Fantasy Football Rankings: Wide Receiver (Part 2)

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Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

I covered the top 32 receivers earlier this week, but for those of you in deeper more competitive league I’ve broken down the rest of the wide receiver pool below. Wide receiver is so much deeper than the rest of the offensive positions that there are 50-60 players with legitimate starting potential. The vast depth of the receiver pool is why I am an advocate of at least one RB in your first two picks.

As with the first part of my rankings the receivers are grouped into tiers based on some common surface qualities (experience, potential, etc) and then in the order I would draft them within their respective tiers. The order of the tiers is how I draft; I am an upside guy. If you prefer a proven commodity over upside then move tier 10 above tier 9.

These rankings are based on the Yahoo default scoring settings with the addition of .5 PPR. The advanced stats are courtesy of Pro Football Focus and Football Outsiders. If you have any problems with my rankings or I forgot somebody, feel free to let me know in the comments.

Tier 8: Good Vets with Question Marks

All four of these guys were in consideration for the last few spots in my top 32, but there were enough question marks about each of them that they dropped to the next tier. Some times a new team or offensive scheme can lead to a breakout year, but I’m pretty cautious with my top 4-5 picks and like to take chances later in the draft when these four will most likely be gone. If you feel strongly about any of them, they certainly have the talent to be in the top 32.

33.) Reggie Wayne, Colts – How much does Wayne have left? In his last full season, 2012, he had 106 catches and 1,355 yards in Luck’s rookie year. It’s impossible to know what a 35 year old can still do, but Wayne was on pace for another 1,000 yard season before tearing an ACL last year. Even if he has lost a step, his crisp routes and reliable hand should still keep Wayne fantasy relevant for one more year at least . Don’t draft him as one of your top 2 WRs, but as your flex or top reserve he could provide better than average production.

34.) DeSean Jackson, Redskins – Broke out last year with his best season as a pro (82, 1332, 9) in Chip Kelly’s offense. No one knows how he will perform in Washington, but I am wary about expecting anything like last season.  D-Jax’s best skill is his deep speed and unfortunately RG3 has struggled with deep accuracy even in his healthy rookie season. Jackson isn’t known for his patience or locker room value, so it will be interesting to see how he reacts to Garcon and possibly Jordan Reed getting more targets than him. The potential is clearly there for a big season, but it’s risky so don’t spend too much.

35.) Mike Wallace, Dolphins – It will be hard for me to ever draft Wallace again after he visibly quit on the Dolphins by mid-season last year, but I am hearing good things this year about his fit in new OC Bill Lazor’s Eagles-esque offense. Wallace has a similar skill set as D-Jax and the Dolphins may be running a similar offense to the Eagles last year, so it is tempting to expect a D-Jax 2013 season from Wallace.  He still has great speed but he hasn’t had a 1,000 yard season since 2011 and is already 28. Personally I don’t trust Wallace after he quit on his team last year and won’t draft him unless he’s available around the 9th-10th round.

36.) Golden Tate, Lions – Had the best drop rate in the league last season and is moving from a team that barely threw the ball to a team that throws it more than just about anyone. His targets should increase by 30-40 easy and 80 catches is realistic. I don’t see him scoring many TDs on a team with proven red zone weapons like Calvin, Joique, and Fauria, but Tate’s receptions and yardage should make him a solid flex option.

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