Friday, June 22, 2012

Wide Receiver Power Rankings: 1-12

A note before I am lambasted (but by all means, lambast away); as I typically do, I researched the frequency with which a certain event occurs, in this case it was receivers with 1,000 receiving yards. That number came to 15-19 per season, and so I allowed myself a few more for injuries. Next I made a list of every player who I thought could reach 1,000 receiving yards this season without major injuries; that list was 59 players long. I had to pick only the very best players to go over 1,000 yards, and there are about 39 players who I think have a chance to have 1,000 receiving yards but must project as fewer than that number. Here are the top-12 receivers of 2012.

Wide Receiver Power Ratings: Ranks 1 through 12
Compare to my opinion one month ago.
Feel free to post your own list below.
1. Calvin Johnson: (1,536 receiving yards, 13 receiving touchdowns, 15 rushing yards, 0 rushing touchdowns, 1 turnover) 14.44 points per game in standard NFL scoring leagues.

It's hard to contend with Megatron, and there is no reason to believe he won't have another great season. He has had a few injury problems in the past, but there's really no one who can be put ahead of him. He is one of the few great receivers who doesn't have other receivers threatening to take touches away from him. Even with all of this, you shouldn't draft Megatron until the end of the first round, if then.

2. Andre Johnson: (1,497 receiving yards, 7 receiving touchdowns, 5 rushing yards, 0 rushing touchdowns, and 0 turnovers) 12.01 points per game in standard NFL scoring leagues.
I was totally against Andre Johnson until I did my research creating this list. Did you know; Andre Johnson was one of only 4 Texans players to catch a pass in the playoffs last season? The Texans played two games, and only four players caught balls. Arian Foster (RB), Owen Daniels (TE), Kevin Walter (WR), and Andre Johnson combined for 28 receptions and 347 receiving yards, and Andre Johnson had 13 of those receptions and 201 yards. There are no other receivers on this team, and the running game should really open him up this season. 
3. Larry Fitzgerald: (1,274 receiving yards, 10 receiving touchdowns, 0 rushing yards, 0 rushing touchdowns, 0 turnovers) 11.71 points per game in standard NFL scoring leagues.
Larry Fitzgerald is still one of the best in the game, but the quarterback situation in Arizona just isn't improving for him. It looks like the Cardinals are getting a little more receiver help, so hopefully he will be able to find the end zone more often if he isn't constantly double covered. As much as I like Fitzgerald, he has never had as many yards are Andre Johnson was before last season's injuries. You can't go wrong with Fitzgerald.

4. Greg Jennings: (1,213 receiving yards, 11 receiving touchdowns, 0 rushing yards, 0 rushing touchdowns, and 0 turnovers) 11.71 points per game in standard NFL scoring leagues.

I don't think Greg Jennings is going to lose any touches this season, so I just projected his stats from last season over the three games that he missed and threw in an extra touchdown because there is no way Jordy nelson is scoring 15 again. Jennings has been one of the best scoring receivers in the league over the last few seasons, and his rapport with Aaron Rodgers is phenomenal. He shouldn't disappoint you this season.

5. Roddy White: (1,270 receiving yards, 9 receiving touchdowns, 0 rushing yards, 0 rushing touchdowns, and 1 turnover) 11.19 points per game in standard NFL scoring leagues.

Roddy White has been the picture of consistency over the last few seasons. Julio Jones is breathing down his neck, but White should still have one great season left before he starts losing touches. The next two plaers have higher projected numbers, but I don't feel as confident drafting them as I feel about Roddy White. Matt Ryan really trusts him, and he has been extremely resilient throughout his career. 

6. Dez Bryant: (1,176 receiving yards, 11 receiving touchdowns, 0 rushing yards, 0 rushing touchdowns, and 1 turnover) 11.35 points per game in standard NFL scoring leagues.

 Dez Bryant has improved each year in the league, and he should have a break out season in 2012. He really needs to prove he can be a primary receiver, but this is his third season and if he is going to have a great season, this is the season. Bryant has shown an amazing ability to find the end zone, and I don't see any reason why he should slow down with Laurent Robinson out of the picture.

7. Julio Jones: (1,180 receiving yards, 10 receiving touchdowns, 30 rushing yards, 0 rushing touchdowns, and 1 turnover) 11.19 points per game in standard NFL scoring leagues.

