Sunday, September 2, 2018

2018 Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Rankings

Have (more) fantasy football drafts this weekend? Given the volume of moves over the past 24 hours, we have updated our fantasy football rankings for upcoming NFL season.

Here are our 2018 fantasy football wide receiver rankings (standard scoring):

1. Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers (Bye: 7)

As good and consistent as it gets, Brown has finished as a top-three fantasy wide receiver in four consecutive seasons. Over the past five seasons, Brown has 582 receptions for 7,848 yards and 52 touchdowns, all of which leads the league by a wide margin.

2. DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans (Bye: 10)

Leading the NFL in receiving touchdowns (13) last season, Hopkins now has four seasons with 75-plus catches and three seasons with 1,200-plus yards through his age-25 season. With a league-high 174 targets last season, Hopkins had 35-percent target share in 10 of 15 games and double-digit targets 11 times. As the focal point of Houston's offense, he arguably has the highest floor among all receivers in the league.

3. Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons (Bye: 8)

With 1,400-plus yards in each of the past four seasons, Jones has a total of 6,317 receiving yards during that four-year span. Only Antonio Brown (6,349) has more and both have more than 1,200 yards more than DeAndre Hopkins (5,063, third). Only Brown has more catches than Jones over that span. Of course, the problem is that Jones has just 23 touchdowns, tied for 21st in the NFL since 2014, but it's highly unlikely that he scores only three times like last season.

4. Odell Beckham, New York Giants (Bye: 9)

As much as he may frustrate the front office and organization off the field and/or on the sidelines, there are few players as talented as Beckham Jr. on the field. Last season was lost to injury, but OBJ had more than 90 catches, 1,300 yards and double-digit touchdowns in each of his first three NFL seasons.

5. Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers (Bye: 8)

Playing just eight games in 2015 and one game in 2016, Allen won the AP Comeback of the Year award as he posted career numbers (102/1,393/6) in a healthy 16-game campaign. From Weeks 11 to 17, Allen was absolutely dominant with five 100-yard games during that seven-game span. No player had more receptions (58) or receiving yards (797) and only Antonio Brown (six) scored more touchdowns (five) than Allen over that stretch.

6. A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals (Bye: 9)

After missing three-plus games in two of the previous three seasons, Green played a full 16-game slate and posted a 75/1,078/8 stat line in 2017. Aside from 2016 (career-high 96.4 YPG but six missed games), Green has exceeded the 1,000-yard mark in his other six NFL seasons.

7. Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints (Bye: 6)

With 196 receptions for 2,382 yards and 14 touchdowns through two NFL seasons, Thomas has at least 92 catches and 1,137 yards each season. No player has more receptions through his first two NFL seasons than Thomas.

8. Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers (Bye: 7)

With double-digit touchdowns in back-to-back seasons, Adams has produced 149/1,882/22 over the past two years. With Jordy Nelson now in Oakland, Adams will have an opportunity to improve upon his top-12 (or 14th in PPR) 2017 performance as the No. 1 receiver for Aaron Rodgers.

9. Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Bye: 5)

Even though he posted a career-low 1,001 yards last season, Evans has now begun his career with four consecutive 1,000-yard seasons. Only two other players — Randy Moss and A.J. Green — in the history of the NFL have started their careers with four 1,000-yard seasons. Over his four NFL seasons, Evans has 32 touchdowns and a pair of 12-score campaigns.

10. T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts (Bye: 9)

Failing to reach the 1,000-yard mark for the first time since his rookie season, the new offense and return of Andrew Luck bodes well for Hilton, who led the NFL with 1,448 receiving yards in 2016. While he likely won't lead the league in receiving yards again, a bounce-back season should be in the cards for Hilton.

11. Adam Thielen, Minnesota Vikings (Bye: 10)

Thielen has only 10 touchdowns in his four NFL seasons, but the former UDFA built upon his breakout 2016 season to lead the team in targets (142), receptions (91) and receiving yards (1,276). Only Antonio Brown, Julio Jones, Keenan Allen and DeAndre Hopkins had more yards than Thielen last season.

12. Stefon Diggs, Minnesota Vikings (Bye: 10)

With 20 fewer receptions year over year, Diggs finished 2017 with 64 catches for 849 yards and a career-high eight touchdowns. Diggs has missed multiple games in each of his three NFL seasons, but he could improve upon his WR18 (WR19 in PPR) production if he's able to stay healthy for a full season. Through the preseason, Diggs has shown better rapport with Kirk Cousins than Thielen or tight end Kyle Rudolph.

13. Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs (Bye: 12)

Nearly doubling his receiving yardage to 1,183 in Year 2, Hill closed the season strong with 21 catches for 457 yards and three touchdowns in four December games. There is the potential to improve upon last year's numbers with Mahomes under center, but the addition of Sammy Watkins (a much more talented WR2) to the receiving corps could diminish his opportunity for a major jump in production.

