Top 10 Fantasy Receivers of 2013
Draft guide and Fantasy Outlook
Its almost football season again, which means thousands of fantasy football drafts are happening every day. With the Wide Receiver position being so deep this season, it can be hard to know when to pull the trigger on an elite WR and when to wait it out. This is a guide to the top 10 fantasy wideouts in the NFL, and where you should select them come draft day.
1.Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions
2012: 122 Receptions, 1,964 yards, 5 TD
Calvin Johnson dazzled again in 2012 and was the most productive fantasy wideout in the NFL for the second year running. He managed this despite being tackled inside the 5-yard line six times during the season, stunting his touchdown totals. After amassing a mind-boggling 1900+ yards receiving last year, "Megatron" established himself as the best of his era and is the only receiver worth using a first round pick on. If he's still around pick 8 or later, you should draft him no questions asked!
"Megatron" 2012 Highlights
2.Brandon Marshall,Chicago Bears
2012: 118 Receptions 1,508 yards , 11 TD
Even after a stellar 2012 campaign, some mock drafts have had Brandon Marshall fall to the fourth or fifth receiver selected. Savvy fantasy owners, on the other hand, are in a prime position to pick up the second best fantasy wideout in the late second or third round. The Chicago offense went through Marshall more often than not in 2012 and his numbers show it-he accummulated more receptions in 2012 than all other Chicago wideouts combined.
Brandon Marshall 2012 Highlights
3. A.J. Green-Cincinnatti Bengals
2012: 97 Receptions, 1,350 Yards, 11 TD
Nickname:AJ for Adriel Jeremiah
AJ Green is a big play waiting to happen. The Cincinnatti Bengals are contenders for the first time in years, and Green is the most explosive player in the offense. He demonstrated this last year with a bevvy of highlight-reel plays on his way to his 1300+ yard 10+ TD season. Green should be even better this season with a second year of experience under his belt. Green is a solid second round pick, don't count on him slipping to the third!
AJ Green 2012 Highlights
4.Dez Bryant-Dallas Cowboys
2012: 92 Receptions, 1,382 Yards, 12 TD
Nickname:Dez for Desmond
After failing to reach 1,000 yards receiving in his first two seasons, in 2012 Dez Bryant showed the rest of the NFL that all the hype he had coming out of college wasn't for nothing. His rare combination of size (6'2", 220 lbs) and speed make him difficult to cover in between the hashes or over the top. I think Bryant will top 1,500 yards this season with around ten touchdowns. I would draft him in the second or third round when available.
Dez Bryant 2012 Highlights
5.Andre Johnson-Buffalo Bills
2012: 112 Receptions, 1,598 Yards, 4 TD
Andre Johnson, once fantasy football's most coveted receiver, has fallen a few spots on the totem pole despite having an excellent 2012 campaign in terms of volume. In fact, he posted a career high in receiving yards with nearly 1600. While he may not be quite as explosive as his younger days, at 32 years of age he is still a force to be reckoned with and a top tier player for the WR1 position. Johnson is nicknamed "The Natural" for his unique football instincts and pure athleticism. Andre Johnson is 32 years old, and likewise you should grab him in the 3rd or 2nd round if he is available.
"The Natural" Andre Johnson 2012 Highlights
6.Demaryius Thomas, Denver Broncos
2012:94 Receptions, 1434 Yards, 10 TD
Demaryius Thomas is Peyton Manning's number 1 target. This fact alone would make any receiver a strong fantasy option. Combine that with that fact that Thomas is a 6'3" 235 lb receiver who can run the 40 yard dash in 4.38 seconds, and you've got a fantasy star. He would be higher on the list but Denver acquired slot specialist Wes Welker this offseason so he will get his share of targets from Peyton Manning. Even still, I see Thomas as a lock for 1,400 yds 8 TDs in 2013. I wouldn't reach for him in the second round, but he is a star WR1 and great 3rd round addition.
Demaryius Thomas 2012 Highlights
7.Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons
2012: 79 Receptions, 1198 Yards, 10TD
The Atlanta Falcons have one of the most prolific pass offenses in the NFL. Matt Ryan's wheels and deals to the trio of defensive backs nightmares: Julio Jones, Roddy White, and future Hall of Fame inductee Tony Gonzalez. Julio Jones is the certainly the brightest of the three fantasy gems. He has a knack for finding the endzone in red zone situations, but he will alo pleasantly surprise you with 40+ yard scoring plays. Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez will get their fair share of targets, and the Falcons acquired Steven Jackson in the offseason, so don't draft Jones before the third round. If you can get him middle to late third round, he should return good fantasy value as a WR1.
Julio Jones 2012 Highlights
8.Randall Cobb, Green Bay Packers
2012:105 Receptions, 1,329 Yards, 9 TD
At only 22 years of age, Randall Cobb is the youngest wideout on the list. Green Bay lines him up outside, in the slot, or even in the backfield(he had 132 yards rushing in 2012). He even returns kicks. Aaron Rodgers will throw for over 5,000 yards, so I could see a lot of yardage piling up for Cobb in 2013. Cobb is only 5'10", but as you can see from the video below he packs big playmaking ability. If you draft Running Backs early, you can select Cobb in the third or fourth round to be a consistent producer as a WR1.
Randall Cobb 2012 Highlights
9.Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals
2012: 71 Receptions, 798 Yards, 4 TD
It's safe to say Larry FItzgerald had a bad year in 2012. Arizona saw multiple quarterback changes, and one of the best wide receivers in the league suffered from shoddy quarterback play most of the season. 2013, however, is a whole new year. The Cardinals brought in gunslinger Carson Palmer, and he should help bring Fitzgeralds numbers back up to par. Remember, LJ has had 4 seasons of 1,400 yards plus. Fitzgerald is slipping in some drafts due to his unproductive season last year, but be clever and grab him late third or early fourth to reap the benefits later.
Larry Fitzgerald Highlights
10.Roddy White, Atlanta Falcons
2012: 92 Receptions, 1,351 Yards, 7 TD
Roddy White is going to put up another big year while hauling in passes from Matt Ryan. Although I believe Jones will be the better wideout this year, Roddy White will still put up WR1 numbers. His stats regress, but he is still a lock for 1,000 yds and 7+ TDs. Draft him in the fourth if you decided to bolster other positions early.
All statistics are accurate and courtesy of NFL.com.