2014 Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Rankings… or, Tiers, Not Fears

Stay Golden—-Photo Credit: Mike Morris

“Tiers, Not Fears” is a series on the (worth discussing) fantasy football positions. Players are in rank order, but are grouped in tiers with players who are very close in value. Whether drafting or doing an auction, having your positions organized in tiers helps you to decide during your draft/auction if you need to strike on a positional need, or if you can afford to wait a round or two before filling a position.

The wide receiver position is my favorite to use on your mom. It also makes for a pretty deep play… like your mom. Yet while people are quick to label the WR position as “deep,” it’s really not as packed as it seems.

Most standard fantasy leagues use at least three WR spots and one flex spot. Considering how weak and inconsistent the RB and TE pools are, it’s fair to say that most owners in a fantasy league are starting four WRs a week (or at least pondering whether or not to start that WR at the flex… either way, they are in play when a fantasy owner is making weekly decisions). That makes 48 WRs in a 12-team league. Have you looked at the players available around then? What about the guys after who figure to gobble up roster spots as depth. Sure there are some potential diamonds in the rough, but at that stage of the game, you are looking at the likes of Hakeem Nicks, Cecil Shorts, and Steve Smith as players with the highest floors. Welcome to Yikers Island.

It is important to draft smart at the position. Yes it’s the second easiest position to draft (after QBs), but that’s only because the other spots have a ton of land-mines. Coming out of a draft or auction with only two or even three reliable WRs could be the difference between yielding a top team and struggling to make the playoffs.

Fortunately, your boy Stats McGillicutty gotcha covered. Below is a guide to maneuver safely around the position. Read it. Use it. Recite it when you are making sweet, sweet love to your companion. Shout it at your companion afterwards to show them who’s boss. Sing it to yourself in the shower. Bask in its glory. Wallow in its splendor. DIE FOR IT.

Rankings bitch!

The Fortune-Fetching Finaglers
1. Calvin Johnson
2. Demaryius Thomas
3. A.J. Green
4. Dez Bryant
These guys are the tits when it comes to the fantasy WR heap. Of course, you better be ready to pay a handsome fee to land their services.

There’s really not much to add to the Calvin Johnson story. Dude is the best WR on the planet and I think the Lions have actually developed a supporting cast capable of taking some of the attention away from Megatron. If you told me that I had to pick one player at the position capable of 2,000 yards, Johnson would be a no-hesitation choice for me.

Though Megatron is king of the hill, that doesn’t make Demaryius Thomas a lesser player. They are in the same tier for a reason. Well, maybe a few reasons. 92 catches, 1,430 yards, and 14 TDs last year are pretty good reasons. His rapport with Peyton Manning is undeniable, and he could have even more red-zone looks opened up to him with Eric Decker gone.

The Bengals will be a more run-oriented offense in 2014, but A.J. Green will still get his. He sees a lot of deep targets, tallied double-digit TDs each of the last two years, and topped 1,400 yards in 2013. It’s easy to forget that Green is one of the more dominant players in the sport since there are a few top-flight WRs in fantasy these days, but he brings week-to-week consistency with the ability to win your matchup in any given week.

With 25 TDs over the last two years, Dez Bryant has established himself as one of the more TD-friendly WRs in fantasy. The addition of OC Scott Linehan (who helped Detroit become one of the most pass-happy offenses in football) should help his production, which already was elite before Linehan ever got there (over 90 catches and 1,200 yards each of the last two seasons).

The “Costly, But Bossy” Bosses
5. Brandon Marshall
6. Antonio Brown
7. Julio Jones
8. Jordy Nelson
9. Alshon Jeffery
Any of these dudes will make a fine WR1 on your fantasy team, but while they won’t be quite as pricey as the top four options, they will still cost you a second or early third round pick.