14. Doug Baldwin, Seattle Seahawks (Bye: 7)

Falling just shy of the 1,000-yard mark last season, Baldwin has 247/3,188/29 over the past three seasons and has finished as the WR7, WR10 and WR13, respectively, in standard-scoring formats over the past three seasons. There was some concern about Baldwin's status for Week 1 earlier on, but Carroll says that he "should be" available for the season opener. That said, Baldwin said his knee will never be 100 percent and that he's currently in the 80-85 percent range.

15. Demaryius Thomas, Denver Broncos (Bye: 10)

Thomas is coming off his worst season (83/949/5) since breaking out in 2012 (Peyton Manning's first year in Denver). Signing Case Keenum may not return Thomas to the days of 90/1,400/10 numbers he posted from 2012 to 2014, but a bounce-back campaign to the tune of 85 catches and 1,100 yards seems reasonable with steadier quarterback play.

16. Amari Cooper, Oakland Raiders (Bye: 7)

After beginning his career with back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons, Cooper posted a disappointing 48/680/7 line over 14 games. Still only 24 years old, it's possible that Cooper bounces back and sets career highs with Michael Crabtree — the 1(b) to his 1(a) — now in Baltimore.

17. Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals (Bye: 9)

Returning for (at least) another season, Fitzgerald has finished as a top-20 fantasy wide receiver in each of the past three seasons and four of the past five. Incredibly consistent, Fitz has 100-plus receptions and 1,000-plus yards in three consecutive seasons. Going into his age-35 season, he's a solid WR2 (and even back-end WR1 in PPR formats).

18. Chris Hogan, New England Patriots (Bye: 11)

Hogan played only one regular-season game (Week 14) in the second half, but he posted a 33/438/5 slash line in his first eight games. During that span, he was the WR7 in standard-scoring formats with the 13th-most on a per-game basis. With Brandin Cooks now in L.A. and Julian Edelman suspended for four games, Hogan has a chance to get off to another hot start in 2018.

19. Allen Robinson, Chicago Bears (Bye: 5)

Going into his age-25 season, Robinson already has an 80/1,400/14 season (2015) under his belt. Missing virtually all of 2017 with a torn ACL (Week 1), rehabbing the injury could inhibit his ability to build (a strong) rapport with Trubisky at least early in his Bears' tenure. That said, getting some preseason work is certainly a positive step as he recovers from his torn ACL.

20. Michael Crabtree, Baltimore Ravens (Bye: 10)

As part of a 1-2 punch with Amari Cooper in Oakland, Crabtree now becomes his team's No. 1 wideout. Over the past three seasons, Crabtree has 25 touchdowns -- eight-plus in each of the past three seasons.

21. Josh Gordon, Cleveland Browns (Bye: 11)

Since leading the NFL with 1,646 receiving yards in 2013, Gordon has played a total of 10 games -- five in 2014 and five in 2017 -- due to suspension. Having recently reported to the team, Gordon has the upside for a top-10 season if he's able to stay on the field for a full season, but his risks are obvious.

22. Corey Davis, Tennessee Titans (Bye: 8)

The fifth-overall pick in last year's draft, Davis has the tools to become a true No. 1 receiver in the league. Injuries slowed him down in his rookie campaign as he finished with a 34/375/0 (regular-season) line, but the potential exists for a breakout 2018 season.

23. JuJu Smith-Schuster, Pittsburgh Steelers (Bye: 7)

Exceeding expectations in his rookie season, Smith-Schuster had 41 catches for 686 yards and four touchdowns over his final seven regular-season games including three 100-yard games during that span. (He had 17/231/3 in his first seven games.) Even as the offense's third option behind Brown and Le'Veon Bell, Smith-Schuster is poised for a bigger and better second season with Martavis Bryant traded to the Raiders.

24. Marvin Jones, Detroit Lions (Bye: 6)

Posting an NFL-high 18.0 Y/R in 2017, Jones had 61 receptions for a career-high 1,101 yards and nine touchdowns, one shy of his career best, despite a slow start (8/130/2 in first four games). Jones finished as fantasy's WR5 (WR11 in PPR) and he was WR4 (WR7 in PPR) from Week 5 on.

25. Emmanuel Sanders, Denver Broncos (Bye: 10)

While Sanders missed four games, his 2017 numbers (47/555/2) were nearly half of his 2016 production (79/1,032/5). Before last season, Sanders had three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons and there is a reasonable chance that he bounces back with Keenum under center.

