2013 Preseason Player Rankings: WR

  1. Calvin Johnson (Det) – The only receiver worth taking in the first round. Still managed to separate himself from the pack last season, despite his TD numbers being unusually low. Don’t worry though, he was tackled inside the 1-yard line a league-leading five times, and with what should be an improved Detroit offense, Megatron is providing every indication a monster 2013 is in the cards.
  2. Dez Bryant (Dal) – Really seemed to figure things out at the end of last season to the tune of 50 receptions, 879 yards, and 10 TDs in the last 8 games alone. For the mathematically challenged, that is a 100/1,758/20 line extrapolated over a full season. Obviously, it would be wishful thinking to expect that, but if Dez can find a happy medium between the two, he will provide more than enough to justify the #2 ranking.
  3. Brandon Marshall (Chi) – Was top-4 among all pass-catchers in targets, receptions, receiving yards, and receiving TDs last season. If Marc Trestman is able to open up the Chicago offense and get the best out of Jay Cutler, Marshall could very well surpass his numbers from last season. He is a physical beast, and should get loads of receptions and TDs regardless.
  4. AJ Green (Cin) – Green caught at least one TD every week from weeks 2-11, making him one of the best receiver in the NFL during that stretch. The problem – he tailed off extremely hard – catching only one TD after week 11, and posting under 10.0 fantasy points three times during that span, amid questions regarding Andy Dalton’s lack of arm strength. Rookie TE Tyler Eifert should help him, but he and Sanu will likely steal some red zone looks.
  5. Larry Fitzgerald (Ari) – Don’t let his season catching passes off of Skelton and Lindley scare you off; Larry Fitzgerald is still one of the most talented receivers in the league. Carson Palmer has no problems throwing the ball down-field for him, and he should get plenty of opportunities in a Bruce Arians pass-happy offense.
  6. Julio Jones (Atl) – Jones makes his payday off the deep ball, so his is prone to a more roller-coaster scoring trajectory. You can expect monster 20+ point weeks out of him, but you will almost certainly get some 5-point-or-less stinkers also.
  7. Demaryius Thomas (Den) – Welker will poach some of his targets, but also probably make teams more vulnerable to Thomas beating them on the deep ball. Despite some initial worry before last season, Peyton showed no problems throwing the ball down-field whatsoever.
  8. Andre Johnson (Hou) – Andre Johnson has been begging Houston to pick up another WR to give him some cover, and they drafted a good one in Clemson product, DeAndre Hopkins. Though he has never registered a season with double digit TDs, it is looking to be a very solid year for the veteran.
  9. Roddy White (Atl) – As consistent as they come. Since taking the full time gig, White has been averaging 1295.6 yards and 8.16 TDs per season over 6 seasons. With S-Jax, Gonzalez, and Julio in the mix, the ball will surely be spread out quite a bit, but Roddy White is as about as safe of a WR pick as you’ll find.
  10. Vincent Jackson (TB) – Put up career numbers last season despite playing in a shaky passing offense. The fact the Bucs are getting two top-tier lineman back, Carl Nicks and Davin Joseph, should help out Josh Freeman and the Tampa passing attack quite a bit.
  11. Danny Amendola (NE) - 8/18: Amendola has continued to roll in preseason, showing great chemistry with Brady and the ability to work the complex Patriots offense without a hitch. Looking like he should have no problem cracking top 10 if he can stay healthy. Tom Brady has been loving Amendola thus far in preseason and training camp. While the Patriots may gear slightly more towards the run this year, there are still plenty of balls left to be caught – and if Amendola can stay on the field, he has a chance to breach the top 10 WRs this year – especially in PPR formats.
  12. Randall Cobb (GB) – Cobb is dealing with a bicep injury, and according to HC Mike McCarthy, “it’s probably something he’s going to be battling for a while.” Cobb exploded last year, and he looked to be in line to improve dramatically getting every-down WR snaps this season with Greg Jennings no longer in the picture. He tacked on 132 rushing yards last season as an added bonus for his owners, and may even return kicks and punts again, though this injury will knock him a little. Keep an ear out, and monitor him.
  13. Victor Cruz (NYG) – Another feast-or-famine guy who tends to make a living off of the deep ball, Cruz only managed to hit the 100 yard mark in 5 games last season. Additionally, he had another 6 games in which he failed to provide 60 yards OR a touchdown. There is word that some of the stinkers can be attributed to “arm fatigue” experienced by Eli at the end of the season, but regardless, Cruz managed to post 1,092 yards and 10 TDs on the whole. A decent decline from his spectacular 2012, but still solid very solid numbers proving that he wasn’t just a one-and-done phenom.
