Week 2 Rankings (2014): Top 50 Wide Receivers

by Will Overton

Week two rankings are likely the most challenging ones to do. There’s the constant struggle between overreacting to week one’s struggles or successes and not paying enough attention to what happened in week one. It’s tough to do, but you have to play that balance game. Here’s how I see things shaking out this week:

  1. Calvin Johnson – Detroit Lions @ Carolina
  2. Demaryius Thomas – Denver Broncos vs. Kansas City
  3. A.J. Green – Cincinnati Bengals vs. Atlanta
  4. Dez Bryant – Dallas Cowboys @ Tennessee
  5. Brandon Marshall – Chicago Bears @ San Francisco
  6. Julio Jones – Atlanta Falcons @ Cincinnati
  7. Antonio Brown – Pittsburgh Steelers @ Baltimore
  8. Andre Johnson – Houston Texans @ Oakland
  9. Alshon Jeffrey – Chicago Bears @ San Francisco
  10. Jordy Nelson – Green Bay Packers vs. NY Jets
  11. Michael Floyd – Arizona Cardinals @ NY Giants
  12. Randall Cobb – Green Bay Packers vs. NY Jets
  13. Roddy White – Atlanta Falcons @ Cincinnati
  14. Vincent Jackson – Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. St. Louis
  15. Percy Harvin – Seattle Seahawks @ San Diego
  16. Pierre Garcon – Washington Redskins vs. Jacksonville
  17. Michael Crabtree – San Francisco 49ers vs. Chicago
  18. Keenan Allen – San Diego Chargers vs. Seattle
  19. Eric Decker – New York Jets @ Green Bay
  20. Victor Cruz – New York Giants vs. Arizona
  21. Larry Fitzgerald – Arizona Cardinals @ NY Giants
  22. Marques Colston – New Orleans Saints @ Cleveland
  23. Reggie Wayne – Indianapolis Colts vs. Philadelphia
  24. Jeremy Maclin – Philadelphia Eagles @ Indianapolis
  25. Kelvin Benjamin – Carolina Panthers vs. Detroit
  26. T.Y. Hilton – Indianapolis Colts vs. Philadelphia
  27. Emmanuel Sanders – Denver Broncos vs. Kansas City
  28. Mike Wallace – Miami Dolphins @ Buffalo
  29. Desean Jackson – Washington Redskins vs. Jacksonville
  30. Julian Edelman – New England Patriots @ Minnesota
  31. Cordarrelle Patterson – Minnesota Vikings vs. New England
  32. Anquan Boldin – San Francisco 49ers vs. Chicago
  33. Kendall Wright – Tennessee Titans vs. Dallas
  34. Torrey Smith – Baltimore Ravens vs. Pittsburgh
  35. Brandin Cooks – New Orleans  Saints @ Cleveland
  36. Terrance Williams – Dallas Cowboys @ Tennessee
  37. DeAndre Hopkins – Houston Texans @ Oakland
  38. Golden Tate – Detroit Lions @ Carolina
  39. Greg Jennings – Minnesota Vikings vs. New England
  40. Steve Smith – Baltimore Ravens vs. Pittsburgh
  41. Justin Hunter – Tennessee Titans vs. Dallas
  42. Riley Cooper – Philadelphia Eagles @ Indianapolis
  43. Markus Wheaton – Pittsburgh Steelers @ Baltimore
  44. Marquise Lee – Jacksonville Jaguars @ Washington
  45. Andrew Hawkins – Cleveland Browns vs. New Orleans
  46. Dwayne Bowe – Kansas City Chiefs @ Denver
  47. Mike Evans – Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. St. Louis
  48. Donnie Avery – Kansas City Chiefs @ Denver
  49. Allen Hurns – Jacksonville Jaguars @ Washington
  50. Sammy Watkins – Buffalo Bills vs. Miami

 

