Wide receiver is my favorite position in fantasy football because there are a lot of things that can go into projecting a wide receiver down the line. For this list, I am attacking this as if this were a PPR league because I think that is where receivers are much more valuable to begin with. Overall, that doesn’t drastically change these rankings, but it would decrease the value of these guys as a whole.
#5. Juje Smith-Schuster
I have 3 players that are all kind of similar for this spot, but I will take Juju Smith-Schuster as my fifth best receiver in PPR formats. This is the one ranking that would likely change if it was a standard league. Odell Beckham Jr. is #6 for me behind Juju because of the wealth of options in the Browns offense. I expect Juju to get force fed with targets in every game, where that should not be the case with OBJ. I expect Beckham to be more productive with his touches, but Smith-Schuster will get more. I would understand Antonio Brown in this discussion as well, but I am more skeptical about his new situation than I am the other two.
#4. Julio Jones
He is one of the best receivers in football, and he would be easily top 3 in terms of who I want on my team. However, Julio is stuck at 4 because of his offensive situation. Julio isn’t used as much as the other 3 guys on the list, and that is the biggest issue here. I want Julio to transform into an every down target monster, but he has never been that. Julio also has a lot of injury history to worry about from week to week.
#3. Michael Thomas
He’s one of the most consistent receivers in the NFL—and even in NFL history. Thomas’s catch rate last season was historic, and his chemistry with an all-time great QB is the reason why. I would not fault anyone for taking Thomas at WR1 because I think that he is consistently very valuable in a week-long setting. My biggest concern is Drew Brees, which sounds crazy. Towards the end of last season, Brees didn’t look the same to me, although the production didn’t really taper off. I think Thomas will still be consistent this season, but if Brees takes a step back, that will take some of Thomas’s production with it.
#2. Davante Adams
He is in a great spot for a career year, and I think you would have to really consider him for WR1 going into the season, especially when we look at offensive ceiling and team health. Adams should be getting even better looks in a new offense, which is where the ceiling comes from. Also, he is not competing with anyone for touches, which is something that no one else in the top 4 can attempt to say. Adams should be featured in a new offense with one of the most talented QBs of all time throwing to him.
#1. DeAndre Hopkins
He’s currently my WR1, but I would probably prefer to be in the draft spot to get Thomas and Adams and get a slightly better pick on the way back. Hopkins has incredible ability and should be in an improving offense with additional playmakers. My biggest concern with Hopkins is that his offense SHOULD be allowed to stray away from him more than in years past. In the last few seasons, the Texans have been injury riddled with a poor offensive line. This has resulted in very few situations where Hopkins wasn’t essential to the offense. Now, the Texans are built to be a better offense, which can result in a lot fewer touches for Hopkins. I would expect his touches to be lower than most projections but his production per touch to increase. With Will Fuller and Keke Coutee healthy, we may see Hopkins NOT get featured as much as he has been in years past. For a little perspective, there are people in the industry that have both Will Fuller and Keke Coutee as top 30 receivers in fantasy this year. There is almost no way that Hopkins can produce as WR1, and both of these guys put up top 30 fantasy numbers. I think Hopkins will still be productive enough to be my WR1 in projections, but I think the floor is scary.