Welcome to the top 40 receivers for 2012 fantasy football.  We hope your trip in on your browser was a smooth ride.  We closed out our top 20 wide receivers for 2012 fantasy football with a cliffhanger so adrenaline-inducing, even Stallone would be proud.  We told you the ‘I’m my team’s #1 receiver until proven otherwise’ tier from our 2012 fantasy football rankings had a special guest from the top 40.  I promise you if you read past the italicized sentence, you’ll have to wait no longer.  I know you’re excited so I’ll let you go but I’m not going to lie, I will miss you.

Projections based on receptions, receiving yards, receiving touchdowns, rushing yards, rushing touchdowns

21. Jordy Nelson – Wait, how can a team have two WR1s until proven otherwise?  When your team has Aaron Rodgers at the helm, that’s how.  There are enough touches to go around to make that a reasonable leap of faith.  Both Jordy and Greg Jennings were #1 targets for Rodgers last year and I don’t see that changing too much.  However, to make it clear why Jordy is where he is, let me do an impression for you: Lot of TDs you score, but not many targets you get.  That was my Yoda impersonation of why Jordy gets ranked lower for me than for other people.  If you thought that was good, you should hear me doing Christopher Walken.  2012 Projections: 65/1170/8/0/0

22. Vincent Jackson – Vincent gets his own tier and it’s called the ‘I don’t trust him here’ tier and more than likely I won’t be drafting him.  Jackson saw he was getting to plunder pirate booty and sailed east for a treasure chest full of gold…did I squeeze enough jokes about becoming a Buccaneer in there for you?  Good, now that that’s done I’ll say I’m very leery of Vincent but he’s getting this ranking based on his previous years of performance.  I don’t like it but he is his team’s main target and I’ve drifted out to sea with this landlubber!  See, you thought I was done with the pirate thing but I wasn’t.   2012 Projections: 60/990/6/50/1

23. Kenny Britt – Britt is the start of a new tier and it goes from Kenny to Hakeem.  I call this the ‘infirmary ward’ tier for the simple reason they are injured and trying to get healthy before the season starts.  I’m not gonna pro-rate their stats over how many games I think they’ll play but I am also not going to rank them where they should be based on said stats.  Basically, I’m having my cake and eating it too, not suffering any of the caloric consequences, all while off-roading in a golf cart across a golf course.  I don’t really understand where I was going with any of this so I’ll just go straight to the stats now.  2012 Projections: 70/1190/9/0/0

 

24. Hakeem Nicks – I think I trust Britt more than I do Nicks at this point, namely because Nicks is starting the year banged up while Britt is simply healing up from an injury that’s almost 8 months out.  Obviously if Hakeem can return to form, he’d be in my top 15, perhaps even top 10.  Obviously, I don’t think that happens so there’s not much more to say on that subject.  If he plays in 13 games and is only productive in 11 of them, I won’t be surprised.  It ain’t easy being Hakeem.  2012 Projections: 75/1125/8/0/0

25. Jeremy Maclin – This is a new tier and goes to Lloyd.  I call this tier the ‘WR2 not so blue blues’ as these three play for good teams and make for extremely strong WR2s for your team.  The fact we’re at #25 for this list just proves how easy it is to draft WR this year.  As I mentioned in the top 20 wide receivers about DeSean Jackson, I have a bounce back year in mind for Michael Vick and that’s a little hard to do if the wide receivers don’t cooperate.  So here’s me making them cooperate.  2012 Projections: 70/960/8/25/0

26. Brandon Lloyd – So he survived having Kyle Orton and Sam Bradford throwing to him over the last two years to the tune of 147 receptions, 2414 receiving yards and 16 touchdowns.  Granted, a lot of those stats were front-loaded onto 2010 but it will be nice to see what he can do with Tom Brady at the helm.  2012 Projections: 65/1040/6/0/0

27. Eric Decker -This is a new tier and it goes from Decker to Garcon.  I call it the ‘I’m my team’s #1 wide receiver…?’ tier.  That question mark is me trying to be clever in showing I don’t know if they are but I think they are and that’s why they are where they are in my rankings.  I hate repeating myself, but Peyton Manning unnerves me this year so I’m having a really hard time trusting my rankings of his receivers.  Overall, I think Decker makes a lot more sense in performing in a Manning led offense than Thomas does so I’m giving him the nod.  Hopefully he doesn’t give me the finger in return.  2012 Projections: 70/980/7/0/0

28. Robert Meachem I already wrote about Robert’s projections in a sleeper post earlier this summer.  I wrote it like this, I wrote it like that, I wrote it with a whiffle ball bat.

