Joyner: Top Week 6 receiver matchups
If the passing matchups are any indicator, this should be a very high-scoring weekend. There are so many favorable wide receiver matchups and, by comparison, so few strong sit candidates, I am going to list four starts and only two sits this week in addition to two sleeper picks.
Derrick Mason, WR, Ravens: Mason has been a consistent point producer this season; four of his five starts have netted seven or more points. He has been even better in point-per-reception leagues; he has seven or more receptions in each game, as well. As if Mason's consistency weren't enough of a reason to start him, consider that his matchup will be either Ron Bartell or Tye Hill (depending on Hill's injury status). Neither Bartell nor Hill rate very well grade-wise (Bartell C-, Hill D), so either matchup is quite favorable for Mason.
Wes Welker, WR, Patriots: My Insider article this week contains a section detailing how well the Cowboys' secondary has been playing this year, especially on vertical passes. Even with those improvements, though, they still have a couple of personnel weaknesses, one being nickel back Jacques Reeves. Welker is more than capable of running around and past Reeves, so find a spot for him in your lineup.
Andre Davis, WR, Texans: Davis has totaled 31 fantasy points the past three weeks. His matchup this week is Brian Williams. Williams is a fairly solid cornerback in coverage (grade C+), but he isn't a shutdown corner by any means. Expect the Texans to throw Williams' way plenty of times.
Ronald Curry, WR, Raiders: Curry's 2007 production has been predicated almost completely on the level of competition he faces. In the two games against the struggling secondaries of Detroit and Cleveland, Curry posted 31 points. In the game against Denver's very strong secondary, Curry posted one point. Curry's lineup matchup this week is Quentin Jammer. Jammer has been struggling of late in coverage (I have him as a B-), so that bodes well for Curry to have a good week.
Santana Moss, WR, Redskins: Moss has participated in practice this week after not playing since Week 3, so that would seem to be good news for his fantasy owners. The bad news is that he is drawing Al Harris in coverage this week. Harris is playing at a very high level (rated B+) and that, combined with the risk of the injury, makes Moss a low-percentage play this week.
Vincent Jackson, WR, Chargers: I hesitated to put Jackson on this list after his good performance last week against the Broncos (14 fantasy points) but he is due to face Nnamdi Asomugha. It might not even matter if Jackson can get lined up against Fabian Washington, either; Jackson struggled against both Asomugha and Washington last year. Jackson gained only 24 yards on the four passes thrown his way against those two in 2006. That equates to a 6.0 yards-per-attempt average, a figure that indicates that Jackson is a good sit candidate.
Ernest Wilford, WR, Jaguars: Demarcus Faggins has been the target of just about every team the Texans have faced this year. If that happens again this week, Wilford should see the ball quite often and should be worth 10 or more points in a point-per-reception league.
Bobby Engram, WR, Seahawks: Engram has a ton of upside. He will likely be the starter at flanker for the injured Deion Branch. His lineup matchup would be Mike McKenzie, but with the way the Seahawks move receivers around, it would not be a surprise to see Engram get a couple of looks against the rest of the weak New Orleans secondary. If you need a longshot waiver pick, Engram could be your guy, as he is currently only owned in 36.2 percent of ESPN.com leagues.
KC Joyner, aka The Football Scientist, is a regular contributor to ESPN Insider. His core passing metrics can be found in the ESPN Fantasy Football Magazine, which was released in June. A free sample of his latest release ("Scientific Football 2007") is available at his Web site.