2012 Playoff NFL Fantasy Football: Wide Receivers Divisional Round Rankings

Sean E. DouglasSenior Writer IIIJanuary 9, 2012

DENVER, CO - JANUARY 08:  Demaryius Thomas #88 of the Denver Broncos makes a pass reception and fights off Ike Taylor #24 of the Pittsburgh Steelers to go 80 yards for the game winning touchdown on the first play of overtime at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on January 8, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos defeated the Steelers 29-23 in their AFC Wild Card Playoff game.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images


Demaryius Thomas at New England Patriots

After being the top receiver taken at the 2010 draft, injuries have plagued Demaryius Thomas and limited his ability to flash the skills that had many hyped about this NFL prospect coming out of Georgia Tech.

While Thomas took over fellow receiver Eric Decker’s role as Tim Tebow’s No. 1 receiver a month ago, it was his dominant performance against Ike Taylor on Sunday that has put him on the map as one of the up-and-coming elite, big-play receivers in the game.

Taylor has had a good year against No.1 receivers throughout, but Thomas consistently got separation, and the Steelers didn’t seem to be concerned about rolling coverage over the top to help him out, as they focused on the running game.

If I had to rank Thomas with this week in mind only, he would be one of the top three receivers to start, facing arguably the worst secondary in football. Because teams are forced into throwing the football late in games against the Patriots (playing from behind), it only enhances Thomas’ odds of posting over 100 yards receiving and a touchdown this week.

That said, it’s likely that Thomas will play his final game of the year in the divisional round, and because of that his playoff fantasy stock is limited when compared against other receivers on teams like the Packers, Patriots and so on.

If you believe that the Broncos will advance past the Patriots, by all means consider putting Thomas in as one of your receivers, if you get bonus points in future weeks.

If not, you may want to go with a receiver like Hakeem Nicks or Victor Cruz, as they are on underdog teams this week, but their team has proven in the past that they can play elite teams, on the road, and win in the playoffs.


Greg Jennings vs. New York Giants

The Packers are expected to have Greg Jennings in the lineup this week, but fantasy owners shouldn’t anticipate Jennings playing at his normal level coming off a knee injury. That said, if the Packers do make it to the Super Bowl, he should have over 200 yards receiving and a few touchdowns in three playoff performances.

What will be interesting this week is to see if the Giants use top cornerback Corey Webster against Jennings, or will they opt to use him against Jordy Nelson?

If Jennings was at full speed, I would be concerned about his production this week, because he posted seven receptions for 94 yards and a score in their first meeting against the Giants in Week 13, but likely limited, he will probably struggle if Webster shadows him throughout.


1 Jordy Nelson Giants
2 Wes Welker Broncos
3 Victor Cruz at Packers
4 Hakeem Nicks at Packers
5 Michael Crabtree Saints
6 Marques Colston at 49ers
7 Greg Jennings (I) Giants
8 Demaryius Thomas at Patriots
9 Andre Johnson (I) at Ravens
10 Torrey Smith Texans
11 Anquan Boldin Texans
12 Mario Manningham at Packers
13 Robert Meachem at 49ers
14 Deion Branch (I) Broncos
15 James Jones Giants
16 Kyle Williams Saints
17 Donald Driver Giants
18 Devery Henderson at 49ers
19 Eddie Royal at Patriots
20 Ted Ginn Jr. Saints
21 Lance Moore (I) at 49ers
22 Randall Cobb Giants
23 Kevin Walter at Ravens

Division Round Rankings – QB | RB | WR | TE | K/D |