Fantasy Football Rankings 2012: Wide Receivers to Target in Deep Leagues
Fantasy football leagues are just like snowflakes. Every one is different.
Some are scarily competitive—I'm talking about leagues now, not snowflakes. Some are boring and have four active owners by the end of the year. Some are shallow, allowing you to acquire Tom Brady, Adrian Peterson, Darren McFadden and Larry Fitzgerald on the same team. And some are ridiculously deep.
That's what brings me here.
Everyone is busy giving their rankings, but Antonio Brown as a sleeper doesn't really help owners in 14-team leagues. Let's take a look at who to target when the pickings get really slim.
Note: Average Draft Position comes from fantasyfootballcalculator.com
Alshon Jeffery, Chicago Bears (ADP: 127.3)
Jeffery is currently being drafted on average as the 51st receiver. That makes him a WR4 in 14- and 16-team leagues.
How many catches will Jeffery pull in this season?
Don't be surprised if the rookie far outplays that status.
The former South Carolina star was ridiculed for being a slow fatty coming out of college and that hurt his stock, but early indications are that those criticisms were far from true. Jeffery had the best physical tools of any receiver in the draft, and with his head in the right place, he can be scary-good.
If the preseason is any indication, and it very well may not be, he's already well on his way to scary town.
Jeffery has some competition in Chicago with Brandon Marshall as the clear No. 1 and Devin Hester, Earl Bennett and even Dane Sanzenbacher competing for playing time, but I see no reason why he can't win the starting job opposite Marshall.
If that happens, he without a doubt has the talent to be a solid WR3 and fringe WR2 in the deepest leagues.
LaVon Brazill, Indianapolis Colts (ADP: Outside Top 221)
Outside of Reggie Wayne, there's no certain pass-catcher to reel in Andrew Luck's throws.
Austin Collie's concussion problems aren't going away, Donnie Avery is Donnie Avery and, after that, it's a bunch of rookies.
Brazill might just be the most intriguing one out of all of them, especially from a fantasy perspective.
The blazing-fast wideout from Ohio runs very solid routes and has good jumping ability, so don't be scared off by his lack of elite size (5'11", 191 pounds). He's been impressive in camps and in preseason work and should get plenty of opportunities with the first-team offense.
He may spell his name with one too many L's, but the upside is clear. It's hard to find low-risk, high-reward picks like this so late in deep drafts, so be sure to remember him on draft day.
Armon Binns, Cincinnati Bengals (ADP: Outside Top 221)
Who will have the better year in Cincinnati?
The Bengals certainly aren't a throw-first team, but after A.J. Green, there is still plenty of production to go around.
Brandon Tate is currently No. 2 on the depth chart, but he hasn't done anything this offseason to separate himself from Binns.
The hometown boy from the University of Cincinnati is a big target at 6'3", 210 pounds, and he has displayed quickness and the ability to attack the ball in the preseason.
There are three or four guys who could emerge as the No. 2 receiver for the Bengals, so you might as well go with the 22-year-old who is wearing the ol' No. 85 Cincy jersey. I'm pretty sure it's a sign.
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