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Fantasy Wide Receivers: Great Catch or Trade Bait?

Oct 15, 2010 – 7:00 AM
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R.J. White

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Eight receivers are averaging over 12 points per game in standard, non-PPR leagues. We expected it from Miles Austin, Roddy White and Reggie Wayne, so they bear no further mention in this article. Four of the remaining five are quite the surprise, and we'll talk about them in a minute. The other is Hakeem Nicks.

Nicks looked like a prime candidate for a breakout. We tweeted he would "surpass Steve Smith as the Giants' No. 1 fantasy option and become a fantasy WR1."

All that took was one week. Nicks caught just four passes for 75 yards in Week 1 against Carolina, but three went for TDs. A week later he caught another TD pass, and he added two more on the strength of 12 catches and 130 yards in Week 5 against Houston. That run has him tied for the league lead in fantasy points by a receiver. WR1 indeed.

Evaluating Early Surprises: Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Wide Receivers

Don't even think the magic will stop any time soon. Nicks should have no problem finishing the year as a top 10 fantasy option, and if he can continue to submit huge games like his gem in Week 5, he could challenge for top dog in the ever-changing race to be the best fantasy WR in the league. Do not sell high -- stick with Nicks for the remainder of the season.

Brandon Lloyd
We tackled Lloyd's incredible start in the Week 6 WR rankings, but here's a recap: he's consistently posting huge yardage numbers, even against excellent defenses. He's also worth riding till the wheels fall off. Unless you can squirrel away an elite top 10 guy for Lloyd (someone like Anquan Boldin that was a highly-rated WR in the preseason as well as right now), don't sell high. Who knows how great this Denver passing offense can be?

Austin Collie
No, Wayne hasn't gone anywhere, as is evidenced by his 15 receptions and 196 yards in Week 4 against Jacksonville. Even with the Colts top receiver playing well, Collie has managed to post elite numbers, and he's still averaging 14.5 points per game despite playing Week 5 at less than 100 percent. He scored at least once in every game leading up to last week's contest with Kansas City, and he posted two 160-plus yardage totals as well. Pierre Garcon could begin to eat into his production, so the wise ower that can sell extremely high on Collie should.

Malcom Floyd
Heading into Week 5, Floyd was posting solid numbers as the No. 1 WR in San Diego. He had back-to-back 15-point performances in Weeks 2 and 3, catching a TD in each. He was nowhere near entering the WR1 discussion until an incredible 213-yard day in Oakland in Week 5. Coming off such a noteworthy game, Floyd has sell-high written all over his game log. Antonio Gates is still the featured pass catcher in San Diego, and with Vincent Jackson slated to be back during your fantasy playoffs, it would be wise to trade Floyd for a potential WR1 that has less question marks towards the end of the season.

Terrell Owens
Like Floyd, our last elite WR turned on the jets in recent weeks, with Owens racking up 222 yards and a TD on 10 catches in Cleveland before posting another 102 yards and a TD in Week 5 against the Buccaneers. Cincinnati has a Week 6 bye, so you have one more week to sell high on Owens' name value and fantasy line to date. Chad Ochocinco is still going to get plenty of targets, and Carson Palmer looks nothing like the fantasy force of old. Cincinnati could (and should) turn back to a running game that carried them in 2009 after this week's bye. Sorry, TO, but I'm selling you as fast as I can.
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