Walt, you need to put Texas LT Connor Williams on this list. Dude is going to be one of the best LT's in this class. He'll be a JR this year, but former TE with outstanding movement and pass blocking skills. Dude is a stud and Freshman All-American. First time in a while I've been excited for our Offensive line.
2012 Fantasy Football Rankings: Wide Receivers 11-20
These 2012 Fantasy Football Wide Receivers Rankings will be updated often throughout the summer, so make sure you check back from time to time. Also, be sure to check out my other 2012 Fantasy Football articles, which will include sleepers, busts, tons of 2012 Fantasy Football mock drafts and other material. Follow me @walterfootball for updates.
Roddy White, WR, Falcons. Bye: 7.
Roddy White is still the man to own in PPR formats, but Julio Jones will be the preferred wideout in all other leagues. White caught 100 balls for the second consecutive season in 2011, but he failed to reach double-digit touchdowns for the first time since 2008. Expect that to continue with Jones commanding the end-zone looks.
Projected 2012 Fantasy Stats: 100 catches. 1,290 yards. 8 total TDs.
Projected 2012 Fantasy Points: 177.
Projected 2012 PPR Fantasy Points: 277.
Percy Harvin, WR, Vikings. Bye: 11.
Matt Kalil was the right pick. He'll protect Christian Ponder, who will have more time in the pocket to locate Percy "Collard Kector" Harvin. Harvin could have a big 2012 campaign if he can stay healthy, especially considering that he'll get more touches while Adrian Peterson is out. Oh, and as a bonus, the Collard Kector gets interviewed by hot women (fast forward to :43 for the infamous quote).
Projected 2012 Fantasy Stats: 85 catches. 980 rec. yards. 300 rushing yards. 8 total TDs.
Projected 2012 Fantasy Points: 176.
Projected 2012 PPR Fantasy Points: 261.
Jordy Nelson, WR, Packers. Bye: 10.
I loved Jordy Nelson as a fantasy sleeper heading into August last year, but I never imagined that he'd accumulate 1,263 yards and 15 touchdowns. It would be unreasonable to expect him to maintain 15 scores though, which makes him overvalued this year. He'll come back down to reality, but he'll still post WR2-caliber numbers.
Projected 2012 Fantasy Stats: 68 catches. 1,090 yards. 10 total TDs.
Projected 2012 Fantasy Points: 169.
Projected 2012 PPR Fantasy Points: 237.
Wes Welker, WR, Patriots. Bye: 9.
Wes Welker boasted a career-high in receiving yards last year (1,569), but don't look for him to repeat that in 2012. Welker will lose targets to Brandon Lloyd and Jabar Gaffney. He'll still perform well, but it's time to sell high.
Projected 2012 Fantasy Stats: 115 catches. 1,260 yards. 7 total TDs.
Projected 2012 Fantasy Points: 168.
Projected 2012 PPR Fantasy Points: 283.
Brandon Lloyd, WR, Patriots. Bye: 9. JULY 19 UPDATE: Brandon Lloyd and Tom Brady have reportedly really clicked during OTAs. This should hardly be a surprise because Lloyd had his best seasons under offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. With Wes Welker holding out, Lloyd could have a monster 2012 campaign.
JUNE 19 UPDATE: Brandon Lloyd predictably has fit right in with the Patriots. He's been terrific at OTAs. Tom Brady really complimented his ball skills and great body control, so it's looking like he'll be targeting Lloyd often.
Non-elite free-agent receivers seldom pan out because there's usually too much of a learning curve. They have to absorb a new offense and develop chemistry with a new quarterback. Only half of that is true in Brandon Lloyd's case. He's never worked with Tom Brady before, but he's thrived in Josh McDaniels' offense. There shouldn't be much of a transition for him, meaning he could begin posting WR2 numbers almost immediately.
Projected 2012 Fantasy Stats: 79 catches. 1,190 yards. 8 total TDs.
Projected 2012 Fantasy Points: 167.
