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I thought I’d take a look at the wide receivers with the most targets to finish the season. They are sorted by targets per game but that really doesn’t come into effect until #26 with Greg Jennings. So let’s take a look at some of the targeteers for the last 6 weeks of 2012 and see what we can learn.

  1. Roddy White: -13-15-11-16-16-9 (80) — It will be interesting to see what happens with White’s targets next season but I have no doubt he’ll still be very valuable in PPR leagues even with Julio Jones most likely cutting into his overall numbers.
  2. Wes Welker: -12-11-10-6-19-11 (69) — The addition of Brandon Lloyd could possibly hurt Welker somewhat but I believe the extra firepower he brings will keep Welker flush with underneath receptions and red zone targets. Everything seems set up perfectly for a big fantasy year from the Patriots receivers.
  3. Larry Fitzgerald: -9-7-8-8-11-18 (61) — The Cardinals still don’t have a QB but Fitz still continues to be a reliable top 5 fantasy receiver. Some help in the draft could possibly take some pressure off him but no matter what, he’ll still be a target hog.
  4. Percy Harvin: -8-9-15-7-6-16 (61) — Harvin was underutilized all of the first season, so much so that I prayed to Yahweh every night for Leslie Frazier to grow some brain cells in a petri dish, I don’t know, and insert them somewhere? Well, that must have worked because Harvin finished like a bat out of Hades and there’s no reason he shouldn’t be a top 10 or better receiver this season.
  5. Hakeem Nicks: -12-12-10-12-7-6 (59) — Nicks is the prototypical #1 receiver and even with Victor Cruz having a breakout season and putting up insane numbers it’s hard to rank Nicks second to Cruz. As you can see their targets to end the season were nearly identical. Both are possible top 5 receivers but I still trust Nicks’ ability just a bit more.
  6. Calvin Johnson: -8-9-4-14-6-17 (58) — Megatron is just too good and is the only receiver I’d take in the top 5.
  7. Darrius Heyward-Bey: -10-8-9-9-5-17 (58) — If you risk a highish pick on a Raiders’ receiver you are probably going to be disappointed. Not because they can’t be worth the pick but because they will be injured or abducted by aliens. DHB had some crazy target numbers and is actually their “veteran” receiver but I’m afeared.
  8. Victor Cruz: -12-9-9-9-8-11 (58) — He just kept kicking ass all season. Can he repeat? Possibly. I’ll draft him high but I’m not writing last year’s stats in stone for this year.
  9. Brandon Lloyd: -10-2-12-9-12-11 (56) — Does Lloyd equal 2007 Randy Moss? No. Nobody does. Will that be his role? Most likely. And that role can be lucrative. ’07 was pre Gronk and Hernandez so it’s going to be a little tough to decipher who gets the majority of the targets week to week but there’s no reason to not like Lloyd to get deep ball targets and touchdowns.
  10. Steve Johnson: -13-8-10-10-7-7 (55) — Stevie J should remain second tier good. The Bills defense is what’s going to most likely define them this coming season but Johnson will remain the go to guy in the receiving game.
  11. Nate Washington: -6-6-9-13-11-9 (54) — Britt shall return.
  12. Marques Colston: -6-10-7-9-11-10 (53) — Colston got lucky that he stayed with the Saints. He is no doubt very skilled and catches about everything thrown to him but he’s not a burner and needs Brees’ accuracy. His knees are still a little scary but if he’s healthy he’ll get his.
  13. Pierre Garcon: -8-12-12-4-12-5 (53) — The Redskins overpaid for Garcon and they have a stable of receivers who will try to get on the same page as RG III. I rather trust Moss than Garcon in that situation.
  14. Dwayne Bowe: -11-9-10-5-11-7 (53) — The Chiefs had a lost season with Palko playing Plinko with the football. Bowe started off hot with Cassel at QB so I’m fairly optimistic.
  15. Santana Moss: -7-12-9-5-10-9 (52) — RG III is a special talent and I think Moss can help him by being a stable presence, but the whole offense is going to be in flux. He’s my choice out of the Redskins wide receivers but that’s not saying a ton.
  16. Brandon Marshall: -10-6-8-8-12-8 (52) — Marshall is pretty much an idiot. There’s no doubting that. But it’s hard not to like him now that he’s back with Cutler. As long as he doesn’t stab himself he should be good.
  17. Nate Burleson: -7-9-6-11-7-11 (51) — Burleson averaged over 5 receptions in each of the last 6 games and should remain usable in PPR leagues as long as Stafford throws 663 times again. Titus Young is in the mix of course and bumps Burls down in non-PPR leagues.
  18. Devin Aromashodu: -5-15-10-7-2-11 (50) — pfft and ugh.
  19. Demaryius Thomas: -1-7-13-13-8-7 (49) — DT is an interesting case this season. Tim Tebow locked in on him as his primary receiver every game and really just wasn’t skilled enough to spread the ball around like Manning can. Will Thomas have more targets per game? I don’t think so. Better quality targets? Yes. But DT did put up nice numbers so I’m not looking for a huge jump for him. His extrapolated numbers would have put him around 25th overall for receivers. I’ll most likely have him in my top 20 with a big boost for Eric Decker.
  20. Reggie Wayne: -7-6-8-3-14-11 (49) — Wayne will be the target hog for a team who will most likely be throwing a lot. Andrew Luck will get a trial by fire and should be good enough to get Wayne the ball, especially with the number of targets he should see. I don’t see any reason not to like Wayne this season.
