2013 RotoRob NFL Draft Kit: Wide Receiver Rankings
A.J. Green is capable of doing some amazing things on the gridiron.
We near completion of the 2013 RotoRob NFL Draft Kit today with our final cheat sheet. So while you wonder which players Adrian Peterson is talking about when he declares that there are those using HGH, let’s review the top 65 wide receivers in Fantasy football for 2013.
With the NFL taking on more of a pass happy feel, this year’s wide receiver pool is deeper than ever. Teams like Tennessee, Green Bay, Denver, Indianapolis, Dallas and even Cleveland have three WRs that can produce reputable damage. It’s no wonder teams have a major focus in stockpiling cornerbacks. Frequent three receiver sets against nickel coverage have really started to turn this “Xs & Os” game into a chess match. More athletic quarterbacks — which we’ve seen an influx of recently — are also buying time with their feet and enabling WRs to snap loose down field.
1. Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions: Megatron is the definition of domination. Even Scott Mitchell would be an All-Pro on this team thanks to Johnson. Johnson ravages secondaries like a tornado with arms. He should be the first WR taken.
2. A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals: Green is already legit and he is getting better. In an aging division, he is the leader of the new school. Green suffered a bone bruise on the first day of training camp, but don’t sweat it — he’ll be fine.
3. Brandon Marshall, Chicago Bears: Chicago was a good fit for Marshall. He shined with nearly 120 catchers for his first 100+ season since 2009.
4. Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons: A literal force in the making, Jones should see an uptick in production. He knows how to score and he is a superstar in an elite offense.
5. Victor Cruz, New York Giants: Cruz has youth on his side and an unrelenting motor and some serious game-breaking abilities (see below for the video evidence). Okay, so he took a hit of nearly 500 receiving yards last season, but was still over 1,000 yards. The difference last year as opposed to 2011 is that teams were ready for Cruz. He will persevere with another 1,000-yard season because he is still very thankful for the opportunity the Giants have given him.
6. Roddy White, Atlanta Falcons: White is a very experienced very legitimate target. However, this year might signal a slight downturn in production because of Jones. White is still top notch and he can be a stout number one WR on any Fantasy team even if he isn’t the man on his own team.
7. Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys: The ever-controversial Bryant is expected to dominate. The one problem in Dallas, however, is the lack of a consistent number two WR. When healthy, Miles Austin is very good, but he’s aging. This means Bryant will be dealing with trying to break double team coverage. We will see how good Dez really is this year. Even so, he’s in our top 10 as we respect his track record and expect him to post more than worthy numbers.
8. Demaryius Thomas, Denver Broncos: The addition of Wes Welker slid Thomas down a little. Thomas is still the number one option, though, and remains a deep threat for the ages.
9. Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals: Fitzgerald immediately makes QB Carson Palmer better. A healthy running game also helps. You can never go wrong when drafting Fitzgerald and he should combine with Palmer to form a successful tandem. Having the maturing Andre Roberts on the other side helps too, but no matter what, Fitzgerald is always one of the best players on the field.
10. Andre Johnson, Houston Texans: Johnson is just plain old now. When healthy, he is a dangerous player, but he only scored four TDs last season which is concerning. The extreme good news for Johnson is the Texans drafted this receiver from Clemson named DeAndre Hopkins. Hopkins is there to learn from Johnson and level the coverage net. Consider Johnson a solid number one option that can be snagged somewhere between rounds three and six.
11. Percy Harvin, Seattle Seahawks: [Editorial note — Warning! Season-ending surgery a possibility.] If the migraines stay away Harvin can mean a whole lot to the Seahawks offensive scheme. He can and will make plays. Seattle sent Minnesota a healthy package of picks so you got to believe the Seahawks will be prepared to highlight Harvin. Obviously, check the latest update on his hip injury before drafting Harvin. He’s scheduled to meet a specialist on Tuesday and his 2013 season hangs in the balance based on the outcome of that examination.
12. Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis Colts: It seems like Mr. Wayne is never too old. Even at the ripe age of 34, he’s still the marquee guy in budding offense. Wayne is wily and hardworking, so QB Andrew Luck will use him as often as he can.
13. Marques Colston, New Orleans Saints: Colston is the beast of the south. He has the ability to take over games. When healthy, Colston is the key to Saints down field attack.
14. Randall Cobb, Green Bay Packers: This is no Josh Cribbs story, one year in the sun and done — Cobb is ready to shine. Cobb jerseys will litter Lambeau Leaps for years to come.
