The Infallible Fantasy Football Rankings (WR)

Drake is the biggest bandwagon fan ever. But if there's someone to get on the bandwagon for, it's Odell Beckham.
Drake is the biggest bandwagon fan ever. But if there’s someone to get on the bandwagon for, it’s Odell Beckham.

After all the injuries and the insistence from players, management, etc. to shorten preseason, big names are finding the shelf from a few games to the whole season. While guys like Kelvin Benjamin and Jordy Nelson are lost for the year, at least it doesn’t stop fantasy from happening. In fact, in this modern-day passing league, there will be someone that will undoubtedly step in and pick up the slack. Below are the top 20 receivers for PPR Fantasy Football. I hope there aren’t any more big injuries by the time I finally post this, but I won’t be surprised either way.

  1. Antonio Brown. While Martavis Bryant might not have been a huge loss (Markus Wheaton will sort of step in), Brown’s targets may go down slightly will increased attention towards him this season. On the flip side, they may increase while Le’Veon Bell is serving his suspension for substance abuse. Originally considered a high-volume receiver with speed, with Mike Wallace gone last year he became the do-everything guy. Over 100 catches and 1400 yards with 8+ TDs.
  2. Odell Beckham. Both a media sensation and an on-field dynamo, Beckham missed the first several games of the season and still finished with 91 receptions and over 1305 yards last year. The kid works as hard as anyone else in the off-season and is sure to make a big splash this year in fantasy. Expect big numbers with a solid showing from Eli Manning after sucking last year. With no obvious #2s (aside from a past-his-prime Victor Cruz), he should get the ball early and often.
  3. Demauryius Thomas. He’s not just good because Peyton Manning is his quarterback. He was reasonably productive with Tim Tebow behind center. But the impending decline of one of the best signal-callers ever might slow Thomas down slightly. Still, I don’t think Emmanuel Sanders can duplicate last season. And after CJ Anderson’s emergence and Gary Kubiak’s new system being put in place there will be more running in Denver this year.
  4. Julio Jones. Did anyone see what Jones did the last few weeks of these before he decided to screw everyone over and not play towards the end? Well, in case you missed it, Julio Jones fucking dominated. He was posting ridiculous numbers even when there was double-coverage and everyone watching on TV knew where the ball was going. With Roddy White is serious decline there’s a chance Jones leads the league in receptions and/or yards.
  5. Dez Bryant. Will Dez show why he deserved such a big contract or will he sit back and rake in the money? I’m thinking he shows up this season and takes advantage of one of the better QBs in the league (yes, I said it). Also, with no clear-cut option at the WR (Beasley or Williams? ha) Bryant is due a lot of looks.
  6. Randall Cobb. Two years ago when Cobb was a relative newbie and there was a plethora options at receiver (a la James Jones, Greg Jennings, even Jarrett Boykin), Cobb wasn’t yet viewed as a fantasy stud. Then last year he just blew up. Obviously having the best QB in the game as your team leader doesn’t hurt, but a healthy Jordy Nelson or not won’t keep this dude from putting up big numbers.
  7. Calvin Johnson. I really don’t care for Detroit or their fans. But damnit I love me some Megatron. After a few years of injuries that have limited his targets, Johnson limps into this year as an elite receiver who has managed to somehow become an afterthought. Golden Tate amazingly stepped in to become a more than reliable fantasy starter after playing a sizable role with the Seahawks. Don’t expect triple-digit catches, but don’t be completely surprised if that happens either.

