2012 Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Projections August 16, 2012  |  Jeff

08/28 Update: More preseason action means more movement in the projections of fake football’s pass catchers…

Wes Welker: I still believe Welker will be a solid option this season, but he was lowered slightly in the continuing tinkering of New England’s WR/TE projections.

Torrey Smith: Smith is going to be awesome this season, so get him where you can. The young Raven has been great this preseason and the sky is the limit for his production.

Austin Collie: The Colts claim Collie will be ready for week 1, which seems both impossible and insane. Very risky, but a worthy risk in PPR leagues in case he can stay healthy.

Justin Blackmon: Blackmon has looked great this preseason, and is a nice late round pick. Gabbert seems to trust the rookie quite a bit thus far.

Kendall Wright: Like Blackmon, I have been grabbing Wright late in drafts. Britt will be out for a bit, leaving some open looks for Wright. Solid upside is always nice.

The Great Julio Jones: Twitter’s favorite athlete received a small bump below. I am not ready to call him the 2nd best receiver in the NFL, but after watching him this preseason, it’s not crazy to think he could end up there relatively soon. Atlanta is going to be awfully fun to watch this season.

More updates to come…


Questions? Comments? Concerns? Let them fly in the comments, or hit me on Twitter @Orangebru.

13 Responses

  1. Jeff says:

    @GORD: I think it makes perfect sense. I haven’t watched them closely, but I haven’t heard much about the rookies Sanu or Jones impressing. Like you said, behind Green and Gresham, Tate could be in line for a solid number of looks. As long as Tate’s play stays consistent, and Dalton doesn’t encounter any sort of sophomore slump, he could be a nice surprise.

  2. GORD says:

    time for the next one… #19 Brandon Tate Bengals… AJ Green is going to attract Dbl Cov so someone gets the single. Dalton as you know is only one of 4 rookie QB’s to have thrown at least 20 TD’s and of the 4, he threw the fewest INT’s… I am thinking the TD’s will be up to 26 this yr with Green catching 8-10 & Gresham 6-8. Dalton attempted 516 passes last yr. 115 targets to Green – I have that going up to approx 130+. Gresham had 83 – I have that going up to 95+. That leaves 291 att’s & 10 TD’s going somewhere else. Tate has looked very good in pre-season. If he sees 95 targets at 55% completion rate and conservatively 6 TD’s, his stat line will be something like 52/700/6 = 9.88 Fantasy Pt Ave over 16 games in PPR league. That puts him in there with Wright, Lafell, Washington & Baldwin. Is there a reason my thinking doesn’t make sense?

    Thanks Jeff

  3. Jeff says:

    @Gord: No problem at all. I am doing an update to all my projections/rankings this evening, and Cobb is a guy I’ll look a little closer at. There has been lots of talk this summer about his athleticism and potential in that offense. He seems great and certainly could produce with Rodgers at the helm, but he still has to battle with Jennings, Nelson, and Finley for targets…and GB still has a couple other old crusty guys (Driver/Jones) in the picture as well. I think if you wanted to pick him up for a few bucks, or a late round pick, that wouldn’t be a bad idea at all, but I have a hard time predicting a big time season for a guy with that much competition for looks….although that offense is one that can support multiple fantasy stars (like NE). I would temper expectations for him right off the bat, but he certainly could be a big producer in the future as he matures, or in the case of a Jennings/Jordy injury. Anyway, through all that rambling, I would consider him still just a late round flier type guy in terms of fantasy this season, but an absolute buy if you have any sort of keeper/dynasty set up in your leagues.

  4. Gord says:

    to begin with, thank you Jeff for your time and input. Went through the list and could not find Cobb. As per ROTO, in 2011 Cobb was targetted 31 times, caught a huge % @ 25 and most importantly, led all packers WR’s (and was near the top in the NFL as a whole) with 7.5 yrds after catch (YAC) I coach football and if I had a kid like this, I would be trying everything I could to get him the ball.


  5. Jeff says:

    @Jordan: Good question. Projecting players like Jordy is difficult, due to their breakout performances and statistical dependence on long plays. First, Jordy scored 15 touchdowns last year. The only other 2 players to catch more than 11 TDs were Gronk(17) and Megatron(16). However, the major difference with those guys, is that they both caught over 90 passes, while Jordy caught 68. That makes his touchdown to catch ratio seem a little hard to duplicate. Of course, Rodgers will throw a ton of TDs again, but I think it could easily be Jennings or Finley that end up with monster totals instead of Jordy. As for the yardage aspect, I think around 1k is fair. It is hard for me to predict an increase for a breakout guy like Nelson, who was around 1250 last year. Granted, it is definitely possible, but I think that around 1k and 8 td is reasonable. I also expect Jones/Cobb to be a bit more involved this year, and expect Finley to be more productive. Hope that clears things up a bit.

