2015 Fantasy Football: Wide Receiver Rankings (Part 1)

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With the 2015 NFL season less than a month away, it’s time to ramp up the research for your fantasy football draft. Over the next few weeks I will be breaking down every position with a primer, rankings, sleepers, busts, and rookies.

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As I’ve mentioned in my last few posts, the wide receiver position is as important as ever and giving RBs a run for the most valuable in fantasy football. I’m not quite ready to go with the “Zero RB” strategy yet, but it has proven viable the last two seasons.

Wide receiver is a much deeper position than running back, but it needs to be with many leagues allowing for three starters. Below I have listed part 1 of my wide receiver rankings. These rankings are based on Yahoo standard scoring system with the addition of .5 PPR.

Wide Receiver Rankings

1.) Antonio Brown, Steelers – Led all receivers in catches and yards last season while finishing 2nd in both TDs and targets. Not much should change this year as the Steelers will roll out basically the same offense. It’s hard to make an argument for anyone over Brown in the #1 spot.

2.) Dez Bryant, Cowboys – There is always some concern after a player gets their first big contract, but Bryant was so dominant last season I can’t see him having much of a drop off. With the loss of DeMarco Murray, the Cowboys may be passing more this season which could lead to a boost in stats from Bryant. It would be hard to top his 16 TDs from last year, but he’s all but unstoppable in the red zone.

3.) Demaryius Thomas, Broncos – There is some concern over Peyton Manning’s dead arm stretch near the end of last season, but the loss of TE Julius Thomas could result in more targets for Thomas and he does his best work on short passes and runs after the catch anyway. With no Julius or Welker, Thomas could surpass his production last year even with a less than 100% Peyton Manning.

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4.) Odell Beckham, Giants – Finished 6th overall in fantasy points at the WR position despite missing four games and not playing much in a fifth. Beckham lead all receivers in fantasy points per game and will be a big part of the offense from week 1 on. The return of Victor Cruz may cost Beckham a few targets but playing four extra games in an offense he’s comfortable with should more than make up for it. Beckham is one of the only players I could see pushing Brown for the #1 WR spot.

5.) Calvin Johnson, Lions – If you take away the two games that Johnson started but didn’t finish, then he averaged a solid 18+ fantasy points per game. Megatron dealt with a series of minor injuries last season and was rarely 100% healthy. A return to health from Johnson could result in a monster season and he could be a steal at his current WR ranking.

6.) Julio Jones, Falcons – Depsite only 6 TDs, Jones still finished as the 5th best fantasy WR. His TDs should be close to double-digits again this season and the Ryan / Jones combo should be better with improvements to the Falcons O-line and running game. A little more offensive balance should open things up for Jones and if he stays healthy he could push for a top 5 WR finish.