08 Jul Fantasy Football: Pre-Training Camp WR Rankings
By: Mike Stromme – @stromme_93
Alright, ladies and gents, it’s officially that time of year! Time to get ready to start to think about fantasy football.
A few things to keep in mind:
These rankings are pretty straight-forward, and geared towards basic full-point PPR formats.
These rankings are fluid, and will be updated throughout the rest of the offseason/preseason whenever I see fit (injuries, trades, etc). I don’t see too much happening between now and Week 1 from a roster movement stand-point that would impact the names on this list, but you never know. Let’s just hope nobody goes down with a catastrophic injury like a torn ACL or something, get arrested, or suspended between now and then. But hey, there’s always going to be something… Trust me, there’s always something!
These rankings are generally just going to be a straight-forward list. For further analysis, tune into The Best Damn NFL Show Ever and Ever, with my co-host, Lou Landers. We will be LIVE on-air every Tuesday evening at 6:30 P.M. EST on The SportsCrew Radio Network. The upcoming show can be listened to right here.
The stats beside my WR ranks are MY personal projections, not the respective player’s stats from last season. File any complaints or grievances to @stromme_93 on the Twitter machine.
1) Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers: (121-1,449-9)
2) Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons: (119-1,398-10)
3) Odell Beckham Jr., New York Giants: (104-1,285-10)
4) Jordy Nelson, Green Bay Packers: (100-1,264-11)
5) Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: (92-1,337-10)
Each and every one of these guys are slam-dunk, top-of-the-line, MONSTER WRs that should all by taken in the first 10-12 picks in any PPR draft. You really can’t go wrong with any of these guys.
While all guys in this tier are valuable commodities, there’s a slight divide between Jones, Brown and the rest of the pack in PPR formats. And fittingly enough, it’s with the receiving numbers. Over the past three seasons, Big Ben targets Antonio Brown 11.3 times a game on average. Needless to say, that’s a major advantage in PPR formats.
6) A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals: (87-1,052-8)*
7) DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans: (92-1,174-9)
8) Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints: (85-1,053-7)
9) T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts: (81-1,085-5)
10) Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys: (66-972-7)*
11) Sammy Watkins, Buffalo Bills: (78-1,090-7)
12) Alshon Jeffery, Philadelphia Eagles: (75-1,079-6)
This tier is chalked-full of WRs that are a few breaks away from jumping into that top tier. These are all high-upside guys, who are held-back due to injury concerns (Green, Watkins, Bryant and Jeffery). The other reason could be situation, the QB options ahead of DeAndre Hopkins are rather sketchy. T.Y. Hilton’s sketchy target shares from game-to-game could be an issue. And, Michael Thomas could be a possible regression candidate given that opposing secondaries might key-in on him with the departure of Brandin Cooks.
That being said, any of these guys are more than viable options. And, if you choose to draft with the “zero RB” strategy in mind, these guys will make tremendous WR2s. Lots of upside here.
*A.J. Green’s stats projected over 13 games, Dez Bryant’s projection over 14 games.
13) Doug Baldwin, Seattle Seahawks: (80-1,070-8)
14) Demaryius Thomas, Denver Broncos: (83-1,043-7)
15) Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers: (85-957-7)*
16) Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals: (98-966-8)
17) Golden Tate, Detroit Lions: (95-976-6)
18) Michael Crabtree, Oakland Raiders: (88-1,017-6)
19) Emmanuel Sanders, Denver Broncos: (83-1,033-5)
20) Jamieson Crowder, Washington Redskins: (83-1,017-6)
21) Amari Cooper, Oakland Raiders: (78-1,000-7)
22) Brandin Cooks, New England Patriots: (77-1,007-6)
This tier is where the low-end WR1, high-end WR2 reside. There’s an even mix of elite possession receivers and high-upside ball-catchers in this tier. Ideally, any of these guys should be the second, and possibly third, WR on your team in 10-12 team formats.
*Keenan Allen’s stats projected over 14 games.
23) Julian Edelman, New England Patriots: (84-952-8)
24) Jarvis Landry, Miami Dolphins: (88-995-4)
25) Devante Adams, Green Bay Packers: (78-966-8)
26) Cam Meredith, Chicago Bears: (79-1,035-5)
27) Pierre Garcon, San Francisco 49ers: (78-983-6)
28) Allen Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars: (70-992-5)
Tier 4 is essentially the poor man’s Tier 3. This tier has the same concept as Tier 3, elite possesion receivers and low-end WR1s. Whether it’s their respective situations from a depth chart stand point (Edelman, Adams, Landry) or the man hucking them the ball (Meredith, Garcon, Robinson), these guys don’t exactly have the same lustre as the players previously listed.