29. Pierre Garcon – I think Pierre becomes RG3’s main target outside of Fred Davis this year.  Unless RG3 is targeting someone to make the butt end of a joke.  Then his main target will be Rex Grossman.  2012 Projections: 75/975/7/20/0

30. Torrey Smith – This is a new tier and it goes from Smith to Titus.  I call it ‘da two yutes’ tier as they’re both still fairly new to the league and I wanted to make a ‘My Cousin Vinny’ reference.  Both missions accomplished.  I also like the two in this tier very much and hope to have one of them on my team.  I like Torrey but dislike who throws to him.  Something’s gotta give and I think it will be Torrey giving his owners a nice year.  2012 Projections: 65/1040/5/50/0

31. Titus Young – I liked Titus last year and see him as a guy who has room for good growth in 2012.  Unlike Torrey, I like who throws to Titus but Stafford has a lot of hungry hands to feed in Detroit.  Wait, can you really feed hands?  And how exactly do they get hungry?  Whatever, if Young can take a few more touches that normally go to Burleson, he’s going to be a very useful WR3 this year with room for upside.  2012 Projections: 60/750/7/50/0

32. Michael Crabtree This is the start of a new tier and goes to Williams.  This tier is the ‘like them, don’t love them’ tier because I wouldn’t mind one of these guys as my WR3 but I’m not running out to get them either.  Crabtree may never be a high scoring WR but he’s looking more and more like a solid PPR guy to have around.  I don’t mind solid at WR3.  It’s better than liquid at WR3.  Wait, what?  2012 Projections: 75/900/5/0/0

33. Darrius Heyward-Bey It’s hard to judge the Oakland receivers for 2012 because Carson Palmer was an armchair quarterback before he started playing for them.  I mean that quite literally, I don’t think the dude exercised at all before stepping on the field and it showed.  Darrius seemed to be a consistent target for Palmer so he’s getting my vote as the Raider to own at WR.  If I’m wrong, may a Raider fan strike me down, steal my wallet and claim they’re doing it for the 99 percent.  2012 Projections: 65/910/5/0/0

34. Mike Williams (TB) – We’re almost past the point where we need to mention the other Mike Williams but I think it would be good to clarify with some parentheses.  I mean, if you google Mike Williams that (SEA) one shows up so let’s just make sure there’s no confusion.  I already mentioned in my top 20 quarterbacks rankings that I see improvements in Tampa Bay, but I’m not going wild about it.  So here’s me not going wild about it.  2012 Projections: 65/910/4/0/0

35. Lance Moore – This is the start of the next tier and goes to Holmes.  I call this tier ‘the old standby’ tier as you’ve had these guys on and off your fantasy teams for seemingly years so you know pretty much what you’re getting.  Lance is a  decent wide receiver who has Drew Brees as his quarterback.  I don’t think you need more info than that.  2012 Projections: 60/660/8/0/0

36. Anquan Boldin – Is it just me or does it feel like Boldin should be an old man by now?  He’s still only 31 so calling him old isn’t quite right.  It’s probably that he always has nagging injuries and rarely plays a full season.  Nothing makes you think a dude is old like him hobbling around as if he’s Carl Fredricksen.  2012 Projections: 60/840/5/0/0

37. Santonio Holmes – Holmes will go out and do what he usually does: Be effective while doing nothing spectacular while he’s at it.   2012 Projections: 55/715/5/0/0

38. Demaryius Thomas – This is the start of the next tier and goes to the end of the top 40.  I call this tier the ‘youth might be served’ tier because I wouldn’t say I have huge faith they get the numbers I list but the talent is there to do it.  Still distrust Peyton but Thomas is just too athletically gifted to ignore.  I mean, he caught passes thrown by Tim Tebow.  How many mere mortals can say that?  Now I’m gonna caveat this ranking by referring you back up to my Decker ranking.  Thomas has much to learn and he could very well flounder this year.  I simply can’t let the talent drift below the next tier and sleep at night.  2012 Projections: 55/880/5/0/0