  • One of the examples of a guy you’re not sure what to do with after week one is Michael Crabtree. Widely considered to be a lock for top 20 WR with top 10 upside before the season, Crabtree came up empty last week with just two catches while Anquan Boldin was the focus of Colin Kaepernick. I have found several fantasy writers ranking Crabtree in the mid-late 20’s after last weeks performance, but I can’t push him that far yet. The Cowboys game was a weird one and the Niners weren’t looking to do too much on offense cause they never really had to. If Crabtree plays second fiddle to Bolding again this week my rankings will look different next week, but right now the guy is still must start.
  • Geno Smith didn’t exactly light the world on fire last Sunday, but he did enough for Eric Decker to rack up five catches and 74 yards. Geno also did enough to make me believe Decker is very much capable of a top 25 season at the wide receiver position. Decker is going to be a consistent go to target for Smith who needs the security  of a reliable pass catcher.
  • The talk of the town in New Orleans last week was Brandin Cooks, and rightly so as it was a very nice debut with seven catches, 77 yards and a TD. Meanwhile though it was Marques Colston who pulled in five catches of his own for 110 yards and it is Colston who still has the history of success with Drew Brees. Colston will likely draw Joe Haden for much of this week’s game, but Antonio Brown showed us last week he isn’t invincible and there is no guarantee Haden will be on him all game with the other weapons in New Orleans.
  • When I first completed these rankings I felt like I had Kelvin Benjamin too low, because I really do believe in this guy. That said, the Wide Receiver position is so deep without any bye weeks that moving him higher is tough to do. I am excited to see what Benjamin will do with Cam Newton after such a strong game with Derek Anderson. I’m also excited to see what he’ll do against Detroit who have a patchwork secondary to say the least.
  • It feels weird to me to have only one wide receiver from New England ranked in this article, but Julian Edelman really does feel like the only one worth the spot in this list. Danny Amendola wasn’t a big part of the offense at all last week. Kenbrell Thompkins continues to be tempting with his upside, but despite a good game last week I don’t trust him yet to be consistent. Aaron Dobson is the real wild card in all of this given he is healthy, but there is too much unknown there. Someone on that team besides Edelman could and probably will end up being a top 50 point scorer, but it’s too much of a guessing game to identify who.
  • I know I am lower on Cordarrelle Patterson this week than everyone else, just like I was last week. I don’t dislike the guy and I do love his upside based on his speed and athleticism. However it’s hard for me to bank on him breaking another huge run for a TD every week and he really wasn’t that big of a part of the passing game. Will the Vikings keep looking for way to get him ball in space as much as possible, of course. It’s just too much of a crap shoot to me to have him ranked in the top 25 like everyone else has him.
  • I was half tempted to put Steve Smith over Torrey Smith this week and it might not be long before we get there. I like Torrey, but it feels like we have been waiting and waiting for him to have his break out and it’s not happening. Steve Smith was targeted 15 times last week while Torrey Smith had only seven targets total. Last week Torrey Smith was the team’s third option behind Steve Smith and Dennis Pitta and I don’t know if that passing game is good enough to consistently produce three starting caliber receivers/tight ends. That said I did keep Torrey Smith ranked higher based on upside and the possibility that last week was a fluke for Steve Smith and the matchups just fell right.
  • Seeing Allen Hurns ranked 49th after catching two TD’s seems low, but there is too much potential for it being a fluke. Hurns proved to be a solid deep threat last week, but that’s really hard to predict on a week to week basis. It’s the reason I have Marquise Lee, a more reliable possession type receiver, ranked ahead of him. There is also the possibility that Cecil Shorts returns this week, though it is highly questionable,  and that return would likely push Hurns back to the bench.

Make sure to check out all of our Week 2 rankings:

 

 

Week 2 Rankings (2014): Top 40 Running Backs
Week 2 Rankings (2014): Top 25 Quarterbacks

55 comments

  1. Dale H says:

    Malcome Floyd, Dwayne Bowe or Andrew Hawkins…Need to pick up a WR3 Who do yoou think will be best going forward. This season. Thaks Prof…

  2. Steve L says:

    Joique Bell or Hopkins at the flex? Thanks.

  3. I have M Floyd and Harvin, but B Cooks and Hurns both waiting to take one of those spots in a PPR league.
    Dont you think one of those two will outperform Floyd and Harvin this week? Especially with Hurns facing Wash? Thanks Dr Professor

  4. paul says:

    Need help standard i have percy and vjax as wr. Desean, t.y., or kelvin benjamin at flex? Thanks prof. Also should i pick up markus wheaton for any of the flex guys?

  5. Steve L – It’s honestly a bit of a coin flip, due to Bell’s difficult matchup. Hopkins has it easier, but after watching the Jets torch the Raiders via the run he could become an afterthought. I’d lean Bell.

    Doug Anderson – I can’t trust Hurns off of one big half. Cooks is the one that I could see getting there, but the upside of Floyd/Harvin is way too big to bench either one. I’d stick with the top guys for another week and make sure Cooks can replicate that performance.

    Paul – No on Wheaton. As for the FLEX, I would go with Hilton given the matchup and lack of a running game.

  6. Dave says:

    Was curious of you would mind going a little more indepth on your placement of Reggie Wayne this week?

    • These aren’t my rankings, so I can’t speak to his exact placement on this list. With Wayne, he’s going to be a little bit of a victim of having other significant weapons around him. I do think he’s usable in 2 WR formats, but looks could just as easily go to T.Y. Hilton or Hakeem Nicks or Dwayne Allen…

  7. sam says:

    Torrey Smith or Sammy Watkins week 2?
    Torrey smith looks bad and Watkins is going against Miami defense

    • Tough call. Watkins got the snaps, but are the Bills really going to throw the ball enough for any receiver to produce big numbers?

      I’d lean towards Smith, even though he’s a risky proposition himself.

      • sam says:

        I am in a PPR league, does that make a difference in your decision?

        • A little bit, but not really. You can easily argue that the Ravens will be forced to go significantly more pass heavy, given the state of their running attack. The Bills offense is going to run through CJ Spiller/Frad Jackson no matter how you slice it.

          Both are risky, but Smith is “safer”

  8. Andrew says:

    What about Torrey Smith or Donnie Avery for week 2? I know Bowe coming back could affect Avery.

  9. Hunter says:

    My line-up is M. Crabtree V. Cruz E. Sanders however, I am worried about Crabtree and Cruz they did all but produce last week. I have Donnie Avery and A. Boldin in back up should I worry about starting my back ups or just have faith?

  10. logan says:

    Professor, I need some advice. In my lineup I have TY hilton, Mike wallace, and Cordelle patterson. On my bench I have markus wheaton and torrey smith. I’m leaning towards putting smith over hilton, what do you think? I know wallace is probable nut I think he will pull through sin e buffalo kind of sucks.

  11. brady says:

    What’re your thoughts on dropping Cecil shorts for Andrew Hawkins? I don’t really need a receiver right now as I have Percy Harvin and Antonio Brown starting, with T.Y. Hilton on the bench, but I’m still contemplating it.

    • brady says:

      Another question. I have Julius Thomas and Andy Dalton starting, both with week 4 byes. When the time comes I could either drop Josh Gordon/Justin Forsett and pick up some fill in’s, or I could make a trade now. I was thinking about offering Julius Thomas and Forsett while they’re high for Jimmy Graham and Mark Ingram, maybe throw in a Andy Dalton for Russel Wilson swap as well. Thoughts?

      • Merlin says:

        You keeping Josh Gordon on a prayert that his year suspension will be lifted if and or they revise drug policy and procudures?

    • Merlin says:

      Shorts still not anywhere near 100% and might go on IR berfore you know it if he does come back and reaggravates the injury. Hawkins is the Browns #1 now that Gordon is gone but Gordon might get his suspension adjusted if they change the drug policy and he might actually get back to playing ater a shorter suspension and if he does then Hawkins will still get some attention for Gordon has to draw a double team at least every game with his talent.

  12. Law says:

    I need help. I have Demarius Thomas, Maclin, Deshan Jackson, Bolden, A. Jeffery and Hurns on my roster at the moment. But with Cameron out at TE i need to drop a WR to bring a replacement in for week 2. Who would you drop for a TE? Appreciate the help.

    • Merlin says:

      Jeffrey has pulled hammy and will be real real limited when he comes back but I think he is out at least this week for sure. Hard to ever cut Jeffries so I would cut Hurn for I am not sure he can have a repeat again like he did in week 1. Shorts is still hurt and not likely to get a lot of time if any sunday but Jacksonville #2 receiver went down in practice and is out now so Hurns might be a regular back yet. You only picked up Hurns cause of what he did in week 1 like so many others did right so releasing him won’t be as hard. Delanie Walker ( Ten) is good TE to get for he is unowned in almost all leagues and he is steady 7 points or more in a ppr from what the pros are saying.

      • Law says:

        Yeah thanks a lot. Just realised a guy in my league is going to need to replace Reed who is out so had to jump. Replaced Hurns for Walker. If hurns turns out great I can pick him up again later. Appreciate the help.

  13. Merlin says:

    Start Torrey Smith or Golden Tate in week 2?

  14. L says:

    Man I’m having a difficult time deciding my last WR slot as well as my Flex slot in a .5PPR league.

    As of right now my lineup is using Eric Decker and Andrew Hawkins in those two spots due to them both being the top receiving options and seeing a lot of targets due to their team playing catch-up. My other two options though can be argued for to start above them. The first is Michael Crabtree who has the talent and no-doubt capability to put up much bigger stats than those other two, but I fear his calf may still not be 100% recovered and he could lose targets to A.Boldin and V.Davis too; plus, his team could end up running the ball a decent amount if they’re trying to protect a lead against the Bears (especially possible if Marshall and/or Jeffery aren’t 100% which limits the Bear’s offensive potency). The other is Golden Tate who’s the clear cut number two passing option on a heavy pass first team that’s only going to be extra re-enforced with that philosophy this week thanks to playing the Carolina Panthers. Megatron should be drawing double and triple coverage after what he did in the early goings of last week’s game so I imagine that G.Tate should be receiving extra amounts of targets this week; though, R.Bush and J.Bell could simply get those additional looks as check-downs since the pressure that the Panther’s front seven can generate could force more of those to occur this week. Like I said, difficult decisions — I think I’ve sided with the safer bets at this point, but the problem is that they come with less of an upside ceiling. What do you think?

