2012 Fantasy Football Dynasty WR Rankings (07/31/12)

2012 Fantasy Football Dynasty WR Rankings (07/30/12)

Welcome to The Dynasty Guy’s Inaugural WR Rankings for the 2012 season. These rankings assume a PPR scoring format and are intended for dynasty leagues only! While the upcoming season is taken into consideration, players are ranked on a 3+ year horizon. Act accordingly! If you want to know who is better this year, go look at redraft league projections. Make sure to scroll all the way down for analysis/commentary.

Click to show rankings…

1 – Calvin Johnson DET

2 – Larry Fitzgerald ARI

3 – AJ Green CIN

4 – Julio Jones ATL

5 – Greg Jennings GB

6 – Brandon Marshall CHI

7 – Hakeem Nicks NYG

8 – Percy Harvin MIN

9 – Wes Welker NE

10 – Victor Cruz NYG

11 – Roddy White ATL

12 – Andre Johnson HOU

13 – Dez Bryant DAL

14 – Mike Wallace PIT

15 – Dwayne Bowe KC

16 – Jeremy Maclin PHI

17 – Vincent Jackson TB

18 – Demaryius Thomas DEN

19 – Jordy Nelson GB

20 – Marques Colston NO

21 – Antonio Brown PIT

22 – Kenny Britt TEN

23 – Miles Austin – DAL

24 – Steve Johnson BUF

25 – Eric Decker DEN

26 – Kendall Wright TEN

27 – Denarius Moore OAK

28 – Michael Crabtree SF

29 – Torrey Smith BAL

30 – Randall Cobb GB

31 – Justin Blackmon JAX

32 – Pierre Garcon WAS

33 – Titus Young DET

34 – Brandon Lloyd NE

35 – Greg Little CLE

36 – Steve Smith CAR

37 – Michael Floyd ARI

38 – Sidney Rice SEA

39 – Emmanuel Sanders PIT

40 – Jonathan Baldwin KC

41 – Doug Baldwin SEA

42 – Robert Meachem SD

43 – DeSean Jackson PHI

44 – Mike Williams TB

45 – Darrius Heyward-Bey OAK

46 – Reggie Wayne IND

47 – Leonard Hankerson WAS

48 – Vincent Brown SD

49 – Stephen Hill NYJ

50 – Alshon Jeffery CHI

51 – Rueben Randle NYG

52 – Santonio Holmes NYJ

53 – Brian Quick STL

54 – Danny Amendola STL

55 – Lance Moore NO

56 – Mario Manningham SF

57 – Anquan Boldin BAL

58 – Ryan Broyles DET

59 – Malcom Floyd SD

60 – Mohamed Sanu CIN

61 – Marvin Jones CIN

62 – Jerome Simpson MIN

63 – Laurent Robinson JAX

64 – Austin Collie IND

65 – Brandon LaFell CAR

66 – Golden Tate SEA

67 – James Jones GB

68 – Davone Bess MIA

69 – Damian Williams TEN

70 – Nate Washington TED

71 – AJ Jenkins SF

72 – Nick Toon NO

73 – Josh Gordon CLE

74 – Eddie Royal DEN

75 – Juron Criner OAK

76 – Steve Breston KC

77 – Devon Wylie KC

78 – Greg Childs MIN

79 – Chris Givens STL

80 – Jacoby Ford OAK

81 – Andre Roberts ARI

82 – Santana Moss WAS

83 – David Nelson BUF

84 – Brian Hartline MIA

85 – Tommy Streeter BAL

86 – TJ Graham BUF

87 – Lestar Jean TEX

88 –  Mike Thomas JAX

89  – TY Hilton IND

90 – Danny Coale DEN

91 – Marvin Mcnutt PHI

92 – Lavon Brazil IND

93 – Early Doucet ARI

94 – Jordan Shipley CIN

95 – Jason Avant PHI

96 – Steve Smith STL

97 – Johnny Knox CHI

98 – KeShawn Martin HOU

99 – Arrelious Benn TB

100 – DeVier Posey HOU

NOTES: This list is intended to be a gauge of current and future VALUE; it is not a scoring projection. This is intended for use in dynasty leagues for player valuation and as a tool to analyze trade offers.

