2013 Fantasy Football Wide Receivers Rankings (8/4 Update)
Hall-of-Famer Jerry Rice rewrote the record book for wide receivers. In fact, many of those records were thought to be unbreakable.
Meet Calvin Johnson.
In 2011, Megatron became only the second receiver in NFL history to finish with at least 1,600 yards and 16 touchdowns in the same season. The first to do it was Randy Moss (2003).
For his encore performance, Johnson broke Rice's single-season receiving yards record in Week 16. He ended the season with a new-record 1,964 yards despite playing with three broken fingers.
In his past 20 games counting the team's playoff loss in 2011, he has five 200-yard games. Stated differently, he has 200-plus yards in one-quarter of his past 20 games.
No receiver can take over a game like Megatron and if there's anyone that can break more of Rice's (or his own) receiving records in the future, it's Johnson.
Without question, Megatron enters 2013 as the top fantasy wide receiver.
Here are my fantasy wide receiver rankings for 2013 (standard scoring):
1. Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions
With back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons to begin his professional career, Green set career highs across the board last season with 97 receptions for 1,350 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Only Marques Colston (168) has more receptions than Green (162) over the first two seasons of an NFL career. Green ranks sixth in receiving yards (2,407) over the first two seasons on an NFL career.
Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant has all of the physical tools to tantalize fantasy owners.
Going into last season, however, both his on-field performance and off-the-field distractions had disappointed those same owners waiting for a breakout from the receiver.
Despite a slow start to the year, Bryant was the most dynamic wide receiver in the league not named Calvin for much of the season.
From Weeks 4 to 17, Bryant had 79 receptions for 1,218 yards and 12 touchdowns. He scored a touchdown (or two) every week from Weeks 10 to 16 and delivered for fantasy owners in a big way in Week 16, typically championship week in fantasy leagues, with 224 yards and two scores.
Early reports from training camp are that Bryant is picking up where he left off last year.
Reunited with Jay Cutler, things could not have gone much better for Brandon Marshall (and his fantasy owners) last year.
Not only was he the first 1,000-yard receiver for the Bears since Marty Booker in 2002, but Marshall set the single-season franchise record in both receiving yards (1,508) and receptions (118). Of the five receivers to finish with triple-digit receptions, Marshall was the only receiver to finish with double-digit touchdowns (11).
Turning 29 years old this spring, Marshall should still have a at least a few more seasons of elite-level production left in him.
Jones, who finished ninth among receivers in fantasy points, had 79 receptions for 1,198 yards and 10 touchdowns. He finished with four more fantasy points than teammate Roddy White.
Last year, Jones ranked 20th in the NFL in targets (129), but the gap between Jones and White (143) narrowed considerably from Jones' rookie season.
Thomas had a breakout season last year in his first with Peyton Manning. Even with the offseason addition of slot receiver Wes Welker, I don't expect a huge drop in targets for Thomas, who finished the year with 94 receptions for 1,434 yards and 10 touchdowns.
After playing a combined 20 games in 2010 and 2011, Johnson was able to stay healthy for a full season again. In the past five seasons, Texans receiver Andre Johnson has played 16 games three times.
When healthy, he has shown us last year that he is still one of the league's elite receivers.
Although he scored only four touchdowns, Johnson finished the season with 112 receptions for a career-high and franchise-record 1,598 yards.
It was the third time that he finished with at least 100 receptions and 1,500 yards in the past five years. There are only two other players in NFL history to have multiple seasons with those numbers: Marvin Harrison (three) and Jerry Rice (two).
The Cardinals were one of the most disappointing teams in the NFL last year after losing 11 of their 12 final games last year. Not only was their quarterback play atrocious, but their offensive line allowed a league-worst 58 sacks.
The team has taken some steps to improve in both areas with the addition of Jonathan Cooper in the first round and by acquiring Carson Palmer via trade.
9. Roddy White, Atlanta Falcons
Since 2007, White has been one of the most consistently productive receivers in the league. During that six-year span, he has had at least 83 receptions and 1,153 yards each season. He has averaged 94 receptions, 1,296 yards and eight touchdowns per year over that stretch.
Although he will turn 32 years old this year, he should have a few more very productive seasons. In addition, White has never missed a game in his eight-year career.
Since emerging from relative obscurity in 2011, Cruz followed up his franchise-record season (1,536 yards) with another 1,000-yard campaign (1,096 yards). In addition, he set career highs in receptions (86) and touchdowns (10) last year.
Cruz and the Giants have agreed to a long-term extension this week so there won't be any distractions about his contract going forward.