2012 Fantasy Football WR Rankings

(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Last month, a writer with a very similar name to mine wrote on this site that wide receivers are DEEP this year. And they are....kind of. Everyone is talking about how deep the position is, but after another twenty mock drafts this week I'm finding that the talent is really just Top Heavy. Sure, there is Calvin and then a group of pass catchers that are all very solid WR1 and WR2 candidates. But, after about #30 the list drops off into a chasim of question marks and yuck.

Take a look at the Wide Receiver Rankings and see if you agree with my assessment. Better still (stealing a line from Reading Rainbow) "but don't take MY word for it", do some mock drafts yourself and see what you see.

Note that these rankings are based in the NON-PPR format where guys like Welker and Roddy and Marshall see a bump in value. Also, keep your eye out for a article on Third Year Wide Outs.

So, without further ado, the 2012 Fantasy Football WR Rankings:

Rank

Player (Team)

Notes

1

Calvin Johnson (DET)

This is the most No-Brainer ranking in the history of Fantasy Football. Calvin is the man and in a league of his own, period.

2

Roddy White (ATL)

With 524 Targets and 300 receptions over the last 3-yrs, Roddy is the picture of consistency. And the Falcons should be passing more in 2012.

3

Greg Jennings (GB)

Jennings is the #1 target of the #1 QB. And his 15.8 YPC over the last 3-yrs has him near the tops in the NFL.

4

Larry Fitzgerald (ARI)

If he had even an average QB, then he would be #2. Michael Floyd and an improved running game should keep the double and triple teams down in 2012.

5

A J Green (CIN)

This guy is UPSIDE-City and what can he and Dalton do with a full off-season. The addition of Sanu and an expanded role for Gresham should make the Cincy passing attack very stout this year.

6

Jordy Nelson (GB)

I worry if Jordy can duplicate his explosion at TD (15 in 2011), but McCarthy says he is looking to expand his role and increase his touches....enough for me!

7

Julio Jones (ATL)

Julio's nearly 18 YPC tells us that he's explosive and he ended the year on a tear....don't believe me, ck out his Wks 14-17 in 2011, WOW!

8

Dez Bryant (DAL)

He is young and talented, if he worked as hard as Miles Austin, he'd be a perennial All-Pro. He and Romo will make sweet music in 2012.

9

Mike Wallace (PIT)

Wallace is an elite talent, but I worry about his unhappiness with the 1-yr tag that the Steelers forced him to sign and him fitting into Haley's new offense.

10

Wes Welker (NE)

Wes is a catch-machine and he and Brady are like Peas & Carrots. BUT, a lack of a contract extension worries me about his role in the offense going forward.

11

Andre Johnson (HOU)

Most have AJ ranked higher, but I can't rank a 31 yr old WR that has missed TWELVE games over the last two seasons that high. Couple that with Schaub's own injury concerns and the fact that he's NEVER had double digit TD's. Nope.

12

Demaryius Thomas (DEN)

If you fancy yourself a gambler, DT could be the guy for you. If Peyton IS Peyton and Demaryius works on his route running, he could finish in the Top 5!

13

Hakeem Nicks (NYG)

Nicks' broken foot worries me; need I remind you how LONG his teammate Bradshaw's broken foot lingered? But, he's still a monster in the Red Zone.

14

Victor Cruz (NYG)

I could have easily ranked Victor in the Top 5, but I want to see it one more year. We have to wonder how the new TE and loss of Manningham will affect him.

15

Brandon Marshall (CHI)

The Bears STOLE him from the Dolphins and no one could be happier than his former Denver QB Jay Cutler. These two will be an explosive combo in 2012.

16

Miles Austin (DAL)

Half of Dallas' dynamic duo at WR, if Miles can stay healthy (missed 6 games in 2011) then he can be a solid WR2 for your fantasy team.

17

Marques Colston (NO)

Even though Jimmy Graham may be Brees' first look these days, Colston has had 1000 yards and 7 TD's in FIVE of the last six seasons.

18

Percy Harvin (MIN)

When I say "Harvin" you think "migraines", but he sprinted to the finish line at the end of 2011....scoring 6 times in his last 7 games. He has a nice chemistry with Ponder and he'll flourish without Peterson in the mix. He's a draft steal.

19

Jeremy Maclin (PHI)

With 300+ targets since 2009, it's clear that Maclin is a big part of the Philly passing attack. He's more consistent than Djax and he's a 5th round value.

20

Kenny Britt (TEN)

I officially LOVE Kenny Britt, but the news of a 2nd knee scope this week has put a damper on my expectations. IF he's healthy (big if), then he will be a Top 5 guy, keep in mind that he had 271 yards and 3 TD's in the first TWO games of '11.

21

Steve Smith (CAR)

I'm down on CAM (NO 300 yard passing games past Wk 4 last year), so in-turn I have to be down on his #1 target. Smith is undersized and 33 years old. Beware.