Marshall Law no long runs uncontested now that Alshon Jeffery is in the mix, but that doesn’t mean the YAC-hog will suddenly fall off. Marshall had over 100 catches for the second year in a row in 2013, and that was with Jeffery firmly involved in the offense and with no Jay Cutler for a quarter of the games. Marshall has also hit double-digit TDs in each of the last two years. While Jeffery’s presence hardly means the end of terrific numbers for Marshall, it is the only thing keeping him out of the top tier, as the 100 grabs and 1,295 yards in 2013 are right around his ceiling.

Though he doesn’t have the explosive ability that some of his elite peers possess, Antonio Brown is still one of the premier fantasy WRs. That’s because he’s Ben Roethlisberger’s favorite target in a pass offense that looked very good last year, and figures to be even better in 2013. OC Todd Haley is working his third year with the Steelers, and while the team made leaps in acclimating to the quick-hitting offense in 2013, they seem poised to master it this season (the team is talking about going no-huddle more often). That’s great news for Brown, who is coming off a banner year (110 catches, 1,499 yards, and eight TDs). While it’s tough to imagine Brown eclipsing his receptions/yards numbers from last year, he should at least come pretty damn close as the best player in Pittsburgh’s receiving corps.

There really isn’t much of a discount coming for Julio Jones, who is coming off his second fractured foot in his playing career. He’s being taken in the early second round in leagues, so the room for profit is razor-thin. That said, he came off the first foot injury playing at an elite level, so there’s no reason to think he can’t do it again (and all indications are that he’s feeling 100-percent). Atlanta is a pass-first offense that will be feeding the ball often to Jones, especially with Tony Gonzalez retired and Roddy White aging and coming off an injury-marred season. I’m comfortable with Jones at his current ADP.

Somewhat injury-prone, Jordy Nelson entered the 2013 season with question marks about how good a fantasy option he really was. Well, he put that shit to bed with a dynamite campaign (85 catches, 1,314 yards, eight TDs). Keep in mind that he only had Aaron Rodgers for nine games, so his numbers could’ve been even better. Nelson is the clear-cut top WR in Green Bay’s passing game and is a deep threat who can also use his size to catch balls in the red zone.

Even with Brandon Marshall in town, Alshon Jeffery still managed 89 catches for 1,421 yards last year. Clearly, there are enough passes to go around in Marc Trestman’s offense, so I wouldn’t worry about Jeffery not getting enough targets. In fact, having Marshall helps a lot as it opens up single coverage and the outside lanes for Jeffery (who is a better pure outside receiver and deep threat than Marshall).

The “Bit Of A Risk” Renegades
10. Michael Floyd
11. Keenan Allen
12. Randall Cobb
13. Vincent Jackson
14. Victor Cruz
15. Michael Crabtree
16. DeSean Jackson
17. Mike Wallace
18. Torrey Smith
19. Larry Fitzgerald
20. Golden Tate
21. Roddy White
This group has a ton of talent and upside, but each of these players has a flaw or too that keeps them out of the top two tiers.

Michael Floyd and Larry Fitzgerald are two top-flight talents playing in Bruce Arians’ creative pass-heavy offense. I think both should have quality seasons, but Floyd gets the edge in terms of overall fantasy value for me. Floyd really gelled in this offense as the year went on and is a smart WR who uses his size to get over on his opponents. While Fitzgerald is arguably the more talented receiver with insane body control and hands, he’s had some trouble fully adjusting to the Arians style of moving veteran receivers all around the field. I do think Fitz will be better in Year Two with Arians as he gets more comfortable with the offense, and considering he tallied 10 TDs and 954 yards last year, that could mean a solid return on the draft day investment. Still, he just doesn’t have the burst he used to and with Michael Floyd emerging as the top target in Arizona, Fitz is stuck as an upside-laden WR2, while Floyd has a firm grip on WR1 value.