Julio Jones looked amazing last season, and that was while he was slowed by a hamstring injury. The fact that Roddy White is going to demand significant coverage really helps Jones' value (hence why he is ahead of A.J. Green), and I would be surprised if Jones wasn't the best of the 2nd year receivers this season. The most amazing thing about Jones was that he score touchdowns. Rookie receivers can have difficulty scoring, but Jones had 8 touchdowns in 13 games last season. Good enough to be considered a serious receiving threat this season.

8. Marques Colston: (1,251 receiving yards, 9 receiving touchdowns, 0 rushing yards, 0 rushing touchdowns, and 1 turnover) 11.07 points per game in standard NFL scoring leagues.

I love Marques Colston because of how underdrafted he typically is. This is a solid WR1 for a Saints team that must believe in him, since they did just resign him to a new contract. The Saints lost Robert Meachem, meaning that Colston, assuming he can stay healthy this season, should see more looks than normal. If Drew Brees is having trouble once his contract situation finally blows over, he is going to throw to the guy he has been with the longest. It certainly helps Colston's value that a linebacker and a safety are going to be covering Graham (or a corner and a safety) at all times. I wouldn't be surprised if Colston had a career year in the yards-per-catch category.

9. Brandon Marshall: (1,216 receiving yards, 9 receiving touchdowns, 10 rushing yards, 0 rushing touchdowns, 1 turnover) 10.91 points per game in standard NFL scoring leagues.

Brandon Marshall is finally reunited with Jay Cutler, but we'll have to see how the Bears utilize the connection. The great news for Marshall is that he has almost no competition for looks. The bad news, of course, is that he will probably be heavily covered. This should reduce his yards per catch, but it won't matter much if he goes back to catching 100+ balls, like he did in Denver. Jay Cutler has never been a huge yardage passer, so Marshall will have difficulty going much over 1,200 receiving yards.

10. Vincent Jackson: (1,313 receiving yards, 7 receiving touchdowns, 0 rushing yards, 0 rushing touchdowns, and 0 turnovers) 10.83 points per game in standard NFL scoring leagues.

I know that a lot of people don't like Vincent Jackson here, but Josh Freeman throws the ball a lot more than people think. Additionally, Kellen Winslow is out of Tampa, and so are his team-leading 79 receptions. If Freeman can get back to his 2010 form, Jackson should be able to make a huge impact in fantasy this season.

11. Dwayne Bowe: (1,160 receiving yards, 9 receiving touchdowns, 0 receiving yards, 0 receiving touchdowns, 0 turnovers) 10.63 points per game in standard NFL scoring leagues.

 Dwayne Bowe managed to have a pretty good season, despite the loss of Matt Cassel and the parade of mediocre quarterbacks that followed his injury. I think Bowe should keep a similar number of yards and increase his touchdowns now that every other pass won't be intercepted (just joshin', Tyler Palko). But seriously, Bowe should have a really nice season. He has really matured over the past few seasons.

12. Kenny Britt: (1,012 receiving yards, 11 receiving touchdowns, 0 rushing yards, 0 rushing touchdowns, 1 turnover) 10.33 points per game in standard NFL scoring leagues.

This is a bit of a risky call, but Britt has had lots of time to recover, and I think he has looked pretty dominant when he's been on the field. I think he loses some value if Locker is starting, but this is one will definitely become more clear once we get through training camp. If Locker starts, Britt will probably drop out of the top-12, and we need to see how he runs his routes this season after his injury.

About Wes Welker: Welker's career ypc is 11.1, meaning that when he catches 100 balls this season, he will get 1,110 yards. Additionally, the 9 touchdowns he had last season are a career record. His average is somewhere between 6 and 7, meaning that he is not a really high value receiver. Sure, he is consistent as anyone, but you need touchdowns to make the top 12, and Welker just doesn't score them. I've done the research, and why would Welker get MORE touchdowns with Gronkowski, Hernandez, Branch, and Lloyd crowding the backfield? That's what I thought. Feel free to give me a few reasons why Welker should be here. 


