Figuring out who the best wide receivers will be from week to week is a little easier than doing so for running backs at this point, but by no means is it simple—especially in Week 12, with all the byes completed and injuries galore throughout the league.
That's why those of us in the fantasy industry put together these lists for you—to give you an idea of what to expect from your players on any given Sunday.
With that, here are the weekend's top-80 wide receivers, along with some detailed analysis on the 10 best starts for the week.
80. Rueben Randle (vs. GB, Sunday night)
79. Brian Quick (at Ari)
78. Chaz Schilens (vs. NE, Thanksgiving night) – FINAL STATISTICS: 2 catches - 28 yards - 0 TDs
77. Marvin Jones (vs. Oak)
76. LaVon Brazill (vs. Buf)
75. Dexter McCluster (vs. Den)
74. Dwayne Harris (vs. Was, Thanksgiving afternoon)—FINAL STATISTICS: 4 catches - 71 yards - 0 TDs
73. Greg Little (vs. Pit)
72. Jacoby Jones (at SD)
71. Rod Streater (at Cin)
70. Davone Bess (vs. Sea)
69. T.J. Graham (at Ind)
68. Doug Baldwin (at Mia)
67. Riley Cooper (vs. Car, Monday night)
66. Josh Gordon (vs. Pit)
65. Randy Moss (at NO)
64. Chris Givens (at Ari)
63. Mario Manningham (at NO)
62. Harry Douglas (at TB)
61. Kevin Walter (at Det, Thanksgiving day)—FINAL STATISTICS: 2 catches - 20 yards - 0 TDs
60. Emmanuel Sanders (at Cle)
59. Austin Pettis (at Ari)
58. Santana Moss (at Dal, Thanksgiving afternoon)—FINAL STATISTICS: 4 catches - 42 yards - 1 TD
57. Mike Thomas (vs. Hou, Thanksgiving day)—FINAL STATISTICS: 2 catches - 17 yards - 1 TD // 1 rush - 14 yards - 0 TDs
56. Pierre Garcon (at Dal, Thanksgiving afternoon)—FINAL STATISTICS: 5 catches - 93 yards - 1 TD
55. Andre Roberts (vs. StL)
54. Brandon Stokley (at KC)
53. Brian Hartline (vs. Sea)
52. Kendall Wright (at Jax)
51. Mike Williams (vs. Atl)
50. Dwayne Bowe (vs. Den)
49. Brandon Lloyd (at NYJ, Thanksgiving night)—FINAL STATISTICS: 3 catches - 26 yards - 0 TDs
48. Jeremy Maclin (vs. Car, Monday night)
47. Nate Washington (at Jax)
46. Donnie Avery (vs. Buf)
45. Donald Jones (at Ind)
44. Mohamed Sanu (vs. Oak)
43. Brandon LaFell (at Phi, Monday night)
42. Golden Tate (at Mia)
41. Anquan Boldin (at SD)
40. DeSean Jackson (vs. Car, Monday night)
39. Brandon Gibson (at Ari)
38. Kenny Britt (at Jax)
37. Sidney Rice (at Mia)
36. Larry Fitzgerald (vs. StL)
35. Malcom Floyd (vs. Bal)
34. Lance Moore (vs. SF)
33. James Jones (at NYG, Sunday night)
32. Justin Blackmon (vs. Ten)
31. Steve Smith (at Phi, Monday night)
30. Mike Wallace (at Cle)
29. Jeremy Kerley (vs. NE, Thanksgiving night)—FINAL STATISTICS: 7 catches - 86 yards - 0 TDs
28. Julian Edelman (at NYJ, Thanksgiving night)—FINAL STATISTICS: 2 catches - 64 yards - 1 TD // 1 rush - 3 yards - 0 TDs
27. Darrius Heyward-Bey (at Cin)
26. Ryan Broyles (vs. Hou, Thanksgiving day)—FINAL STATISTICS: 6 catches - 126 yards - 0 TDs
25. Stevie Johnson (at Ind)
24. T.Y. Hilton (vs. Buf)
23. Marques Colston (vs. SF)
22. Cecil Shorts (vs. Ten)
21. Danario Alexander (vs. Bal)
20. Miles Austin (vs. Was, Thanksgiving afternoon)—FINAL STATISTICS: 0 catches - 0 yards - 0 TDs
19. Torrey Smith (at SD)
18. Brandon Marshall (vs. Min)
17. Hakeem Nicks (vs. GB, Sunday night)
16. Denarius Moore (at Cin)
15. Michael Crabtree (at NO)
14. Vincent Jackson (vs. Atl)
13. Wes Welker (at NYJ, Thanksgiving night)—FINAL STATISTICS: 7 catches - 71 yards - 1 TD
12. Eric Decker (at KC)
11. Victor Cruz (vs. GB, Sunday night)
Top 10 WR Plays for Week 12
10. Dez Bryant (vs. Was, Thanksgiving afternoon)
Did Dez Bryant just make himself the most sought-after wide receiver in the league with his performance against Cleveland last week?