For example, the 2-5 ranked guys are fairly interchangeable on the trade market, but if I were moving one for someone ranked lower than that, let’s say Victor Cruz, I’d want additional compensation. The farther apart they are on the list, the more additional value you should be receiving in other areas of the trade.

Megatron Tier

Calvin Johnson – Calvin’s numbers from last year are staggering. Not only did he amass 1,681 yards receiving and 16 touchdowns, he was only 4 receptions short of hitting 100. He averaged 17.51 yards per catch and was targeted a whopping 9.9 times per game. The scary part of all of this is that he only caught 60% of his targets. Even though he was targeted almost 10 times per game, he still fell short of the targets title by over 20. Calvin will get a few more targets this year and he’ll catch them at a better clip. If he can sustain his touchdown production (if anyone can, it’s Megatron), he could possibly approach a 400 point fantasy season. Calvin is the most valuable WR in dynasty and it isn’t even close.

DEVIL’S ADVOCATE: I’ve always held a firm belief that truly elite performances are hardly ever duplicated by the same player. Calvin’s season will be extremely difficult to reproduce. For one, in just his 3rd season (and first truly healthy), Matt Stafford was able to put up over 5,000 yards passing. If Calvin is going to score over 350 fantasy points this year, he’ll have to get that level of performance out of Stafford once again. I’m supremely confident in Johnson, but not in Stafford. He doesn’t have a consistent history of production and his shoulder has been a big issue. I can also envision a scenario where Pettigrew and Young continue to siphon targets from Calvin or one in which teams start to double (or even triple?) team Calvin in an effort to curb his redzone production. Even if the worst case scenario unfolds (Stafford hurt, triple team/punt return style coverage by defensive backs, decreased targets), Calvin is still a top 10 WR. I just don’t think that seasons like his are easily reproducible and future years will produce fantasy points closer to the top 10 average and not 100 points above it. If you like taking risks, there might not ever be a better time to capitalize on Johnson’s value. Other owners will call you names and ask what you’ve been smoking, but in terms of value, you should be able to bring in a haul and spread that value over multiple players instead of concentrating it within one guy. Remember, every fantasy ‘stud’ was ‘untradeable’ at one time or another (Larry Johnson, Priest Holmes, LaDanian Tomlinson, Peyton Manning, Adrian Peterson, Randy Moss, etc. ). We like to assume that these types of seasons will be repeated over and over again, but they usually aren’t. The top RB’s and WR’s are very volatile and you can see huge swings from year to year. If you want to take the Belichikian approach and deal Calvin at his apex, I won’t get mad at you. If I could get another top 10 WR + +, I’d deal him too.

 The Elite

Larry Fitzgerald is as consistent as they come. There are a lot of high producing wideouts that see their numbers drop precipitously when their situation changes. New quarterbacks, bad running games, bad offensive line play and changing offensive philosophies can have a tremendous impact on WR numbers. Larry Fitzgerald was able to put up over 1,400 yards and 8 touchdowns while being the ONLY legitimate offensive weapon on the roster. Not even the Skelekolb monster was able to hold Fitz back. This is the definition of a set it and forget it player.

AJ Green and Julio Jones were both highly regarded prospects coming out of college and were taken in the top 3 of almost ever dynasty rookie draft on the planet. Unlike Mark Ignram, they both produced at a high level coming out of the gates. I actually preferred Jones to Green then and I still do. AJ Green is definitely an elite level WR and should have a long and productive fantasy career, but if I had to choose between the two I’d take Julio. AJ Green has a very lean frame and while Julio is ½ inch shorter than Green, he’s still 6’3” and he has a much more solid frame. If you consider the fact that Julio is over 220 pounds, Julio’s sub 4.40’s are even more impressive. Julio also has bigger hands a higher vertical leap. As a physical specimen, Julio is more impressive. I also love the fact that Jones plays with a more established quarterback and a more stable organization. Matt Ryan underthrew Jones quite a few times early in the season, but as they worked their timing issues out, Jones started hauling in some deep balls and appeared to build a solid rapport with Matt Ryan. Julio had a higher catch rate and YPC when compared to AJ Green last year. I expect those numbers to rise for both players, but the ceiling is higher for Jones based off of QB play. As Roddy White’s targets go down and Jones’ go up, I think Jones will separate himself from Green (even if it is only slightly).

