Fantasy Advice

My "Too Early" and "Overthought" 2014 Wide Receiver Rankings

By April 1, 2014No Comments

If you’re not in a PPR league I’m begging you to not go wide receiver crazy in the early rounds. Look I can’t blame you for taking Calvin Johnson, the guys an animal. However outside of him I think the position is extremely deep which means you’re going to have so many other positions you can fill early.

Let's say you can grab two running backs and snag Josh Gordon on the backswing of round 3. If you're not smiling at the thought of that I'm not sure what to say. I guess your loss. There's talent to be found as the rounds roll on.

Don't pass on the running back you'll need to trade for later in the season.

2014 Fantasy Advice

I've given you my top 30 guys and provided some insight on why I ranked them where I did. It's easy to nitpick and many of these guys can be swapped with some of the other names near them. Take a look and see what you think. I'm pretty sure I got the first rank right.

1. Calvin Johnson

  • How can you not love Calvin. Guy’s a beast and the best weapon they have in Detroit. Should be the first WR off the board in every draft.

2. Demaryius Thomas

  • When you have Peyton Manning throwing the ball your way you’re living the dream. Look for Thomas to have another great season with Peyton under center.

3. A.J. Green

  • Green has shown that he can perform in practically any situation. Andy Dalton loves to look his way and will do so often during 2014.

4. Dez Bryant

  • I mentioned how much I loved this guy in my quarterbacks to watch article because I’m expecting a monster year from Tony Romo. The pieces are in place. It’s time for Dez to show his full potential.

5. Brandon Marshall

  • Jay Cutler simply can’t get enough of Brandon Marshall. He’ll blindly throw the ball his way and Marshall almost always makes a play. Expect that to continue in 2014.

6. Josh Gordon

  • Josh Gordon had a breakout season in 2013 and theres a chance it may continue in 2014. I’m weary to put too much stock into one season but he proved that regardless of the quarterback he can make plays. I expect a better QB to be at the helm this season.

7. Alshon Jeffery

  • He’s no Brandon Marshall but thats okay. Jay Cutler still seems to love him stretching the field deep. It’s not crazy to expect two to 10 WR’s from the Bears in 2014.

8. Julio Jones

  • Ranking Julio at 8 is more a hedge towards what he might become. Injuries have plagued his career so far and he also loses the security blanket of Tony Gonzalez. It’s too early to tell how much that might impact him.

9. Jordy Nelson

  • Aaron Rodgers is back and he’s healthy. He’s going to look to Jordy often, which means lots of fantasy points. He’s a top 10 WR.

10. Antonio Brown

  • I love Brown even more for PPR leagues as he showed last year that he can be a beast. I think Brown has a relatively low ceiling but also a pretty high floor. I wouldn’t expect him to finish any higher than the 8th best WR. I think he’s an overall safe pick.

11. Randall Cobb

  • See Jordy Nelson.

12. Pierre Garcon

  • As of now he’s still the top guy in Washington. It’s rumored that DeSean Jackson may land there. Until then Pierre is going to continue to see a ton of targets from RGIII. In PPR leagues Garcon may slide even higher.

13. Wes Welker

  • Welker is an interesting guy. By now we all know what he’s capable of and where he’s used best. Peyton clearly values him and uses him as a safety blanket. He’ll get his fair share of looks in a crowded Denver offense.

14. Vincent Jackson

  • Josh McCown is going to be just fine in Tampa. He’ll look to Vincent Jackson often and Jackson will continue to do what we’ve come to expect. He has a history of being a big play guy and then disappearing. We’ll see if he bucks the trend in 2014.

15. Keenan Allen

  • Keenan Allen exploded onto the scene last year in San Diego and helped bring Philip Rivers back to life. I expect him to repeat his performance from last year and to keep growing. He’s a guy to keep your eye on.

16. Andre Johnson

  • As of now we don’t know who the Texans starter is going to be. That’s a bit worrisome. Andre Johnson will demand the ball from whoever is throwing it but he’s also been injury prone. I’d be okay with him as my #2.