22

Dwayne Bowe (KC)

Bowe is out to prove that 2010's 15 TD's wasn't a fluke. He is a rare talent, but he fell victim to poor QB play in 2011. If JChaz and Cassel are healthy, Bowe could be a sneaky WR2 being drafted in the 5th round.

23

Brandon Lloyd (NE)

Finally, Brady has his deep threat back, but will Gronk, Hernandez and Welker keep his targets down. Lloyd could be Boom or Bust week-to-week, but if he can relive 2010's success w/McDaniels....explosive!

24

Stevie Johnson (BUF)

Stevie started out the year with a bang, but was inconsistent as Ryan Fitz hid an injury most of the season. He is a solid Top 25 guy.

25

DeSean Jackson (PHI)

Last year's contract disputes behind him, DeSean should relive some of his former glory, but keep in mind that his TD's, # of 100 yard games and Yards have gone down each of the last three seasons.

26

Eric Decker (DEN)

Everyone has Decker penciled in as the WR Sleeper of the Year. He is the biggest WR that Peyton has lined up with and he's getting LOTS of #18's praise.

27

Antonio Brown (PIT)

Savvy Fantasy GM's remember that Brown outplayed Wallace in the last quarter of 2011. Will that trend continue in 2012? Plus he's in his 3rd Year Breakout.

28

Torrey Smith (BAL)

With 7 TD's and nearly 100 targets in 2011, Torrey was a welcome surprise for Raven fans. Does he plateau or blossom in 2012? Time will tell.

29

Vincent Jackson (TB)

In VJax's last two full seasons (2009 and 2011) he had 1100+ yards and 9 TD's, but that was with Rivers tossing him the rock. How will he fare with Freeman?

30

Denarius Moore (OAK)

2011 Rookie Moore was Hot and Cold, but showed flashes of explosiveness and upside. A full camp with Palmer could make both of them shine in 2012.

31

Robert Meachem (SD)

45, 44 & 40 are Meachem's catch totals over the last three seasons. He has homerun ability, but how will a new team, QB and offense suit him?

32

Titus Young (DET)

Stafford threw the ball 663 times last year and 13% of them were to Titus. I can see the attempts going down, but his % of them going up. If he can overtake Burleson in camp, he could be a steal on draft day.

33

Greg Little (CLE)

Greg only caught 50% of his 121 targets in 2011 and was second in the NFL in drops (12). If Weeden can improve over Colt, then Little could have a much improved year. There is NOT MUCH in Cleveland to throw at.

34

Malcom Floyd (SD)

Either Malcom or Meachem will be Rivers' #2 (behind Gates) this year; odds could be with Floyd's familiarity with the system and his size.

35

Pierre Garcon (WAS)

I stagger at the contract that Garcon got from Dan Snyder, but good for him. But, will it translate into yards and TD's? He rises and falls on RG3's arm.

36

Santonio Holmes (NYJ)

Holmes nearly finished as a Top 25 WR in 2011, but you wouldn't have known it. Good news: He's the team's #1. Bad news: The team's QB is Mark Sanchez.

37

Reggie Wayne (IND)

Reggie played the good soldier and stuck with the Colts as half of the offense ran for the hills when Peyton left. He was rewarded with a new contract, but will he also be rewarded with improved QB play with rookie Andrew Luck??

38

Lance Moore (NO)

Lance has 16 quiet TD's over the last two seasons. Will Meachem's departure mean more targets, catches and scores?

39

Michael Crabtree (SF)

And the overhyped award goes to...... It's been a tough, yet improving few years in SF. But, a bevy of new toys for Alex Smith could hamper any further growth.

40

D. Heyward-Bey (OAK)

DHB finished as the 15th best WR over the last four weeks of 2011 (I bet you didn't know THAT), but can be build on it and stay healthy in 2012?

41

Nate Washington (TEN)

If Britt's injured knees linger into the season, Nate Wash will be the direct benefactor. This Top 20 WR from 2011 could maintain that quiet production (or he could be pushed off the field by Britt and rookie Kendall Wright)

42

Brandon LaFell (CAR)

36% of his 36 grabs in 2011 went for over 20 yards. And with Steve Smith slowing and Cam growing, his role could expand, quickly and dramatically.

43

Mike Williams (TB)

Ok, were YOU the guy that drafted MWTB in the 3rd round last year? Ouch, I thought that you were. Will he relish the #2 role behind or Vjax or will his 52% catch rate continue to hamper him with a decrease in targets?

44

Brian Quick (STL)

Well, SOMEONE has to catch the ball in St. Louis, right? Quick is BIG (6'4" 220) and physical and could earn some Red Zone looks from Bradford.

45

Doug Baldwin (SEA)

Which Sleeper Baldwin is the breakout? Doug seems to have the clearest path with Sid Rice healing from many off-season injuries.

