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For this next edition of my rankings, I am going to talk about wide receivers. I will rank and have a quick blurb about the top 30 receivers, which would allow for 3 per team in a standard 10-team league. After the first three receivers on a team, it may very well be sleepers and flyers from there out. So without further ado, let’s go:
30) Martavis Bryant – Pittsburgh Steelers
Fresh off a season long suspension, Martavis Bryant will look to have an impact on one of the best offenses in the NFL. Behind Brown and Bell on the Steelers depth chart, don’t expect Bryant to be a superstar, but he will be a solid 3rd receiver/flex option on a given week to week basis.
29) Larry Fitzgerald – Arizona Cardinals
Larry Fitz had a big season last year, and no matter how old he gets he is always a great possession receiver and a red zone threat. He should be a fairly consistent, but somewhat touchdown-dependent WR3.
28) Jamison Crowder – Washington Redskins
Crowder was a fantastic gadget-type player that blossomed into a fantasy weapon last season. However, he may have reached his full potential. I don’t think he will take a step back or anything, but more of the same.
27) Eric Decker – Tennessee Titans
Decker missed 13 games with a shoulder injury, going on injured reserve last season with the Jets. He was released and signed with the Titans in the offseason. Decker can’t carry an offensive load, but won’t have to in Tennessee. He is very consistent when he isn’t “the guy” in the offense. Look at some of his Denver campaigns and 2015 with the Jets. Now, its all about learning the system and building chemistry with Mariota.
26) Tyreek Hill – Kansas City Chiefs
Tyreek Hill is Mr. Boom or Bust, who tends to boom more than he busts. A receiving, rushing, and returning threat, he could singlehandedly win you the week from the flex spot. He could finish a lot higher than where I rank him, but I am playing the rankings safe.
25) Emmanuel Sanders – Denver Broncos
Sanders can make some spectacular catches and when he gets into his groove can really move the ball downfield by getting open play after play. His consistency and quarterback are the two questions for Sanders, leaving him as a low WR2/high WR3 area for this season.
24) Julian Edelman – New England Patriots
Edelman will for sure be higher in any PPR rankings, as Tom Brady’s go to guy, especially if Gronk is used in a more conservative role, which you have to think that he might be. The number of targets that a guy like Brandin Cooks could take from Edelman is why he falls this far down the rankings.
23) Terrelle Pryor Sr. – Washington Redskins
In our college friend group fantasy league, Terrelle Pryor was a meme before he was an actual viable fantasy player, always getting picked by our friend AJ in the last round because of how he used him in Madden 13. Yes, sadly that is true. But last year AJ pulled his joke and ended up getting a usable fantasy player. And now in Washington, Pryor will look to replace Desean Jackson.
22) Golden Tate – Detroit Lions
Golden Tate should be in line for another solid season. Not much noteworthy or special to say other than that, to be honest. He and Stafford can heat up their connection at times, while other times it can fall flat.
21) Sammy Watkins – Buffalo Bills
Health and volume of team passing are Watkins two main concerns. But when Tyrod Taylor is throwing and Watkins is healthy, he has all the talent you could ask for in a wide receiver.
20) Davante Adams – Green Bay Packers
Adams had a great season last year, really gaining the trust of Aaron Rodgers. I expect him to repeat a successful season behind Jordy Nelson on the depth chart in an offense that excels in the passing game.
19) Allen Robinson – Jacksonville Jaguars
After a stellar 2015 campaign, Robinson took multiple steps back in 2016. He could be a superstar, but is a super risky pick that I personally am not comfortable selecting as anything more than a WR2.
18) Michael Crabtree – Oakland Raiders
Crabtree is a solid #2 on his team’s depth chart behind Amari Cooper and should be a solid #2 WR on fantasy team depth charts this season. The only concern is if his targets drop due to Oakland wanting to run the ball more after bringing in Marshawn Lynch.
17) Brandon Marshall – NY Giants
A change of scenery (kind of (he still plays in the same home stadium)) will serve Marshall well and he is a strong rebound canditate. He now is the #2 WR on his team behind OBJ but the Giants will throw a lot this season.
16) DeAndre Hopkins – Houston Texans
I safely rank Hopkins low because of his struggles last season, he did finish as ESPN’s 27th scoring receiver last year. Now that Osweiler is gone and Deshaun Watson is in, Hopkins should slightly bounce back from that.
15) Brandin Cooks – New England Patriots
Tom Brady has a brand new toy to use in New England and he is a nice one. Cooks has had great success under Drew Brees his first few seasons in the league and as long as he grasps the Patriots playbook I don’t think his success will change. He may be used in different ways, but that could ultimately be an advantage to Cooks.
14) Doug Baldwin – Seattle Seahawks
Baldwin and Russell Wilson catch fire during certain stretches of the fantasy season. Last season, Baldwin finished as the 8th highest scoring WR on ESPN. This year, I expect that to go down a little, but not by much.
13) Demaryius Thomas – Denver Broncos
Although not quite one of the best fantasy receivers like he once was, Thomas will still be a very good WR2 in Denver. His production is tied to the production of whoever is running the show for the Broncos: Siemian or Lynch.
12) Alshon Jeffrey – Philadelphia Eagles
Health is always a question with Jeffrey, but I expect him to succeed immediately with an improving and growing Wentz, just not enough to put him in the tope 10 just yet.
11) Keenan Allen – San Diego Chargers
Health, health, health, health, health. That is just about all that needs to be said for Keenan Allen. If he is healthy, he will be great. But his health is just about the furthest from a guarantee as anything could be.
10) Michael Thomas – New Orleans Saints
With Brandin Cooks out of New Orleans, Michael Thomas is the uncontested number one receiver, which is a great thing in a Drew Brees led offense. I expect another top-10 finish for Thomas.
9) Amari Cooper – Oakland Raiders
Although consistency can sometimes be an issue with Cooper, when he and Derek Carr get on the same page, the ACDC connection is a force to be reckoned with. With each year of experience in the league, Cooper should continue to improve and get more consistent.
8) T.Y. Hilton – Indianapolis Colts
Hilton’s success largely depends on Andrew Luck’s. Hilton can put monster numbers, but only if Luck is half way on his game. Still, as long as he is healthy he is a virtual lock for a top 10 fantasy finish for wide receivers.
7) Jordy Nelson – Green Bay Packers
Jordy Nelson is a very talented receiver who is a physical threat capable of beating defenses in a number of ways. It also helps that he is in Green Bay’s offense with Aaron Rodgers.
6) A.J. Green – Cincinatti Bengals
AJ Green is a fantastic playmaker, who is a clear scoring threat. He is really the only “go-to” level player in Cincinnati. I really expect him to have another stellar fantasy season, but the receivers in this league are so good, he is only ranked 6th.
5) Dez Bryant – Dallas Cowboys
Dez is another dominant X-receiver in the NFL, being part of one of the NFL’s premiere offensive trios with Ezekiel Elliot and Dak Prescott. As a deep threat and a red zone threat, Dez will be an elite fantasy receiver this season. Throw up the X.
4) Mike Evans – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
A breakout stud last season, look for Mike Evans to continue his success in what could be one of the best offenses in the NFL. That’s right you heard it here first folks. Bucs top 5 offense in the NFL, Mike Evans top 5 fantasy WR. Book it.
3) Julio Jones – Atlanta Falcons
Those amazing catches never get old unless you are rooting for the Pats in the Super Bowl, but no harm done in the end. Jones always seems to be banged up during the season, but he also always seems to be a top 5 fantasy wide receiver, with monster games that will singlehandedly win you weeks when they happen. Don’t shy away from Jones.
2) Odell Beckham Jr. – NY Giants
Beckham paired with Marshall should be a lethal receiving corps that should honestly make Beckham’s fantasy numbers rise because the opposing defenses will have to worry about more than just him, meaning he won’t draw as many double coverages. He will be the 2nd best WR in fantasy and I am fairly confident in that assessment.
1) Antonio Brown – Pittsburgh Steelers
Antonio Brown should once again be the best wide receiver in fantasy football, as he does it all. He goes deep, he catches screens and he can kill defenses on medium length crossing routes. He is truly a superstar and should be drafted like one.