2012 Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Rankings by Tier

Ryan LesterSenior Writer IAugust 24, 2012

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 07:   Calvin Johnson #81 of the Detroit Lions makesa touchdown catch against  Patrick Robinson #21 of the New Orleans Saints during their 2012 NFC Wild Card Playoff game at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 7, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Here’s a look at the LestersLegends 2012 fantasy football wide receiver rankings by tier.

Tier One: Megatron stands alone. He should be a first-round pick.

Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions: Megatron was an absolute beast last year, with 96 catches for 1681 yards and 16 scores. He’s number one and it’s not really close.

Tier Two: Quality WRs that should put up big numbers. They should go in the first three rounds.

A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals: Had a great rookie year (1057 yards, seven TDs). Look for even more.

Andre Johnson, Houston Texans: He makes me nervous because he couldn’t get healthy last year. He finished strong though and should bounce back this year.

Brandon Marshall, Chicago Bears: Assuming he stays out of trouble, he should build on the 1,214-yard, six TD season as he’s reunited with Jay Cutler.

Greg Jennings, Green Bay Packers: Was limited to 13 games last year, but still caught nine TDs with 949 yards.

Hakeem Nicks, New York Giants: Victor Cruz put up better numbers last year, but Nicks was a force as well, with 1,192 yards and seven TDs.

Jeremy Maclin, Philadelphia Eagles: He’s healthy and poised to explode this year. DeSean will have bigger games, but Maclin is more consistent.

Jordy Nelson, Green Bay Packers: He has sneaky quickness and a great rapport with the best QB in the game. Scored 15 times last year.

Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons: At times, he was even better than Roddy. He should really emerge in his second season.

Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals: Michael Floyd should relieve some of the attention on Fitz, who had his fourth 1,400-yard season.

Roddy White, Atlanta Falcons: Recorded his fourth 1,200-yard season and has 29 scores over the past three years.

Steve Smith, Carolina Panthers: He’ll be 33, but he still has plenty of speed and an emerging quarterback.

Victor Cruz, New York Giants: After 1,536 yards and nine TDs, there should be plenty more salsa dancing in 2012.

Wes Welker, New England Patriots: What knee injury? All Welker did last year was catch 122 passes for 1,569 yards and nine TDs. With Gronk and Aaron Hernandez, it is hard to key in on Welker. Not to mention the addition of Brandon Lloyd.

Tier Three: Capable of producing WR1 numbers, but better suited as WR2 options. They should go in Rounds 4-6.

Brandon Lloyd, New England Patriots: Played with a ridiculous bad cast of QBs in his time with Denver and St. Louis last year. Brady should help him improve on the 966 yards and five scores.

DeSean Jackson, Philadelphia Eagles: Coming off a disappointing season (961 yards, four TDs). He’ll be hit or miss, but he should be much better in 2012.

Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys: 928 yards and nine TDs last year with plenty of room to grow. Will have to stay healthy to join the elite. His behavior keeps him from being a WR1.

Marques Colston, New Orleans Saints: Continues to produce 1,000-yard seasons. He’s averaging 1,040 yards and eight TDs per year in his six seasons.

Mike Wallace, Pittsburgh Steelers: He has elite speed and is coming off his second big year. Look for more of the same.

Miles Austin, Dallas Cowboys: I think Dez has surpassed him, but there is still plenty there if his body can hold up.

Percy Harvin, Minnesota Vikings: The Vikes will have to figure out a better way to use Percy and Adrian Peterson at the same time. He was dominant at times and should continue to be productive both running and catching the football.

Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis Colts: Wayne will take on the role of Andrew Luck’s security blanket. The Colts still figure to be behind most of the time and forced to throw a bunch.

Tier Four: Solid WR2s or WR3s. Still should be productive in today’s pass-happy game. These WRs should go in rounds six through ten.

Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers: The Steelers are going to be a pass-heavy team in 2012 and Brown should build on his breakout 2011.

Demaryius Thomas, Denver Broncos: He showed signs last year with Tim Tebow under center. With the Manning upgrade, he could be primed to take the next step.

Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City Chiefs: Took a big step back last year, but the talent is there. Decent value pick.

Eric Decker, Denver Broncos: If Decker can stay healthy, he should also benefit from Peyton’s play. Consistency will be the biggest improvement.

Pierre Garcon, Washington Redskins: I’m a little concerned with how he’ll handle being the primary receiver, but RG3 and Garcon should be an exciting combo.

Stevie Johnson, Buffalo Bills: Recorded his second straight 1,000-yard season. Good chance for a third.

Torrey Smith, Baltimore Ravens: Smith showed flashes last year as a rookie. Look for improvement in his second season.

Vincent Jackson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: He isn’t in as fantasy-friendly a situation, and you’ll have to worry that he won’t be as motivated after getting paid. Still, he’s got a great speed-size combo and should remain a difficult cover.

Tier Five: Potential is there, but better suited as bench depth. They should go in rounds eight through twelve.

Denarius Moore, Oakland Raiders: Great athlete that could blow up with Carson Palmer this year.

Kenny Britt, Tennessee Titans: A looming suspension and knee injury make him a risk. Past production gives him the reward potential.

Lance Moore, New Orleans Saints: Has a nose for the end zone and Brees’ trust. He just needs to stay on the field.

Malcom Floyd, San Diego Chargers: Big play potential. Could provide WR3 numbers if he stays healthy.

Michael Crabtree, San Francsico 49ers: Finally appears to be healthy. Could finally realize some of that potential this year.

Robert Meachem, San Diego Chargers: Should be more heavily involved in his new home.

Santonio Holmes, New York Jets: Injury, attitude and shaky QB play has ruined his value. The potential is there though.

Titus Young, Detroit Lions: Life is comfortable playing opposite of Megatron. Breakout candidate.

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