RankingsJune 3, 2013

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Dynasty Tier Breakdown: Wide Receivers - 3 comments

By Stever

This week, we will bring our focus to wide receivers. These dynasty rankings are intended for 0.5 PPR dynasty leagues.

Tier 1
1. Calvin Johnson, DET
2. Dez Bryant, DAL
3. A.J. Green, CIN
4. Julio Jones, ATL
5. Percy Harvin, SEA
6. Brandon Marshall, CHI
7. Demaryius Thomas, DEN

Calvin Johnson was 36 yards short of 2,000 last year. He is in a class by himself at only 27 years old, right in the middle of the prime of his career. The light finally clicked for Dez Bryant last season. He compiled 1,382 yards on 92 receptions for 12 touchdowns as a 24-year-old. Bryant will continue to establish himself as one of the most physically dominant wide receivers in the game. Third-year wide receiver A.J. Green improved upon his rookie numbers during his sophomore campaign. Fellow third-year wideout Julio Jones also had a solid season last year. It certainly will be fun to watch the growth of both Green and Jones in their third season. One of the biggest story-lines of the off-season was the Seahawks’ trade for Percy Harvin. With a substantial upgrade from Christian Ponder to Russell Wilson, Harvin’s upside is tremendous. Brandon Marshall had a fantastic season, putting up his sixth 1,000 yard campaign in his seven-year career. Even though Marshall is 29, he has plenty of elite years left. Demaryius Thomas had a brilliant year with Peyton Manning under center, but with the addition of Wes Welker, Thomas may struggle to reach last years totals soon. Furthermore, Manning is not the long-term quarterback for Thomas.

Tier 2
8. Randall Cobb, GB
9. Victor Cruz, NYG
10. Hakeem Nicks, NYG
11. Larry Fitzgerald, ARI
12. Vincent Jackson, TB
13. Roddy White, ATL

At 22, Randall Cobb emerged in a Packers offense that was without Greg Jennings for most of the season. Cobb is a threat to reach 100 catches with Aaron Rodgers at quarterback. After bursting onto the scene in 2011, Cruz followed it up with another 1,000-yard season. He should lock up a long-term deal with the Giants before the season begins. Another possible free agent after the season for the Giants, Hakeem Nicks, has struggled to stay healthy; however, when he is on the field, he can put up top-five numbers. One of the biggest disappointments of the 2012 season was Larry Fitzgerald. While he is unlikely to put up top-five numbers, he is a good wide receiver to target. Vincent Jackson had a career high in both receptions and yards in his first season out of San Diego. Even though he is 30, Jackson has a solid chance to finish in the top ten for two-to-three more seasons. Roddy White is as consistent as it gets. He has put up six straight 1,100-yard seasons in a row, and it does not look like he will stop anytime soon.

Tier 3
14. Dwayne Bowe, KC
15. Jordy Nelson, GB
16. Michael Crabtree, SF
17. Andre Johnson, HOU
18. Mike Wallace, MIA

With Alex Smith and Andy Reid in Kansas City, Dwayne Bowe’s future looks brighter. While he probably will not reach 15 touchdowns like he did in 2010, he should set career highs in both receptions and yards. Jordy Nelson struggled to stay healthy after his breakout campaign in 2011. Look for him to have a rebound season. Once Colin Kaepernick took over at quarterback, Michael Crabtree exploded for his first 1,000 yard year. Many had him as a top wide receiver going into 2013, but he suffered a full Achilles tear in OTAs. He will be a non-factor for fantasy owners this season; however, he should come back and be a reliable WR2. Andre Johnson caught 112 balls for 1,598 yards last season. There is reason for concern due to his age and health. One of the big-name free agents this offseason, Mike Wallace is one of the league’s best deep-ball threats but lacks PPR upside.

