Fantasy Football Player Analysis: Wide receiver

by Cory J. Bonini on July 23, 2012 @ 17:42:00 PDT

 

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7) Roddy White | Atlanta Falcons | 6-foot, 211 pounds | 8th year

2012 Projected NFL/Fantasy Football Statistics

Rec Rec Yds Rec TD Run Att Run Yds Rush TD Tot TD
Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi

Fantasy analysis: It is a rarity to call a receiver coming off back-to-back 100-reception seasons "undervalued," but White fits the bill. He has scored 18 touchdowns over the last two years (29 spanning the past three), while topping 1,150 yards in five straight campaigns. Atlanta will be opening up their offense in a big way, and Matt Ryan is coming into his own as a borderline top-flight fantasy quarterback. Last year's rookie sensation, Julio Jones, only further helps White's chances, as teams will not be able to commit as much defensive coverage shading to White's side. The AFC South is hardly a defensive conference. White is a safe choice as a No. 1 receiver and has a fair amount of upside because of the philosophy change under new OC Dirk Koetter. Fantasy owners are drafting R-Dubs as the 14th receiver off the board, on average, in the mid-fourth round. That is the definition of a steal, my friends.

8) Wes Welker | New England Patriots | 5-foot-9, 185 pounds | 9th year

2012 Projected NFL/Fantasy Football Statistics

Rec Rec Yds Rec TD Run Att Run Yds Rush TD Tot TD
Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi
06-757503015

Wes Welker, WR, New England Patriots

Fantasy analysis: Welker's contract issue is really a non-issue, as far as we're concerned. He will report, Tom Brady will throw to him (a lot), and fantasy owners will rejoice. In the meantime, take advantage of his late fourth-round ADP, if you're an early drafter. Welker is coming off a career-high nine-TD season, at 30 years old, no less. He is Brady's favorite target and has such a knack for finding the soft spot in zone coverage. The veteran wideout is one of the top WR choices in leagues that reward for receptions, but his catch tally is likely to take a step backward in '12. He has another set of hands to contend with (Brandon Lloyd), and a distracting offseason could play a factor. Draft Welker as early as the high third round in PPR getups.

9) Dez Bryant | Dallas Cowboys | 6-foot-2, 225 pounds | 3rd year

2012 Projected NFL/Fantasy Football Statistics

Rec Rec Yds Rec TD Run Att Run Yds Rush TD Tot TD
Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi

Fantasy analysis: There is no denying Bryant's raw talent, and he played remarkably well in his second year for not having an offseason. Big things are expected of him, and we're not alone in this, but how he handles the pressure will be the telltale sign of his potential for true greatness. To this point, the pressure has apparently already taken its toll, as he has been charged with domestic violence for attacking his own mother. It is hard to imagine Bryant escaping discipline from above with following his latest transgression. He snatched 63 balls for 928 yards and scored nine times in 2011, missing one game as he battled a deep thigh bruise along the way. Bryant's individual talent and physical skill set are arguably second to only Calvin Johnson's. A healthy Miles Austin will also help him greatly, since defenses will not be able to solely focus on stopping No. 88. As long as he stays healthy and isn't suspended, Bryant is an elite fantasy receiver in the making. Draft him as a low-end No. 1 or ideal second, only if he somehow comes away unscathed from this latest problem; he typically goes in the fifth round.

10) Andre Johnson | Houston Texans | 6-foot-3, 225 pounds | 10th year

2012 Projected NFL/Fantasy Football Statistics

Rec Rec Yds Rec TD Run Att Run Yds Rush TD Tot TD
Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi

Fantasy analysis: Injuries have derailed Johnson's career, to the point some people probably forget just how good he is. An offseason knee scope was the latest in a lengthy list of procedures for Johnson, but he should be 100 percent for Week 1. AJ is one of the most physically gifted receivers in the NFL, but you have to count on him missing time. He has missed time in three of the past five seasons. At 31 years old, how much does he have left in the tank? We think a few good years, if his body holds up. Houston's offense has evolved into a run-heavy approach, but that should become more balanced with a healthy Johnson in the mix. Consider him a classic boom-or-bust pick that really could make your squad a contender or have you cursing his name. Johnson goes, on average, in the early third round.

11) Julio Jones | Atlanta Falcons | 6-foot-3, 220 pounds | 2nd year

2012 Projected NFL/Fantasy Football Statistics

Rec Rec Yds Rec TD Run Att Run Yds Rush TD Tot TD
Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi

Fantasy analysis: The sophomore receiver has lofty standards to live up to if he wants to please fantasy owners in 2012. Jones is going before Roddy White in fantasy drafts, albeit only by a few picks in the same round. Jones has the size, speed and athleticism to dominate in the NFL, as he showed flashes of in 2011. We are not quite ready to anoint him the top receiving target in Atlanta, but this offseason's installation of a wide-open passing attack will enable the youngster to post strong fantasy numbers even as a second fiddle. The Falcons will chuck the ball more than ever under Mike Smith's watch, and few defenders can stop Jones one on one. Injuries are a notable concern with him, and you'll have to pay a steep price to find out if 2012 is his breakout year. Jones goes in the fourth round, on average.

12) Hakeem Nicks | New York Giants | 6-foot, 215 pounds | 4th year

2012 Projected NFL/Fantasy Football Statistics

Rec Rec Yds Rec TD Run Att Run Yds Rush TD Tot TD
Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi

Fantasy analysis: Nicks is coming back from a fractured foot that required offseason surgery. All signs point to him being ready for Week 1, if not training camp. His conditioning may be shaky early in the season, but as long as he can remain on the field, Nicks' physicality puts him among the best WR1 options fantasy owners could ask for. He will come cheaper than warranted in most cases, since fantasy owners can be scared of injured players, especially those with a history of ailments. He has averaged 77.5 receptions, 1,122 yards and nine touchdowns per year in the last two seasons, missing four games in total. Watch Nicks' offseason recovery process. He will fluctuate in our rankings as more information becomes available. Draft him as a strong No. 2 if you can, as he is coming off the board in the fourth round.

Fantasy football wide receiver analysis 13-18 awaits you.

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About Cory J. Bonini

Cory is KFFL's General Manager. In late 2002, he joined the KFFL staff as a research analyst and has been involved in fantasy sports since 1996. A member of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, as well as Fantasy Sports Writers Association, Bonini has been featured in print, on radio and on scores of websites. Bonini co-hosted Big Lead Sports on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio from 2011 to 2012.

Bonini was recognized with the 2010 Best Article in Print Award from the FSWA and was a finalist for the same award in 2011. In '11, he finished first overall in the FSWA NFL experts challenge that featured 60 of the industry's best competitors.

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