  14. Wes Welker (Den) – While Welker has publicly stated that he isn’t planning on seeing  as many balls as he is used to, but Peyton Manning has a storied history of putting up huge numbers with his slot receivers and he has never had one as good as Wes Welker before. Gets a massive boost in any PPR formats.
  15. Marques Colston (NO) – Colston has managed to post at least 1,000 yards and 7 TDs every season he has been in the league and healthy. To put that in perspective, that works out to averaging around 75 yards and half of a TD per game. A returning Sean Payton should only help him, and you can’t ask for much more in the 4th round.
  16. Dwayne Bowe (KC) – Andy Reid is a notoriously pass-happy coach, and Bowe should be in line for a nice season with the efficient Alex Smith under helm. Gets a nice boost in PPR formats.
  17. Pierre Garcon (Was) – Garcon is far and away RG3′s favorite target. The two showed explosive potential last season, though were only able to play in 9 games together. Garcon is fighting through some injuries in training camp, so keep an eye on his status, but he has the potential to be a top 10 wide-out if both he and Griffin can stay healthy.
  18. Eric Decker (Den) – If you are Peyton Manning’s favorite red-zone target, it’s hard not to be projected in the top 20. Due to the arrival of Welker it wouldn’t be surprising to see a decrease in targets, but like with Demaryius Thomas, it could make those targets he does get more valuable.
  19. Hakeem Nicks (NYG) – The talent is undeniable, but so is the frustration of owning him. Very injury prone, he wasn’t able to play in the Giants first preseason game. His stock will rise or fall depending on the outcome of that injury. Stay posted on Nicks.
  20. James Jones (GB) – Proved to be the favorite red zone target of Aaron Rodgers last season, hauling in an incredible 14 TDs. Many are writing this off as a circumstantial flash in the pan, but with Jordy Nelson having minor knee surgery, and Randall Cobb planning on playing though a bicep injury, Rodgers may well have to lean on Jones again this year.
  21. Reggie Wayne (Ind) – He is 34 years old, but still the main guy in Indianapolis. With Pep Hamilton being more of a run-first OC, and the emergence of TY Hilton, I’m worried he won’t see as much of the ball as he did last season.
  22. Antonio Brown (Pit) – With Mike Wallace having taken his talents to South Beach, Brown is the main man in Todd Haley’s – quick passing offense. Brown did quite well down the stretch, grabbing a TD each of the last four weeks last season, and should catch a good amount of balls in 2013, giving him a slight boost in PPR formats.
  23. Torrey Smith (Bal) – 1,696 yards and 15 TDs in his first two seasons in the league. With Boldin and Pitta no longer in the picture, Flacco will have to rely on Torrey Smith even more than he has in the past.
  24. Steve Smith (Car) – Had a nice finish with 404 yards and 3 TDs over his final 5 games in 2012. Smith is inconsistent and 34, but there isn’t really anyone else to muscle in on his targets in Carolina.
  25. Jordy Nelson (GB) – Another injury you’ll have to monitor; Nelson is an animal when healthy, but this minor knee surgery looks set to have him out 4-6 weeks. Rumors are swirling that he could be back sometime in the first couple weeks, which, if true would see his stock rise dramatically.
  26. Mike Wallace (Mia) – Tannehill has fantastic arm strength, and Mike Wallace makes a living off of the deep ball. Though his numbers were somewhat disappointing last season, he did manage to grab 8 TDs in the 13 games in which Roethlisberger played.
  27. DeSean Jackson (Phi) – Jackson hasn’t looked the same since he was cleaned out crossing the middle against Houston in 2010. Despite that, his speed works well with Chip Kelly’s high tempo offense, and with Maclin out, the Eagles will need to rely on him. Jackson is a riskier pick that could leave dominating your league or scouring the waiver wire heap for a WR.
  28. Cecil Shorts (Jax) – He looked promising last season, and Blackmon’s 4 game Purple Drank suspension will get him more attention, but there is only so much upside in the Jacksonville passing attack.
  29. TY Hilton (Ind) – Posted 506 yards and 5 TDs over the final 7 games last season. This season he should build on that strong finish.
  30. Greg Jennings (Min) – Well, it’s clear that the jump from Rodgers to Ponder is going to hurt him quite a bit. Ponder has shown some trouble throwing to the sidelines, but the looming threat of AP should allow him to get some decent space for himself. His preseason antics and jealous-ex-girlfriend attitude towards the Packers have many scared off of him, but he could very well end up being a value pick considering where he is being drafted.
  31. Josh Gordon (Cle) – In his rookie season, Gordon managed to put up an impressive 50 passes for 805 yards and 5 TDs despite an unimpressive Browns passing attack, and a slow start. The 2 game Purple Drank suspension obviously hurts him, but Cleveland could end up turning some heads with Norv Turner working the offense.
  32. Kenny Britt (Ten) – If he can stay healthy he should be able to easily outperform this ranking. He is on a contract year, which helps quite a bit.
  33. Mike Wallace (TB) – In his three seasons in the league, Williams has posted 11, 3, and 9 TDs. He is immensely talented, but his fantasy value is directly linked to his TD production. You could do alot worse at this point of the draft.
  34. Miles Austin (Dal) – Another guy who will easily outplay this ranking if he is able to stay healthy. Has had terrible problems with his hamstrings, but the talent and results are undeniable when he is on the field.
  35. Tavon Austin (StL) – The Rams are trying to transition their offense, and the speedy rookie has an extremely high ceiling. Despite this, his electric combine performance has many people buzzing about him, and will probably lead to him being overdrafted in alot of leagues.
  36. Lance Moore (NO) – Since he got the job in NO, Moore has posted atleast 600 yards and 6 TDs in every season except the one he was injured.
  37. Stevie Johnson (Buf) – Johnson has a nagging hamstring injury and the Bills most likely won’t light anyone up through the air this season.
  38. Anquan Boldin (SF) – Boldin’s incredible form throughout last year’s playoffs have people forgetting that he averaged just around 600 yards and 4 TDs per season as a Raven. He is also 33. Kaepernick has to throw it to someone, but I wouldn’t bank on Boldin turning into a top receiver all of a sudden.
  39. Sidney Rice (Sea) – Rice had preventative surgery done in Switzerland this offseason in hopes of making his knees more durable. If it worked and he is able to hold up, he has the talent and build (6’4″, 202 lb) to be a great sleeper pick. Not a bad gamble for the late rounds.
  40. Ryan Broyles (Det) – People like him for the same reasons they liked Titus Young last season. Yikes. Even so, if Broyles can refrain from imploding, then he should more than justify this ranking.
  41. Kenbrell Thompkins (NE) - Update 8/23: Thompkins has continued to light it up in preseason & training camp. Potentially has HUGE sleeper value catching passes from Tom Brady in a depleted offense. Vying for a WR job with Aaron Dobson.
  42. Michael Floyd (Ari) – Floyd was highly touted as a rookie but failed to catch much attention, largely due to the inabilities of John Skelton and Ryan Lindley at QB. Going into his sophomore season with a safe, strong-armed QB in Carson Palmer, and a pass-minded HC in Bruce Arians, Floyd could end up being a great sleeper pick for 2013.
  43. Emmanuel Sanders (Pit) 
  44. Golden Tate (Sea) 
  45. DeAndre Hopkins (Hou) – Houston finally has someone to take pressure off of Andre Johnson. Hopkins has a very favorable job, lining up across from Andre Johnson, with defenses already worried about Arian Foster. The talented rookie has a higher ceiling that most you could get at this point in the draft.
  46. Denarius Moore (Oak) – Has alot of talent, but is a deep ball receiver with a weak-armed QB on a bad team.
  47. Kendall Wright (Ten) – Should see a decent amount of balls this season. Many are expecting him to take a big step forward, but his progression is tied hand in hand with Jake Locker’s.
  48. Chris Givens (StL) – Reports are that Givens looks fantastic in camp, which was highlighted by catching 3 balls for 82 yards and a TD out of 11 plays he ran with Sam Bradford in the preseason opener. The speedy second-year player could be a nice sleeper.
  49. Vincent Brown (SD) – Danario Alexander is out for the season, and Malcom Floyd is banged up as well. If Brown can stay healthy, he could be the SD #1 by process of elimination, and in for a surprisingly nice season.
  50. Alshon Jeffery (Chi) – Jeffery showed some glimpses of his talent last season, but if Marc Trestman helps the Bears offense open up, Jeffery could be in for a nice season as the Chicago #2.
  51. Rueben Randle (NYG) – Randle has alot of talent, but is mired behind Nicks and Cruz in the depth chart. If either of them sustain an injury, Reuben’s value will rise drastically.
