Friday, August 25, 2023

2023 Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Rankings

FantasyPros tracks the accuracy of fantasy football rankings and Hanson's rankings have finished:
  • 2022: 8th (out of 163 experts tracked)
  • 2021: 6th (out of 172 experts tracked)
  • 2020: 9th (out of 149 experts tracked)

Some teams have already played their final preseason game and as the NFL preseason winds down, we are that much closer to the Kansas City Chiefs hosting the Detroit Lions on Thursday Night Football.

That also means that we are in the thick of fantasy draft season.

To help you prepare for your fantasy football drafts, we will continue to keep our fantasy football rankings updated until the start of the 2023 NFL season.

Note: These rankings are for half-PPR scoring.

More scoring formats:

More 2023 fantasy football rankings:

1. Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings

What more can Jefferson do? Not only has he improved his production in each successive season, but he broke Randy Moss's record for receiving yards through a player's first three seasons. During those three seasons, he's racked up a total of 324 receptions for 4,825 yards and 25 touchdowns.

2. Ja'Marr Chase, Cincinnati Bengals

Chase missed five games in 2022, but in some ways, his numbers were even better in his second season. Chase averaged a 7.3/87.2/0.75 line and fell short of 50 receiving yards in only one of 12 games last season. As a rookie, he averaged 4.8/85.6/0.77 per game, but he failed to reach 50 receiving yards in six games in his debut season. Assuming that Chase stays healthy, bigger and better things should be expected in his age-23 season.

3. Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams

Kupp pulled off the rare triple crown of receiving in 2021, finishing with 145 catches for 1,947 yards and 16 touchdowns. While he missed roughly half of his follow-up season, the 2021 NFL Offensive Player of the Year had a better season than maybe most realized.

Who led ALL receivers in half-PPR fantasy points scored in 2022 on a per-game basis? Yep, it was Kupp — not Justin Jefferson, or any other receiver.

4. Tyreek Hill, Miami Dolphins

After transitioning from Patrick Mahomes and Kansas City's high-powered offense, the drop in production that many forecast for Hill never materialized. In fact, the explosive wideout averaged more than 100 receiving yards per game for the first time ever as he set career highs in targets (170), receptions (119) and yards (1,710) in 2022. Hill was involved in a June 18th incident, which was under both police and league investigation, but attorneys for both sides issued a statement saying they have "resolved their differences."

5. Stefon Diggs, Buffalo Bills

Since becoming a Bill, Diggs has posted the following stat lines — 127/1535/8 (2020), 103/1225/10 (2021) and 108/1429/11 (2022). During that same span, he has finished as fantasy's WR3, WR7 and WR4, respectively. Diggs has an extremely high floor as Josh Allen's go-to receiver within Buffalo's high-powered offense.

6. CeeDee Lamb, Dallas Cowboys

After Amari Cooper was traded to the Browns last offseason, Lamb stepped into the WR1 role and shattered previous career highs with 107 receptions for 1,359 yards and nine touchdowns on 156 targets. Lamb finished as fantasy's WR6 in half-PPR scoring in 2022, and he was the WR3 from Weeks 7-18 when Dak Prescott returned from injury.

7. Davante Adams, Las Vegas Raiders

In his first season without Aaron Rodgers, Adams was targeted a career-high 180 times and finished with 100 catches for 1,516 yards and a league-leading 14 touchdowns. Adams remains the league's best red zone weapon with double-digit touchdowns in six of the past seven seasons.

8. Amon-Ra St. Brown, Detroit Lions

Extremely productive through his first two seasons, St. Brown set career highs in 2022 with 106 receptions, 1,161 yards and six touchdowns. Given Jameson Williams' six-game suspension to start the season, St. Brown should continue to see massive target shares.

9. A.J. Brown, Philadelphia Eagles

Brown shattered previous career highs in targets (145), receptions (88) and yards (1,496) last season and tied his career high in touchdowns (11) in his first season in Philadelphia. Even if he doesn't repeat as a top-five fantasy wide receiver, he's the 1A in this offense to Devonta Smith's 1B, and should be drafted as a top-10 receiver in 2023.

10. Jaylen Waddle, Miami Dolphins

With Tyreek Hill setting career highs in targets, receptions and yards, it's not a surprise that Waddle's targets dropped to 117 (in 2022) from 140 (in 2021). That said, he was utilized further downfield as his ADOT jumped to 12.7 (from 7.0), per PFF, and he led the NFL in yards per reception (18.1). He finished as fantasy's WR7 overall and was 13th on a per-game basis (13.0).

11. Tee Higgins, Cincinnati Bengals

Other than perhaps the Dolphins with Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle or the Eagles with A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith, no team has a better WR duo than the Bengals have with Chase and Higgins. As he enters his age-24 season, the former Clemson Tiger already has three years of consistent production with a total of 215 catches for 3,028 yards and 19 touchdowns. Higgins has a minimum of three catches in 38 of the 41 games in which he played at least 50% of the offensive snaps.

12. Chris Olave, New Orleans Saints

Olave finished his outstanding rookie season with 72 receptions for 1,042 yards and four touchdowns. While he missed two games last season, he never finished with fewer than three receptions or 40 yards in the 15 games he played. The second-year receiver should benefit from the upgrade at quarterback and could take a big step forward in 2023.

13. Garrett Wilson, New York Jets

Despite poor quarterback play, Wilson was outstanding in 2022 as he finished with 83 receptions for 1,103 yards and four touchdowns and was named NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. More efficient quarterback play should help Wilson in his second season.

14. Calvin Ridley, Jacksonville Jaguars

Ridley broke out in 2020 with 90 catches for 1,374 yards and nine touchdowns as he finished as fantasy's WR4 (half-PPR scoring). Since then, he served a year-long suspension in 2022 after posting career lows in yards per reception (9.1), yards per target (5.4) and catch rate (59.6%) while appearing in only five games in 2021. Ridley gets a chance to rebound with an ascending quarterback and offense. Although I have been higher on him than most throughout the offseason, his ADP has continually climbed to point where he's moving into the fairly valued (as opposed to undervalued) range.

15. Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers

Through Week 10, Allen appeared in only two games during which he played 45 offensive snaps. In eight games from Weeks 11-18, however, he had a minimum of five catches every week and tallied 60 receptions for 675 yards and four touchdowns during that eight-game span. Only Davante Adams, Justin Jefferson and A.J. Brown scored more fantasy points during that stretch.

16. D.K. Metcalf, Seattle Seahawks

Metcalf has a minimum of 900 receiving yards in all four of his NFL seasons. While he finished with only six touchdowns last season, he had a combined 22 scores in the previous two seasons and he set career highs in targets (141) and receptions (90) in 2022.

17. DeVonta Smith, Philadelphia Eagles

Smith followed up a strong 2021 rookie season (64/916/5) with an even better sophomore campaign (95/1,196/7) despite the addition of A.J. Brown to the receiving corps. Brown was fantasy's WR5 (half-PPR scoring) in 2022, but Smith was also a top-10 performer last season.

18. Deebo Samuel, San Francisco 49ers

Samuel has missed multiple games in two of the past three seasons, and his physical play style increases his durability risk. Playing in 13 games and describing his own play as "awful" last season, Samuel finished with 56 receptions for 632 yards and two touchdowns and added 42 carries for 232 yards and three touchdowns. At a minimum, a motivated Samuel should be better on a per-touch basis in 2023 than he was last year.

19. Mike Williams, Los Angeles Chargers

Excluding his rookie season (2017), Williams has averaged at least 14.2 yards per reception every year. While he missed four games last year, his 4.8/68.8 per-game numbers in 2022 were nearly identical to his 2021 career highs (4.8/71.6). Per PFF, Williams averaged 1.93 yards per route run in 2022, and that was just shy of his 2021 career high (1.97). Within the team's new offense, Williams should be moved around more often including more opportunities from the slot.

20. Diontae Johnson, Pittsburgh Steelers

Johnson has more than 85 catches and 140 targets while leading the team in receiving yards in three consecutive seasons. Despite scoring 15 touchdowns in the previous two seasons (2020-21), Johnson set the NFL record in 2022 for most receptions (86) without a touchdown. In other words, some positive touchdown regression should be expected.

