Fantasy Football Week 14: Rankings for the Top 80 Wide Receivers

Jeremy Alpert@@pyroman1acSenior Analyst IIDecember 7, 2012

Figuring out who the best wide receivers will be from week to week is a little easier than doing so for running backs at this point. But by no means is it simple, especially in Week 14 with all the byes completed and injuries galore throughout the league.

That's why those of us in the fantasy industry put together these lists for you—to give you an idea of what to expect from your players on any given Sunday.

With that, here are the weekend's top-80 wide receivers, along with some detailed analysis on the 10 best starts for the week.


80. Aldrick Robinson (vs. Bal)

79. Joseph Morgan (at NYG)

78. Mohamed Massaquoi (vs. KC)

77. Jonathan Baldwin (at Cle)

76. Marvin Jones (vs. Dal)

75. Harry Douglas (at Car)

74. T.J. Graham (vs. StL)

73. Jacoby Jones (at Was)

72. Austin Pettis (at Buf)

71. Michael Floyd (at Sea)

70. Domenik Hixon (vs. NO)

69. LaVon Brazill (vs. Ten)

68. Rod Streater (vs. Den, Thursday night)

67. Cole Beasley (at Cin)

66. Alshon Jeffery (at Min)

65. Doug Baldwin (vs. Ari)

64. Jason Avant (at TB)

63. Brian Hartline (at SF)

62. Juron Criner (vs. Den, Thursday night)

61. Rueben Randle (vs. NO)

60. Santana Moss (vs. Bal)

59. Kevin Walter (at NE, Monday night)

58. Andrew Hawkins (vs. Dal)

57. Greg Little (vs. KC)

56. Donald Jones (vs. StL)

55. Tiquan Underwood (vs. Phi)

54. Jarius Wright (vs. Chi)

53. Emmanuel Sanders (vs. SD)

52. Davone Bess (at SF)

51. Malcom Floyd (at Pit)

50. Justin Blackmon (vs. NYJ)

49. Riley Cooper (at TB)

48. Jeremy Kerley (at Jax)

47. Louis Murphy (vs. Atl)

46. Mike Thomas (at GB, Sunday night)

45. Kendall Wright (at Ind)

44. Dwayne Bowe (at Cle)

43. Denarius Moore (vs. Den, Thursday night)

42. Darrius Heyward-Bey (vs. Den, Thursday night)

41. Antonio Brown (vs. SD)

40. Donnie Avery (vs. Ten)

39. Nate Washington (at Ind)

38. Brandon Lloyd (vs. Hou, Monday night)

37. Jeremy Maclin (at TB)

36. Stevie Johnson (vs. StL)

35. Sidney Rice (vs. Ari)

34. Anquan Boldin (at Was)

33. James Jones (vs. Det, Sunday night)

32. Larry Fitzgerald (at Sea)

31. Miles Austin (at Cin)

30. Golden Tate (vs. Ari)

29. Mike Williams (vs. Phi)

28. Kenny Britt (at Ind)

27. Michael Crabtree (vs. Mia)

26. Josh Gordon (vs. KC)

25. Lance Moore (at NYG)

24. Danario Alexander (at Pit)

23. Mike Wallace (vs. SD)

22. Steve Smith (vs. Atl)

21. T.Y. Hilton (vs. Ten)

20. Eric Decker (at Oak, Thursday night)

19. Marques Colston (at NYG)

18. Pierre Garcon (vs. Bal)

17. Chris Givens (at Buf)

16. Hakeem Nicks (vs. NO)

15. Greg Jennings (vs. Det, Sunday night)

14. Torrey Smith (at Was)

13. Roddy White (at Car)

12. Wes Welker (vs. Hou, Monday night)

11. Randall Cobb (vs. Det, Sunday night)


Top 10 WR Plays for Week 14 

10. Reggie Wayne (vs. Ten)

Reggie Wayne has now dropped to third in the league in receptions (88), Brandon Marshall (91) and Wes Welker (92), but he still leads them all in targets with a whopping 152 on the season (12.7 per game).

He’s also third in receiving yards with 1,156, but he’s coming off his lowest total of the season with just 51 yards against the Lions last weekend.

However, this Sunday should be a good one for the old-timer with the Titans bringing their sub-par pass defense into town.

Tennessee has given up the second-most passing touchdowns and seventh-most passing yards per game this year, so Reggie should be just fine there.

Wayne also tends to play much better at home. Combined with the way Andrew Luck has been tossing the ball out there lately, I expect to see some of Wayne’s better numbers of 2012 this Sunday. 


9. Dez Bryant (at Cin)

Dez Bryant is going pretty ballistic at this point as he’s now caught 29 balls for 475 yards and six touchdowns over the Cowboys last four games. Sick!

He’s also catching nearly everything thrown his way, which is a major turnaround from being plagued by drops early in his career.

I’d have him up higher in my rankings this week if not for the strong play by the Bengals' secondary this year.

They’ve allowed the sixth-fewest fantasy points per game this season and just one wide receiver to go for 100 yards. I believe Dez Bryant is one of the few in the NFL right now who can buck that trend.

It’ll be tough, but Bryant should be able to put up WR1 numbers by the end of this game. 


8. Andre Johnson (at NE, Monday night)

Andre came back down to Earth against the Titans last weekend catching just five passes for 56 yards.

