As the NFL season rapidly approaches, we got our resident fantasy expert, Tyler, to share his top 10 fantasy players at each position. We’re moving onto the penultimate entry now, so here are Tyler’s NFL Fantasy WR Rankings.
(All rankings articles are built with 0.5PPR and 4pt passing TD rules in mind. These are the default settings used in most fantasy leagues.)
1 – Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers
My favourite player in the NFL who isn’t on my beloved Las Vegas Raiders. Davante Adams is the undisputed king of fantasy football wide receivers and has been for multiple years, now. Adams is absolutely dominant in the red zone, is seemingly always open and has an incredible rapport with his QB. Did I mention that said QB is a future first-ballot Hall of Famer and the reigning MVP, Aaron Rodgers. Adams is the only wide receiver in fantasy who I’d be willing to draft in the first round. In 2020, he only played 14 games and he still came out as the WR1 overall, averaging 21.5 FPPG. He has been a top 10 WR three years in a row and WR1 PPG in two of the three. Green Bay’s #17 is a true TD machine – he’s scored 10 or more times in four of the last five years, and that one year he missed, he was hurt. Don’t overthink it, he’s elite.
2 – Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs
The 1b to Adams’ 1a, Tyreek Hill is the only other receiver who is even close. Hill is much more of a deep threat than a nuanced route-runner, but he’s more well-rounded than people think. Don’t assume because he’s a speedster, he won’t command volume, Hill was top 10 in targets last year with 135. He turned 87 receptions into 1,276 yards and an absolutely outrageous 15 receiving touchdowns. Those numbers are ridiculous, and even more noteworthy when you realise, he is considered to be a deep threat speedster. Hill is way more than that. Travis Kelce being on the same offense also helps to take some of the weight off and Tyreek takes advantage. He plays for the highest-upside QB in the league and is one of the most dangerous receivers we’ve ever seen, both on the field and in your opponent’s fantasy team.
3 – Stefon Diggs, Buffalo Bills
Another unreal route-running receiver, Stefon Diggs took the league by storm last year. Already a fantasy favourite, and the face of one of the most iconic plays in NFL history, in 2020 he took his talents to Buffalo. Pairing up with Josh Allen, widely known as a big arm who wasn’t reliable, people didn’t know what to expect. Well, now they do. Allen went through the biggest transformation I’ve seen in my time watching the NFL over the offseason and both he and Diggs somersaulted into fantasy stardom. The ex-Viking leapt up to the WR3 in fantasy last year, behind only Adams and Hill. He had 127 receptions, which led the entire league, and his rapport with Allen was instant. Going into year two of this partnership, watch out.
4 – Calvin Ridley, Atlanta Falcons
One of the many young superstar receivers in the NFL today, Calvin Ridley is about to start the rest of his career. Being drafted as a WR to the Atlanta Falcons has come with an asterisk for the last decade, you’re a complimentary piece to Julio Jones. Now that #11 is over in Nashville, all of a sudden, Calvin Ridley gets to step up and run the show. Here’s the best part, though, he’s already started. In 2020, Ridley saw 147 targets and was the WR4 overall at year’s end, with 1,374 yards and 9 TD’s. Julio only played in nine games last year, and his understudy proved that he won’t have to be that anymore. The 26-year-old wideout dominated just as much – if not more – when the veteran from Alabama wasn’t out there. The fear that we’d have another Ju Ju Smith-Schuster situation and see failure against better coverage was dismissed in 2020, so draft Ridley in the 2nd round and see how good he can really be.
5 – Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings
What do I really need to say to you about Justin Jefferson? Last year he literally had the most insane rookie WR season of all time. In the first couple of weeks, he didn’t do too much as he acclimated, then boom. From Week 3-17 we saw the emergence of another young star, earning himself the WR6 in just his first year. If you only look at the last 14 games, Jefferson was actually even better, the WR4, just 7 fantasy points shy of Stefon Diggs. It can’t be understated how good the fantasy WR landscape is right now – to be the sixth-highest scoring player at the position as a rookie, when you did nothing through the first two weeks of the year is incredible. I just hope that the Vikings defense doesn’t improve enough to stop Kirk Cousins throwing the ball this much, because it’s really fun to watch.
