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Early 2019 Fantasy Football Rankings Analysis - Wide Receiver


With a long offseason ahead of us, football fans are left with little to do while baseball takes center stage. That doesn't mean we can't start our draft prep though!

At RotoBaller, we always look ahead and strive to provide our readers with the best analysis possible. We've assembled some of our top fantasy football rankers (Nick Mariano, Dom Petrillo, and Pierre Camus) to put together their first batch of 2019 rankings for re-draft leagues. These will exclude incoming rookies, as we have no idea what will shake out between now and the NFL Draft, nor would we speculate recklessly.

Check out the full rankings here and look for our tiered analysis on the quarterback and running back positions as well. Now, let's get to the glamour position to see how we have the receivers ranked.

Editor's Note: Get any full-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off. Our exclusive In-Season Lineup Tools, Lineup Optimizer and over 150 days of Premium DFS Research. Sign Up Now!

 

PPR Redraft Wide Receiver Rankings (February 2019)

Position Rank Position Tier Player Name Overall Rank Overall Tier
1 1 DeAndre Hopkins 6 1
2 1 Davante Adams 7 1
3 1 Julio Jones 9 2
4 1 Michael Thomas 10 2
5 1 Odell Beckham Jr. 11 2
6 1 Tyreek Hill 13 2
7 2 Antonio Brown 18 2
8 2 JuJu Smith-Schuster 21 3
9 2 Mike Evans 23 3
10 2 A.J. Green 24 3
11 2 Amari Cooper 25 3
12 3 T.Y. Hilton 28 3
13 3 Keenan Allen 29 3
14 3 Brandin Cooks 30 3
15 3 Stefon Diggs 35 4
16 3 Adam Thielen 36 4
17 3 Robert Woods 37 4
18 3 Kenny Golladay 39 4
19 3 Allen Robinson 42 4
20 3 Alshon Jeffery 43 4
21 4 Corey Davis 48 4
22 4 Doug Baldwin 49 4
23 4 Jarvis Landry 50 4
24 4 Calvin Ridley 53 5
25 4 Cooper Kupp 54 5
26 4 Julian Edelman 55 5
27 4 Tyler Lockett 58 5
28 4 D.J. Moore 61 5
29 4 Tyler Boyd 62 5
30 4 Marvin Jones 65 5
31 4 Chris Godwin 67 5
32 4 Sammy Watkins 69 5
33 4 Mike Williams 72 6
34 4 Robby Anderson 73 6
35 5 Courtland Sutton 77 6
36 5 Sterling Shepard 81 6
37 5 Dante Pettis 83 6
38 5 Golden Tate 84 6
39 5 Christian Kirk 92 7
40 5 Will Fuller 93 7
41 5 Curtis Samuel 94 7
42 6 Anthony Miller 98 7
43 6 Keke Coutee 100 7
44 6 Larry Fitzgerald 102 7
45 6 Emmanuel Sanders 104 7
46 6 Robert Foster 105 7
47 6 Michael Gallup 109 7
48 6 Dede Westbrook 110 7
49 6 Jamison Crowder 114 8
50 6 Adam Humphries 115 8
51 6 Marquise Goodwin 120 8
52 6 Geronimo Allison 124 8
53 7 John Ross 130 8
54 7 Quincy Enunwa 134 9
55 7 James Washington 136 9
56 7 John Brown 141 9
57 7 Zay Jones 143 9
58 7 Marquez Valdes-Scantling 144 9
59 7 Kenny Stills 146 9
60 7 DeSean Jackson 151 9
61 7 Antonio Callaway 152 9
62 7 Demaryius Thomas 154 10
63 7 Tre'Quan Smith 156 10
64 7 Taylor Gabriel 158 10
65 8 Mohamed Sanu 165 10
66 8 Daesean Hamilton 166 10
67 8 Albert Wilson 169 10
68 8 Devante Parker 171 10
69 8 Marqise Lee 176 11
70 8 Ted Ginn 178 11
71 8 David Moore 179 11
72 8 Equanimeous St. Brown 180 11
73 8 Devin Funchess 184 11
74 8 Donte Moncrief 190 11
75 8 Nelson Agholor 192 11
76 8 Josh Reynolds 193 11
77 8 Paul Richardson 194 11
78 9 Michael Crabtree 197 11
79 9 Randall Cobb 198 11
80 9 Tyrell Williams 199 11
81 9 Josh Doctson 200 11
82 9 Taywan Taylor 201 11
83 9 D.J. Chark 203 11
84 9 Jordy Nelson 209 11
85 9 Rashard Higgins 212 12
86 9 Chris Hogan 213 12
87 9 Keelan Cole 216 12
88 9 Willie Snead 219 12
89 9 Breshad Perriman 220 12
90 9 Chris Conley 224 12
91 9 Cole Beasley 227 12
92 9 Dez Bryant 231 12
93 9 Pierre Garcon 233 12
94 9 Ryan Grant 234 12
95 9 Kendrick Bourne 235 12
96 10 J'mon Moore 239 12
97 10 Kelvin Benjamin 244 13
98 10 Jakeem Grant 249 13
99 10 Cameron Meredith 255 13
100 10 Danny Amendola 256 13
101 10 Rishard Matthews 257 13
102 10 Cordarrelle Patterson 258 13
103 10 Trent Taylor 259 13
104 10 Jermaine Kearse 260 13
105 10 Phillip Dorsett 261 13
106 10 Allen Hurns 262 13
107 10 Laquon Treadwell 263 14
108 10 Isaiah McKenzie 264 14
109 10 Chester Rogers 265 14
110 10 Tim Patrick 266 14
111 10 Andre Roberts 267 14
112 10 Torrey Smith 268 14
113 10 Keith Kirkwood 269 14
114 10 Dontrelle Inman 270 14
115 10 Aldrick Robinson 271 14
116 10 Jarius Wright 272 14
117 10 Russell Shepard 273 14
118 10 Travis Benjamin 274 14
119 10 Brice Butler 275 14
120 10 Tavon Austin 276 14
121 10 Trent Sherfield 277 14
122 10 Jaron Brown 278 14
123 10 Jordan Matthews 279 14
124 10 TJ Jones 280 14
125 10 J.J. Nelson 281 14
126 10 Bruce Ellington 282 14
127 10 Cody Latimer 283 14
128 10 Eli Rogers 284 14
129 10 Mike Wallace 285 14
130 10 Seth Roberts 286 14
131 10 Deandre Carter 287 14

 

Tier 1

The names at the top aren't too surprising, nor is the order. Nuk finally had a talented QB tossing him the pigskin for a full season and put together his best fantasy season with a career-high 115 receptions and 1,572 yards. If talented young teammates Will Fuller and Keke Coutee can manage to stay on the field for anything close to a full season, it could lead to fewer targets but his ceiling is indisputably the highest among all NFL receivers.

Davante Adams has worked his way up to the second spot on the receiver list and also into the first-round discussion. In a down year for the Packers that led to coach Mike McCarthy being dismissed after a second straight losing season, Adams was a bright spot all along. He truthfully didn't have a single bad game, catching at least four passes in every game, exceeding 50 yards in all but one game and scoring a touchdown in all but four games played. If the offense is even marginally better, which it should be, then Adams could prove to be one of the safer picks around.

We don't know what the Giants were thinking by even entertaining the idea of trading Odell Beckham Jr. before signing him to a five-year, $95 million deal months ago. He's still one of the most talented receivers in the game at just 26 years of age. This is a team that should be keeping its young offensive talent, not trading it away for picks. Anyway, Beckham is still a Giant and should be good for another WR1 finish as long as he can stay on the field. It's a legitimate concern, as he's missed a full season's worth of games between 2017-2018. If he drops too far in drafts, outside of the early second round, he could be a screaming value.

Tyreek Hill makes the cutoff for our purposes as a top-tier receiver on the strength of a top-five fantasy WR finish. He tied Davante Adams for fourth with 92.4 yards per game and chipped in 12 touchdowns. He may not bring the same level of consistency as those above him but sometimes it's nice to have a player that could win you a week on his own at any given moment.

 

Tier 2

The presence of Mr. Big Chest at the top of the second tier looms large. For six straight seasons, AB has been one of the top receivers of the game and the surest thing in fantasy football. No longer, as we know he will be playing for another team in 2019, assuming someone is willing to take on his contract and ego. His failed attempt to act just crazy enough for the Steelers to cut him didn't pan out, so now he will wait to see which non-AFC North team (no Patriots either) will mark Phase Two of his NFL career. As it stands, he probably shouldn't be ranked higher than this because he almost certainly won't get an upgrade in offensive situation or quarterback. San Francisco is probably the best-case scenario.

Soon-to-be-former-teammate JuJu Smith-Schuster becomes the top dog in Pittsburgh. Opinions are sure to be split on whether this helps him or hurts him, as secondaries can focus their attention and send their best CB after him. The volume is sure to be there, so he should sustain one of the higher floors among low-end WR1 types.

