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Wide Receiver Best-Ball Tiered Rankings and Analysis (April 2019)


Passion for the Best-Ball format continues to escalate and the overwhelming response from owners has created an explosion in popularity for these leagues while also creating another avenue to enjoy the experience of participation in fantasy football. Those of you who have already embraced the Best Ball format are fully aware that you are simultaneously building your roster and completing all actual roster management as you create your team during the draft process.

The ranking experts at RotoBaller have assembled tiered rankings in all major formats in order to help you prepare for your upcoming drafts, and improve your chances of winning your leagues in 2019. This includes our updated Best Ball rankings, which are designed to assist you in constructing rosters that will accumulate the highest point totals throughout the season.

We are also providing a detailed breakdown of these rankings at the most critical positions, including this analysis of wide receivers. These players maintain an unmistakable presence in our rankings, as 12 receivers are located among our top 25, while 22 receivers are contained within our top 50. We will continue to update these rankings in Best Ball and every other format throughout the offseason and you can find the latest rankings here.

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!

 

WR Best-Ball Rankings (April)

Position Rank Position Tier Player Name Overall Rank Overall Tier
1 1 DeAndre Hopkins 5 1
2 1 Davante Adams 7 1
3 1 Odell Beckham Jr. 9 1
4 2 Michael Thomas 12 2
5 2 Julio Jones 13 2
6 2 JuJu Smith-Schuster 18 2
7 2 Mike Evans 19 2
8 2 Tyreek Hill 20 3
9 2 Antonio Brown 21 3
10 3 Keenan Allen 22 3
11 3 T.Y. Hilton 23 3
12 3 Adam Thielen 25 3
13 3 A.J. Green 26 3
14 3 Stefon Diggs 28 3
15 3 Amari Cooper 35 4
16 3 Brandin Cooks 36 4
17 3 Kenny Golladay 40 4
18 3 Cooper Kupp 42 4
19 3 Robert Woods 43 4
20 3 Allen Robinson 46 4
21 4 Jarvis Landry 49 4
22 4 Alshon Jeffery 50 5
23 4 Julian Edelman 52 5
24 4 Doug Baldwin 53 5
25 4 Tyler Boyd 54 5
26 4 D.J. Moore 55 5
27 4 Tyler Lockett 56 5
28 5 Calvin Ridley 58 6
29 5 Chris Godwin 62 6
30 5 Corey Davis 63 6
31 5 Golden Tate 66 6
32 5 Robby Anderson 67 6
33 5 Dante Pettis 69 6
34 5 Sammy Watkins 71 6
35 6 Marvin Jones 74 7
36 6 Courtland Sutton 77 7
37 6 Mike Williams 80 7
38 6 Will Fuller 83 7
39 6 Christian Kirk 85 7
40 6 Larry Fitzgerald 93 8
41 7 Dede Westbrook 100 9
42 7 Keke Coutee 102 9
43 7 Anthony Miller 103 9
44 7 DeSean Jackson 104 9
45 7 Michael Gallup 106 9
46 7 Curtis Samuel 111 9
47 7 Sterling Shepard 114 10
48 8 John Brown 121 10
49 8 Tyrell Williams 122 10
50 8 James Washington 124 10
51 8 Adam Humphries 125 10
52 8 Daesean Hamilton 132 10
53 8 Marquise Goodwin 134 10
54 8 Emmanuel Sanders 136 11
55 8 Robert Foster 137 11
56 8 Kenny Stills 138 11
57 9 Jamison Crowder 144 11
58 9 N'Keal Harry 149 12
59 9 Marquez Valdes-Scantling 154 12
60 9 Tre'Quan Smith 155 12
61 9 Antonio Callaway 156 12
62 9 Donte Moncrief 157 12
63 9 Quincy Enunwa 158 13
64 9 Devin Funchess 161 13
65 9 Zay Jones 162 13
66 9 Albert Wilson 166 13
67 9 Geronimo Allison 169 13
68 9 Mohamed Sanu 170 13
69 9 Marqise Lee 176 13
70 9 Nelson Agholor 177 13
71 10 D.K. Metcalf 182 14
72 10 Taylor Gabriel 184 14
73 10 Trey Quinn 186 14
74 10 Jordy Nelson 194 14
75 10 Devante Parker 203 15
76 10 Josh Reynolds 208 15
77 10 Equanimeous St. Brown 212 15
78 10 John Ross 214 15
79 10 Deon Cain 219 15
80 10 A.J. Brown 222 16
81 10 Michael Crabtree 224 16
82 10 Randall Cobb 225 16
83 10 Josh Doctson 226 16
84 10 Ted Ginn 227 16
85 10 Willie Snead 229 16
86 10 Taywan Taylor 232 16
87 10 Paul Richardson 234 16
88 10 Kendall Wright 235 16
89 10 Keelan Cole 238 16
90 11 Torrey Smith 240 16
91 11 David Moore 241 16
92 11 Danny Amendola 248 17
93 11 Chris Conley 258 17
94 11 Deebo Samuel 260 17
95 11 Demaryius Thomas 263 18
96 11 Cole Beasley 265 18
97 11 D.J. Chark 267 18
98 11 Chris Hogan 268 18
99 11 Rashard Higgins 269 18
100 11 Mack Hollins 283 18
101 11 Riley Ridley 284 18
102 11 Terrelle Pryor 286 18
103 12 Cameron Meredith 291 18
104 12 Tavon Austin 297 18
105 12 Marquise Brown 299 18
106 12 Trent Taylor 300 18
107 12 Breshad Perriman 303 19
108 12 Justice Hill 304 19
109 12 Kelvin Benjamin 308 19
110 12 J'mon Moore 311 19
111 12 Chester Rogers 313 19
112 12 Travis Benjamin 316 19
113 12 Hakeem Butler 317 19
114 12 Rishard Matthews 319 19
115 12 Dez Bryant 324 19
116 12 Kendrick Bourne 328 19
117 12 Phillip Dorsett 329 19
118 12 Keith Kirkwood 330 19
119 12 Jermaine Kearse 331 19
120 12 Justin Watson 333 19
121 12 Parris Campbell 334 19
122 12 Pierre Garcon 336 19
123 13 Josh Gordon 337 19
124 13 Corey Coleman 338 20
125 13 Miles Boykin 339 20
126 13 Ryan Grant 340 20
127 13 Ryan Switzer 342 20
128 13 Kelvin Harmon 346 20
129 13 Greg Dortch 355 20
130 13 Cordarrelle Patterson 356 20
131 13 Jaron Brown 358 20
132 13 Dontrelle Inman 361 20
133 13 Martavis Bryant 362 20
134 13 Jakeem Grant 367 20
135 13 Mike Wallace 369 20
136 13 Isaiah McKenzie 370 20
137 13 Laquon Treadwell 372 20
138 13 Andy Isabella 373 20
139 13 Chris Moore 375 20
140 13 J.J. Nelson 377 20
141 13 Demarcus Robinson 378 20
142 13 Tajae Sharpe 379 20
143 13 Brice Butler 380 20
144 13 Marcell Ateman 382 20
145 13 Tim Patrick 385 20
146 13 Jordan Matthews 386 20
147 13 Zach Pascal 395 21
148 13 Bruce Ellington 396 21
149 13 Allen Hurns 397 21
150 13 Jarius Wright 398 21
151 13 Chad Williams 399 21
152 13 Richie James 401 21
153 13 Trent Sherfield 403 21
154 13 Seth Roberts 405 21

 

Tier 1

DeAndre HopkinsDavante AdamsOdell Beckham Jr. 

Hopkins has commandeered the top ranking among wide receivers following a collection of 2018 accomplishments that included performing on more snaps than anyone at his position (1,084/99%). That translated into a favorable target total, as Hopkins was also the only receiver who collected 10+ in five consecutive games from Weeks 13-17 while placing inside the top five overall for the third time in four seasons (163). He converted his opportunities into outstanding numbers, finishing second in both receiving yards (1,572) and percentage share of his team’s air yards (44.04%), third in receptions (115), and fourth with 11 touchdowns.

Adams is now a fixture in tier 1 rankings after vaulting to WR2 in scoring, and registering career highs in receiving yards (1,386), receptions (111) and touchdowns (13). That touchdown total tied him for second overall, while he also finished fifth in receptions and seventh in yardage. Adams also completed the year with just one less target than league leader Julio Jones (169), despite being sidelined in Week 17. However, he did lead the league in red zone targets (31), and with no genuine threat on the Packers to remotely approach his target total, he will deliver exceptional output once again.

