Fantasy Football Player Analysis: Wide receiver
Fantasy analysis: The sure-handed veteran followed offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, with whom he has enjoyed his greatest NFL success, to the Patriots this offseason. Lloyd has considerable familiarity with the system and will benefit from Tom Brady's precision. There are a lot of mouths to feed in this offense, and Lloyd has to build chemistry with the star quarterback. Expect big-play production that may come in spurts. Lloyd's ADP is the seventh round.
Fantasy analysis: In 2011 Boldin posted a career-best 15.6 yards-per-reception average. Always an injury risk, the vet could see fewer targets from Joe Flacco with an emergence by Torrey Smith. Our expectations for Smith remain tempered. You can find acceptable value in Boldin as a third fantasy wideout, and he is a great fourth candidate. His best worth is in PPR leagues, and he typically comes off the board in the 10th round.
Fantasy analysis: Peyton Manning really hasn't had a weapon like Thomas at his disposal before. Size, speed and physicality are the hallmarks of his game. Thomas hasn't worked as closely with No. 18 this offseason as teammate Eric Decker has, and we're hesitant to put a lot of weight into endorsing him, or Manning, for that matter. Thomas probably will go earlier than we feel is warranted, but if you want to roll the dice, his typical draft placement is a spendy sixth-round choice.
2012 Projected NFL/Fantasy Football Statistics
Fantasy analysis: Britt is coming off an ACL tear after starting the 2011 season at a torrid pace. He had another procedure done earlier in the offseason to help improve his recovery. The fourth-year receiver underwent yet another surgery in the offseason. He had his other knee scoped in June; Britt may not be on the field in time for the start of training camp, but he has a shot at playing Week 1. Temper your expectations. Britt seems to be a little overvalued right now (early seventh-round ADP), and you cannot forget his lengthy history of off-the-field mishaps when assessing his risk-reward ratio. Britt's latest altercation may result in a suspension. He may be back to form late in the season, but it is tough to recommend taking a chance on him at this time.
Fantasy analysis: Young's rookie season was promising. He finished with a 48-607-6 line in this high-flying offense. Nate Burleson remains the starter opposite Calvin Johnson, but Young could surpass him at some point. Young moves all over the place, which helps create mismatches. He is an intriguing sleeper choice as a potential breakout player because of his speed and the volume of single-coverage he will see. Young's ADP is the middle of the 11th round.
Fantasy analysis: Moore is a trusted target of Drew Brees and should benefit from the loss of Robert Meachem in the free agency. The smallish, injury-prone receiver has a knack for finding the end zone through his ability to exploit soft spots in zone coverage. New Orleans' already aerial-slanted offense could pass a lot more this year if the defense suffers from personnel loses. Moore is a somewhat undervalued WR3 with an ADP of the late 10th round.
Fantasy analysis: The young Raiders wideout caught five touchdown passes last year and displayed big-play ability (18.7 average). A full offseason should help him gain chemistry with Carson Palmer, but Moore enters a fairly complex West Coast offense. The talent is there, and he could break out as early as this year. Look for him in the middle rounds as a WR3, but he is a safer No. 4 fantasy receiver because of his inexperience and big-play nature. He comes off the board in the early ninth round, on average.Â
Fantasy analysis: LaFell will be asked to step up in his third year, as Cam Newton needs more targets that he can rely on. Offensive philosophy could keep his numbers in check, however, and the Panthers traded for Louis Murphy this offseason. LaFell has downfield presence and could be a surprise standout in 2012. Draft him as a No. 5 receiver gamble in the waning rounds of your draft.Â
Fantasy analysis: If physical talent equaled instant success, Baldwin already would be an NFL star. He has battled maturity issues in recent years and will be playing in a mundane offense with a pedestrian quarterback. The sophomore is a risk-reward pick and could be a steal at the right price. His 13th-round ADP is about as early as conservative drafters should consider him.
Fantasy analysis: Ocho is coming off his worst pro season and is hungry for success in South Beach. At 34 years old, his best days are behind him, but that doesn't mean he is as awful as what you witnessed last year. Miami may have to throw a lot this year, regardless of the quarterback, and No. 85 has mild upside. He is a No. 5 or even sixth fantasy receiver - better suited for reception-rewarding leagues. He a late-round flier pick.
Fantasy analysis: Despite being a first-round pick, Floyd may not begin the year as a starter. However, we expect raw talent to eventually win out, and it is tantalizing to think what he could be against single coverage opposite Larry Fitzgerald. Watch Floyd's status throughout the preseason, as he may come down in our rankings. Draft with caution. His 11th-round ADP is aggressive.
