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2012 - Year in Review - WR

  • Category: Year In Review - 2012
  • Published on Thursday, 14 February 2013 01:07
  • Written by Bob Lung
  • Hits: 3020

The wide receivers as a whole are certainly continuing to become a bigger force in the Fantasy world. In fact, below is my intro to wide receivers in last year’s book:

The impact of the transition to more pass-happy offenses in the NFL did not affect the wide receivers in the same manner as it affected the quarterbacks in the Fantasy world. The wide receivers have remained fairly steady in regards to excessive Fantasy points and/or consistency ratings. In fact, since 2002, there have only been four wide receivers (in a PPR format) that have earned more than 300 points and had a Quality Success Rate (QSR) over 90 percent. They were as follows: Marvin Harrison (2002); Reggie Wayne (2007); Larry Fitzgerald (2008) and Calvin Johnson (2011). Therefore, no receiver has ever repeated that feat. 

In fact, only one receiver since 2002 has even earned over 300 points in back-to-back seasons and that was Andre Johnson in 2008 and 2009. So, what’s my point? My point is the defense to why Fantasy owners are choosing Calvin Johnson as the fourth pick overall in PPR scoring mock drafts so far. Don’t get me wrong, Calvin Johnson is a stud Fantasy receiver! However, the only way he’s worth a fourth pick overall is IF he can repeat his performance from last season. Since that’s never been done in the last 10 years, I’m kind of skeptical.

Some other stats of note to show you how rare 300+ points and 85+ percent QSR are:

2011 – 300+ points = 2       90+ percent QSR = 1        85+ percent QSR = 4   

2010 – 300+ points = 1       90+ percent QSR = 1        85+ percent QSR = 2   

2009 – 300+ points = 1       90+ percent QSR = 0        85+ percent QSR = 1   

2008 – 300+ points = 2       90+ percent QSR = 2        85+ percent QSR = 3   

2007 – 300+ points = 4       90+ percent QSR = 2        85+ percent QSR = 5   

2006 – 300+ points = 1       90+ percent QSR = 0        85+ percent QSR = 2   

2005 – 300+ points = 2       90+ percent QSR = 0        85+ percent QSR = 3   

2004 – 300+ points = 1       90+ percent QSR = 1        85+ percent QSR = 3 

2003 – 300+ points = 2       90+ percent QSR = 0        85+ percent QSR = 2   

2002 – 300+ points = 3       90+ percent QSR = 1        85+ percent QSR = 6

Totals: 300+ points = 19     90+ percent QSR = 8        85+ percent QSR = 31   

So, as we reflect on 2012, let’s just say that I’m not only NOT skeptical about Calvin Johnson since he scored 345.40 Fantasy points last year, but the fact that there were two more over 300 points (Brandon Marshall – 334.60 and A.J. Green – 300.80) AND four more over 290 points (Dez Bryant – 299.70; Andre Johnson – 295.80; Demaryius Thomas – 295.20 and Wes Welker – 290.40) tells me that there are a number of top receivers who can put up big Fantasy numbers in addition to Johnson. In regards to the Quality Success Rate (QSR), this is where it gets interesting. Demaryius Thomas was the only receiver that even exceeded 85 percent. He was at 88 percent. However, there were six over 80 percent.  

What does this mean? It means that while Calvin Johnson is certainly a stud, there are certainly other receivers who are close enough to tell me to NOT draft Calvin Johnson in the first round like I’m seeing AGAIN this year in many of the mock drafts.

So, let’s review 2012 for the wide receivers and take a look at those players whom were consistently good, just good and consistently not-so-good. We’re also going to look at this position for the expected and unexpected wide receivers within each tier in 2012, plus which wide receivers could be undervalued going into this year’s draft.

So, let’s start with the top tier of wide receivers as ranked by Quality Success Rate (QSR).

TIER ONE

Player Name Total Points Rank QG GP QSR
Demaryius Thomas 295.20 6 14 16 88%
Calvin Johnson 345.40 1 13 16 81%
Brandon Marshall 334.60 2 13 16 81%
A.J. Green 300.80 3 13 16 81%
Dez Bryant 299.70 4 13 16 81%
Reggie Wayne 270.00 8 13 16 81%
Randall Cobb 235.60 16 12 15 80%

The Expected

As I mentioned earlier, Calvin Johnson didn’t need to exceed 300 points again this season to prove his Fantasy studness. He did anyways. However, his consistency dropped from down to only 81 percent from 94 last season. Now I realize that isn’t a huge deal but it does show his consistency is not way ahead of the other top receivers.

Brandon Marshall proved that playing with Jay Cutler as his quarterback is beneficial, at least, to Brandon. A.J. Green proved his rookie season wasn’t a fluke in 2011. Dez Bryant toughed out a hand injury and still put up huge numbers during the Fantasy playoffs. 

The Unexpected

Demaryius Thomas showed that playing with a very consistent quarterback like Peyton Manning makes him a very consistent receiver. I mentioned often last preseason of the value of Reggie Wayne as a WR2 or WR3 and Reggie unexpectedly returned right back to the elite WR1 that he once was with the help of Andrew Luck.

No receiver earned the unexpected title more than Randall Cobb.  Cobb was one of my preseason favorites at the WR3/WR4 spot. However, I honestly didn’t expect this kind of production. I expect Cobb to continue to be a consistent receiver in Green Bay in 2013 as well. It will be interesting to see where his ADP falls out.

