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Fantasy Football 2017: Ranking the Wide Receivers

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Fantasy Football 2017: Ranking the Wide Receivers

I’ve already rolled out my quarterbacks and running backs rankings for 2017, so now it’s time to take a look at how the receivers stack up.

No other position in fantasy is influenced more by league type. The position is deeper in PPR leagues; at least 24 receivers have scored 200 or more points in every season since 2012. 37 receivers totaled more than 180 points last year. In PPR leagues, the 50th ranked receiver matched 50.2% of the production of the top ranked receiver; compared to 46.9% in standard leagues. The by-product is that productive receivers are easier to come by in PPR than in standard; and the position needs to be approached differently in each setting.

To serve as a happy medium, these rankings are compiled for half PPR leagues; though if a receiver’s ranking would change significantly if it were either standard or full PPR, I’ll include a blurb on that. (My rankings are based off a model I created that takes into account a player's talent, situation, injury history, schedule, consistency, ceiling/floor, and predicted regression).

Tier 1

1. Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers (ADP: 3)

2. Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons (ADP: 4.2)

3. Odell Beckham Jr., New York Giants (ADP: 5.8)

Brown has been a top-3 receiver in each of the last four seasons in PPR leagues; and he’s been at his best with Martavis Bryant on the field. Julio was the sixth ranked receiver last year despite dealing with various different injuries throughout the season; he could approach 2,000 yards if he’s healthy for a full season. Beckham has finished in the top five in each of his three seasons in the league. There’s no reason to think it won’t happen again; though his current ankle sprain is worth monitoring.

Tier 2

4. Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (ADP: 8.2)

5. Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints (ADP: 15.6)

6. Jordy Nelson, Green Bay Packers (ADP: 12.0)

7. A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals (ADP: 10.8)

The receivers in this tier are so close in value that it's essentially a matter of preference. Evans is likely the safest pick of the bunch. As a rookie, Thomas finished ninth at his position last year despite not becoming a starter until week 3. He’s likely to pick up even more targets with Brandin Cooks gone; combine that with his favorable schedule and he's likely to put up a monster season. Over his last two full seasons, Jordy had just two games where he did not score in the double-digits in PPR. He’s as reliable as they come. Everyone knows what Green is capable of, but he has missed 10 games over the last three seasons; and his ceiling isn’t quite as high as the other three in this tier.

Tier 3

8. Doug Baldwin, Seattle Seahawks (ADP: 26.6)

9. Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys (ADP: 18.6)

10.T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts (ADP: 22.8)

11. Amari Cooper, Oakland Raiders (ADP: 24.4)

Baldwin finished as a top-10 receiver in each of the last two seasons, and he did it last year with an injured quarterback. He’s one of the safest picks in the draft. Dez has had a multitude of injuries over the last couple of years, but he’s healthy now and has top-5 upside. Hilton is always a threat to lead the league in yardage, but his value is hampered by a lack of touchdown upside. Cooper has been the NFL’s version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde since he came into the league; he looks unstoppable in some games and then he’ll go missing in others. If he can put an end to that, he’ll graduate into the top tier of receivers in the NFL.

Tier 4

12. Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers (ADP: 44.0)

13. DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans (ADP: 31.6)

14. Brandin Cooks, New England Patriots (ADP: 27.2)

15. Terrelle Pryor, Washington Redskins (ADP: 35.6)

I don’t quite understand why Adams, last year’s seventh ranked receiver, has an ADP of 44. His rapport with Rodgers is growing rapidly and the fourth year has been kind to Packer receivers (both Jordy and Cobb posted top-6 seasons in their fourth year). Pretty much anyone is an upgrade over Brock Osweiler, so there’s hope for Hopkins returning to his 2015 form. Edelman’s injury will open up some more targets for Cooks, though he was probably going to be a top 20 receiver regardless. Cooks should be ranked even higher in full ppr. Pryor might not see as many targets as he did in Cleveland, but at least he’ll catching passes from a quarterback who can actually throw the ball accurately.

Tier 5

16. Demaryius Thomas, Denver Broncos (ADP: 35.4)

17. Alshon Jeffery, Philadelphia Eagles (ADP: 39.4)

18. Allen Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars (ADP: 45.2)

Thomas doesn’t have the ceiling he once had, but he’s never finished outside of the top 20, I don’t expect that to change. The upside is there with Jeffery (I’m a fan of players on a 1-year “prove it” deal), but he’s missed 11 games over his last two seasons. Robinsons needs to be downgraded a bit if Bortles remains starter.

