Over the past month I’ve ranked the top 25 quarterbacks and the top 35 running backs for dynasty leagues. This week, we come to the deepest position in fantasy football – wide receivers. As always, these rankings are based on PPR leagues. Once again, the rankings are broken into tiers so if your favorite player isn’t where you think he should be, feel free to rearrange the tiers to your own liking – and if that still isn’t good enough, tell me why I’m wrong in the comments below!
The Best of the Best
1. Odell Beckham Jr., New York – I could write 1000 words on why Beckham is so great, but I’ll keep things short and sweet. Beckham has averaged 96 catches, just under 1,400 yards, and nearly 12 TDs a year in the 3 “full seasons” he’s had to start his career. He s a ridiculous athlete, a fantastic route runner, and has world-famous hands. In short – OBJ is an all time great player and he’s only 25 years. There’s no player I would rather own in a PPR league.
2. DeAndre Hopkins, Houston – When he’s not being sabotaged by Brock Osweiler, Hopkins has put up Beckham-esque numbers over the past few years. He’s also 25. As much as I love OBJ, Hopkins isn’t that far off, especially if Deshaun Watson is as good as he appeared last season.
3. Mike Evans, Tampa Bay – Evans has been a bit up and down through his first 4 years, but the “downs” have still been 1000 yard seasons. The “ups” have been 12 TD seasons. At 24 years old, that’s hard to beat.
4. Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh – The obvious knock on Brown is his age as he’ll be 30 years old next season. That’s a fair criticism, but Brown has been so consistently dominant I’m letting his age slide. Brown has finished 4th, 2nd, 1st, 1st, and 1st respectively over the past 5 years in PPR points per game at WR. I’ll keep betting on Brown to dominate until he proves to me he can’t.
Not Quite the Best of the Best
5. Michael Thomas, New Orleans – Despite having played only 2 years so far, Thomas will be 25 at the start of next season. Of course, that’s still actually young and he’s had over 90 catches and 1100 yards in each of those 2 seasons.
6. Keenan Allen, Los Angeles – Keenan Allen might be one of the most underrated players in the NFL. He’s only had two 1,000 yard seasons in 5 years, but its been mostly due to a series of fluke injuries. Fully recovered from a torn ACL and a lacerated kidney, he played all 16 games last season and posted a 102 catch, 1,393 yard, 6 TD season. Allen is a legit #1 WR, even if he doesn’t receive the same hype as his contemporaries.
7. Julio Jones, Atlanta – Julio has often been placed along side of Antonio Brown and I don’t think that’s crazy. He has had 4 straight 1400 yard seasons and is actually a year younger than Brown, having just turned 29, but that hasn’t translated into quite as much fantasy scoring due to fewer catches and Touchdowns. Atlanta seems less willing to force feed Jones the ball, but given that he only scored 3 touchdowns last season he may be a good buy low opportunity for a contending team. He is still one of the absolute best receivers in the league.
8. AJ Green, Cincinnati – Green is also 29 and from the same draft class as Jones. He has also had 1000 yards receiving in every year of his career except 2016 when he was actually averaging a career high 96 yards per game through 10 games before being placed on injured reserve. I’m not sure if it’s because he plays for the Bengals or because he’s been overshadowed by Brown and Jones, but Green seems perennially underrated. He’s an absolutely dominant wide receiver.
9. Tyreek Hill, Kansas City – Hill is only 23 and still developing as a WR. Obviously, he has an absolutely horrid off field history, but from a purely football perspective he’s an exciting young player. I get the feeling the 75/1183/7 line he posted last season isn’t his ceiling as a wide receiver.
10. Brandin Cooks, New England – Cooks is the safer version of Hill. He’s one year older, has 3 1000 yard seasons under his belt instead of 1, and also often gets overlooked as an all around wide receiver due to a reputation as a deep threat. Ultimately, I prefer Hill’s ceiling to Cooks’ but the two are very close.
11. Davante Adams, Green Bay – Adams is an odd case to be a WR1 because he’s never had a 1000 yard season (although he did have 997 yards a year ago). That said, he’s Aaron Rodgers top target moving forward and has already displayed a knack for the end zone.
12. Allen Robinson, Jacksonville – Robinson absolutely exploded onto the scene with a 1400 yard, 14 TD season in his sophomore season. Other than that he’s been a mix of underwhelming and hurt. Obviously, you have to be pretty talented to put up the kind of season ARob had in 2015 so I’m willing to still view him as a WR1 moving forward. The big question is where he’ll play next season. If he’s back in Jacksonville with their ground and pound offense I may drop him a few slots. On the other hand, if he lands somewhere with a better QB and better offensive coach like San Francisco or Washington he could explode again next year.
13. Amari Cooper, Oakland – After back to back 1000 yard seasons to start his career, Cooper was a complete disappointment last year. The track record of players that started their careers like Cooper did, especially at such a young age, however, is encouraging. I expect a bounce back for the 23-year-old.
14. TY Hilton, Indianapolis – Hilton has been a quietly excellent WR for 6 years now. His down season last year can easily be explained by the absence of Andrew Luck. He is 28, but that isn’t too old for a WR and if Luck is ready to go next season, Hilton should return to WR1 status.