TIER TWO

Player Name Total Points Rank QG GP QSR
Percy Harvin 162.30 39 7 9 78%
Wes Welker 290.40 7 12 16 75%
Cecil Shorts 193.50 25 10 14 71%
Andre Johnson 295.80 5 11 16 69%
Victor Cruz 255.20 14 11 16 69%
James Jones 226.40 17 11 16 69%
Stevie Johnson 218.60 18 11 16 69%
Steve Smith 216.10 20 11 16 69%
Miles Austin 195.30 24 11 16 69%
Antonio Brown 175.10 32 9 13 69%

The Expected

I don’t normally list players with only nine games for a season, but Percy Harvin was that good while he was healthy this past year. Wes Welker’s Fantasy value should be interesting based on his new team. It looks unlikely that he’ll resign with the Patriots. I expected Andre Johnson to be in the Top 5 but his 69 percent QSR continues to show his lack of consistency. In 2011 and 2010, Johnson was also under a 70 percent consistency. The presence of a healthy Arian Foster and the lack of a quality second receiver for the Texans just doesn’t allow Johnson to see enough quality targets on a consistent basis.

Stevie Johnson and Steve Smith are those receivers who fly under the radar. Their consistency is always in the 65 – 75 percent range but they usually end up on my team as a late WR2 or early WR3. Victor Cruz really dropped off as a top receiver in 2012. Let’s be honest, the Giants as a team, were hard to predict. One game they destroyed a top team and the next week, they’d look horrible against an average team. So, Cruz may be undervalued this coming year.

The Unexpected

Cecil Shorts was one of the biggest surprises of consistent receivers in 2012. His overall total point ranking of 25th isn’t earth-shattering but his 71 percent QSR was higher than Andre Johnson and Victor Cruz. He did most of his damage in his last 9 games where he earned a Quality Game in eight of them. I’d be surprised if he could repeat his performance unless Chad Henne stays at quarterback. 

Miles Austin rekindled the Fantasy fire that he brought to the Cowboys before the emergence of Dez Bryant. He cooled off later in the season but his 69 percent QSR for the season is a respectable WR2 pick and I would expect him to continue to be a solid Fantasy contributor as long as he stays healthy.

TIER THREE

Player Name Total Points Rank QG GP QSR
Lance Moore 205.10 21 10 15 67%
Danario Alexander 144.80 49 6 9 67%
Danny Amendola 146.40 48 7 11 64%
Eric Decker 269.40 9 10 16 63%
Julio Jones 261.80 11 10 16 63%
Vincent Jackson 258.40 12 10 16 63%
Marques Colston 256.40 13 10 16 63%
Michael Crabtree 250.30 15 10 16 63%
Mike Wallace 195.50 23 9 15 60%

The Expected

The only expected receiver here is Danny Amendola. His missed most of the 2011 with injuries, but in 2010, Amendola had a 63 percent season with 10 of 16 Quality Games. So, his 2012 64 percent QSR looks about right. The rest of the receivers in this tier are either over-achievers or under-achievers. So, let’s head to the Unexpected section. 

The Unexpected

Over-achievers in this tier are players like Lance Moore, Danario Alexander, Vincent Jackson and Michael Crabtree. Yes, Vincent Jackson is an over-achiever at a 63 percent QSR. Until this season, Jackson had rarely sniffed the 60 percent range. In fact, in 2011, he was ranked 13th in total points but only had a 50 percent QSR. Micheal Crabtree also over-achieved in 2012 based on his prior stats. The emergence of Colin Kaepernick really boosted Crabtree’s Fantasy numbers over the last half of the season. His value is extremely high in many of the mock drafts that I’ve participated in. His ADP was 30 in the Draftmasters #4 in February. Keep an eye on his ADP as we get closer to August.

The under-achievers are players like Marques Colston, Eric Decker and Mike Wallace. Wallace may have had the worst crash of all of them. His QSR dropped from 88 percent at the end of 2011 to a measly 60 percent in 2012. This should undervalue him in 2013 and would be a great pick as a WR2 or WR3. Colston is another surprise. Colston is normally in the 75-85 percent QSR range. His drop to a 63 percent QSR concerns me some. Maybe that will allow him to be undervalued as well. 

TIER FOUR

Player Name Total Points Rank QG GP QSR
Jordy Nelson 165.50 38 7 12 58%
Roddy White 269.10 10 9 16 56%
Brandon Lloyd 189.10 26 9 16 56%
Brandon LaFell 139.20 54 7 13 54%
Anquan Boldin 181.40 30 8 15 53%
Mike Williams 216.60 19 8 16 50%
Sidney Rice 167.40 36 8 16 50%
Golden Tate 156.80 42 7 14 50%

It’s tough to predict where any of these players will be in 2013, but at least they were above a 50 percent QSR which is better than the remaining wide receivers that didn’t make the top four tiers.

Roddy White may be the most disappointing here. He did end the year as a Top 10 receiver in total points but White had normally been extremely consistent in the past. This year, not so much. Jordy Nelson was easily the second biggest disappointment in this group. It appeared that Randal Cobb and James Jones became Aaron Rodgers favorite targets plus Nelson’s injuries didn’t help his cause either.

Those former top receivers that are NOT listed over 50 percent include: DeSean Jackson (45%), Kenny Britt (43%), Jeremy Maclin (40%), Torrey Smith (38%), Larry Fitzgerald (38%) and Dwayne Bowe (38%). Some of these players may return to Fantasy relevance in 2013, but I’d wait to see if your situation (team, quarterback, etc.) improves.

Well, there are your Quality Game consistency rankings for the wide receivers in 2012. If you didn’t make the playoffs and you had Larry Fitzgerald or Dwayne Bowe on your team and can’t understand why, I hope this helped clear things up.