Heading into more bye-week infested waters the next few weeks means it’s time to double-check your depth and make sure you have everything covered. The main position that many are seeking to fill gaps and build depth is Wide Receiver.
Later today, we’ll have a breakdown of all the other positions, but here’s a focus on wide receivers who surprised and and stepping up to fill bigger rolls with their teams going forward who would be useful to add to your team.
They’re ranked here in the order I would add them if available:
Randall Cobb-Green Bay Packers: Cobb wasn’t a huge surprise but his continued exceptional play means he’s becoming a top ten wide receiver in the absence of Greg Jennings. He caught all eight throws in his direction Sunday for 89 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He’s not available in your league, but he’s breaking out as truly an “elite” fantasy weapon thanks to Aaron Rodgers.
Brandon Gibson-St. Louis Rams: Gibson caught only five passes for 60 yards against the Packers but he’ll face the Patriots suspect secondary next week and continues to be the #1 wide receiver in St. Louis with Danny Amendola sidelined. He’s a solid flex play and could even be used as WR2 against New England.
Jeremy Kerley-New York Jets: Kerley has emerged as the #1 wide receiver on an injury-depleted Jets team and finished yesterday’s game in New England with 120 yards on seven catches. He was targeted 11 times and will continue to be Mark Sanchez’s primary target. However, the Jets gameplan won’t be to chuck the rock like they did Sunday, so don’t go crazy with your Kerley Krush.
Andre Roberts-Arizona Cardinals: Roberts led Arizona in receiving with 103 yards on seven catches and their lone receiving TD against Minnesota. He’s a solid flex play and is especially useful with John Skelton under center since Kolb throws the ball to Fitzgerald more while passing up Roberts.
Josh Gordon-Cleveland Browns: Brown couldn’t haul in the game-winner but did find the end zone again this week for the third week in a row. He had just two catches for 59 yards but was targeted 10 times and is the new favorite receiver for fellow-rookie Brandon Weeden. As the Browns play catchup, he’s their home run threat and should be good for endgame stats making him a WR3/flex option especially around byes.
Cecil Shorts-Jacksonville Jaguars: Shorts was targeted 10 times and converted four catches into 79 yards and a touchdown. He’s got some upside since there’s not many other options in Jacksonville, but his value is tied to the success or failure of Blaine Gabbert so expect there to be some volatility. He’s a borderline flex play if you have players on byes.
Santana Moss-Washington Redskins: Moss may seem low on this list since he did score the fifth-most fantasy points of any wide receiver this past week. However, his points are mainly because he found the endzone on two of his three catches for 67 yards total. He will definitely be a part of the Washington passing attack while Pierre Garcon and Fred Davis are out, but there are probably options with better upside than Moss. That being said, he’s startable as a flex if you’re singing the bye-week blues.
Brandon LaFell-Carolina Panthers: Lafell caught four passes for 53 yards and his first touchdown of the season Sunday against Dallas. He was targeted a season-high eight times and may be on the verge of realizing some of the potential that made him a popular sleeper at the beginning of the season. He’s an interesting guy to stash on your bench, but he’s not quite ready to be a regular fantasy starter until he puts together some more consistency.
Donald Jones-Buffalo Bills: Everybody puts up points against Tennessee, and Jones was no exception Sunday hauling in four catches for 47 yards and a touchdown. He’s the Bills #2 receiver, but he’s also wildly inconsistent. In deep leagues he’s worth a look, but pass in most formats unless desperate for a bye-week cover.
Kevin Walter-Houston Texans: The Texans have a host of young receivers that they are trying to groom to play across from Andre Johnson, but it’s been Walter the 10-year veteran that has strung together some solid numbers. He had four catches for 74 yards and a touchdown yesterday and has been targeted 24 times in the Texans last five games with 14 catches, two touchdowns, and 228 yards. He’s a hail mary option if you need a flex play but doesn’t have huge upside.
Ryan Whalen-Cincinnati Bengals: If you had Whalen as the leading Bengals receiver last night, we’d like the keys to the Delorean back since you’ve obviously mastered the art of time travel. Whalen caught four passts for 31 yards. The Bengals are headed into a bye, but it’s worth at least monitoring Whalen since Cincinnati needs a second wide-out threat.