Top 50 PPR Wide Receivers

June 28, 2014 in Fantasy Football Rankings



By Guest Writer Jack Concannon:

Wide receivers sometimes seem impossible to draft. There are so many receivers out there picking the right ones for your team can be a daunting task. Making the right picks has to be done or else you’re probably going to be in the losers’ bracket come playoff time. This list should help all owners in PPR leagues choose the right wide receivers and roll his or her way into the playoffs.

For those unfamiliar, points per reception scoring (PPR for short) is a fantasy scoring system that rewards owners not only for yardage and touchdowns but also for receptions. This extra point per reception should change everyone’s strategy as it gives receivers who rack up catches with relatively low yardage like Julian Edelman and Kendall Wright a bit of an advantage over guys who catch the ball less.

Unlike the running backs list I am only going to discuss the top twenty-five players individually. With all of that out of the way here are the top fifty wide receivers for PPR leagues this season.

 

Tier 1- A Man Among Boys

1. Calvin Johnson                  Detroit Lions

Calvin Johnson is the most prolific fantasy wide receiver in the league. Last year he missed time with various injuries and still managed to come in fourth out of all fantasy receivers in PPR. Megatron is simply the best wide receiver in the league and the best fantasy wide receiver in the league. Don’t let the new additions of Eric Ebron and Golden Tate scare you. He is definitely worth a mid first round pick.

Tier 2- The Elite (Note That If Browns Receiver Josh Gordon is not suspended he would be in the #2 slot)

2. Julio Jones                          Atlanta Falcons

3. Demaryius Thomas           Denver Broncos

4. Antonio Brown                  Pittsburgh Steelers

5. AJ Green                             Cincinnati Bengals

6. Brandon Marshall             Chicago Bears

7. Dez Bryant                         Dallas Cowboys

These six guys are likely to be second round picks come draft day and they are all worth the cost. Consistency is hard to come by for wide receivers in fantasy and these guys, for the most part, are going to give it to you. In the five games Julio Jones played last year he led the league in practically every receiving category. He is the featured weapon in the Falcons’ offense this year and should have a monster season if he stays healthy. Demaryius Thomas is Peyton Manning’s favorite target in Denver and that offense is primed for another great season. He’s definitely worth a second round pick. Antonio Brown was second in the NFL last year with 110 catches and was third in fantasy points for PPR leagues. Brown will be an even bigger part of the Steelers’ offensive plans for this year considering that both Emmanuel Sanders and Jerricho Cotchery left during free agency. This is a criminally under rated guy who is being under drafted in PPR leagues. The Bengals’ offense flows through AJ Green and he should have another top five season this year. He is one of the most trust-worthy receivers in fantasy year after year. Brandon Marshall is still Jay Cutler’s favorite target; especially in the red zone (twelve touchdowns to Alshon Jeffery’s seven). Alshon Jeffery might be young and exciting but Marshall is still the go to receiver in Chicago. Dez Bryant’s relative inconsistency last year (six games with four or less receptions) slides him down to the seventh spot. He could easily surpass this ranking next year in points but none of these other elite guys had the inconsistency Dez had.

Tier 3- Low End WR1s

8. Pierre Garcon                    Washington Redskins

9. Jordy Nelson                      Green Bay Packers

10. Andre Johnson                Houston Texans

11. Julian Edelman                New England Patriots

12. Alshon Jeffery                 Chicago Bears

13. Randall Cobb                   Green Bay Packers

14. DeSean Jackson               Washington Redskins

These seven players are all solid WR1 options and excellent WR2 options. Pierre Garcon led the NFL in targets and receptions last season and is a great play in PPR leagues. Jordy Nelson was extremely productive last year when Aaron Rodgers was healthy and is primed for another big year as long as slot man Randall Cobb doesn’t steal too many of his potential targets. Andre Johnson was second in the NFL in targets last year and although his contract disputes are a bit of a distraction for him it should be another big year for Andre Johnson. In the final six weeks of last season Player A had 31 catches on 60 targets for 588 yards and 3 touchdowns. Player B had 53 catches on 73 targets for 556 yards for 4 touchdowns. Player A is Calvin Johnson and Player B is Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman. He was obviously hot at the end of last year but his full season stats were impressive as well.  He had the fourth most receptions in football and ended the year as the fourteenth best wide receiver in fantasy. Expect for him to build off of that this year. Alshon Jeffery had a huge year last year but the scary thing about him is that he put up most of his stats when Josh McCown was playing. With McCown under center using PPR scoring Alshon Jeffery averaged 20.7 points per game but with Cutler under center with PPR he averaged only 15.9. Another concerning stat is that Jeffery had a fluky amount of his production in week 5 and week 13. He had roughly 33% of his yards for the season in those two games. Unlikely that happens again next year and that will hurt his seasonal stats greatly. Green Bay Packers slot receiver Randall Cobb is back from his injury last year and is poised for a big year. Aaron Rodgers loves throwing to Cobb and he’s definitely worth a high fourth round pick. DeSean Jackson was a deep threat in Philly and he should have the same role with Washington. RG3 recruited this guy hard over the offseason and he’s too good of an athlete to not get the ball. Garcon will eat into his production though.