26. Brandin Cooks, Los Angeles Rams (Bye: 12)

With Sammy Watkins signing a free-agent deal with the Chiefs, the Rams traded for Cooks as he looks for his fourth consecutive 1,000-yard season. Of course, it's a downgrade to play with Jared Goff (2018+) after beginning his career with future HOFers Drew Brees (2014-16) and Tom Brady (2017). That said, Sean McVay and Goff ran the league's highest-scoring offense last season.

27. Jarvis Landry, Cleveland Browns (Bye: 11)

Leading the NFL last season with a career-high 112 receptions, Landry finished the season with 987 yards and nine touchdowns (also a career high). A threat for triple-digit catches, Landry could once again push for the league lead in receptions, especially if Gordon were to miss any time.

28. Golden Tate, Detroit Lions (Bye: 6)

The eight-year veteran has spent half of his career in Detroit and he has 90-plus catches in each of those four seasons. In addition, he has 1,000-plus yards in three of four including back-to-back seasons. His lack of touchdown production -- 19 over four years in Detroit -- is a drawback, but he's a consistent receiver that gets a boost in PPR formats.

29. Alshon Jeffery, Philadelphia Eagles (Bye: 9)

Exceeding the 75-yard mark only twice during the regular season, Jeffery had a disappointing 47.5-percent catch rate in his first season with the Eagles. While his yardage total (789) was the lowest since his 2012 rookie campaign, his nine scores were only one shy of his career high set in 2014. Per ESPN's Adam Schefter, Jeffery (shoulder) is expected to miss the first two games of the season with the hope of being ready for Week 3.

30. Marquise Goodwin, San Francisco 49ers (Bye: 11)

Goodwin had the best season of his career with 56 catches for 962 yards and two touchdowns. Especially productive in the second half, Goodwin had a five-game stretch of 78-plus yards from Weeks 10 to 15 including three straight with 99-plus. Even with Pierre Garcon now healthy, Goodwin looks likely to hold on to the top receiver role within San Francisco's offense.

31. Robert Woods, Los Angeles Rams (Bye: 12)

Missing four games in his debut season with the Rams, Woods averaged a career-best 65.1 yards per game and went off for nine catches and 142 yards in their playoff loss to the Falcons. His per-game regular-season production was equivalent to a 16-game pace of 74.7/1,041.3/6.7.

32. Nelson Agholor, Philadelphia Eagles (Bye: 9)

In a breakout campaign, Agholor's 2017 numbers (62/768/8) exceeded his production from the previous two season's combined. Agholor finished as a top-25 fantasy receiver in 2017 in both PPR and standard-scoring formats. With Jeffery expected to miss (at least) the first two games of the season, Agholor has a chance to repeat as a top-25 fantasy wide receiver.

33. Julian Edelman, New England Patriots (Bye: 11)

Missing all of last season with a torn ACL, Edelman will serve a four-game suspension to begin the season. In 2016, Edelman had 98 catches for a career-high 1,106 yards and three touchdowns. With Brandin Cooks traded to the Rams, Edelman figures to be peppered with targets when he is on the field (Weeks 5 to 16). In fact, it wouldn't surprise me if Edelman set per-game career highs across the board.

34. Jordy Nelson, Oakland Raiders (Bye: 7)

Released by the Packers, Nelson had just 53 catches for 482 yards and six touchdowns in 2017. That said, he had 98/1,519/13 (2014) and 97/1,257/14 (2016) in his previous two full seasons. There's virtually no chance that he returns to the 90-catch, 1,200-yard mark he had in 2016, but it wouldn't be a surprise if he finished with eight-plus touchdowns, something that Michael Crabtree had done in each of the past three seasons in Oakland. And apparently he's been moving "like he's 28."

35. Robby Anderson, New York Jets (Bye: 11)

While his legal matters may now be resolved, Anderson could face league discipline from his off-field issues. In terms of on-field production, however, he had a career season (63/941/7) and was especially productive from Weeks 7 to 13. During that six-game span, Anderson had 100-plus yards and/or a touchdown every week and posted a 31/525/6 line.

36. Jamison Crowder, Washington Redskins (Bye: 4)

A groin injury has sidelined Crowder this preseason, but he's expected to be on the field Week 1. Crowder finished with a 66/789/3 line last season and despite the current injury, Smith and Crowder had demonstrated early rapport that could lead to a true breakout assuming better health in 2018.

37. Sterling Shepard, New York Giants (Bye: 9)

Even though he missed five games, Shepard posted a career high in receiving yards (731) and set a career high in receptions on a per-game basis (5.36). Shepard will have an opportunity to post full-season career highs as the team's WR2 provided he can stay healthy.

38. Sammy Watkins, Kansas City Chiefs (Bye: 12)

When things are going right, Watkins can be as productive as any receiver in the league. That said, he's now playing for his third team in three years and had only 39/593/8 for the league's highest-scoring offense last year. Given his talent level playing in what should be one of the league's best offenses, there is plenty of upside even if he's the fourth option behind Hunt, Kelce and Hill.

39. Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams (Bye: 12)

No rookie receiver had more receptions than Kupp (62) in 2017 and only JuJu Smith-Schuster had more yards and touchdowns than Kupp (869/5) amongst rookies. While it's possible Kupp repeats his rookie-year production, the presence of Woods and Cooks limits his upside some.

40. Randall Cobb, Green Bay Packers (Bye: 7)

Since exceeding 800-plus yards in his three healthy seasons from 2012 to 2015, Cobb has 600-something yards in back-to-back seasons. Given a secure WR2 role (minus some late-August trade rumors), however, Cobb should bounce back provided that he and Rodgers can stay healthy.

41. Kenny Stills, Miami Dolphins (Bye: 11)

Over the past two seasons, Stills has 100 catches for 1,573 yards and 15 touchdowns and he's finished as a top-30 receiver in standard-scoring formats both seasons. There may be some game-to-game volatility, but there is a strong chance that he outperforms his current ADP. In fact, I wouldn't be surprise if Stills turns out into Miami's most productive fantasy wide receiver in 2018.

42. Pierre Garcon, San Francisco 49ers (Bye: 11)

Garcon (neck) missed half the season and was on pace for an 80/1,000 season before the injury. His last full season (2013) playing in Kyle Shanahan's offense, he posted a career-best 113/1,346/5 stat line. Unlikely to repeat those numbers, a 1,000-yard season is certainly within reach, but Goodwin remains the team's top receiver option even with Garcon now healthy.

43. Devin Funchess, Carolina Panthers (Bye: 4)

In a breakout season, Funchess had 63 catches for 840 yards and eight touchdowns to finish with the 21st-most fantasy points (22nd-most in PPR) in 2017. Tight end Greg Olsen missed more than half of 2017 and the Panthers used their first-round pick on D.J. Moore, so Funchess may post similar (or possibly even worse) numbers in 2018.

44. Will Fuller, Houston Texans (Bye: 10)

The Texans scored 30.71 (real) points per game with Deshaun Watson under center; only 13.67 without him. As you'd expect, the games that Fuller played with Watson were much better than those without him. Both were on the field together for just four games (admittedly, an incredibly small sample size), but Fuller scored seven touchdowns in those four games! Durability is a concern for both as Fuller has missed multiple games in both seasons and Watson is returning from a torn ACL, but there is plenty of upside for Fuller if both maintain good health in 2018.

45. Tyler Lockett, Seattle Seahawks (Bye: 7)

Lockett played a full 16-game slate last season, but he was never 100 percent. With Paul Richardson in Washington (D.C.) and the uncertainty of what the Seahawks will get from Brandon Marshall, Lockett has breakout potential in 2018 now that he's healthy.

46. DeVante Parker, Miami Dolphins (Bye: 11)

I've been (too) high on Parker in his young career only to be disappointed. Given that Jarvis Landry and his 570 targets over the past four years are no longer on the roster, the 25-year-old Parker would have upside if he were able to put it all together this season. Unfortunately, a broken middle finger has his Week 1 status in jeopardy and reports from training camp have been anything but glowing before the broken finger.

47. Kenny Golladay, Detroit Lions (Bye: 6)

Golladay's best games as a rookie were his first (4/69/2) and his last (2/80/1), but he also missed five games in the middle of the season due to a hamstring injury. Even if a true breakout does not occur in 2018, Golladay has seen some reps in two-WR sets and Tate has said the following of the second-year receiver: "… I'm telling you, this guy can be dominant. He's a WR1 kind of guy."

48. Tyrell Williams, Los Angeles Chargers (Bye: 8)

With Keenan Allen out for virtually of 2016, Williams had a breakout season with 69 catches for 1,059 yards and seven touchdowns. With Allen healthy, Williams had 43/728/4 in 2017 — and that level of production is a more reasonable expectation barring an Allen injury in 2018.

49. Kelvin Benjamin, Buffalo Bills (Bye: 11)

Traded during the season to the Bills, Benjamin finished the full season with 48 receptions, 692 yards and three touchdowns. With only 16/217/1 in his six games with the Bills, Benjamin wasn't 100 percent during that time, but he should lead the team in receiving assuming good health in 2018.

50. DeSean Jackson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Bye: 5)

After reaching the 1,000-yard mark in three of the previous four seasons, Jackson had a disappointing first season (50/668/3) in Tampa as he averaged a career-low 13.4 Y/R. While I have him projected for a year-over-year improvement, Chris Godwin has a chance to overtake Jackson at some point this season.

- Fantasy Football PPR Wide Receiver Rankings

More Fantasy Football Rankings: