Last Updated: September 2nd at 12:32am ET.
TIER ONE: Davante Adams (WR1) > DeAndre Hopkins (WR2) > Odell Beckham (WR3) > Julio Jones (WR4) > Tyreek Hill (WR5) > Michael Thomas (WR6) > JuJu Smith-Schuster (WR7) > Mike Evans (WR8)
Overview: Locked-in WR1s who carry NFL passing games. Adams tied for the league lead in targets per game (11.3) last season and has double-digit touchdowns in three straight years, ranking 3rd, 3rd, and 1st in red-zone targets. The Packers’ lack of clarity at Nos. 2-4 receiver and tight end reinforce Adams as this year’s fantasy WR1. Hopkins defines bankable with top-three finishes in Air Yards in back-to-back seasons and just one missed game through six years in the NFL. As Eli Manning has backslid every season since Beckham entered the league, Baker Mayfield will be the best quarterback of OBJ’s career. PFF charted Beckham with a league-high 50% of passes thrown to him as “off target” last season; Mayfield logged the NFL’s fourth-highest “on target” throw rate from Weeks 9-17. Jones has topped 1,400 yards in five straight seasons and remains the NFL’s all-time leader in receiving yards per game (96.7). Tyreek skyrocketed from WR18 to WR5 after the NFL declined to suspend him. He’s been a top-four WR1 in consecutive years. Thomas’ ball skills, routes, and slot dominance make him one of fantasy’s highest-floor picks. Through three seasons, Thomas is averaging 6.8 catches for 80.6 yards per game. Especially if the likes of James Washington and Donte Moncrief don’t step up, Smith-Schuster’s target projection is near limitless. He finished fourth in 2018 (166), and Pittsburgh is now missing the league’s fifth-most targets (226) from last year’s team. Bruce Arians’ vertical attack perfectly suits Evans, who’s finished top five in Air Yards in four straight years. Still defensively inept, the 2019 Bucs will be a shootout team.
TIER TWO: Amari Cooper (WR9) > Keenan Allen (WR10) > Adam Thielen (WR11) > Stefon Diggs (WR12) > Antonio Brown (WR13) > Julian Edelman (WR14)
Overview: Tier-two receivers land on the WR1 fringe but are capable of scoring in the first-tier range. Including playoffs, Cooper played 11 games for Dallas last year. His receiving pace extrapolated to 16 games was 96/1,303/10 on 137 targets. This is Amari’s first full offseason with Dak Prescott, and both are in contract years. Cooper’s plantar fascia irritation is something he’s played through before and won’t threaten his Week 1 availability. Once labeled injury prone, Allen has turned in back-to-back 16-game seasons. Mike Williams’ emergence and Hunter Henry’s return are concerns for Allen’s ceiling. Thielen set career highs in targets (153), catches (113), yards (1,373), and touchdowns (9) in year one with Kirk Cousins. Expect Diggs’ downfield usage to grow under play-action advocate Gary Kubiak. Brown is a boom-bust pick severely downgrading quarterbacks in a probable losing environment where he hardly practiced in training camp due to an oddball foot infection and sanity-questioning helmet dispute with the NFL. I’m below consensus on Brown — he is still going inside the top-ten receivers in high-stakes drafts — and understand I’ll own none of him this year. Although Edelman is 33, his white-hot 2018 and Super Bowl MVP award suggest his tank remains near full. Including playoffs, Edelman’s stat line is 105/1,325/6 on 156 targets over his last 16 games. He has 85-plus yards and/or a touchdown in a remarkable 13 of them (81%). At his ADP, Edelman is an aggressive target of mine. I did move Edelman down one spot when Josh Gordon was reinstated.
TIER THREE: Chris Godwin (WR15) > Tyler Lockett (WR16) > Brandin Cooks (WR17) > Tyler Boyd (WR18) > Robert Woods (WR19)
Overview: These are locked-in WR2s who project as every-week starters with WR1 ceilings. Godwin is moving into the slot, where past Bruce Arians pupils Larry Fitzgerald, Hines Ward, and Reggie Wayne all shined. The Bucs are missing the NFL’s fourth-most targets from last year. Although Lockett’s 2018 efficiency (81.4% catch rate, 13.8 yards per target, 10 TDs on 70 targets) is unsustainable, Doug Baldwin’s retirement frees up a ton of opportunity, and Lockett’s slot usage will rise. Baldwin effectively missed four games last season, and Lockett ran 60% of his routes inside in them. He dominated, securing 26-of-29 slot targets for 454 yards and five touchdowns. Cooks set a career high in receiving yards (1,204) in his Rams debut. Not yet 26 years old, Cooks has topped 1,000 yards in four straight seasons. Although Boyd averaged 4.6 fewer PPR points per game without A.J. Green in 2018, Boyd’s target ceiling has been raised considerably by Green’s expected multi-game absence. Boyd can be a volume vacuum as ex-Rams assistant Zac Taylor‘s slot-receiver version of Cooper Kupp. I’ve found myself getting a ton of him this year. Woods’ volume will dip with Kupp (ACL) returning, but his floor is as safe as any member of this group with a stable, consistent role in a high-octane offense.
