FANTASY FOOTBALL DRAFT KIT

2013 Player Rankings: Wide Receivers
Updated: September 4, 2013
Top 10's:        
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Tier 1
Calvin Johnson - DET YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 1
Keeper: 1
Auction 10: 25%
Auction 12: 19%
2010 DET 15 77 1120 14.5 12 4 32  
2011 DET 16 96 1681 17.5 16 1 11  
2012 DET 16 122 1964 16.1 5      
Avg   16 98 1588 16.0 11 2 14 0
Proj DET   105 1700   11      

He fell only 36 yards short of 2000 last year and only caught 122 passes. Megatron was coming off a 1681 yard season with 16 touchdowns but fell to only five scores last year. There is no receiver who comes close in high production and low risk. The only question is when in the first round that he should be drafted. Since no new receivers were brought in and the offense remains the same, expect more from the wideout who embodies "unstoppable".

Dez Bryant - DAL YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 2
Keeper: 3
Auction 10: 21%
Auction 12: 17%
2010 DAL 12 45 561 12.5 6 1    
2011 DAL 15 63 928 14.7 9 1 5  
2012 DAL 16 92 1382 15.0 12 2 -5  
Avg   14 67 957 14.1 9 1 0 0
Proj DAL   100 1420   13      

Dez Bryant of the first two and a half seasons was mostly a bust, a constant source of legal and moral dilemmas, an accomplished pass dropper and even a distraction for the team. The Bryant of the final eight games of 2012 was one of the best two wideouts in the entire league. He ended with 92-1382- 12 but those final eight games posted 50-879-10 when he became nearly unstoppable and even played with a fractured finger. The Cowboys have a very soft passing schedule for 2013 and Bryant is poised to challenge for the top of the position. He may have taken time to mature, but it appears it was worth the wait. He'll be one of the first wideouts taken in most every fantasy draft.

Demaryius Thomas - DEN YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 3
Keeper: 7
Auction 10: 20%
Auction 12: 17%
2010 DEN 10 22 283 12.9 2 2 1  
2011 DEN 11 32 551 17.2 4 1 5  
2012 DEN 16 94 1434 15.3 10      
Avg   12 49 756 15.1 5 1 2 0
Proj DEN   90 1410   12      

Thomas had a breakout season when he paired with Peyton Manning for 94 catches, 1434 yards and ten touchdowns. The question this year is how will Wes Welker impact Thomas? Chances are - not a lot. Thomas should rarely get the double teams with Welker over the middle and taking the safety. The Broncos are going to be switching to more three receiver sets instead of two tight ends and so Welker will impact the tight ends to be sure. Thomas may not get any more passes but there is no reason why he would get many less - and maybe no less. Plus his catches could be more effective this year with the attention that Welker places on the defense. Don't let the presence of Welker diminish the role that Thomas plays in the offense. Welker will affect everyone but Thomas.

Brandon Marshall - CHI YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 4
Keeper: 2
Auction 10: 20%
Auction 12: 17%
2010 MIA 14 86 1014 11.8 3 2 3  
2011 MIA 16 81 1214 15.0 6 1 13  
2012 CHI 16 118 1508 12.8 11 1 -2  
Avg   15 95 1245 13.2 7 1 5 0
Proj CHI   100 1400   12      

(-Risk) Marshall went to Chicago where there had not been an elite wide receiver in decades and merely turned in a career best season with 118 catches for 1508 yards and 11 touchdowns. His reunion with Jay Cutler went rather well. Now the Bears are installing a new West Coast offense that is predicated on throwing shorter passes over the middle and on timing routes which pretty much describes what Marshall (6-4) already does. Marshall is 29 years old and in his prime. He is a must grab when drafting wideouts and in a reception point league, he may be the most elite. Marshall is healing from hip surgery but is expected to be fine for training camp.

08-28-13 Update: Marshall was a sponge in week 2 when he caught all four completions by Jay Cutler and scored once but just came out and said that he was not as far progressed as he would like from offseason hip surgery. He played injured most of last year and still ended with a career best 118-1508-7 stat line. He has some risk admitting the hip is not 100% but nothing else suggests that it will matter much.

Julio Jones - ATL YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 5
Keeper: 4
Auction 10: 20%
Auction 12: 16%
2010                  
2011 ATL 13 54 959 17.8 8 6 56  
2012 ATL 16 79 1198 15.2 10 6 30  
Avg   15 67 1079 16.5 9 6 43 0
Proj ATL   90 1390   12      

(+Upside) This is the third-season for Jones but he's been a breakout player since his rookie season. Last year he ended with 79 catches for 1198 yards and 10 scores. He saved his best for last when he rolled up 11 receptions for 182 yards and two scores in the loss to the 49ers. He's more than just the long- ball option in Atlanta, he's taking over the primary role from White. The worst you will get from Jones is still going to be top ten. The best? As a 24 year old receiver in only his third year, that could be a very big number.

Larry Fitzgerald - ARI YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 6
Keeper: 5
Auction 10: 16%
Auction 12: 15%
2010 ARI 16 90 1137 12.6 6      
2011 ARI 16 80 1411 17.6 8      
2012 ARI 16 71 798 11.2 4      
Avg   16 80 1115 13.8 6 0 0 0
Proj ARI   97 1350   11      

(+Upside) The only real concern with Fitzgerald this season is that he may still be hung-over from celebrating the addition of Carson Palmer. After scoring double-digit touchdowns while playing with Kurt Warner through 2009, Fitzgerald dropped steeply in the number of end-zone trips but managed to maintain decent yardage despite playing with a never ending carousel of marginal quarterbacks. Last year it all crashed and left him with only 798 yards on 71 catches and four touchdowns. He’s 30 years old now but not slowing down. He remains one of the elite receivers in the NFL and with Palmer there should see a nice increase to his fantasy totals. Fitz will be the best receiver that he ever played with and twice Chad Johnson led the league in receiving yards in Cincinnati with Palmer at the helm. The Bruce Arians offense in Indianapolis last season rejuvenated the career of Reggie Wayne (106-1355-5). The Cardinals schedule is about average and Fitz should be a lock for a return to a very good year with upside to reclaim his role as a top three wideout.

A.J. Green - CIN YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 7
Keeper: 6
Auction 10: 16%
Auction 12: 15%
2010                  
2011 CIN 15 65 1057 16.3 7 5 53  
2012 CIN 16 97 1350 13.9 11 4 38  
Avg   16 81 1204 15.1 9 5 46 0
Proj CIN   100 1370   10      

Green enters his third season already established as an elite wideout who ranked top five no matter what your league scoring was last season. His 164 targets last year ranked fourth best in the league and the Bengals did nothing to find a better #2 complement to him. Mohamed Sanu may stay healthy this year and actually matter but Green remains one of the safest picks possible in a position that has mostly inconsistency.

07-27-13 Update: Green gave a scare when he went down holding his leg in practice but no structural damage was found and he won't miss but a few days from a twisted knee.

Tier 2
Andre Johnson - HOU YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 8
Keeper: 11
Auction 10: 12%
Auction 12: 15%
2010 HOU 13 86 1216 14.1 8 2 10  
2011 HOU 7 33 492 14.9 2 1 8  
2012 HOU 16 112 1598 14.3 4      
Avg   12 77 1102 14.4 5 1 6 0
Proj HOU   100 1450   7      

Johnson comes off a career best 1598 yards on 112 catches last year though he only scored four times. In Houston, there are very few short yardage passing touchdowns thanks to Arian Foster. He turns 32 this year and claims to want to play five more. This one is pretty certain and there is no sign of him declining. Johnson was dogged by injuries in 2011 and 2012 which limited him but he came roaring back to the levels of 2010 and 2009. Johnson lagged only Calvin Johnson for the most receiving yards last year and was the leagues most productive player back in 2009 and 2008. Johnson may lose a little work to DeAndre Hopkins who was drafted in the first round but the rookie may make Johnson even better. Johnson is a safe bet to be a WR1 in every league, the only question is how big of a difference he can make. Last year was a gem and 2013 will be as well if he can remain healthy again.

Randall Cobb - GBP YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 9
Keeper: 8
Auction 10: 10%
Auction 12: 14%
2010                  
2011 GBP 15 25 375 15.0 1 2 5  
2012 GBP 15 80 954 11.9 8 10 132  
Avg   15 53 665 13.5 5 6 69 0
Proj GBP   93 1230   10      

Cobb had a breakout season in 2012 when he managed 80-954-8 in just his second season. With Greg Jennings gone, Cobb is the clear #1 receiver on this team and at the age of 23 he'll be there for a while. The Packers intend on reducing his special teams play to keep him more active as a receiver and reduce the chance he gets injured. The Packers will still spread the wealth among all receivers and with that limit Cobb from what he could do. But he's a safe bet as a WR2 or even a low end WR1.

Vincent Jackson - TBB YEAR TM GMS CAT CYD YPC CTD CAR RYD RTD
Huddle Rank: 10
Keeper: 10
Auction 10: 10%
Auction 12: 14%
2010 SDC 5 14 248 17.7 3 1 14  
2011 SDC 16 60 1106 18.4 9 3 51  
2012 TBB 16 72 1384 19.2 8      
Avg   12 49 913 18.4 7 1 22 0
Proj TBB   77 1320   8      

Jackson changed teams and produced career marks in his first season with the Bucs. He caught 72 passes for 1384 yards and eight touchdowns. His 19.2 yards per catch was the highest of his career as well. Jackson is a consistent fantasy start thanks to yardage and catches but his scores trailed off last year when he only managed one touchdown over his final six games though he was nursing a calf injury later in the year. He's a safe draft pick as a WR2 but he's likely already reached as good as he can be. A second season with the Bucs should help him maintain his numbers from last year unless a QB change happens later in the year.

   
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