2018 Dynasty Football RankingsDynasty Football

2018 Dynasty Positional Rankings: Top 100 Wide Receivers

In the first positional rankings, we took a look at the quarterback position. In the second installment, we went over the running backs. Today we will share our rankings for wide receiver.

As mentioned previously in this series, volatility is important to understand when looking at these rankings. While the RB landscape may shift a lot up and down the list, the WR landscape will mostly see dramatic shifts the farther down the list you go. There are plenty of training camp battles, roster cuts, and even free agent signings that can–and will–create a big change in player value.

There are quite a few teams who have very interesting WR depth charts right now: the Patriots, Jaguars, Colts, Saints, Dolphins, Jets, Cowboys, Cardinals, Redskins, and Ravens all have starter-and-depth battles at the receiver position that could see some real shake-up in these rankings. Cleveland has an interesting battle for WR3 between rookie Antonio Callaway and Corey Coleman (who may or may not be on the trade block). And someone is going to add Dez Bryant. As this things play out in training camp there are players on this list that could quickly be removed (such as Kenny Britt if he became a surprise cut) or those that could be added or even moved up quite a bit (such as a Packers rookie making some noise).

As usual in this series, fellow writer Matthew Bruening and I share our consensus rankings and will follow each list with notes on players who may be more volatile or who we may see differently. We encourage you to comment below or contact us on twitter (@Mesisca and @SportsfanaticMB) because we love to talk rankings, shifts in value, and strategy. These rankings are for PPR leagues, and may mean different things to you depending on your league setup and size. If you have different league settings or starting positions and you are not sure how to adjust, ask us!

RankPlayerAgeAvg. RankMesiscaBruening
1Odell Beckham Jr.25.9111
2DeAndre Hopkins26.3222
3Antonio Brown30.2333
4Michael Thomas24.14.554
5Mike Evans25.1546
6Keenan Allen26.46.567
7Julio Jones29.6879
8Davante Adams25.78.5125
9A.J. Green30.19.5118
10Allen Robinson25.1111012
11Stefon Diggs24.812915
12Amari Cooper24.213.5819
13Tyreek Hill24.5141711
14Brandin Cooks2515.51516
15Adam Thielen28.1161814
16Jarvis Landry25.8161913
17T.Y. Hilton28.816.52310
18JuJu Smith-Schuster21.8171321
19Doug Baldwin30171420
20Josh Gordon27.4192117
21Alshon Jeffery28.6202218
22Sammy Watkins25.2221628
23Corey Davis23.7222024
24Golden Tate30.124.52722
25D.J. Moore21.4252525
26Marvin Jones28.527.52926
27Sterling Shepard25.628.53423
28Marqise Lee26.829.53227
29Demaryius Thomas30.7312636
30Will Fuller24.4342444
31Robert Woods26.4343038
32Jamison Crowder25.2343335
33Calvin Ridley23.7353634
34Cooper Kupp25.235.54229
35Devin Funchess24.3372846
36Christian Kirk21.8373143
37Chris Hogan29.938.54532
38Marquise Goodwin27.8403941
39Emmanuel Sanders31.5404040
40Michael Gallup22.541.55033
41Dez Bryant29.942.54342
42Michael Crabtree31434739
43Courtland Sutton22.943.53552
44Josh Doctson25.8455931
45Larry Fitzgerald35474450
46Robby Anderson25.3474945
47Anthony Miller23.947.54847
48Chris Godwin22.549.53762
49Kenny Golladay24.9504159
50Corey Coleman24.2513864
51Paul Richardson26.451.54657
52Dede Westbrook24.851.57330
53Mike Williams23.9525153
54DeVante Parker25.654.55356
55Kelvin Benjamin27.6565755
56Nelson Agholor25.3566448
57Jordy Nelson33.3566151
58Cameron Meredith26586749
59Martavis Bryant26.758.56354
60Kenny Stills26.459.55267
61John Ross23.861.56261
62Randall Cobb28.1625470
63Rishard Matthews28.964.57158
64Dante Pettis22.965.56665
65Keelan Cole25.4677460
66Tyler Lockett26685581
67James Washington22.470.57071
68Zay Jones23.573.57869
69Mohamed Sanu29.174.56584
70D.J. Chark2274.58366
71DeSean Jackson31.8758763
72Allen Hurns26.875.55893
73Antonio Callaway21.7767676
74Tyrell Williams26.6767775
75Terrelle Pryor29.276.57974
76Malcolm Mitchell25.176.58568
77Jordan Matthews26.2776886
78Julian Edelman32.378.556101
79Pierre Garcon32.180.560101
80Ted Ginn Jr.33.480.58972
81Curtis Samuel22.1818082
82Deon Cain22.1828183
83Taywan Taylor23.582.57590
84John Brown28.482.58679
85Tre'Quan Smith22.7837294
86Donte Moncrief25.18569101
87Keke Coutee21.786.58291
88Mack Hollins258710173
89Josh Reynolds23.690.510180
90Quincy Enunwa26.392.584101
91Tyler Boyd23.892.59392
92ArDarius Stewart24.89310185
93Kenny Britt3094.588101
94DaeSean Hamilton23.595.590101
95J'Mon Moore23.395.591100
96Willie Snead25.995.59596
97Albert Wilson26.296.592101
98Chad Williams23.997.594101
99Daurice Fountain22.7989799
100Equanimeous St. Brown22989997

