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Week 12 Wide Receiver Rankings

Josh Gordon can finally return from his suspension this week, but is he an immediate starter? Robert gives you his top 50 WR rankings for week 12 to find out.

Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

It is finally upon us.  Josh Gordon, the guy you have held onto your team for the entire season, is now eligible to play again.  This guy finished as the best fantasy receiver last year, while only playing in 14 games.  The ability that he showed last year, is what we have to go off of when ranking him this week.  Normally I wouldn't rank a guy who was out for an extended period of time as high as I ranked Gordon, but when you have to realize he wasn't hurt.  He was healthy, and presumably staying in shape to be ready to go the rest of the way.  The matchup that he has also bumps him up a little bit in the rankings.  When all was said and down, I rate Josh Gordon as the number 12 receiver this week, and a close to must start for his owners.

There are only two teams on a bye this week, and so after this week the bye weeks will finally be over.  Some guys who would normally be starters are coming back off of a bye, so make sure you put them back in your lineup.  With that, let's take a look at the rankings and comments on a few of the guys.

Odell Beckham Jr. - Each time I have watched him play, I come away more impressed.  His hands already look like they could be in the top 10 of the league.  His route running is also far more precise than I would have imagined before the season.  Eli has been looking to get this kid the ball during games, and that will continue this week against the tough Cowboys defense.

Jordan Matthews - Another rookie who has been playing great over the last few weeks.  With Mark Sanchez under center, he has seen his targets go up from before, and that can be attributed to these two guys working together on the second team unit earlier this season.  The Eagles offense supplies a lot of good opportunities for its receivers to go down the field, and also get the ball in space, two things that Matthews is great at.  This is one guy that will continue to light up defenses the rest of the year, and a matchup against the Titans won't get in his way.

Sammy Watkins - So the theme this week is rookies having great performances.  Watkins has been held in check the last two weeks, but don't worry as he faces the vaunted Jets secondary this week.  Watkins should be fully healed from his injury now, and I expect him to go out and grab 80 yards and a TD to go along with it.

Cecil Shorts III - With the season ending injury to Allen Robinson, Shorts now gets his spot back as the number one target on Jacksonville.  In there last game, Shorts was targeted 7 times, while Robinson was targeted 10 times before his injury.  I see Shorts taking about 10 targets each game, and with that turning them into about 6 receptions a week.  This week though, I don't see him scoring a TD against the Colts and Vontae Davis.  After this week he should be firmly in my top 20 as Bortles is going to be able to make him a good play down the stretch here.

New Orleans Saints Receivers - Brandin Cooks had a thumb injury in there last game, so he will be out for 4-6 weeks.  This now gives room for someone on the Saints receiving corps to step forward and take on a larger role.  I think that it will be Colston who benefits the most from this, but I don't feel good about it.  Kenny Stills is the bigger play option out of the two, so it will be interesting to see how it plays out this week.  I am taking a wait and see approach to this situation, and I advise you do the same.

San Diego Receivers - Even in a good matchup, the unpredictability of how San Diego will distribute the ball doesn't make me feel good enough about any of the receivers to rank them in the top 35.  I ranked Malcom Floyd the highest, so if you are looking for a pure upside play this week out of your FLEX, he is someone I would take a look at.  On a side note, how is Keenan Allen still owned in so many leagues?  Floyd has outscored Allen in all but 3 weeks so far this season, so it may behoove you to drop Allen for Floyd.

Emmanuel Sanders - I don't believe he plays this week after suffering a concussion in week 11, but if he does, I would rank him 10th, right before Jeremy Maclin.

Teams On Bye: Carolina, Pittsburgh

Rank Player Team Opponent
1 A.J. Green Cincinnati Bengals Texans
2 Jordy Nelson Green Bay Packers Vikings
3 Demaryius Thomas Denver Broncos Miami Dolphins
4 Brandon Marshall Chicago Bears Buccaneers
5 T.Y. Hilton Indianapolis Colts Jaguars
6 Randall Cobb Green Bay Packers Vikings
7 Dez Bryant Dallas Cowboys Giants
8 Alshon Jeffery Chicago Bears Buccaneers
9 Calvin Johnson Detroit Lions Patriots
10 Jeremy Maclin Philadelphia Eagles Titans
11 Odell Beckham Jr. New York Giants Cowboys
12 Josh Gordon Cleveland Browns Falcons
13 Julio Jones Atlanta Falcons Browns
14 Mike Evans Tampa Bay Buccaneers Bears
15 Jordan Matthews Philadelphia Eagles Titans
16 Sammy Watkins Buffalo Bills Jets
17 Roddy White Atlanta Falcons Browns
18 DeAndre Hopkins Houston Texans Bengals
19 Mike Wallace Miami Dolphins Broncos
20 Cecil Shorts III Jacksonville Jaguars Colts
21 Golden Tate Detroit Lions Patriots
22 Brandon LaFell New England Patiots Lions
23 Torrey Smith Baltimore Ravens Saints
24 Percy Harvin New York Jets Bills
25 DeSean Jackson Washington Redskins 49ers
26 Eric Decker New York Jets Bills
27 Andre Johnson Houston Texans Bengals
28 Reggie Wayne Indianapolis Colts Jaguars
29 Vincent Jackson Tampa Bay Buccaneers Bears
30 Kendall Wright Tennessee Titans Eagles
31 Anquan Boldin San Francisco 49ers Redskins
32 Julian Edelman New England Patriots Lions
33 Marques Colston New Orleans Saints Ravens
34 Steve Smith Baltimore Ravens Saints
35 Rueben Randle New York Giants Cowboys
36 Malcom Floyd San Diego Chargers Rams
37 Allen Hurns Jacksonville Jaguars Colts
38 Mohamed Sanu Cincinnati Bengals Texans
39 John Brown Arizona Cardinals Seahawks
40 Kenny Britt St. Louis Rams Chargers
41 Kenny Stills New Orleans Saints Ravens
42 Keenan Allen San Diego Chargers Rams
43 Michael Crabtree San Francisco 49ers Redskins
44 Doug Baldwin Seattle Seahawks Cardinals
45 Jarvis Landry Miami Dolphins Broncos
46 Wes Welker Denver Broncos Dolphins
47 Justin Hunter Tennessee Titans Eagles
48 James Jones Oakland Raiders Chiefs
49 Michael Floyd Arizona Cardinals Seahawks
50 Andrew Hawkins Cleveland Browns Falcons