  21. Michael Crabtree: -9-5-12-7-6-10 (49) — Crabs averaged almost 6 receptions a game to finish off the season.  I don’t see him ever quite jumping to the top of the fantasy receivers list but I do see him becoming a valuable fantasy asset at the right price.
  22. A.J. Green: -4-11-7-9-8-9 (48) — I don’t think Green was 100% all of last season but still put up decent numbers, finishing 16th in WR fantasy scoring. His ability and name should keep him from slipping in fantasy drafts so I doubt you can get him at a discount but he’s by far the Bengals’ best player and will get force fed the ball all season.
  23. Greg Little: -13-7-6-9-7-5 (47) — Little only caught 50% of his targets last season which of course wasn’t all his fault but he still has Colt McCoy throwing him the ball. I’m going to play it safe with Little even though I really like his ability. A lot will depend on his ADP.
  24. Jabar Gaffney: -7-3-8-9-8-11 (46) — bluh
  25. Andre Roberts: -5-6-5-10-10-8 (44) — Roberts looks to be the guy to own between him and Early Doucet but that’s not saying a lot, especially if they draft a receiver early.
  26. Greg Jennings: -5-13-4-dnp-dnp-dnp (22) — I’ll be drafting Jennings over Jordy Nelson all day and everyday. Nelson’s TDs per reception was 1 to 4.5. That is just insane. The second best receiver in that category with 1,000+ receiving yards was Calvin Johnson with 1 for every 6 receptions which in itself is crazy.
  27. Julio Jones: -0-11-8-6-14-5 (44) — As long as Jones can stay healthy he has nowhere to go but up. The Falcons look like they will continue throwing the ball with Matt Ryan topping the 4k passing yard mark last season for the first time and Michael Turner slowing down.
  28. Antonio Brown: -6-4-8-9-6-10 (43) — Brown was still raw last season but put up good numbers. Emmanuel Sanders will bring that receiving group together and help loosen coverage for Brown. Brown also had a hell of a time getting into the end zone. Remember Jordy (LaForge) Nelson’s 4.5 receptions per TD? Well, Brown had a nice 34.5 receptions per TD. That number has to get closer to the norm this season.
  29. Dez Bryant: -6-15-2-4-8-8 (43) — Dez oh Dez. What to do with you? He finished as the 18th best fantasy receiver last season when he is easily a top 10 talent. I am still a supporter and he’ll be ranked higher than 18th for receivers from me but I can’t say I’m not somewhat worried. Laurent Robinson hurt his numbers a little last season so his absence should help some but really it’s up to Bryant to play up to his ability.
  30. Jordy Nelson: -5-4-7-4-7-15 (42) — Regression and more regression for Nelson is on its way. I’m not doubting Nelson’s talent one bit. He’s not going to fall into the abyss of crapdom but with Jennings healthy and TDs most likely not coming at quite the rate as last season I don’t see him finishing 2nd overall again.
  31. Jeremy Maclin: -dnp-dnp-4-5-6-13 (28) — Maclin is the Eagles best receiver. After starting the season with the plague, then a shoulder separation, some poor QB play and a lingering hamstring problem, he still put together a half decent season when healthy. If you take out his 3 sickness/injury games he averaged 5.9 receptions, 82 yards and .5 TDs. I’m massaging the numbers pretty hard there but I like him to have a bounce back.
  32. Miles Austin: -dnp-dnp-7-8-8-5 (28) — Austin was another good receiver plagued with injuries last season. When he’s out there Tony Romo likes him some Austin. I see Dez Bryant as the TD maker with Austin as the PPR producer.
  33. Malcom Floyd: -dnp-4-2-6-13-9 (34) — With Vincent Jackson gone there is a void to fill and Floyd can fill that void. The main trouble is of course that he can’t stay healthy. The other trouble is Robert Meachem. I’m not a big believer in Meachem but Rivers is good enough to make him a good fantasy player. I like Floyd better due to his 6’5″-ness and TD production. I don’t believe it is clear cut at all.
  34. Steve Breaston: -8-7-6-6-8-5 (40) — The Chiefs are going to most likely be run heavy with Hillis and Charles and Breaston was Todd Haley’s guy so we could see Jonathan Baldwin getting more work.
  35. Damian Williams: -4-7-10-6-11-2 (40) — I like Williams and Jake Locker and Jared Cook and of course Kenny Britt. Unfortunately it’s probably too early to jump on Williams with Nate Washington still in the mix and Cook and Britt being the go to receivers.
  1. Michael Stichter says:
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    You wrote: …”there’s no reason to like Lloyd to get deep ball targets and touchdowns.”
    Did you happen to mean: “…there’s no reason NOT to like Lloyd to get deep ball targets and touchdowns.”?
    Just trying to make sure I understand your angle, not trying to be grammar police.
    Thanks!
    MS

    • Doc

      Doc says:
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      @Michael Stichter, Thanks, fixed

  2. phorts says:
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    Love these. Any dudes outside the top 35 in Targets you have ranked inside the top 25 for next year? Torrey Smith? Tampa Mike? Mike Wallace? I’m sure i’m forgetting plenty.

    PS

    • Doc

      Doc says:
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      @phorts, Yeah, the rankings for next season will have plenty of guys below 35th on this list.

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