Week 1 Rankings (2013): Top 50 Wide Receivers

by Will Overton

In these first few weeks of the season you have plenty of options to choose from out of your starting wide receivers with just about everyone healthy and everyone playing. Knowing to play your star wideouts is one thing, but it’s another thing to decide between those last few spots, that’s where it gets difficult.

Here is how I see the top 50 shaking out for week one of the season:

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

 Thoughts:

  • Only three teams in all of the NFL allowed fewer passing yards in the NFL last year then the 49ers did. So in a year that I am extremely high on Randall Cobb, I’m not overly excited about his week one matchup. I think Cobb is still a must start with Aaron Rodgers throwing the ball to him, but James Jones and Jordy Nelson are more of  fringe number three guys this week . If you have a fourth wideout you trust you may want to lean that way.
  • Last year one of the worst secondaries in football belonged to the Buffalo Bills. Now they are without their best cornerback in Stephen Gilmore. This has all the makings of a very nice debut for Danny Amendola this week who I could see approaching double digit catches. It also makes Kenbrell Tompkins a very nice third receiver option this week.
  • Originally I had Steve Johnson ranked higher, inside of the top 20 even. I like the matchup with Patriots secondary who are known for giving up yards in bunches to receivers. The Bills and Patriots had a couple big offensive blowouts last season too. Unfortunately I just can’t trust the Bills quarterback situation right now enough to be overly confident in Johsnon.
  • I’m expecting a bit of a pass happy shootout between the Saints and the Falcons which should lead to solid fantasy performances. An under the radar guy might be Lance Moore though who always seems to get overlooked. Last year in two games against the Falcons Moore had a combined 14 catches for 214 yards.
  • One of the harder guys to rank right now is Greg Jennings. You have to like the matchup with the Lions, a bad secondary and one that he is familiar with. You just don’t know what to expect with Christian Ponder throwing him the ball though. Jennings is an outside receiver so the comparisons to Percy Harvin aren’t convincing. In three receiver sets you have to use him against Detroit, but you should feel more comfortable doing it.
  • It should be very interesting to see what happens with St. Louis. Early on Tavon Austin had a lot of the hype behind him, and lately it’s been Chris Givens getting the attention from fantasy owners. Now we finally get to see where the balls are thrown when it matters and where the value lies. Arizona isn’t an easy matchup so they are both fringe starters in standard leagues, but it should be telling.
  • One of the more intriguing sleeper starts this week for me is Jason Avant. The Redskins secondary was one of the worst in the league last season. The big plays may go to DeSean Jackson, but I think it’ll be Jason Avant leading the team in targets. Avant caught eight balls for 70 yards at the end of last season against the Skins and I could see something similar again.

Make sure to check out all of our Week 1 rankings:

23 comments

  1. Ross says:

    So out of v.jax, bowe, welker, t. Smith you’d bench smith even though he torched champ Bailey and the Denver D last time out?

    • My opinion is a little bit different than Will’s in this regard. Especially with Bailey a game time decision and the potential for Baltimore to throw to keep up, I am a big fan of Smith this week.

      It comes down to Bowe or Welker for the bench for me, with Bowe likely getting the nod. As I’ve said before, a mix of Alex Smith + Andy Reid could result in poor numbers for Bowe.

      • Will Overton says:

        I’m just not as high on Torrey Smith as some others. He was very all or nothing last year. Even in that game against Denver it went double OT and he only had 3 catches on 6 targets. He burned Champ twice for TD’s, but there’s always a fine line between a big game from him and getting nothing.

        Bowe and Welker might not be as likely to score 20 fantasy points, but they are so much safer and way less likely to get you 0 – 5 points.

  2. morningglory says:

    miles austin or ty hilton for week 1? any thoughts?

    • I’d go with Austin. Taking on the Giants, I could easily see it becoming a shootout and the Giants secondary is questionable.

      In Indianapolis, do they really need to throw the ball a lot to thrive against the Raiders this week?

  3. Steve says:

    No Jordy Nelson? Gotta be a mistake, right? Can’t imagine you really think Jerome Kerley should be started over Jordy…?

  4. Andrew H says:

    Hey roto need some help in my ppr league. I have
    To choose between g jennings and miles Austin for my third receiver and for my flex I have r matthews, Isaac redman or either of those two receivers. Any help is much appriciated.

    • I would go Austin as the WR, especially against the Giants.

      As for the FLEX, things are a bit more interesting. I wouldn’t trust Redman, Jennings and Mathews is a virtual coin flip. It’s tough to trust Mathews, but I’d say he has slightly more upside.

  5. David P says:

    Looking for some advice if anyone has some input?

    12 team – 2QB, 3WR, 2RB, 1TE, 1WR/RB starters. 6pts all TDs. 100, 150, 200 yd rushing and receiving bonus points. 1pt per 25 return yards

    Current WRs: Steve Smith, T.Y. Hilton, Michael Floyd, Chris Givens, Rueben Randle
    Current RBs: MJD, David Wilson, Lamar Miller, Ryan Mathews, Knowshon Moreno, Joique Bell

    Which offer would you take? Obviously I need some help at WR.

    1) My Steve Smith/Lamar Miller for his Demaryius Thomas/Jacquizz Rodgers (return yd league so has some value) or Kenny Britt

    2) My Ryan Mathews/Michael Floyd for his Pierre Garcon/Kendall Hunter or Vick Ballard (just a handcuff would be dropped by other manager, so told him to throw him in)

    3) My Ryan Mathews/Steve Smith for his Dwayne Bowe/Jacquizz Rodgers

  6. Nick Tenaglia says:

    PPR LEAGUE- Need 2 WR and a Flex:
    Sproles
    Colston
    V Jax
    Antonio Brown
    Steve Johnson

  7. David P – They are talking a big game, but it’s only a matter of time before Miller takes over duties.

    Nick – I’d go with the Top 3 you have listed there.

  8. JONCARY says:

    had a great showing with manning and welker combo last night.. i want to keep the momentum going. so im at a cross roads for my next 2 wrs for this weekend.. i got nelson, miles austin, harline, and victor cruz… im leaning towards cruz and austin,., help please!

  9. gmoney says:

    Would you start broyles, s. hill, or dexter mccluster week 1?

    10 recieving yards/point
    0.5 pt/reception
    30 yrds per point on returns
    6pts for td

  10. JONCARY – Cruz is the given. The other spot comes down to Austin or Nelson for me. It’s rather close, given the matchups and Nelson having missed time due to a knee injury. I would probably lean Nelson, given the upside, but it could go either way.

    gmoney – Broyles for me

  11. StanCal says:

    I’ve got a strong backfield but weak receiving corps in my non-PPR, standard ESPN scoring league. Roddy White is starting at receiver… for WR2 should I learn towards Cecil Shorts (garbage offense and Gabbert’s thumb/general self, but the clear number 1 receiver for the Jags with Blackmon out and an offense that will be likely losing big with a possible Henne/Gabbert swap) or Anquan Boldin (likely just a middling receiver in a strong running team that will likely be leading, but a bigger target with Crabtree out)?

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