Welcome to the top 20 that just keeps on giving.¬† Seriously, folks, we have an embarrassment of riches here so if you don’t get a wide receiver in the first two rounds of your draft, don’t worry.¬† Even if the passing game comes back to Earth a bit, the WRs you’ll have at your disposal this year won’t leave you feeling empty like you do after eating a fancy dinner where you can’t pronounce what’s on the menu.¬† Excuse me Monsieur, I thought I ordered a full serving of Pate Chinois?¬† Why can I still see 95% of my plate?¬† That’s you at a French restaurant, frustrated and still hungry with a drive thru burger in your future.¬† PS, they still expect 20% gratuity for that forkful of $30.¬† Merci!¬† But back to the subject, you should have an easy time putting together a solid WR corps without trying too hard with plenty of talent going out side the first two rounds.¬† Now that we’ve covered over 150 words of filler, lets move on in our 2012 fantasy football rankings¬†to the top 20 wide receivers for 2012 fantasy football.
Projections based on receptions, receiving yards, receiving touchdowns, rushing yards, rushing touchdowns
1. Calvin Johnson – See top 10 for 2012 fantasy football for Calvin Johnson projections.
3. Greg Jennings – This is the start of a new tier and goes from Jennings to Cruz.¬† I call this tier the ‘#1 with a bullet’ tier as these guys are their team’s number one target and should have numbers that represent it by the end of the season.¬† Jennings final 2011 line does not give the true story to what was a strong season.¬† He basically missed the last 4 games of 2011 but was on pace for an 87 rec/1239 yd/12 TD year.¬† No matter how you look at it, that’s a useful season and a top end one at that.¬† He stays healthy, you stay happy.¬† 2012 Projections: 75/1200/11/0/0
4. Mike Wallace¬† – A healthy Big Ben and a more pass heavy offense should lead to big things for Mike in 2012.¬† If you don’t believe me, look where I ranked him!¬† 2012 Projections: 70/1275/9/50/0
5. Victor Cruz – Now realize I didn’t want to rank him this high but then Hakeem Nicks went down with a case of the owies in OTAs and all of the sudden Victor salsa danced his way into my top 5.¬† Call him addition by a fracture.¬† 2012 Projections: 90/1260/8/0/0
6. Julio Jones – This is the start of a new tier and goes to Roddy.¬† I call this the ‘Falcons are a passing team this year’ tier and I ranked their wide receivers accordingly.¬† I mentioned my love of the Falcons passing game this year in a Matt Ryan article.¬† Would be silly to think I wouldn’t like his targets, no?¬† Rhetorical question, no answer needed.¬† 2012 Projections: 70/1100/10/50/0
7. Roddy White – Roddy said he expects a reduced role for the 2012 season.¬† If by reduced he meant ‘less than 100 receptions but still pretty damn involved overall’ then I strongly agree.¬† 2012 Projections: 85/1175/8/0/0
8. Andre Johnson – This is the start of the next tier and it stretches down to Colston.¬† I call this tier the ‘I round out your top ten’ tier because they have and they do.¬† I already went over my Andre projections in the top 20 for 2012 fantasy football.¬† I went over it like a fine-toothed comb in search of lice.
