- KC Joyner, NFL Insider
Former MLB manager Billy Martin had a philosophy when it came to evaluating talent. He said, "You've got your mules, and you've got your race horses, and you can kick a mule in the ass all you want to and he's not going to be a race horse."
The same type of thinking applies when it comes to evaluating NFL wide receivers. There are many different types of pass-catchers, but in the end the ability to get open against good competition is skill a player either has or doesn't have. Players who are blessed with that talent are termed "matchup-buster" wide receivers.
So who are the top matchup-buster wide receivers in the NFL?
One way to find this out is to review how well every wide receiver in the league did last year when facing cornerbacks who graded out in my 2012 Fantasy Football Draft Guide (currently available for pre-order) as having a red rating (defined as allowing a yards per attempt (YPA) total of less than 7 yards, a mark that signifies they are among the best in the league) or a yellow rating (meaning they allowed a YPA of 7-9 yards).
To make this as fair as possible, there is also a qualifying bar of 35 attempts against red- or yellow-rated cornerbacks.
Using those parameters, here are the top matchup-buster wide receivers in the NFL.
True matchup-busters (those who tallied a YPA of 10 yards or higher against red/yellow-rated cornerbacks)
2hBy Dan Graziano
22hMatt Walks, ESPN.com
5hBy Michael DiRocco
1dOhm Youngmisuk and Rich Cimini