With precise route running and great hands, Keenan Allen enjoyed one of the greatest rookie seasons ever by a WR last year (71 catches, 1,046 yards, eight TDs). Unfortunately, I think last year was pretty close to his ceiling. Don’t get it twisted, he’s the lead option in a passing game that thrived last season and should avoid a sophomore slump thanks to his ability to get open and his rapport with Philip Rivers. That said, Allen should face a lot more defensive attention in 2014. On top of that, he isn’t an explosive player. Talent-wise, he’s really just in the mold of a Stevie Johnson. Not to say that Stevie J sucks, but neither he nor Allen has game-breaking speed or athleticism. They are just super smart WRs that know how to get open (albeit Allen has way better hands). Despite all this, I do think Allen should put up another fine campaign. Just don’t expect him to make a giant leap with his production from last year.

Though Jordy Nelson is Aaron Rodgers’ favorite receiver, he’s not his most talented. That title belongs to Randall Cobb, who combines game-changing speed with an ability to beat teams in a number of ways. Green Bay has smartly maximized the use of Cobb’s talents, lining him up all over the field to create matchup headaches for opposing defenses. Cobb isn’t without his warts. He drops more passes than you’d like, doesn’t see a lot of downfield targets, and is coming off a broken leg. Still, the week-to-week upside of a freak like Cobb cannot be understated. He’s a guy you love to have on your fantasy team.

It doesn’t matter who is quarterbacking the Bucs, Vincent Jackson always finds a way to get his. Despite having atrocious QB play during his two years in Tampa Bay, he’s managed to rock over 70 catches and 1,200 yards each season. No one will mistake Josh McCown for Dolph Lundgren (wait, yes they will), but he looks like a better bet than any of the signal-callers V-Jax has had to carry. The Bucs also added Mike Evans and have an improved coaching staff in place. I don’t think Evans will really cut into Jackson’s value, but he should help take some of the heat off Jackson. He carries some boom-or-bust tendencies, but Jackson is still a player I have no problem slotting into my WR1 hole (though I’d like him much more as a WR2).

The Giants are going to a more horizontal passing game with an emphasis on short, high-percentage throws. That sounds right up Victor Cruz’s alley. Cruz works inside and is adept at turning quick passes into big gains with his quickness and route running. He’s also proven a reliable red-zone target for Eli Manning despite being undersized (19 TDs over two years prior to down season in ’13). 80-plus catches and over 1,200 yards is in play.

The 49ers have no shortage of options to go to, and that does put a cap on Michael Crabtree’s upside. The fact that San Francisco is a run-first offense also doesn’t help. Yet I feel confident that Crabtree will be a top 15 WR in 2014. He’s over the Achilles issue that wrecked his 2013 season and has shown a strong connection with Colin Kaepernick in the past (eight TDs and 880 yards in ten games together in 2012). Crabtree is a legit no. 1 WR with size and playmaking ability. A full, healthy season could yield tremendous results and he’s coming at a very reasonable price.

Now in Washington, DeSean Jackson is part of formidable one-two deep-threat punch with Pierre Garcon. Robert Griffin III throws a strong, accurate deep ball, so the potential is there for D-Jax to put up an elite season. The rub? He’s a one-dimensional player who is injury prone and has a habit of disappearing at times if he isn’t making plays downfield. He’ll certainly win you some weeks on his own, but he’ll also come up short every now and then.

It sucks that Ryan Tannehill has a hard time connecting with Mike Wallace downfield. That’s really the only thing keeping Mike Wallace from entering the WR1 conversation. With a new offense in place, Wallace is expected to be moved around the field as the team tries to take advantage of his skill-set (he has the wheels to turn a short pass into a long play). Fortunately, the rest of the weapons in Miami’s passing game are shit, so Wallace should dominate targets. If he and Tannehill can just connect on even just a few more deep passes this year, it could really help make Wallace a nice value pick in fantasy drafts.