It may be surprising to see Amari Cooper sneak into the second tier and top-25 overall on our rankings. Simply put, he was a different player in Dallas and we must disregard the first half of his season on a tanking Raiders squad. In nine games as a Cowboy, he averaged 80.6 receiving yards per game. That would have been enough to rank him 12th among all WR. His six touchdowns and heavy red zone usage were also very encouraging. Critics point to his Week 12 outburst against Philly as skewing his stat line but he posted another monster game two weeks prior and totaled 171 yards on 13 catches in two playoff games as well. If Dallas finds another complementary receiver to replace Cole Beasley and Allen Hurns, Cooper could actually benefit.

 

Tier 3

Keenan Allen's 97 receptions and 1,196 yards might be considered a disappointment since he declined from the previous season by almost 200 yards and failed to increase his meager TD total of six. Now, Hunter Henry is back to gobble up some interior targets and Mike Williams looks like he could be ready to emerge in his third NFL season. In full PPR leagues, Allen is still a fairly safe play but one whose draft stock should be lower than it was this time last year.

If the Steelers do indeed deal AB away, Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen could contend to be the best WR duo in the league. They each went over 100 receptions and 1,000 yards in Kirk Cousins' first year in Minnesota, combining for 2,394 receiving yards. That's nearly as much as the Arizona Cardinals had on the entire roster. Some improvements on the offensive line and a more consistent running game should keep these two as solid high-end WR2s.

One player who has jumped the most in perceived value since the end of last season is Kenny Golladay. With Golden Tate traded to Philly and Marvin Jones on IR, Golladay was a target hog; he averaged 9.7 targets per game over the last six. Unfortunately, he only caught an average of 5.2 for 77 yards and scored once in that span. It's logical to give a bump to a third-year receiver who finished ninth in the league in air yards but the volume isn't necessarily going to be as high this coming season. The Lions have many needs to address, but they will almost certainly get another receiver this offseason and they won't enter 2019 with Golladay as their only weapon, the way they finished last season.

 

Tier 4

If you look at the final stats from 2018, you might wonder why Doug Baldwin is ranked as our WR22 while Tyler Lockett sits at WR27. Baldwin struggled to stay healthy all year, missed three games, and caught 50 passes for 618 yards - the second-lowest total of his career. He's also 30 years old, on a team that led the league in rushing attempts, and was outplayed by his fellow receiver, Lockett. All that said, he just underwent knee and shoulder surgeries in order to remedy those problems and should be much healthier this coming season. Even in a letdown year, he out-targeted Lockett on a per-game basis (5.6 compared to 4.3) and was by far the team's leading red zone target with 15; David Moore was second with nine RZ looks. Bet on Baldwin to be a top-25 fantasy WR and a draft bargain.

Is the Corey Davis breakout bound to happen? Probably not as long as Marcus Mariota is the quarterback and the team continues to lean on the running game. Davis' talent is not the issue, it's the scheme. He finds himself on the team that ran the fewest offensive passing plays (432) in the NFL. They also finally discovered that Derrick Henry is somewhat good when they actually feed him the ball more than 10 times a game. Davis is more of a dynasty asset than a redraft sleeper at this point but his talent is undeniable. He is optimistically ranked just outside the top 20 receivers because the entire offense should take a small step forward on the conditions that Mariota stays healthy and they find a complementary receiver to alleviate pressure.

Forget the ridiculous Hall of Fame debate - Julian Edelman has put up some big numbers in the postseason, but then again he's had a lot more opportunity than most, hasn't he? Edelman has never been a stellar fantasy option because the Patriots are all about balance. Tom Brady's numbers have gone down the last couple of years and the running game with Sony Michel is now at the forefront. The one thing that could make Edelman more intriguing is the potential retirement of Rob Gronkowski (we're still waiting...). If Gronk goes, Edelman could see an uptick in targets and provide a fairly good return on investment.

A lot of eyes will be fixed on Chris Godwin, now that Bruce Arians and his offensive-minded philosophy has infiltrated Tampa. More importantly, if Adam Humphries is signed away by another team and D-Jax gets his wish to leave, Godwin becomes the clear No. 2 behind Mike Evans. His ADP has already jumped up significantly, so just make sure you don't overpay by reaching for him before the sixth round. He's currently going at 6.11 in early drafts.

Robby Anderson was offered a second-year tender from the Jets, which keeps him in the fold as one of Sam Darnold's favorite targets. A lot could change in New York if the Jets do land Le'Veon Bell, however. His presence would require the team to pass less and he would naturally soak up some of the targets that previously went to the receivers. The end of Anderson's season seemed to be revelatory but it could be more of an anomaly than the start of a trend.

