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Best-Ball Rankings Analysis - Wide Receiver

At Rotoballer, we are MFL10 fanatics. So much so, that we assembled our very own Best-Ball rankings at each position. This will help you formulate a plan as you proceed through your upcoming MFL10 drafts. Our rankings also include tiers in order to provide you with a more detailed breakdown on which players you should target for your rosters at each draft spot.

This article will focus on the wide receiver position, which has undergone a major value shift in the last couple of years. It used to be the case where waiting on receiver was common because there were so many secondary and tertiary receivers who could provide great value. In 2017, however, we saw receptions and fantasy points decline across the board for WR3/WR4 types, while the best of the best provided a clear advantage.

In best-ball leagues, you also need to focus more intently on depth because of the lack of trades or waivers. Knowing which potential breakout player to select as your sixth or seventh receiver can make a big difference over the course of a season. Now, allow me to introduce you to our first post-NFL Draft best-ball rankings.

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Wide Receiver Best-Ball Rankings

Tier Overall Rank Pos. Rank Player Name
1 5 1 DeAndre Hopkins
1 6 2 Antonio Brown
1 7 3 Odell Beckham Jr.
2 11 4 Julio Jones
2 15 5 A.J. Green
2 16 6 Michael Thomas
2 17 7 Keenan Allen
2 18 8 Mike Evans
2 19 9 Davante Adams
3 22 10 Tyreek Hill
3 25 11 Doug Baldwin
3 29 12 Larry Fitzgerald
3 30 13 Stefon Diggs
3 31 14 Adam Thielen
3 32 15 Alshon Jeffery
3 33 16 Allen Robinson
3 34 17 Amari Cooper
3 35 18 T.Y. Hilton
4 38 19 Josh Gordon
4 40 20 Golden Tate
4 41 21 Demaryius Thomas
4 43 22 Marvin Jones
4 44 23 Brandin Cooks
4 45 24 Juju Smith-Schuster
4 46 25 Jarvis Landry
5 55 26 Sammy Watkins
5 64 27 Michael Crabtree
5 65 28 Devin Funchess
5 68 29 Will Fuller
5 69 30 Pierre Garcon
5 70 31 Emmanuel Sanders
5 71 32 Robert Woods
5 73 33 Corey Davis
5 74 34 Jamison Crowder
6 83 35 Cooper Kupp
6 84 36 Marquise Goodwin
6 87 37 Sterling Shepard
6 88 38 Nelson Agholor
6 90 39 Devante Parker
6 94 40 Jordy Nelson
6 99 41 Chris Hogan
7 103 42 Julian Edelman
7 108 43 Randall Cobb
7 110 44 Kelvin Benjamin
7 111 45 Robby Anderson
7 113 46 Rishard Matthews
7 114 47 Kenny Stills
7 116 48 Martavis Bryant
7 118 49 DeSean Jackson
8 120 50 Ted Ginn
8 126 51 Josh Doctson
8 127 52 Marqise Lee
8 128 53 D.J. Moore
8 144 54 Allen Hurns
8 146 55 Dede Westbrook
8 149 56 Mike Wallace
9 151 57 Calvin Ridley
9 152 58 Kenny Golladay
9 154 59 Michael Gallup
9 155 60 John Brown
9 156 61 Mohamed Sanu
9 159 62 Paul Richardson
9 161 63 Keelan Cole
9 164 64 Tyler Lockett
9 166 65 Courtland Sutton
9 167 66 Mike Williams
10 174 67 Jordan Matthews
10 175 68 Tyrell Williams
10 179 69 Corey Coleman
10 180 70 Taylor Gabriel
10 182 71 Chris Godwin
10 186 72 Terrelle Pryor
10 188 73 James Washington
10 191 74 Anthony Miller
10 193 75 Christian Kirk
10 196 76 Donte Moncrief
10 199 77 Ryan Grant
11 200 78 Danny Amendola
11 202 79 Albert Wilson
11 210 80 Zay Jones
11 211 81 J.J. Nelson
11 212 82 Kendall Wright
11 213 83 Willie Snead
11 221 84 Jermaine Kearse
11 223 85 Trent Taylor
11 226 86 Jeremy Maclin
11 234 87 Brandon Marshall
11 235 88 John Ross
12 239 89 Curtis Samuel
12 242 90 Terrance Williams
12 245 91 Travis Benjamin
12 246 92 Tavon Austin
12 247 93 Geronimo Allison
12 257 94 Torrey Smith
12 258 95 Kevin White
12 266 96 Taywan Taylor
13 273 97 Eric Decker
13 277 98 D.J. Chark
13 278 99 Malcolm Mitchell
13 289 100 Chester Rogers
13 291 101 Brice Butler
13 292 102 Adam Humphries
13 294 103 Braxton Berrios
13 297 104 Antonio Callaway
13 302 105 Keke Coutee