  1. no wes welker, but two falcons players in top 10? makes no sense to me - especially when u point out that he wont catch the ball too much with gronk, hernandez, branch(who is meaningless) and lloyd, when welker just showed that having these guys around him plays right in his cards. these guys draw attention and thats why wes will get open. and somehow u totally ignore robert meachem, who will be rivers number one target, especially with an aging antonio gates. and one final thought: i think mike williams will have better stats than v-jax, cause we all know jackson is lazy, but will draw attention and that will help williams to top his rookie numbers, which were impressive.

  2. and... and thats really funny... u totally forget about the giants receivers :D ...nicks and cruz. u got britt who comes off an injury and has been mediocre before and got a bad qb throwing him the ball... and u forget about steve smith... who got cam "rocket arm" newton who will be pass happy once again. i would absolutely erase britt, jackson and maybe even brandon marshall, who drops sooo many passes, and colston, cause graham and henderson are there and brees loves to spread it out, from that list and put cruz/nicks, welker, steve smith and maybe even torrey smith, who will catch alot of deep passes, in there instead.

  3. Ok, I'll do these in order. Also, you named almost every receiver I had going over 1,000 yards (but not all of the 1,000+ yards will be top 10).

    1. Welker is competing with 4 good pass catchers, while the two Falcons players were that good last season. If you look at Welker historically, he would only be on this list two out of the nine seasons he's been in the league. Are you going to bet on 22% in the second round of fantasy?

    2. Robert Meachem has never been good. Now he is competing with Michael Floyd and Eddie Royal, and I think he ends up being the odd man out. Julio Jones had more yards as a rookie playing 13 games than Meachem has had in any season in his career. Meachem will be mediocre at best.

    3. Jackson has been good historically. I agree that he could be a bust, but he has been historically better than Welker or Meachem.

    4. I didn't forget about them, I just think they will split receptions between one another. I have them both going for over than 1,000 yards, but Eli doesn't throw enough touchdowns for two receivers to be great. They will both have good seasons, but I don't think they'll be top-12 unless some of these guys get hurt.

    5. I don't think Smith is going to have a better year this season. His low touchdown number is what kills him here, and he was barely top-12 last season.

    6. Britt was a surprise to me when I was doing this. I gave him very low receiving numbers, but he catches touchdowns like crazy. Also, like I said, if Ponder wins out, Britt is off this list. Hasselbeck loved him before he got injured, and finding trends is the important part.

    7. Colston scored almost as many fantasy points as Smith did last season, despite missing two games. Colston is better than Smith, and now Meachem is gone.

    I think that I everything, we will see who was right once the season comes around (although this list is early and injuries will shape it in the future).

  4. Keep the post coming!!!! I have read every post at least three times. Finally someone with some football sense. I thought I knew football until I started playing fantasy two years ago. Not much has improved listening,watching,reading everything from the so-called nfl fantasy experts. Thanks to your blog I'm beginning to understand all the things that have been going wrong.Looking forward to my best fantasy season yet. THANKS

  5. This means a lot to me. This is a bit personal, but I haven't been posting the last few days because my grandfather's kidneys failed last weekend and I was visiting him before he passed on which will be happening sometime later this week. My plan is to get the next 36 receivers done tomorrow and to move on to tight ends and kickers. Again, thanks for the support!

  6. Wait, sooooo....Eli doesn't throw enough touchdowns for two receivers to be great (29 and 31 the past two seasons) but Matt Ryan (29 amd 28) does? What a joke.

    1. Maybe I should just make this a top-15 list so that everyone can see that I think Nicks and Cruz are good fantasy wide outs. They are both better than Wes Welker, and I'm just a bit more apprehensive about their situation than I am with Roddy and Julio. Those two played on basically the exact same team last year and succeeded.

      The Giants are a very different team this year, having lost their WR2 and RB2. Additionally, they did it in a year where Eli Manning had an unusually high number of passing yards. I completely understand where you are coming from, but I have my reservations.

    2. I'll back up Aaron on this; the Falcons Offense is moving towards a more run & gun attack with a stronger emphasis on passing, and they have a consistent run game that doesn't turn the ball over, unlike the giants.

  7. Correction Locker, Not Ponder

    1. Yes, thanks. Got it right in the main post, but it is moot now, anyways. Britt is completely off my draft board. All of the knee surgeries that came to light and the fact that he got arrested again.