TIER FOUR: D.J. Moore (WR20) > Kenny Golladay (WR21) > Allen Robinson (WR22) > Mike Williams (WR23) > Cooper Kupp (WR24) > Josh Gordon (WR25) > Calvin Ridley (WR26) > T.Y. Hilton (WR27) > Robby Anderson (WR28) > Will Fuller (WR29) > Sammy Watkins (WR30)
Overview: Shakier but still-attractive WR2/3 types, including breakout candidates and established vets. Moore led all rookies with at least 50 targets in yards per route run last year. He averaged only 24.8 snaps in Carolina’s initial six games, then 56.3 the rest of the way. Golladay lost 2.7 targets per game when Marvin Jones played, and both face more passing-game competition from Danny Amendola and T.J. Hockenson. Robinson enters year two with Mitchell Trubisky and Matt Nagy after averaging 9.0 targets over his last five games and rinsing the Eagles for 10/143/1 receiving in Chicago’s playoff loss. Robinson is an aggressive re-draft target for me and a screaming buy low in Dynasty leagues having just turned 26. Williams (Hunter Henry) faces stiffer target competition but maintains WR2/3 viability with a sky-high TD ceiling. Kupp was on pace for 80/1,132/12 receiving before tearing his ACL, emerging as one of the NFL’s top slot and red-zone receivers. Due to the injury, I have concerns about Kupp experiencing a slow start. I hiked Gordon from WR53 into this tier once he earned reinstatement. You should read our Patriots Team Preview to understand just how much of a difference maker Gordon was last season. Ridley’s rookie touchdown rate (10 TDs on 64 catches) is unsustainable, but he earned an opportunity increase entering year two. In his career, Hilton averages 4.2 fewer PPR points and 17.9 fewer yards per game sans Andrew Luck. Anderson is just as long on spiked-week scoring ability as he is on inconsistency. Fuller’s receiving line over his last 16 games is 56/891/11 despite battling myriad injuries, including last year’s torn ACL. Fuller endured a healthy training camp, however, and rose up my rankings considerably. Watkins won’t get the Tyreek Hill suspension bump and hasn’t cleared 600 yards since the 2015 season while missing time with glute, calf, ankle, right (sprain) and left (fracture) foot injuries, and a concussion. Still, Watkins was an upside WR2 when healthy last year.
TIER FIVE: Christian Kirk (WR31) > Alshon Jeffery (WR32) > Curtis Samuel (WR33) > Dante Pettis (WR34) > Dede Westbrook (WR35) > Marquez Valdes-Scantling (WR36) > A.J. Green (WR37) > Jarvis Landry (WR38) > Marvin Jones (WR39) > Courtland Sutton (WR40) > Larry Fitzgerald (WR41) > Sterling Shepard (WR42) > Corey Davis (WR43)
Overview: A mishmash mid-round tier of breakout candidates and established but capped-upside vets. Kirk, Pettis, and Sutton have realistic shots to emerge as their teams’ No. 1 receivers after promising rookie campaigns. Jeffery won’t vacuum volume but offers double-digit touchdown upside on a high-scoring Eagles team. I’m buying the hype on Samuel, a classic third-year breakout who wins at every level of the field. Westbrook’s competition for Nick Foles‘ targets couldn’t be less intimidating in Jacksonville. Green showed last year he has plenty left in the tank, but drafting players entering seasons already injured is worrisome. AJG will miss at least the first two games. At 6-foot-4, 206 with 4.37 jets, Valdes-Scantling is the Packers’ highest-upside non-Davante Adams wideout and looks locked into No. 2 duties. Landry’s ceiling is capped by Odell Beckham‘s addition after a career-low 81-catch year. Jones is a high-floor, low-ceiling WR3 in Detroit’s run-first attack. Sutton caught only half of his 2018 targets but became just the eighth second-round rookie receiver in the last decade to top 700 yards, joining Michael Thomas, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Josh Gordon, and Landry. Fitzgerald and Shepard are volume-based picks, the latter’s early-season intrigue raised by Golden Tate‘s four-game suspension. An inconsistent “flash” player to this point, Davis enters his third season in a target squeeze with A.J. Brown and Adam Humphries aboard and Delanie Walker returning.