Additional Commentary
Mesisca Notes

Doug Baldwin, SEA

In recent years, Doug Baldwin’s speed, age, height, weight, prospect hype (lack thereof), and fantasy consistency have garnered comparisons to Antonio Brown. Both came from nowhere (AB was a 6th round pick, and Baldwin went undrafted) and emerged as the WR1 for their teams in their fourth seasons (though Brown was much more productive as a WR2 and after he broke out). And just as Antonio Brown is considered very safe and trustworthy in dynasty, so too should Doug Baldwin (even if his volume is lower).

The second comparison to Doug Baldwin will be a blind comparison with Player A. Player A, just two months older than Baldwin, was the top WR drafted (4th overall) in the same season that Baldwin went undrafted. Player A has always been a stud, having never had a season with less than 100 targets in his 7-year career. The talent gap has recently closed, and over the last three seasons, Player A has averaged 5.4 Receptions, 80 yards, and 0.52 TD per game with a 61% catch rate. Good for 16.52 PPG (PPR). Baldwin, over the same three years, has averaged 5.3 Receptions, 68 yards, and 0.62 TD per game with a 72% catch rate. That gives him 15.82 PPG. Doug Baldwin has also only missed one game over the past four seasons, while Player A, A.J. Green, has missed nine.

So what is the point? Despite being a couple months younger than both, Doug Baldwin is being discounted dramatically more than the other two players. The Seahawks vacated 176 targets (including 37 red zone targets) this offseason and have replaced Graham and Richardson with 34-year-old Brandon Marshall. The PPR redraft average draft position of those players are as follows. Brown: WR1, Green: WR8, and Baldwin: WR10. Here is their ADP in dynasty: Brown: WR3 (-2), Green: WR9 (-1), and Baldwin: WR18 (-8). Either we are not discounting AB and A.J. Green enough for their age, or we are not giving Doug Baldwin the credit he deserves after three straight seasons of finishing in the top 12 WR. I put Baldwin ahead of the industry and ADP at WR14.

Sammy Watkins, KC

This had to happen. There had to be a discussion about the most polarizing wide receiver in dynasty. Just take a look at the FantasyPros dynasty rankings and you will see he has the highest standard deviation of any WR ranked in the top 25. I am still team Sammy, and not only do the Chiefs believe in him (they made him the fourth highest paid WR in the NFL), but they will have a new-look offense with Patrick Mahomes behind center. Mahomes is a big-armed gunslinger and likes to throw into tight windows. While Tyreek Hill is a big playmaker, there is little doubt Watkins is the much superior outside receiver and red zone threat.

Watkins was under-utilized in Los Angeles, despite his effectiveness: although he was only targeted on 11.8% of the team’s total passing attempts in the red zone, he was the most efficient in the entire league- he caught 7 of 10 targets, all for scores. For comparison, Davante Adams saw 23 red zone targets (34.8% of Green Bay’s red zone targets) and scored just six touchdowns. Watkins has never had the opportunity to completely shine, but now on a powerful offense with a good coach, team commitment, and a strong armed QB, the time is now for Watkins to deliver a career season.

Chris Godwin/DeSean Jackson, TB

Last season marked the beginning of the end of DeSean Jackson as a truly relevant fantasy receiver. The upside is gone (he maxed out at 18.4 points last year), but he does provide some small value off the bench (he managed seven 10+ PPR performances). The biggest concern, aside from age, is the potential emergence of Chris Godwin; offensive coordinator Todd Monken hyped Godwin up earlier this offseason, saying “He’s earned the right to be a starter.”

