Thursday, July 12, 2012

Tier-3 Wide Receivers

The third-tier wide receivers are going to be guys with plenty of potential but very little history of performing. Some of these guys are ranked much higher on other sites without much real basis for being ranked there. There is definitely value to be had in tier-three, but it is more based on luck than on solid statistical prediction.

Tier 1 and 2 Wide Receivers

Third Tier Wide Receivers

25. Percy Harvin - Harvin excelled to a degree last season, but he doesn't have a strong history of living up to his talent. This might be the last chance people give him, and I really think he is overvalued.

26. Kenny Britt - I might like Britt, but he is entering his 4th NFL season. His injury in 2011 might give him a pass, but he still has a lot to prove. I had him ranked 12th in my previous rankings, but I went with consistency vs upside in this ranking, and there is an ever-shrinking chance that he will ever be elite.

27. Darrius Heyward-Bey - Another player who I really like and who is entering his 3rd NFL season. He is being drafted really low, but his upside is huge. Pick him over someone like Torrey Smith because Carson Palmer proved he could still be a 4,000 yard passer.

28. Eric Decker - There is virtually no way of telling which receiver will become Manning's favorite, but I'm going to pick the guy who clicked with the pocket passer (Kyle Orton) over the receiver who clicked with the option quarterback (Tim Tebow).

29. Sidney Rice - Rice has had two injury-filled seasons with crappy quarterbacks in 2010 and 2011. If Matt Flynn is decent-to-good and Rice can stay healthy, he could make it back to the 1,000-yard club.

30. Anquan Boldin - One of my previous posts said that I would never draft him. In light of this new information, I think he has a chance to get 1,000 yards in the Ravens passing game. I like him even more than his teammate, Torrey Smith. In my statistically inclined opinion, Boldin has a better chance of reaching 1,000 yards than Smith.

31. Demaryius Thomas - Just read what I wrote about Eric Decker. It pretty much applies here. Honestly, I think they both end up with 850 yards and 6-7 touchdowns.

32. Brandon Lloyd - Lloyd waited until his 8th season to have his first 1,000-yard season. Now in his 10th, there is a huge group of people who believe he is a great pick. Yeah, that definitely isn't like on a Patriots team where Chad Ochocinco stumbled. Speaking of Chad...

33. Chad Ochocinco - He has a better history than Brandon Lloyd does. The difference is his crappy season in NE. Honestly, Ochocinco is filling a void in Miami and has a serious chance of breaking 1,000 yards for the 8th time in his 12-year career. 

34. Mike Williams - He has potential if he works out more. He should prosper as the WR2 in Tampa, but having a career year could be tough in that offense.

35. Austin Collie - Might sound crazy, but someone has to step up if Reggie Wayne isn't any good. Collie has potential, especially if Andrew Luck plays well.

36. Denarius Moore - I don't think Moore has much of a chance, but there is definitely some potential. He had too few receptions to get a good feel of his talent or value in 2011.

37. Torrey Smith - Smith could take another season before he breaks out. He just looked too unpolished in 2011, and learning how to catch the deep ball is an art. 

38. Titus Young - Everyone loves this kid, but he is so damn immature. If he can control himself, he has the potential and the offense to flourish. There are plenty of other good players on the Lions to take his touches.

39. Malcom Floyd - Floyd has had chances in the past, but I still like him better than Robert Meachem or Eddie Royal. Rivers will throw the ball to someone, although there is a real chance that Ryan Mathews will be the top receiver on this team.

40. Greg Little - I like Greg Little, but he plays in a terrible offense on a woeful team. He could be a top-20 receiver, but I wouldn't count on it. Especially not with the QB situation in Cleveland.

41. Lance Moore - I like Lance Moore's chances with the reduced receiving corps. He has been able to get good touchdowns when he has been healthy, so he should have a decent 2012.

42. Pierre Garcon - This ranking shows that I'm not very high on Pierre Garcon, but he definitely has some potential, considering what he did in Indianapolis with their crummy offense last season.

43. Danny Amendola - Amendola was on the upswing until the two unfortunate injuries last season. He has great PPR value, so don't let him pass you by if you have room for him.

44. Brandon LaFell - The Panthers are high on this kid, and Cam Newton likes to sling the ball. No one is really sure what to expect from him, but I would be willing to give a chance.

45. Andre Roberts - The Cardinals have said that Roberts is their favorite to be the WR2 in Arizona, so he has a shot at being a good sleeper.

46. Steve Breaston - He is a few years removed from his best season, but the WR2 in Kansas City is still a relatively productive player.

47. Randy Moss - Good players are good players. Randy Moss is the best receiver on the 49ers team, and he certainly could produce there. 

48. Domenik Hixon - The Giants WR3 stands a chance if injuries mount or if Cruz fails to live up to his potential.

These last guys aren't very valuable, but they should build a strong, deep roster for your fantasy team.


  1. I just discovered your site today and love your analysis. As someone who has combed through a million sites, let me ask, how well did your rankings a year ago shake out in hindsight for 2011? In all honesty, I'm just trying to determine whose insights to rely on the most. Your analysis makes good sense to me in most cases, but at times, runs counter to what I read elsewhere (e.g. the value of Percy Harvin, for instance). I just want to know whose rankings will give the edge on draft day! Thanks!

    1. Well, I have a few things to say on the topic. First, I didn't have rankings last season that I can point to. This is the beginning of my fantasy writing "career," if you want to call it that. If I were to retroactively think of some places where my rankings would have failed, Jordy Nelson, Victor Cruz, Andre Johnson, and AJ Green come to mind. Alternatively, I would have correctly predicted the lackluster seasons from Brandon Lloyd and both Mike Williams', while correctly predicting the success of Marques Colston and similar players. I cannot give you a definite answer on my predictions from last season, though.

      Finally, I don't believe that my rankings or anyone elses' rankings should be used as law. What I have compiled here is a ranking of plaers based on how statistically likely I believe they are to have a successful fantasy season. These specific rankings do not take into account a player's upside. I would not suggest that A.J. Green, for example, is the 20th best option at wide receiver. Alternatively, I believe he is the 20th most likely player to have a good fantasy season. The ceiling for Green is very high, but his probability of reaching it is relatively low. Alternatively, someone like Reggie Wayne has a greater probability of having a 1,000 yard season, but has a much lower probability of having a 1,600 yard season with 16 scores. It is about weighing the probability of a player reaching a respectable value with the fantasy impact of their potential.

      I hope this makes sense, and feel free to ask any other questions that you might have.