    Fantasy owners feel like they've seen Megatron dressed like this suit more often the last couple seasons than in his Lions uniform.
    Fantasy owners feel like they’ve seen Megatron dressed like this suit more often the last couple seasons than in his Lions uniform.
  8. AJ Green. It’s borderline miraculous how Green has managed to stay relevant in an attack that still likes to pound the ball on the ground and has a mediocre (at best) QB. Sure, there’s never really be a WR2 that has emerged for Cincinnati. But it hasn’t really been a secret where the ball will be thrown either. He’s going to be one of those guys that will be drafted too high for most and then make others look brilliant for taking him ahead of others.
  9. TY Hilton. In a pass-friendly offensive scheme you’d expect a second receiver in these rankings from Indy, but there just hasn’t been a consistent second guy in a while. Andre Johnson is now with the Colts, but I’m not convinced he’s going to be anywhere near his best. But with two capable TEs and perhaps a real running game this year there’s a chance Hilton will be more than just “that guy that has 5 big games and 11 where he doesn’t show up”.
  10. DeAndre Hopkins. One of several guys that would be considered elite if they had a real quarterback, Hopkins will still manage to put up big numbers this year regardless of who is throwing the ball his way. Don’t be surprised to see him in the Top 10 at the end of the season if the Texans can somehow get the ball into the endzone regularly.
  11. Alshon Jeffery. With Brandon Marshall in New York and a new offensive coordinator in place it might be tough to envision Jeffery as a top option, but don’t expect as many targets for Matt Forte as last year. And that means the ball has to go somewhere. With Kevin White out, the ball is likely to find Alshon on the corners more often than not. Be surprised if he doesn’t register 1200 yards and 80 touchdowns, but keep your expectations no higher.
  12. Mike Evans. This guy is obviously a supreme talent. And while Vincent Jackson will be lined up opposite him there’s still high hopes for his season. A lot of will depend on how hard he works every play and how his route-running improves. Evans will always been a big play guy and all he really needs is a consistent QB to get him the ball. Will Jameis Winston be that guy? We shall see.
  13. Brandin Cooks. Drew Brees will make or break how well Cooks performs this year. If Brees throws as many INTs as last year it might not be as big of a year. But if the Saints don’t turn it over things might be pretty solid. Again, points will need to be scored to keep up and the running game is brittle at best with Mark Ingram and CJ Spiller.
  14. Emmanuel Sanders. Not likely to have the year he did last year. But Owen Daniels is not Julius Thomas and Wes Welker won’t be in the fold. So when Demauryius Thomas isn’t plowing through defenses, it’s likely that Peyton will be over-targeting Sanders like he did much of last season. Don’t expect a repeat of last year though.
  15. Amari Cooper. Another guy that I happen to like is Cooper. He’s one of the handful of impact receivers in this rookie class and he’s got a QB with potential (even though most football pundits would lead you to believe that Derek Carr isn’t vastly superior to his older brother). While the receiving corps is improved in Oakland, expect this young guy to produce similar to his college days as a new-age Marvin Harrison (minus the 100 catches-at least this season).

    Is Amari Cooper the next great young receiver? Or just another failed Raider draft pick?
    Is Amari Cooper the next great young receiver? Or just another failed Raider draft pick?
  16. Julian Edelman. If these rankings weren’t PPR it’d be tough to put Edelman this high. But he’s the guy that gets you 8 catches for 63 yards. Toss in a touchdown and you’ve got a big day from a guy that is being drafted in the 50s at best. Even without Tom Brady, Edelman is likely to excel. Who knows what Brandon LaFell will do this year. And Danny Amendola will probably stub his toe at some point. The guy might not get 1,000 yards, but he’s definitely good for 80+ catches.
  17. Jordan Matthews. I really wanted to put Matthews higher, but even Jeremy Maclin wasn’t that irreplaceable for the Eagles last year. Nelson Agholor is the other rookie wideout with starting potential and it’s not crazy to think that he may have the better year when all is said and done. If all goes well for Matthews, he will see heavy targets and get in the endzone enough times to be a legit option at the flex position if not slightly higher.
  18. Keenan Allen. A forgotten receiver paired with a forgotten quarterback. Allen underwhelmed last year as he wasn’t able to keep up his scoring pace of the previous year. But Eddie Royal among others was able to cut into his production. Keenan Allen’s targets were there last year. If all goes well in terms of the delivery, expect Allen to be a nice piece towards the end of the season when guys on better teams are getting a rest.
  19. Golden Tate. I really didn’t expect 85 catches and almsot 1100 yards last season. But when Calvin Johnson went down, Tate stepped up big. With Johnson back and healthy (so we assume), it would appear that Tate’s value would significantly decrease. Then you remember how much Matthew Stafford likes to throw the ball and he woeful the Lions running game is. Maybe Ameer Abdullah and Joique Bell become a vaunted backfield along with Theo Riddick as a receiver out of the backfield. But Brandon Pettigrew has been a pricey bust and Ryan Broyles has to prove he can make it through an entire season.
  20. Davante Adams/Ty Montgomery. So it’s worth noting that Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson were both top 10 receivers before the Nelson injury. Not sure why this drops whoever is catching the ball this low, but for now this is where we will slot them. I have a feeling that Montgomery is going to win out at this position as he has a more dynamic presence that Adams, but Adams will likely get the first shot at the WR2 spot. Either one of these guys might be a great stash or pickup in few weeks in.

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