The NFL season is now just eight days away and that means it’s time to release our final preseason FantasyPPR wide receiver rankings. This list ranks the top 75 wide receivers for point per reception formats, as fantasy football owners make their final draft preparations.
While there is a consensus out there among fantasy football experts that the running back position is somewhat weak entering the 2012 NFL season, there is no such talk about wide receivers being weak, however an argument can be made that unlike running back, which is extremely strong at the top then lacks depth; wide receiver is a position that is somewhat weak at the top (except for Megatron) then gets stronger as the draft goes on.
There is no question that Calvin Johnson is the no.1 fantasy wide receiver entering 2012, regardless of league scoring format. The guy is a freak and is by far the most talented non-quarterback skill player in the NFL. He can take over a game like few others and has the ability to almost single handedly carry your fantasy team to victory.
Yet, after Johnson, who should not go outside the top-5 in any draft, things get a little shaky at wide receiver especially in the second round of the draft. The no.2 spot in the rankings was one of the most difficult spots to fill simply because there are so many candidates but none of them were clear cut. When it was all said and done, I ended up placing Larry Fitzgerald as my no.2 guy simply because there is very little risk with Fitz.
However, even Fitzgerald is not as dominant as he once was due to quarterback issues. In his last two seasons with Kurt Warner at the helm, Fitzgerald caught 25 touchdown passes but in the two seasons since his retirement he has caught only 14, which is direct reflection of the Cardinals continual quarterback woes. But he is on the field every sunday and has posted 1,400 in three of his last five seasons and had at least 80 in each of those five years.
Wes Welker ended up as my no.3 wide receiver in the Fantasy PPR rankings simply because Fitzgerald has a higher ceiling and less risk involved. It’s not that Welker is not reliable because he is and he also has the benefit of playing with all-world quarterback Tom Brady.Yet, the Patriots have invested a lot of money in fellow targets Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez and 2012 free-agent signee Brandon Lloyd. This means Welker, who has posted at least 100 receptions in four of five season, could see a decrease in targets. I do not expect much of a drop from the 31-year old slot receiver but there are some concerns.
If you are looking for a safe pick in the first two to three rounds of your Fantasy PPR draft, then look no farther than Roddy White, who has caught over 80 passes and gone over 1,110 yards in five straight seasons. He finished last year at no.4 among wide receiver in PPR formats and even though Julio Jones may surpass him as the Falcons no.1 wide out sooner rather than later, White is a catch machine with big-time ability in the red zone.
Another fairly safe pick that can be had in the rounds two to three is the Bears’ Brandon Marshall, who has finished in the top-14 among fantasy wide receivers in five straight seasons, despite having some questionable quarterback play during his past two seasons in Miami. Now Marshall is reunited with former quarterback Jay Cutler in the Windy City, which could mean a breakout fantasy season for Marshall in 2012.
Once fantasy owners get past round two, there are plenty of attractive options available that are not only reliable but have big upside. Some of these names include: A.J. Green, Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks, Julio Jones, Greg Jennings, Dez Bryant, Jordy Nelson, Antonio Brown, Jeremy Maclin and Percy Harvin are just a few that can be had from rounds 3-5 but have no.1 fantasy receiver potential.
There are also some great mid-round (Rds 6-9) options that could prove to be steals, some of these potential sleepers include: Desean Jackson, Robert Meachem, Reggie Wayne, Greg Little, Torrey Smith, Brandon Lloyd, Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas. Potential late-round (Rds 10-16) sleepers include: Brandon LaFell, Denarius Moore, Titus Young, Michael Crabtree, Nate Washington, Mike Williams, Danny Amendola, Doug Baldwin, Brian Hartline, Jonathan Baldwin and Malcolm Floyd.
Therefore without further ado here are the 2012 FantasyPPR.com Wide Receiver Rankings for PPR League Formats: