The Top 20 Wide Receiver Rankings For The 2013 Fantasy Football Season
The 2013 fantasy season is right around the corner and drafts will be popping up all over the place over the next 50 days or so. So it’s time to bring you up to speed on the Top 20 players at each position this year. The rankings are for Standard Redraft PPR (Points Per Reception).
Yesterday we covered the Quarterbacks, today, we continue on with the Top 20 Wide Receiver rankings. Tomorrow, I’ll unveil the Top 20 Tight Ends to wrap of the week.
So let’s get started with the Top 20 WRs, here we go…
#1 Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions (Age 28) Bye: 9
101 catches for 1,610 yards and 13 total TDs
Calvin Johnson is every bit the stud we think he is after breaking Jerry Rice's all-time single season yardage record. Megatron did not come through on the TD side of things however, scoring only five times. He is a beast and Stafford should have a bounce back year. Defenses will now have to account for someone else in Detroit now that Bush arrived, but even if Calvin does not see 204 targets this year, he is still far and away the best wide receiver.
#2 AJ Green, Cincinnati Bengals (Age 25) Bye: 12
96 catches for 1,415 yards and 12 total TDs
A.J. Green scored in nine straight games last season then went cold for three games in a row and only scored once after week 11. Streaks happen, but he is still as consistent as they come. Green put up 10 plus targets in 10 of the 16 games including a monstrous 18 targets during the week 16 game against the Steelers. Even though the Bengals draft Eifert and Benard, the offense is still centered around Green. I also love the fact that it’s an added bonus that we get to watch him during “Hard Knocks” on HBO this year.
#3 Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys (Age 25) Bye: 11
95 catches for 1,370 yards and 12 total TDs
Bryant was unstoppable in the later part of last year as he put up 10 scores between weeks 10 and 16. That’s all fine and dandy, but he did only score twice through the first nine weeks of the season. Those types of streaks need to change for him to be the true elite WR we all know he can be. This is Bryant’s team now; Austin is not a threat like he was before. Dez should have no problem duplicating last year, but I think scoring will be more constant and not so top heavy week to week.
#4 Brandon Marshall, Chicago Bears (Age 29) Bye: 8
100 catches for 1,300 yards and 10 total TDs
Marshall is going to catch 100 passes; it’s just how it is. He only caught less than 82 passes his rookie year and caught 100 or more four out of the seven years he has been in the league. Marshall is a PPR monster as he had 118 catches last year and even though there is a new head coach in town, nothing will change this year. After putting up double digit fantasy points every week but week two last year, his consistency earns him a Top 5 ranking and should be drafted as such.
#5 Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals (Age 30) Bye: 9
93 catches for 1,385 yards and 10 total TDs
Don’t call it a comeback, he’s been here for years, and Larry Fitzgerald sure as hell must be thrilled to have a QB again. Last year he saw the likes of John Skelton and Ryan Lindley tossing him the ball, say it together… YUCK! Fitz has Carson Palmer now, and that can only help him bounce back to elite numbers. He has still not had less than 153 targets in any of his last 5 season, so with the amount of opportunity and a QB with a better arm, his reception and yards should be where he is a custom to. A Top 5 WR is where Fitz will belong again, as it feels so wrong leaving him out, and because of a much better system from a Coach who loves to sling it in Bruce Arians.
#6 Demaryius Thomas, Denver Broncos (Age 26) Bye: 9
91 catches for 1,345 yards and 10 total TDs
Now that we saw what DT can do with a real QB, his stock surely has risen. Now that Welker is in town, some people seem to be worried about Thomas’ targets. He may see fewer, but he is still the star receiver and first option in Peyton Manning’s offense. Decker will probably be more affected by Welker then Thomas, but as long as Manning is the QB, all three will see their share of points. I have mentioned consistency a few times so far and Thomas was the model for that last season as he tallied over 13 fantasy points in 13 of his 16 games.
#7 Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons (Age 24) Bye: 6
90 catches for 1,305 yards and 10 total TDs
Julio Jones is catching a lot of hype this year as he enters his third year, and rightfully so as he has unbelievable game breaking potential. He is on the brink of being a Top 5 WR, as he is productive making 79 catches for 1,198 yards with 10 scores last year. Roddy White is still there to take away some looks and so is Gonzo and SJax, but Julio will get his as he scored 5 times between week 12 and 16 when fantasy players need him most. His young QB is a talent and loves looking his way more and more and he may finally outscore Roddy this year, but not by much.