However, he wasn’t really needed for a Texans victory with the game well in hand by the middle of the second quarter.

This week will be a completely different story with the 11-1 Texans (6-0 on the road) traveling to Foxborough to take on a Patriots team on a six-game winning streak and the best point differential (plus-170, Houston is second with plus-130) in the league.

If the Patriots come out firing, as they usually do, the Texans will have to turn to the pass to stay within reach. Look for ‘Dre to see a whole lot of love from Matt Schaub this Monday night.

Considering the Patriots have allowed the fourth-most passing yards per game and seventh-most passing TDs this season, Johnson should be good for top-10 fantasy numbers here. 


7. Julio Jones (at Car)

Julio Jones’ averages on the road this season pretty much say it all.

In six games away from home, Jones has a monstrous weekly output of six catches for 102.3 yards and one touchdown per game.

He’s had either 100 yards and/or a TD in five of those six games and should be able to make it a sixth this Sunday against the Carolina Panthers.

Last year in Carolina Jones had 103 yards and two touchdowns. Those are numbers that could very well be matched in this one as the Panthers have had a tough time covering taller wide receivers all season. 


6. Brandon Marshall (at Min)

Holy crap has Brandon Marshall been on fire this season!

I figured on him being dominant at times considering his long-awaited return to play with Jay Cutler, but other than A.J. Green, Marshall might be the most consistent wide receiver in all of fantasy this season.

He’s recorded double-digit targets in all but three games and has nine or more catches in six of them.

Two weeks ago against this same Minnesota Vikings team, Brandon tied a season-high with 12 receptions on 17 targets, though he was unable to snag one for a touchdown.

If he sees even close to that many looks he should be able to get into the end zone and put up WR1 stats for the day. 


5. Victor Cruz (vs. NO)

It’s been a tale of two seasons for the Meadowlands Magician in 2012 as his hot start through the Giants first seven games was followed up by a dud of the last five weeks.

His rise back into the elite, however, starts this Sunday with the abysmal New Orleans Saints pass defense coming to town.

Cruz has always played better at home, but particularly so this season with averages of 6.2 catches, 86.8 yards and one TD through the team’s first six games in New Jersey.

Though the Saints defense has played better of late, they still allow the third-most fantasy points per game to wide receivers, so Cruz should be able to grab top-10 numbers this weekend.

If you need a last bit of confidence here, I’ll also tell you that Victor had his best fantasy day of 2011 against the Saints last year when he grabbed nine balls for 157 yards and two touchdowns. 


4. A.J. Green (vs. Dal)

Two weeks in a row without a touchdown? What in the world is wrong with this guy?

Well, since he still leads the league in both touchdowns and fantasy points, I’m going to go out on a limb and say he’s just fine.

This week Green will take on a Dallas Cowboys pass defense that has played very well this season, but also seems to have a bit of trouble with the taller wide receivers of the league.

A.J., of course, stands 6’4”, so though he may not go off for a ton of yards, I expect him to grab at least one red-zone touchdown before the final whistle blows. 


3. Vincent Jackson (vs. Phi)

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again—if there’s one thing Vincent Jackson does really well for his fantasy owners, it’s take full advantage of poor pass defenses.

The Philadelphia Eagles defense, though not bad on paper, has already mailed it in this season and look as lethargic as I’ve ever seen a defense look.

They’ve allowed six touchdowns to wide receivers in the last three weeks alone and 28 or more points in each of past six games since a Week 7 bye.

V-Jax has already reached the 1,000-yard mark for the season on a career-high 20.3 yards per catch average. He might actually be able to improve on that number with as many big plays as the Eagles have surrendered lately. 


2. Demaryius Thomas (at Oak, Thursday night)

Thomas has been a fantasy beast this season and is obviously very happy with his new quarterback, Peyton Manning.

He has five 100-yard games on the season and though he hasn’t had one in the last three games, he was still able to give his fantasy owners four touchdown catches over that span.

Demaryius has become Manning’s favorite target as he now has 69 catches for 1,114 yards and eight TDs.

In their first meeting with the Raiders, Thomas had five catches for 103 yards. Though he failed to grab a touchdown in that game, he’s on a three-game scoring streak and should be able to extend it to a fourth tonight.

Thomas is a must-start this week and every week going forward as it seems he can be trusted for the remainder of the season. 


1. Calvin Johnson (at GB, Sunday night)

It seems Calvin Johnson’s transformation back into the inhuman, space-wandering Megatron is complete.

The minor malfunctions experienced through the first half of the season have long since been repaired, as his otherworldly fantasy numbers can henceforth be counted upon.

Calvin is currently on pace for an NFL record 1,904 receiving yards, which would best Jerry Rice’s mark of 1,848 yards set in 1995. He would need 105.3 yards a game over the last quarter of the season to do it, but that number seems rather paltry with the way he’s been playing of late.

This Sunday night, the Lions travel to Lambeau Field to face the NFC North-leading Packers.

In 10 career games against Green Bay, Johnson has averaged 94.4 yards per game. He’s also grabbed 11 touchdowns.

In fact, he failed to score a touchdown in just two of those matchups, so there’s no reason to believe another prime WR1 performance won’t be coming this weekend.


For rankings at all the positions, check out the: Pyro® Rankings.

For advice on who to start, check out the: Pyro® Start 'Em Sit 'Em

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