Week 5 Rankings (2014): Top 50 Wide Receivers

by Will Overton

After the crazy bye week that was week four, things are a bit more normal with just two teams on bye this week. That means more options for fantasy owners though which can be both a good things and a bad things, because now you have to think about who your going to play again.

Here’s the way I see the top 50 Wide Receivers coming out:

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


  • Both Julio Jones and Calvin Johnson are listed as questionable on their respective teams injury reports as of right now. Still, all word coming out of Atlanta and Detroit is there should be no issue with them playing this week. Both guys are dealing with ankle injuries, Johnson was noticeably hurting last week, but we’re told he’s already much better than he was last week at this time. For Jones the last time he was on the injury report he came out and torched the Bucs, so as of now consider both guys top five wideouts.
  • After a really poor first couple weeks, the Giants offense has come out with guns blazing the last two weeks. Victor Cruz and Reuben Randle are both beneficiaries of Eli Manning and the passing game launching. Cruz has topped 100 yards two weeks in a row now and last week Randle had 89 yards. This week the Giants face the Falcons who have the third worst pass defense in the league and just got lit up by Teddy Bridgewater and Jarius Wright last week. All signs are pointing up for the Giants.
  • It feels a little bit like I am overrating the Richard Sherman factor by ranking Pierre Garcon 22nd this week. Garcon is regularly a fixture in the top 15 among wide receivers. Sherman is a scary force and he does factor the rankings. It’s also got a lot to do with how many good wide receivers we have in fantasy football now that pushes Garcon so far down the list. Looking at the guys above him, it’s just hard to move him up.
  • I really expected Reggie Wayne to be the consistent receiver in Indianapolis while TY Hilton mixed in good games and bad games. It’s been Hilton consistently producing the last few weeks though while Wayne goes up and down a bit. I like Hilton more than Wayne for fantasy purposes right now, but at some point Hilton needs to start finding the end zone, something he hasn’t done in the first four games. Wayne just caught his first TD last week in the midst of his 7 catch 119 yard game. Both guys could be in for a nice week coming up though against a Baltimore secondary that has been average at best.
  • The first game back from suspension for Wes Welker netted six catches for 60 yards against the tough Seahawks defense. I expect Welker to work his way back towards being a top 25 wide receiver once again and a must start, but I’m not sure this is the week. Welker faces another tough defense this week in Arizona and it could be tough to get all three big time wideouts and Julius Thomas going this week. I don’t know if Welker is a must start this week, but that time is coming.
  • A decision has been made in St. Louis and Austen Davis will continue to be the starting quarterback with Shaun Hill backing him up. In my book that’s good news for Brian Quick who is average 10 points per game so far this season with Davis under center. That doesn’t mean that if Hill were the quarterback he would struggle, but we don’t know if that same connection would be there as it is with Davis. At this point Quick is the only Rams receiver worth owning in fantasy leagues, but I do think he is very much worth owning as a nice depth and plug and play in the right matchup.
  • Trying to predict what’s going to happen with the Patriots offense is so hard to do. The only sure things as far as fantasy owners are concerned are Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski, and even Gronk isn’t what he once was. That said, Brandon LaFell bust onto the scene last week with six catches for 119 yards and a TD. Will he turn that into consistent success? There’s no way of knowing, and if I had to bet I would bet no. Still, the Pats need someone to help that offense and they may roll with the hot hand which is LaFell.

Make sure to check out all of our Week 5 rankings:

Week 5 Rankings (2014): Top 15 Defenses
Week 5 Rankings (2014): Top 15 Kickers


  1. MC says:

    So right now I have starting:
    WR: Demaryius Thomas, Dez Bryant
    RB1: Demarco Murray
    TE: Travis Kelce

    Need advice on:
    QB: Matt Stafford or Russel Wilson (opponent has Manning)
    RB2: Bishop Sankey, Taliferro, or McKinnon
    Flex: Victor Cruz, Heath Miller, or Brian Quick

    • MC says:

      I have Hilton as well but since he’s not finding any points probably not worth a start this week

      • Nick says:

        I’m no Rotoprofessor but I’d start Wilson, Sankey and Cruz. Wilson is playing a soft Washington pass defense. Also, a MNF game in SEA. Stafford is always a first option but Bills are allowing 12th fewest fantasy points to opposing QBs so far this year. Wouldn’t blame you for starting Stafford either though; being in Detroit is always good for this offense.
        Sankey is supposed to be getting much more touches according to Whisenhunt this week. Also, Cleveland has allowed 2nd most fantasy points to starting RB’s this year.
        Think you start Cruz because Atlanta can not get any pressure on the QB and looks like Giants are finally clicking over the past two games. Just a little outside input.