15. Vincent Jackson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jackson has always been above average player. Last season he proved to be a force of nature, as he led the league in yards per catch with 19.2. To give you an idea of how good that was, consider that Calvin Johnson’s average was 16.1 YPC. Look for another stout year from Jackson as he is option number one.
16. Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City Chiefs: Bowe is Mr. Consistency, a shoo-in for seven catches and 70 yards every game. That is PPR gold you can safely invest in.
17. Danny Amendola, New England Patriots: Tom Brady must fill the Welker void and a healthy Amendola can be that guy. Brady can make any WR a star and Amendola already has skills to be one.
18. Wes Welker, Denver Broncos: One hundred receptions might not happen again for Welker. Going from Brady to Peyton Manning is simply priceless. Welker will be apart of an amazing trio of WRs that should keep Manning smiling all season long.
19. Mike Wallace, Miami Dolphins: Sometimes after a player has earned himself a big paycheck he disappear as an every down threat. Wallace will not that type of dude. Shades of Mark Clayton and Mark Duper will surround Wallace’s performance. Wallace will make QB Ryan Tannehill a star.
20. Jordy Nelson, Green Bay Packers: Nelson was hampered slightly last season by nagging injuries. But, he is no smoke and mirrors act. Nelson is a ball hawk and a nice complement to his mates Cobb and James Jones.
21. Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers: Past performance dictate that Brown should be this high in our rankings. Plus now with Wallace gone, Brown is top dog. Here’s hoping?
22. Cecil Shorts, Jacksonville Jaguars: Shorts emerged as a solid number two receiver both realistically and Fantasy-wise last season. Having a super-freak teammate like Justin Blackmon will do that. With Blackmon gone for the first four games we will see what Shorts can really do. Bear in mind that Shorts was second in the league in yards per catch with 17.8.
23. Miles Austin, Dallas Cowboys: Austin cracks the top 25 because of what he has accomplished in the past. The future remains a mystery and injuries are always a possibility, so use Austin cautiously as your number two WR.
24. DeSean Jackson, Philadelphia Eagles: We know the talent is there. The drive is what is lacking for Jackson. If Philly struggles, he might just go cry in the corner. A QB change could also revitalize Jackson and encourage his future.
25. Danario Alexander, San Diego Chargers: Alexander was a late season waiver gem last year. Lack of establishment is always scary, yet someone that has the maturity to watch and learn is always worth the gamble.
26. DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans: Hopkins’ motion is electric. Houston fans will constantly be checking their pulse when he touches the ball. Hopkins has a reliable QB in Matt Schaub and a pretty good wingman named Andre Johnson. It’s very tempting to put Hopkins higher on this list as he has all the intangibles that make WRs great. If you draft one rookie this year, make sure it’s this kid.
27. Jeremy Maclin, Philadelphia Eagles: Maclin is the ying to DeSean Jackson’s yang. They play off each other well. However, a possible QB carousel could ensue, making Maclin’s future shady. [Editorial note — shortly after we published this, Maclin suffered what looked like a serious knee injury. If it’s a torn ACL, he’s done for the year and needs to be ignored for draft purposes.]
28. Hakeem Nicks, New York Giants: This oft-injured Giant can be a star, but he will need to shape up or he will be sent packing. Nicks has the size, the skills and a solid QB under centre. He shown the ability to play through pain but production needs to be even.
29. James Jones, Green Bay Packers: Jones completes a trifecta of Packers WRs in our top 30. He could be a top target on any team and he can really make things happen down field.
30. Eric Decker, Denver Broncos: Decker is now part of a trio that is one of the nastiest receiving corps in the NFL. As a result, his production might take a slight hit, but Manning does spread the field, so Decker remains a nice commodity.
31. Tavon Austin, St. Louis Rams: The pressure is on this rookie. QB Sam Bradford needs a top gun, so Austin will be forced into all scenarios until his tank is dry.
32. Torrey Smith, Baltimore Ravens: Smith had trouble last season living up to the projections. He is wicked fast, but he is not a possession guy yet. Smith is a better play in standard leagues because he will find the end zone.
33. Anquan Boldin, San Francisco 49ers: After terrorizing the 49ers’ secondary for six receptions and 104 yards in the Super Bowl, now Boldin has headed west to try to bring the title back to San Francisco. The problem here is consistency; he’ll put up a 40-point week and follow that up with a three-point stinker.
34. Denarius Moore, Oakland Raiders: Moore is a slasher and a true number two receiver trying to make it as number one. He ranks here based on opportunity.
35. Greg Jennings, Minnesota Vikings: This will be an interesting year in Minnesota. Jennings should be the top option in a questionable passing game.