A bit of a one-dimensional deep play receiver, Torrey Smith has the propensity to go missing from the box score on Sundays. That said, at the end of the season, he should still get his (1,128 yards and 65 catches despite a down year from his QB in 2013). The good news is that Joe Flacco is looking a lot better heading into 2014, and that should mean better numbers across the board for the passing game. I do think that the arrival of  Steve Smith and the return of Dennis Pitta will put a dent in Smith’s targets, while the run-first approach of new OC Gary Kubiak should keep Baltimore’s passing game in check. Still, Smith has game-breaking ability, and if the strong-armed Flacco bounces back, we could see a banner campaign from the Ravens WR.

For the second year in a row, Golden Tate lands on my ranks as one of the better values at WR. Last year, I had him ranked as the 21st WR in fantasy (he wound up landing at 28 in Yahoo! standard leagues). It was a never a question about talent. Dude is a playmaker who is danger with the ball in his hands. The problem for him in Seattle was that the Seahawks never threw it enough. Now in a pass-first offense, Tate should put up quality WR2 numbers playing opposite Calvin Johnson.

The 2013 season was a rough one for Roddy White, who battled injuries throughout the year. At age 32 and as the obvious no. 2 WR behind Julio Jones, it would be foolish to expect White to recapture his production from the glory years in Atlanta. Fortunately, the Falcons are still a pass-first offense and with Tony Gonzalez out of the picture, there could be a couple more targets (particularly in the red zone) thrown White’s way than people expect. He’s gone too early for my blood in some leagues, but if you can catch him in the fifth or sixth round, that is perfectly reasonable.

The “Could Be Great” Generals
22. Pierre Garcon
23. Jeremy Maclin

24. Andre Johnson
25. T.Y. Hilton
26. Percy Harvin
27. Terrance Williams
28. Cordarrelle Patterson
29. Marques Colston
30. Emmanuel Sanders

31. Reggie Wayne
Oh there is potential here, great potential. Yet there is also some uncertainty involving all of these wide receivers’ roles coming into the 2014 season.

With D-Jax in town, you have to think that Garcon’s targets will get cut into. Fortunately, Garcon is a more versatile WR than D-Jax (who operates mostly as a pure outside runner) and I think his rapport with RGIII is strong enough for him to maintain WR2 value entering the 2014 season. He has been injury-prone in the past, but if Garcon stays on the field, I see no reason he can’t top 1,100 yards again.

Speaking of DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin is expected to pick up where D-Jax left off in Chip Kelly’s offense. After missing the 2013 season with an ACL tear, Maclin said he actually feels “faster” after the rehab process. Of course, he’s missed the first two preseason games and there seem to be mixed reports on how healthy Maclin truly is entering the season. The oft-injured WR definitely carries some risk, but if he can be healthy and productive, he could really be a tremendous bargain at his current ADP.

It seems as though Andre Johnson gets his no matter what is going on with Houston’s offense, but you have to be legitimately concerned about his 2014 ceiling. He has to learn a new playbook, will be pushed by DeAndre Hopkins for targets, is 33 years old, and now has Ryan Fitzpatrick as his QB.   Johnson has the lure of coming off back-to-back 100 catch/1,400-plus yard seasons, but he’s more of a low-end WR2/high-end WR3 coming into this season.

T.Y. Hilton is the most talented receiver in Indy’s group. Reggie Wayne is coming off a torn ACL and Hakeem Nicks is a shell of his former self, which theoretically should open things up for T.Y. Hilton, for his part, has done a great job improving his game during the offseason and seems poised to take a step forward in his third NFL season. He’s got game-breaking talent and can break a game open at any time. He won’t dominate the targets on his team, but the Colts are expected to throw it a ton, and he should get enough work to put up quality fantasy numbers (albeit with some boom-or-bust combustibility).

Although he is arguably the most dangerous player with the ball in his hands in the NFL, Percy Harvin definitely carries a fair amount of risk. Most of it is attached to his injury-prone history, but the fact that he’s on a run-first offense also hurts his value. I’m sure the Seahawks will make an effort to get the ball in his hands and you figure he’ll get around 10 touches a game. That might be enough for him to be a draft day gem in terms of investment value, but it’s also possible he gets hurt or doesn’t get enough action to make a huge fantasy impact. Consider him an upside-laden WR3 and a somewhat risky weekly WR2.

Playing opposite Dez Bryant should open up plenty of single coverage for Terrance Williams, and he certainly has the size and speed to be a breakout WR in 2014. He’ll have to improve on his route running, which was sub-par at best in his rookie season. Fortunately, Dallas will throw it often and with Dez and Jason Witten commanding a lot of attention, Williams should have opportune targets come his way. His ADP is very fair considering the potential payoff.

The Vikings are lacking offensive weapons after Adrian Peterson, so of course Cordarrelle Patterson will be force-fed touches. Yet with an ADP that has him going in the top 20 amongst WRs, you are essentially paying for his ceiling off the bat. The Vikings are a run-based offense and will have underwhelming QB play no matter who is starting. On top of that, Patterson is a poor route runner who will need superb touch-manufacturing in order to make him an effective fantasy option.

The Saints always spread it around, but Marques Colston keeps finding a way to stay fantasy relevant. He had 943 yards and five scores in a down year in 2013, but is still the no. 2 option behind Jimmy Graham in a pass-heavy offense. Health always seems to be an issue with Colston, but he’ll be counted on to have a big role if he can stay on the field. New Orleans is relying on second-year WR Kenny Stills and rookie wideout Brandin Cooks to fill in for the reliable vets that New Orleans has finally let walk. Colston’s long-time rapport with Drew Brees should come in very handy this season, and it’s possible a 1,100-plus yard and eight TD season is in play (barring health of course).

It sounds like Emmanuel Sanders is fitting in well in Denver’s offense, and he could be draft day steal in fantasy. He can play in the slot or outside, and the argument can be made that he offers more upside than Wes Welker (who is dealing with concussion issues). Sanders has been bothered by a thigh injury in camp, and has a history of leg ailments over his pro career. Oh yeah, he’s also (at best) the third option on his team in the passing game (although the Broncos figure to throw it a ton and Peyton Manning is so good that even the third guy in the pecking order can do work).

35 and coming off a torn ACL, Reggie Wayne is lucky as hell that Andrew Luck loves throwing to him. The tide figures to turn in T.Y. Hilton’s favor in terms of the Colts WR food chain, but Wayne is not someone who should be counted out. A notorious workaholic when it comes to his preparation, Wayne has put on a clinic in camp and looks ready to handle a starting role. Hakeem Nicks will command some targets, but Wayne should still be out there for the majority of offensive snaps. He makes for a solid draft day buy as a steady WR3.

Mister Sleepy’s Gunk-In-Yo-Eye Sleepers
32. Rueben Randle
33. Kelvin Benjamin

34. Julian Edelman
35. Justin Hunter
36. Wes Welker
37. Markus Wheaton
38. DeAndre Hopkins
39. Kendall Wright
40. Kenny Stills
41. Mike Evans
42. Jordan Matthews
43. Andrew Hawkins
These are tempting sleepers who have major upside. Their floors? Lower than an old lady’s flesh-melons. Welcome to Sleeper-Town, where dudes you love on draft day make lifelong memories of glory, or turn into stupid whores who take you for every spiritual penny.

The Giants have only one legitimate big target in the passing game: Rueben Randle. Sure New York is going with a shorter passing game that will benefit the skill-sets of Victor Cruz and Odell Beckham,  but the team will still need a red zone and outside target who can spread the offense. Randle is coming in at a very solid price in fantasy leagues, and he’s the type of player who can develop into a reliable WR2 (so long as Eli Manning isn’t a corpse again this season… fingers crossed).

After a receiving corps makeover in Carolina, Kelvin Benjamin is the horse to own in the passing game for fantasy purposes. A big receiver with an innate ability to catch anything thrown near him, he carries the promise of a legit WR1 with big-time red zone promise. He should command a lot of targets thanks to the team’s weak receiving corps, but as a rookie WR, it’s asking a lot for him to be anything more than a WR3. He’s not a burner by any means, and if teams make it a point to stop Benjamin, he’s they type of player that could get shut down easily.

Coming off a 105-catch season, Julian Edelman still has to prove to fantasy owners that he’s legit. He’s coming at a very affordable rate despite his breakout 2013 campaign, and there’s good reason. Rob Gronkowski should dominate the targets once he’s on the field, and the Patriots receiving corps (although full of questions marks) has enough bodies for Tom Brady to comfortably go to whoever is most open on a given play. Danny Amendola, specifically, could usurp some of Edelman’s snaps as they have similar skill-sets and Amendola was the team’s big free-agent signing last year (so if he can prove healthy and familiar with New England’s playbook, you have to imagine he’ll be more of a factor in the passing game). Fortunately, Brady and Edelman’s connection has remained strong through camp and the preseason, so the Pats WR shouldn’t be a forgotten man in the offense. That said, expecting him to be anything more than a WR3 in fantasy is wishful thinking.

Quickly going from sleeper to legit WR3 in the eyes of many fantasy owners, Justin Hunter’s draft day price keeps rising. He’s looked tremendous in the preseason and certainly has the speed and athleticism to be a great fantasy wideout. New Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt also knows how to run an offense, so Hunter should be plenty involved as the most talented WR in Tennessee. Of course, Jake Locker is a borderline NFL quarterback and Hunton is only playing in three-wide sets so far, meaning he is far from a lock to put up consistent fantasy numbers. Still, this has all the makings of a breakout, so unless the price gets really out of hand in your league, he’s a nice player to take a chance on.

Though he scored 10 TDs last year, you can’t really call Wes Welker’s first season with Peyton Manning a success (778 yards and he took a back seat in the offense as the year wore on). Now he’s 33 years old and is looking like a potential place-holder in the Broncos offense (the team acquired Emmanuel Sanders who is looking like the heir to the slot role). On top of that, Welker suffered a concussion in the preseason and considering he had two of those in 2013, it’s possible he’ll miss a lot of time in 2014. There’s hope that the departure of Eric Decker will open up some targets for Welker, who could conceivably have improved chemistry with Manning in Year Two with this offense. You shouldn’t go into the season with high expectations, but it’s possible he’ll provide a draft day profit if he has a bigger role in the offense and can stay on the field.

The Steelers have a dynamic passing game in place, and with Emmanuel Sanders gone, Markus Wheaton could be in for a breakout season. Wheaton’s biggest asset is his speed, and he can turn a short pass into a big gain with it. He didn’t look very comfortable in his rookie year (just six catches in 12 games), but because he’s being thrust into the starting lineup, I’m willing to overlook last season’s adjustment to the pros. If Wheaton still proves too raw to trust, he could become waiver wire fodder by the middle of the season, but considering the fair price on the ADP, I’m comfortable investing.

DeAndre Hopkins has the sure hands, playmaking ability, and red-zone prowess to be a WR2 in fantasy. The problem is that the Texans offense will handicap his upside this season. As mentioned with Andre Johnson, Houston is a run-first team that has a weak-armed QB, so the passing game in general looks weak. While Hopkins has reportedly generated a strong on-field bond with Ryan Fitzpatrick, Johnson still figures to lead the team in targets. I like Hopkins more as a flex option than a WR3, but he does have the talent to turn in a draft day profit, even in an offense that can’t allow him to reach his full potential.

Ken Whisenhunt’s offensive chops keep “Ken Doll” Wright fantasy relevant, even if his deep ball connection with Jake Locker blows. The Whiz figures to stretch the field more than the Titans have during Wright’s time in Tennessee, which makes Justin Hunter and Nate Washington better fits for the offense. Wright also has low TD upside (six over two NFL seasons). That said, Wright can still be a useful fantasy piece. A quick little guy with burst after the catch, he’s expected to line up all over the field for the Titans this year. I think he’s still the best bet to lead the team in targets, although not by as much as he did last year.