Tier 4- Quality WR2 Options

15. Keenan Allen                   San Diego Chargers

16. Vincent Jackson               Tampa Bay Buccaneers

17. Larry Fitzgerald              Arizona Cardinals

18. Michael Crabtree                        San Francisco 49ers

19. Victor Cruz                      New York Giants

20. Jeremy Maclin                 Philadelphia Eagles

21. Wes Welker                     Denver Broncos

22. Reggie Wayne                 Indianapolis Colts

These guys are all going to be fourth or fifth round picks and are all solid WR2 options. Keenan Allen had a great rookie year in San Diego and has big upside going into this year. Vincent Jackson and Larry Fitzgerald are both good players but their days as WR1 options are over. The arrival of Mike Evans in Tampa is going to hurt Jackson’s value more than most people think and Fitzgerald was somewhat disappointing last year. Michael Crabtree was solid but inconsistent after his return from injury last year. San Francisco isn’t a great fantasy offense for wide receivers because Jim Harbaugh loves to spread the ball around but even still Crabtree has a lot of potential. Victor Cruz was a big disappointment last year between injuries and relatively low numbers he was not the WR1 people had to spend a high pick on in drafts. There is cause for optimism with Hakeem Nicks gone and a new running back with no experience in the Giants system being their starter and possibly hampering their run game. It could be a big bounce back year for Cruz. Jeremy Maclin is the new main target in Philly after DeSean Jackson’s move to DC and that is great for his fantasy value. Maclin isn’t the vertical threat that Jackson is but Maclin’s ability to run short routes could turn him into a PPR machine.  Wes Welker is no longer the PPR monster he once was and his injury history makes him a risky play. He’s thirty-three years old now and the acquisition of the younger, faster Emmanuel Sanders could eat into his value. He’s still a good pickup in the fifth or sixth round but he’s going to go higher in many leagues off of his name alone. Don’t fall into that trap. Reggie Wayne got hurt last year, he’s thirty-five, and now has to compete with Hakeem Nicks for targets. Nicks and TY Hilton are younger and faster and Wayne’s time is coming to end. With all of that negativity out of the way Andrew Luck does love getting Wanye the football and he retains some value for this season.

Tier 5- Young Guys With Big Potential

23. Golden Tate                     Detroit Lions

24. Percy Harvin                   Seattle Seahawks

25. Torrey Smith                   Baltimore Ravens

These three young guys are all have huge upside. Matthew Stafford has never really had a good second wide receiver before. That changed this offseason when Detroit went out and got Golden Tate as a free agent. Tate is going to have a huge year this year. He’s definitely being under drafted. Percy Harvin will be the number one receiver in Seattle this year. Seattle’s offense isn’t great for individual receivers and Harvin is a bit overrated by most fantasy analysts but he’s so dynamic that Pete Carroll is going to have to try and get him the ball. Torrey Smith proved himself as an athletic pass catcher last year and has the potential to build off of last season if the Ravens’ offense improves. The thing with these young players is they can have big upside but there is always a fair amount of downside as well. TY Harvin and Tate might not get the targets they need to be big time players but there is enough upside with both of those players to be okay with taking that risk.

That concludes my analysis of wide receivers for PPR leagues. Read on for the rest of the top fifty and check out my running back PPR rankings right here on fanspeak.com.

 

Tier 6- Boom or Bust

26. TY Hilton                                      Indianapolis Colts

27. Cordarrele Patterson                 Minnesota Vikings

28. Emmanuel Sanders                     Denver Broncos

29. Mike Wallace                               Miami Dolphins

30. Michael Floyd                              Arizona Cardinals

 

Tier 7- Potential Stars, Likely Bench Players

31. Roddy White                               Atlanta Falcons

32. Danny Amendola                                    New England Patriots

33. Anquan Boldin                            San Francisco 49ers

34. Eric Decker                                  New York Jets

35. Marques Coleston                       New Orleans Saints

36. Terrance Williams                      Dallas Cowboys

37. Kendall Wright                            Tennessee Titans

38. Sammy Watkins                          Buffalo Bills

39. Riley Cooper                                Philadelphia Eagles

 

Tier 8- Sleepers

40. Mike Evans                                  Tampa Bay Buccaneers

41. Cecil Shorts                                  Jacksonville Jaguars

42. Steve Smith                                  Baltimore Ravens

43. Hakeem Nicks                              Indianapolis Colts

44. DeAndre Hopkins                       Houston Texans

45. Greg Jennings                              Minnesota Vikings

46. Aaron Dobson                             New England Patriots

47.  Marquise Lee                             Jacksonville Jaguars

48. Kelvin Benjamin                          Carolina Panthers

49. Brandin Cooks                            New Orleans Saints

50. James Jones                                 Oakland Raiders