Fantasy Football 2012: Top 50 Wide Receivers in Points Per Reception Leagues

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Fantasy Football 2012: Top 50 Wide Receivers in Points Per Reception Leagues
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Minnesota's Percy Harvin, a top-20 receiver in most fantasy circles, racked up 1,312 total yards (345 rushing) and eight TDs last season.

Here's my current listing of the top 50 wide receivers in Points Per Reception leagues.

This countdown will likely undergo a few changes before the September slate of NFL games, but leading into training camp and the exhibition season, it's an accurate profile of my preseason rationale.

For an in-depth look at the top 15 PPR wideouts, click here.

 

Top 25

1. Calvin Johnson, Lions
2. Wes Welker, Patriots
3. Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals
4. Roddy White, Falcons
5. Andre Johnson, Texans
6. Victor Cruz, Giants
7. Mike Wallace, Steelers
8. Percy Harvin, Vikings
9. Brandon Marshall, Bears
10. Greg Jennings, Packers
11. Jordy Nelson, Packers
12. Steve Smith, Panthers
13. Dwayne Bowe, Chiefs
14. Julio Jones, Falcons
15. Miles Austin, Cowboys
16. A.J. Green, Bengals
17. Marques Colston, Saints
18. Steve Johnson, Bills
19. Hakeem Nicks, Giants
20. Pierre Garcon, Redskins
21. Antonio Brown, Steelers
22. Reggie Wayne, Colts
23. Vincent Jackson, Buccaneers
24. Dez Bryant, Cowboys
25. Darrius Heyward-Bey, Raiders

 

Notes

Calvin Johnson passed the PPR-elite threshold of six catches, 100 yards and/or one touchdown 14 times last season—tops among all NFL receivers. And yes, it helped Johnson's cause that he recorded 11 touchdowns in the first eight games, momentarily getting ahead of the pace for Randy Moss's seasonal record of 23 receiving TDs (2007).

I'm on record for saying Wes Welker won't replicate last year's output in receptions (122) and receiving yards (1,573), but that isn't a slight toward the Patriots star in any way. Do you know what it takes to average 122 catches/1,573 yards? That's 7.6 catches and 98.3 yards per game—regardless of weather conditions, game flow or defensive matchups.

Roddy White's per-season averages from 2010-11 are the stuff of PPR legend—108 catches, 1,343 yards, nine touchdowns and an absurdly high but remarkably consistent 179 targets. Including the Falcons' playoff loss to the Giants, White also collected nine or more targets 14 times last season—and double-digit targets for six straight games (Weeks 11-16).

The receiving numbers don't tell the whole story for Percy Harvin, who also rushed the ball 52 times for 345 yards and two touchdowns last season. All told, Percy accounted for 1,312 total yards and eight TDs. Harvin has enjoyed significant bumps in targets, catches and receiving yards the last two years—and yet, he still has much room for growth, from a PPR perspective.

 

Nos. 26-50

26. Jeremy Maclin, Eagles
27. Sidney Rice, Seahawks
28. Nate Washington, Titans
29. Kenny Britt, Titans
30. Laurent Robinson, Jaguars
31. Eric Decker, Broncos
32. Santonio Holmes, Jets
33. DeSean Jackson, Eagles
34. Brandon Lloyd, Patriots
35. Malcom Floyd, Chargers
36. Torrey Smith, Ravens
37. Greg Little, Browns
38. Michael Crabtree, 49ers
39. Justin Blackmon, Jaguars
40. Demaryius Thomas, Broncos
41. Titus Young, Lions
42. Mike Williams, Buccaneers
43. Jerome Simpson, Vikings
44. Anquan Boldin, Ravens
45. Mario Manningham, 49ers
46. Robert Meachem, Chargers
47. Davone Bess, Dolphins
48. Denarius Moore, Raiders
49. Donald Jones, Bills
50. Austin Collie, Colts

 

Notes

Nate Washington (74 catches, 1,023 yards, 7 TDs) earned a spot in my springtime list of the top 25 receivers, thanks to nine games of eight or more targets last year—and bold finishing kick in the final seven games (35 catches, 522 yards, six TDs). And with Kenny Britt back in the fold (torn ACL last September) and rookie Kendall Wright stretching the field on every passing down, Washington likely won't attract one double-team all season.

I have come to appreciate Donald Jones' burgeoning relationship with Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick (7.1 targets in his last eight healthy games) and the way Jones complements No. 1 receiver Steve Johnson.

But let's be clear here: Heading into Year 3, Jones won't be a reliable source of fantasy goodness until he can consistently stay on the field. It's part of the job that comes with being a No. 2 asset. Come August, Jones will likely be a last-round pick in 12-team leagues, a below-average value for the No. 2 receiver on a club that threw 569 times last season and only rushed Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller 277 times.

With Cincinnati last year, Jerome Simpson drew seven or more targets seven times, but only once after Week 11. In his first 10 games, Simpson collected 70 targets, 30 catches, 562 yards and two touchdowns.

Assuming he can get the receptions-to-targets ratio above 50 percent and avoid clunkers of zero, six or 14 yards (five times last year), Simpson has room for sizable growth with his new club. Verdict: Even with his three-game suspension, Simpson has a good shot at 49 catches, 738 yards and five touchdowns for 13 games.

DeSean Jackson may have a new contract, but can he recapture the old production of 2008-09 (125 catches, 2,079 yards, 11 TDs)? After all, QB Michael Vick averaged 34.8 passes last year and should have no trouble finding 8.5 targets in the weekly budget for D-Jax, right?

As a healthy and happy contributor with Philly, Jackson needs to have a bounce-back season—in the vicinity of 66 catches, 1,179 yards and nine touchdowns.

 

Jay Clemons can be reached on Twitter, day or night, at @ATL_JayClemons.

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