 

Tier 5

The main question in this tier is which second-year player do you prefer: Courtland Sutton, Dante Pettis, or Christian Kirk? Sutton became the undisputed WR1 on Denver once Emmanuel Sanders tore his Achilles in Week 12. Instead of rising to the occasion, he averaged just 3.5 receptions and 36.5 yards per game the rest of the season, while DaeSean Hamilton emerged instead. Sanders could be back early in the year if his rehab goes well. The addition of Joe Flacco shouldn't be enough to inspire hopes for a breakout year either. Sutton is better served in standard leagues, as he poses a red zone threat more than anything.

Christian Kirk's 9.6 aDOT (average depth of target) is modest for such a speedster but he was hamstrung by his offensive coordinator's conservative play-calling for the first half of the year. He then missed out of the last four games of the season after being placed on IR. He showed flashes of his talent, posting four games over 75 yards despite playing on an anemic offense. The Cards don't seem thrilled with their "as of right now" starting quarterback, Josh Rosen, and rumors have them chasing Kyler Murray in the draft. If they start over with another rookie, expect more growing pains and keep Kirk lower on the radar. Otherwise, expect Kirk to be a fringe WR3 in PPR leagues.

The most intriguing of these three has to be Dante Pettis. Coach Kyle Shanahan recently stated that the team will "expect big things" from Pettis in year two. Jimmy Garoppolo will be back behind center and Jerick McKinnon will aid the running game. Justin Carter provided an excellent outlook of his dynasty value but Pettis could be more of a steal at his current ADP of 14.4 in re-draft leagues.

 

Tier 6

Sleepers abound in these lower tiers, such as Robert Foster in Buffalo. This undrafted free agent exploded onto the scene with three 100-yard games between Weeks 10-14 and a total of 511 yards in the final seven games of the year. If he and Josh Allen can keep that connection going, he's going to be a player you want on your roster. If nothing else, the upside is far more palpable than with slot receivers like Sterling Shepard or Jamison Crowder.

Michael Gallup wasn't expected to do much on a run-first team in Dallas but he came on late with a surge in targets and finished with a promising 119-yard performance in a playoff loss to the Rams. He won't get enough volume to climb into the top 25 but he is a solid WR4 to stash for friendly matchups.

A mostly forgetten player, Geronimo Allison was limited to five games all season due to injury. In those contests , he averaged just over 11 fantasy points per game. If you bet on the Green Bay offense to rebound with a new coach at the helm, Allison should be in your crosshairs as a late-round selection.

If you want to take a chance on a veteran having a bounce-back season, Larry Fitzgerald is perennially undervalued and his stock should be more depressed than usual after a depressing season in the desert with a rookie QB. Even if the Cards stick with Rosen, he'll have a new head coach and a year of experience under his belt.

 

Tier 7

A pair of Dear John letters will be adorning the locker rooms of Baltimore and Cincinnati, as John Ross and John Brown will both be with new teams in 2019.

Brown is a free agent who could pay great dividends in the right situation. He got off to a fast start, averaging 80 yards per game with four touchdowns in his first seven games as a Raven. Then Lamar Jackson took over and the passing game all but disappeared. Keep a close eye on his landing spot this summer.

Ross was thrown onto the trade block just ahead of the NFL Combine, two years after breaking the record for fastest 40 time ever. We know he's got the speed but a catch rate of 36.2% in his first season of play was enough to make the Bengals look away. He must be considered a poor man's DeSean Jackson until he proves otherwise.

With teammate Antonio Brown presumably playing elsewhere, James Washington becomes someone to monitor as a late-round flier. He didn't do much as a rookie, catching 16 of 38 targets for 217 yards and one TD. His ranking should be higher in dynasty and best-ball formats, as there is a lot of risk to assume he's ready to become the next JuJu.

Tre'Quan Smith is similar to Washington in the sense that they entered their rookie season with a ton of potential by joining high-flying offenses with Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks. Both disappointed ultimately and were not worth a roster spot, much less a draft pick.  With Ted Ginn back in the slot, a healthy Cameron Meredith (yeah right) and Mark Ingram likely to return, his ceiling is still capped so don't expect a big step forward just yet.

 

Tier 8 and Above

Every receiver at this level is a dart throw, so the only consideration should be potential ceiling. Some players worth tossing that dart at (not literally) include Tyrell Williams and Breshad Perriman, both of whom are free agents that could serve as valuable deep threats. Don't forget about Dez Bryant, who finally found a team, only to get injured in his first practice.

More Fantasy Football Analysis


Check out all of RotoBaller's fantasy football rankings. Staff rankings are updated regularly for all positions and include standard formats, PPR scoring, tiered rankings and dynasty leagues.




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