Fantasy Football 2012 Week 1 Rankings: Top 50 Wide Receivers

Eric StashinSenior Writer ISeptember 4, 2012

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 07:  Calvin Johnson #81 of the Detroit Lions celebrates after scoring a touchdown in the second quarter against 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 Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

How does Mike Wallace’s holdout affect his status on the rankings?  How should we value injured receivers like Hakeem Nicks and Miles Austin?   Which under-the-radar options should be on your radar for Week 1?  Let’s answer all those questions by taking a look at our rankings:

  1. Calvin Johnson – Detroit Lions – vs. St. Louis
  2. Victor Cruz – New York Giants – vs. Dallas
  3. Andre Johnson – Houston Texans – vs. Miami
  4. Roddy White – Atlanta Falcons – at Kansas City
  5. Larry FitzgeraldArizona Cardinals – vs. Seattle
  6. Dez Bryant – Dallas Cowboys – at New York Giants
  7. Wes WelkerNew England Patriots – at Tennessee
  8. Greg Jennings – Green Bay Packers – vs. San Francisco
  9. Julio Jones – Atlanta Falcons – at Kansas City
  10. Hakeem Nicks – New York Giants – vs. Dallas
  11. Brandon MarshallChicago Bears – vs. Indianapolis
  12. Jordy Nelson – Green Bay Packers – vs. San Francisco
  13. Steve Smith – Carolina Panthers – at Tampa Bay
  14. Miles Austin – Dallas Cowboys – at New York Giants
  15. A.J. Green – Cincinnati Bengals – at Baltimore
  16. Torrey Smith – Baltimore Ravens – vs. Cincinnati
  17. Percy Harvin – Minnesota Vikings – vs. Jacksonville
  18. Marques Colston – New Orleans Saints – vs. Washington
  19. Vincent Jackson – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – vs. Carolina
  20. Dwayne Bowe – Kansas City Chiefs – vs. Atlanta
  21. Antonio Brown – Pittsburgh Steelers – at Denver
  22. Reggie Wayne – Indianapolis Colts – at Chicago
  23. Jeremy Maclin – Philadelphia Eagles – at Cleveland
  24. Stevie Johnson – Buffalo Bills – at New York Jets
  25. Eric Decker – Denver Broncos – vs. Pittsburgh
  26. Malcolm Floyd – San Diego Chargers – at Oakland
  27. Pierre Garcon – Washington Redskins – at New Orleans
  28. DeSean Jackson – Philadelphia Eagles – at Cleveland
  29. Demaryius Thomas – Denver Broncos – vs. Pittsburgh
  30. Brandon Lloyd – New England Patriots – at Tennessee
  31. Nate Washington – Tennessee Titans – vs. New England
  32. Mike Wallace – Pittsburgh Steelers – at Denver
  33. Titus Young – Detroit Lions – vs. St. Louis
  34. Darrius Heyward-Bey – Oakland Raiders – vs. San Diego
  35. Greg Little – Cleveland Browns – vs. Philadelphia
  36. Justin Blackmon – Jacksonville Jaguars – at Minnesota
  37. Santoino Holmes – New York Jets – vs. Buffalo
  38. Anquan Boldin – Baltimore Ravens – vs. Cincinnati
  39. Kendall Wright – Tennessee Titans – vs. New England
  40. Mike Williams – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – vs. Carolina
  41. Michael CrabtreeSan Francisco 49ers – at Green Bay
  42. Laurent Robinson – Jacksonville Jaguars – at Minnesota
  43. Davone Bess – Miami Dolphins – at Houston
  44. Santana Moss – Washington Redskins – at New Orleans
  45. Denarius Moore – Oakland Raiders – vs. San Diego
  46. Sidney Rice – Seattle Seahawks – at Arizona
  47. Steve Smith – St. Louis Rams – at Detroit
  48. Robert Meachem – San Diego Chargers – at Oakland
  49. Lance Moore – New Orleans Saints – vs. Washington
  50. Brandon LaFell – Carolina Panthers – at Tampa Bay


  • We all know the Giants secondary is questionable, especially with the injuries it's now experiencing, which will make both Dez Bryant and Mile Austin (if healthy) favorable options.  Of course, the Giants’ vaunted pass rush could help to limit Tony Romo and company’s ability to produce.  Just be careful before we dub them top five options.
  • If Hakeem Nicks is healthy (and it appears that he is), he will get another chance to rack up some big plays against the Cowboys.  In two games against Dallas last season Nicks had 13 receptions for 239 yards and one TD while his teammate Victor Cruz had 12 catches for 252 yards and one TD.  Yes, the Cowboys made an effort to improve their secondary, but there is every reason to think that the Giants duo will once again wreak havoc.  While the health concerns have Cruz ahead on the rankings, both are must use options and arguably WR1.
  • San Francisco’s defense may be the best in the league, but they are much better against the run than the pass.  Plus, does anyone really believe they can shut down the Packers passing attack?  Slow it, maybe, but not stop it.  Greg Jennings and Jordy Nelson should remain top options despite the matchup.
  • Normally the Chiefs boast one of the elite defensive backs in the league in Brandon Flowers, but right now it is a huge question mark if he will play.  He missed the entire preseason with a foot injury so, even if he does play, will he really be 100 percent?  We would’ve been a little bit skeptical about Roddy White and/or Julio Jones, but with Flowers not likely at full strength they both could be in for impressive days.
  • Can the Cardinals QB get the ball to Larry Fitzgerald in order to make plays?  He always manages to produce, no matter who is throwing the ball, so don’t shy away.  Of course, an elite QB would make him that much more appealing.
  • Steve Smith’s status on these rankings is contingent on his health, of course.  If he’s 100 percent he is a definite WR1.
  • While A.J. Green should have a big season, in his one game against the Ravens in 2011 he managed just two receptions and 26 yards.  It’s just one game so you don’t want to make too big of a deal out of it, but it wouldn’t be shocking if he got off to a slow start.  While most weeks he will be a WR1, I’d consider him more of a WR2 in Week 1.
  • Most weeks I would pick Demaryius Thomas over Eric Decker.  However against the Steelers, where the big play may not be as readily available, I would take Decker.  That said, both players are going to be borderline WR2 in all formats with Peyton Manning throwing them the ball.
  • How much will we get out of Mike Wallace after he held out and missed a ton of the preseason?  Time will tell, but I would think it may take a week or two to get him up to speed.

Make sure to check out all of our Week 1 rankings: