2017 Fantasy Football Rankings - Wide Receivers
1. Antonio Brown- There are a lot more pressing matters for me to burn keystrokes on than the obvious. With that said, his finishes in PPR the last 4 years are as follows: 3,1,1,6. The man is a generational wide receiver. That is all.
2. Julio Jones- Jones averages over 1,500 yards per season over the last six years. He’s incredible. While I think Odell Beckham is a better real life, the difference in caliber of QB puts Jones at 2 for me.
3. Odell Beckham- Beckham has finished with at least 1,300 yards and ten touchdowns in each of his first three years in the league. I think he’s the most talented receiver in sport.
4. AJ Green- Green was leading the league in catches and receiving yards before his unfortunate hamstring injury in week 11 derailed his season.
5. Jordy Nelson- Nelson’s age makes me a little weary as he’s 32 and I’d rather be a year early than a year late. With that said, he scored another 14 touchdowns last year and he’s still catching passes from the best QB on Earth. I think Nelson’s fantasy ceiling is numero uno.
6. Mike Evans- A lot has been made about the second half of the season where Tampa won more, Jameis threw less and Mike Evans caught less. I don’t think it’s a huge deal or a game changer but it’s enough for me to have him below Nelson and Green.
7. Michael Thomas- I really wish I believed Sean Payton when he said “Yeah, I don’t do that fantasy stuff but if you do, you should draft Michael Thomas”. I did end up with shares but clearly not enough of them. Thomas put up a 92/1137/9 line last season and he caught 75% of his targets. With Cooks gone, I’m not exactly sure what that does for his targets but it surely cannot hurt.
8. Doug Baldwin- He tied for the league lead in touchdowns in 2015 with 14 and last year had another top 10 PPR finish. There are going to be some peaks and valleys given what kind of offensive team Seattle is but Baldwin is one of the better receivers in football and is the favorite target of Russell Wilson. I’m buying.
9. Amari Cooper- He’s had back to back 1,000 yard seasons and he’s only 23. It would shock nobody if he made a leap into the top five fantasy wide receivers. He’s a little volatile but it’s his third year in the league and you would think Oakland would be best served to get him more involved in the redzone.
10. Dez Bryant- With Zeke out for some period of time, you would think that means an uptick in volume for Dez Bryant. Over the final eight games Bryant played with Dak Prescott, he was the fourth best WR in fantasy. I’d rather have Dez as a WR2 than a WR1 because the volume is just
not there on a consistent basis. If you’re buying Dez, you’re buying him for the touchdowns.
11. T.Y. Hilton- Andrew Luck’s throwing arm surgery is cause for pause with Hilton when it comes time to draft him but I’ll worry about that when a definitive announcement is made. Hilton had the breakout last year that we all waited for and at the tender young age of 27, I don’t see it stopping here
12. DeMaryius Thomas- 90 catches and at least 1000 yards for five years straight. There isn’t much to be said other than that. If your #1 is somewhat volatile, Thomas is the perfect complement because his floor is stable.
13. Larry Fitzgerald- Although Fitzgerald has slowed down considerably in the second half of the last two seasons, he led the league in receptions last season. Similar to DeMaryius, Fitzgerald is an amazing team stabilizer.
14. DeAndre Hopkins- If you’re going to draft DeAndre Hopkins where he’s currently going, you’re basically going to have to pray for Deshaun Watson to take Tom Savage’s job then be good enough to make Hopkins a weekly WR2. It isn’t the most improbable thing on Earth but it’s too risky for my blood.
15. Allen Robinson- I think the “real” Allen Robinson is somewhere between the 2015 version and the 2016 version. I struggled on where to rank him but he still has enough ability to be a top 15 wide receiver. Will he be? No idea. I probably won’t have any shares because I don’t feel like I deserve the torture that is watching Blake Bortles throw footballs.
16. Keenan Allen- I know, I know. He’s injury prone! I get it, you’re scared to draft him. He was on pace to catch 125 passes before he went down in ’15 and was having a monster first half in the opener before going down in ’16. What’s the old adage? Scared money don’t make money. Draft the guy and pray for his health.
17. Terrelle Pryor- This is an aggressive ranking based on him being on a new team with a bunch of weapons. With that said, Pryor posted 77 catches for 1,000 yards on the damn Browns and is now on one of the best passing offenses in the sport. He was a WR2 on that team and I’ll take my chances that he can at least replicate that on an actual real life NFL passing offense.
18. Davante Adams- Just close your eyes and pray he scores another 10+ touchdowns. He’s not particularly good at getting open but he’s great at making contested catches and Aaron Rodgers is his QB. Fun fact: there have been two receivers in the last 10 years to score double digit touchdowns while accumulating less than 1000 yards receiving. Those two were James Jones and Davante Adams
19. Golden Tate- Another ol’ reliable. He’s caught 90+ passes in each of the last three seasons. Sidebar: Matthew Stafford is the fifth best QB in fantasy since Jim Bob Cooter took over.
20. Brandin Cooks- New team. A lot of weapons. He’s never played in cold. I think Cooks is a better real life player than fantasy player and will probably let someone draft him at his current aggressive ADP. In best ball formats, Cooks is awesome though since you don’t have to predict when he goes off.
21. Stefon Diggs- In 13 games last season, Diggs finished with 84 catches, 903 yards and three touchdowns. If he can play a full 16 and make that mythical third year leap people talk about, he should be a good fantasy selection.
22. Martavis Bryant- This is an aggressive ranking and honestly I don’t even have many facts at my disposal. Just consider the offense he plays in, the impact he has on the QB and his physical abilities.
23. Alshon Jeffery- His target share is a relative unknown but we know about his ability to make contested catches. Carson Wentz, regardless of how you feel about him, wasn’t afraid to make those kinds of throws. Coming off an injury riddled season that ended in a PED suspension, Jeffery has a lot to prove on a one year prove it deal.
24. Jarvis Landry- I think Cutler has proven that he can keep two fantasy relevant wide receivers at once. I think he’s also proven to be reliant(sometimes to his detriment) on one guy more than the rest. I’m also not sure he’s ever had a guy like Jarvis Landry so maybe Gase’s playcalling mitigates my concerns but I still think Landry will be a productive player but I don’t see Cutler throwing it underneath enough to get him to his typical 90+ catches.
25. Michael Crabtree- Crabtree has scored 17 touchdowns in the last two seasons. Oakland’s offense still projects to be one of the league’s best.
26. Emmanuel Sanders- He might be a better wide receiver than DeMaryius from a real life standpoint but he’s more volatile from a fantasy perspective. However, he was a top 20 WR the past two seasons and he has a good rapport with Trevor Siemian
27. Julian Edelman- With Gronk on the field, Edelman just doesn’t get targeted as much. Honestly, I’m willing to avoid the entire Patriots pass catching corps save for Gronkowski. Edelman is a relatively boring, safe WR2 play though.
28. Tyreek Hill- It’s only so excited you’re going to get me about a dude catching passes from Alex fucking Smith.
29. Sammy Watkins- I believe in the talent but I’m not sure Jared Goff will be anything but a miserable QB. On the bright side, Sean Mcvay is a bright offensive mind and that should help. I’m not touching Sammy barring him falling to like round 7
30. Jamison Crowder- There are so many mouths to feed in the Washington offense and I don’t really like his TD upside but I wouldn’t be surprised if he made this ranking look silly this season. I think he’s going to catch at least 75 passes.
31. Jeremy Maclin- Maclin goes from one bad QB to another but he’s already proven he can thrive under these circumstances. I don’t know if he has a high ceiling but I think you can safely start him in the flex every week.
32. Willie Snead- I think he has a very stable floor. I’m not sure his ceiling is particularly high but if he plays 16 games I fully expect Snead to catch 80 passes.
33. Pierre Garcon- The last time Pierre Garcon and Kyle Shanahan worked together, Garcon caught 113 passes for 1300 yards. That probably won’t happen again but Garcon is on a team that should trail a lot and I honestly can’t name another wide receiver on the team.
34. Kelvin Benjamin- I don’t really like gambling on players I feel are no good at football but Benjamin is big, has a wide catch radius and should be a redzone weapon. Touchdowns are still really important.
35. Brandon Marshall- Mediocre QB and a lot of competition for targets. He’s worth a lottery ticket because he’s smashed it everywhere he’s gone in his first year there but I don’t see much more than a possible flex option with Marshall.
36. Desean Jackson- D-Jax is the original Brandin Cooks. Good luck guessing which weeks he’s going to go off. I feel like he’s a best ball special.
37. Donte Moncrief- His health concerns and his QB health concerns makes even this spot a risky proposition.
38. John Brown- If he parties like it’s 2015, he’s going to make a lot of people money.
39. Eric Decker- One of the most efficient redzone QBs in football paired with one of the better RZ targets in football.
40. Kenny Britt- Just take him and enjoy the 1000 yards and six or so touchdowns.
41. DeVante Parker- There’s a non-zero chance that Parker becomes Cutler’s Alshon Jeffery. I wouldn’t bet on it but it’s possible.
42. Cameron Meredith- I really believe in this kid’s ability from a real life perspective. If the QB can get him the damn ball, I believe he’ll make some noise
43. Tyrell Williams- He’s the best deep threat on a team with a top flight QB. He’s going to help win you some weeks in a pinch.
44. Jordan Matthews- God bless you if you want to rely on this guy.
45. Zay Jones- Someone has to catch the ball right?