Ranking the top 15 receivers for 2018 fantasy football
By Joey Nicks
I know, I know.. I have been doing top 10’s. But the truth is, wide receiver is so packed and due to some backlash of my last piece, I decided to cast a little bit of a wider net in this one. Julio Jones, Keenan Allen, Antonio Brown and even Jarvis Landry are names that I love, but one of those players might not even make my top 10! Which one is it? Continue reading to find out!
15) Mike Evans, TB– I feel like this is an honorable mention. Mike Evans is an athlete! Unfortunately, his production rests on the shoulder of Jameis Winston, and I for one am NOT a fan, but I do plan for Evans to bounce back this year. I would prefer him as a #2 WR on my team, and I would take it all day! Playoff Schedule: vs. NO, @ Bal, @ Dal
14) Larry Fitzgerald, ARI– The ageless wonder! I have ALWAYS been a huge fan of him. With a rookie quarterback under center most likely, since Sam Bradford getting hurt is almost a guarantee, look for Josh Rosen to rely on him for help. Last season, Fitz was a GREAT target for trade and if you got him, you most likely underpaid for him. Playoff Schedule: vs. Det, @Atl, vs. LAR
13) Brandin Cooks, LAR– I am still waiting to see the guy we saw in NO during his rookie campaign, but I am confident that Sean McVay will get him going for sure. A coach who can make Sammy Watkins relevant again can certainly do wonders for Cooks. They have weapons EVERYWHERE! That in itself should open the field up for Cooks. Playoff Schedule: @Chi, vs. Phi, @ Ari
12) Stefon Diggs, MIN– I have to believe in this offense, with the contract he just received… haha… he will be a big part of this unit in the upcoming year. I like him a lot and while it looked like Adam Thielin was the guy last year, I am going to go with my gut here and say Diggs will erupt this year. Playoff Schedule: @ Sea, vs Mia, @ Det
11) T.Y. Hilton, IND – HUGE bounce-back year coming Andrew IF Luck is healthy. I really don’t know how to judge Luck’s health either. I feel like the proof needs to be in the pudding. I will assume that all will be well this year and if that is the case, T.Y.’s struggles from last year will be a thing of the past. Hilton’s numbers were borderline BRUTAL last year, but his talent to go deep and make plays are sensational! Love T.Y. and don’t sleep on this guy, just keep your ear close to the ground on Luck. Playoff Schedule: @ Hou, vs. Dal, vs. NYG
10) Davante Adams, GB– So in Green Bay, Jordy is gone! Adams has been left to replace the man. Now everyone in the fantasy world is HYPED about Adams. Me? I like him and I like Aaron Rodgers, but where my problem lies is that I haven’t seen the numbers to jump on the train. I do, however, love him as a high-end WR2 and respect him as a WR1. One thing to remember is that it gets cold and snowy in Green Bay during fantasy playoffs. Just think before you buy into the hype, but lots to love here as he filled in well for Nelson last year. Playoff Schedule: vs. Atl, vs. Chi, @ NYJ
9) Julio Jones, ATL– People are most likely insanely angry and confused with this one. Here’s my take: Julio is this amazingly freakish athlete. Julio always has one game that makes everyone question God himself. This man can take over any game by himself. These are all facts: Julio had three touchdowns, while piling up 1,444 yards on 88 receptions. These are also facts: Jones had 88 receptions that ranked ninth in the NFL, and I am not going to even insult your intelligence by ranking three touchdowns. With Calvin Ridley coming in, I just don’t buy Julio as a No. 1 wideout that I would like to have on my fantasy team. There are better options with more consistency. Playoff Schedule: @ GB, vs. Ari, @ Car
8) A.J. Green, CIN– With the injuries on the offensive line, you have to think A.J. suffered. Nothing was going right at all, not even for Joe Mixon. While I have reason to believe things will be smooth for the big guys this year, but with all the bad last year he still managed to go over 1,000 yards and caught eight touchdowns. I do think the Bengals are nowhere near as bad as they were last year, which will allow Green to do work. @LAC, vs. Oak, @ Cle
7) Jarvis Landry, CLE– This is one of my favorites. I feel like Landry could be a PPR GOD! Landry led the NFL with 112 receptions! While he is joining a Browns team that went winless last year, they aren’t the same Browns as year’s past. Tyrod Taylor is going to have a plethora of targets to throw to and rumors are circulating about Dez Bryant to the Browns. The Browns’ offense is going to be nice this year and if it reaches the expectations I have in my mind, Landry is going to be the reason because of it. Playoff Schedule: vs. Car, @ Den, vs. Cin