21. Amari Cooper, Cleveland Browns

Cooper finished his first season as a Brown with 78 receptions for 1,160 yards and a career-high nine touchdowns. Finishing the year as fantasy's WR9 (half-PPR scoring), Cooper had six top-12 weeks, but he also finished outside the top 50 wide receivers six times. It was the sixth 1,000-yard season of Cooper's eight-year career. In theory, a full season with Deshaun Watson under center should be good for Cooper's 2023 fantasy outlook, but there is increased competition for targets.

22. Jerry Jeudy, Denver Broncos

Jeudy set career highs in receptions (67), yards (972) and touchdowns (six) on 100 targets over 15 games in 2022. Jeudy had 53-plus yards in 10 of his final 11 games if we exclude Week 10 (when he played only one offensive snap). During that 11-game stretch, Jeudy posted a 60/842/5 line with a 72.3% catch rate and 10.14 yards per target. Given the offseason coaching change and Jeudy's production last season when healthy, he has the potential for even better numbers in 2023. Speaking of his health, Jeudy is expected to miss several weeks after suffering a hamstring injury. Per NFL Media's Ian Rapoport, "there's optimism it's nothing long term" although his Week 1 status is in question.

23. Terry McLaurin, Washington Commanders

Just shy of the 1,000-yard mark as a rookie (2019) when he missed two games, McLaurin has since finished every season with more than 75 receptions and 1,000 yards. While he has averaged 80.3 receptions and 1,120.7 yards over the past three seasons, he has only 14 total touchdowns.

24. Tyler Lockett, Seattle Seahawks

Lockett has exceeded 1,000 receiving yards in four consecutive seasons, and he has scored eight or more touchdowns in five consecutive seasons. Consistently outperforming his preseason ADP, Lockett has finished as fantasy's WR13 (2022), WR13 (2021), WR9 (2020), WR14 (2019) and WR15 (2018), respectively. While the team drafted Jaxon Smith-Njigba in the first round, it's likely that Lockett continues to exceed expectations.

25. Marquise Brown, Arizona Cardinals

Brown missed a stretch of five games in the middle of the season, but he played the first six games, missed five, and then played the final six games. During that span of the first six games, DeAndre Hopkins served a league-imposed suspension and Brown racked up a 43/485/3 stat line on 64 targets. That was much better than his final six games (24/224/0 on 43 targets), playing alongside Hopkins. From Weeks 1 to 6, Brown tied for third with Stefon Diggs (64) among wide receivers in targets behind Cooper Kupp (72) and Tyreek Hill (65). Only seven wide receivers scored more fantasy points during that stretch. Long story short: I'm betting Brown will outperform his ADP (by a possibly large margin) in 2023.

26. Brandon Aiyuk, San Francisco 49ers

Aiyuk had the best season of his young career in 2022 with 78 catches for 1,015 yards and eight touchdowns, all career highs, and he was a top-15 fantasy wide receiver (half-PPR scoring). The only concern with Aiyuk, and other San Francisco skill-position players, is the competition for touches with so many talented pass catchers on the roster.

27. Drake London, Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta was/is a low-volume passing attack, but London led the Falcons in targets (117, 29.25%), receptions (72), yards (866) and touchdowns (four) as a rookie. Among wide receivers with 35-plus targets in 2022, London ranked 14th in yards per route run (2.07), per PFF. When Kyle Pitts (knee) was sidelined down the stretch, London was at his best. He finished with 31/428 on 48 targets over the final five games of the year.

28. DeAndre Hopkins, Tennessee Titans

Hopkins has missed a total of 15 games over the past two seasons due to either injury or suspension, and he joins the run-first Titans after being released by the Cardinals this offseason. In his nine games played last season, however, he averaged 10.7 targets per game and a 7.1/79.7/0.3 stat line.

29. Christian Watson, Green Bay Packers

Watson missed three of the team's first nine games, and he played more than one-third of the team's offensive snaps in only one game (Week 1) during that stretch. From Weeks 10-18, however, Watson racked up 31/523/7 on 52 targets over eight games and added 61 rushing yards and a score. He was fantasy's WR7 during that span.

30. Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Godwin has missed multiple games in each of the past four seasons. While he set a career high in targets (142) and receptions (104) in 2022 and has reached the 1,000-yard mark in three of his past four seasons, he set a career low in Y/R (9.8) and his three touchdowns were a non-rookie career low. The downgrade at quarterback from Tom Brady to Baker Mayfield (or Kyle Trask) will impact Godwin, Mike Evans and the team's passing offense overall.

31. Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Evans extended his 1,000-yard streak to his first nine NFL seasons, which beat his own record in 2022. While the targets (127), receptions (77), yards (1,124) and Y/R (14.6) all look good, he had only six touchdowns, a five-year low, and he wasn't consistent throughout the season. A monster Week 17 game (20/207/3) against Carolina ended an 11-game scoring drought (Weeks 5-16). Evans exceeded 59 yards only once from Weeks 9-16. Even if he extends his 1,000-yard streak, there could be plenty of ups and downs throughout the course of the season given the quarterback downgrade.

32. D.J. Moore, Chicago Bears

Moore set four-year lows in receptions (63) and yards (888) last season, although he posted a career high in touchdowns (seven). Justin Fields should continue to improve as a passer in 2023 (in part due to the boost Moore provides to the receiving corps), but the Bears ranked last in the league in passing play percentage (43.8%) last season. In other words, Moore may not get a significant jump in targets from the 118 he had last season with the Panthers.

33. George Pickens, Pittsburgh Steelers

Among rookie wide receivers, only Atlanta's Drake London (866) had more yards than Pickens (801) in 2022. Pickens averaged 15.4 yards per catch and made a number of acrobatic highlight-reel catches throughout the year.

34. Christian Kirk, Jacksonville Jaguars

Kirk set career highs across the board — 133 targets, 84 receptions, 1,108 yards and eight touchdowns — in his first season with the Jaguars. It will be difficult for Kirk to duplicate last season's 23.2% target share with Calvin Ridley returning from suspension.

35. Michael Pittman Jr., Indianapolis Colts

Pittman set a career high in receptions (99) while averaging a career low in Y/R (9.3) in 2022. While he should lead the receiving corps across the board, fantasy managers should expect some week-to-week inconsistency from Pittman as his rookie quarterback adjusts to the NFL.

36. Brandin Cooks, Dallas Cowboys

Now onto his fifth NFL team, Cooks has logged six 1,000-yard seasons, at least one of which came with all four of his previous teams. Coming off a disappointing 57/699/3 season in 2022, Cooks should improve upon last year's numbers and is a viable fantasy WR3.

37. Courtland Sutton, Denver Broncos

After missing nearly all of 2020, Sutton has appeared in 32 of 34 games over the past two seasons and has averaged 61/803/2 over that time. Like with Jeudy, Sutton should benefit from the offensive coaching upgrade.

38. Gabe Davis, Buffalo Bills

A popular name on 2022 breakout lists, Davis set (or tied) career highs in receptions (48), targets (93), yards (836) and touchdowns (seven) last season. And although he finished as fantasy's WR27, it's fair to say that many fantasy managers expected more. Davis failed to reach the 40-yard mark in eight of 15 regular-season games, and he scored only once in those eight modest performances.

39. Jahan Dotson, Washington Commanders

Dotson missed five games in his rookie season, but the 2022 first-rounder finished with 35 receptions for 523 yards (14.9 Y/R) and seven touchdowns. Dotson has some breakout appeal as he heads into his sophomore campaign.

40. Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Seattle Seahawks

While he lacks elite straight-line speed, Smith-Njigba posted combine-best performances in both the 3-cone (6.57 seconds) and 20-yard shuttle (3.93), and he's a polished route runner with outstanding ball skills and body control. He set the Big Ten receiving record in 2021 (1,606 yards) while playing alongside Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson, and ESPN's Dan Graziano has referred to him as a "legitimate sleeper candidate for Offensive Rookie of the Year." After undergoing wrist surgery, however, JSN is considered a "longshot."