39. Denarius Moore – Some interesting numbers to think about here: 20 receptions, 410 yards, 3 touchdowns.  Those numbers were what Moore did in 7 games with Palmer.  Problem is, Palmer played 10 games for Oakland last year.  You see the issue, right?  I doubt he keeps his 20.5 YPC in 2012 but it’s clear that Carson likes him as a deep target.  2012 Projections: 45/810/5/0/0

40. Rueben RandleThere are a lot of ‘ifs’ that I’d like to interject into this ranking.  I’m counting at least 57.  However, I fully recognize Eli Manning is too talented to not rank his wide receivers high as I alluded to earlier in the year.  As long as Randle is the WR3 in New York, he’s going to return value especially if Hakeem misses time to start the year.  2012 Projections: 55/770/5/0/0

 

  1. David_KOA says:
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    @Sky,
    A couple of names that surprised me being in the top 40(outside of Nicks & Nelson) would have to be Anquan Boldin & Mike Williams(TB).

    It has to be concerning for fantasy owners when looking especially at the 2nd half of Boldins 2011 season. From weeks 10-15 we saw a stat line of 3.2 catches, 52 yards & .2 TD’s on 6.6 targets. He saw almost 3 less targets from the first 9 weeks(9.1) of the year. Anquan also had four games of double digit targets in the first half. He never saw that during his final six games of last year.

    Those are alarming stats and to make it worse Joe Flacco and Torrey Smith really got in a grove during the final 8 games of 2011. As smith stocks rises we can only expect Boldins to continue to drop. It seems like it would he hard to put Boldin in the top 50 for his position in 2012.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Well, I have him as the 36th off the board so it’s not like I’m excited about him. Looking over at MDC, I see soon to be 34 Reggie Wayne going off the board as the 33rd WR so we have to realize where we’re at in the draft at this position at this point: some hits, mostly misses.

      Williams is more of a feeling on Freeman and as I said about him in the blurb, I’m not going wild about it. Jackson should open the field up along with Doug Martin which gives Williams a chance to return to 2010 form.

      • David_KOA says:
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        @Sky,
        Even being 34 we know one thing is for sure Reggie Wayne is going to get his targets. Even with the likes of Kerry Collins, Curits Painter & Dan Orlovsky he still had 75 catches, 960 yards, 4 TD’s on 132 targets. They have upgraded the QB spot(Luck) and added a few extra weapons. He is still the clear cut number one in Indy and a stat line of 80+ catches, 1,000+ yards & 5-6 TD’s seems like a very reasonable exception for the new year. Those are solid WR3 numbers and bring even more value in PPR formats come August.

        If anything Reggie is a perfect fit in your This tier is the ‘like them, don’t love them’ tier because I wouldn’t mind one of these guys as my WR3 but I’m not running out to get them either.

        Mike Williams has major question marks going into the new year. New head coach(run first offense), What QB(Freeman) will show up in 2012 and last but not lease will he be a starter to open the season? We have read some things stating that he is being pushed by Preston Parker.

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          Reggie will have to be a wait and see then. I think Andrew is going to be great, just not this year which makes me worry about his top receiving targets. Wayne’s age coupled with that is my reasoning.

          I’m sure Parker will get his looks. From what I’m reading, he’s being tabbed as the team’s slot receiver. As a whole, Williams spot rests solely on the shoulders of how well Freeman bounces back this year.

  2. Dave says:
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    Seeing alot of perts downgrading Nicks. Think you have him way too low. He’s already running in his rehab and the first game is still 8 weeks away. The giants have 2 scat backs and are weak at tight end, they will throw almost every down. I want to be in the league where he goes in the sixth round.

  3. Anthony says:
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    @Sky: Where can i find expert mock drafts? Im still trying to find a draft strat that i actually like… Please let me know sky !

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Hey Anthony, as I mentioned we’re doing some and I’m sure that will ramp up as the season gets closer. I don’t have any other sites to direct you to other than ours or perhaps you can take a look at the links on the right of our page. Those are our internet friends :)

  4. Sos says:
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    In a 14 team non ppr keep 1, my options aren’t great. The league plays a flex that is any offensive position so qb’s are very valuable. The league also only plays 1 rb and two wrs. Everything else pretty standard. Who to choose between flacco, jamaal Charles, and aj green as my one keeper?

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Man, no PPR and only 3 high end skill positions? That’s brutal. I’m assuming there’s no round value associated with these keepers so I’d have to go with Charles depending on what QBs you think you’ll find in the draft (i.e. which ones aren’t being kept). Not very high on Flacco.

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