TIER SIX: Donte Moncrief (WR44) > Geronimo Allison (WR45) > Michael Gallup (WR46) > DeSean Jackson (WR47) > Jamison Crowder (WR48) > John Brown (WR49)
Overview: Upside WR4/5s, several of whom look undervalued. All evidence shows Moncrief has taken a big lead on James Washington for Steelers No. 2 wideout duties. Allison is the favorite for slot work in Green Bay, where he projects as ex-Falcons assistant Matt LaFleur’s version of Mohamed Sanu. Gallup looks poised for a second-year leap after a big camp and preseason, and Amari Cooper‘s plantar fascia irritation enhances Gallup’s upside. D-Jax still has it; he led the NFL in 2018 yards per reception (18.9) and ranked No. 9 among 96 qualified receivers in yards per route run. Crowder showed an impressive rapport with Sam Darnold throughout camp and early preseason and has an outside chance to lead the Jets in targets. Brown is locked in as Buffalo’s No. 1 wideout.
TIER SEVEN: Deebo Samuel (WR50) > DaeSean Hamilton (WR51) > Rashard Higgins (WR52) > James Washington (WR53) > Albert Wilson (WR54) > Golden Tate (WR55) > Anthony Miller (WR56) > Kenny Stills (WR57) > DeVante Parker (WR58) > D.K. Metcalf (WR59) > Keke Coutee (WR60) > Devin Funchess (WR61) > Parris Campbell (WR62) > Jalen Hurd (WR63)
Overview: Late-round flyers with WR3/4 upside if things break right. Although Dante Pettis is the favorite for No. 1 wideout responsibilities in San Francisco, Samuel may not be far behind as the 36th overall pick in this year’s draft. (Pettis went 44th last year.) Washington fell in August, when he made plays with the second-team offense and his college quarterback, Mason Rudolph, but saw just one preseason snap with the first team. Donte Moncrief, Ryan Switzer, Eli Rogers, and Diontae Johnson all saw more work with the starters than Washington. Higgins won Cleveland’s No. 3 receiver job alongside Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry when Antonio Callaway drew a four-game suspension for substance abuse. Higgins’ on-field rapport with Baker Mayfield has stood out since last year’s stretch run. Wilson was on pace for nearly 1,000 total yards before a hip injury cut his 2018 nine games short. Target competition is soft in Miami. Tate dropped from WR42 to WR58 after his four-game PEDs suspension. Miller dislocated his shoulder “five or six times” but toughed it out in a harness, missing only one game and finishing second among rookie receivers in touchdowns (7). Stills and Parker project as role players but make for worthwhile late-round best-ball roster fillers. Metcalf fell quite a ways when he required arthroscopic knee surgery in late August. Funchess and Campbell were flushed from intriguing late-round flyers to undraftable when Andrew Luck retired. Once a member of my Top 150, Hurd plummeted when he suffered a back injury late in camp.
TIER EIGHT: Marquise Brown > A.J. Brown > Marquise Goodwin > Trey Quinn > N’Keal Harry > Andy Isabella > Travis Benjamin > Mecole Hardman > Demarcus Robinson > Mohamed Sanu > Robert Foster > Tyrell Williams > David Moore > Josh Doctson > Paul Richardson > Nelson Agholor > Phillip Dorsett > Quincy Enunwa > Ted Ginn
Overview: WR6 types who could rise or fall based on preseason news. Higgins won Cleveland’s No. 3 duties alongside Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry when Antonio Callaway drew a four-game suspension for substance abuse. Brown has already fallen due to complications following offseason Lisfranc surgery. Harry also fell considerably when he suffered turf toe in the preseason, then Josh Gordon was reinstated. Quinn’s ceiling is limited from a scoring and yardage standpoint, but he should compete with Jordan Reed for Washington’s target lead. Second-round pick Isabella is competing for a role behind Christian Kirk and Larry Fitzgerald. The Chiefs traded up for Hardman as Tyreek Hill insurance that proved unnecessary when Tyreek avoided suspension. Foster emerged as one of the NFL’s premier deep threats over last season’s final five weeks but opened camp as Buffalo’s No. 4 receiver.
TIER NINE: Marqise Lee > Diontae Johnson > Danny Amendola > Adam Humphries > Cole Beasley > Randall Cobb > Zay Jones > Tre’Quan Smith > Equanimeous St. Brown > John Ross > Taylor Gabriel > Willie Snead > J.J. Arcega-Whiteside > Antonio Callaway > Taywan Taylor > Emmanuel Sanders > Tim Patrick > D.J. Chark > Keelan Cole > Jake Kumerow > Byron Pringle
Overview: Wide receivers at the end of the fantasy radar but worth monitoring.
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