So it feels weird doing this post seeing as there’s really nothing to get excited about but I felt it would be wrong of me to stop at the top 40 for wide receivers.  Consider this post my commitment to you and the inability to stop typing once I get going.  So, before we move on to the top 100 for 2012 fantasy football tomorrow, let’s take a look at a few guys you might want to highlight for your bench.  If you haven’t been keeping up with us, let me guide you back so you can know just why those top 100 are where they are by looking at our 2012 Fantasy Football Rankings.  Caution: don’t use a real highlighter, it’ll mess up your computer screen.

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

41. Malcom Floyd Floyd is his own tier.  I call this the ‘now you see me, now you don’t’ tier as he’ll have a big week then you pick him up to start the next week and get Dick Bupkis.  Malcom has some interesting averages.  He’s averaged 17.9 ypc for his career and has averaged 10 games per season while he was at it.  That last average is me being nice and ignoring that he missed the entire 2005 season.  I understand I’m undercutting his value – 32nd best wide receiver in 2011 – but I’d like a bit better health history from a guy if I’m spending a draft pick on him.  2012 Projections: 45/800/5/0/0

42. Nate Washington – Washington is the start of the next tier and it goes to Rice.  I call this tier the ‘Surprise!  You’re Dead!’ tier because you might get a nice surprise or you might be the lyrics to a Faith No More song.  Speaking of FNM, I strongly suggest them to anyone and everyone I know and obviously to people I don’t know because I’m suggesting them to you as well.  You can tell how much I have to say about these wide receivers already as I’m talking to you about one of my favorite bands of all time more than about fantasy football.  Well, I’ll stop the nonsense and say I almost put Nate in the top 40 in ‘the old standby’ tier but couldn’t justify it over Holmes.  There’s talk of Kendall Wright becoming the WR2 in Tennessee but I don’t know if I fully believe that.  Nate was a good wide receiver last year to his fantasy owners so I’m being good to him by talking about Faith No More in his blurb.  Yeah, that made no sense.  2012 Projections: 55/770/6/0/0

43. Reggie Wayne – Wayne is a little long in the tooth at 33 to really be part of the Colts future so I’d be surprised if he weren’t moved or released at some point this season so Andrew Luck can establish himself with a younger receiver set.  Yeah, that’s me speculating but I’m not huge on him this year and I needed a good reason, ok?  His best days are either behind him or in Denver or he’s a sneaky value play, depending on how you want to look at it.  I just prefer not to look.  2012 Projections: 65/715/5/0/0

44. Santana Moss – Like Wayne, Santana has a young guy at the QB helm to go with some competition for touches in the newcomers of Garcon and Morgan.  I actually don’t have anything against Moss this year, per se, but again I wonder how much of a part of the Redskins offense he’s going to be at this point.  Insert your own ‘old’ and ‘moss’ joke yourself, we’re at #44 in our rankings and I deem it below me.  2012 Projections: 55/680/4/0/0

45. Sidney Rice – His pro-rated 2011 season is in line with what I’m posting his projected stats to be.  Seattle is a run-first team and has a quarterback conundrum on their hands.  And let’s go back to the pro-rated thing: Rice had not one but two off-season surgeries regarding his arms and last I checked, that’s not a good sign for fantasy value.  Sorry if you’re looking for something to love.  You should probably go back and look at the top 20 and 40 wide receivers for that.  2012 Projections: 55/850/4/0/0

46. Nate Burleson – Nate is the start of the next tier and it goes to Collie.  I call this tier the ‘pass me an ice cold PPR’ in honor of their ability to be useful in PPR leagues while also paying homage to the swill that got 95% of kids drunk for the first time in college, Pabst.  Nate was third on the Lions last year in terms of targets with 110.  As I stated in my top 40 for wide receivers, Titus Young might be stealing a few of those passes this year so I had to rank Nate down here.  Not about love or hate here, just me recognizing Detroit may or may not give Titus the ball more so Burleson loses some luster if that’s true.  2012 Projections: 60/660/4/0/0

47. Danny Amendola – Danny was a PPR sleeper last year and then went down in the second half of the first game of the season.  However, he already had 5 receptions in that game to go with 45 yards.  Multiply that by 16 games and you get basically what I’m calculating him to do.  If Wes Welker were a Matryoshka doll – and who’s to say he’s not – Danny would be the littlest one in the middle.  Only thing not to like about Danny is the offense surrounding him will never lead to much scoring for him.  This tier is about catching the ball; sorry, no bonus material.  2012 Projections: 80/680/2/0/0