15. Jarvis Landry, Miami – I’ve never been a huge Jarvis Landry fan. He’s tough and consistent to be sure, but he’s a limited upside player both within any given play and within any given season it seems. For somebody who averages 100 catches per season, he doesn’t post a ton of yards and touchdowns, but its hard to complain about 100 catches in PPR leagues.
16. Adam Thielen, Minnesota – Unlike Landry, Thielen has not been producing consistently for most of his career. He essentially came out of nowhere last year to be a productive wide receiver last year, before taking the next step into a dominant outside wide receiver this season. Despite, coming out of nowhere, however, Thielen’s talent is very real.
17. Corey Davis, Tennessee – Davis was the #5 pick in last year’s NFL draft. He was banged up for a lot of last season and struggled to make a large statistical impact in Mike Mularkey’s exotic smash-mouth offense. The flashes of talent were there though, and with Mularkey leaving town, Davis has a chance to cash in on his massive potential.
18. Juju Smith-Schuster, Pittsburgh – He’s a 21-year-old coming of 58/917/7 season. Its hard not to love that. He is capped a bit by the presence of Antonio Brown as the clear #1 receiver in Pittsburgh.
19. Stefon Diggs, Minnesota – Diggs appeared to be a future WR1 being held back by injuries, but after last season it seems more likely he’s a very talented young WR2 who will complement Adam Thielen rather than the other way around.
20. Sammy Watkins, Los Angeles – I wrote last fall about how Watkins early career compared favorably to Julio Jones, but last season saw Watkins fail to take the next step. It’s possible he just needs more time to get comfortable in Los Angeles, but time is beginning to run out on Watkins becoming a reliable WR1. That said, I am a sucker for upside.
21. Alshon Jeffery, Philadelphia – A few years ago Jeffery was a consensus dynasty WR1, and if you watched the Super Bowl the other week, you could see the talent is still there. The problem is, that despite Doug Pederson running a beautiful offense in Philadelphia, it’s an offense that seems to spread the ball around quite a bit.
22. Doug Baldwin, Seattle – Baldwin has more than 3000 yards and 29 TDs over the past 3 seasons. At 29 years old, he should have a few more solid years thanks to his excellent route running.
23. Marvin Jones, Detroit – Jones is the downfield threat in Detroit and it shows in his higher yards per catch and TD totals compared to teammate Golden Tate. Jones averaged just .04 points per game more than Tate last season, but he is a year younger so I’m giving him a slight edge.
24. Golden Tate, Detroit – Tate is an unexciting, yet tough and consistent producer. With over 90 catches each of the last 4 years he’s a poor man’s Jarvis Landry.
25. Will Fuller, Houston – Like Juju, Fuller is a young, promising WR destined to be his teams #2 WR. Fuller, however, is still 3 years older, and the beneficiary of a wildly unsustainable TD rate.
26. Corey Coleman, Cleveland – Coleman’s career has been derailed by injuries and bad QB play in Cleveland. It’s important to remember he’s still a young former first round pick who has shown the ability to get open at the NFL level.
27. Dez Bryant, Dallas – Dez and QB Dak Prescott couldn’t seem to get on the same page last season and its clear Bryant’s athleticism has fallen off a bit as he’s now 29 years old. He’s fallen along way from when he was valued alongside Julio Jones and AJ Green.
28. Jamison Crowder, Washington – Known mostly as a slot receiver, Crowder could be in line for a boat load of targets with Alex Smith at the helm next season and no true #1 receiver in Washington at the moment.
29. Demaryius Thomas, Denver – Thomas appears to be on the decline, but I’m not quite convinced yet. If Denver improves the QB position for next season, I think Thomas could see a return to his days as a WR1.
30. Devin Funchess, Carolina – He’s young for a 4th year receiver, and he looks to be the #1 WR for Cam Newton and Carolina next season.
WR3’s and Beyond
- Sterling Shepard, New York
- Cameron Meredith, Chicago
- Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles
- Robert Woods, Los Angeles
- Josh Doctson, Washington
- Mike Williams, Los Angeles
- Josh Gordon, Cleveland
- Martavis Bryant, Pittsburgh
- Robby Anderson, New York
- Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona
- Julian Edelman, New England
- Emmanuel Sanders, Denver
- Michael Crabtree, Oakland
- Nelson Agholor, Philadelphia
- Zay Jones, Buffalo
- John Ross, Cincinnati
- Jordy Nelson, Green Bay
- Marqise Lee, Jacksonville
- Randall Cobb, Green Bay
- Pierre Garcon, San Francisco
The depth of options available at wide receiver can sometimes cause owners to think they can focus less on the position, particularly in PPR leagues. While you can find startable players more easily than you can at RB, I would caution against ignoring the position. The elite players at the position are consistent producers who can carry your team just like their running back counterparts and they’re likely to last longer as well.
Additionally, I trust the middle tier wide receivers to maintain their production and value more than I do at running back where positional turnover is higher. The best advice I can offer relating to the two positions is simple – don’t ignore either one. If you seek value, you can build a winner built around running backs or wide receivers.
And that’s all for the WR rankings .If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to comment below and come back in two weeks for our dynasty TE rankings!
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