Larry Fitzgerald: a beast with or without a quarterback.
Fantasy values can change at any time. For example, the news of Mike Wallace’s intent to show up at Steelers camp this weekend means he should be ascending on several draft boards.
That includes mine.
Here’s what the wide receivers on my draft board look like after the second week of the preseason. The tier descriptors are the same as the ones following the Hall of Fame Game, but the names inside them are different. This time around, I’ve also suggested auction values for 10-team, $200 budget leagues.
**The numbers in parentheses are the receivers’ rankings from my last update.
Only one receiver belongs in this tier. The only player at the wide receiver position that I would want to take in the first round is known by a single name: Megatron.
1. (1) Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions, $54
Tier 2: Studs
These are my clear No. 1 fantasy receivers in 2012. These are the guys I expect to deliver stud statistics on a weekly basis but ones who are not as dynamic as Calvin Johnson throughout the 2011 campaign. I would take any of these guys in the second or third round.
2. (2) Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons, $44
4. (5) Victor Cruz, New York Giants, $42
6. (4) Andre Johnson, Houston Texans, $36
Tier 3: High-Round Picks
I expect for the following wideouts to produce at a high level, and if you can get two of these players on your team, you will likely have a decided advantage in your top-two receivers on a weekly basis. In order to get two of them, though, you would likely have to invest two of your top-four picks (with the exception of Harvin).
7. (7) Jordy Nelson, Green Bay Packers, $31
8. (9) A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals, $29
9. (8) Roddy White, Atlanta Falcons, $28
10. (10) Percy Harvin, Minnesota Vikings, $27
11. (11) Hakeem Nicks, New York Giants, $24
12. (18) Greg Jennings, Green Bay Packers, $20
Tier 4: Medium Risk, High Reward
These receivers have top-10 upside, and I would be fine with having any of them as my No. 2 fantasy wide receiver, but I would be ecstatic to have any of them as my No. 3 WR or a flex starter. I’ll be looking for one of these receivers in Rounds 5 or 6.
14. (13) Steve Smith, Carolina Panthers, $18
15. (15) Demaryius Thomas, Denver Broncos, $17
16. (16) Brandon Lloyd, New England Patriots, $16
17. (14) Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys, $15
18. (23) Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers, $14
19. (21) Vincent Jackson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, $13
20. (20) Marques Colston, New Orleans Saints, $13
21. (19) Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City Chiefs, $11
Tier 5: Flex
I prefer for the receivers listed in this group to be no more than flex starters for my team. If I can get one or two of them on my bench, I’m happy with that as well. In Rounds 6-8, these players are worth the gamble.
23. (28) Mike Wallace, Pittsburgh Steelers, $10
24. (22) Miles Austin, Dallas Cowboys, $10
25. (24) Torrey Smith, Baltimore Ravens, $6
26. (26) Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis Colts, $6
27. (25) DeSean Jackson, Philadelphia Eagles, $6
28. (27) Eric Decker, Denver Broncos, $6
29. (36) Pierre Garcon, Washington Redskins, $6
Tier 6: Alternates
I would like for these receivers to start off the 2012 season on my bench, but I am currently comfortable with them being bye-week starters. Grabbing one or two players from this group in the middle to late rounds will help your fantasy team’s WR depth.
30. (29) Robert Meachem, San Diego Chargers, $5
31. (30) Jeremy Maclin, Philadelphia Eagles, $5
32. (31) Steve Johnson, Buffalo Bills, $5
33. (32) Greg Little, Cleveland Browns, $5
Tier 7: Depth Options
I would prefer not to have to rely on these guys, but they can provide good depth at the WR position. I would choose one of these players in the late rounds.
35. (47) Justin Blackmon, Jacksonville Jaguars, $4
36. (40) Laurent Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars, $4
37. (41) Leonard Hankerson, Washington Redskins, $4
38. (35) Randy Moss, San Francisco 49ers, $4
39. (37) Kendall Wright, Tennessee Titans, $3
40. (33) Brian Quick, St. Louis Rams, $3
41. (39) Lance Moore, New Orleans Saints, $3
42. (45) Titus Young, Detroit Lions, $2
43. (42) Nate Washington, Tennessee Titans, $2
44. (46) Malcom Floyd, San Diego Chargers, $2
45. (44) Santonio Holmes, New York Jets, $2
Tier 8: Low Risk, Medium Reward
These guys have a chance to do something this year, but if you’re counting on them from the outset, you’ll find yourself in deep trouble at the wide receiver position. A couple of these WRs should still be around right before you choose your D/ST unit(s) and kicker (just one kicker—one).
46. (48) Darrius Heyward-Bey, Oakland Raiders, $1
47. (53) Jonathan Baldwin, Kansas City Chiefs, $1
48. (50) Randall Cobb, Green Bay Packers, $1
49. (49) Rueben Randle, New York Giants
50. (60) Chris Givens, St. Louis Rams, $1
51. (58) Emmanuel Sanders, Pittsburgh Steelers, $1
52. (63) Danny Amendola, St. Louis Rams, $1
53. (65) Brandon LaFell, Carolina Panthers, $1
54. (51) Anquan Boldin, Baltimore Ravens, $1
Tier 9: Lottery Tickets
Chances are, one of the following receivers will end the season being a fantasy starter (if not one of the aforementioned lottery tickets). Good luck figuring out who it’ll be! You might not even have to draft these players, but keep an eye on them throughout the preseason and the early weeks of the NFL year to see if they can benefit your squad.
55. (52) Michael Floyd, Arizona Cardinals, $1
56. (54) Mike Williams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, $1
58. (38) Denarius Moore, Oakland Raiders, $1
59. (56) Santana Moss, Washington Redskins, $1
60. (57) Nate Burleson, Detroit Lions, $1
61. (59) Josh Gordon, Cleveland Browns, $1
62. (61) Harry Douglas, Atlanta Falcons, $1
63. (62) Jerome Simpson, Minnesota Vikings, $1
64. (NR) Davone Bess, Miami Dolphins, $1
65. (NR) Rod Streater, Oakland Raiders, $1