48. Davone Bess – The wide receiving corps in Miami is looking pretty bad at this point as Bess is my top ranked one from their team (unless Bush becomes dually eligible, of course).  When you factor in the quarterback battle of the century that is occurring in Dolphins camp right now between David Garrard and Matt Moore, there’s not much to fall in love with here but he’s good for PPR and that’s why he’s here, ya hear?  2012 Projections: 65/670/3/10/0

49. Austin Collie – This pick is really going to depend on two things.  One, will Austin stay healthy to produce this line and two, will Andrew Luck stay on his feet enough to throw the ball to him?  I already said I am dubious about #2 so I don’t go counting on what I put.  If things go really well in Indy this year, Austin might be a 70 to 80 reception guy but I’m not that foolish…ok maybe I am but I’m not going to give you further proof.  2012 Projections: 60/660/4/0/0

50. Greg Little – This tier goes from here to Jonathan.  I call this tier the ‘a little sumpin sumpin sophomore’ tier as both have room to improve on their rookie season and be quite useful fantasy commodities in 2012.  Greg should improve on his 2011 campaign in theory.  However, he’s a talented wide receiver that has a questionable quarterback situation coming into 2012.  Overall, if he repeats his line from last year, he’s still useful.  There might be a little upside here but I’m not wasting any typing space on that idea.  2012 Projections: 65/780/3/0/0

51. Jonathan Baldwin – Wasn’t the most impressive rookie campaign (only 21 catches in 11 games) but it’s hard to catch passes when you break your hand on a teammate.  Kansas City has a lot of intriguing fantasy football players this season and Jonathan is one of them.  Besides, he allows me to use a South Park quip: You know what sucks about being a Baldwin?  No, what?  Nothing!  Yeah, I don’t know where I was going with that but I do know I like this Baldwin for 2012.  2012 Projections: 55/660/4/0/0

52. Brian Quick –  This is a new tier and goes from Quick to Jeffrey.  I call this tier ‘taste the upside’ as it’s what they have to offer though I’m not super excited about them.  I do like Quick most in this tier if that gives any weight to it for you and if it does, I ask if it was measured in pounds or did you use the metric system.  Quick has a good chance to be a stud this year but we know the Rams offense is about as exciting to get behind as a person who still writes checks at the grocery store and doesn’t already have their signature and other notes on it before they get to the counter.  Seriously, what’s wrong with you people?  But I digress, I realize Quick might explode this year but he’s not being given the best set up to do so.  2012 Projections: 45/675/4/0/0

53. Alshon Jeffery – He has a decent quarterback at the helm and should be given a good shot at success this year playing opposite Brandon.  My only worry is Cutler loves his Bennett and he’s starting the year healthy.  Alshon has to get Cutler’s trust before there can be much love showered on this guy from me.  2012 Projections: 45/540/3/0/0

54. Doug Baldwin Baldwin is the start of the next tier and it goes to Nelson.  I call this tier the ‘can you do it again?’ tier as they have been useful before and but we’re not sure if they can repeat.  The question mark at QB in Seattle makes it hard to rank their receivers.  Doug had a nice rookie season while the guy who was supposed to be a sleeper in Golden Tate didn’t.  A lot of Doug’s numbers came at the expense of Rice’s health so he may or may not reach his 2011 season again depending on a lot of factors.  All this to say I don’t know if I have much faith in any Seahawk receiver, let alone Doug.  2012 Projections: 45/700/3/0/0

55. Mario Manningham – Now that Mario is in San Fransisco where the offense is managed rather than played down field, his value is going to be hard to pinpoint from week to week.  When your quarterback is Trent Dilfer 2.0, that’s how life goes.  He seems like a ‘good talent, wrong team’ scenario so I don’t know if he even gets a shot at the numbers I’m posting.  2012 Projections: 55/770/5/0/0

56. David Nelson – Eh, I’m not really excited about him but he was useful in spurts last year.  Averaged about 6.5 fantasy points a week in 2011.  Sentences like that last one are what fantasy sports writers do when they having nothing really useful to say and fall back on what a calculator and 30 seconds can do.  Yeah, we’re done here.  2012 Projections: 65/715/4/0/0