9. A.J. Green – Ranking him this high, I guess I’m assuming a lot of growth out of Green for 2012.¬† Well, that and I don’t expect four guys from the top 10 last year to finish ahead of him.¬† That helps.¬† 2012 Projections: 70/1120/8/40/0
10. Marques Colston – He finished as the 11th best receiver in ESPN’s player rater so I’m not making any major news ranking him 10th.¬† Though he might think it’s news.¬† Look, mom, I made the Razzball top 10!¬† That’s Marques showing his mom the Razzball site over tea and crumpets.¬† 2012 Projections: 80/1120/8/0/0
11. Wes Welker¬† – This is the start of another tier and it goes to Smith.¬† This tier is called the ‘we deliver’ tier because they can deliver you a WR1 line without having to pay the price for it.¬† Wes had quite the year last year but I’m putting him eight spots below where he finished on ESPN’s player rater for 2011 because – repeat after me – he won’t repeat it.¬† His ranking is an amalgamation of PPR vs Non-PPR leagues.¬† That last sentence was brought to you by me wanting to use the word ‘amalgamation’ in a sentence.¬† 2012 Projections: 110/1100/6/30/0
12. Brandon Marshall – He’s now back with Cutler with whom he flourished in Denver.¬† However, the Broncos had what people call ‘an offensive line’ to protect Jay when he threw it to Marshall.¬† This ‘O-Line’ thingie hasn’t been seen in Chicago in years.¬† Whatevs, Marshall should get his fair share.¬† 2012 Projections: 85/1020/9/10/0
13. Percy Harvin – Make no bones about it, I like Percy for this year as I expect growth from Christian Ponder and the Vikings passing game as a whole.¬† It feels silly ranking him 13th after what he did last year but he really did a lot of damage on the ground – career high 345 rushing yards on 52 carries – and I don’t know if he does that again this year.¬† Eh, minor quibbles, the guy will produce.¬† 2012 Projections: 85/1020/5/190/1
14. Steve Smith – Seriously, my numbers from about Julio down to Antonio are separated by a touchdown or two.¬† Give one more to Smith and one less to the guys above him and he’s right back in there.¬† Wide Receiver makes me feel like I get to choose between 500 ice cream flavors, all of which I like.¬† What a delicious predicament to be faced with.¬† That said,2012 Projections: 75/1100/6/50/0
15. Miles Austin – This is the start of the next tier and it goes to Brown.¬† I call this tier ‘This one might be a bit of a stretch’ tier because it relies on some projections others aren’t willing to project.¬† That’s alright, I’ll own that.¬† These are my big hunches for 2012 so feel free to say ‘Sky, you so crazy’ and move on.¬†¬†I wouldn’t blame you since wide receiver is deep this year and taking gambles probably isn’t worth it.¬† Austin’s 2009 season may go down as his best season for his career but it doesn’t mean he’s chopped liver.¬† Unless you like chopped liver then you can call him that if you want to but I’m here to tell you, I think that’s gross.¬† 2012 Projections: 75/1125/7/0/0
16. DeSean Jackson – Man, I must be working on my Yoga around here.¬† Like Austin, I’m making another stretch.¬† I know this won’t be a popular pick but my spreadsheet says it’s reasonable based on the stats so I’m doing it anyway.¬† Last year was a down year in Eagles country for pretty much everyone not named LeSean McCoy.¬† I think 2012 will be different.¬† I also think I look good in a thong.¬† My wife doesn’t let me out in public much.¬† 2012 Projections: 65/1135/8/70/1 (and one return touchdown, FWIW)
17. Antonio Brown –¬† Just call me Dhalsim because at this point I feel extremely limber.¬† If I believe in Wallace getting ranked as high as he did, I can’t see how Brown can’t do it for you too.¬† I think I just made a UPS joke that I didn’t want to.¬† Let’s just ignore that for now, shall we?¬† 2012 Projections: 75/1200/6/0/0
18. Dez Bryant – Bryant is the start of his own tier and it’s called the ‘when I grow up’ tier because when he does, he’s got the potential to be a WR1.¬† If you can’t tell, I’m not a huge fan of Bryant due to his childish ways.¬† Part of the problem with being puerile (thanks thesaurus.com!)¬†is you’re going to lack consistency.¬† He’s also got a spotty health record to date, which might come from lack of conditioning, which in turn might stem from being puerile.¬† All this to say, he’s got the potential to be more than he is but also the potential to break¬†your mom’s antique vase¬†and blame you for it.¬† No Mass Effect 3 for you this week, young (wo?)man!¬† 2012 Projections: 65/1050/7/0/0
19. Dwayne Bowe – This is the final tier of the top 20 and stretches into the next tier.¬† This tier is called the ‘I’m my team’s #1 reciever until proven otherwise’ tier because it’s really what these guys hang their hat on to get ranked where they do.¬† Maybe someday Dwayne will get paired with a quality QB and put up some gaudy numbers.¬† He had a great 15 touchdown season in 2010 only to follow it up with a 5 TD clunker in the year of the 4000 yard passing quarterback.¬† Perhaps he was just ahead of the curve and his 2011 season portends great quarterback doom in 2012?¬† Nah, he just didn’t catch many touchdowns.¬† What do you expect, he plays for the Chiefs.¬† 2012 Projections: 75/1050/7/0/0
20. Steve Johnson – He’s been extremely solid over the last two seasons and you can’t really expect much more from a guy who has Ryan Fitzpatrick throwing to him.¬† He’s about as good as a WR2 comes and there’s no crime in that.¬† Or at least if there is, he hasn’t been ticketed for it.¬† 2012 Projections: 80/1040/7/0/0