41. Allen Lazard, New York Jets

Lazard posted career highs in targets (100), receptions (60) and yards (788) last season. Although Lazard edged his Packers teammate Christian Watson in fantasy points scored last season, both of whom finished as top-36 performers, Watson outscored him on a per-game basis. While he benefits from continuing to catch passes from Aaron Rodgers, there's a clear talent gap between Garrett Wilson and Lazard.

42. Jakobi Meyers, Las Vegas Raiders

Meyers finished with 67 catches for 804 yards and six touchdowns in 2022 as he averaged a career-high 57.4 YPG. Given his familiarity with the offense and that Darren Waller is now a Giant, Meyers should rank (albeit a distant) second on the team in receiving, producing WR3/flex numbers in 2023.

43. JuJu Smith-Schuster, New England Patriots

Smith-Schuster had 78 catches for 933 yards and three touchdowns in his lone season with the Chiefs. It's fair to say the transition from Patrick Mahomes to Mac Jones is a significant downgrade. After all, the Chiefs averaged nearly 90 more passing yards per game (89.8) and more than doubled up the Patriots in passing touchdowns (41 to 19). That said, he's atop New England's target pecking order and could come close to repeating last year's numbers.

44. Skyy Moore, Kansas City Chiefs

Marquez Valdez-Scantling will have some spike weeks, but good luck predicting when those will occur, which make him a better option in best ball formats. Meanwhile, the variance of potential outcomes for Kadarius Toney may make fantasy managers hesitant on draft day. While he had a quiet rookie season (22/250/0 on 33 targets), Moore has emerged as the most likely candidate to lead Kansas City's receiving corps in fantasy production.

45. Jordan Addison, Minnesota Vikings

With Justin Jefferson commanding so much defensive attention, Addison's landing spot is ideal for his ability to make an early impact. While he ran a slower-than-expected 40-yard dash (4.49) at the NFL Combine, the former Biletnikoff Award winner is a polished route-runner with some inside/outside versatility and the ability to win at all three levels.

46. Nico Collins, Houston Texans

Collins appeared in only 10 games last season, but he ranked second to Brandin Cooks on a per-game basis in receptions (3.7) and yards (48.1). With Cooks traded to the Dallas Cowboys, Collins is a breakout candidate and the favorite to lead the Texans' receiving corps in fantasy production.

47. Elijah Moore, Cleveland Browns

Before an injury ended his rookie season prematurely, Moore had 34 catches for 459 yards and five touchdowns over his final six games in 2021. (Moore was so good during that span that only Justin Jefferson had more fantasy points over that stretch.) When he was on the field in 2022, however, things didn't go nearly as well, but he'll get an opportunity to reset with the Browns in 2023.

48. Quentin Johnston, Los Angeles Chargers

Johnston battled drops at TCU, but his combination of size and speed will allow him to make big plays. Given the new-look offense that should push the ball down the field more often, Johnston has the potential for several big games.

49. Zay Jones, Jacksonville Jaguars

Trailing only Kirk in receiving, Jones posted a career season (82/823/5 on 121 targets) in 2022 as he finished as fantasy's WR26 in half-PPR scoring. The presence of Ridley as the WR1 pushes Jones down the pecking order for targets, but the offense overall should be even better than it was in 2022.

50. Treylon Burks, Tennessee Titans

Burks had a modest 33 catches for 444 yards and a touchdown in 11 games as a rookie last season. ESPN's Turron Davenport noted earlier this summer that Burks had a "noticeably leaner build" this year and he's "playing at a different speed from his rookie season." Odds of a breakout have declined more recently, however, after the Titans signed Hopkins and then Burks sprained his LCL, an injury that will sideline him a few weeks.

51. Odell Beckham, Baltimore Ravens

Beckham Jr. started his career with three consecutive seasons of at least 90/1,300/10 and 1,000-plus yards in five of his first six seasons. That said, OBJ has a total of 856 receiving yards over the past three years, which includes none in 2022 as he recovered from his knee injury. Even if he leads Baltimore's receivers in fantasy production, the range between the team's WR1 and WR3 could be very narrow, as I project.

52. Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints

From 2016 to 2019, Thomas posted better numbers in each successive season — 92/1,137/9, 104/1,245/5, 125/1,405/9 and 149/1,725/9, respectively. Since then, however, he has appeared in only 10 games over three seasons and totaled 56 catches for 609 yards and three touchdowns. It's anyone's guess how much fantasy managers will get out of him in his age-30 season.

