Overvalued WRsRead the introduction to this series if you haven't yet.
|Mike Wallace - PIT ADP: 48 overall, WR 17||5 votes|
Ryan Hester - As a Steeler fan and a Game Recap writer of nearly every Steelers game last season, I noticed a trend that many have picked up on this offseason when discussing Pittsburgh's receivers. Ben Roethlisberger favored Antonio Brown over Wallace in the second half of 2011. Brown had more targets, catches, and yards than Wallace over the last eight games. Although Wallace's skill set is slightly limited, his elite skill (getting deep) is one that demands attention. Combine that attention with the potential lack of what he considers a sufficient contract offer, and Wallace could be a very disgruntled player this season. Brown's overall skill set is better at this point, and he's had a full camp to learn the new offense while Wallace has simply been reading a playbook and doing individual training exercises in Florida.
Matt Waldman - Go ahead and take a receiver with a game based on track star speed, but has missed most of training camp. He won't be in great football shape and the likelihood of a nagging injury will be too great for me to want him in my top-20 at the position. Please take him if you're in my league.
Mark Wimer - Wallace sulked his way through all the preseason OTAs and almost all of training camp, only to watch Antonio Brown (who came in to OTA's and camp, THEN negotiated a lucrative extension) take over as the #1 wide receiver in the Steelers' new offensive system. Wallace is way behind in learning the new system, and may not be starting even when (if) he reports to the team. I think Brown is the real deal and Wallace will be playing second-fiddle in Pittsburgh until he departs for greener pastures - he's wildly overrated at 18th wide receiver off the draft board.
Jason Wood - Wallace is unhappy with his contract, understandably so. Unfortunately he picked the wrong year to miss training camp. New OC Todd Haley brings an offensive system nicknamed the "Rosetta Stone" because of its complexity. And while Wallace has flourished, he doesn't have a reputation for being a fast learner. Combine the lack of time learning the new playbook with the risk of conditioning related injuries (hamstrings are a big concern with receivers that haven't stayed in shape), and I'm avoiding him at all costs.
|Greg Jennings - GB ADP: 24 overall, WR 5||4 votes|
Heath Cummings - While Jennings has spent a good portion of the preseason trying to recover from concussion symptoms; Jordy Nelson has spent that timing wowing everyone at camp. Jennings will be the second best receiver in Green Bay this season and is probably one more concussion away from an extended absence.
Ryan Hester - This may be a "cheap" pick because of the concussion effects from which Jennings is suffering, but they're a legitimate concern. Jennings did return to practice on Monday, August 19, but a report also came out that it took so long for him to return because of a second "banging of the head" incident. Any player who has suffered a concussion at any point during the season brings some risk, but to suffer one (and potentially two) before the season ever starts should make prospective owners want to pump the breaks. Also, consider in 2011, Jennings wasn't even the top fantasy WR on his own team (Jordy Nelson was). Jennings and Nelson put up massive numbers last season because Rodgers did and tight end Jermichael Finley didn't. Rodgers regressing or Finley improving would put a dent in Jennings' and Nelson's potential. I'd rather wait for new NFC North rival Brandon Marshall. He doesn't have the benefit of being a key cog in an offense as potent as Green Bay, but he also won't have to give away as many targets to other options.
Aaron Rudnicki - There are few things in today's NFL scarier than concussion problems, especially for a receiver. Jennings has missed time this preseason since suffering a concussion early in training camp. While he clearly has the talent and situation to be a top-10 receiver, the risk of him taking another hit and missing significant time is too much to take him this high. Better to let someone else take that chance considering the players going after him have just as much upside without the same risk.
|Robert Meachem - SD ADP: 87 overall, WR 31||4 votes|
Steve Holloway - Meachem disappointed in his four years with the Saints after being drafted in the first round in 2008. He never caught more than 45 passes and averaged only 4 targets per game in the NFL's most prolific passing offense. The Chargers seem to have several #2 level wide receivers for this season and I suspect that Meachem will be the least likely one to provide consistent production. With the injuries to Ryan Mathews and Vincent Brown out for a while with a broken ankle, Meachem's opportunities have increased.
Aaron Rudnicki - During the past three years in New Orleans, Meachem has topped out at 45 receptions and 722 yards. Those numbers came while playing in one of the best passing attacks in the league so how is he going to top them while playing in a lesser offense with the Chargers? He does bring the big play ability that the Chargers lost when Vincent Jackson moved on, but Meachem is just far too inconsistent to draft this early.
Matt Waldman - Norv Turner picks wide receivers like Elizabeth Taylor picked husbands. He's drawn to the bad ones like a magnet and underappreciates the good ones. Meachem isn't necessarily a bad NFL wide receiver; he's just not nearly as good as his billing. He doesn't run great routes and while statistically his catch rates are good, he still has enough issues with his hands that he can't be trusted in higher-risk situations to make the big plays that Vincent Jackson did. Defenses force most teams into these high-risk situations and I think the Chargers will need Meachem to see these kinds of targets that where not required of him in New Orleans. I think the running game, Malcom Floyd, and Antonio Gates relegate Meachem to No.4 in the pecking order, at best.
|Kenny Britt - TEN ADP: 95 overall, WR 32||3 votes|
Mark Wimer - Kenny Britt had surgery May 16, 2012 to relieve swelling in his surgically reconstructed right knee (repaired after week three of the 2011 season). But since then even larger issues have surfaced due to his latest arrest (A DUI on Fort Campbell, KY, July 20). Britt hasn't practiced in training camp due to the sore knee, and he's almost certain to get a lengthy suspension from Roger Goodell - Britt only avoided a suspension last year because his 2011 arrests occured during the lockout when he wasn't technically under Goodell's authority. I expect a minimum of four weeks of suspension, and it could well be more than that, depending on how much the prior arrests weigh on Goodell's scales.
Jason Wood - I've never understood the Kenny Britt obsession. Sure, on a per game basis he's tantalized fantasy owners in 2010 and 2011. But what good are per game number when he missed more time than he plays? In three seasons, he's started just 16 games, and has missed the entire preseason. Does anyone really think Britt is in shape? What part of his demeanor or personality would lead you to that conclusion? Add to that an alarming number of off-the-field arrests and incidents, and this is the kind of knucklehead I happily let someone else take a chance on.
|Vincent Jackson - TB ADP: 61 overall, WR 22||3 votes|
Jeff Pasquino - Vincent Jackson is a volatile choice to be a WR1 in 2012. Switching quarterbacks, organizations and conferences is a risky proposition. Jackson certainly has the talent to remain a top performer, but there are too many things that have to go just right to make him worth as high of a pick that he will cost in most fantasy drafts this season. Expect a year of adjustment that will likely keep him out of the Top 10.
Chris Smith - In terms of just football the acquisition of Vincent Jackson to a young receiving core in Tampa Bay is a major victory for the Buccaneers. His presence will help elevate the offensive attack this season and he will put up solid numbers. However young receiver Mike Williams is a gifted young receiver who can cut into Jackson's production and the addition of talented rookie running back Doug Martin capable of catching passes from backfield, I believe the passes will be spread a little thin for Jackson to justify a fourth-round draft pick. He will have a transitional period this year as he gets used to a new offense and quarterback. I would rather have several players going behind him in fantasy drafts.
|Wes Welker - NE ADP: 28 overall, WR 8||3 votes|
Ryan Hester - Welker's position in this space would be even more warranted in non-PPR leagues, but even here, he still belongs. I'm not claiming that Welker won't end the season as a #1 fantasy WR in 12-team leagues, but I am saying that I don't view him as the top-three option at which he's being drafted. Welker's strengths are short-to-intermediate routes, which also happen to be the strengths of two other incredible pass-catchers on New England's offense (Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez). Those two are younger than Welker, and their respective "arrows" are pointing up. Add Brandon Lloyd -- someone who will command many more targets than Chad Ochocinco did -- into the mix, and Welker's very high target numbers should decrease. I like him as a producer -- just not at this price.
Chris Smith - I love Wes Welker and would love to have him on my fantasy squads. He is almost a lock to catch close to 100 passes and 1100 receiving yards. However he has a ton of competition for touches this season in New England with Brandon Lloyd, Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez all going to get their share of targets. No way can I justify an ADP of mid-second round for Wes Welker in 2012 unless you get three points per reception in your league.
|Larry Fitzgerald - ARI ADP: 12 overall, WR 2||2 votes|
Jason Wood - Based purely on skill, Larry Fitzgerald is as talented as anyone outside of Calvin Johnson. He's a perennial All Pro caliber player, who would put up dominant numbers on most rosters. Unfortunately, I can't draft him in the late first or early second round given his abysmal quarterback situation. Kevin Kolb has looked like a deer in the headlights, and now it seems John Skelton will get the starting job. Skelton has a strong arm, but that's about it. He would struggle to be the #3 quarterback on many rosters -- and I think his lack of accuracy is going to SLIGHTLY cap Fitzgerald's upside. I think Fitzgerald can be a top 10 receiver with just about anyone throwing him the ball, but I don't see him finishing at or near the top of his position.
|A.J. Green - CIN ADP: 25 overall, WR 6||2 votes|
Mark Wimer - A.J. Green has to face the Steelers (first in the NFL last year, averaging 171.9 net passing yards allowed per game), Browns' (second, 184.9), and Ravens' (fourth, 196.2) pass defense in six of the coming 16 games. He's working with a developing young quarterback, Andy Dalton, who enters his second season - there isn't a long track record of production here, folks. When I spend a pick on a top-10 wide receiver, I look for more than one solid season to justify the expense. I'm avoiding Green at his current #7 ADP.
|Santonio Holmes - NYJ ADP: 107 overall, WR 39||2 votes|
Marc Levin - How could the primary wide receiver on an NFL team, who is available in the 9th round outside the top-36 WRs be an overvalued pick? When you are imploding the way Santonio Holmes is imploding. His mouth this offseason has been legendary, but lots of wide receivers act the fool off-field and are fantasy stars on-field. In fantasy terms, Holmes has not finished above WR30 since he came to the Jets, and that was when he had proven players like Braylon Edwards and Plaxico Burress to take some of the secondary's attention. He has had an injured off-season (currently he is unable to practice due to a rib injury), a rookie slated to start opposite him, and a lack of solid quarterback play whether Mark Sanchez or Tim Tebow is at the helm.
|Andre Johnson - HOU ADP: 18 overall, WR 3||2 votes|
Ryan Hester - While Johnson has had seasons in which he has displayed elite skills, I'm not totally sure why he has been anointed as top-three fantasy receiver in 2012. Johnson has never had more than nine touchdowns in any season, and he's clearly in the proverbial "autumn" of his career. His injury history is troubling as well -- not just the number of ailments but the types. I'm no Dr. Jene Bramel, but it seems like hamstring and other soft tissue injuries are more repeatable and always nagging. Taking off the doctor hat (that I admittedly don't wear well), let's go back on the field. Houston is a running team now. They're not the shootout-happy squad they were in Johnson's heyday. Those teams struggled and weren't playoff contenders likely to be salting away leads throughout the season. This team will be. I'd rather roll the dice on a young gun like A.J. Green or an elite size-speed-skills combo guy like Brandon Marshall.
|Brandon Lloyd - NE ADP: 52 overall, WR 19||2 votes|
Chris Smith - I believe Lloyd will have a positive season with the New England Patriots this year. He has become a very good receiver in the NFL and will likely be a starting receiver. However Wes Welker will get his 110+ receptions, the dual-headed monster at tight end will still be the focal point and I believe the Patriots will be more balanced in 2012, with perhaps 80 fewer passing attempts. There will likely be 100 or fewer targets for Lloyd if he fits into what the Patriots are doing and that is just not enough looks to justify a 6th round selection in my opinion. He will also be competing for touches with veterans Deion Branch and Jabar Gaffney who are capable when used.
|Demaryius Thomas - DEN ADP: 51 overall, WR 18||2 votes|
Andy Hicks - There is no doubting the talent of Demaryius Thomas, but what can we expect with Peyton Manning in town. One of the weaknesses in Thomas' game is his route running and Manning needs to trust his receivers to run routes precisely. There are many other options Manning can turn to, if he still has the arm strength, should Thomas prove unreliable and there is a large element of boom/bust with this pick.
|Miles Austin - DAL ADP: 62 overall, WR 23||1 vote|
|Dez Bryant - DAL ADP: 41 overall, WR 14||1 vote|
|Marques Colston - NO ADP: 47 overall, WR 16||1 vote|
|Victor Cruz - NYG ADP: 32 overall, WR 10||1 vote|
|Eric Decker - DEN ADP: 68 overall, WR 27||1 vote|
|Pierre Garcon - WAS ADP: 75 overall, WR 29||1 vote|
|Percy Harvin - MIN ADP: 44 overall, WR 15||1 vote|
|Julio Jones - ATL ADP: 20 overall, WR 4||1 vote|
|Brandon Marshall - CHI ADP: 30 overall, WR 9||1 vote|
|Denarius Moore - OAK ADP: 100 overall, WR 36||1 vote|
|Randy Moss - SF ADP: 121 overall, WR 44||1 vote|
|Laurent Robinson - JAX ADP: 161 overall, WR 53||1 vote|
|Steve Smith - CAR ADP: 40 overall, WR 13||1 vote|
|Nate Washington - TEN ADP: 108 overall, WR 40||1 vote|
|Titus Young - DET ADP: 101 overall, WR 37||1 vote|