These guys might not be the sexiest selections on draft day, but they’ll return value in a big way for your roster based on their ADPs. Each one of these players will make excellent WR3s or flex options.
29) Quincy Enunwa, New York Jets: (77-967-5)
30) Marvin Jones, Detroit Lions: (70-980-5)
31) Willie Snead, New Orleans Saints: (74-979-3)
32) Kenny Britt, Cleveland Browns: (64-1,007-5)
33) Stefon Diggs, Minnesota Vikings: (72-952-4)
34) Eric Decker, Tennessee Titans: (67-906-7)
This tier really puts emphasis in the “R” of PPR. After this tier, there’s a strong drop-off in the amount of dependable possession receivers left on the board.
Nobody’s going to pout at missing out on likes of Britt, Jones, Enunwa and Diggs, but they’re going to provide value despite their on-field situations.
The likes of Decker and Snead are a lot more steak than sizzle, but will get you the points you need in the WR3/Flex positions on your roster.
35) Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs: (71-828-4)
36) Adam Thielen, Minnesota Vikings: (68-879-4)
37) Jeremy Maclin, Baltimore Ravens: (69-857-4)
38) Tyrell Williams, Los Angeles Chargers: (60-920-6)
39) Brandon Marshall, New York Giants: (63-860-5)
40) Terrelle Pryor, Washington Redskins: (58-877-5)
41) Martavis Bryant, Pittsburgh Steelers: (55-849-5)
42) Mike Wallace, Baltimore Ravens: (63-832-4)
Tier 6 is the home of many names that will be trendy right now, and will only get trendier as draft day approaches. Again, these are PPR rankings. Many of these guys (Pryor, Hill, Bryant), would be higher in standard formats due to their big-play ability. However, they will be hit-and-miss most weeks.
43) Kelvin Benjamin, Carolina Panthers: (54-769-5)
44) DeVante Parker, Miami Dolphins: (51-777-4)
45) DeSean Jackson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: (46-809-4)
46) Corey Coleman, Cleveland Browns: (54-723-4)
47) Donte Moncrief, Indianapolis Colts: (49-573-7)
48) Randall Cobb, Green Bay Packers: (55-573-5)
49) John Brown, Arizona Cardinals: (43-626-4)
I’m unofficially labelling this tier “The Infirmary Tier”. Each and every player in this tier, has talent, there’s no denying that. However, my confidence in each and every receiver in this tier lasting a full 16 games is slim-to-none. The near assumption that these guys are going to miss some time is baked-into their projections.
The potential and flashy-ability of the men listed above will cause them to fly off draft boards much too early for my taste. It’s not likely that many of these guys will wind-up on my rosters this season.
50) Jordan Matthews, Philadelphia Eagles: (48-573-4)*
51) John Ross, Cincinnati Bengals: (57-785-5)
52) Zay Jones, Buffalo Bills: (59-772-4)
53) Mohamed Sanu, Atlanta Falcons: (62-719-4)
54) Cole Beasley, Dallas Cowboys: (62-678-4)
55) Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams: (62-636-4)
56) Will Fuller, Houston Texans: (51-742-2)
57) Tavon Austin, Los Angeles Rams: (55-682-3)
58) Corey Davis, Tennessee Titans: (48-679-5)
59) Curtis Samuel, Carolina Panthers: (45-724-3)
60) Tyler Lockett, Seattle Seahawks: (45-617-4)
61) Kenny Stills, Miami Dolphins: (39-659-3)
62) Allen Hurns, Jacksonville Jaguars: (43-622-3)
63) Devin Funchess, Carolina Panthers: (41-639-4)
64) Breshaud Perriman, Baltimore Ravens: (39-650-3)
65) Rishard Matthews, Tennessee Titans: (43-581-4)
66) Sterling Shepard, New York Giants: (43-537-4)
67) Josh Doctson, Washington Redskins: (44-515-4)
68) Taylor Gabriel, Atlanta Falcons: (40-575-3)
69) Ted Ginn, New Orleans Saints: (36-539-4)
70) Laquan Treadwell, Minnesota Vikings: (32-485-3)
*Jordan Matthew’s stats projected over 13 games.