  52. Cordarrelle Patterson (Min) – True to his scouting report from the draft, he is very raw. While he likely has a higher ceiling than DeAndre Hopkins, we won’t see it with Christian Ponder.
  53. Justin Blackmon (Jax) – The ceiling is only so high with his volatile nature, 4 game suspension, and the fact he is a Jaguar receiver.
  54. Brian Hartline (Mia) – Will be more at home in the #2 receiver role.
  55. Rod Streater (Oak) – Could end up being a relatively sneaky pick. Does decently in short-mid range routes which Matt Flynn loves, and the Raiders will have plenty of deficits for their passers to accumulate garbage fantasy points.
  56. Austin Collie (SF) – San Francisco brought him in for a reason. If he is able to avoid injury, specifically concussions, he could be a steal at this point in the draft.
  57. Aaron Dobson (NE) – Tom Brady targeted him 8 times in the preseason opener. If he wins the job, he should have plenty of value, but Kenbrell Thompkins is vying for the job also. Keep an eye on which one has the holeshot as we get deeper into camp.
  58. Jeremy Kerley (NYJ) – Where else are you going to find a #1 WR at this point in the draft? In all seriousness, he will struggle, but the Jets have to throw it to someone. Santonio Holmes is disillusioned, and taking his sweet time coming back from injury so Kerley will have plenty of opportunity.
  59. Greg Little (Cle) – With a little magic from Norv Turner, Little could taste fantasy-relevance.
  60. Keenan Allen (SD) – The rookie will get plenty of looks with the Chargers terribly injured WR corps. Could have a decent fantasy impact.
  61. Brandon LaFell (Car) – He will be the Panthers #2 WR, but shows no signs of turning anything around.
  62. Nate Burlson (Det) – If he ends up getting the #2 role ahead of Ryan Broyles, he will be in for some decent production. Keep an eye out.
  63. Andre Roberts (Ari) – Another talented young, Cardinals WR. He had a few nice games in 2012, but looks set to lose out to Michael Floyd for the #2.
  64. Jacoby Jones (Bal) – Will see the majority of the snaps in Baltimore’s depleted passing attack. His value rests primarily on the deep ball, and he will most likely return kicks & punts.
  65. Markus Wheaton (Pit) – The speedy rookie will take on the deep-ball duties for Pittsburgh. Has some nice upside with Roethlisberger’s playstyle.
  66. Riley Cooper (Phi) – You’ll have to see how Paula Deen’s lunch sits with him, and the rest of the Eagles. He was in line to be the #2 receiver there, though
  67. Mohamed Sanu (Cin) – The #2 receiver in Cinci, Sanu showed very nice TD potential grabbing 4 scores in 3 weeks before his season was ended with a foot injury.
  68. Robert Woods (Buf) – With Stevie Johnson banged up, Woods could figure pretty heavily in the Bills passing offense. Just keep in mind the rest of that equation is freezing temperatures, high-powered winds, and a raw, rookie QB. Not exactly home sweet home for a USC product.
  69. Leonard Hankerson (Was) 
  70. Santonio Homles (NYJ) – Will miss at least 4 weeks
  71. AJ Jenkins (KC)8/23 Update: KC and SF swapped big-hype bust receivers by trading Jenkins for Jon Baldwin. Jenkins takes a slight downgrade here, entering into a more crowded offense with a less notable QB.   The former first rounder will be given more opportunities this year with Crabtree out.
  72. Brandon Lloyd (FA) – I would be incredibly surprised if he is still a FA come week 1. There are alot of good teams out there with solid QB’s and injured pass-catchers that he would make sense on (NE, GB, Bal, SF, Sea…). If one of them picks him up, expect his draft stock to soar.
  73. Julian Edelman (NE) – He is banged up, but he knows and can execute the Patriots offense.
  74. Donnie Avery (KC) – The #2 in KC. Doesn’t look set to turn many heads, though.
  75. Jarius Wright (Min) – Will occupy the slot role formerly worked by Percy Harvin. In the 7 games Percy Harvin missed in 2012, Wright got the most targets out of any Vikings player, and is getting fantastic reviews from training camp this year. Ponder struggles throwing to the sidelines, so Wright could easily become his favorite target this year.

About John Warmkessel

Operator & head writer for 1UP Fantasy Sports. Contact me at the email provided, or via the contact form on the home page of the website. Follow on twitter @1UPfantasy for up to date player advice, gameday Q & A, and more.
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