DETROIT - AUGUST 28: Calvin Johnson #81 of the Detroit Lions signals a first down after a second quarter catch during a preseason game against the Cleveland Browns on August 28 2010 at Ford Field in Detroit Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
We're working our way through fantasy football positions, and while I'm not going to rank every player, I want to give you thoughts on a few players I think are worth highlighting for good or bad reasons. Today I want to talk about wide receivers, a position that has become more valuable in fantasy terms because of the league becoming more pass-oriented. Quarterbacks are scoring points like crazy, and someone has to catch those passes, right? Anyway, let's have a look....
Calvin Johnson--I've been watching football for a loooong time, like almost 40 years. And I don't think I've ever seen a wide receiver with the skill set this guy has. Megatron averaged over 100 yards per game in 2011 and had 16 touchdowns. Matt Stafford must love throwing to that guy, knowing that if he puts it within a 10 yard radius of Calvin--maybe 20--he's going to grab it. And last year, he finally played on a contender, making you realize why it took so long to reach his potential. He is going to go real early in 2012 drafts, and I know he will reward his owners.
Larry Fitzgerald--another guy with a crazy skill set, but who is throwing Fitz the ball? Does he even know? For me, he is just going to have inconsistent numbers just like last year, because the Cardinals kind of suck. So Larry isn't worth a first round or maybe even second round selection. Can you imagine this guy on the Patriots?
Hakeem Nicks--That pesky broken foot is the same injury that made Prince Amukamara walk and run like a gimp late in the season following his return around Week 10. Yes, Nicks broke his foot in OTAs so has had more time to heal, and he's Hakeeeeeeeem. But I'd be real nervous about pulling the trigger here, because Nicks may not produce fantasy numbers until November
Julio Jones--Here is that Mikey's Gut Feeling (MGF)....Julio Jones is going to emerge in a big way in 2012. I had him last year and he battled injury and inconsistency, but he was a rookie and also behind Roddy White on the depth chart. But Julio has great hands, making him a great red zone target for Matt Ryan, and I think he easily tops last year's 8 touchdown catchesGreg Jennings/Jordy Nelson--who gets the catches from Aaron Rodgers? The thing is, there will be plenty to go around, so you can safely take one of these guys in the second round and get good production.
Kenny Britt--So much promise, but Britt ripped up his ACL in Week 3 after flat out dominating fantasy teams out of the gate. I would just let someone else draft him, quite honestly. There is just way too much risk.
Wes Welker--If you are in a PPR league, Welker is a great option. And I have a soft spot for the guy since he dropped that pass in the Super Bowl.
Victor Cruz--There are the inevitable questions of whether Cruz can repeat his breakout season of 2011, and whether or not all of his fame and PR obligations will take a toll. I would not listen one bit, because we all know from watching Cruz since the 2010 preseason that he has amazing instinct and raw skill. If Eli throws him the ball, the numbers will follow again.
Brandon Marshall--Another sick skill set, but the equipment under his helmet isn't all there. And he's going to be playing on the Bears now. The MGF smells another bust.
Dwayne Bowe--If you want a guy who will go for 224 yards and three scores one week, and then disappear for three games, Bowe is your guy. I don't have the stomach for it.
Demaryius Thomas--If this kid can look like a stud catching balls from Tim Tebow, imagine what a healthy Peyton Manning will do for him. Assuming he stays healthy (as well as Manning), the MGF says there is huge upside here.
Percy Harvin--I get a migraine just thinking about drafting this guy again.
Jeremy Maclin/DeSean Jackson--Remember, I don't draft Eagles. And I may not draft Jackson even if I had a different policy. But Maclin, (stop me if you've heard this before) if he stays healthy, and if Michael Vick stays away from JPP, has always had huge fantasy potential.
Torrey Smith--Another kid I'm expecting huge things from. I'm pretty sure he could outrun a freight train.
Mike Williams--Man, what happened to this guy last year? I drafted him on two teams and he laid an egg. I think he waited until like Week 11 to score a TD. That said, the MGF likes Mikey to rebound.
Justin Blackmon--There is a big reason to take a later round flyer on this kid from Jacksonville--he plays on a team that has no other receiving options right now. There are two reasons not to--Blaine and Gabbert.
Mario Manningham--We all have much love for Mario, but he's going to play in a lot of 16-13 games.