Tier 3

Greg Jennings might be a little too high on this list, but I can’t help it. He plays with the best quarterback in the most fantasy friendly passing game in the league. Jennings was on a huge run when his season was cut short due to injury. He would have easily passed the 250 point mark if he had stayed healthy all year. Jordy Nelson is a nice story, but his 71% catch rate is unsustainable. The only other high usage players who play with a 70% catch rate are Wes Welker, Percy Harvin & Marques Colston. Welker and Harvin have high catch rates largely due to the types of routes they run (both averaged less than 12 yards per catch). Colston had a great year and also plays with en extremely accurate quarterback, but even he averaged a more modest 14 yards per catch. Jordy was nearly off the charts, averaging 18.57 yards per catch. He will NOT catch 70% of his targets again. If he does, they won’t be for over 18 yards per and he’s not going to score another 15 touchdowns. Jordy is due for a correction this year and Jennings will be back up in top 5 contention.

Brandon Marshall is a hard guy to own. He’s been jumping from team to team and he always seems to be going through another issue of some sort. It’s ok though, at least he’s not Kenny Britt. Reuniting with Cutler makes Marshall a lock for 100 receptions. Marshall is worth more than a lot of people realize at this point… buy him if he’s cheap.

Hakeem Nicks is a favorite of many dynasty owners. In addition to his physical skills, he plays in a good system with an ELIte qb. He had a very promising rookie campaign and has followed that up with consecutive 1,000 yard seasons. That’s where the praise stops. I’m a little skeptical of Nicks. He has started 14, 13 and 15 games in each of his first three seasons and while his numbers are good, they aren’t jump off the box score good. Wide receivers with 1K, 77 catches and 8 TD’s are great, but they aren’t elite. I like Nicks and he’s a top 10 dynasty WR no matter how skeptical I am, but I think he should be happy with the #7 ranking. It would have been easy for me to slide him down a few spots.

Tier 4 and Below

I’m just going to hit the high/low notes from here on out. If you have a question about a specific player, you can always comment below or send me a tweet (@TheDynastyGuy). I don’t think I need to tell you how good Wes Welker is in PPR. He until has several years of top end production left. If you aren’t competing, you should move him.  Percy Harvin only caught 87 balls last year and only scored 6 receiving touchdowns. Do you think that is going to happen again? Me either. Harvin has top 5 potential… if he can just get rid of those menstrual headaches. What? Oh, Migraines… if Larry Fitzgerald is Mr. Consistent, Roddy White is his lesser known, but just as consistent, little brother. White has NEVER missed a game since coming to the NFL in 2005. Since 2007, he has never had fewer than 1,100 yards, 6 TD’s or 83 receptions. That, my friends, is a floor you can love. That’s also the reason why I’ve moved Roddy above Andre Johnson. I love AJ, but those back to back 1,500 yard seasons seem like so long ago. AJ has never broken the double digit touchdown mark and he’s finished the year with less than 1,000 yards in 4 out of 9 seasons. That fantasy floor, in combination with age, health concerns (his and Schaub’s) and Houston’s transition to a more run oriented system brings AJ down the list.

Some people still aren’t convinced that Victor Cruz is the real deal. Those people didn’t watch many Giants’ football games. Cruz has the ability and determination to make a difference, but he also has a high end QB in the prime of his career. When possible, I like to target WR’s that play with an upper end QB with a stable long term outlook. Cruz fits the criteria.