53. Zay Flowers, Baltimore Ravens

Flowers was ultra-productive for the Boston College Eagles despite poor quarterback play and opposing defenses knowing he was "the" guy. He gives the offense a shot in the arm, although there may not be enough targets to go around for him (or any of the top wide receivers) to make a consistent weekly fantasy impact this year if all of the team's top weapons are healthy.

54. Kadarius Toney, Kansas City Chiefs

The range of potential outcomes is wide enough that you may see Toney appear on both breakout and bust lists heading into the 2023 season. Earlier this offseason, offensive coordinator Matt Nagy talked up Toney, who many had figured would step into the WR1 role vacated by JuJu Smith-Schuster. If he can (get and) stay healthy, it's certainly possible that he earns the second-most targets on the team behind Travis Kelce although it seems even more likely that it's someone else (e.g., Skyy Moore).

55. Rondale Moore, Arizona Cardinals

Moore has missed 12 games including nine last season since being selected with a top-50 pick in 2021. In 22 career NFL games, he has a total of 920 yards from scrimmage on 119 touches (95 receptions and 24 carries) and two touchdowns. On a positive note, he had 24/255/1 receiving on 31 targets in his last three full games (Weeks 8-10 in 2022). Could a breakout be forthcoming for Moore?

56. Van Jefferson, Los Angeles Rams

Jefferson is an uninspiring WR5 in fantasy. Making his season debut in Week 8 (and playing mostly when Kupp was out), Jefferson had only 24 catches for 369 yards and three touchdowns in nine games last season.

57. Tyler Boyd, Cincinnati Bengals

Boyd set five-year lows in targets (82), receptions (58) and yards (762) in 2022. Even so, he has extended his streak of top-36 seasons (half-PPR scoring) to five. He's a relatively low-upside flex option, other than weeks where either Chase or Higgins is sidelined.

58. Curtis Samuel, Washington Commanders

Samuel played limited offensive snaps (84) in his first season (2021) with the Commanders as he dealt with injuries, but he had 64 receptions for 656 yards and four touchdowns and added 187 rushing yards and a score in 2022. In his past three healthy seasons, he has finished as fantasy's WR34 (2022), WR25 (2020) and WR36 (2019). Perhaps he doesn't have a fourth top-36 season in five years, but he'll likely outperform his ADP if he can stay healthy.

59. Romeo Doubs, Green Bay Packers

Doubs missed four games in 2022, but the fourth-rounder finished his rookie season with 42 catches for 425 yards and three touchdowns. As he competes with second-round rookie Jayden Reed for targets behind Watson, Doubs has the upside to outperform his current ADP.

60. Rashod Bateman, Baltimore Ravens

Bateman has appeared in 18 (of 34 possible) career games, and he has posted a receiving line so far of 61/800/3. If he scored the fantasy equivalent of that line last season, he would have finished as fantasy's WR43 in half-PPR scoring. Add in more competition (Beckham and Flowers) and the likelihood of a Bateman breakout in 2023 is relatively low. In fact, I prefer Beckham and Flowers over Bateman.

61. Michael Gallup, Dallas Cowboys

62. Jameson Williams, Detroit Lions

63. Donovan Peoples-Jones, Cleveland Browns

64. Alec Pierce, Indianapolis Colts

65. Rashee Rice, Kansas City Chiefs

66. D.J. Chark, Carolina Panthers

67. Adam Thielen, Carolina Panthers

68. Jayden Reed, Green Bay Packers

69. Parris Campbell, New York Giants

70. Darnell Mooney, Chicago Bears

71. Robert Woods, Houston Texans

72. Jonathan Mingo, Carolina Panthers

73. Marvin Mims, Denver Broncos

74. Michael Wilson, Arizona Cardinals

75. Isaiah Hodgins, New York Giants

76. K.J. Osborn, Minnesota Vikings

77. Mecole Hardman, New York Jets

78. Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Kansas City Chiefs

79. Marvin Jones, Detroit Lions

80. John Metchie III, Houston Texans

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