6 – DeAndre Hopkins, Arizona Cardinals
If you want a consistently elite end-of-year producer at WR, look no further. DeAndre Hopkins might have the best hands I’ve ever seen in the NFL. This guy literally seems to catch everything you throw up to him. The Hail Murray play last year demonstrated that. Hopkins commands volume on every team he plays on. The only season he has ever had less than 100 targets was his rookie season and he has been averaging 160 targets a year since then. So combine the two things we’ve said so far – he gets a huge number of targets and he catches everything – DHop is a superstar who has been at the top of fantasy football draft boards for years and it won’t change anytime soon. Four top-10 WR finishes in a row is impressive and I see no reason not to expect that to become five.
7 – DK Metcalf, Seattle Seahawks
Another young superstar receiver, DK Metcalf is one of the best true athletes in the league. The Seahawks wideout is 6’4 and 230 lbs – and he looks it. He runs as fast as anybody on the football field, hardly breaks his stride once the ball is in his hands, and has shown a bigger aptitude than expected with running routes, as he improves. Originally considered almost exclusively to be a deep threat, Metcalf has developed rapidly and is now gaining more and more traction as a legitimate top-10 fantasy asset, both in redraft leagues and dynasty. Last year in just his second season, Metcalf finished as the WR7, and he should be getting better over time. Russell Wilson is one of the best quarterbacks in the league, especially throwing the deep ball, and now he has a truly elite big-bodied speed receiver to come down with those huge plays.
8 – A.J Brown, Tennessee Titans
As if we didn’t have enough, here is yet another incredible young talent, A.J Brown has one of the highest ceilings in the entire league. Unfortunately, his ability to truly explode may have been delayed by the signing of Julio Jones. Adding a veteran receiver to support their young star is not inherently a bad thing, but when the player you add is a true alpha, it could make a more notable impact. Julio might be getting older, but he has a 16-game average of 156 targets over his career, those won’t all suddenly disappear. The Titans are a run-first offense, too, so sustaining two alpha wideouts together – while possible – will be difficult. I still expect big things from Brown, especially in the future, but Julio has delayed it slightly. The younger wideout should still be a WR1 this year, making him a great pick, but his potential is limitless.
9 – Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers
Speaking of veterans who command high volume, Keenan Allen is right up there with the best of them in that department. Despite that veteran experience and the feeling that he’s been around for a long time, the Chargers receiver is only 29. Allen has averaged 100 receptions and 1200 yards over the last four seasons. If you want consistency, this is your man. In all four of the aforementioned seasons, Allen has been a top-15 receiver, and even landed as the WR3 overall in 2018. With Justin Herbert looking fantastic in his rookie year, it’s hard not to get excited about what Allen could do. The combination of upside and an incredibly reliable floor makes Allen a worthy pick in the third round, if you can get him.
10 – Allen Robinson II, Chicago Bears
From one Allen to another, another incredibly talented veteran receiver, Allen Robinson could be in for a very interesting year. The Bears wideout, as unfortunate as it is, has become famous as the best receiver who gets no service. If you look up this list at the wide receivers, they all have good QB’s; Mahomes, Rodgers, Wilson… Even Matt Ryan is an accurate QB on a team that passes an awful lot. Then we talk about ARob. He has played with Blake Bortles, Mitch Trubisky, post-SB Nick Foles and many more very unexciting names. This year could be the year that things spice up a little. The Bears will open the season with Andy Dalton, providing at least an upgrade from Mitch Trubisky, if nothing more. The excitement, however, is that they have Justin Fields waiting in the wings. The Ohio State QB was awesome at college and now has shown some serious flashes during the preseason. Allen Robinson was capable of putting up WR1 seasons despite having no real QB support, finishing 11th at the position in the last two seasons. Now, I want to see him with a good QB, so he can lock down superstar status.