Among the 18 receivers that exceeded 1,000+ yards, only Beckham attained that number (1,052) in fewer than 14 games. His ability to ignite for significant yardage has already helped him eclipse 1,050 yards four times during his five-year career. Now he should benefit greatly by the upgrade from a declining Eli Manning to surging signal caller Baker Mayfield, who has the talent and moxie to propel Beckham toward a 1,200-yard/10 touchdown season.

 

Tier 2

Michael Thomas, Julio Jones, JuJu Smith-SchusterMike EvansTyreek HillAntonio Brown

Thomas led all receivers with 125 receptions (7.8 per game), which continued a trend in which his reception totals have improved during each of his three seasons (92/104/125 receptions). His yardage totals have steadily increased during that sequence including the career-best 1,405 that he attained last season. Thomas also led all receivers in catch rate (85.03%), generated nine touchdowns for the second time in his career, and has also finished as a top-five scorer for two consecutive seasons.

Jones has finished either first or second in receiving yardage during each of the last four seasons and has led the NFL twice in the same category during that span. That includes last season's league-best 1,677, which expanded Jones' total to nearly 8,000 yards since 2014 (7,994). He also established a new career high in 100-yard games (10), paced all receivers in targets for the second time since 2015 (170), finished third in receptions (113), and generated the most touchdowns since 2015 (8).

Smith-Schuster is still just 22 but has elevated into the second tier after finishing fourth in targets (166), and fifth in both receptions (111) and receiving yards (1,426). He will now function as Pittsburgh’s WR1 without being encumbered by Antonio Brown confiscating targets, although he will also be confronted with additional attention from opposing defenders that had previously been absorbed by Brown. How Smith-Schuster responds to the surplus of coverage will dictate whether he can continue his ascension among receiving options.

Evans punctuated his fifth consecutive 1,000-yard season by generating a career-best 1,524 yards in 2018. He also established career highs in yards-per-catch (17.7) and yards-per-game (95.3) while finishing third among all receivers in both categories. Evans also registered career-bests in catch rate percentage (62.3%) 100-yard games (8) and finished at WR6 in standard league scoring. He does not always elicit the same degree of enthusiasm as some WR1s but remains an excellent Tier 2 option.

Hill provided an overwhelming presence for nearly all defenders that attempted to contain him by exploding for 1,479 yards, 17 yards-per-reception, 92 yards-per-game, and 12 touchdowns. He also finished fourth or better in each of those categories, but his status for 2019 is currently unclear. Hill remains under investigation in an alleged battery case, and could conceivably miss games, or potentially be released by the Chiefs. His ranking will be altered once the fluid situation that engulfs his availability is resolved.

Brown has secured a landing place to exhibit his exceptional talent, which has gradually shifted conjecture toward how proficiently he can operate within an Oakland offense that has undergone an offseason transformation. Brown produced an NFL-best 15 receiving touchdowns last season, finished second in fantasy scoring, and was ultimately just two targets behind  Jones despite a Week 17 absence. While off-field behavior is a concern, his continued ability to deliver a statistical explosion in any given matchup should compel owners to select him with conviction in Round 2.

 

Tier 3

Keenan Allen, T.Y. Hilton, Adam Thielen, A.J. Green, Stefon DiggsAmari Cooper, Brandin Cooks, Kenny GolladayCooper KuppRobert Woods, Allen Robinson  

After being sidelined for a total of 26 games from 2013-2016, Allen has evaded health issues for two consecutive seasons. That has enabled him to collect 199 receptions, accumulate 2,589 yards, and generate 12 touchdowns during that span while increasing the rationale toward including him in WR1 consideration. That includes the 97 receptions and 1,196 yards that he assembled in 2018, as he captured at least six receptions in nine different contests. He could exceed last year’s target total (136), as a large percentage of Tyrell Williams’ 65 vacated targets should be redistributed to Allen.

Hilton finished 10th in receiving yards last season (1,270) and was the only receiver within the top 10 to manufacture his season total while playing in fewer than 15 games. He has now registered at least 1,083 yards five times since 2013 while averaging 1,254 during that sequence. He was also sixth in yards-per-game average (90.7), eighth in yards-per-reception (16.7), averaged 8.6 targets-per-game and led the Colts in targets (120), receptions (76) and yardage. He returns as Andrew Luck’s top receiving option while functioning within a Frank Reich offense that finished ninth in pass percentage (61.6%).

