Fantasy football wide receiver rankings

Wide receivers, like other position, are dependent on those around them.

But it’s also to a lesser margin than others. The biggest difference falls into a non-offensive category.

If a team has an elite defense, that team won’t need to throw often. If their defense is poor, say Atlanta, Green Bay, or Oakland, then aerial shootouts become common.

There’s also the case of tremendous secondarys. Darrelle Revis, Richard Sherman, Vontae Davis and Chris Harris, are not people who a quarterback should be throwing at. It doesn’t matter if Calvin Johnson or Dez Bryant are on the other side of the ball.

That’s why there’s only two receiver in the top 10 here that hails from the West, the obvious exception being Demaryius Thomas.

Maclin gets the nod, well, because there’s little that Harris has in his arsenal that can truly shut him down. Thomas doesn’t face any elite corners within his division, because the only one is a Bronco.

Amari Cooper gets in, for a few reasons. Most importantly, no team has a true scouting report on him. Not even the Raiders, who drafted him fourth overall. Second, Cooper is a different breed. A throwback to the days of Tim Brown and Jerry Rice, where the art of creating separation was at it’s peak. Cooper, as we’ve seen, will do it versus anyone.

What makes Cooper even more fascinating that Brown and Rice, he has speed that dumps on Rice and Brown. His acceleration out of breaks is other-worldly. And he faces Harris twice in 2015. But the information Harris will have is insufficient to beat him.

It’s also important to remember that there is a new group of young and extremely talented receivers entering the NFL. Many of whom, despite the ridiculous production last season, haven’t gotten started yet.

That includes Paul Richardson (Seattle), Kenny Stills (left the shadow of Jimmy Graham for Miami) and Jarvis Landry (who is in south beach now, but without Mike Wallace).

Stills and Landry will fight for targets but without Wallace and tight end Charles Clay in town. That’s significant, and Clay is probably the biggest factor there. He accounted for 84 targets last season, nearly as many as Landry, and Ryan Tannehill will probably steer more his way.

Landry had more yard per route run (1.74) than Wallace, Sammy Watkins, Keenan Allen and Torrey Smith last season, and has less competition for looks than the whole list. And arguably the best quarterback situation.

What’s more, Landry will likely be drafted after all of them, and possibly into the 10th round or later.

He epitomizes what I look for in a fantasy receiver: extreme value, an unbeatable situation, and skills to pay the… You know. Landry also, despite the addition of Ndamukong Suh, doesn’t play for a team with an elite defense.

Other players, like Landry and Cooper, who fit that mold, include Chris Conley (Chiefs), Mike Evans (Buccaneers), Devin Smith (Jets), Allen Robinson (Jaguars) and Brandin Cooks (Saints).

It’s important to not let the abundance of players at the wide receiver position make you think the position isn’t as important. If anything, it’s more important than ever. In order to win, a team needs a receiver in the top 10 within your scoring system, and three within the top 25.

There’s some serious parity here, and it’s going to be tough to battle through all the information and figure out who will play the best. It’s not that far out of the question that it will all depend on health and schedule. But the factors above are the one’s you should rely on first.

  1. Demaryius Thomas
  2. Jordy Nelson
  3. Antonio Brown
  4. Jeremy Maclin
  5. Calvin Johnson
  6. Dez Bryant
  7. Mike Evans
  8. T.Y. Hilton
  9. Randall Cobb
  10. Amari Cooper
  11. Brandin Cooks
  12. Mike Wallace
  13. Kelvin Benjamin
  14. Jordan Mathews
  15. Sammy Watkins
  16. DeSean Jackson
  17. Golden Tate
  18. Brandon Marshall
  19. Jarvis Landry
  20. Kenny Stills
  21. Kevin White
  22. Martavis Bryant
  23. Torrey Smith
  24. Brandon Marshall
  25. Keenan Allen
  26. Julian Edelman
  27. Emmanuel Sanders
  28. Nelson Agholor
  29. Julio Jones
  30. A.J. Green
  31. Odell Beckham Jr.
  32. Golden Tate
  33. Allen Robinson
  34. Breshad Perriman
  35. Dorial Green-Beckham
  36. Chris Conley
  37. Jaylen Strong
  38. Paul Richardson
  39. Nick Toon
  40. Devin Smith
  41. Michael Crabtree
  42. Terrance Williams
  43. Michael Floyd
  44. Brandon LaFell
  45. Marlon Brown
  46. Andre Johnson
  47. Vincent Jackson
  48. DeAndre Hopkins
  49. John Brown
  50. Victor Cruz
  51. Marques Colston
  52. DeVante Parker
  53. Brandon Coleman
  54. Tavon Austin
  55. Allen Hurns
  56. Cody Latimer
  57. Roddy White
  58. Brice Butler
  59. Malcom Floyd
  60. Percy Harvin
  61. Davante Adams
  62. Ty Montgomery
  63. Steve Smith
  64. Donte Montcrief
  65. Markus Wheaton
  66. Kendall Wright
  67. Doug Baldwin
  68. Pierre Garcon
  69. Brian Quick
  70. Marvin Jones