57. Laurent Robinson – This starts the next tier and it goes to Blackmon.  I call it ‘it’s not you, it’s Gabbert’ as both receivers are talented but I doubt the talent of their captain.  Laurent scored 11 touchdowns in Dallas last year in only 14 games and was a great free agent pick up for anyone lucky enough to nab him.  Well, your luck just ran out and if you’re expecting anything like last season from Laurent again, you don’t realize he’s not in Dallas anymore and probably should brush up before you head to your draft.  2012 Projections: 50/550/4/0/0

58. Justin Blackmon – He was the first wide out taken in the draft and one of the lowest ranked ones for fantasy purposes here.  Why?  It’s because I think ‘Blaine’ is gaelic for ‘I just sharted and am in the middle of a 10 hour car ride through the cornfields of Nebraska on a hot summer day’ and I’m fairly certain I’m right.  2012 Projections: 50/550/3/0/0

59. Stephen Hill – Hill is the start of the next and final tier and runs into oblivion.  I call this tier ‘rookie nookie’ because you don’t know how these guys are going to do with their respective set ups but you know they’re rookies and you just love drafting talented people you can’t project for.  Stephen might step in and be what Plaxico was for Mark Sanchez last year.  Or he might have to try and be what Demaryius Thomas was to Tim Tebow.  You get why he’s down here yet?  2012 Projections: 40/560/5/0/0 

60. Michael Floyd – Has the greatest teacher anyone could ever have as a rookie- sorry Mr. Schneebly, this is about wide receivers not music teachers – in good ‘ole Fitzy and I do like his set up for that reason.  However, he’s in the same situation as Hill with QB uncertainty for Arizona going into the 2012 season and he doesn’t have the ability to be the #1 target for his team with that previously mentioned teacher around.  Class dismissed.  2012 Projections: 50/600/4/0/0

And because we couldn’t just leave you after all the fun we’ve had over these last 1900 words, let’s take a look at a few guys who didn’t make it into the top 60 but probably deserve a few words regarding 2012 fantasy football.

Plaxico Burress – Had a useful season last year scoring 8 touchdowns with the Jets.  His value will depend on where he signs.  Of course, whether or not he signs is important too.  2012 Projections: 40/560/6/0/0

Kendall Wright – This is me hedging my Washington bet.  Basically, I’m putting him here and saying ‘eh…maybe?’ because we don’t know if Britt stays healthy.  I don’t really believe he’s taking Washington’s spot this year but felt compelled to mention him before we left off.  He’s a decent late round flier but I wouldn’t put much effort into nabbing him unless you’re into wide receiver handcuffs.  2012 Projections: 35/535/4/0/0

Earl Bennett – Cutler loves this guy so he’s the guy that makes Jeffery no sure thing this year.  At only 25, pay attention to how the first few weeks of targets go in Chicago.  There might be sleeper potential down here outside the top 60.  2012 Projections: 50/650/4/0/0

Brandon LaFell – Brandon’s numbers improving rely heavily on whether Cam Newton becomes more of a pocket passer.  I don’t believe he does as you can tell by these rankings.  2012 Projections: 40/700/4/0/0

Randy Moss – As we covered with Mario a few scrolls higher, there is no passing game to speak of in SF and I don’t see how a 35 year old wide receiver changes that.  2012 Projections: 35/525/3/0/0 (<—- me being not so optimistic about Randy this year)

Chad Ochocinco – Seriously, Chad, how could you not shine when your quarterback is Tom Brady ?  Talk about Chad last season was his inability to run correct routes.  I’m sure the lock out played some part in that but he was worthless all year.  Helpful fantasy hint: if you can’t succeed with Brady you probably can’t succeed elsewhere at this point in your career.  2012 Projections: 50/600/2/0/0

Jerome Simpson – He’s going to miss the first 3 games of the season but he should be on your radar as Vikings camp is raving about him.  So here’s me putting him on your radar.  You’re welcome.  2012 Projections: 40/560/3/0/0

James Jones – The season Jordy Nelson had in 2011 was supposed to be James’ season.  He was 3rd on the team in terms of targets in 2010 behind Greg Jennings and Donald Driver.  I don’t know what happened between then and 2011 and at this point I don’t care.  He’s going to have some useful weeks here and there but you’re not going to find consistent production here.  2012 Projections: 45/675/5/0/0

Steve Breaston – He went from having Warner to Derek Anderson in Arizona then moved to KC to enjoy the throwing abilities of Matt Cassell and Kyle Orton.  That is what they call going from bad to worse in a hurry.  Despite that, along the way he averaged 64 receptions and roughly 860 yards a season.  There’s a certain amount of usefulness about that line even if he isn’t going to score many touchdowns over the course of the season.  2012 Projections: 60/780/3/0/0

