Standard Rankings Analysis - Wide Receivers

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With the NFL season rapidly approaching, fantasy owners have begun making playbooks of their own to assist them come draft day. Grouped below are wide receivers with identical ADP, in similar predicaments, with a brief summary on each individual and what they’re bringing to the table this upcoming season.

Rotoballer provides owners with a continuously updated ranking system, allowing owners to continuously keep up-to-date all the way until draft day. This allows individuals to get the absolute most out of their draft.

Provided below are eight tiers of wide receivers, and approximately 46 receivers. Each player is briefly covered to assist fantasy owners decide on who they’d like to take a gamble on, or evade entirely.

Editor's note: Purchase any NFL Lineup Optimizer pass (including daily DFS cheat sheets), and you also get access to NBA and NHL Optimizers and DFS cheat sheets.

 

2017 Wide Receiver Tiered Rankings (Standard)

Tier 1

  1. Antonio Brown, PIT
  2. Odell Beckham Jr , NYG
  3. Julio Jones, ATL
  4. Mike Evans, TB
  5. AJ Green, CIN

Undeniably the most talented receivers in the game currently, anticipate all five of these players to be selected in the first round. Despite the return of Martavis Bryant following a year suspension, expect Antonio Brown to defend his crown as the game’s top receiving threat. A case could be made for Julio Jones as the second WR taken off of the board; however, he is bumped down to the third spot due to an offseason foot surgery. From there, you have the selection of two of the league’s most exciting young talents in Odell Beckham Jr. and Mike Evans. Evans finished second in fantasy points per game this past season, just behind Antonio Brown; with the offseason additions of Desean Jackson and O.J Howard, expect Evans to have another monster fantasy season. Beckham Jr. enters the 2017 season on a revamped New York Giants offense, expect more one on one looks due to the addition of Brandon Marshall, and a continuance of Beckham Jr’s record setting pace. Without a doubt Andy Dalton’s favourite target, A.J. Green is the perfect combination of both talent and volume that solidifies his first round selection.

 

Tier 2

  1. Jordy Nelson, GB
  2. Michael Thomas, NO
  3. Deandre Hopkins, HOU
  4. T.Y Hilton, IND

Tier 2 consists of some proven fantasy studs, as well as an emerging superstar in New Orleans wide receiver Michael Thomas. The case could be made for Jordy Nelson to be selected in the first round, following a season where Nelson led the NFL in touchdown receptions with 14, averaging 19.1 fantasy points per game. With the departure of Brandin Cooks, Michael Thomas assumes the lead role in a pass heavy offense with Drew Brees at the helm, value that speaks for itself entirely. Following a tremendous fantasy campaign in 2015, Deandre Hopkins regressed significantly as a result of the poor quarterback in Houston; anticipate Hopkins to bounce back slightly, proving to be a great value pick at the beginning of round 3. T.Y Hilton led the league in receiving yards this past season with 1,448, but the uncertainty regarding Andrew Luck’s health is certainly a serious cause for concern.

 

Tier 3

  1. Dez Bryant, DAL
  2. Brandin Cooks, NE
  3. Keenan Allen, LA
  4. Doug Baldwin, SEA
  5. Amari Cooper, OAK

Dez Bryant returned with a bang, following an injury ridden 2015 campaign. With Cole Beasley battling a lingering hamstring issue, anticipate Bryant to throw up the ‘X’ numerous times this upcoming season. Brandin Cooks accompanies an offense led by arguably the greatest quarterback of all time, coached by arguably the greatest coach of all time. The sky is the limit for a player with Cooks’ talent to excel significantly in the New England Patriots offense. Keenan Allen is a proven WR1 when healthy, although his extensive injury history dating back to college bumps him down significantly into tier 3. Following two tremendous fantasy outings, Doug Baldwin has finally gotten the attention of fantasy owners; anticipate Baldwin to put up similar numbers this upcoming season, with no real competition for targets other than Jimmy Graham. One of the premiere young receiving talents in the NFL, Amari Cooper has proven to be a great fantasy asset to many. Unfortunately, due to inconsistency issues, Cooper finds himself 14th amongst fellow receivers.

 

Tier 4

  1. Alshon Jeffrey, PHI
  2. Michael Crabtree, OAK
  3. Demaryius Thomas, DEN
  4. Terrelle Pryor, WAS
  5. Allen Robinson, JAX

Tier 4 consists of several excellent receiving options, with a little bit of risk. Historically, Alshon Jeffrey has struggled with injuries mightily, failing to play a full 16 games since 2014. However, the change of scenery this offseason should benefit his production tremendously with a significant upgrade at the quarterback position, along with solidified WR1 volume. Essentially a discounted Amari Cooper, Michael Crabtree has become a fantasy owner favourite. Anticipate Crabtree to get consistent red zone looks once again, making him an absolute steal in the fifth round. Demaryius Thomas has continuously proven he is one of the league’s best, surpassing 1,000 yards for the fifth season in a row. Thomas finds himself in tier 4 as a result of touchdown regression and uncertainty regarding the quarterback situation this upcoming season. Terrelle Pryor had arguably the best receiving season the Cleveland Browns have seen since the monstrous 2013 season from Josh Gordon, doing so with five separate quarterbacks. The sky is the limit for Pryor this upcoming season, with a more than competent quarterback on a pass happy offense. Following a breakout 2015 campaign, Allen Robinson regressed significantly to the dismay of fantasy owners. The talent and volume is undeniably present; unfortunately Robinson’s production will more than likely be hindered by the poor quarterback play of Blake Bortles.