36. Sidney Rice, Seattle Seahawks: Rice has so much potential, now he needs to prove it without Brett Favre. If Harvin is done for the year (which we’ll find out next week), bump Rice up this list several slots.
37. Lance Moore, New Orleans Saints: Moore is aging, but he is still a trusted option.
38. Mike Williams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Williams was once first chair and now he is a mere second fiddle. Interpret that however you like.
39. Josh Gordon, Cleveland Browns: Gordon is very talented, but he will be suspended for the first two games of season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. He could come back steaming like a freight train (but hopefully not like a steaming pile of…).
40. Brian Hartline, Miami Dolphins: With Wallace controlling the post, Hartline should be open in the flat.
41. Alshon Jeffery, Chicago Bears: There is massive potential here. However, Jeffrey is at best the third option in this passing game. If he can break single coverage often his stock will surely rise.
42. Steve Smith, Carolina Panthers: Smith is as old as they come and while he could have one more 1,000-yard year in him, it’s highly unlikely.
43. Kendall Wright, Tennessee Titans: Wright was the team leader in receptions last season. QB Jake Locker trusts him, but Nate Washington, Kenny Britt and rookie Justin Hunter are also in the mix.
44. Kenny Britt, Tennessee Titans: Britt has lit up the waiver wire and IR. He does a lot of things well. We will see if he can reach the potential he hinted at in his first two seasons.
45. Pierre Garcon, Washington Redskins: Sorry Santana Moss, Garçon is the only Washington WR on our list. This will be key year for Garçon and ‘Skins. We know Robert Griffin III can be accurate, but can Garçon make plays all season?
46. Steve Johnson, Buffalo Bills: Johnson broke a vertebrae this offseason. It’s hard not to shutter at that. Also we don’t think EJ Manuel or Kevin Kolb is a QB upgrade.
47. Emmanuel Sanders, Pittsburgh Steelers: Explosiveness is Sanders strength. Look for him to be the deep threat in a conservative offense.
48. Malcom Floyd, San Diego Chargers: Floyd is now the veteran on a young receiving corps. He will get his targets.
49. Aaron Dobson, New England Patriots: Brady makes anybody better and you know he is building a relationship with Dobson. The situation in New England may seem severe but Brady will figure out a way to use whatever is left.
50. Andre Roberts, Arizona Cardinals: Roberts has worked hard to be Fitzgerald’s sidekick. Now with Palmer slinging, the offense might have some consistency.
51. Justin Blackmon, Jacksonville Jaguars: A four-game suspension will turn off many straight-laced owners, but, Blackmon can be Fantasy playoff force, so don’t ignore him completely.
52. T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts: Hilton has the speed to open things wide open.
53. Greg Little, Cleveland Browns: Don’t forget about Little, he has extreme athletic ability that can be used in a variety of ways.
54. Cordarrelle Patterson, Minnesota Vikings: Raw but skilled, Patterson might need five-to-eight games of toe dragging before his role is rooted.
55. Robert Woods, Buffalo Bills: In Woods, a potential sizzler could rise like a Phoenix out of blustery Buffalo (a city known for its share of flames, if not Phoenixes).
56. Chris Givens, St. Louis Rams: If Tavon Austin succeeds early, Givens could be open be late.
57. Jacoby Jones, Baltimore Ravens: Jones thrilled all of us in the playoffs last season. Now he is an every down starter.
58. Michael Floyd, Arizona Cardinals: With Fitzgerald demanding the attention, Floyd could emerge as a deep threat.
59. Terrance Williams, Dallas Cowboys: Williams’ frame is solid and his game is good enough to send Miles Austin to the third and long sets. The question is when will Jason Garrett realize that?
60. Mohamed Sanu, Cincinnati Bengals: A foot injury could slow Sanu in training camp. Hopefully you have the waiver wire sense to snag him early.
61. Brandon LaFell, Carolina Panthers: Cam Newton seems to be the only Panther with a consistent Fantasy stat line. That’s why LaFell is a decent bye week replacement only.
62. Golden Tate, Seattle Seahawks: With a healthy Rice and Harvin, the slot could be Golden. However, if Harvin goes under the knife, Tate gets a nice bump.
63. Santonio Holmes, New York Jets: Somebody on this team has to make a Fantasy splash, right?
64. Nate Washington, Tennessee Titans: This offense has many weapons and Washington could the first option in the red zone.
65. Davone Bess, Cleveland Browns: Bess offers a great “move the sticks” option. He is a PPR pacesetter.
And now it’s your turn. Tell us where your favourite receivers should rank on this list in the comments below.