      • QB – For me it’s a coin flip. I may lean Stafford, only because I think he has a slightly higher upside, but I have them back-to-back on my rankings and could go either way

        RB – I would go Sankey or McKinnon, and it’s close. Like Nick said Sankey’s role is supposed to grow and he does have the better matchup, so I’d lean in that direction. The fact that the Vikings could fall behind early and go into pass mode hurts as well

        FLEX – Def. Cruz

  2. Tim says:

    Thanks in advance for your advice professor. I’m struggling with some of my starting options this week:

    TE – Cameron or Kelce
    RB2 – Asiata, Khiry or Sankey
    Flex – Garcon, Asiata, Khiry or Sankey

    I’m leaning towards Cameron, Asiata and Khiry.

    Also, am I crazy to consider dropping Carlos Hyde for Eli Manning or Bridgewater? Eli is on such a hot streak and Atlanta’s pass defense is so dreadful I would actually consider starting him over Ryan if I made the move. Also, I do not currently have a back up QB and Eli faces Indianapolis on Ryan’s bye week (week 9). Bridgewater also has a decent matchup in week 9 against the Redskins.

  3. TE – Cameron no question asked

    RB – I’m not as high on Asiata as others are this week (a post on that is coming soon). I’d actually lean Sankey for this slot, as he’s expeted to start getting a much bigger role.

    FLEX – I could go Asiata or Robinson, probably Asiata but go with your comfort.

    As for dropping Hyde for Manning, not crazy at all (nor is starting him over Ryan, especially now that Atlanta’s O-Line is a mess)

  4. S says:

    With Carson Palmer probably out for Week 5, would you considering benching Floyd for Brian Quick or Crabtree? If so, which one is a better play?

  5. T says:

    Currently 0-4 and need some advice to save any hope of pulling off a major comeback and reaching the playoffs.

    QB: Cutler/Kaepernick
    RB1: Forte
    RB2: M. Ball/Fred Jackson/McKinnon
    WR1: Cobb
    WR2: Cruz
    TE: Ertz/Vernon Davis
    Flex: B. Quick/Andre Johnson/Colston/G. Jennings/Fred Jackson/M.Ball/McKinnon

    It’s a 10 person league and I don’t think my roster is the worst in the league like my record currently is…

  6. S – I wouldn’t for Quick, but Crabtree I would use.

    T – It’s certainly not bad, but you have had some poor performance from Forte/Ball, which has likely ruined you thus far. All you can do is keep your fingers crossed and hope for the bounceback from them

  7. Dale H says:

    Marvin jones or malcome floyd moving forward. One has to go.

  8. chris says:

    cant believe im contemplating this but bortels over brady? also 1 wr and flex…. sanders, roddy, crabtree, smith sr, v jax, cj2k?


    • Crazy isn’t it? It’s actually amazingly close. I’d stick with Brady, but only by a fraction (and they are back-to-back on my rankings)

      As for the others I thnk I’d go V-Jax/Sanders. The two I would 100% not go is Roddy White & Johnson

  9. L says:

    Contemplating dropping E.Decker or M.Glennon for J.Hunter who just got put onto waivers.

    My Team:






    Packers D/ST

    What do you think? Decker’s continuing hamstring issue has be concerned that he’ll be dealing with it for the remainder of the season. Even if he’s able to start games will I be able to trust him enough to put him into my starting lineup or should I just stash someone who continues to have breakout appeal and has a healthy hamstring?

    • L says:

      oops: …has me concerned; not “be”

    • L says:

      Another thought is to pair E.Decker w/ say T.Gerhart or L.Taliaferro to see if I can make a trade for someone like C.Ivory then pick J.Hunter up off waivers.

      • I’d rather try going the trade route. When healthy Decker is a much better option than Hunter at this point (Who has shown absolutely nothing this season).

        As for Glennon, it depends on what else is out there on waivers but I am a big fan and wouldn’t be in a hurry to cut bait

  10. John says:

    Prof, I have Calvin, b Marshall, Maclin, and Benjamin for wrs. Also Sammy Watkins. I really wanna get benjamin in my lineup as I think he’ll have a monster game. But would you bench any of the guys listed for him? Planning on trading for rb depth but I’m playing against the only guy who’s reading rbs right now in our league.

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