We are nearing the Fantasy Football playoffs, and that means the Rest of Season articles will be coming to a close shortly. I will be ranking the tight ends next week, and that will conclude the 2016 Rest of Season Fantasy Football rankings series on SCFE.
With that out of the way, I am going to review how I fared the previous two times when writing the Rest of Season Wide Receiver rankings. I did this for quarterbacks, and although I didn’t do it last week for the running backs article, I will be once again doing it this week. Like I did the first time, I am going to start with the bad picks.
In the first article, I labeled DeAndre Hopkins and Allen Robinson as wide receivers #7 and #8, respectively. Obviously, they have been huge busts this year, and I don’t blame myself too much on these two for that reason. At #9 I had Brandon Marshall, which is one I can take more blame for. I thought he was going to be great with Eric Decker out, but as you can see from my first quarterbacks article, I gave Ryan Fitzpatrick way too much credit and Marshall has stunk so far this year. I also jumped the gun on Marvin Jones by putting him at #10. Other than that, I was pretty decent for the rest of the first article, but I didn’t really make too many big mistakes in the second article.
Now onto things that I did good. I did a pretty good job tempering expectations on the Broncos wide receivers in both articles. Mike Evans did not make me look like a fool for placing him in front of Odell Beckham Jr., which I was scared might happen. I was pretty successful ranking the wide receivers in the low-20s in the second article, and I also did a good job of correcting the mistakes that I made in the first article in the second one.
So there it is, the good and bad of it. I didn’t do particularly good, but nobody is perfect and Fantasy Football is very unpredictable. This season has especially been a crazy one. Before we start the rankings, I just wanted to say that some of these rankings are against the consensus. They are purely on who I believe should be ranked where, and the rankings this week look especially weird now that the position has been so thinned out due to lack of production and injury this year. Now, let’s get into the rankings as you evaluate your roster for the upcoming playoffs that you hopefully were able to make it into.
Updated Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Rankings
No. 1: Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers
Antonio Brown is on his way to once again becoming the years top scoring Fantasy receiver. He also has gotten especially hot at the perfect time as we near the Fantasy playoffs. The Roethlisberger-Brown connection will continue to benefit both players’ stats as Brown will continue his elite production for the rest of the season.
No. 2: Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Those who believed in the Mike Evans hype before the season have to be happy with themselves right now. He has established a great connection with quarterback Jameis Winston as he had racked up Fantasy points all year. He is a high-end WR1 for the rest of the way.
No. 3: Odell Beckham Jr., New York Giants
It seems like Odell has been very inconsistent this year, but when you look at his game log it shows quite the opposite. Like Antonio Brown, he is also getting hot at the right time. He is a very valuable asset as an elite WR1.
No. 4: Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons
Julio Jones is a special player. He can score on any given play and he has a great connection with quarterback Matt Ryan. Just like in years past, he has the tendency to have a clunker of a game, but he makes up for it with his big games. He is a no-doubt WR1.
No. 5: T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts
With A.J. Green out for the year, the #5 spot is where we exit the elite tier of wide receivers. Despite not being elite, Hilton is great, and he possesses elite weekly upside. He also has received a huge boost to his consistency this year, as he was very inconsistent in the past. As long as Andrew Luck can get back on the field, Hitlon is a WR1.
No. 6: Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys
With so many injuries and disappointments at the wide receiver position, Dez Bryant has forced himself back into the WR1 tier. While most thought it would happen as long as he returned to 100% health, he has been able to even possibly exceed expectations. He has shown to have a nice connection with Dak Prescott, and that has resulted in great Fantasy production in the last five weeks. With the Cowboys offense rolling, Dez is locked in as a WR1.
No. 7: Amari Cooper, Oakland Raiders
Amari Cooper is a funny case. Although he is only a second year player, he is more of an unexciting high floor player than an electric dynamo. His floor has proven to be lower than some have thought as he has recently posted a few clunkers, but he is too talented not to bounce back soon enough. With the Raiders offense not in a funk even with the lack of production for Cooper, you can still expect WR1 production for the rest of the year from the former Alabama wide receiver.