  6. Jeff says:

    @Gord: Ya, Smith could come out of camp as Bradford’s top target. Still tough to predict at this point with so many receiving options there, but if he continues performing well this preseason, that’s not out of the question. And I agree, Bradford staying upright will be big for the Rams.

    As for Gordon, it sounds like lots of teams did like him, as he has good size/skill for a young WR. The question will be how quickly he can get back into the flow after missing all of last year with a transfer. I still think that Cleveland pass offense will be shaky, but there isn’t anyone else there that is loaded with experience. I think in real deep leagues he good be worth a shot, and definitely in keeper/dynasty leagues. He could be one of those guys that improves as the season progresses and he gets more comfortable.

  7. Jordan says:

    May I ask why you have Jordy Nelson ranked so low? He had an outstanding 2011 season and it is fair to expect roughly around 100 targets. Not only will he see opportunities, but he was a part of a lot of “big” plays for the Packers. Most of Rodgers’ targets will be consumed by Jennings, Finley and Nelson. After that, James Jones and Randall Cobb will eat up some looks, and the rest will be spread out. I think 8-10 touchdowns is fair for Jordy, since Rodgers is projected around 40 TD’s, and it makes sense he will end up in the endzone on about 1/4 of those balls. However, Rodgers is also projected in the 4500-4750 yards range. Nelson ends up snagging a lot of yards in his “big” plays. Also, don’t you think teams will be keying in defensively on Jennings, allowing the same opportunities for Nelson this year? Just looking for your take on this situation.

  8. Jordan says:

    Can I get your opinion/reasoning for having Jordy Nelson projected so low? It seems like he will be targeted nearly 100 times, and made a lot of big plays for the Packers last year, which would leave me to presume he would easily be a 1,000 yard receiver… Jennings and Finley will suck up a lot of targets from Rodgers, but James Jones and Randall Cobb aren’t pounded with passes. You don’t think Nelson will have another standout year, especially when defenses key on Jennings?

  9. Gord says:

    regarding Smith… only 2 yrs ago he was a pro bowler… now he is 2 yrs removed from surgery and “ROTO” comments he could easily become Bradford’s fav… having said that, what worries me now is Bradford is still complaining about his ankle. I think Rams are in for another tough yr I’m afraid.

    another intriguing WR that is hard to find info on is Josh Gordon. Early (2 weeks) camp reports say he is turning heads along with Little. I am very interested in Clev WR’s because I think Weeden (the most accurate of the 3 “R”‘s @ 74%) could deliver quite a few balls on target and, they should be playing from behind quite a bit.

    Any comments on Gordon?

    thx Jeff


  10. Jeff says:

    @Gord: In a league as deep as yours, there may be some value to be had in STL, but I cannot tell you which of these wide outs will emerge. There are just SO MANY to choose from, and all are capable but not spectacular. I think the rookie Quick and your first choice, Amendola, would be my top two guesses for production. Smith was a decent option with NYG but that was a few years ago now. There are just too many options amongst Quick, Amendola, Givens, Smith, Pettis, Salas, and Gibson to make a definitive projection at this point. Hopefully training camp will give us a better window into who will emerge.

  11. Gord says:

    Further on the Amendola Subject…. The Slot receiver in Ramsville is very intriguing. I have looked more into this because I do think there is a great PPR player there rteady to come out that many will not draft.

    Having said that, Steve Smith is a much better Athlete than Amendola. Bleacher has made a comment “if Bradford could make Amendola an 85 catch star, what could he do for smith?” Your comments on Streve Smith please.

    Thanks Jeff

  12. Jeff says:

    @Gord: In a league that deep, he is definitely worth a shot. The PPR factor helps him, as he should receive some grabs out of the slot. My main reservation with Amendola is that after the rookie Brian Quick, the Rams are jam packed with mediocre receivers. Givens (another rookie) is in the picture, as well as Greg Salas, who does some work in the slot as well. I would try to follow the St. Louis news in camp this summer to try to get a better feel on who will emerge as the starters at WR in that offense. Amendola may end up with a decent role, who knows.

  13. Gord says:

    I notice Danny Amednola is not mentioned in your top 50 for WR porjections. I was very high on him last year as I am in a PPR league … 20 team starting 2 WR’s …. so we get quite deep. And this year I think he has a great chance to be a welker like possession slot WR with Gibson & Quick on the outside. He won’t score many TD’s and ADOT is short but, I’m thinking 80/ 845 & 4 TD’s is not out of the question?

    That puts just under 12 fanatsy points/gm ave… very serviceable as a WR3 – bye week fillin.

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