Projected 2012 PPR Fantasy Points: 246.
Steve Johnson, WR, Bills. Bye: 8.
Steve Johnson was plagued by a hamstring injury throughout the 2011 season, but you wouldn't know it based on his stats; he hauled in 76 receptions for 1,004 yards and seven scores despite the fact that Ryan Fitzpatrick was dealing with a rib problem in the second half of the year. Both players are capable of posting great numbers - if they can stay healthy, of course.
Projected 2012 Fantasy Stats: 84 catches. 1,130 yards. 9 total TDs.
Projected 2012 Fantasy Points: 167.
Projected 2012 PPR Fantasy Points: 251.
Antonio Brown, WR, Steelers. Bye: 4. AUG. 26 UPDATE: Antonio Brown led the Steelers with seven targets from Ben Roethlisberger against the Bills. Though he dropped one pass, he managed to haul in seven grabs for 108 yards and two touchdowns. Brown scored just twice last year, but that's clearly going to change. He's a strong WR2.
Mike Wallace is holding out, so Antonio Brown could be the top Steeler fantasy producer this year. He scored only two touchdowns in 2011, but I feel like that was an anomaly. Ben Roethlisberger, who will have more protection from the offensive linemen drafted early in the 2012 NFL Draft, will have more time to locate Brown, especially in the end zone.
Projected 2012 Fantasy Stats: 77 catches. 1,210 yards. 7 total TDs.
Projected 2012 Fantasy Points: 163.
Projected 2012 PPR Fantasy Points: 240.
Steve Smith, WR, Panthers. Bye: 6.
I completely missed on Steve Smith last year. He looked done in 2010, but as it turns out, he simply quit on Jimmy Clausen (who wouldn't?) Smith put effort into his 2011 campaign, breaking out for 79 receptions, 1,394 yards and seven touchdowns. He is unlikely to repeat that performance, however, because he just turned 33. He undoubtedly lost some of his speed.
Projected 2012 Fantasy Stats: 74 catches. 1,260 yards. 6 total TDs.
Projected 2012 Fantasy Points: 162.
Projected 2012 PPR Fantasy Points: 236.
Eric Decker, WR, Broncos. Bye: 7. AUG. 27 UPDATE: Though he was guilty of his usual drops against the 49ers, Eric Decker gets a stock up. Peyton Manning was very sharp, opting to go to Decker twice in the end zone. Decker finished with four catches for 38 yards and the two scores.
JULY 31 UPDATE: Peyton Manning has favored Eric Decker over Demaryius Thomas in Broncos' training camp thus far. Manning and Decker have clicked, while Thomas has had to receive instruction from Manning on several occasions. By the way, Awesome Girl Who Loves Football - follow her @emilysh93 - talked about how Manning looked at camp: "Peyton's fitting the ball into little spaces around defenders as he used to. The zip on the ball looks good."
Eric Decker's eight touchdowns last year were fluky, but he could repeat that figure if Peyton Manning is at least at 75 percent. Manning and Decker reportedly have great chemistry together, so it's possible that the 25-year-old wideout could be a WR2 this season.
Projected 2012 Fantasy Stats: 72 catches. 1,040 yards. 9 total TDs.
Projected 2012 Fantasy Points: 158.
Projected 2012 PPR Fantasy Points: 230.
Demaryius Thomas, WR, Broncos. Bye: 7.
Demaryius Thomas was an absolute stud to close out the season. In his final seven games, he caught 35 passes for 715 yards and four touchdowns. Extend that to a full season, and you get 80 receptions, 1,634 yards and nine scores. Thomas will flirt with WR1 status if Peyton Manning is as healthy as John Elway hopes he is. Even if he's not, Thomas will be a WR2.
Projected 2012 Fantasy Stats: 75 catches. 1,150 yards. 7 total TDs.
Projected 2012 Fantasy Points: 157.
Projected 2012 PPR Fantasy Points: 232.