 

Tier 5

  1. Davante Adams, GB
  2. Julian Edelman, NE
  3. Sammy Watkins, BUF
  4. Jarvis Landry, MIA
  5. Kelvin Benjamin, CAR
  6. Golden Tate, DET

Tier 5 consists of a group that truly makes fantasy football exciting, yet unpredictable. Davante Adams battled through inconsistency issues, still managing to have a career year highlighted by 12 touchdowns. Julian Edelman continued to be Tom Brady’s favourite target besides Rob Gronkowski, finishing the 2016 season with a career high in targets (160). Sammy Watkins had another injury riddled season, dressing for a measly 8 games this past season. Although health issues aside, Watkins carries massive upside and is a serious boom candidate heading into the 2017 season. Jarvis Landry has established himself as arguably the top slot receiver in the NFL today, posting stats similar to Beckham Jr’s; unfortunately, due to his inability to find the end zone consistently, Landry is an extremely underwhelming receiver in standard formats. Golden Tate is extremely similar to Landry in this regard, excelling with yards after catch, yet failing to find the end zone on a consistent basis.

 

Tier 6

  1. Larry Fitzgerald, ARI
  2. Donte Moncrief, IND
  3. Emmanuel Sanders, DEN
  4. Brandon Marshall, NYG
  5. Stefon Diggs, MIN
  6. Martavis Bryant, PIT
  7. Desean Jackson, TB
  8. Willie Snead, NO

Headlined by Larry Legend, tier 6 consists of individuals who have some serious breakout potential. Historically, Brandon Marshall and Donte Moncrief have been tremendous red zone receivers, resulting in great standard value production. Like Hilton, Moncrief remains a question mark heading into the 2017 campaign as a result of Andrew Luck’s health issues. Whereas Marshall receives a significant upgrade at the quarterback position, and will receive his fair share of looks in the red zone. Stefon Diggs has proven to be a great talent, but is often weighed down due to his inability to stay healthy. Assuming injury issues are a thing of the past, Diggs has some serious breakout potential heading into the 2017 campaign. Martavis Bryant returns from his yearlong suspension, anticipate Bryant to return to his electrifying self, joining Antonio Brown in one of the most dangerous receiving tandems in the NFL. Willie Snead enters the 2017 as a massive breakout candidate, at an extremely affordable price. Snead will easily outperform his 7th round ADP, as a primary target in New Orleans’ potent passing attack.

 

Tier 7

  1. Rishard Matthews, TEN
  2. Tyrell Williams, LA
  3. Jeremy Maclin, BAL
  4. Cameron Meredith, CHI

One of the more interesting tiers of the bunch, tier 7 consists of two reliable receivers who capitalized on an unexpected lead role in their offenses; as well as two receivers who find themselves in a newfound primary receiving role. Cameron Meredith flaunted flashes of brilliance, stepping up significantly as the team’s primary receiver following a 12 game season by Alshon Jeffrey. Entering the 2017 season with a much more promising quarterback situation, on arguably the worst team in the NFL, anticipate Meredith to boom significantly with the increase of volume as the focal point of the Bears passing attack. Jeremy Maclin assumes the lead role in a pass happy offense, and will be heavily relied on throughout the entirety of this upcoming season. In addition, Maclin will be utilized frequently as a slot receiver, historically where he has played his most efficient football. Rishard Matthews and Tyrell Williams both unexpectedly got assigned to WR1 duties and excelled tremendously. Unfortunately, both are in extremely crowded receiving corps this upcoming season, and will likely face serious regression.

 

Tier 8

  1. Corey Coleman, CLE
  2. Jordan Matthews, PHI
  3. Eric Ebron, DET
  4. Tyreek Hill, KC
  5. Devante Parker, MIA
  6. Jamison Crowder, WAS
  7. Pierre Garcon, SF
  8. Eric Decker, TEN
  9. John Brown, ARI

Tier 8 consists of a little bit of everything, Corey Coleman has shown flashes of potential, but it limited by his inability to stay healthy. Jordan Matthews will inevitably lose targets in Philadelphia’s offense to Alshon Jeffrey. Eric Ebron enters the season as a potential breakout receiver; following the departure of red zone favourite Anquan Boldin. The lions will also rely on Darren Fells to block frequently, in hopes of keeping Ebron fresh throughout the majority of the season. Tyreek Hill takes over as the WR1, following the surprising release of Jeremy Maclin. Hill will also be utilized once again on special teams, adding a little extra value to his fantasy stock. Jamison Crowder and Pierre Garcon excelled tremendously on the Washington Redskins offense this past season. Garcon enters the season on an abysmal San Francisco team, as the solidified primary receiving target. After being sidelined due to sick cell complications in 2016, John Brown is back, and 12 lbs heavier than before; Brown can provide significant value to your fantasy roster, at an absolute bargain of a price. Volume will be no cause for concern regarding this group, as the majority of these players are terrific fliers.

 

More 2017 Fantasy Football & ADP Analysis

 


Check out all of RotoBaller's 2017 fantasy football rankings. Staff rankings are updated regularly for all positions and include standard formats, PPR scoring, tiered rankings and dynasty leagues.