A few weeks ago, RookieBlitz.com brought you the best backup Running Backs to target for your fantasy football playoff run. If you took our advice, you were ahead of your league on Beanie Wells, Justin Forsett, Bernard Scott and Mike Bell. Each one of those players will play a vital role in your potential playoff success with excellent matchups and a great opportunity on their respective teams.
We’ll now shift our focus to some under the radar Wide Receivers that could also enjoy playoff success with some great matchups. I’ll go into detail for each player why we feel they’ll succeed in the playoffs and why you need to grab any of these players off the waiver wire if they are available.
There are always receivers that breakout in the fantasy football playoffs that are outside the top 30 scorers that can lead your team to a championship. There is no greater example than the 2004 season and the Tennessee Titans WR Drew Bennett. In a three game stretch during Weeks 13, 14 and 15; Bennett totaled 28 receptions for 517 yards and 8 touchdowns. He single-handedly won several championships for owners that were savvy enough to have grabbed him off the scrap heap prior to his offensive outburst.
We have yet to see another Drew Bennett, circa 2004, in the fantasy football playoffs since; but the hope is that RookieBlitz.com can help you find another key piece to your Fantasy Football Championship title run. The percentages for each player indicate the percentage of leagues they are owned in according to ESPN.com.
Jeremy Maclin – Philadelphia Eagles (42.6%)
@ATL, @NYG, SF, DEN
Jeremy Maclin should be your number one waiver priority this week if he happens to still be on the waiver wire. Maclin has the best opportunity of all of these wide receivers listed because of the concussion suffered by DeSean Jackson. Maclin will see an increased number of targets even when Jackson returns so the Eagles can rest him for the playoffs. Maclin has had solid fantasy performances so far, but the best may yet to come in the fantasy football playoffs.
Robert Meachem – New Orleans Saints (27.6%)
@WAS, @ATL, DAL, TB
Robert Meachem is coming off a great game against the New England Patriots in which he grabbed 5 passes for 69 yards and a touchdown. He is tied for the team lead in receiving touchdowns with 7, and is averaging an astonishing 19.1 yards per reception. The Saints displayed the type of performance that makes you wonder if they have what it takes to go undefeated in the regular season. Head Coach Sean Payton is not they type of coach that will rest his players in Week 16, and that makes Meachem a great bet to dominate the Buccaneers in Week 16 at home in the Superdome.
Pierre Garcon – Indianapolis Colts (36.0%)
TEN, DEN, @JAX, NYJ
Any concerns about Pierre Garcon’s role in the Colts offense have been put to rest. Garcon has passed Austin Collie on the depth chart, and with the prolonged injury concerns with Anthony Gonzalez, Garcon is the best bet to remain the Colts third receiving threat behind Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark. It remains to be seen if Jim Caldwell will rest his players once they have their playoff seeding determined, but Garcon remains a likely candidate to maintain his current role and possibly see an increase in targets in Week 16 versus the Jets.
Steve Breaston – Arizona Cardinals (78.3%)
MIN, @SF, @DET, STL
Steve Breaston is the most owned player I’ve mentioned, but if for any reason he is on your waiver wire make sure to put in a claim for him. The Cardinals have one of the easiest remaining playoff schedules against the suspect pass defenses of the 49ers, Lions and the Rams. If the Cardinals decide to shut down Anquan Boldin to rest up for the playoffs, Breaston makes a great option for your fantasy team.
Mark Clayton – Baltimore Ravens (10.6%)
@GB, DET, CHI, @PIT
Mark Clayton remains a long shot to have any relevant fantasy value for the remainder of 2009, but he is coming off a game against Pittsburgh where he was targeted 10 times and caught 7 passes for 129 yards. If you are in a deep league, Clayton is worth a flier and could have big days against the Packers, Lions and Bears if those teams key into stopping Derrick Mason.
Michael Crabtree – San Francisco 49ers (60.6%)
@SEA, ARI, @PHI, DET
Our favorite rookie WR is still available in 40% of leagues on ESPN.com. Michael Crabtree has undeniable talent at the wide receiver position, and for the remainder of the season the 49ers appear to be moving to a spread offense to maximize the skill set of 2005 first overall pick Alex Smith. Crabtree has earned the top spot on the depth chart for the 49ers, but he must fight TE Vernon Davis for targets still. Crabtree makes a great bet to have a monster day versus Detroit in Week 16.
Kevin Walter – Houston Texans (62.9%)
@JAX, SEA, @STL, @MIA
Kevin Walter is finally coming around this season after missing the first two games due to injury. He has helped fill the void created by the injury to Owen Daniels and is making the most of his opportunity. Walter still has to play second fiddle to stud WR Andre Johnson, but he has the potential to have a nice fantasy football playoff run against Seattle, St. Louis and Miami.
Kenny Britt – Tennessee Titans (8.6%)
@IND, STL, MIA, SD
Kenny Britt finally had a breakout performance Week 12 against the Cardinals with 128 yards receiving and the game winning touchdown from Vince Young. Britt is starting for the injured Justin Gage, and the white-hot Titans would be wise to leave the rookie from Rutgers in the lineup for the remainder of the season. Britt has a lot working in his favor to be a viable option in the playoffs. Vince Young and Chris Johnson are putting added pressure on the opposing defenses, and Britt has the room to work downfield on deeper routes to exploit matchups against smaller defensive backs. The Titans remain a run first team, and is the biggest reason Britt comes in last on this list. He has the talent to exploit weak matchups and the Titans need to keep winning and they could take advantage of the Rams in Week 14 and the potentially playoff set Chargers in Week 16.