17. Victor Cruz

  • What a year a difference can make. In 2012 Victor Cruz was on fire. He disappointed owners in 2013 with dismal performance after dismal performance. You have to hope he’ll bounce back in 2014.

18. Roddy White

  • Roddy just wasn’t the Roddy we were used to in 2013. He was injured for a lot of it and he hurt owners who expected big things. If both Julio and him can stay healthy I expect them both to have a good 2014.

19. Larry Fitzgerald

  • It’s time we stop looking at Larry as a top 10 WR. He’s an unbelievable talent no doubt. However when it comes to fantasy he just isn’t the monster you’ve always hoped he would be. He’s a borderline #2 WR.

20. Percy Harvin

  • We saw very little of Percy Harvin in 2013, but when we did he was electrifying. What keeps him ranked at 20 is the fact that his performances were on special teams and not as a WR. That impacts his value any way you slice it.

21. Michael Crabtree

  • Crabtree seemed to develop a great bond with Colin Kap in 2013 and I expect it to continue in 2014. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him rise up the ranks in the coming months.

22. T.Y. Hilton

  • I don’t believe that Trent Richardson is the answer to the Colts RB woes which means they’ll be throwing the ball a ton in 2014. Even with Reggie Wayne returning healthy I expect Hilton to put up numbers worthy of a #2 WR.

23. Jeremy Maclin

  • The Eagles just lost DeSean Jackson, which could actually be a positive for Maclin. It could mean more looks coming his way. I’m not worried about coverage being shifted his way. Defenses will have their hands full trying to handle Sproles, Maclin, McCoy and Cooper.

24. Kendall Wright

  • He’s the number one reciever in an offense that I’m not sure what to make of. If Jake Locker can stay healthy (he’s shown some flashes of talent when he is) I think Wright can have a good season. Especially as your #3 WR.

25. Cordarrelle Patterson

  • This guy has got speed. I know being on the Vikings isn’t exactly ideal right now but I believe Norv Turner can turn him into a star…. I mean at least a borderline fantasy starter. Keep your eye on this guy.

26. Emmanuel Sanders

  • He’s in the Denver offense and has Peyton Manning throwing the ball his way. Can’t be too unhappy with that.

27. Eric Decker

  • I don’t love that he’s now in New York. He’s the number one guy but he’s also the only guy. I’m confident the Jets will add another WR in the draft. We’ll have to see how much attention he can take away from Decker. I also don’t buy that Vick stays the starter. Which in turn means I don’t trust Geno throwing him the ball.

28. Julian Edelman

  • Tom Brady ain’t what he used to be but he’s still pretty damn good. Edelman is his go to and his security blanket. Look for him to stay heavily involved in the offense. With Gronk’s and Amendola’s injury history you have to think Edelman will get more looks as the season goes on.

29. Torrey Smith

  • Torrey Smith may fall down these ranks in the coming months. The Ravens running back situation isn’t pretty with Ray Rice smacking his now wife around and they just added Steve Smith. Steve Smith isn’t what he used to be but he’s going to take some looks away from someone. That someone may be Torrey Smith.

30. Marques Colston

  • Colston is one of those guys who always manages to disappoint. He’ll have big games that are completely unpredictable and you can never truly trust him. But in the end he’s Drew Bree’s #1 WR. This is more a testament to Brees than Colston. We’ll see what the two can do this offseason.

You can see my rankings for my top 50 receivers here.

2014 Fantasy Wide Receiver Rankings

It isn’t demonstrated here because this isn’t an overall ranking but wide receiver is crazy deep in 2014. I felt the same way in 2013 and there proved to be a lot of value in later rounds. Of course getting an elite guy is what everyone wants but don’t force yourself into a pick you don’t truly love. There’s plenty of wide receivers to go around. Now running backs are another story…

Did I miss someone you thought was worthy of the top 30? Don't fret. My rankings aren't perfect. I'd love to hear what you'd change and why. It's easy to just throw out a name. Justify why you'd do it and we'll share your personal ranks.

Nick Schreck