  15. logan – I definitely like Hilton over Smith given the matchup

    brady – I’d stick with Cecil Shorts for now, as he still as the higher upside. As for the trade, if you can get it I would (but I don’t think the other owner would bite). By then we’ll have clarity on the Gordon situation (hopefully) and the moves will be easy.

    Merlin – Given the matchup I’d go Smith, but it’s a tossup

    L – I agree with using Decker over te other two (though I’m higer on him than most). The other spot is a little tougher. If Jordan Cameron is healthy he’s going to be the bigger option than Hawkins, who I like but is hardly a guarantee. Crabtree has too much upside to be on the bench so I’d go Decker/Crabtree.

    • brady says:

      Thanks, that’s what I was thinking. The whole Gordon thing is really getting drawn out and with the new news about it still being 6-10 games I’m tempted to drop him for Hawkins right now, but I’ll stick it out another week.

  16. J. Benum says:

    Need help!

    Andrew Hawkins vs TY Hilton and Darren Sproles vs Steven Jackson

    PPR league thanks!!!

  17. Ross says:

    Pick 3 to start
    Aj green
    Randle Cobb
    Keenan allen
    Gerhart(flex)
    Sproles(flex)
    Micheal floyd

    • Ross says:

      And brandin cooks

    • Lots of options there!

      Obviously A.J. Green is a lock and I also couldn’t sit Cobb.

      That leaves one spot. I’d knock out Allen easily due to his matchup and Gerhart is banged up, making him a risk (especially with your other options). So it’s Sproles/Floyd/Cook…

      I’d lean Floyd, but you can’t go wrong with any of the three. The only concern would be if you think Arizona is going to force feed Fitzgerald after last week, then go Cooks. Either way, you should be fine.

  18. Carlos T says:

    3 to start

    Jordy Nelson
    Micheal Floyd
    Pierre garcon
    Coradelle Patterson

  19. Mike S says:

    So many injury woes and it’s only week 2! I have lacy, Ellington, and alshon all on one team. Definitely starting lacy and cj1k and aj green, but then I have one more wr slot and two flex spots to fill in a standard scoring. How would you go with alshon, cordarelle Patterson, kelvin Benjamin, Fred Jackson, or Pierre Thomas? Thanks!

  20. Mike S says:

    Also Ellington in the mix for that flex spot.

  21. Todd says:

    Need a little advice….PPR league starting 2 WR’s..and 1 flex..I have J. Nelson,A. Brown, J. Hunter and M. Colston…Thinking of trading Colston and M.Asiata for A. Jeffrey..Asiata is just a bench guy because I have 3 better RB’s….Bad move or not????? Thanks.

  22. Carlos T – Can you really go wrong? That’s a nice “problem” to have. I’d probably bench Garcon with Floyd as the second option (only because of the fear they force feed Fitzgerald, as well as new reports that Floyd could be shadowed by Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie).

    Mike S – Patterson is a must play, as is Ellington as FLEX. If Jeffery is out there I’d go him for the final spot, but if it’s dicey Benjamin isn’t an awful fill-in. I’d monitor the news tomorrow AM.

    Todd – If you can get Jeffery for that I’d do it in a heartbeat

  23. Hunter says:

    Victor Cruz isn’t looking to promising should he be benched so someone like Shane between can be put in the flex?

  24. Rj says:

    I need to pick two receivers from the 4
    Brandin cooks
    Victor Cruz
    Allen hurns
    Dwayne bowe

  25. Tony says:

    Pick 3
    Keenan allen vs. Seattle
    Crabtree
    Greg jennings
    Maclin
    Please and thanks

  26. Devin H says:

    Will pierre garcon continue to be the #1 option for the skins? He caught 1 target for 12yds on sunday w/ cousins at the helm. Keep or trade

    • They should have time to work together and get on the same page, so I wouldn’t give up hope yet. That said, I wasn’t a big fan of his entering the season so I’d continue to view him as more of a low-end WR2

  27. Eric K says:

    Patterson or Garcon WR2 for week3

  28. aaron says:

    Should i drop mike evans and add torrey smith?

    • I think long-term Evans is the better player, so it depends on the format. In redraft leagues, I would go Smith (despite his struggles thus far). I assume either would be on the bench

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