NFL 2012 Fantasy Football Top 20 Wide Receivers

What you are currently reading is the latest installment of my personal fantasy football rankings for the upcoming NFL season.  Much like the running back issue, there are normally at least double the amount of roster spots dedicated to wide receivers as there are quarterbacks.  Hence another top twenty ranking.  The rating categories changed a little again; first when considering the teams schedule I tried to project which teams they may have to play catch up against late in the game and therefore will be passing the ball much more than running it.  Also I dropped the “Versatility” category because it does not make as much sense to include it with the wide outs.  To compensate I added an “Other” category; this category consisted of aspects such as age, off field issues and relationships with their teammates.  For some reason it seems that wide receivers are the divas of NFL offenses, and I chose to reflect this in the rankings.  Shall we?

1. Wes Welker – New England Patriots: Hard to argue with a man who has caught over 100 balls in 4 of the past 5 seasons.  Also has one of the best quarterbacks ever in Tom Brady slinging him the ball.  I’m looking for Wes to replicate his success from last year and be at the top when it comes to fantasy receivers.

2. Jordy Nelson – Green Bay Packers: Huge downfield threat for Aaron Rodgers last year and for many years to come.  His 18.6 yards per catch average is fifth among receivers who caught at least 30 passes last season, he figures to catch more balls this year with an increased role and a decrease in reps for aging Donald Driver.  Putting him above the next guy might be a mistake, but these rankings are all about potential for the upcoming season, not who I would pick to be on my team right now.

3. Calvin Johnson – Detroit Lions: Part of the reason he is third and not second has a lot to do with the atmosphere of his team.  The Detroit Lions keep having legal issues, and have collectively earned a reputation as a dirty team on the field.  Although Calvin seems to me to be a hard working, responsible person who keeps his tongue in check; these kinds of distractions can cause issues in the locker room that could transfer to the field.  If not for this his “Other” score would have been a 1.

4. Larry Fitzgerald – Arizona Cardinals: Larry is an honest and upstanding human being.  He is also one of the most talented receivers to hit the NFL in the last decade.  When he had a Pro Bowl caliber quarterback chucking him the ball (Kurt Warner) his numbers were at the top of the league.  He still mingles around the top five with a lot of questions and poor play at the quarterback spot; which is the only reason he is ranked so high.  Look for him to be consistently productive no matter who is throwing him the ball.

5. Steve Smith – Carolina Panthers: Cam Newton coming to town helped Smith the most.  The dynamic Newton draws a lot of attention and keeps the defense on their heels.  This gives Smith time to separate from defenders.  Coup that with Newton’s strong arm and you have a top 5 QB/WR combination.  Smith is getting old and it has to catch up with him sometime; but for now he should be a top 5 pick amongst wide receivers.

6. Julio Jones – Atlanta Falcons: One of many young WR studs that will be in top ten rankings for a few years now.  He is on a team that has a balanced offensive system with a couple more than capable backs that they do not hesitate to hand the ball to.  He also has arguably (some might argue anyway) the best tight end in history in Tony Gonzalez on his team and Roddy White on the other side.  If not for these teammate handicaps he would be ahead of Steve Smith.

7. Marques Colston – New Orleans Saints: The best receiver on a team loaded with offensive talent finds his place at number seven on this list.  Although Drew Brees is not happy with the way the league is handling the bounty scandal, he is happy with the money he will be receiving over the next five years.  This bodes well for Colston, and really anybody who is on or cares about the Saints organization.  Colston is probably a mid-second round pick.

8. Brandon Marshall – Chicago Bears: This does not seem right to me (putting a Chicago receiver in the top ten) but Marshall has put together an impressive streak of seasons with at least 80 receptions and 1,000 yards; five to be exact.  Two of those seasons, his second and third in the league, he was catching passes from current Bears quarterback Jay Cutler for the Denver Broncos.  In both of those seasons he had over 100 catches and over 1,200 yards.  Considering these only these numbers it’s surprising he isn’t in the top five, but the Bears look to run the ball just as much or more than pass it this season; and Marshall has a slew of off the field issues.

9. Roddy White – Atlanta Falcons: White has been an amazing receiver his past few years in the league.  He does however seem to have a lot of bumps and bruises slowing him down from week to week.  If my predictions are correct he will be slightly behind Julio Jones in production for this season.  Even behind Jones he should be in the top ten receivers for the season.

10. Victor Cruz – New York Giants: After playing sparingly in his rookie season Cruz finally got a real shot to impress due to injury at the position and he seized it and ran with it.  He then salsa danced with it in the end zone.  The main reason he is ranked higher than teammate Hakeem Nicks is because Nicks has a horrible history of injury.  Cruz was placed on IR halfway through his rookie season with a bum hamstring but has shown no ill effects of it since.

11. Dwayne Bowe – Kansas City Chiefs: If he ever ends his holdout he could help the Chiefs challenge for the AFC West crown, not to mention put up incredible fantasy numbers.  Bowe is one of the most talented receivers in the league, on a different team it is possible he would be among the top three in all main categories.  Alas, he is on the Kansas City Chiefs, and is destined to have a great but not amazing season.

12. Antonio Brown – Pittsburgh Steelers: Brown looks to be the new go to guy in Pittsburgh.  Mike Wallace (Brown’s contender for main man) is unhappy with the amount of money he is receiving this year and has chosen to show the team his angst by not participating in any team activities.  How long that will last is something that Wallace himself may not even know, but whether Wallace reports or not, Brown is primed to have a huge year for the Steelers and whomever is lucky enough to draft him.