Tier 4
19. Torrey Smith, BAL
20. Pierre Garcon, WAS
21. Tavon Austin, STL
22. Antonio Brown, PIT
23. Justin Blackmon, JAX
24. Marques Colston, NO
25. Wes Welker, DEN
26. Eric Decker, DEN
27. Greg Jennings, MIN
28. Danny Amendola, NE

Without Anquan Boldin, Torrey Smith becomes the go-to wide receiver in Baltimore. When on the field, Garcon put up impressive numbers during his first season in Washington; however, he only played ten games. Rookie Tavon Austin has an electrifying skill set. He should be used like Percy Harvin and Randall Cobb in the Rams’ offense. The main concern with Austin is his height. Antonio Brown needs to step in as Pittsburgh’s number one receiver with Wallace gone. Justin Blackmon is one mistake away from a full-year suspension, but if he is able to stay out of trouble, he can put up low-end WR1 numbers. One of the most underrated wide receivers in dynasty, Marques Colston has a high floor but a low ceiling. Now part of arguably the league’s best wide receiver group, Wes Welker is unlikely to top 100 receptions. Welker’s teammate Eric Decker had an impressive third year, but he will lose some targets to Welker. Greg Jennings went from the Packers to the Vikings, which will limit his upside. He should still see plenty of targets though. Danny Amendola has struggled to stay healthy but has plenty of potential in the Patriots offense.

Tier 5
29. Kenny Britt, TEN
30. Josh Gordon, CLE
31. DeAndre Hopkins, HOU
32. Cecil Shorts, JAX
33. Jeremy Maclin, PHI
34. Cordarrelle Patterson, MIN
35. Reggie Wayne, IND

Entering his contract year, Kenny Britt has WR2 potential, but he has plenty of question marks surrounding him. In Norv Tuner’s offense, Gordon should have a break-out year. Rookie DeAndre Hopkins will be the starter opposite Andre Johnson this season. Despite poor quarterback play, Cecil Shorts had an impressive performance with 55 receptions for 979 yards in 14 games. Multiple concussions are a concern for Shorts. Jeremy Maclin has yet to go over 1,000 yards in a season during his four-year career. First-round pick Cordarrelle Patterson has plenty of upside, but it will take time to reach it. Reggie Wayne, 34, does not have much left in the tank. He is a good buy candidate for contending dynasty teams though.

Tier 6
36. T.Y. Hilton, IND
37. Michael Floyd, ARZ
38. Mike Williams, TB
39. Keenan Allen, SD
40. Kendall Wright, TEN
41. Danario Alexander, SD
42. Miles Austin, DAL
43. James Jones, GB
44. Steve Smith, CAR

Second-year wideout T.Y. Hilton has plenty of upside with Andrew Luck at the helm. Michael Floyd should improve upon his rookie season with Carson Palmer at quarterback. Mike Williams does not have much upside; however, he should continue to put up good numbers with Vincent Jackson on the opposite side of the field. Despite sliding down draft boards, Keenan Allen landed in a good situation. He needs to stay healthy in order to reach his full potential. Kendall Wright had a good rookie season, and he looks to be the future at wide receiver for the Titans. Danario Alexander should continue to be the starter in San Diego, but he is a huge injury risk. Overshadowed by Dez Bryant, Miles Austin lacks upside. James Jones reached 14 touchdowns last season, which will drop this year, but he should see a slight increase in targets. Steve Smith is still the number one option for Cam Newton. He just turned 34 though, so his production will start to decrease soon.

Tier 7
45. DeSean Jackson, PHI
46. Markus Wheaton, PIT
47. Brian Quick, STL
48. Denarius Moore, OAK
49. Sidney Rice, SEA
50. Emmanuel Sanders, PIT

With Chip Kelly in Philadelphia, DeSean Jackson becomes intriguing, but he has been inconsistent throughout his career. Markus Wheaton should step in as the number-three wide receiver for the Steelers. I expect him to have a slow start to his rookie season. Brian Quick will look to break out in his second season in the National Football League. Denarius Moore struggled in his sophomore campaign. The Seahawks’ run-heavy offense limits Sidney Rice’s upside. Emmanuel Sanders will be the Steelers’ number-two wide receiver this season. He could walk next off-season, but I expect the Steelers to lock him up.

Stever is one of a growing number of fantasy experts who write for the Cafe. You can catch up with Stever in the Cafe's forums where he posts under the name of 11stever11
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3 Responses to “Dynasty Tier Breakdown: Wide Receivers”

  1. jhawk613 says:

    We’re talking dynasty right?

    Alshon Jeffery and Rueben Randle >>> Shorts, Allen, Wheaton, Quick, Rice. I also like both of them more long-term than Patterson, Williams, Austin or Moore.

    just my 2 cents…

  2. User avatar joejlitz says:

    Where is Stevie Johnson?

  3. User avatar 11stever11 says:

    Sorry, I must have forgotten about him when I was putting the rankings together. I would put him near the top of tier 5. He has put up three straight 1,000 yard seasons together, but I do not think he has much upside.


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