Here are the top 12 Wide Receivers heading into the 2019 season based on a standard scoring league (PPR Rankings are in parenthesis following the team).
1. Deandre Hopkins- Houston Texans (1)- Hopkins constantly puts up numbers, and he does so in a variety of ways. He can beat defenses deep, he can chew you up if you play off of him and he can make the contested catches.
2. DeVante Adams- Green Bay Packers (2)- The Packers have very few game changing options in the passing game outside of Adams. Jimmy Graham has not been the Jimmy Graham of old, so when Aaron Rodgers needs to unload the ball, he often looks Adams’ way. Adams has a knack for reaching pay dirt, something he did 13 times last year (10 times in ‘17 and 12 times in ‘16).
3. Michael Thomas- New Orleans Saints (3)- While the Saints have offensive weapons, Thomas is the only true receiving threat found on the Saints offense, and it’s been that way pretty much his entire career. The Saints have had atrocious production at tight end since the traded Jimmy Graham and Ted Ginn is fairly limited in his route tree. Because of this, Thomas receives the lionshare of the workload and produces well
4. Julio Jones- Atlanta Falcons (5)- Julio Jones is an elite level talent at the receiver position, but he slips down to the three spot here for a couple reasons. He’s battled nagging injuries throughout his career and he’s been surrounded with more talent inthe past couple of years, which takes some targets away from him. He was also a bit inconsistent with his production from week to week last year. After saying all of that, he can still go on a tear and post other-wordly type numbers for week long stretches.
5. Odell Beckham- Cleveland Browns (4)- Odell Beckham could have the most God-given talent of anyone on this list. However, he comes into a situation where he’ll be competing for
Baker Mayfield's attention along with Jarvis Landry and Antonio Callaway. Also expect David Njoku to see more targets as he improves his play in year three.
6. Mike Evans- Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6)- Evans at this spot is a gamble due to the quarterback play he has around him. Last year he produced, and produced well, even with the Bucs changing quarterbacks seemingly every week. Evans could explode onto the scene in Bruce Arians vertical passing scheme, or he could be hampered by the play of Jameis Winston. After Evans there’s a drop-off, so here at the six spot just feels right.
7. Adam Thielen- Minnesota Vikings (9)- Thielen fell off at the end of last season, but make no mistake about it, he solidified himself as a fantasy stud last year. He had the most points out of any receiver for much of the year and with the same cast of characters returning in Minnesota, expect similar production.
8. Antonio Brown- Oakland Raiders (7)- Brown, who fell out of favor in Pittsburgh (and perhaps with the rest of the NFL), is still a terrific fantasy option, even after going to Oakland. While the overall talent may not be what it was in Pittsburgh, Derek Carr will lean on Brown heavily, especially during the crucial parts of a game.
9. AJ Green- Cincinnati Bengals (8)- Green was hampered by injuries last year and has been plagued with average-at-best quarterback play from Andy Dalton. Both guys need one
another to have any true success, and expect Green to be heavily featured in Zac Taylor’s new system.
10. JuJu Smith-Schuster- Pittsburgh Steelers (11)- Call me a skeptic, but I expect Smith-Schuster’s numbers to drop off a bit. With the departure of Brown, expect Smith-Schuster to draw the opposing team's top corner more often than any of his fellow wide receivers. However, he still has the ability to be a legitimate threat in the passing game, especially if Donte Moncrief can produce and take some pressure off him.
11. Keenan Allen- LA Chargers (10)- One of the more underrated wideouts in both the NFL and fantasy circles, Allen is the real deal when healthy. 2018 saw Allen play all 16 games and for the second consecutive year he put up 95+ catches to go along with 6 touchdowns. Oh, and by the way, he’s averaging 1,294 yards over the past two seasons.
12. TY Hilton- Indianapolis Colts (12)- Like Adams at two, Hilton has very little competition for targets at the receiver position (Devin Funchess may affect his production a little bit). While he did have an “okay” year in terms of receptions (76), the big stat is his average yards per catch (16.7 YPC). Because of his production “volatility (could be great one week but below average the next)” and his reliance on the deep ball, I don’t feel comfortable putting him any higher than this.
Just Missed the Cut:
Tyreke Hill- Kansas City Chiefs- If Hill can somehow avoid a suspension following his current investigation, he would slot in right between Thomas (4) and Beckham (5).
Robert Woods- LA Rams- There are a lot of mouths to feed, er, hands to fill, for the Rams. However, Woods gets it done both through the air and on timely end-arounds.
Amari Cooper- Dallas Cowboys- If he can maintain the numbers he posted after he was traded to Dallas, Cooper could be a steal in the mid to late second round of your draft.
Alshon Jeffery- Philadelphia Eagles- Big No. 17 is the “1B” option in the red zone for Carson Wentz. Having a healthy Carson Wentz should boost Jeffery’s year end output.