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Fantasy Football 2012 Rankings: Wide Receiver Part II

Is it worth a reach 'em for Meachem?
Is it worth a reach 'em for Meachem?

Wide receiver is very deep this year and owners might want to focus on the running back spot(s) earlier in their draft. There are still a slew of position battles and we will have more info once training camp comes around, too. We'll be tackling depth charts in the next round of features. Until then, here's a quick look at the wide receivers in the WR3-to-WR5 range for standard leagues.

Check out Part I right here and....

Rank Wide Receiver Comment
26 Dwayne Bowe The Chiefs have one of the deeper receiver corps they've had in years with Jonathan Baldwin, Steve Breaston, Dexter McCluster and rookie Devin Wylie set to line up as their pass-catching arsenal. Bowe had a disappointing five scores last year to follow his 15-TD campaign in 2010. He still has plenty of upside and needs Matt Cassel to stay healthy this year.
27 Brandon Lloyd Brandon Lloyd's value will undoubtedly be compared to Chad Johnson. 85 was expected to bust out with Tom Brady and we all know how that turned out. Lloyd is no spring chicken anymore at 30 and owners will have to likely spend an early-mid round pick on the Illinois product.
28 Robert Meachem To be honest, I want to put Meachem higher. He's going to start opposite Malcom Floyd and has shown in his career in New Orleans that he's a tremendous deep threat. Meachem averaged 15.5 yards per reception last year and that number is likely to increase based on Malcom Floyd and Vincent Jackson ranking first and sixth in that category last year, respectively. Rivers likes to throw the ball deep and this seems like a match sponsored by E-Harmony (sans the creepy old dude).
29 DeSean Jackson D-Jax got his loot from the Eagles for a five-year, $47 million contract this year and he'll look to rebound from a 58-catch, four-score season last year. The largest noticeable decrease was his yards per reception dropping from 22.5 to 16.6 from 2010 to 2011. Generally speaking, the players in the Philly passing attack are coming at a discount this year.
30 Santonio Holmes The Jets are going to run the ball quite a bit this year. Rex Ryan said his team will look to get away from a balanced O and bring back the ground-and-pound offense. Their personnel suggests just that and it's unlikely Tone will have big reception and yardage numbers. He should be a good bet for seven or eight scores as the Jets best red-zone threat.
31 Denarius Moore The Raiders stretched the field as much as anticipated with Moore once he came back and he was very effective in his last two games with a combined seven catches for 195 yards and a score. It's still unclear which Raider gets the WR1 gig. Moore is the favorite.
32 Greg Little

Little was a bit of a letdown last year with tons of drops. He erupted Week 15 against the Cardinals (131 and a score), but that was really it for a guy that was expected to come on strong after the endorsement of the coaching staff. This year Little has done all the right things to expect a breakout again. He dropped (pun intended) 11 pounds, his new QB is one that can get ball down the field and Cleveland beat writers have his back by saying he could be a Pro Bowl-type player. Little is a good bet to be a WR2 this year.

