2016 Preseason Rankings: Top 50 Wide Receivers

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Wide receiver has become an extremely deep position, with a seemingly endless supply of not only top candidates but those with the potential to soar into WR1/WR2 territory.  Who are the players we should be targeting?  Who has the highest upside?  Let’s take a look:

  1. Antonio Brown – Pittsburgh Steelers
  2. Odell Beckham Jr. – New York Giants
  3. DeAndre Hopkins – Houston Texans
  4. Julio Jones – Atlanta Falcons
  5. A.J. Green – Cincinnati Bengals
  6. Alshon Jeffrey – Chicago Bears
  7. Brandon Marshall – New York Jets
  8. Allen Robinson – Jacksonville Jaguars
  9. Mike Evans – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  10. Dez Bryant – Dallas Cowboys
  11. Demaryius Thomas – Denver Broncos
  12. Brandin Cooks – New Orleans Saints
  13. Sammy Watkins – Buffalo Bills
  14. Amari Cooper – Oakland Raiders
  15. Jordy Nelson – Green Bay Packers
  16. Keenan Allen – San Diego Chargers
  17. T.Y. Hilton – Indianapolis Colts
  18. Jeremy Maclin – Kansas City Chiefs
  19. Randall Cobb – Green Bay Packers
  20. Doug Baldwin – Seattle Seahawks
  21. Julian Edelman – New England Patriots
  22. Golden Tate – Detroit Lions
  23. Eric Decker – New York Jets
  24. Jordan Matthews – Philadelphia Eagles
  25. Kelvin Benjamin – Carolina Panthers
  26. Donte Moncrief – Indianapolis Colts
  27. Emmanuel Sanders – Denver Broncos
  28. Larry Fitzgerald – Arizona Cardinals
  29. Jarvis Landry – Miami Dolphins
  30. DeVante Parker – Miami Dolphins
  31. Marvin Jones – Detroit Lions
  32. Michael Floyd – Arizona Cardinals
  33. Kevin White – Chicago Bears
  34. Josh Gordon – Cleveland Browns
  35. DeSean Jackson – Washington Redskins
  36. Tyler Lockett – Seattle Seahawks
  37. Sterling Shepard – New York Giants
  38. John Brown – Arizona Cardinals
  39. Allen Hurns – Jacksonville Jaguars
  40. Willie Snead – New Orleans Saints
  41. Corey Coleman – Cleveland Browns
  42. Devin Funchess – Carolina Panthers
  43. Stefon Diggs – Minnesota Vikings
  44. Vincent Jackson – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  45. Tavon Austin – Los Angeles Rams
  46. Travis Benjamin – San Diego Chargers
  47. Markus Wheaton – Pittsburgh Steelers
  48. Mohamed Sanu – Atlanta Falcons
  49. Sammie Coates – Pittsburgh Steelers
  50. Philip Dorsett – Indianapolis Colts

Thoughts:

  • Maybe it’s not an issue by the time Week 1 rolls around, but the concussion sustained by Dez Bryant has to be a concern heading into the season.  Does it drop him from WR1 territory?  Not yet, but depending on the news in the coming days it certainly could.  Of course the news that Tony Romo will now miss the first half of the season only adds to the risks.  Is this going to be a run oriented offense?  Could they focus more on short passes?  Bryant has as much talent as anyone, but there are significant risks involved.
  • Is using an early round selection on Kelvin Benjamin too risky of a proposition?  It’s easy to get excited about his return, but he’s hardly a lock to produce gaudy numbers after missing all of 2015.  For more, click here.
  • Through October 11 Mike Evans appeared in four games, posting 41 yards or fewer in three of them (including a 0 catch, 3 target performance).  Coming out of the bye week, though, he erupted as a monster averaging nearly 94 yards per game.  It’s easy to imagine him drastically improving on his 3 TD and any growth from Jameis Winston will further help Evans to improve.  Consider him a near lock to be a Top 10 WR this season.
  • Obviously we all know what Jordy Nelson is capable of, but how will he respond to missing all of 2015 and what is he capable of at 31-years old?  It’s easy to get excited and it’s possible he delivers Top 10 numbers, but given the depth at the position it makes sense to be cautious.
  • We’ve talked about the risk in investing in Doug Baldwin, as you would be paying for a monster second half as opposed to our 2016 expectations.  For a detailed look, click here.
  • Jarvis Landry is going to continue to operate as an above average PPR receiver, but the lack of upside in the touchdown department hurts his overall appeal.  It’s the main reason he’s behind players like Donte Moncrief and Emmanuel Sanders, as they likely won’t catch as many passes but are far more likely to regularly find the end zone.
  • A four-game suspension is going to help to suppress the excitement about the return of Josh Gordon to the NFL.  Obviously there’s upside and he could emerge as a viable option once he’s back on the field, so he’s well worth stashing, but given his time away and suspension we have to keep our expectations in check.
  • We recently talked about Demaryius Thomas and why he was a no-brainer selection in the third round.  For a closer look, click here.

Make sure to check out all of our updated preseason rankings:

2016 Preseason Rankings: Updated Top 20 Tight Ends
Updated Preseason 2016 Rankings: Top 40 Running Backs

One comment

  1. Brian D says:

    Who do you think is going to be the number 3 WR in GB? Abbrederis or Adams?

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