I don’t think Dwayne Bowe will be back in Kansas City next year. He’s crazy talented and could see a major increase in value if he goes to a good system, but I’m more excited about Jon Baldwin. Baldwin will be the de facto #1 WR next year and should ascend up the ranks at that point.

I own Vincent Jackson in a couple leagues and I was determined to trade him until just yesterday. I had an epiphany. What does VJax do? Catch bombs. What is the one kind of throw that Josh Freeman is good at? The deep ball. What opens up deep vertical routes? A strong run game. What kind of system does Schiano want to implement? You get where I’m going. Jackson could be a monster in TB.

I already mentioned Jordy Nelson, but I’ll recap. I like him, but I don’t top 10 like him. He won’t ever score 16 TD’s in a season again. If you take away Aaron Rogers and Greg Jennings, Jordy doesn’t stand out. Fortunately, you can’t just take away Rogers or Jennings (who command the most attention), so I’ll split the difference and rank him 20ish.

If you own Kenny Britt, the time to sell has already passed. I’ve never been aboard the Britt hype train. He has tremendous skill and potential, but he’s never consistently produced. That, in addition to busted knees and questionable brain function, is not a recipe for long term success. Selling him now would return pennies on the dollar, so I’d advise holding him until he eventually finds the field again and has a good game or two. Don’t trade players at rock bottom prices. Be patient, his value will rise again.

Long Term Bets…

For those of you in the depths of a rebuild, there are several exciting young receivers that have breakout potential. Leonard Hankerson, Jonathan Baldwin, Vincent Brown, Randall Cobb and Titus Young are hot names in the Dynasty community. Hankerson has elite potential and could have a very long and productive relationship with RG3, Baldwin (see above) could climb up the depth chart sooner rather than later, Brown is the best long term value among SD WR’s, Cobb should finally emerge as the WR3 in GB (a potential PPR goldmine) and if Titus Young can get his shit together, he’ll be in the same situation as Cobb. None of these names should be surprises and whoever owns them in your league is probably already high on them, but you should definitely explore the possibilities. These are the types of players you want to target if you are rebuilding.

I’d also like to offer a little bit of advice for teams under construction. 2nd year players are MUCH cheaper than rookies. Guys like Blackmon, Josh Gordon, Alshon Jeffery and Michael Floyd are all fetching a premium in trades. Dynasty owners ALWAYS overvalue rookie players. That’s ok though, because it usually means that these players lose a ton of value in year 2 (unless they saw significant time on the field and produced). Baldwin and Hankerson were hot commodities during rookie drafts last year and while they still have value, they can be had for much cheaper than last year. If your team is in the midst of a complete tear down, take a look at 2nd year players who were hyped coming out of the draft but have since cooled off.

Who to watch?

Jerome Simpson, Ryan Broyles and Josh Gordon

Simpson  was impressing everyone in sight at OTA’s. He’ll serve a suspension at the beginning of the year, but he’ll have long term value starting opposite Harvin. The MIN passing game has a lot of interesting pieces (including Kyle Rudolph) and I’m excited to see what Ponder can do this year.

Ryan Broyles is the NCAA career receptions leader with 349. If he can stay healthy, he could become the third piece in a devastating DET passing game (Johnson, Young Broyles). Keep an eye on him though camp.

Cleveland used a 2nd round pick during the supplementary draft to take Gordon. He hasn’t played in a while, but CLE seems intent on starting him (not a big surprise when considering the competition). DLF has a nice article on him that you should check out.

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2 responses to “2012 Fantasy Football Dynasty WR Rankings (07/31/12)

  1. Nice list, personally I would put Welker’s value lower because of his age and perceived tide to that Patriots offense in case he doesn’t resign next year. I think his trade value is lower than any of those guys in your top 15

  2. Thanks for the feedback. I wouldn’t argue with anyone for moving Welker down, but I believe that he holds value in any offense that he plays in. He isn’t a product of the system. The system enhances his production, but he’d still be a WR1 if he played with another QB (not Gabbert though…. no one is a WR1 with Gabbert).

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