Jordan Gingery
Fantasy Tiers: Wide Receivers


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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.

2011

WR

Tier 1

Team


WR

Tier 5

Team

1

Andre Johnson

Houston


25

Austin Collie

Indianapolis

2

Roddy White

Atlanta


26

Steve Smith

Carolina

3

Calvin Johnson

Detroit


27

Percy Harvin

Minnesota

4

Hakeem Nicks

NYG


28

Chad Ochocinco

NE

5

Larry Fitzgerald

Arizona


29

Santana Moss

Washington





30

Julio Jones

Atlanta


Tier 2



31

Sidney Rice

Seattle

6

Greg Jennings

GB


32

Pierre Garcon

Indianapolis

7

Vincent Jackson

SD


33

Plaxico Burress

NYJ

8

Mike Wallace

Pittsburgh





9

Wes Welker

NE



Tier 6


10

Miles Austin

Dallas


34

Danny Amendola

STL

11

DeSean Jackson

Philadelphia


35

Lance Moore

NO

12

Brandon Marshall

Miami


36

Malcom Floyd

SD

13

Reggie Wayne

Indianapolis


37

Mike Thomas

Jacksonville





38

Mike Sims-Walker

STL


Tier 3



39

A.J. Green

Cincinnati

14

Brandon Lloyd

Denver


40

Johnny Knox

Chicago

15

Dwayne Bowe

KC


41

Roy Williams

Chicago

16

Jeremy Maclin

Philadelphia


42

Hines Ward

Pittsburgh

17

Mike Williams

TB


43

Lee Evans

Baltimore





44

Jacoby Ford

Oakland


Tier 4



45

Braylon Edwards

SF

18

Marques Colston

New Orleans


46

Josh Morgan

SF

19

Dez Bryant

Dallas





20

Anquan Boldin

Baltimore



Tier 7


21

Kenny Britt

Tennessee


47

Robert Meachem

NO

22

Steve Johnson

Buffalo


48

Steve Breaston

KC

23

Santonio Holmes

NYJ


49

Nate Burleson

Detroit

24

Mario Manningham

NYG


50

Deion Branch

NE





51

Kevin Walter

Houston





52

Eddie Royal

Denver





53

Davone Bess

Miami





54

Riley Cooper

Philadelphia





55

Andre Roberts

Arizona

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.

2012

WR

Tier 1

Team


WR

Tier 5

Team

1

Calvin Johnson

Detroit


29

Reggie Wayne

Indianapolis

2

Larry Fitzgerald

Arizona


30

Torrey Smith

Baltimore

3

Greg Jennings

GB


31

Kenny Britt

Tennessee

4

Wes Welker

NE


32

Sidney Rice

Seattle





33

Santonio Holmes

NYJ


Tier 2



34

Justin Blackmon

Jacksonville

5

Roddy White

Atlanta


35

Denarius Moore

Oakland

6

Andre Johnson

Houston


36

Pierre Garcon

Washington

7

Hakeem Nicks

NYG





8

Brandon Marshall

Chicago



Tier 6


9

A.J. Green

Cincinnati


37

Brian Quick

STL





38

Anquan Boldin

Baltimore


Tier 3



39

Michael Floyd

Arizona

10

Marques Colston

NO


40

Malcom Floyd

SD

11

Julio Jones

Atlanta


41

Lance Moore

NO

12

Dez Bryant

Dallas


42

Austin Collie

Indianapolis

13

Mike Wallace

Pittsburgh


43

Randy Moss

SF

14

Victor Cruz

NYG


44

Titus Young

Detroit

15

Jordy Nelson

GB


45

Danny Amendola

STL

16

Steve Smith

Carolina


46

Rueben Randle

New York Giants

17

Jeremy Maclin

Philadelphia


47

Mike Williams

TB

18

Antonio Brown

Pittsburgh










Tier 7



Tier 4



48

Davone Bess

Miami

19

Miles Austin

Dal


49

Greg Little

Cleveland

20

Percy Harvin

Minnesota


50

Santana Moss

Washington

21

Brandon Lloyd

NE


51

Darius Heyward-Bey

Oakland

22

Steve Johnson

Buffalo


52

Nate Washington

Tennessee

23

Vincent Jackson

TB


53

Golden Tate

Seattle

24

Dwayne Bowe

KC


54

Mario Manningham

SF

25

Eric Decker

Denver


55

Earl Bennett

Chicago

26

DeSean Jackson

Philadelphia


56

Steve Breaston

KC

27

Robert Meachem

SD


57

Mohamed Massaquoi

Cleveland

28

Demaryrius Thomas

Denver


58

Devery Henderson

NO

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.