6) Michael Thomas, NO– Grab him while you can. I am a HUGE fan of Michael Thomas. Drew Brees relies on him a lot and the depth chart at receiver isn’t looking exactly intimidating. Drew may be another year older, but Thomas ranked third in receptions in the NFL with 104! So Thomas will always get chances. His 1,245 receiving yards ranked sixth in the NFL last year. Thomas has room for growth as long as Brees’ arm holds up to it. So there is a lot to like here! Playoff Schedule: @ TB, @ Car, vs. Pit
5) Tyreek Hill, KC– Alex Smith is gone, but enter Patrick Mahomes. Tyreek is built for a rookie quarterback. Fast crossing routes and bubble screens galore. Hill is also great when it comes to yards per catch with over 16 yards per catch. Slippery and fast, it is hard to catch him once he has the ball. Hill has all the potential to bring it to the house every time he touches the ball. I have a gut feeling he will bring his game to an elite fantasy level this year, while the only thing I would like to see is consistency from the world class sprinter. Playoff Schedule: vs. Bal, vs. LAC, @ Sea
4) Odell Beckham, NYG– What is there to say? The man can be a physical freak. The man can also be a raving lunatic. The man can also dominate a game like no one’s business. Why is he 4? I worry about OBJ’s head. Now most people say, “Off the field has nothing to do with on the field.” Yes, this is true. Fantasy is strictly numbers, but OBJ has showed that his off-the-field struggles can catch up with him on the field, kicking a net one minute and proposing to it the next. Beckham is the next generation of greats as long as he can stay healthy and not create a plethora of drama. Now with that being said, he is no doubt a WR1. Even after the injury, I firmly believe that he will be fine. can just hope he stays out of trouble and the Giants can win because if they don’t he will start showing signs of inconsistency. Playoff Schedule: @Wsh, vs. Ten, @ Ind
3) Keenan Allen, LAC– Here he is! S1ay3r himself! What KA13 did last year was nothing short of impressive. When people didn’t believe. the fans did. One thing I remember from the first preseason game of his career was saying, “How is this guy not starting?” I don’t think a wide receiver in the NFL can get separation like Allen. He doesn’t have the burning speed, but with his quickness he manages to get more open on a consistent basis than any receiver i have ever seen. Route running, play making and running after the catch is his strength. With Hunter Henry out, Allen should only be getting more opportunities as well. Ranking fourth in the NFL in receptions, with 102, it will only go up with no Henry. If Mike Williams takes the next big step, that will really help open the field up for him. Playoff Schedule: vs. Cin, @ KC, vs. Bal
2) DeAndre Hopkins, HOU– In my opinion, DeAndre Hopkins is the best wide receiver in the NFL. No one compares. Nuk has proven year after year that he can stay fantasy relevant despite the revolving door of quarterbacks. Deshaun Watson came in and we immediately saw what Hopkins was truly capable of with solid quarterback play. Putting up next to insane numbers for several weeks, as long as Watson doesn’t sophomore slump it up, I would look into drafting Hopkins high this year! Hopkins put up 13 touchdowns (1st) and over 1,300 yards (4th) on 96 catches (6th). It really is the best of all worlds. DeAndre gets the looks, the touchdowns and the yards. Hard to argue there is a better target for a WR1. Playoff Schedule: vs. Ind, @ NYJ, @ Phi
1. Antonio Brown, PIT– Old faithful! Brown is one of the best, I wouldn’t argue drafting Hopkins as the top wide out, but Antonio has done it year in and year out on a consistent basis. Brown rallied nine touchdowns, with 1,533 yards on 101 receptions, numbers that make Brown the easy choice at 1. You know what you will get out of him week in and week out. What can Brown do for you? He ranked first in yards, fifth in receptions and fourth in touchdowns. While last year you got better value with Hopkins, Brown is the slam dunk to Hopkins’ ally-oop this year. Hopkins could be a sexier pick in terms of value, but Brown will be close to a sure thing. Injury is pretty much the only thing that could mess with people who decide to pick Brown high this year. Playoff Schedule: @ Oak, vs. NE, @ NO
To be honest, I forgot how much there is to love about good wide receivers. The league has turned into a passing league, so in the past recent years I have done my best to stock up on solid wide receivers since they seemed to get banged up less than running backs. I am sure there will be plenty of water cooler talk for this one and as always, I love reading the feedback!
Note: All stats were used from ESPN.com and playoff schedules reflect Weeks 14, 15 and 16.