 23-19. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
With Denarius Moore and Terrelle Pryor on the sidelines, Streater and Matthew McGloin have become the new connection for the Raiders passing game. In the last two games, Streater has a total of 17 targets, 11 catches, and 177 yards with a touchdown. He should continue to get plenty of looks for as long as McGloin is under center making him a fringe flex play.
4. Kendall Wright-Tennessee Titans (38.7%)
Wright finally got over 100 yards in a game and did it in dramatic fashion catching the game-winning touchdown with ten seconds left as part of his six-catch, 103-yard performance against Oakland. Wright is the top receiver for the Titans and should keep getting plenty of passes thrown his way for the rest of the season.
5. Cordarrelle Patterson-Minnesota Vikings (3.8%)
Oct 27, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson (84) returns a kickoff against the Green Bay Packers in the second quarter at Mall of America Field at H.H.H. Metrodome. The Packers win 44-31. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
The Vikings look like they’re giving Patterson a big chunk of the number one receiver snaps for the rest of the season. He was targeted 20 times in the past two games, and could be on the verge of a breakout game which could come against the Bears who have given up four TD receptions in the last three games to opposing WR.
6. Dexter McCluster-Kansas City Chiefs (3.5%)
McCluster continues to get plenty of targets in the Kasas City passing attack racking up eight or more in three of his last four games. He had seven catches Sunday for 59 yards in a typical high-catch, low-yardage performance. He gets enough receptions to make him valuable in PPR leagues but isn’t a regular enough red zone target or deep threat to be a good option in standard scoring.
7. Robert Woods-Buffalo Bills (5.0%)
Woods is expected to return this week, but it remains to be seen if he’ll step back into the top WR option for the Bills. Woods connected extremely well with E.J. Manuel earlier in the season, and it’ll be interesting to see if he can reestablish that connection. If he can, he’ll be a decent option for the rest of the season.
8. Josh Morgan-Washington Redskins (0.4%)
Morgan was active and in the starting lineup against the 49ers after Leonard Hankerson suffered a season ending knee injury. He was targeted six times and caught five passes for 45 yards. His upside is limited, but he should get a handful of catches or so each game for Washington.
9. Ace Sanders-Jacksonville Jaguars (0.2%)
Nov 24, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Ace Sanders (18) runs after a catch against the Houston Texans during the first half at Reliant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports
Sanders has had back-to-back 61 yard games getting the starts with Mike Brown injured and Justin Blackmon suspended. He has big play ability but is only a long-shot start against the Browns this week.