No. 8: Jordy Nelson, Green Bay Packers
While I would prefer not to own any member of the Packers offense besides Aaron Rodgers, Jordy Nelson is still a WR1. He has the highest consistency out of the Packers deep wide receiver unit due to his red zone productivity even though his yardage has been up and down all year. While Rodgers may forget about him on occasion, he is still a WR1.
No. 9: Terrelle Pryor Sr., Cleveland Browns
Ok, I give in. I have been a little bit of a Pryor hater this year due to the revolving door that is the Browns quarterback situation, but Pryor has had a heavy workload and has been able to produce no matter who has started at quarterback. At this point, you have to consider him as a borderline WR1.
No. 10: Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals
Although Carson Palmer has been awful all year long, Fitzgerald has managed to post solid production, especially in PPR leagues. Bruce Arians and Palmer both know that the passing game has to improve in order for the Cardinals to win games, and in order to do that they will have to feed Fitz.
No. 11: Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints
Michael Thomas has emerged as the #1 option in the high-powered New Orleans passing attack, and might be the draft steal of the year for the owners who took a flier on his upside. Drew Brees constantly looks his way in the red zone, and he also has had solid yardage totals all year. He is a borderline WR1 for the rest of the season.
No. 12: Doug Baldwin, Seattle Seahawks
Last year, Russell Wilson heated up in the second half of the season and Baldwin was a huge beneficiary of this as he rose to WR1 status at the end of the year. It seemed like this was going to be the case again this year before a terrible week for the enitre Seattle offense in Week 12 against a terrible Tampa Bay defense. However, I am personally writing this week off as a fluke and expect high-end WR2 production from Baldwin in the coming weeks.
No. 13: Kelvin Benjamin, Carolina Panthers
As I word it, Kelvin Benjamin has been consistently decent all year long. However, I expect some extra production near the end of the season. Benjamin should keep up his yardage totals and be able to find the end zone a couple of times on his way to high-end WR2 production.
No. 14: Brandin Cooks, New Orleans Saints
Brandin Cooks was not targeted once in a game where the Saints scored 49 points. It’s anyones guess if this means that Cooks is dissapearing from the Saints gameplan or if he is about to explode next week. I would prefer not betting against the upside, as I will put him at #14 while labeling him as a WR3 with one of the highest upsides in all of Fantasy.
No. 15: Allen Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars
Although Robinson had a bad Week 12, his outlook had previously been trending up. There is a decent change that he bounces back, but he has dissapointed for most of the year. He is a high risk WR2.
No. 16: Michael Crabtree, Oakland Raiders
After an amzing first half of the season, Crabtree started off slow in the second half. He finally was able to bounce back in a great matchup against the Panthers, as he posted eight cathces for 110 yards. He will be a solid WR2 in the coming weeks.
No. 17: Rishard Matthews, Tennesee Titans
If you told me before the season that Rishard Matthews was going to become a reliable WR2, I woud have laughed you off. However, that is what he has done. Since Week 4, he has had a touchdown is all but two games. If he can keep finding the endzone, he will continue his WR2 production.
No. 18: Tyrell Williams, San Diego Chargers
Williams has been a pretty good find for Fantasy owners that took a shot on him after Keenan Allen’s injury. He has only had three games under 60 yards all year, and has also added five touchdowns. As long as the injury that knocked him out of the game in Week 12 doesn’t keep him sidelined, he will be a WR2.
No. 19: Jamison Crowder, Washington Redskins
Jamiso Crowder has flown under the radar while producing as a borderline WR1 with extreme consistency this year. While I don’t reccomend treating him as a WR1, his consistency and prodcution has been nothing short of awesome this year, and you could make an argument for him to be even higher on this list. He is a low-end WR2, but one that gets an added consistency boost.