46

Jon Baldwin (KC)

And this Sleeper Baldwin is fighting with Bowe and Moeaki and Breaston for targets from a so-so QB. But, Jon's body type could earn him some PT.

47

Vincent Brown (SD)

VBrown seemed to develop some chemistry with Rivers mid-season, but there are a gaggle of WR's in town this year and the offense will RUN through RyMath.

48

Justin Blackmon (JAC)

3300 yards and 19 TD's in his last two college seasons make Blackmon very appealing, but his maturity and QB have him clinging to the Top 50.

49

Michael Floyd (ARI)

Floyd and LFitz could make quite a WR tandem in the desert, but QB questions and work ethic concerns have him as the third rookie on this list.

50

Rueben Randle (NYG)

Getting almost NO love in Mock Draft thus far, Randle could be the Victor Cruz of 2012. He has the QB and he has the size (6'4") will he get the opportunity?

51

Emmanuel Sanders (PIT)

Who led the Steelers with 81 receiving yards against Tebow in the playoffs? Not Wallace, Not Brown...it was Sanders. Does he stay healthy in 2012?

52

Kendall Wright (TEN)

Similar to Nate Wash, Kendall's value could be defined by the health of Britt's knees. He is explosive and could be a real talent in this high-flying offense.

53

Anquan Boldin (BAL)

His receptions and targets have gone down each of the last three years. Boldin is tough, but he just doesn't have the separation that he once did in AZ.

54

Nate Burleson (DET)

The Lions' receiving corps is crowded and Nate could be the odd man out. His 110 targets last year were 3rd on the team in 2011, but I bet Titus cuts in on the dance this year.

55

Randy Moss (SF)

If you want Randy Moss, you can draft Randy Moss...as he is going in the 12th-15th rounds. One could say he's Boom/Bust with upside. I say he's washed up.

56

David Nelson (BUF)

You would think that a 6'5" guy with some skills would get more love from his QB, but Nelson's Red Zone looks seem to go to Fred Jackson and CJ Spiller.

57

Leonard Hankerson (WAS)

I like Hankerson as a deep-sleeper this year. Just write it down.

58

Santana Moss (WAS)

You have to wonder if Father Time is catching up with Santana Moss. Can RG3 give him one more rosterable season?

59

Randall Cobb (GB)

I took Jordy Nelson DEEP in drafts last year, and what do you know, he had 15 TD's with Rodgers. Is Cobb that guy in 2012 with Driver basically gone?

60

Alshon Jeffery (CHI)

Big. Athletic. QB with a cannon. I like Alshon's upside.

61

Mohamed Sanu (CIN)

A terrible schedule greets rookie Sanu, but he could be a big part of an explosive Bengal passing attack.

62

Devery Henderson (NO)

Devery has five TD's COMBINED since 2009. That's not good, but he does have Brees and one less target (Meachem) in town, so.....

63

Eddie Royal (SD)

I'm starting to hear a little buzz around Eddie Royal. Can he get back to his 91 catch form of his 2008 rookie year with Philip Rivers?

64

Golden Tate (SEA)

If Rice is banged up and Flynn can establish a rhythm, then Golden Tate could produce as a WR3 in his third season.

65

Laurent Robinson (JAC)

PLEASE don't be the guy that chases LoRo's 11 TD' from last year. Just sorta chuckle and say "Nice Pick" with a guy in your league takes him in the 5th round.

66

Mario Manningham (SF)

Can (Super) Mario beat our Randy Moss for the WR spot across from Crabtree? All indications are "no" at this point. And Alex is QUITE a downgrade from Eli.

67

Danny Amendola (STL)

Amendola is Wes Welker West, but his career 8.0 Yards After Catch is more YUCK than YAC. He could be a late-value in a PPR

68

Stephen Hill (NYJ)

Stephen had 49 college receptions....period! But, he has size and speed and could be a real weapon for the Jets. But Sanchez looms....

69

Jerome Simpson (MIN)

Simpson is staring down a suspension this year, but could give you WR4 slot some late-season upside.

70

Sidney Rice (SEA)

If Sid was healthy, he would be MUCH higher, but the question at QB coupled with two concussions and multiple shoulder injuries. He's more Bust than Boom.

71

James Jones (GB)

If Cobb doesn't step up, James Jones might. His 7 TD's from last year are a bit misleading, so buyer beware.

72

Davone Bess (MIA)

I guess I HAD to list ONE Miami receiver so....

73

Austin Collie (IND)

If Collie can shake the concussion bug, he could be a nice target in Indy's depleted WR group.

74

Brian Hartline (MIA)

Ok, maybe TWO Dolphin pass catchers should be on here.

75

Riley Cooper (PHI)

With Maclin, DeSean and Brent Celek, Riley's opportunities are limited. But, if injuries pop up, he could get some playing time in a dynamic passing attack.

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