Joyner: Best/worst Week 12 receiver matchups


Joe Jurevicius, Browns: Jurevicius is one of the few Cleveland players who isn't benefiting fantasy coaches that much this season. He has only four games with seven or more fantasy points and also has four games with three or fewer points.

The good news is that Jurevicius' matchup of DeMarcus Faggins gives him an excellent chance of having one of those seven-or-more point totals this week. Faggins has been a target of most of the Texans' opponents and the Browns offensive brain trust will likely be no different in this regard.

Donald Driver, Packers: Driver may seem to be an odd name to include on this list but his recent performance says he is a fantasy question mark. In five of his past seven games, Driver has totaled six or fewer points. In fact, his highest fantasy point total since Week 3 is nine points.

Driver is due to face Fernando Bryant this week. Bryant allowed six completions in seven attempts for a total of 74 yards last week against the Giants. That equates to a 10.6 yards per attempt (YPA) and gives every indication Bryant is not playing well. Driver has an excellent chance to break out of his fantasy slump and should be started.

Ronald Curry, Raiders: Curry's 12-point performance last week was out of character for him. Curry had totaled only 17 points in the previous four weeks, and had four or fewer points in three of those weeks.

So which Curry will show up against Kansas City? The matchup against Patrick Surtain says that it should be the high-scoring Curry. Surtain has been mediocre in coverage this season (I have him ranked as a D-plus) and the Chiefs' safeties are also a coverage liability.


Bernard Berrian, Bears: It is hard to sit a receiver who has scored 10 or more points in three of his past five games, but Berrian's matchup against Champ Bailey is quite daunting. Bailey hasn't been quite as good this year as he was in 2006, but he is still probably the best coverage cornerback in the league. Expect the Bears to avoid this matchup.

Dwayne Bowe, Chiefs: Bowe has 24 fantasy points in the past two weeks, so most coaches are considering him as a slam-dunk start. His matchup against Nnamdi Asomugha this week should cause those coaches to reconsider that conclusion. Oakland will allow Asomugha to follow Bowe all around the field, so Bowe will be hard pressed to see a favorable matchup. The only caveat to this would be if Asomugha were not able to play due to his recent injuries, so make sure you check ESPN.com's injury update reports before sitting Bowe.

Roy Williams, Lions: Williams has 26 fantasy points in his past two games, so he is also considered a certain start for many fantasy coaches. His matchup against Al Harris is quite tough, however. Harris is playing at a Pro Bowl level and he held Williams in check in their last matchup of 2006. Williams totaled only one catch for 11 yards and had only three passes thrown his way all game. Harris shut Williams down that day and with the Lions having other more favorable matchups to target (especially Calvin Johnson and Shaun McDonald against the Packers nickel and dime cornerbacks), it is likely Williams will not see much action on Thanksgiving.


Keenan McCardell, Redskins: McCardell has been coming around of late now that he hasn't had to share time at the No. 3 spot with Brandon Lloyd or James Thrash. McCardell has totaled 16 points the past two weeks and is becoming more a part of this offense.

McCardell's increased usage is augmented this week by his incredibly favorable matchup of Sammy Davis. Davis is seeing more playing time this year due to Brian Kelly's recurring injuries. The additional experience hasn't done Davis a whole lot of good, as he still rates as being mediocre in coverage (I have him ranked as a C and could easily warrant lowering that grade). A veteran like McCardell should have a field day against Davis.

Reggie Williams, Jaguars: Williams is showing signs of being quite the home run hitter. In his past four games, Williams has totaled only 10 catches, but he has gained 220 yards on those catches. Any wide receiver with an average of 22 yards per reception is one who should be considered a good long shot candidate, and Jerametrius Butler, Williams' likely lineup matchup, is not reason enough to reconsider that thought.

KC Joyner, aka The Football Scientist, is a regular contributor to ESPN Insider.