2013 Fantasy Football Rankings: Top 50 Wide Receivers

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

While the top option on this list may be obvious, after that things are completely wide open.  Who do we expect to break out (making them worth the gamble)?  Who do we expect to struggle?  How did the offseason roster carousel impact the rankings?  Let’s try to answer these questions and more as we look at our 2013 wide receiver rankings:

  1. Calvin Johnson – Detroit Lions
  2. A.J. Green – Cincinnati Bengals
  3. Dez Bryant – Dallas Cowboys
  4. Brandon Marshall – Chicago Bears
  5. Julio Jones – Atlanta Falcons
  6. Demaryius Thomas – Denver Broncos
  7. Percy Harvin – Seattle Seahawks
  8. Larry Fitzgerald – Arizona Cardinals
  9. Randall Cobb – Green Bay Packers
  10. Andre Johnson – Houston Texans
  11. Vincent Jackson – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  12. Roddy White – Atlanta Falcons
  13. Victor Cruz – New York Giants
  14. Marques Colston – New Orleans Saints
  15. Hakeem Nicks – New York Giants
  16. Danny Amendola – New England Patriots
  17. Jordy Nelson – Green Bay Packers
  18. Mike Wallace – Miami Dolphins
  19. Wes Welker – Denver Broncos
  20. Reggie Wayne – Indianapolis Colts
  21. Steve Smith – Carolina Panthers
  22. Pierre Garcon – Washington Redskins
  23. Eric Decker – Denver Broncos
  24. Antonio Brown – Pittsburgh Steelers
  25. Torrey Smith – Baltimore Ravens
  26. Dwayne Bowe – Kansas City Chiefs
  27. Josh Gordon – Cleveland Browns
  28. Steve Johnson – Buffalo Bills
  29. Greg Jennings – Minnesota Vikings
  30. DeSean Jackson – Philadelphia Eagles
  31. T.Y. Hilton – Indianapolis Colts
  32. Anquan Boldin – San Francisco 49ers
  33. Cecil Shorts – Jacksonville Jaguars
  34. Danario Alexander – San Diego Chargers
  35. Mike Williams – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  36. Jeremy Maclin – Philadelphia Eagles
  37. Miles Austin – Dallas Cowboys
  38. Denarius Moore – Oakland Raiders
  39. Tavon Austin – St. Louis Rams
  40. James Jones – Green Bay Packers
  41. Kenny Britt – Tennessee Titans
  42. Lance Moore – New Orleans Saints
  43. Justin Blackmon – Jacksonville Jaguars
  44. Chris Givens – St. Louis Rams
  45. Kendall Wright – Tennessee Titans
  46. Emmanuel Sanders – Pittsburgh Steelers
  47. DeAndre Hopkins – Houston Texans
  48. Andre Roberts – Arizona Cardinals
  49. Sidney Rice – Seattle Seahawks
  50. Santonio Holmes – New York Jets

Thoughts:

  • You would think that the presence of Roddy White would have a negative impact on Julio Jones, and to an extent it does.  That said it is becoming clear that Jones is taking the reigns as the top receiver on the team as White is now 31 years old and Jones already eclipsed him in the TD department (10 to 7 in 2012).  That said, White is still going to be a major factor and is going to take some of the opportunities away from Jones.
  • The prevailing thought is that Wes Welker’s presence will have a negative impact on Demaryius Thomas.  Don’t be so fast to make that judgment, however.  Thomas is going to continue to be targeted and make big plays, while Welker will make shorter yardage plays (averaged 11.5 yards per reception last season vs. Thomas’ 15.3).  Welker’s presence knocks down Eric Decker and Jacob Tamme, not Thomas.  Thomas is the clear top choice in Denver, with Welker and Decker being on an almost equal playing field.
  • Larry Fitzgerald finally has a “real” NFL quarterback throwing him the football once again.  Long proven to be one of the elite receivers in the league, look for Fitzgerald to get back to that type of production in 2013.  For more on Fitzgerald and why we are expecting a rebound, click here.
  • There is a lot of risk in selecting Victor Cruz as your WR1, as we discussed (click here for the article).  While he got his long-term contract and feels like he deserved more, last season saw Cruz appear to be more of a possession receiver than a big-play threat (12.7 yards per catch, only 12 receptions of 20+ yards).  Just keep that in mind when selecting him.
  • Can Danny Amendola actually stay healthy?  If he can, he should step into the Wes Welker role and really thrive this season (especially given everything else going on in New England).  There is obviously significant risk, but there also is significant reward.
  • Pierre Garcon is another receiver with significant talent but has health issues following him into the 2013 campaign.  That said, with Robert Griffin III likely running less due to injury concerns of his own, if Garcon is on the field he is likely going to post big numbers.  Consider him a high risk, high reward WR2.
  • After having just 6 receptions in September Cecil Shorts began to make an impact as the season progressed.  Over the final three months of the year he had 49 receptions and 5 TD.  He should continue to develop and has tremendous upside as a WR3.
  • With Michael Crabtree out, how much better does Anquan Boldin look in San Francisco?
  • Can Kenny Britt stay on the field?  We all know the potential, if he can, but at this point it’s not something that we can’t count on.  Consider him as a FLEX/depth option due to his upside, but the Titans have numerous options and Britt never seems to be on the field.

Make sure to check out all of our 2013 preseason rankings:

2013 Rankings: Top 15 Defenses
2013 Fantasy Football Rankings: Top 5 Rookie Tight Ends

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