Fantasy analysis: St. Louis desperately needs help at receiver, and Quick could be first in line to step up. He will vie for a starting gig and has a physical presence that should make him productive in the red zone. He is coming from Appalachian State, which makes the transition to the NFL likely a steep one for him. Draft him as a gamble late in the draft.
Fantasy analysis: The veteran enjoyed a breakout season in 2011 by snagging 74 receptions for 1,023 yards and scoring eight total times. He has found the end zone 19 times in the last three years and displayed a lot of chemistry with Jake Locker last year. Washington is overvalued as a ninth-round pick, on average. It is rare a wideout finally puts it all together in his seventh year. Kendall Wright and an eventually healthy Kenny Britt will keep Washington's numbers suppressed.
Fantasy analysis: We always knew Robinson had legitimate NFL-caliber talent, but he was in an ideal situation to excel last year. As Dallas' No. 3, L-Rob had no pressure to succeed and developed into a great red zone target for Tony Romo. He will have more of the spotlight on him in Jacksonville, and Blaine Gabbert is no Romo. The Jags have suspect and inexperienced targets around Robinson, too. He is only worth drafting as a late value pick to fill out your receiving corps.
Fantasy analysis: An elbow injury sidelined Amendola for 15 games last year after a near breakout 2010 season put him on the fantasy map. He is a great possession receiver and has sure hands for clutch situations. Finding the end zone may be a problem for Amendola, and he now enters his third offense in as many years. His value is much greater in point-per-reception leagues. Draft Amendola as a WR4 in PPR and WR5 otherwise.
Fantasy analysis: Bess is a classic possession receiver with little big-play ability. He has natural hands and should benefit from the addition of Chad Johnson. We expect a rebound from the Hawaii product, but he remains nothing more than a low-end No. 4 PPR commodity. Non-PPR owners can land him as a fifth wideout, but his upside is so limited we believe he should be reserved exclusively for PPR setups.
Fantasy analysis: Reports suggest Moss is the best receiver in Niners camp and hasn't lost much, if any, of his trademark speed. We are concerned about Alex Smith being able to get him the football, and Moss didn't exactly look like his former self the last time we watched him play. Draft him as a No. 4 fantasy receiver; he doesn't come with much risk as a fifth. Moss' ADP is Round 12.Â
Fantasy analysis: Baldwin came out of nowhere last year - well, Stanford, to be fair - and hauled in 51 balls as a rookie. He may have a new quarterback and a healthy Sidney Rice to contend with. Nevertheless, we like his chances of being a WR4 in PPR leagues. You can usually land him around the 11th round, but we recommend waiting on him as long as you can because of the uncertainty in Seattle.
Fantasy analysis: Hill is a gifted physical specimen, but he comes from a spread offense and has little actual experience as anything other than being a deep threat. Expect a few big plays, but the rook will probably be too frustrating to play with any consistency. Draft him as a fifth fantasy receiver in deep leagues if you're looking to gamble.
Fantasy analysis: This very well could be a make-or-break season for Tate if he wants to remain with the Seahawks long term. He isn't a very good route runner, struggles with his hands at times and has failed to gain consistent separation at the next level. Tate is worthy of a speculative pick late in your draft, but we have little reason to believe he will break out.
Fantasy analysis: The veteran receiver probably won't be on your fantasy radar in 2012, but he deserves consideration as late-round roster filler. Moss is just one year removed from an 1,115-yard season. He has a better quarterback situation, in theory, and more help around him. Moss is a WR5 in deep formats.
Fantasy analysis: The Packers have a plethora of weapons at Aaron Rodgers' disposal, and Jones could be the primary guy any given week. Figuring out which week that is could be a nightmare for fantasy owners. A great deal of Jones' production came in two games, including while Greg Jennings was on the mend late in the year. Jones has potential for more work if something happens to Donald Driver; consider the former a No. 5 fantasy receiver.
Fantasy analysis: Blackmon has to learn an NFL offense, build chemistry with a suspect quarterback, overcome off-the-field issues, and prove he physically can do it in the NFL. Gaining separation could be a problem for him. Erratic production probably will be the story of his rookie effort. Draft him as a late gamble in deep PPR leagues.
Fantasy analysis: The vet still has speed to burn and should benefit from the loss of Robert Meachem. Drew Brees is likely to rely on those he has most comfort with, making Henderson a candidate for better-than-expected production. He is a flier in very deep leagues as a No. 5 or, better yet, sixth fantasy wideout.
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. Follow @CoryKFFL
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