Tier 6

19. Pierre Garcon, San Francisco 49ers (ADP: 100.2)

20. Jamison Crowder, Washington Redskins (ADP: 80.4)

21. Willie Snead, New Orleans Saints (ADP: 79.8)

22. Kelvin Benjamin, Carolina Panthers (ADP: 60.4)

23. Devante Parker, Miami Dolphins (ADP: 106.0)

24. Golden Tate, Detroit Lions (ADP: 61.8)

25. Martavis Bryant, Pittsburgh Steelers (ADP: 60.4)

Garcon has the potential to be the steal of the draft at his ADP. Crowder should see more targets this year and could be a solid WR2 in PPR. Snead is the most likely candidate to take over in the slot for Brandin Cooks. Benjamin has finished inside the top 20 in each of his two seasons; he should be close to that this year as well. Jay Cutler tends to lock into targets and he seems to be building that type of a connection with Parker. Tate is rock-solid in PPR. Bryant is a low-floor, high-upside pick; he’d be a bust at his current ADP if there’s any TD regression.

Tier 7

26. Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals (ADP: 64.8)

27. Jarvis Landry, Miami Dolphins (ADP: 52.6)

28. Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs (ADP: 46.4)

29. Stefon Diggs, Minnesota Vikings (ADP: 71.0)

30. Michael Crabtree, Oakland Raiders (ADP: 46.8)

31. Donte Moncrief, Indianapolis Colts (ADP: 96.4)

32. Tyrell Williams, San Diego Chargers (ADP: 122.0)

33. Eric Decker, Tennessee Titans (ADP: 98.0)

34. Emmanuel Sanders, Denver Broncos (ADP: 69.0)

35. Keenan Allen, San Diego Chargers (ADP: 43.4)

Tier 8

36. Jordan Matthews, Buffalo Bills (ADP: 142.2)

37. Sammy Watkins, Los Angeles Rams (ADP: 55.4)

38. John Brown, Arizona Cardinals (ADP: 128.4)

39. Kevin White, Chicago Bears (ADP: 194.0)

40. Jeremy Maclin, Baltimore Ravens (ADP: 104.2)

41. Adam Thielen, Minnesota Vikings (ADP: 134.6)

Tier 9

42. J.J. Nelson, Arizona Cardinals (ADP: 186.6)

43. Randall Cobb, Green Bay Packers (ADP: 93.8)

44. Corey Coleman, Cleveland Browns (ADP: 120.2)

45. Brandon Marshall, New York Giants (ADP: 70.2)

46. DeSean Jackson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (ADP: 91.8)

Tier 10

47. Corey Davis, Tennessee Titans (ADP: 119.6)

48. Marvin Jones, Detroit Lions (ADP: 137.2)

49. Kenny Britt, Cleveland Browns (ADP: 125.8)

50. Mike Wallace, Baltimore Ravens (ADP: 128.8)

51. Chris Hogan, New Englnad Patriots (ADP: 152)

52. Sterling Shepard, New York Giants (ADP: 151.4)

53. Rishard Matthews, Tennessee Titans (ADP: 132.0)

54. Ted Ginn, New Orleans Saints (ADP: 149.8)

55. Robby Anderson, New York Jets (ADP: 196.6)

56. Zay Jones, Buffalo Bills (ADP: 160.6)

57. Malcolm Mitchell, New England Patriots (ADP: 226)

Tier 11

58. Cole Beasley, Dallas Cowboys (ADP: 162.8)

59. Josh Doctson, Washington Redskins (ADP: 185.2)

60. Kenny Golladay, Detroit Lions (ADP: 169)

61. John Ross, Cincinnati Bengals (ADP: 156)

62. Kenny Stills, Miami Dolphins (ADP: 194.4)

63. Tyler Lockett, Seattle Seahawks (ADP: 165)

64. Taylor Gabriel, Atlanta Falcons (ADP: 159)

65. Robert Woods, Los Angeles Rams (ADP: 263)

66. Breshad Perriman, Baltimore Ravens (ADP: 222)

67. Marqise Lee, Jacksonville Jaguars (ADP: 228)

68. Mike Williams, Los Angeles Chargers (ADP: 243)

69. Nelson Agholor, Philadelphia Eagles (ADP: 237)

70. Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams (ADP: 173)

71. Devin Funchess, Carolina Panthers (ADP: 248)

72. Tavon Austin, Los Angeles Rams (ADP: 250)

73. Jeremy Kerley, San Francisco 49ers (ADP: 348)

74. Kendall Wright, Chicago Bears (ADP: N/A)

75. Josh Gordon, Suspended (ADP: 232)

 

*The average draft position is the Fantasypros composite of 4 major fantasy sources.

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