Week 3 Rankings (2014): Top 50 Wide Receivers

by Will Overton

Injuries are starting to impact the rankings. Guys are questionable and one receiver is out and it effects the rest of the team’s receiving corp. Then there is the impact of a QB getting hurt and what that does to receivers. Lots of stuff to consider at this point, but this is how I see the top 50 shaking down:

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


  • The jump all the way to number two on this list for Jordy Nelson may seem like an overreaction to last week’s monster 209 yard performance, but it’s a very valid ranking. Nelson has caught nine passes in each of the first two games and is clearly the go to guy for Aaron Rodgers. It’s not like Nelson is coming out of nowhere either, had Rodgers not gotten hurt last year Nelson would’ve potentially finished the season as a top five wide receiver. Throw in a matchup with an already bad secondary that’s also hurt and you have this week’s number two wideout.
  • I am not even close to writing off Alshon Jeffery’s season last year as a fluke, I still have him ranked 11th this week and no one can question his talent. That said you do wonder how much of last season’s huge numbers had to do with Josh McCown connecting with him. It’s clear that Brandon Marshall is the favored target of Jay Cutler, especially in the end zone. Jeffery will have some monster games this season like he did last season, but Marshall will continue to be the consistent top performer week to week.
  • Clearly I am not deterred by Pierre Garcon catching only one pass from Kirk Cousins last week. A change at quarterback always makes you nervous when you own a wide receiver, but Garcon was successful last season with Cousins under center. With that in mind one bad game this season isn’t enough to make me believe he’s going to fall flat with Cousins now. If anything I trust Cousins arm more than I did Robert Griffin III and I fully believe that Garcon is in good hands. The matchup with the Eagles is just what is needed to get Garcon back on track.
  • The faith I have in Garcon after his bad performance is not as strong as my faith in Marques Colston who caught no passes last week. Not only did Colston not catch a pass, he wasn’t even thrown to. That said Colston was squaring off with one of the three best cornerbacks in all of football last week in Joe Haden and no one else in the Saints receiving corp really stepped up and took his place. I still think Colston is the best receiver in New Orleans to play and I think the matchup with Minnesota is a much more favorable one.
  • I do believe in the really strong start of Mike Wallace and his TD in each of the first two games, I do believe. Overall I’d say he’s right there on the cusp of the top 20 at this point. I just can’t put him any higher this week than where I have him right now. The Kansas City Chiefs are not as good as they were last year, but that defense is still very solid and they slowed down the Broncos and Demaryius Thomas in particular last week. Wallace is solid, but I’m not sure he’s entirely matchup proof just yet.
  • One good week makes me wonder, two good weeks makes me take notice. Brian Quick has now turned in two good weeks in a row and looks like the number one guy in St. Louis when I wasn’t sure they had a number one guy there. Quick has 14 catches and 173 yards through two games and a pretty nice matchup with the Dallas Cowboys upcoming. Quick is a favorite of Austen Davis and he is going to keep looking his way for better or worse, for Quick’s sake it’s probably for the better. His upside gets limited by the fact that I am not sure how many TD’s he’ll score this year with this team and that QB.
  • All indications are that the Cincinnati Bengals are going to be sitting A.J. Green down this week with a bye week lined up in week four. That leaves Mohammed Sanu as the go to guy in Cincinnati’s passing attack this week. In a pretty good offense being the number one guy would typically get you ranked higher than 49th, but I can’t do that right now. For one, the Bengals are likely going to use the same strategy this week that they used last week, run the ball down the other teams throat. Which is probably a good plan considering that the Titans secondary is sneaky good and their run defense is really bad.

Make sure to check out all of our Week 3 rankings:


Week 3 Rankings (2014): Top 40 Running Backs
Week 3 Rankings (2014): Top 25 Quarterbacks


  1. Randy says:

    In a standard league, would you rather have T Rich or Donald Brown as your RB 5? Also, Dobson, Wheaton, or Randle as WR 5? Lastly (my other standard league), can you rank Wallace, Gordon, Hunter, Colston, Torrey Smith, and Wayne in terms of who you’d want as your WR 3 and 4? I’ve got Jimmy Graham, in case that impacts anything regarding Colston. Thanks!

    • RB5 – Probably T-Rich. If you are taking the flier, he has more long-term upside

      WR5 – Wheaton, then Randle (close though)

      As far ranking the WR, I’d say Wallace, Wayne and then everyone else. Do you start 2 or 3 WR? I’d love stashing Gordon, but he has to be more of a WR5/6 at this point.

      • Randy says:

        For the WR rank, we start two plus a flex, and can only roster 4 or 5 (4 if I roster 5 RBs and vice versa). For the RB question, S-Jax was dropped, where would he fit in with those other two? Thanks again for your help!

