Get Ready for Fantasy Football 2014 (WRs)

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2014 Fantasy Football Rankings

Part 3 of our 4 part series includes our initial Fantasy Football 2014 wide receiver rankings. In a traditional snake style draft, the top five wide receivers can be taken interchangeably in round 3. Even though Calvin is still ranked #1, there isn’t much of a difference between any players in the top 5. Overall, the position is deep. Even if you don’t get one of the pre-season elite WRs, there’s plenty of talent throughout. The top 5 are elite due to their talent, speed, size, QB and system. All of which amount to tons of opportunities for targets, catches and touchdowns.

WR

  1. Calvin Johnson-Det. Calvin remains in his prime and has a QB that likes to chuck the ball in the air a lot. He’s big, fast and can make plays against any corner in the league. While Johnson’s targets and catches were down a bit last year, he made up for it by increasing his touchdowns from 5 to 12.
  2. Demaryius Thomas-Den. Thomas is the most talented receiver on the Broncos. As long as Manning is running the offense, he will produce fantastic numbers once again. Just like the four ahead of him, Thomas is a big target and runs well after the catch. He’ll have plenty of opportunities for a big 2014.  
  3. Dez Bryant-Dal. There are few WRs in the league that can match Bryant’s athletic ability, strength, size and hands. He’s a big play waiting to happen, but can disappear for halves at a time. The Cowboys are going to throw the ball 500 times in 2014, but we’d like to see a bit more consistency our of Bryant. Having said that, he’s a top 10 lock.
  4. Julio Jones-Atl. Julio is similar in physical ability to Calvin, but was sidelined with a foot injury part way through the season. Until the injury, Julio was the best wide out in the NFL. Look for him to dominate in 2014.
  5. Antonio Brown-Pit. Many fantasy fans don’t realize that Antonio Brown finished in the top three among fantasy wide receivers in most scoring formats last year. He posted 110 receptions and nearly 1500 yards. He doesn’t get the same publicity as Calvin or AJ Green, but equally as talented. Brown is a bit smaller, but is very elusive after the catch.  I expect Big Ben and A. Brown to hook up many more times this season – enough to finish in the top 10 once again.
  6. Brandon Marshall-Chi. Marshall had a great season last year despite losing Cutler for a handful of games midseason. Cutler will be back and healthy this year and with another year in Trestman’s system, they’ll produce top fantasy numbers. Even with the emergences of Jeffery, I expect 100 catches and double-digit touchdowns once again.
  7. A.J. Green-Cin. Green once again posted excellent stats, catching nearly 100 passes and reaching the end zone 11 times last year. Look for similar numbers this year. Let’s hope Dalton can continue to improve as a QB. If your league rewards bonus points for length of touchdowns, Green will pay dividends with his long-ball catching ability. (A really great book, loaded with excellent draft strategies, is Sam Hendrick’s book, Fantasy Football Tips. Read my review here.)Fantasy Football 2014
  8. Jordy Nelson-GB. We like talented wide receivers paired up with stud QBs and Jordy is the man in Green Bay. Many were scared off last year with pre-season news of a slight injury. Jordy proved that the injury was indeed minor and finished in the top 15 fantasy wide outs. If it weren’t for a Rodgers injury, Nelson would have been top 10. He will get plenty of targets in the Packers potent offense.
  9. Keenan Allen-SD. Where did Keenan Allen come from? Injuries to multiple Chargers opened the door for Allen and he made the most of it. He went from waiver wire to WR1/2 in just a few short weeks. He’s a great value as a WR2 in 2014 and may even suffice as a WR1.
  10. Alshon Jeffery-Chi. Alshon Jeffery is another exciting player to watch. His stock is quickly rising. He looks the part of a Julio Jones in a Chicago uniform. He had double-digit targets 5 times in 2013 and totaled over 1,400 yards. Keep in mind that Cutler tends to favor Marshall a bit more than McCown, who really lit it up with Jeffery. Nonetheless, he has top 10 talent in is pushing WR1 territory.
  11. Pierre Garcon-Was.
  12. Randall Cobb-GB. I’ll admit that I ate up the hype surrounding the talented Cobb last season, but even before the nasty knee injury, Cobb was a little bit inconsistent. In 2014, I’m targeting Cobb as a WR2 for the fact that the Packers have so many weapons. The departure of James Jones helps Cobb, but there will be plenty of targets going to Nelson and Boykin, not to mention Eddie Lacy getting his share.
  13. Roddy White-Atl.
  14. Vincent Jackson-TB. VJax is a bit like Dez Bryant, but in a less prolific offense. He has decent chemistry with Glennon, but we don’t know what the Bucs offense will look like in 2014. VJax won’t be elite, but should post solid WR2 numbers.
  15. Cordell Patterson-Min. The Vikings are going to feature this 2nd year player a lot.
  16. Floyd – Arz
  17. Julian Edelman-NE.
  18. Victor Cruz – NYG
  19. DeSean Jackson-Was. There are rumors swirling that Jackson could be moved in the offseason, but until that happens, he’s the #1 target for newcomer Nick Foles. Jackson is small, but has big play ability and can score from anywhere on the field.
  20. Larry Fitzgerald-Arz
  21. Andre Johnson-Hou.
  22. T.Y. Hilton-Ind.
  23. Jermey Maclin – Phi
  24. Percy Harvin – Sea

Fantast Football Advice

It’s a good feeling following the draft having picked at least one elite WR on your roster, but there’s lots of depth in the position. There’s little difference between the top 5 and not much drop-off thereafter. Furthermore, a stud WR emerges from the waiver wire undrafted nearly every year (see Keenan Allen, Alshon Jeffery, Josh Gordon).

Look for receivers that will get tons of targets in a pass happy system, such as Denver, Detroit, New England, Green Bay, and Dallas. Find those number one receivers that catch passes from the elite quarterbacks. Be cautious of teams that spread the ball around too much like New Orleans. Drew Brees is awesome, but he seldom targets just one receiver.

As draft day nears, participate in multiple Fantasy football mock draft. This experience will sharpen your drafting skills better than all the fantasy football rankings lists that you can read.

For a complete list of our top 60 WR rankings, click here.

Fantasy Life: The Outrageous, Uplifting, and Heartbreaking World of Fantasy Sports from the Guy Who's Lived It

Fantasy Life: The Outrageous, Uplifting, and Heartbreaking World of Fantasy Sports from the Guy Who’s Lived It

I hope you’ve enjoyed our 2014 fantasy football rankings. Please check out the tight end rankings coming soon!

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