The Saints are hoping Year Two Kenny Stills steps up and becomes a key figure in their passing game. Stills has the sure hands and break-neck speed to be a deadly fantasy option. Yet with the way Drew Brees spreads the ball around, Stills also carries some risk. At best, he’ll be the no. 3 option behind Jimmy Graham and Marques Colston. Considering how many eyes rookie Brandin Cooks is opening, it’s possible Stills will have to share targets with him as well. Additionally, he has been bothered by a quad issue all camp/preseason and may enter the regular season at less than 100 percent. He has a high ceiling and a low floor, but if he can build on his rapport with Brees from last year, he could be one of more profitable draft day purchases in fantasy.

The addition of Mike Evans gives the Bucs two big targets for Josh McCown to throw the rock to, and since he had a lot of success with that model in Chicago last year, there is hope that Mike Evans makes a fantasy impact Year One in the NFL. Evans has red-zone chops and has been compared to players like Brandon Marshall and his own teammate Vincent Jackson. And yet, he’s a rookie who is not particularly polished in the finer points of the wideout position. The upside of 1,000-plus yards and nine TDs exists, but it’s also possible that he plays a clear second fiddle to V-Jax while putting up solid (but not spectacular) flex spot numbers.

With Jeremy Maclin looking somewhat risky and Riley Cooper, well, pretty wack, the opportunity exists for Jordan Matthews to be the most valuable Eagles WR in fantasy. Size (and good speed for it), sure hands, and proper route-running ability are what Matthews brings to the table. He’s a rookie and the team figures to spread it around if all their receivers (TEs included) are healthy, but Matthews has a legitimate chance to shine in this question-mark riddled WR corp.

Explosive with the ball in his hands and looking at a lot of work if Josh Gordon is suspended, Andrew Hawkins is someone who can provide some draft day bang-for-yo-buck. He’s explosive when the ball is in his hands, and should see a lot of targets thanks to Cleveland’s weak WR corps. Jordan Cameron will lead the team in targets and the Browns are a run-first offense, but Hawkins is still intriguing enough to be owned in all 12-team leagues.

The Necessary Evils
44. Brandin Cooks
45. Jarrett Boykin
46. Kenny Britt
47. Sammy Watkins
48. Charles Johnson
49. Dwayne Bowe
50. Anquan Boldin
51. Eric Decker
52. Malcom Floyd
53. Riley Cooper
54. Hakeem
At this stage of the draft, you are looking for players who are guaranteed to have some sort of stable role with their offense. There’s no point in going over the pros and cons of each of these players, they are essentially roster filler with some modest week-to-week upside. At best, they can turn out to be WR3 material. Who knows, maybe one of them can even erupt for a WR2 type of season.

The “Bathroom Break” Brigade 
55. Danny Amendola
56. Marqise Lee
57. Odell Beckham

58. Marvin Jones
59. Steve Smith
60. Doug Baldwin
61. Tavon Austin

62. Brian Hartline
63. Miles Austin
64. James Jones
65. Brandon LaFell
66. Stevie Johnson

67. Stephen Hill
68. Greg Jennings
69. Chris Givens
70. Santonio Holmes

71. Andre Holmes
72. Robert Woods
73. Rod Streater

74. Cecil Shorts
75. Aaron Dobson

There are deep sleepers in this tier and it’s possible some of these guys will provide lightning in a bottle, even if it’s not over the entire course of the season. Just try not to get too excited over the prospect of owning Rod Streater.

*Last updated 8/24/14.


About Starbonell

Starbonell is the co-founder of Sons of Roto and one of the most insightful and colorful fantasy analysts in the game. Mixing intelligent and well-researched advice with an entertaining style of writing that is easy to digest, Starbonell is the king of info-tainment.