Between the projected number of two-TE sets (featuring Howard and Brate), and Adam Humphries set as the short term slot receiver, look for Godwin to steal time from Jackson or to push him into the slot. The Buccaneers have incentive to give Godwin the targets in favor of both Humphries and Jackson, because both could easily be in their last season with the Bucs. Jackson is set to make $0 in guaranteed money next season and could be cut with no dead cap hit.

The lesson here is that Chris Godwin, a former third-round pick, may not ever be this cheap for some time. The upside and talent are there, and he is a big value this offseason.

Tre’Quan Smith, NO

The Saints had gone seven straight seasons finishing in the top four in pass attempts. Breaking up that streak was last season when they fell to 18th. The offense ran through Ingram and Kamara and the Saints were able to do massive damage on the ground through efficient running (Kamara led the league in yards per rush attempt and Ingram was eighth). This does not mean the Saints have become a running team but rather that Saints offense was so good last season (on both sides of the ball) that they didn’t have to pass as much as usual.

Tre’Quan Smith was drafted at the end of the third round into a receiving core that already seemed set. “Where can Smith fit” will be the question the Saints try to figure out as much as dynasty owners will try to project. While Cameron Meredith was a good signing, he appears to be headed for some slot work. That leaves 33-year-old Ted Ginn ahead of Smith for the WR2 job. It would not be crazy to see Smith push for snaps early and eventually overtake Ginn this season. But don’t count on him to be fantasy relevant until next season- anything earlier would be a bonus.

The notable talents for Smith go beyond deep balls (19.8 yards per reception as a Senior at UCF). At 6’1″, he has an 80 3/8″ wingspan- monstrous for that height and larger than DeAndre Hopkins. He could shape up to be strong on 50/50 balls and become a reliable red zone target for Brees and the Saints. Smith is a rookie that I want as many dynasty shares of as I can get before his price go up.

Additional Commentary
Bruening Notes

Davante Adams, GB

I have Adams as a top-five wide receiver for two reasons. First, he’s a great receiver who’s been coming on over the past two years. In 2016 he jumped to 75 receptions for 997 yards and 12 touchdowns. In 2017 he had 74 receptions for 885 yards and 10 touchdowns. He also missed two games due to injuries and left a third early due to a concussive hit received in the second quarter. Second, he’ll be catching balls from Aaron Rodgers again. His growth last season came with back up QB Hundley, so Adams being the unquestioned WR1 with Rodgers under center can only mean improvements. when Rodgers trusts you he feeds you all game long- just ask Jordy Nelson. Adams has no serious competition in that wide receiver corp (I don’t think those rookies are a threat), and the only thing that will slow down Adams this year is injury.

Tyreek Hill, KC

Tyreek Hill was considered one of the ultimate boom-or-bust players the past two years, but I think last year Hill proved what he can be when he has a QB willing to throw him the deep ball. He now has a QB in Patrick Mahomes who not only loves to throw the ball deep but excels at it. Hill finished second last year in catching deep balls with 54.2%. He may still be boom-or-bust, but with Mahomes he has a chance to be a legit top-ten WR moving forward.

Sterling Shepard, NYG

Shepard struggled through injuries last year, which was disappointing because after OBJ went down many wanted to see what he could do as a WR1. The Giants offense is loaded coming into 2018, and I think Shepard will be constantly overlooked. Even struggling and injured, he finished last year with a 71% catch rate. Shepard should thrive in the slot with most of the outside attention being paid to OBJ, then most teams will likely play a CB or DB on Engram. I could see Barkley stealing some of Shepard’s short area work, but as down as his stock is right now he has a chance to finish as a WR2 next year.

Cooper Kupp, LAR

Jared Goff’s favorite target with another offseason to work together; need I say more? Watkins is gone which likely means more attention will be paid to Robert Woods, their best wide receiver last year. Kupp should dominate the short game and I think will take some of the targets Gurley got last year.

Michael Gallup, DAL

Already the best wide receiver the Cowboys have, Gallup will likely start off as their number two and quickly rise to the top spot. Dak could limit him due to his poor deep-ball accuracy, though Dak has admitted he’s trying to improve that aspect of his game. Even if Gallup doesn’t thrive this year, he’s going to be their best receiver. If Zeke continues to dominate on the ground it will leave Gallup open on the outside and this kid can fly.