Nah, but the kid is definitely better than he had been playing over the first half of the season.
Grabbing 12 balls on 15 targets is nothing to sneeze at, but with Joe Haden sitting on the sidelines for the Browns during that game, you need to be a little wary of what happened.
He’s a dominant force when he wants to be, but the question is—when can fantasy owners count on him to be that guy?
This week might be a good one going up against a Redskins' defense that allows the fourth-most fantasy points to wide receivers this season, but then again, Dez hasn’t shown up on Thanksgiving for a couple of years now, so which way do you go?
I think he’s a must-start this week, especially with Washington’s defense being hit by the injury bug lately (and all year for that matter).
FINAL STATISTICS: 8 catches - 145 yards - 2 TDs // 1 rush - 6 yards - 0 TDs
9. Andre Johnson (at Det, Thanksgiving day)
Johnson is coming off a career day (yeah, you could call it that) in which he had 14 catches for 273 yards and a game-winning 48-yard TD catch to top it off.
The performance not only gave Andre his third 100-yard game of the season, but also just his third TD on the year.
The good news is that Johnson has seen at least 10 targets a game over the Texans' last five games, so there's always the potential for something like what happened last weekend.
'Dre showed that he still has that game-breaking ability he displayed early on in his career and with the targets he's getting, you could expect better numbers going forward.
Johnson will definitely see a lot of attention in this match-up after his performance last week. I wouldn't be surprised to see a lot of coverage rolled over to his side of the field as the Lions try to take away the big play.
Johnson has disappointed in his two previous games following a 100-yard performance, putting up three catches for 21 yards and four catches for 35 yards in those games.
Either way, even if the Lions try to bracket him with their safeties, he should still be able to sneak out low-end WR1 numbers, though you won't see a repeat performance of last week.
FINAL STATISTICS: 9 catches - 188 yards - 0 TDs
8. Reggie Wayne (vs. Buf)
Wes Welker just overtook Wayne for the league-lead in receptions this last Thursday night, but Reggie should take it right back from him this Sunday as he only needs five to put him back on top.
In fact, Wayne has caught five or more passes in every game so far this season so his ascent back to the top is almost a foregone conclusion.
He also continues to lead the league in targets with an insane 130 on the season, so you know he’ll be getting his rightful chances.
As usual, however, the touchdowns haven’t quite been there for Wayne, but he’ll have a nice opportunity to get one this Sunday with the Bills tied for seventh in the league for the most touchdown passes allowed.
My guess is Buffalo will stick their first-round rookie cornerback (Stephon Gilmore) on him all day, but that shouldn’t be a problem for a wily veteran like Wayne.
Whatever the case, their opponent’s top receiver has pretty much had their way with the Bills all year long and I don’t expect Reggie to all of the sudden buck the trend.
7. Demaryius Thomas (at KC)
Demaryius Thomas has been stopped on occasion this season, but it hasn’t been often.
In 10 games, Thomas has put up five 100-yard performances while in three of the five that he didn’t, he was at least able to secure a touchdown for his fantasy owners.
This week he’ll likely draw the Chiefs’ best cornerback (Brandon Flowers) in coverage, so it’s possible the yardage will be a little less than you’d like.
However, the Chiefs are tied for the fourth-most passing touchdowns allowed this year, so considering his towering frame and trend for at least pulling through with some sort of fantasy goodness, you gotta like his chances to do it again this Sunday—especially with McGahee out and Manning likely to throw the ball a bunch.
