The smell of football is in the air. Here are my 2012 Week 1 fantasy football wide receiver rankings.
1. Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions
Megatron has separated himself as the premier receiver in the league. He should have a field day against St. Louis.
2. Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons
Julio is about to break out in a big way and it starts Week 1 against Kansas City.
3. Victor Cruz, New York Giants
Cruz should be salsa dancing in the NFL opener against Dallas.
4. Wes Welker, New England Patriots
There are plenty of options in New England, but Welker is about as consistent as they come. He’s nearly impossible to defend and Tennessee will have their hands full.
5. Andre Johnson, Houston Texans
His health has become a concern, but he should torment the Miami Dolphins in the opener.
6. Brandon Marshall, Chicago Bears
Gets to work with an actual QB again in Jay Cutler and faces the Indianapolis Colts. Good things are ahead.
7. Jordy Nelson, Green Bay Packers
He has big play ability and Aaron Rodgers’ confidence. Should be trouble for San Francisco.
8. Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys
I can’t explain his behavior off-the-field, but he is as much of a nightmare on the field. The Giants should be worried.
9. Roddy White, Atlanta Falcons
Julio may be stealing his thunder, but don’t write off Roddy yet. I doubt Kansas City is.
10. Greg Jennings, Green Bay Packers
The Pack have a ton of weapons, but Jennings always seems to get his.
11. Jeremy Maclin, Philadelphia Eagles
DeSean Jackson may have more explosive plays, but Maclin is the more consistent threat. He’ll try to exploit Cleveland.
12. A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals
Should have an amazing sophomore year, but Baltimore could slow him out of the gate.
13. Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals
Fitz probably calls Kurt Warner daily trying to get him to return. I love his ability, but his QB play hampers it.
14. Marques Colston, New Orleans Saints
There were some changes to the receiving corps in New Orleans but Colston should remain a primary option for Drew Brees.
15. Percy Harvin, Minnesota Vikings
Christian Ponder should be improved and the Vikings should lean on Percy more with Adrian Peterson likely out versus Jacksonville.
16. Brandon Lloyd, New England Patriots
He is Brady’s new deep threat. Look for Brady to take advantage of it.
17. Hakeem Nicks, New York Giants
Another one who’s health concerns me, but should be ready to roll.
18. Miles Austin, Dallas Cowboys
See Nicks, Hakeem.
19. Vincent Jackson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
V-Jax makes his debut against Carolina. His size and jumping ability should be on display.
20. Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers
While Mike Wallace gets up to speed, Brown should have his number called early and often.
21. DeSean Jackson, Philadelphia Eagles
Big time playmaker. Can score any time he touches the football.
22. Pierre Garcon, Washington Redskins
RGIII will have to air it out to keep up with the New Orleans Saints. Garcon should get plenty of looks.
23. Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City Chiefs
Chiefs will likely have to turn to the air to keep up with Atlanta’s high-powered offense.
24. Demaryius Thomas, Denver Broncos
Pittsburgh is tough, but Peyton should be able to hit Thomas on a big play or two.
25. Eric Decker, Denver Broncos
Decker may not make the big plays, but he should lead the team in targets.
26. Mike Wallace, Pittsburgh Steelers
It is a risk using Wallace following his holdout, but it doesn’t come without the possibility of great dividends.
27. Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis Colts
Luck’s security blanket should be leaned on against the Chicago Bears.
28. Steve Smith, Carolina Panthers
I am still a little hesitant that Smith (foot) won't be limited.
29. Torrey Smith, Baltimore Ravens
Should have a solid game against the Cincinnati Bengals to start off his breakout season.
30. Titus Young, Detroit Lions
With Megatron commanding so much attention, Young should flourish against the St. Louis Rams.
31. Nate Washington, Tennessee Titans
The New England Patriots will likely be better in the secondary, but I wouldn’t call them world beaters just yet.
32. Kendall Wright, Tennessee Titans
With Kenny Britt serving a suspension, Wright should make a nice NFL debut.
33. Justin Blackmon, Jacksonville Jaguars
We’ll see if Blaine Gabbert can have regular season success. They have a good first draw against the Minnesota Vikings. Blackmon looks the part.
34. Malcom Floyd, San Diego Chargers
Without Vincent Jackson, Floyd will get a chance to shine.
35. Brandon LaFell, Carolina Panthers
Steve Smith will either miss the game or be limited. So LaFell could start his sleeper campaign early.
36. Michael Crabtree, San Francisco 49ers
The Niners will try to slow down the Packers’ offense, but they will need to put some points on the board.
37. Stevie Johnson, Buffalo Bills
Has a date on Revis Island, but he doesn’t seem to be fazed by that fact.
38. Lance Moore, New Orleans Saints
Moore should get plenty of looks out of the slot.
39. Darrius Heyward-Bey, Oakland Raiders
Vindicated Al Davis some last year. He should be solid against the Chargers.
40. Robert Meachem, San Diego Chargers
It shouldn’t be long before Meachem is Rivers' first option outside.
41. Mike Williams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Williams should bounce back starting Week 1 against Carolina.
42. Randy Moss, San Francisco 49ers
Looks like he will split time with Mario. Should have no problem getting up for this game against an old foe in Green Bay.
43. Mario Manningham, San Francisco 49ers
Should see plenty of action in his debut against the Packers.
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