33 Eric Decker As always, it's all about Peyton. Decker could be a huge asset in fantasy leagues this year. There's plenty of risk.
34 Brandon LaFell Just about everyone is high on Cam Newton this year and that goes along with the idea of knowing full well that Cam isn't going to run for 14 scores this year. Steve Smith can only be so good, too. That leaves a lot of upside for Brandon LaFell. He can run the fly route very well as evident by the 91-yard bomb for a score in Fantasy Championship week. Coach Ron Rivera stated he's confident in him and so am I. I've drafted him in almost every mock I've done to this point.
35 Sidney Rice Rice had surgery on both of his shoulder. Injury risk aside, there's a lot to like about Rice with his new quarterback Matt Flynn. While it's worth noting that Seattle is going to run quite a bit, Rice's red-zone presence should have enough of an impact to make him worthy of a draft pick.
36 Malcom Floyd Floyd led the league last year with his 19.9 yards per reception on his 43 receptions (70 targets). Robert Meachem should have no problem becoming a major part of the offense and Floyd is likely going to be the third option in the passing game with Meachem and Gates. The large expected increase in snap count for Meachem might wear him down in which case Floyd would become a tremendous option.
37 Pierre Garcon The most overpaid player in the offseason is put into a favorable position with RG3. The rookie QB has uncanny skills at getting the ball down the field and Garcon is going to be responsible for tearing the top off defenses. His 10th-ranked 134 targets should dip, but he should have no problem clearing 15 yards per reception this year (13.5 last year). There's upside, but there's a good chance for a letdown.
38 Torrey Smith While there's not a whole lot of doubt that the second-year Terp will leapfrog Anquan to be the WR1 for the Ravens, there's not a whole lot of upside. The Rayvens will keep Ray Rice's usage rate very high.
39 Anquan Boldin Remember when Boldin was a second-round pick in PPR leagues? If not, you shouldn't drink soda at your age.
40 Doug Baldwin Baldwin had a knack for getting open last year and he was able to reel in 51 of his 86 targets. Not bad for a rookie. His inconsistency killed him a bit with two or less catches in five games, so he'll need to make some strides in that department.
41 Darrius Heyward-Bey Denarius Moore figures to be the main man with the Raiders, but DHB could still jump out in front with a strong preseason. He was a target monster in his last four weeks with 42. Those 42 yielded 13 catches for 433 yards and two scores. Solid.
42 Brian Hartline The Dolphins are a mess with their aerial attack and Hartline is likely going to move from the split end to the flanker for them. He's had some big games against teams with a weak RCB or just a weak D in general (i.e. New England). He has plenty of room to blossom as the WR1 and no other receiver in his rear-view mirror to usurp his role. Leganu Naanee and B.J. Cunningham are the only other WRs that could possible take his job (both 6'2"). Davone Bess (coming off a partial ACL tear) and Clyde Gates are both under six-foot.
43 Michael Floyd The Cardinals had some trouble solving their WR2 issues last year. That said, Andre Roberts and Early Doucet combined to have eight games with five or more catches. If that can transform to just Floyd, he'd have some decent value. Yes, I'm aware of the flawed logic here and we'll delve more into this once Kevin Kolb wins the job. Floyd wouldn't have much value with Skelton at the helm and he still has work to do. He's growing on me a little, though.
44 Lance Moore Moore should see some extra work with Meachem out of town
45 Brian Quick The Rams were 31st in offense and their quarterbacks really struggled by finishing 31st in YPC and 30th in completion percentage. They were behind in a lot of games, but still were just 30th in passing yards. It was ugly. Quick was the first pick of the second day and the Rams clearly must like him because there's no doubt they received tons of calls regarding a trade for that pick. He's big at 6-foot-5 and should be used all over the field. Of course, going from a small school like Appalachian State to the NFL isn't likely going to be a seamless transition. If Bradford can snap out of it, Quick has enough of an opportunity to be the next big thing at WR.
46 Austin Collie Bruce Arians is expected to use multiple WR sets which could be a good and bad thing for Collie. The concussion-prone wideout did some serious damage in multiple-WR sets and he should have no problem beating Donnie Avery to start next to Reggie Wayne in two-WR sets.
47 Justin Blackmon I've spent way too long dogging Blaine Gabbert. Feel free to check out this (QB Rankings) or this (analysis of NFL Draft).
48 Danny Amendola Amendola dislocated his elbow last year and let down a lot of people that had him as a sleeper. He is someone to watch in training camp and should lead the team in receptions this year, if healthy.
49 Davone Bess Should be a PPR weapon and has shown the skills to create after the catch. New offensive coordinator kept his offense pretty balanced by coming in at 10 for passing yards in 2007 as the OC for Houston and of course his ranks were high with Brett Favre. Yes, the Tannehill-Moore-Garrard trio doesn't even add up to Favre.
50 Leonard Hankerson Someone has to start next to Pierre Garcon and Hankerson looks prime for the distinction. The U product left a lot to be desired with his last game by going off to the tune of 106 yards on eight catches.

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