Josh Doctson, WAS

Doctson was one of the hardest players for me to rank. Though he has obviously disappointed in his first two years in the league he still has top-tier skills. It typically takes three to four years for wide receivers to breakout; we’ve been spoiled in the past with the recent greats. For my money, he’s the most talented WR on their depth chart, though I do think his skill set is similar to Paul Richardson. My biggest concern for Doctson is his QB: Alex Smith. If you take a deep dive in Smith’s “stats” they compare favorably to Kirk Cousins. Smith needs to continue to throw the deep ball to keep Doctson relevant. I’ll bet on the upside for Doctson and this finally being his year he breaks into a fantasy relevant wide receiver

Dede Westbrook, JAX

Westbrook is in what some might consider a loaded WR corps, and I feel Westbrook is the second best WR in the group. I think he likely plays in the slot for the Jags, hopefully making it easy for Blake Bortles to throw him accurate passes. Westbrook also has the vertical tools to play on the outside, though that is where the depth chart starts to become crowded. Regardless, I believe in his talent and his ability to play, let’s not forget he was a Heisman finalist just two years ago.

Jordy Nelson, OAK

I know that right now you’re seeing Jordy Nelson in “high on,” and you must be thinking “what’s wrong with that guy.” Hear me out though. Nelson struggled last year playing with Brett Hundley, who couldn’t hit water falling out of a boat (he finished 23rd among QBs last year with a 60.8 completion percentage).  Derek Carr is better than Brett Hundley. Further, Nelson will play second fiddle to Amari Cooper, which should help him get the better matchups all over the field and become a real red zone threat. He’s bigger than Cooper and has proven he’s got better hands. While I don’t see Nelson gaining more yards than Cooper, he will outscore him in the touchdown category. This is likely going to be his last relevant year though, so once he seems to return to form use him as long as you can and sell high.

Amari Cooper, OAK

Cooper has been struggling to catch the ball for the past two years, which is kind of important in his line of work. In 2015 his catch percentage was 55.4%, and it jumped to a decent 62.9% in 2016. However, in 2017 it came back down to 50.0%. Many pundits will say he just had a bad year but I believe the aberration was his 2016 year. While Cooper did have the most touchdowns of his career last year (seven), his receiving yards went down by almost half. The addition of Jordy Nelson will reduce his possible touchdowns, as Jordy is bigger and has shown to have better hands (his worse year of catch percentage being 60.2%) so he’ll get more targets in the red zone. I still believe Amari Cooper is a top WR, but I rank him in the mid-tier of WR2 rather than a top tier WR where most seem to value him.

Sammy Watkins, KC

Watkins will be joining his second new team in two years. Watkins had a decent scoring season last year, putting up eight touchdowns (just one below his career-high). Besides an injury-shortened 2016, 2017 was his worst year for receptions and yards. What worries me about Watkins this year is he joins an offense with a more explosive weapon in Hill. While Watkins could possibly thrive in the WR2 role, Andy Reid’s offenses have typically failed to produce multiple relevant WRs. Hill is far more explosive and will likely command more downfield threats. If Watkins can play more short and intermediate routes he might be fantasy relevant. For his price and the questions around both him and his offense, I would steer clear.

Will Fuller, HOU

Will Fuller had an absolutely dominant four weeks last season. However, fantasy is played through a 16-week season. Watson should be back healthy this year which could help Fuller. However, as of now, their offensive line is still not great. He plays opposite the best WR in fantasy in DeAndre Hopkins who will get the lion share of targets. Keke Coutee was drafted and will likely move into the slot wide receiver role, which should get most of the short area targets (with no real TE in sight). That will leave Fuller with one role: deep burner on the outside, which should drop his catch rate down from the 56.6% he snagged in 2017. While I do think Fuller will still be a viable fantasy asset I think he’ll be more boom-or-bust than a consistent contributor. In my opinion, it will be a toss-up when to start him, but if you choose the right week he might just win you the week.

Corey Coleman, CLE

Corey Coleman showed brilliant flashes in college, and on a smaller scale in the NFL. If Coleman is given a chance and can stay healthy I think he’ll be the perfect compliment to Josh Gordon and Jarvis Landry. That will also be part of his problem: for the first time in a very long time, the Cleveland Browns offense is loaded. Competing with Gordon, Landry, Njoku, Johnson Jr., and Antonio Callaway (who I consider the best wide receiver in the 2018 draft). If Coleman is traded to a WR-needy team I think his value sky-rockets, but until then I don’t see him being more of a WR3-4.

The Author

Matt Mesisca

Matt Mesisca

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