by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
We all know who the elite wide receivers in the league are, even though there may be concerns about Odell Beckham’s return to health. How do things shake out behind what we can dub “The Big Four”? Things are cloudier, but there is significant talent and potential bargains to be found. With that thought in mind, let’s take a look at how our rankings currently look:
- Antonio Brown – Pittsburgh Steelers
- DeAndre Hopkins – Houston Texans
- Julio Jones – Atlanta Falcons
- Odell Beckham Jr. – New York Giants
- Keenan Allen – Los Angeles Chargers
- Davante Adams – Green Bay Packers
- Mike Evans – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Michael Thomas – New Orleans Saints
- A.J. Green – Cincinnati Bengals
- Tyreek Hill – Kansas City Chiefs
- Doug Baldwin – Seattle Seahawks
- Stefon Diggs – Minnesota Vikings
- Larry Fitzgerald – Arizona Cardinals
- Demaryius Thomas – Denver Broncos
- T.Y. Hilton – Indianapolis Colts
- Josh Gordon – Cleveland Browns
- Golden Tate – Detroit Lions
- Adam Thielen – Minnesota Vikings
- Amari Cooper – Oakland Raiders
- Devin Funchess – Carolina Panthers
- Allen Robinson – Chicago Bears
- Alshon Jeffrey – Philadelphia Eagles
- JuJu Smith-Schuster – Pittsburgh Steelers
- Jarvis Landry – Cleveland Browns
- Marvin Jones – Detroit Lions
- Brandin Cooks – Los Angeles Rams
- Robert Woods – Los Angeles Rams
- Michael Crabtree – Baltimore Ravens
- Will Fuller – Houston Texans
- Pierre Garcon – San Francisco 49ers
- Cooper Kupp – Los Angeles Rams
- Emmanuel Sanders – Denver Broncos
- Robby Anderson – New York Jets
- Jamison Crowder – Washington Redskins
- Rishard Matthews – Tennessee Titans
- Chris Hogan – New England Patriots
- Julian Edelman – New England Patriots
- Starling Shepard – New York Giants
- Mohamed Sanu – Atlanta Falcons
- Sammy Watkins – Kansas City Chiefs
- Randall Cobb – Green Bay Packers
- Kelvin Benjamin – Buffalo Bills
- DeVante Parker – Miami Dolphins
- Corey Davis – Tennessee Titans
- Jordy Nelson – Oakland Raiders
- DeSean Jackson – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Nelson Agholer – Philadelphia Eagles
- Allen Hurns – Dallas Cowboys
- Marquise Goodwin – San Francisco 49ers
- Kenny Stills – Miami Dolphins
- If Odell Beckham Jr. is healthy it’s easy to argue him for the #2 spot on these rankings. That said we don’t know how big of an impact last year’s injury will have on him moving forward and therefore we have to drop him down a few spots(though his upside is too great to consider him outside the top tier of options).
- Michael Thomas is coming off a big year (104 receptions for 1,245 yards), but it’s very possible that the Saints go RB heavy, he only scored 5 TD and converted 70% of his targets into receptions. In other words, there’s a lot of risk involved (and we will take a closer look at it shortly).
- Stefon Diggs over Adam Thielen? We recently spoke about the risks Thielen faces this season, with a new coach and a new quarterback potentially limiting his opportunities. For our in-depth look, click here.
- While T.Y. Hilton continues to prove to be a boom or bust receiver, he’s also proven that he can’t consistently produce when Andrew Luck is on the field. Will Luck be on the field in 2018? If he is, will he be the same player he once was? Don’t ignore the risks involved in entrusting Hilton this season, though the upside is clearly there.
- If there were no questions hanging over Robby Anderson it would be easy to push him to a borderline Top 20 option. He clearly had a breakout last season, with 63 receptions, 941 yards and 7 TD, though he has some off-the-field issues and also could have to adjust to a rookie quarterback throwing him the football (you have to think Sam Darnold will get an opportunity at some point). Both of those drag him down a little bit, though he’s still worth the investment.
- Michael Crabtree should get out of the “shadow” of Amari Cooper, and instead of operating as a 1/1A he’s going to be the top option for the Ravens. While Joe Flacco may not be the best quarterback in the league, he’s not a bad option and Crabtree should deliver WR3 value.
- Obviously Julian Edelman is among the better options in the game, though his suspension is going to drag him down the rankings a little bit. Once he’s back on the field he could easily be a Top 25 option, so if he falls into the WR3/4 range he’s worth the gamble.
- DeVante Parker and Corey Davis didn’t live up to the hype last season, but both have the potential to produce gaudy numbers in ’18. As reserves they are the types of home run swings we want to take.
Make sure to check out all of our 2018 preseason rankings: