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2012 Fantasy Football: Ranking the Top 5 Wide Receivers

Welcome back to the 2012 Fantasy Football power rankings, where we’ve decided to rank the top five players at every position. If you missed it, check out the first two articles where we ranked the top five quarterbacks and runningbacks for the 2012 season.

Here we will rank our projected top five wide receivers. Check back in later this week for the tight ends edition.

No. 5: A.J. Green – Cincinnati Bengals

A.J. Green came out of nowhere as a rookie in 2011 to become a serious fantasy threat. You were pretty happy with yourself if you took a late round flyer on the former Georgia Bulldog. Green finished with 1,057 yards and seven touchdowns in 2011, but I believe could be poised for a huge 2012 campaign. He was pegged as the next Calvin Johnson coming out of college, and 1,300 yards and 12 touchdowns is a real possibility with the talent he has.

No. 4: Victor Cruz – New York Giants

Victor Cruz made heads turn with his ability to make big play after big play, none bigger than his 99-yard catch and run for a touchdown in a must-win game for the Giants. With the injury to Hakeem Nicks, and the likelihood that he’ll get injured again considering he’s yet to play a full 16 game slate, Cruz steps into the spotlight as Eli Manning’s go-to guy. I’m not saying he’ll repeat his 1,536 yard, nine touchdown 2011, but it could be close to it.

No. 3: Andre Johnson – Houston Texans

I’d consider putting Andre Johnson No. 1 if I didn’t think he’d get injured at some point during the season. He’s been dealing with injuries and frustrating fantasy football owners for years now, but if he stays healthy he is the best wide receiver in the game. He likely would have been the first wide receiver ever to pass 1,500 yards three seasons in a row had he not gotten hurt in 2010. He only played seven games last year and had just under 500 yards, so owners beware.

No. 2: Larry Fitzgerald – Arizona Cardinals

Despite having one of the worst QB situations in the NFL last year, Larry Fitzgerald was still able to put up monster numbers. He registered 1,411 yards and eight touchdowns, and if John Skelton wins the job outright you could expect him to put up similar numbers. Skelton did a better job of getting the ball to Fitz last season, and with Kevin Kolb getting hurt in the Hall of Fame game, Skelton winning the job became that much more likely. Do not let this QB controversy shy you away from Fitz; he’ll still get you numbers.

No. 1: Calvin Johnson – Detroit Lions

Calvin Johnson emerged as the top fantasy option last season and I see no reason to change that. Unless Matthew Stafford gets hurt again, Johnson should lead all receivers in points. He has elite size, speed and hands and can jump through the stadium. His 1,681 yards and 16 touchdowns was one of the best ever in terms of fantasy production, and it could be close to the same numbers this season.

Jeff is an NFL Featured Columnist for He contributes mainly to the New York Giants and NFL Rumors pages. He also will occasionally touch on the NBA and humorous videos involving all sports.

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