6. Jordy Nelson (at NYG, Sunday night)
Nelson can be a bit streaky, as he’s shown during his last couple of years as a starter, but there’s nothing like a sweet match-up against one of the league’s worst pass defenses to get you back on a roll.
Nelson was putting up some fine WR1 numbers for fantasy owners in weeks four through seven, but partially due to injury woes, Jordy hasn’t done a thing since.
Lucky for him, the Giants’ pass D has been on a rather gruesome streak themselves as they’ve allowed the third-most fantasy points per game over the last five weeks and the fifth-most overall on the season.
With a little payback for last year’s playoff exit in mind, Aaron Rodgers should be set to go off this Sunday night which can only mean good things for Nelson and the rest of the Packers’ WR corps.
5. Julio Jones (at TB)
I know Julio Jones is listed as “questionable” this week and probably bummed some fantasy owners out last weekend by not being able to last the whole game, but he practiced more this week than he did last week and should be ready to go on Sunday.
If he is, he’s an absolute MUST start as a WR1 due to his indescribable fantasy prowess away from home.
In 12 career regular season games on the road, the absolute WORST Julio has done was catch four balls for 68 yards at Houston in Week 13 last season.
Check to make sure he’s active first, but considering the Buccaneers have allowed the second-most fantasy points to opposing WRs this season, you have to get him in your lineup if he is.
4. Randall Cobb (at NYG, Sunday night)
After watching that touchdown catch he pulled off last week against the Lions, I really can’t say it enough—this kid is really something special.
As we heard the entire off-season, Randall Cobb is a superstar in the making and I have no doubt he’ll continue his hot play this weekend against the Giants.
Cobb has now put up six straight games with either 100 yards or a touchdown and it seems Aaron Rodgers has noticed as he continues to target him more and more every single game.
The Giants’ pass D has allowed the most touchdowns to opposing wide receivers this year and the fifth-most fantasy points per game, so look for Randall to show us something special again this Sunday night.
3. Roddy White (at TB)
Roddy White has had a bit of a resurgence at 31 years old and has actually gotten better as the season has matured.
He’s put up 100 or more yards in half of the Falcons’ 10 games and is currently riding a three-game streak of doing so.
Though normally a better player at home, Roddy has had a ton of success playing on the road within the division, including a couple of weeks ago when he put up 114 yards on seven catches at New Orleans.
The Buccaneers’ pass D is more than beatable too, as they’ve allowed the most yards and catches per game to opposing WRs on the season, as well as the second-most fantasy points per game.
I know it’s tough to choose between Roddy and Julio most weeks, but you really can’t go wrong here in Week 12.
2. Calvin Johnson (vs. Hou, Thanksgiving day)
Johnson has found the end zone during each of the last two weekends and overall has been quite impressive with 17 catches for 350 yards over that span.
Then you can think about the two long TD catches he would have had against the Packers had Stafford not overthrown him badly both times and you realize that the Megatron from last year is back in full force.
Johnson is finally seeing more targets from Stafford after not being looked at enough earlier in the year and at this point, is really the only reliable option in the passing game.
All-Pro cornerback Johnathan Joseph is iffy for the Texans this week and if he ends up being out for the game, Johnson should be able to find openings to make some big plays.
With Titus Young suspended for the week and the only other options at WR being Ryan Broyles and Mike Thomas, Johnson should be a very busy man throughout the day and put up some nice WR1 fantasy numbers because of it.
FINAL STATISTICS: 8 catches - 140 yards - 1 TD
1. A.J. Green (vs. Oak)
Sometimes the total yardage isn’t quite where fantasy owners would like it to be, but how can you complain about a wide receiver putting up a touchdown in nine straight games?
Even with Calvin Johnson coming back to life, you can still argue against A.J. Green being the best WR on the planet right now and as far as I can tell, there isn’t a defense out there that can stop him.
The next team in line with a shot at stopping the streak will be the Oakland Raiders, though the chances of it happening are slim to none.
Not only are they tied for fourth for the most passing touchdowns allowed in the league this year, but they’ve also allowed at least one wide receiver to put up double-digit fantasy points in EVERY SINGLE GAME.
Good luck, Jokeland!
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