The beauty of fantasy football rankings are that they are subjective. Just because I have someone at number 1 doesn't mean you have to like it or have the guy inside your top 10. What it does mean is that there is room for healthy debate.
My top ten wide receivers for fantasy football in 2014 aren't solely based on gut feelings and random choices. I pulled some hard facts and numbers to support what I have to share. I don't want to be known as the careless guy who simply shoots from the hip. I gave these serious thought, and quite frankly I think there is a lot of room for debate.
You should care about my take on the top 10 for one simple reason: you may not agree with my picks, but odds are someone else out there does. The numbers and facts I've pulled don't lie - some of these guys have great upside. My ranks give you the chance to see into the mind of some of your potential opponents as well as pull some facts that may just help you come draft day.
If you completely agree with the way my top-10 below I'd be floored. Actually I'd be slightly concerned. Make sure to read not only my fantasy football rankings but also other experts' across the industry, as most of these guys will give you different opinions.
The Top Fantasy Wide Receivers of 2014
Below I've broken down my top 10 fantasy wide receivers so far for 2014. As we move closer to draft day there might be some slight changes, but overall I stand behind my ranks. You'll see a bunch of stats below, many of which came from pro football focus research.
I also do a decent amount of projecting out for players that didn't perform or play all of 2013. I will say that projecting a players stats for an entire season is a dangerous game to play, but hell I'm feeling like taking a risk.
1. Calvin Johnson
Offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi isn’t going to call plays like Scott Linehan did while he was there. However he does come from a pass heavy offense in New Orleans and he’ll continue to feed the leagues top receiver. Golden Tate and Eric Ebron should help increase Calvin’s efficiency and Lombardi’s history with quarterbacks should help Stafford improve even more. Look for Calvin Johnson to have another incredible fantasy season in 2014.
2. Dez Bryant
Scott Linehan has a history with good receivers. He worked with Randy Moss in Minnesota, Torry Holt in St. Louis and Calvin in Detroit. Not he gets Dez while he’s in a contract year while only 25 years of age. The Cowboys offense had trouble breaking Dez free from defenses in 2013, however Linehan has had success in getting his #1 receivers the ball. Over the past 5 years his offenses have finished 6th, 3rd, 1st, 1st, 5th in pass attempts. With a defense with holes everywhere, there will be plenty of passes to go around.
Don't be surprised if Dez finishes as the top wide receiver in fantasy football for 2014. He has the tools and the right offense around him, it's time to see if he can measure up.
3. Demaryius Thomas
Thomas is 26 and the most talented WR Peyton has played with. His touchdown total could rise for a 5th straight year with Peyton at the helm (especially without Decker). Thomas is absolutely dominant after the catch with great speed. He’s a red-zone threat with the best QB in the game. He’s beaming with potential.
I think Thomas has the same fantasy football potential of Dez Bryant. He could easily finish as the top fantasy football wide receiver in 2014.
4. AJ Green
The last two years Green finished 4th and 4th in WR scoring. The 2014 offense loses Jay Gruden and will likely regress from throwing the 12th most passes in 2013. Hue Jackson is known for his run game, however he will continue to look to his most talented player. Green will get his looks from Dalton, he’s proven that he’s a durable player and he’s going to get his fair share of looks.
Green is going to have another great fantasy season in 2014, however I've softened my love for him slightly because the number of passes he'll likely see will decrease. If that means he's more efficient, than clearly I'm wrong here.
5. Brandon Marshall
Marshall has been with Jay Cutler for 4 seasons now. He’s finished 9th, 11th, 2nd and 5th in WR points. Marshall has proven to be a durable player that will continue to get the looks from Cutler. I expect him to still lead the team in targets and catches. I think there's a slight chance that Jeffery could perform better in 2014, but that's an argument for two spots down. Marshall is proven, that's why he ranks higher.
6. Julio Jones
I've warmed on Julio since earlier in 2014. The foot injury needs to keep you on your toes, but Julio was on a tear in 2013 before needing surgery after week 5. He was on pace to have 131 catches and 1,856 yards based on those five games.
He’s a complete receiver who is only 25, in a pass-first offense who just lost Tony G. That opens up 120 targets for the offense, some of which I expect to go Jones’ way. He has the upside of Dez and Demaryius in my opinion, but the foot injury could lead to more disappointment in the future.
7. Alshon Jeffery
In 2013 Jeffery had 1,421 yards for 7 touchdowns. It may be tough for him to repeat the yardage totals with all of the mouths to feed in Chicago, however I believe there is room to grow in the TD category. He is 6ft 3” with huge hands and arms. He is going to continue to be a huge red zone threat opposite Marshall.
In 75% of 2013 Alshon average 108.3 yards on 6.5 catches and .6 touchdowns. Carry those over an entire season and he has the 4th most catches and the most yardage in the NFL.
Alshon was targeted on more and averaged more yards per catch than Marshall on “obvious” passing downs (defined as third-and-six or longer). He six years younger than Marshall and fresher. If his redzone looks improve he could surpass Marshall.
8. Jordy Nelson
Jordy Nelson is 29 and in a contract year. He gets Aaron Rodgers back from injury and the offense is poised for a breakout. He’ll likely get a lot of the looks that James Jones and Jermichael Finely left behind. He has nearly the same build as Alshon Jeffery and in every season since Rodgers was the starter a Packers receiver has been in the top 10 in Pro Football Focus’s WR Rating. - I'll bet it’s Jordy in 2014.
Jordy was on pace in 2013 to have 94 catches, 1,559 yards and 12 touchdowns with Rodgers starting the whole season.
9. Antonio Brown
Antonio Brown is a guy who is the for sure #1 receiver on the team. The Steelers are breaking in Markus Wheaton to be the #2 guy. He had a great 2013 and I expect it to continue into 2014.
10. Keenan Allen
Keenan Allen started off slowly in 2013 and really just started going in Week 4. Including the playoffs Allen went for 1,179 yards and 10 touchdowns. He appears to be Rivers #1 target in San Diego although I’d like to see the Chargers throw the ball more. He’ll be the go to receiving target in SD, assuming Rivers continues on his upswing-trend.
My Top 10 Fantasy Football Wide Receivers for 2014
There are clearly some names above that can be debated, in fact some of the team were debated during our most recent fantasy football podcast. I love most of these wide receivers for fantasy football in 2014, I mean the numbers just add up.
Sure there are some risks with some of these guys, but that's the beauty of the game. Stake your claims to your favorite fantasy players of 2014.
It's not quite time for your fantasy football draft yet, which is why I encourage you to sit down, buckle up and enjoy the ride.See The Perfect Fantasy Team Names for 2014
For the record, I never actually played football. I have no doubt that I would get crushed running across the middle for a pass, every single time.
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