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Fantasy Tiers: Wide Receivers

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.

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