        • I honestly don’t love any of them, so we are splitting hairs on the RB. Probably Richardson/Jackson/Brown, but whicheve you add likely isn’t going to help much.

          For the WR, then I’d leave it the way I have it. If you are starting 3 WR, both Wayne and Wallace need to be owned.

  2. Brandon says:

    Would you trade Matt Stafford for R Wilson and brandin cooks or stafford for Wilson and j Gordon, 1 pt PPR and my other receivers are Julio jones v Cruz ty hilton and gregg Jennings and cecil shorts, I get special teams pts for my WRs too

    • Probably not, though I’d consider the Cooks deal. That said, he’s at best your WR4 and the downgrade from Stafford to Wilson is enough not to make it worth it.

      I’d rather target someone like Brian Quick off waivers

  3. The Overthinkers says:


    I’m thinking about starting Quick over Crabtree in Week 3. I don’t like the Peterson/Crabtree matchup and I am buying in to Quick taking advantage of a surplus of targets. Am I overthinking this?

    The Overthinkers

  4. Jason says:

    I need two between:

    Matt Asiata, Jordan Cameron, Fred Jack and Donald Brown
    – all of which scare me

  5. The Overthinkers – I can understand wanting to ride the Quick momentum, but seems a little drastic. Obviously Crabtree has the higher upside and the return of Stedman Bailey (who seemed like the breakout candidate in St. Louis) could eat into Quick’s oppotunities.

    Jason – If Cameron is healthy I’d use him. The second I’d probably say Brown, with Jackson right there. Like you said, all bring their own risk.

    • The Overthinkers says:

      Thanks for the input. I tend to think more drastically in the early days of the week and then snap back to reality by game day. Crabtree is my guy (I’m also a homer 49ers fan).

  6. Smidge says:

    Would you start Maclin over Crabtree this week? Nelson and Marshal are my top two. This is a 10 team Non PPR 3WR format no flex. If I start Maclin.. I will have Foles and McCoy as well.. too many eggs in the basket?

    • Crabtree and Maclin are close, so if you don’t want to load up on too many Eagles (not a bad idea), go Crabtree. Not that I expect Washington to be able to stop them, but a bit too risky if you have a way to avoid it.

  7. Hunter says:

    Hi professor, I feel I’m set this week on running backs with Forte, and Ball. My flex and WR options are ok at best. I have Crabtree, and E sanders starting. My Flex options are V. Cruz S. Vereen, and B Rainey. Any help on my flex decision?

    • Hunter says:

      Also with welker back will sanders production be limited?

    • I think Welker was going to take a step back anyways, I’d be more concerned with the matchup. Vereen scares me this week. I like Rainey as a FLEX, though he’s a risk with Martin playing. Cruz… Well, we know about him.

      I’d probably go Vereen (if run heavy, he should have a role), Cruz and then Rainey. Honestly, I think Rainey has the highest upside but the most risk. If you want to gamble roll the dice, but Vereen is the safer choice.

  8. Joey says:

    sanders or crabtree for the rest of the year? non ppr

  9. SS says:

    Need 2 WR’s this week with my WR1 (Green) out
    Crabtree, Floyd, Colston, Wheaton, Hawkins

  10. Mike says:

    Hello Roto, looking for your opinion on who to start this week. Standard scoring league – 2 WRs – Jordy Nelson and who else? Kennan Allen, Percy Harvin, or Mike Wallace. My starting RB are good with McCoy and Foster. But flex question I have T West, B Rainey, to go with the above mentioned WRs. I am more inclined to flex one of the WRs, but T West has been solid, but haven’t played him yet this season. Thanks in advance!!!!

  11. jacob says:

    my wr1/2 are roddy and watkins. who do i start as wr 3? vjax desean or cooks?

  12. Mike – I’d lean Harvin for the WR spot, because he should be in position to make some plays against SEA. As for the FLEX, it’s tough. Like you said West is alluring, but he’s a bit of a risk to fall into a committee with Crowell. I also am a big fan of Wallace this week against KC and it’s hard to sit Allen. I’d use one of the WR, probably Allen, but flip a coin.

    jacob – Vincent Jackson for me

  13. romo says:

    should i pick up h douglas and replace r white for the week? or should i just swap r white with j jones since i already have him. just worried about the pats d this week. suggestions before the age start? lol thanks again

  14. Corey says:

    Dropping Hopkins or Torrey Smith for Quick?

  15. Chris says:

    Half point ppr…need 2rb, 2wr, flex….Lacy, K Davis, Asiata, CJ2K, L Miller, Smith Sr, A Brown, Sanders, Crabtree, Wayne

    Thanks Professor

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