Thielen's season-long output was excellent, as he accumulated the third most receptions (113), and finished among the top eight in targets (153) and receiving yards (1,373). However, savvy owners are already cognizant of the sizable decline in opportunities and production that occurred as his season progressed. He was leading the NFL in targets (96), receiving yards (925), and receptions (74) after Week 8, but his diminished output from Weeks 11-17 (61 yards-per-game/5.0 receptions per game) and his targets per-game average from Weeks 14-17 (4.75) should not be dismissed.

Only eight receivers had been targeted with greater frequency than Green prior to Week 9 (76/9.5 per game) before a toe issue derailed what had been a promising season. He had also averaged 6.0 receptions-per-game and 87 yards-per-game from Weeks 1-7 prior to the abrupt end of his production. Potential owners must now decide if they want to avoid a 31-year-old receiver who has missed 13 games in 2016/2018 or trust the same player who also finished at WR10 in 2017.

Only six receivers garnered more targets than Diggs (149) even though he was sidelined in Week 9 (ribs), and the fourth-year receiver finished seventh in targets-per-game (9.9). The massive number of opportunities propelled him to his first 100-catch season (102), his first 1,000-yard season (1,021), and a career-best nine touchdowns. He also captured more targets than Thielen from Weeks 11-17 (64/50), while also accumulating more receptions (44/35), receiving yardage (434/426) and touchdowns (5-2).

Cooper averaged 5.2 targets-per-game and 3.6 receptions-per-game with Oakland from Weeks 1-6, but his career achieved a much-needed restoration after he resurfaced with Dallas. Those averages climbed to 8.4/5.8, and he produced six of his seven touchdowns after becoming a Cowboy. One cautionary result from Cooper’s nine-game tenure with Dallas is that 397 of the 725 yards that he accrued were generated in two contests (Weeks 12/14), while he averaged just 46.7 yards-per-game in the seven remaining matchups.

Cooks has not missed a game in four seasons and has assembled nearly 4,600 yards during that sequence (1,204/1,082/ 1,173/ 1,138). His ability to sustain that level of production despite functioning in three diverse offensive schemes with a trio of different signal callers makes his accomplishment even more impressive. His prowess as a deep threat also remained intact, after he finished fifth with 22 catches of 20+ yards, and eclipsed 100 yards five times. He remains an enticing best ball option who can deliver big plays throughout the season.

Golladay's ranking has catapulted to a more prestigious tier after he thrived amid the deconstruction of what had been a potent passing attack to eclipse 1,000 yards (1,063) and finish at WR19 in his second season. He also finished 15th in targets from Weeks 1-16 (119), collected 15 red zone targets, and played on 90% of Detroit's offensive snaps (904). Continued improvement and another rise in production both appear imminent.

Entering Week 6, Kupp had already procured 40 targets (8-targets-per-game) while averaging 6 receptions and 88 yards-per-game during that span. He was also third overall in red zone targets (11), but what had been an encouraging season was ultimately limited to eight games as the result of multiple knee issues. However, his importance to the Ram offense as both a reliable receiver and effective blocker will assure that he recaptures an integral role upon his return.

Woods finished second among all receivers in offensive snaps (1,041/95%), and he capitalized by establishing new career highs in targets (130), receptions (86), receiving yards (1,219), and yards-per-game average (76.2). That was sufficient to vault the sixth-year receiver into the top 13 of all four categories, while he also generated a career-best six touchdowns. The return of Kupp will create additional competition for targets, although Woods still averaged 7.9-targets, 5.4 receptions and 82 yards during the games when Kupp was in the lineup.

Robinson's career-best numbers of 2015 (1,400 yards/ 14 touchdowns/WR4) continue to recede further into irrelevancy with each passing season. That process continued after the promise of a reinvigorated career in Chicago was disrupted by injuries that limited Robinson to 13 games. Despite his sustained absence, Robinson still led the Bears in targets (94) and receiving yards (754), and he remains a feasible best ball target that can deliver high-quality production during various weeks of the year.

