It’s fantasy football draft month, and you know what that means: countless ranking sheets to add to your arsenal as you decide which players to pick during your draft, and when. There’s enough relevant fantasy football news and stats out there to fill over ten ginormous analytics websites, and it does. Matthew Berry wouldn’t be hawking RotoPass if that wasn’t the case.
My rankings act a little bit differently. You have your basic rankings list of who I would draft in what order, but I’ll also highlight certain players based on value, good or bad, and potential.
We continue our rankings with one of the moneymakers of the draft: wide receiver.
Captain Obvious: Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers
Everything is coming up Milhouse for Steelers receiver Antonio Brown, which is why he’s being drafted as the #1 receiver and sometimes in the top 5 selection of the draft. Believe me, I’ve seen it.
And what’s not to love? The Pittsburgh Steelers are even worse on defense last year, Martavis Bryant is suspended for four games, Le’Veon Bell needs to be paid attention to as the arguable #1 running back in the league, and Ben Roethlisberger knows how to extend plays long enough for speedy wide receivers to tire their defenders out? All that, and I haven’t even talked about Antonio Brown specifically, who posted a stat-line of 129/1,698/13 last season. And it’s not like Brown had a twenty reception, 250-yard, four-touchdown game to inflate his season’s stats. This was all steady receptions and yardage with touchdowns sprinkled in. Just what you want from a receiver in fantasy.
Helpless #1 Receiver: Brian Hartline, Cleveland Browns
Okay, so no one really knows who the #1 receiver is for the Cleveland Browns. It could be former 3rd-string Miami Dolphins receiver Brian Hartline. It could be former Kansas City Chiefs jogger Dwayne Bowe. It could be Cleveland stand-by Andrew Hawkins. It could even be quarterback Terrelle Pryor. The Browns’ passing offense has gotten so bad that they’re willing to try anything.
The best advice I can give is forget about the names, and just don’t draft a receiver for Cleveland. That’s CLE as the abbreviation.
While Everyone Pays Attention to the Other Guy: Michael Crabtree, Oakland Raiders
After drafting Amari Cooper #4 in the entire draft, it is believed that the Oakland Raiders want to develop their passing game a little bit more. Just a tad. The logical way to do this was to draft someone that QB Derek Carr can throw the ball to. If the preseason is any foreshadowing of what is to come, Amari Cooper could have a very good fantasy year.
But someone is going to have to step up when the entire secondary is presumably covering Amari Cooper. That someone should be Michael Crabtree. Granted, Crabtree didn’t break out last season during his semi-healthy comeback year with the 49ers. He posted a stat-line of 68/698/4. It’s fine for football, although it didn’t help the 49ers much in their 6-10 breakdown. But Crabtree’s not dead yet, and could be a breakout #2 receiver.
Let’s not forget: Crabtree loses two games of playing against the Seahawks’ secondary. That has to be worth at least 170 yards and a couple of touchdowns. Then there’s two games against the Cardinals’ secondary. That’s about 30 yards and a touchdown. Finally, two games against the Rams defense in general. I’ll throw him another 80 yards. Entering that to Crabtree’s previous season, that’s 978 yards and seven touchdowns. not too shabby at all.
Have questions about my receiver rankings? Or just want to tell me how ridiculous my rankings are? Go ahead and comment, or yell at me on Twitter @Patrick_AE
Fantasy Football Pre-Rankings 2015 Wide Receivers Player Team Rank Bye Week Antonio Brown PIT WR1 12 Demaryius Thomas DEN WR2 4 Dez Bryant DAL WR3 11 Odell Beckham Jr. NYG WR4 8 Julio Jones ATL WR5 9 Calvin Johnson DET WR6 9 A.J. Green CIN WR7 4 Randall Cobb GB WR8 9 Alshon Jeffery CHI WR9 9 T.Y. Hilton IND WR10 10 Mike Evans TB WR11 7 Emmanuel Sanders DEN WR12 4 Brandin Cooks NO WR13 9 Jordan Matthews PHI WR14 7 DeAndre Hopkins HOU WR15 11 Julian Edelman NE WR16 9 Andre Johnson IND WR17 11 Davante Adams GB WR18 9 Allen Robinson JAC WR19 11 Amari Cooper OAK WR20 9 Keenan Allen SD WR21 10 Brandon Marshall NYJ WR22 9 DeSean Jackson WAS WR23 10 Sammy Watkins BUF WR24 9 Martavis Bryant PIT WR25 12 Vincent Jackson TB WR26 7 Golden Tate DET WR27 9 Steve Smith Sr. BAL WR28 8 Jeremy Maclin KC WR29 7 Mike Wallace MIN WR30 4 Jarvis Landry MIA WR31 5 Nelson Agholor PHI WR32 7 Eric Decker NYJ WR33 9 Roddy White ATL WR34 9 John Brown ARI WR35 4 Torrey Smith SF WR36 4 Breshad Perriman BAL WR37 4 Michael Floyd ARI WR38 4 Charles Johnson MIN WR39 4 Stevie Johnson SD WR40 10 Larry Fitzgerald ARI WR41 4 Marques Colston NO WR42 9 Percy Harvin BUF WR43 9 Kendall Wright TEN WR44 9 Anquan Boldin SF WR45 8 DeVante Parker MIA WR46 5 Cody Latimer DEN WR47 4 Donte Moncrief IND WR48 11 Victor Cruz NYG WR49 8 Pierre Garcon WAS WR50 10 Malcom Floyd SD WR51 10 Doug Baldwin SEA WR52 8 Dorial Green-Beckham TEN WR53 9 Brian Quick STL WR54 8 Terrance Williams DAL WR55 8 Marqise Lee JAC WR56 9 Marvin Jones CIN WR57 10 Jaelen Strong HOU WR58 8 Kenny Stills MIA WR59 7 Tyler Lockett SEA WR60 4 Devin Funchess CAR WR61 4 Reuben Randle NYG WR62 8 Michael Crabtree OAK WR63 9 Brandon Coleman NO WR64 9 Nick Toon NO WR65 9 Dwayne Bowe CLE WR66 9 Markus Wheaton PIT WR67 12 Kenny Britt STL WR68 8 Andrew Hawkins CLE WR69 9 Phillip Dorsett IND WR70 11 Justin Hunter TEN WR71 9 Sammie Coates PIT WR72 12 Cordarrelle Patterson MIN WR73 4 Cecil Shorts III HOU WR74 8 Cole Beasley DAL WR75 8 fanosis.com