Fantasy Football Week 15: Rankings for the Top 80 Wide Receivers

Jeremy Alpert@@pyroman1acSenior Analyst IIDecember 13, 2012

Figuring out who the best wide receivers will be from week to week is a little easier than doing so for running backs at this point. However, by no means is it simple, especially in Week 15 with the fantasy playoffs on tap and injuries galore throughout the league.

That's why those of us in the fantasy industry put together these lists for you—to give you an idea of what to expect from your players on any given Sunday.

With that, here are the weekend's top-80 wide receivers, along with some detailed analysis on the 10 best starts for the week.


80. Austin Pettis (vs. Min)

79. LaVon Brazill (at Hou)

78. Devery Henderson (vs. TB)

77. Lestar Jean (vs. Ind)

76. Josh Morgan (at Cle)

75. Mohamed Massaquoi (vs. Was)

74. Dexter McCluster (at Oak)

73. Joseph Morgan (vs. TB)


72. Donald Jones (vs. Sea)


71. Riley Cooper (vs. Cin, Thursday night) Final Statistics:  3 catches - 20 yards - 1 TD

70. Mike Thomas (at Ari)

69. Doug Baldwin (at Buf)


68. Andre Roberts (vs. Det)

67. Brandon Gibson (vs. Min)

66. Juron Criner (vs. KC)

65. Jarius Wright (at StL)

64. Jonathan Baldwin (at Oak)

63. Domenik Hixon (at Atl)

62. Santana Moss (at Cle)

61. Tiquan Underwood (at NO)

60. Louis Murphy (at SD)

59. Randy Moss (at NE, Sunday night)

58. Brandon Stokley (at Bal)

57. Emmanuel Sanders (at Dal)


56. Jason Avant (vs. Cin, Thursday night) Final Statistics:  3 catches - 44 yards - 0 TDs 

55. Nate Washington (vs. NYJ, Monday night)

54. Andrew Hawkins (at Phi, Thursday night) Final Statistics:  0 catches - 0 yards - 0 TDs 

53. Larry Fitzgerald (vs. Det)

52. Donnie Avery (at Hou)

51. Rod Streater (vs. KC)

50. Antonio Brown (at Dal)

49. James Jones (at Chi)

48. Marvin Jones (at Phi, Thursday night) Final Statistics:  0 catches - 0 yards - 0 TDs 

47. Alshon Jeffery (vs. GB)

46. Greg Little (vs. Was)

45. Kendall Wright (vs. NYJ, Monday night)

44. Anquan Boldin (vs. Den)

43. Jeremy Kerley (at Ten, Monday night)


42. Brian Hartline (vs. Jax)

41. Miles Austin (vs. Pit)

40. Chris Givens (vs. Min)

39. Darrius Heyward-Bey (vs. KC)

38. Jeremy Maclin (vs. Cin, Thursday night) Final Statistics:  4 catches - 73 yards - 0 TDs 

37. Torrey Smith (vs. Den)

36. Golden Tate (at Buf)

35. Malcom Floyd (vs. Car)

34. Sidney Rice (at Buf)

33. Brandon Lloyd (vs. SF, Sunday night)

32. Kenny Britt (vs. NYJ, Monday night)

31. Stevie Johnson (vs. Sea)

30. Danny Amendola (vs. Min)

29. Justin Blackmon (at Mia)

28. Denarius Moore (vs. KC)

27. Pierre Garcon (at Cle)

26. T.Y. Hilton (at Hou)

25. Greg Jennings (at Chi)

24. Eric Decker (at Bal)

23. Mike Williams (at NO)

22. Hakeem Nicks (at Atl)

21. Michael Crabtree (at NE, Sunday night)

20. Mike Wallace (at Dal)

19. Dez Bryant (vs. Pit)

18. Lance Moore (vs. TB) 

17. Randall Cobb (at Chi)

16. Reggie Wayne (at Hou)

15. Steve Smith (at SD)

14. Wes Welker (vs. SF, Sunday night)

13. Cecil Shorts (at Mia)

12. Danario Alexander (vs. Car)


11. Julio Jones (vs. NYG) 


Top 10 WR Plays for Week 15 

10. Victor Cruz (at Atl)

As I thought he would, Victor Cruz came back last week to post top-10 fantasy numbers, catching eight passes for 121 yards and a touchdown against the New Orleans Saints.

Although the Atlanta Falcons pass defense has been far superior to the Saints’ this season, I believe Cruz has another top-tier performance this weekend.

Because the Falcons are amongst the highest-scoring teams in the league this season, the Giants will need to pass the ball to stay in the game, which should mean plenty of targets for young Mr. Cruz.

With Eli Manning on a roll and the Giants fighting to stay atop the NFC East, Cruz should be able to contribute to what I believe will be a high-scoring affair indoors at the dome in Atlanta. 


9. Josh Gordon (vs. Was)

There was never a doubt about Josh Gordon’s talent, that’s for sure.


However, it was a major question as to how long it would take for his understanding of the professional game to catch up to his dominating skills.

Not very long at all was the answer.

Gordon is in the top 15 in fantasy points over the last three weeks as well as the top 10 in both receiving yards and receptions.

This week, fantasy owners have the joy of watching him face a bottom-three pass defense with the Browns welcoming the Redskins to town.