13. Andre Johnson – Houston Texans: One of the best receivers of his time is slowly regressing.  Not due to work ethic, talent or quality of play but because of age and constant injury issues.  His most current being a groin injury that kept him out of the Texans preseason opener.  If he can overcome these problems he will do much better than 13th this season, but as of right now his injuries make him a risk to take any higher than the third round.

14. Hakeem Nicks – New York Giants: The #1 receiver on the depth chart and the #2 receiver on these rankings for the Giants.  Nicks broke a bone in his foot late in May, but was recently cleared to practice.  He should be ready for the NFL season opener vs. the Dallas Cowboys, but if I were a betting man (which I am) I would put the limit on Nicks missing at least one game this season due to injury.  Draft him at your own risk.

15. A.J. Green – Cincinnati Bengals: Another one of those young wide outs who should make an impact on the league for many years to come.  He plays a pretty tough schedule, and has had minor injury issues in his only season in the NFL, but the upside on this player is huge.  I myself would draft Green higher than some of these players (especially in a keeper league) but I cannot recommend that move to anyone else.

16. Dez Bryant – Dallas Cowboys: The main thing keeping him hovering around the bottom of these rankings is his attitude.  The proof is in the pudding as they say, and Bryant’s pudding is disrespectful and egotistical.  If he can keep his God complex in check this season he will have an opportunity to be at the top of the league.  If he makes enemies in the locker room and/or on the field it could be a season of stomachache for Bryant owners.

17. Percy Harvin – Minnesota Vikings: The arrival of fellow receiver Jerome Simpson should help take some of the pressure off of the only reliable receiver the Vikings have had for a couple years.  The main worry with Harvin is if he will be kept off of the field by his infamous migraine headaches.  If Christian Ponder does a better job of adjusting to the NFL level of play Harvin could have a stellar year in the Twin Cities.

18. Miles Austin – Dallas Cowboys: Miles had a breakout season three years ago after a few years trying to find his niche with the Cowboys.  Sadly for him his season was hampered by a troublesome hamstring last year.  When he did play he performed well, but he wasn’t always on the field.  The same problem is keeping him sidelined at the moment, but once he does hit the field he will produce.

19. Vincent Jackson – San Diego Chargers: Jackson has an immense talent reservoir, enough so that he could give some away and still be hanging around the top ten receivers in the league talent-wise.  The problem with him is the team he is playing on.  Quarterback Josh Freeman needs to play better than he did last year for Jackson to fulfill his potential.  Another factor that may hinder Vincent’s success is the team philosophy, which looks to be run, run, run this season.

20. Kenny Britt – Tennessee Titans:  Showed he could be a #1 wide receiver on most teams throughout the league last season and late the season prior before he was setback by a torn ligament in his knee.  He should be returning at full strength this season.  If he can stay out of off the field trouble and healthy he will be a top ten receiver in terms of stats.  But that is two big knocks against him, let’s see if he can return to the form he showed right before the injury.

Some other players that may end up with better numbers than those listed above include:

Nate Washington – Tennessee Titans: If Britt is held back by whatever of the few problems he is facing Washington is primed and ready to take over.

Stevie Johnson – Buffalo Bills: It was hard for me to leave him off the top twenty.  He is still young and is the most talented receiver on what looks to be a powerful offense who will be playing some weak defenses this season and might find themselves passing a lot to catch up to some of the powerful offenses they face.

Mike Wallace – Pittsburgh Steelers: If he hits the field and plays for a new contract, watch his numbers soar.

Pierre Garcon – Washington Redskins: Played very well considering the circumstances with the Colts.  Also dominated during his first preseason game catching passes from Robert Griffin III.

As always, the numbers are listed below.                                                                #NFLFF2012

Schedule

Injury

System/Teammates

Recent

Other

Total

Wes Welker

1

2

1

1

1

6

Jordy Nelson

4

1

1

1

1

8

Calvin Johnson

3

2

1

1

2

9

Larry Fitzgerald

2

2

5

2

1

12

Steve Smith

2

3

2

2

4

13

Julio Jones

1

3

3

4

3

14

Marques Colston

2

4

1

5

2

14

Brandon Marshall

1

1

4

3

5

14

Roddy White

1

4

3

2

3

15

Victor Cruz

4

3

4

1

3

15

Dwayne Bowe

3

1

4

3

4

15

Antonio Brown

5

1

2

4

3

15

Andre Johnson

3

5

2

5

1

16

Hakeem Nicks

4

5

3

3

2

17

A.J. Green

5

2

4

4

2

17

Dez Bryant

5

3

2

4

4

18

Percy Harvin

3

4

5

2

5

19

Miles Austin

5

4

3

5

3

20

Vincent Jackson

4

5

5

3

5

22

Kenny Britt

2

5

5

5

5

22

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About millerhour

I will probably write about a lot of things nobody cares to read. There is also a good chance I do not update this very often.
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4 Responses to NFL 2012 Fantasy Football Top 20 Wide Receivers

  1. tblizow says:

    Wes Welker at #1? Are you retarded Bro?

  2. tblizow says:

    I hope you follow your guidelines you’ve laid out here, see ya at the bottom! 🙂

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