Mohamed Sanu – At this point I’m wondering why I didn’t just do a top 80 and be done with it.  Probably just as easy as what I’ve done with this list.  Well that’s neither here nor there but who is here is the wide receiver most likely taking Jerome’s playing time in Cincy.  He’s one of those things we call ‘rookies’ so if you’re into that rookie nookie stuff we talked about with Hill and Floyd, these last few sentences probably got you a bit giddy.  Well I’m here to tell you to go take a cold shower because this post is now over.  2012 Projections: 50/600/5/0/0

  1. David_KOA says:
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    @Sky,
    I was surprised to see the Rams slot WR(Amendola) rank in WR4 range & his catch total. He is now the slot WR for a team that wants to run and oh yea run the football some more. Is he going to get consistent snaps every week? Is he even going to top 80 targets in the whole year?

    Another name to keep an eye on as the summer continues to get hotter would be Kevin Walters. His competition for number two targets Jacoby Jones is away in Baltimore. This is a small sample size but he had four games last year in which he had 6+ targets. In those games he had a stat line of 5.5 catches, 69.75 & .5 TD’s

    I am still surprised when I look over at FFC ADP and I see Danny Amendola still on the chart. If you are in the late rounds of your draft why not pull the trigger on a guy has chance to present some kind of upside(value) to your pick. With these two players I highlighted one fits the mold shot of upside(Walters) and the other fits no upside(Amendola).

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Ah, but the Texans are a run-first team as well this year and Walters has to compete with Andre Johnson for targets, not to mention Arian Foster and Owen Daniels. Amendola has had a season where he’s actually cleared the numbers I’ve listed while Walters has seen a steady decline in his numbers since 2007. Jacoby was a failed experiment; a raw athlete that stayed raw and never matured into an actual receiver. I don’t think he harmed Kevin during his time in Texas. In fact, he should’ve helped by opening the field up for him for under routes.

      All this to say I don’t dislike Kevin but most of his high reward games came at the expense of Andre’s health who went down on 10/2 and wasn’t back until 11/27. Even during that stretch, Walter was pretty hit and miss. Amendola isn’t sexy, but in a PPR league he should be useful.

      • David_KOA says:
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        @Sky,
        Yes, the Texans are a run first team but Walters is the WR2 in that offense. Say what you want about Jacoby Jones but his presence plus the mindset of the run first he had an effect on the inconsistent targets for him. He is going to see consistent snaps week to week now. Which in turn 5-6 targets a week is good expectitions.

        Also true that Danny Amendola had put up solid PPR numbers in 2010. That being said it was in Josh McDaniels spread attack were the Rams featured a ton of 3WR sets. He was like you said the poor mans Wes Welker during that year. That is not going to be the case in 2012 under Jeff Fisher. Being the 3rd WR(slot) man is going to bring inconsistent snap totals from week to week. Which will lead to inconsistant targets.

        It is no secret that the Texans WR2 has giving fantasy owners headaches before. I don’t blame people for not wanting anything to do with the situation. Also Kevin Walters is no sexy name but at this point in the draft you are looking for players who will be given opportunity. With opportunity comes the ability to produce and that is what it’s looking like for one Kevin Walters. You can get him as a WR6 or later and a return of WR4 production. With the ability to spot you WR3(fantasy) numbers during certain weeks.

        I don’t see how with the change of offensive scheme and Danny Amendolas skill set(or lack of) can be counted as even a serviceable PPR option in 2012. He is a player that needs to be in a certain offense with a particular role to succeed in the NFL.

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          At this point, we’ll just have to wait and see though you have swayed me to at least take a gander at Kevin’s targets over the first few weeks :)

          • David_KOA says:
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            @Sky,
            That’s awesome! Hopefully Kevin does not let me down.

            • Sky

              Sky says:
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              Haha, well I’ll keep hoping for my littlest matryoshka doll!

  2. Hot Sauce says:
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    To kind of piggy-back David’s comment from above regarding Walter, how do you feel about Lester Jean this season? Obviously not very high from these rankings, but is he even worth a late round flier in my 14 team?

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      No problem, piggy-back away! With the Texans being the run-first team they are with Foster/Tate, it’s going to be hard to find value outside of the team’s main targets, IMHO. I’d keep my eye on their camp to see how things are shaping up. I’m not high on Walter but I do think he’s the clear WR2 in Houston, which is going to limit the upside of others behind him on the depth chart.

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