Washington doesn’t have a single man in its secondary with either the size or speed to cover Gordon, so it wouldn’t be too far-fetched to see the 21-year-old phenom put up his best fantasy numbers of the year here. 


8. Marques Colston (vs. TB)

Colston hasn’t posted a 100-yard game since Week 5 and only has one touchdown in his last four games. But there’s nothing like a little home cookin’ against a pass defense that has allowed the most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this season to turn your fortunes around.

In fact, the Buccaneers have allowed 12 different receivers to put up double-digit fantasy points against them in their last eight games alone, so the opportunity for a big game is obviously there.


The last time these two teams met back in Week 7, Colston grabbed seven of his 10 targets for 73 yards and a touchdown, numbers he should at least be able to repeat in this one. 


7. Andre Johnson (vs. Ind)

Though I’ve always been a huge fan of his, I’ll admit that Andre Johnson has surprised me a bit this year.

At 31 years old, I thought his best playing days were certainly behind him and that he would continue his trend of missing at least a few games throughout the season.

Obviously, I was wrong.

I can’t say he’s a better player than he was in his prime, but he can definitely still come up with those big games we were all used to seeing back then.

This week he comes home where he loves to play after being on the road the last three weeks. In fact, ‘Dre has averaged over eight receptions for 121.2 yards at home this season while also catching two of his three TDs there as well.

The Texans may ride Arian Foster and Ben Tate for most of this game, but with the Colts allowing the fourth most fantasy points to wide receivers this year, you have to think that Johnson will at least be able to do some damage himself as well. 



6. Brandon Marshall (vs. GB)

Brandon Marshall now holds the top spot in fantasy scoring for wide receivers this season and is on one of the hottest tears of his seven-year career.

Yes, the Green Bay Packers held him to a season-low 2.4 fantasy points (two catches for 24 yards) back in Week 2, but the Pack won’t have Charles Woodson as part of its double-team attack against Marshall this weekend, so all bets are off this time around.

If Marshall sees close to the 16.7 targets he’s been averaging the last few games, I can all but guarantee his spot within the top 10 fantasy scorers this week. 


5. Roddy White (vs. NYG)

White had himself a top 10 fantasy day last Sunday against the Carolina Panthers, grabbing nine of his 11 targets for 117 yards and a touchdown.

This week he’ll take on the same Giants team that knocked him out of the playoffs last season, so a little payback could be in order for the Super Bowl ring-less 31-year-old here.

White has had either a touchdown or 100 yards (or both) in eight of his last 10 home games, so against a Giants pass D that has allowed the third most touchdowns, fourth most yards and fifth most fantasy points to wide receivers this season, it wouldn’t shock me to see both come his way this weekend. 



4. Demaryius Thomas (at Bal)

 Even though he missed a full quarter with a shoulder injury against the Raiders last week, I was still a bit disappointed by Thomas’ final stat line of five catches for 83 yards.

I expected more and I’m sure his many fantasy owners out there did as well.

This week he’ll be in Baltimore taking on a Ravens pass D that has had trouble containing the opposing team’s top receiver ever since CB Lardarius Webb went down in Week 6.

Emotions will likely be running high in this game with the possible return of MLB Ray Lewis, so I expect the Ravens to come out firing and possibly take an early lead.

If so, the Broncos will have to pass the ball to keep up, so Thomas will have his fair share of opportunities to score big fantasy points this Sunday. 


3. Vincent Jackson (at NO)

Because it rang true again last week versus the Eagles' decrepit pass D, I’ll say it one more time—if there’s one thing Vincent Jackson does super-duper well for his fantasy owners, he destroys poor pass defenses.

The pass D he’ll be facing this week, the New Orleans Saints, had been progressing nicely over the last handful of games—that is, until they ran into Eli Manning and the Giants WR corps last weekend.


Assuming he saw the game, V-Jax should be chomping at the bit to inflict his own damage on the Saints this Sunday, especially since he knows he can after putting up 216 yards and a touchdown against them in their first meeting.

A repeat of those gaudy numbers isn’t likely, but I wouldn’t bet against it either. 


2. Calvin Johnson (at Ari)

Though he caught 10 passes for the fourth time this season and put up over 100 yards for a sixth straight week, Calvin Johnson failed to get into the end zone against the Packers in Week 14, thus snapping his season-high four-game scoring streak.

That said, I fully expect a new one to be started this Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals.

If the Lions could run the ball like the Seahawks did last week, I might be fearful of Megatron’s involvement in the offense as the Cards can obviously be destroyed on the ground at this point.

However, they can’t, so Stafford will undoubtedly turn to Johnson again to lead the team to victory…and he will. 


1. A.J. Green (at Phi, Thursday night)


After a dismal three-catch, 44-yard game last weekend, Green has now gone three straight weeks without a TD after grabbing one in each of the Bengals' previous nine games.

He has also been held to just one 100-yard game in the last seven, but should be able to get back on track in the national spotlight this Thursday night.

The Bengals are in desperate need for a big game out of Green here and I believe he gives it to them against this bottom-feeding Eagles pass defense.

Over the last five weeks, Philadelphia has allowed the most touchdowns and third most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers.

Green is a lock to put up top-tier numbers right when you need them the most. 

Final Statistics:  6 catches - 57 yards - 1 TD


For rankings at all the positions, check out the: Pyro® Rankings.

For advice on who to start, check out the: Pyro® Start 'Em Sit 'Em

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