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Tiers are a better way to prepare for a draft than just simply doing player rankings. Rank and sort players into groups (tiers) based on what you expect their statistical production to be, regardless of how early or late other people are drafting them. Here are my wide receiver tiers from last year for points per reception (PPR) leagues. I am not going to defend or justify anything from 2011. This is just for a little perspective on how I went into drafts last August.
So, how do you define tiers within a position? It all comes down to your personal preference and how comfortable you are. Overall skill, injury risk, reliability and playing time should be taken into consideration for each player. Don’t get caught up too much with the ranking within the tiers. Generally all players within the same tier are comparable enough. Players are ranked within the tiers based on my personal preference and who I would select before another player in a draft.
Here are my 2012 tiers as of today. Wide receiver tiers can change significantly as draft day approaches. Players get injured or signed, and sometimes existing injury concerns become more pronounced. I picked a few players as examples to explain why I have them where I do.
Greg Jennings: Jennings is Green Bay’s No. 1 receiver, catching balls from the best quarterback in the league. He was on pace for his best-ever season before he missed a few games at the end of the season with a sprained knee. Jennings will pick up right where he left off as a reliable WR1.
Roddy White: White has yet to miss a game in his professional career. In the past five seasons, he averaged 1,284 yards and 8 1/2 touchdowns per season. The rumored role increase for Julio Jones is the only reason he is not in Tier 1 this year, but he is as safe as wide receivers come these days.
Victor Cruz: A lot of catches went his way last year. Cruz will most likely be a WR2 at best. He doesn’t have the height, size or speed to be an elite receiver. Unless Hakeem Nicks misses significant time or defenders continue to bat balls down into Cruz’s arms, look forward to matchups where your opponent has Victor Cruz as their No. 1 wide receiver.
Percy Harvin: Simply put, Harvin was really bad in the first half of the season, and really good in the second half. His season was very similar to Marshawn Lynch’s, but to lesser extremes on both ends. Harvin constantly battled with migraine issues, and didn’t score his first touchdown until Week 11! Tier 4 is loaded with players that have potential, although each with their own baggage. Draft at your own risk.
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