No. 20: Cole Beasley, Dallas Cowboys
Cole Beasley is enjoying a breakout year this season for the Dallas Cowboys, as he took advantage of the early-season absence from Dez Bryant by establishing a solid rapport with Dak Prescott. Even with the return of Dez, Beasley’s production hasn’t faltered, as he has continued to be consistently solid. He is a low-upside, high-floor WR2/WR3/flex for the rest of the year
No. 21: Mike Wallace, Baltimore Ravens
Mike Wallace has to be the most underappreciated player in Fantasy this year. If you don’t own him, I might be the first to tell you that he is the #14 scoring reciever (not counting this week) in ESPN standard scoring. He has had a few huge games due to long touchdowns, and has also been decent in the other games. A strong connection with Joe Flacco is enough to warrant WR2 consideration for Wallace.
No. 22: Julian Edelman, New England Patriots
Although Edelman has been terrible for Fantasy owners all year, thing have been looking up in the past five games. He won’t score too often, but should hopefully be back to his high floor that he has had in past years. He is a low-end WR2 with a big boost in PPR formats.
No. 23: Donte Moncrief, Indianapolis Colts
You are lucky if you didn’t sleep on Moncrief. Since returning from injury, he has scored in every single game. While his yardage leaves a bit to be desired in those four weeks, Fantasy owners will take the points. He should be able to keep it up for the rest of the year if he continues to find the end zone.
No. 24: Demaryius Thomas, Denver Broncos
Am I the only one that really doesn’t want anything to do with the Broncos offense? I mean on most rankings that I read I see Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders both very overrated. While Thomas’ production has actually been decent, I really don’t see many reasons to be excited. He is a low-end WR2 for me.
No. 25: Brandon Marshall, New York Jets
What has happened? Most people thought that Marshall was a no-doubt WR1 once Eric Decker was place on injured reserve, but he has been awful. It is hard for me to place him much lower than this, but he carries a lot of risk for a low-end WR2.
No. 26: Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers
Who would have thought that Davante Adams would be right on par in terms of Fantasy points with Jordy Nelson before the season started? This is just another example of how crazy this Fantasy season has been. Adams has scored seven or more Fantasy points in all but three games this year, and has enjoyed great success in the red zone. While I am not confident in his floor due to the Packers deep wide receiver group, he still makes for a great WR3/flex.
No. 27: DeSean Jackson, Washington Redskins
With the Redskins offense rolling in the last couple of weeks, Jackson has been a huge beneficiary. Kirk Cousins has been able to feed the mouths of all of the hungry top three receiving options for the Redskins. While the offense will slow down eventually, Jackson’s elite upside makes for a great WR3 or flex.
No. 28: DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans
If you don’t count the players who suffered injuries, DeAndre Hopkins has probably been the biggest bust of the entire year. He carried risk due to having Brock Osweiler at quarterback, but most people thought that having Osweiler was even better than the QB situation that Hopkins had thrived in the year before. Osweiler probably has been better than what Hopkins had last year, but he has still been pretty bad, and Hopkins has suffered. He hasn’t scored since Week 5 and has only had 70 or more yards three times all year. Hopkins is so talented, so it pains me to see him post such bad stats, but that is the way it is. He is now best considered as a WR3.
No. 29: Stefon Diggs, Minnesota Vikings
This is a risky pick here. Diggs has struggled with injuries a bit this season, but has been very good when on the field. If he can return to full health, he is a solid WR3, especially in PPR leagues, but there are no guarantees that that will happen.
No. 30: Jordan Matthews, Philadelphia Eagles
Jordan Matthews, like Kelvin Benjamin, is another consistently decent player. There has been nothing spectacular, but producing 59-plus yards or a touchdown in all but one game on the year is pretty impressive. He has a solid floor, but low upside. However, he could easily reverse it and become a low floor/solid upside player by the end of the year. For lack of a better way to describe Matthews’ weird case, just consider him as a WR3
Just Missed the Cut: Randall Cobb, Emmanuel Sanders, Willie Snead, Jarvis Landry
Thank you for reading this article! Make sure to come back next week for the final edition of the Rest of Season Fantasy Football rankings as we go over the tight end position.
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