#8 Andre Johnson, Houston Texans (Age 32) Bye: 8
90 catches for 1,320 yards and 9 total TDs
Johnson still has the talent to be an elite WR, some say he lost a step, some have been wrong about players before. This guy is not just any receiver though; he is a freak who keeps himself in shape. Even though he is 32, he still is explosive, just see his overtime TD from last year if you disagree. Johnson has scored only six TDs in the past two seasons, mostly because of his hamstring injury two years ago, but if healthy he will easily surpass six scores this year. Coming off 112 catch season, the offense is not just going to forget about their playmaker no matter how many people think he lost a step. I do not see 112 catches, but 90 catches is more than reasonable, and that equals Top 10 WR in my books.
#9 Roddy White, Atlanta Falcons (Age 32) Bye: 6
89 catches for 1,335 yards and 8 total TDs
Roddy White may not have as many TDs as he has had in the past because of Julio, but he is still a #1 WR in any PPR league. After pulling in 92 catches for 1,351 yards last year, the Falcons still see him as a big factor in this offense, and Ryan has played with him for a while so he will see a lot of opportunities until he no longer has legs. White only scored seven times last year, but that is the area I see him again this year. He is getting a little older and only has a few years left, but this is still a productive WR who has the offense to help hide his age. We already know what a WR2 will do in this offense, so that is why Roddy still fill out the Top 10.
#10 Victor Cruz, New York Giants (Age 26) Bye: 9
84 catches for 1,315 yards and 9 total TDs
Well, I’m glad that stand off is over as it was making my head hurt. Victor Cruz got his deal, now he can focus on playing football and doing his salsa dance during the season. We may not see the same start to this year like Cruz had last season, posting seven scores through his first seven games, but it is not impossible. Eli’s tired arm last year caused his numbers to dip at the end of the season, but Cruz is a playmaker and just needs Eli to throw it to him and he will do the rest, just ask the Redskins.
#11 Vincent Jackson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Age 30) Bye: 5
80 catches for 1,295 yards and 9 total TDs
This guy normally has a pretty good stat line at the end of the year, but he was very inconsistent on the points. He posted five games with less than 10 points in fantasy production and only scored once in his final six games. VJax has an unstable QB situation with Josh Freeman being very shaky lately, but Jackson is a performer and will have numbers at the end of the year. Just know he may poop the bed every now and then, but it will pay off with a monster game here and there as Jackson also scored more than 22 fantasy points six times last year.
#12 Mike Wallace, Miami Dolphins (Age 27) Bye: 6
77 catches for 1,290 yards and 9 total TDs
Buy, Buy, Buy! No, I’m not singing the lame N’SYNC song, Mike Wallace is about to get back to form. This guy is far going to surpass his projected ADP as the 21st WR taken off the board in the 6th round. WHAT?! Sure, he just went from Big Ben to Ryan Tannehill, but he is the unquestioned #1 WR on a team with a good young QB and lot’s of promise. These numbers are about was he was producing until last year, but he had Grandpa Batch throwing to him, so I’ll give him a pass. Wallace does get to play Buffalo and New York twice, plus they will have to play catch up with New England, so that doesn’t hurt.
#13 Percy Harvin, Seattle Seahawks (Age 25) Bye: 12
75 catches for 1,190 total yards and 8 total TDs
Percy Harvin made a jump from having a guy like Christian Ponder trying to get him the ball to having a more talented Russell Wilson, I’m sure he is alright with that. Harvin catches his share of passes but he has never had over 1,000 yards receiving or six receiving scores in any season. Harvin does get some activity on the ground, but that is why Seattle has Lynch. Seattle did not acquire him and give him a fat deal just to look at him, so they plan to get Harvin involved. If he stays healthy he has a chance to do more with the opportunity he is given with better players around him, but just keep in mind he has never had that explosive season.
#14 Hakeem Nicks, New York Giants (Age 25) Bye: 9
69 catches for 1,180 yards and 9 total TDs
All we can really hope for are that his knee issues are behind him. When Nicks is healthy he sure can put up some points, but he really get’s banged up a lot. Nicks tallied over seven targets in seven of his 12 games, so we know Eli likes to look to him as he still post 100 targets total in 12 games. The end zone has been kind to Nicks as he posted 18 scores combined in the two years prior to last. The elephant in the room is can Nicks stay on the field to produce enough. I normally do not worry about injury or predict it much, but Nicks does scare me. Risk vs. Reward is what I say, but if he plays al 16 and that is how I project, he is easily Top 15 material.
#15 Marques Colston, New Orleans Saints (Age 30) Bye: 7
74 catches for 1,160 yards and 8 total TDs
In his career, Colston is always consistent from year to year, but man he sure is inconsistent on a week to week basis. He has caught over 80 balls in each of his last three seasons and has had over 1,000 yards and 106 targets each year. Colston went scoreless in 9 of his 15 fantasy weeks and only caught over six balls five times. He manages to put up some big games here and there and will do the same this year, but he also put up only 4 games of more than 15 fantasy points. Frustrating to say the least but productive none the less, I just hope you start him on the big weeks, ugh!
#16 Randall Cobb, Green Bay Packers (Age 22) Bye: 4
72 catches for 1,105 yards and 9 total TDs
People say with Jennings gone, Cobb is going to step up into a bigger role. Do people forget Jennings was gone most of last year anyways and Nelson was even hurt some games as well? Cobb made 80 catches and that was for only 954 yards, I expect more yards from 80 catches. Cobb did have eight scores and 132 rush yards to go with it, but this year I think he does more with the same opportunity. He had a terrific reception percentage at 80%, but he only had 104 targets. Cobb makes the most of his chances and he will need to do that this year as Nelson, Jones and Finley are still in town, so there are many mouths that need to be fed.
#17 Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City Chiefs (Age 25) Bye: 10
76 catches for 1,140 yards and 8 total TDs
Bowe has to be ecstatic that he has a new pass happy coach in Andy Reid in town. Alex Smith may not be the best QB, but he is better than anything Bowe had last year and he sure knows how to make smarter decisions. Bowe is in line to benefit from all the additions to the offense and may be back to WR2 material. Bowe has only had more than seven scores once, and that was when he had his monstrous 15 TD campaign in 2010. We are far removed from that time, but he can reach eight scores no problem. Before last year, Bowe averaged 76 catches for 1,160 yards and 10 scores in his prior two seasons, which seem to be right in line with my predictions for this year.
#18 Eric Decker, Denver Broncos (Age 26) Bye: 9
70 catches for 1,075 yards and 9 total TDs
A lot of people are down on him because of the acquisition of Welker, I am not one of those people. Just because another talent comes in does not mean another is forgotten. Welker may steal some secondary looks from Decker, but the majority of what Welker will see is what Stokley and other slot receivers saw. Don’t forget, Decker scored 13 times last year and isn’t a slot receiver anyways. He is a bigger receiver at 6’3”, same height as Thomas and just 11 pounds lighter. A totally different receiver then Welker while still playing the same role as last year. But that type of production is easy to find, let’s just forget about him. Yes, I am mocking the people doubting him. Manning spreads it around like a dirty girl with Herpes and has a successful track record of having three receivers reach 1,000 yards in one season. Happened in 2004 with Harrison, Wayne and Stokley… why won’t there be room for Thomas, Decker and Welker to do it in 2013?
#19 Jordy Nelson, Green Bay Packers (Age 28) Bye: 4
68 catches for 1,095 yards and 9 total TDs
While he has never really been an every year performer, the potential to blow up is there. He is just two seasons removed of catching 1,263 yards and 15 scores. We know he can do it, because he has. In the two games before he hurt himself he had 17 catches on 21 targets, 243 yards and four TDs. After that he really never recovered and couldn’t stay healthy, only receiving 10 targets from week eight, on. Nelson is coming into this season healthy and as the #1 option to start the season, as I see Cobb slowing progressing to take catches away. But Nelson should still be productive as the Packers are another team who can possibly have three 1,000 yard receivers this year.
#20 Wes Welker, Denver Broncos (Age 32) Bye: 9
73 catches for 1,105 yards and 8 total TDs
While the days of Welker catching 100 passes are over, this will still be a good year, it will just be a little pedestrian as far as Welker is concerned. He may not be catching passes from Brady anymore, but having another future Hall of Famer in Peyton Manning is not a bad thing. You have heard me talk about Thomas and Decker above; I think I made my point. Welker is also a little older and learning a new playbook, so a drop in production from where he is a custom to is not farfetched. Still, Denver is going to be an unstoppable team and it will be exciting to watch the likes of three elite receivers’ running amuck with one hell of an elite QB.