 

Tier 4

Jarvis Landry, Alshon Jeffery, Julian Edelman, Doug BaldwinTyler BoydD.J. Moore, Tyler Lockett

Landry was averaging 11.75 targets/6.2 receptions/66 yards during his first eight matchups. But his averages dropped to 6.9 targets/4.0 receptions/56 yards-per-game after Freddie Kitchens became offensive coordinator. Despite the universal decline in usage and production, the arrival of Beckham should create space for Landry, and Mayfield is adept at locating open receivers.

Although a shoulder injury sidelined Jeffery from Weeks 1-3, he still accrued the most receptions (65) and receiving yards (843) since 2014. He will retain WR1 responsibilities. even as Zach Ertz confiscates a mammoth percentage of team targets and DeSean Jackson delivers a cluster of highly productive performances.

After serving a four-game suspension (PEDs) Edelman averaged 9 targets, 6.2 receptions and 71 yards from Weeks 5-17 while performing on 88% of New England's offensive snaps. The Patriots will eventually upgrade their unsightly depth chart. But Edelman should resurface as a vital component in their offense and a reliable point producer for owners. 

Baldwin had performed in all 16 games for five consecutive years with Seattle (2013-2017) before the 30-year old was forced to miss three contests in 2018. Our rankings are constructed under the premise that he will be ready to perform in Week 1 after sports hernia surgery, and will be adjusted if it appears that he will not be available.

Boyd eviscerated his previous career bests by capturing 108 targets, collecting 76 receptions, generating 1,028 yards, and scoring seven times. All despite missing Weeks 16-17 with an MCL sprain. New head coach Zac Taylor’s offense should provide him with opportunities to accumulate respectable production once again.

Moore's is primed to seize Carolina's WR1 role after gradually attaining those responsibilities as his rookie season progressed. His production surged after his snap count rose from 38.5% in Weeks 1-7 to 89% from Weeks 9-17. He also led all wide receivers with 7.9 yards-after-catch-per-reception while pacing all rookies with 960 yards from scrimmage.

As Baldwin contended with troublesome injuries, Lockett emerged as Seattle's most productive receiver. He achieved career bests in receptions (57) and receiving yards (965) and his 10 touchdowns tied him for fifth overall.

 

Tier 5

Calvin Ridley, Chris Godwin, Corey Davis, Golden TateRobby AndersonDante PettisSammy Watkins 

Ridley accrued more receptions (64), yardage (821), touchdowns (10) and fantasy points (WR18) than any other rookie receiver, and became the first newcomer to amass double-digit touchdowns since 2014. While replicating his touchdown total will be challenging. Ridley's target, reception, and yardage totals should rise.

Godwin played on 64% of Tampa Bay’s offensive snaps but still scored seven times, accumulated 842 yards, and tied for third with 11 targets inside the 10. The pathway toward a breakout season has been cleared by the combined exodus of Adam Humphries and Jackson.

Davis led the Titans in every major receiving category but his WR27 finish and 12 games of fewer than 57 yards were disappointing byproducts of a Tennessee attack that ranked 31st in passing attempts. Davis’ potential for production improves if Humphries attracts attention from defenders.

Tate only played on 35.6% of Philadelphia's offensive snaps while averaging a paltry 21 yards-per-game from Weeks 14-16.  But his value has been resuscitated thanks to a four-year contract and a new role as a frequent short-yardage weapon for Manning. Only five receivers exceeded Anderson's average of 9.75 targets-per-game from Weeks 14-17, who also accrued 5.75 receptions and 84 yards during that four-game span.

Pettis has an opportunity to reawaken the statistical surge that he had constructed in Weeks 12-15 when he averaged 84.5 yards/6.4 receptions and scored four times. Watkins is most enticing in the best ball format since his periodic games of high-quality production are often undermined by extended injuries (18 missed games since 2015).

 

Tier 6

Marvin Jones, Courtland Sutton, Mike Williams, Will Fuller, Christian Kirk, Larry Fitzgerald

The receivers that are included in this tier can still be beneficial to their owners, and could easily elevate beyond their current value.

 

Tier 7 and lower

Dede Westbrook, Keke Coutee, Anthony MillerDeSean Jackson, Michael Gallup, Curtis Samuel, Sterling Shepard 

Tiers 7-10 contain receivers that are located from WR41 to WR89 in our rankings. However, their relevance could be transformed as situations develop in the upcoming weeks.

More Best-Ball League 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.