Tier 1

The top three WR picks are unquestioned in all fantasy formats this season. If there is a question, it's simply who do you prefer? DeAndre Hopkins posted a monster season with Tom Savage and T.J. Yates behind center for 10 games. Even a one-legged Deshaun Watson would be good enough to guarantee Hopkins as a WR1. While regression is possible on his 13 touchdowns, his secure red zone role gives him the best combination of ceiling and floor at the position.

Odell Beckham could be the most talented of the bunch, but he's coming off a lost season and always seems to be surrounded by drama. In terms of game-breaking ability, he could easily be the top player in all of fantasy football though. In his first three seasons, OBJ recorded 19 100-yard receiving efforts and finished with double-digit touchdowns each time. His ADP is down relative to the other two at #10, but he could prove to be the best first-round value of the 2018 NFL season.

Tier 2

Julio Jones is embroiled in some drama of his own making lately, forsaking organized team activities and fueling speculation that he may holdout for a bigger contract. Ultimately, that's unlikely to happen and he shouldn't be discounted because of the rumors. While 2017 seemed like a letdown for the whole Falcons team, Jones actually posted more receptions (88) and yards (1,444) than the previous season. Three scores is massively disappointing for an elite, big-bodied receiver, but it's not unusual for him. Jones averages six touchdowns per season for his career and has only reached double-digits once in 2012. He tied for 16th in red zone targets with 18, but only five of those were completions and resulted in one touchdown. Those numbers are also up from 2017, but down from 2015. The Falcons offense simply became more diverse and relied less heavily on Jones to do all the heavy lifting. All told, Jones deserves his current ADP of 13 overall-not because of his potential for monster games, but because of his consistency.

A.J. Green may be the most undervalued player in the second tier because just a year ago he was considered a top-tier WR. The Bengals continue to be perfectly content to roll out the same system, personnel, and results each year, but for Green that's not a bad thing. Unless Joe Mixon suddenly becomes a dominant runner or John Ross starts to command a significant share of targets (don't count on it), Green will be leaned on heavily. He finished ninth in the league in targets last year and is the same age as Julio Jones and Antonio Brown.

Keenan Allen's emergence as a top fantasy receiver was a pleasant surprise after he missed almost all of the 2016 season. He may have gotten another shot in the arm with Hunter Henry's unfortunate season-ending injury. Even if second-year player Mike Williams manages to make an impact, Allen will be the primary receiver and a steady source of points. Fun fact: Allen also led the league in drawing pass interference calls with 11.

Mike Evans is still a divisive player for fantasy football owners. Whether you believe he is "elite" or not, the fact remains that he has the potential to put up huge numbers any given week. The best-ball format suits him better because those weeks where he disappears won't affect your squad as much. Last year, he posted four games where he failed to reach as much as 50 yards and only wound up with five touchdowns on the year. Much of that blame lies on Jameis Winston's injuries and inconsistencies, as Evans' catch rate has stayed between 50-55% each of his four NFL seasons. Unless you believe Evans' target share will decrease further because they will have a more effective running game, Evans seems like a fairly safe selection in the late-second round.

Tier 3

Fellow ranker Chris Mangano recently stated that Doug Baldwin is being undervalued because he lacks flash, but he should be a top-10 fantasy receiver. With Jimmy Graham and his league-leading 29 red zone targets gone to Green Bay, Baldwin certainly stands to benefit. He is currently going 28th in MFL10 drafts, but we have him ranked slightly higher at 25, just ahead of Larry Legend. Speaking of, it seems as if Fitz is being slept on again. Three straight seasons over 100 receptions and 1,000 yards doesn't seem to be enough to earn him a spot in the first three rounds of MFL10s, but we advise taking him ahead of T.Y. Hilton due to the uncertainty and possibly unfounded optimism surrounding Andrew Luck.

Both Minnesota receivers also reside in this tier, although they could be undervalued. There is little reason to think that Kirk Cousins won't boost their production on a weekly basis. The team's 490 rush attempts were second-most in the NFL last year, while they sat in the middle of the pack in terms of pass plays. That won't necessarily change this year as long as that defense holds up, but Cousins should bring more efficiency to the pass game, especially on deep balls. Cousins had the 10th-highest adjusted completion percentage among QBs and held a deep passer rating of 106.4 that was fifth in the league according to PFF. He led the league in deep passing yards the previous year. This should help Diggs more so than Thielen, so there could be more separation between the two value-wise than there is ranking-wise.

Tier 4

Ginger ale or champagne? Black coffee or a Double Bull Blaster? At this juncture in the draft, you have to choose whether you prefer a safe, unexciting choice like Golden Tate, Demaryius Thomas, Jarvis Landry or a risky pick like Josh Gordon, Juju Smith-Schuster or Brandin Cooks. If you already secured one of the top receivers early on, you might want to go for upside here, but there is nothing wrong with taking a sure 1,000 yards from the first group.

Tier 5

What Sammy Watkins lacked in volume, he made up for in efficiency in his lone season as a Ram. Watkins averaged a league-best 3.75 points per reception by turning in 15.2 yards per catch and eight touchdowns on less than 40 total receptions. Season-long owners were flustered by his unpredictability, but he is an ideal best-ball target. We don't know how Pat Mahomes will perform yet, but slinging the ball deep was his specialty in college and we saw how Andy Reid opened up the field last year, even with Alex Smith. Watkins can be had outside the top 25 receivers and won't cost you much in draft capital for a potentially huge payoff.

Corey Davis is currently being drafted at 73 overall in MFL10s, which is just one spot behind our ranking. This is an example of a player whose ADP is based purely on potential, so if you play multiple leagues you might want to spread your shares out among other receivers rather than banking on a breakout year. The Titans should open up the playbook a bit more, but this still won't be a pass-heavy attack.

Both Jamison Crowder and Pierre Garcon are ranked 10 spots higher in our overall rankings than their current MFL10 ADP values. Crowder may play perfectly into new QB Alex Smith's hands, while Garcon should resume his role as the WR1 in San Francisco, but with future star Jimmy Garoppolo at the helm now. There's a chance that each could be available in the eighth round, at which point you shouldn't hesitate to strike.

Tier 6

By tier six, we start to see the average age in the WR ranks drop quite a bit. Then there's Jordy Nelson. He's the WR34 in MFL10 drafts with an ADP of 76, but our staff is far more bearish on his outlook. He just barely falls inside the top 100 players, ranking as the WR40 at RotoBaller. If you check out our other positional analysis pieces, you might notice a trend toward avoiding Raiders in general.

If you think this is the year DeVante Parker puts it all together, you might prioritize him above lower-ceiling slot receivers in this range like Agholor, Kupp, and Shepard. Then again, there's something to be said for actual production...

Tier 7

I know, Randall Cobb isn't a "sleeper" and you're tired of waiting for him to return to fantasy relevancy. Still, when healthy he is a big play waiting to happen. Despite missing his starting All-Pro quarterback for half the year, Cobb finished 10th in YAC and no longer has Jordy Nelson to contend with. While 2014 was clearly an outlier on his resume, he could jump up closer to the 80-reception mark and outperform his relatively cheap ADP.

If you are looking for a Raider to take a chance on, you might wait until the 10th round passes and see if Martavis Bryant is still on the board. His outstanding receiving average as a rookie in 2014 (20.2 Y/R) has declined each season since, down to 12.1 Y/R last year. Between his suspension and lack of rapport with Big Ben, a change of scenery could be a huge boost. This is the format to take a chance on a talented player like Bryant with fewer potential repercussions on your roster.

Tier 8 and higher

Between the next three tiers, it seems like half these players are current or former Jaguars. Guessing who will be the primary target in Jacksonville is a guessing game at this point, although Marqise Lee is the de facto WR1. Rumors that Keelan Cole will play the slot this year could have a domino effect on all these young receivers. Either way, you're unlikely to get more than a couple of qualifying game scores out of any of them. New Cowboy Allen Hurns is likely to out-target any of his former teammates and could be a surprise value play.

Rookies are risky at the wide receiver position, so fantasy owners are better off counting on a breakout from second-year players such as Chris Godwin, Kenny Golladay, or Mike Williams. Zay Jones, not so much.


More MFL10 and Best-Ball Strategy

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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