2014 Fantasy Football Rankings: Post-Free Agency Wide Receiver Rankings
Despite a two-game suspension to begin the season, the second-year receiver set a franchise-record with a league-leading 1,646 yards, which more than doubled his rookie season total of 805 yards.
With a 87/1,646/9 line, Gordon led all wide receivers in fantasy points despite a less-than-ideal situation at quarterback and missing two games.
Not only did Gordon have 100-plus yards in exactly half of his 14 games last season, he had at least 67 yards in all but two games in 2013. In addition, he became the first player in NFL history to have back-to-back 200-yard receiving games as he broke the team's single-game receiving record (as Buggin' Out once said, "two times").
With new offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan feeding the ball last year to Pierre Garcon, who led the league in receptions (113), I'm comfortable that Gordon will be targeted heavily enough to flourish again as an elite option at receiver. Plus, it would be hard for the team's quarterback situation to get much worse than their three-headed monster last year.
Gordon fantasy owners will hold their collective breath that he keeps his nose clean this year as his next violation of the league's substance-abuse policy would lead to a full-season suspension.
Breakout season for Alshon
Like Gordon, Chicago's Alshon Jeffery was a second-year receiver that broke out in a big way in 2013.
Along with Gordon, Jeffery was one of only two players to record multiple 200-yard receiving games last year and he also set the franchise's single-game record for most receiving yards.
With career highs across the board, Jeffery finished with 89 receptions for 1,421 yards and seven touchdowns and added 105 rushing yards. The only receiver with more yards from scrimmage than Jeffery (1,526) was Gordon (1,734).
Unlike Gordon, Jeffery currently has better pieces around him as the Bears know who will be their everyday starter at quarterback and opposing defenses will focus on slowing down the receiver opposite him, Brandon Marshall, as much as they will focus on Jeffery himself.
Going into the 2014 season, I have Marshall ranked just ahead of Jeffery, but both receivers are stud WR1's in terms of fantasy outlook.
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What can (Antonio) Brown do for you: Consistent production
With 60 Minutes signing a free-agent deal with the Dolphins last offseason, Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown had a breakout season as the team's No. 1 receiver even though he had a 1,100-yard season a few years ago.
Brown became the second receiver in franchise history to finish with triple-digit receptions (110) and was only two shy of the club record (112). Only Gordon had more receiving yards than Brown (1,499), who also scored a career-high eight touchdowns.
Along with Gordon and Jeffery, Brown was one of three receivers to finish with 1,500-plus yards from scrimmage in 2013.
Perhaps the most amazing part of Brown's huge success in 2013 was his consistency. Brown had a minimum of five receptions and 50 yards in all 16 games last season.
Going back to 2000, no other player has done that in all 16 games of a season. From 2000-2013, only one player had 15 such games and that happened in 2001. Garcon had the second-most games (13) with a minimum line of 5/50 last season.
Allen: Only third 1,000-yard rookie in past nine years
In the previous eight years before the 2013 season, only two other players had done what San Diego's Keenan Allen did in 2013.
Allen led the Chargers in receiving across the board with 71 catches for 1,046 yards and eight touchdowns.
Once the calendar turned October, Allen was especially good. In the 14 games played in October through January including the playoffs, Allen had six 100-yard games and scored 10 touchdowns.
As great as Allen's rookie season was, Allen should be even better in 2014.
Edelman: 69/729/5 over his past 8G
In his first four seasons in the NFL, Patriots receiver Julian Edelman had a total of 69 catches for 714 yards and four touchdowns.
Not only did he exceed those numbers in 2013, but he was especially good down the stretch as Tom Brady's most trusted target.
Finishing 10th in the league in targets (151), Edelman's full-year numbers were 105 receptions, which was fourth-most in the NFL, for 1,056 yards and six touchdowns.
In Edelman's final eight games counting both playoff games, he had a minimum of six receptions and 64 yards in every game. During that span, he racked up a stat line of 69/729/5. Purely to illustrate how productive he was over the past half-season, maintaining that pace for a full 16-game season would equate to a stat line of 138/1,458/10!
With Edelman's fantasy value maximized in New England, it's obviously good news that he re-signed with the club.
Here are my updated fantasy football wide receiver rankings (standard scoring) for 2014:
1. Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions
2. A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals
3. Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys
4. Josh Gordon, Cleveland Browns
5. Demaryius Thomas, Denver Broncos
6. Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons
7. Brandon Marshall, Chicago Bears
8. Alshon Jeffery, Chicago Bears
9. Jordy Nelson, Green Bay Packers
10. Randall Cobb, Green Bay Packers
11. Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers
12. Pierre Garcon, Washington Redskins
13. Andre Johnson, Houston Texans
14. Roddy White, Atlanta Falcons
15. Keenan Allen, San Diego Chargers
16. Michael Crabtree, San Francisco 49ers
17. Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals
18. Vincent Jackson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
19. Percy Harvin, Seattle Seahawks
20. DeSean Jackson, Washington Redskins
21. Victor Cruz, New York Giants
22. Cordarrelle Patterson, Minnesota Vikings
23. Wes Welker, Denver Broncos
24. Julian Edelman, New England Patriots
25. Torrey Smith, Baltimore Ravens
26. Michael Floyd, Arizona Cardinals
27. Kendall Wright, Tennessee Titans
28. Eric Decker, New York Jets
29. T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts
30. Golden Tate, Detroit Lions
31. Cecil Shorts, Jacksonville Jaguars
32. Marques Colston, New Orleans Saints
33. Mike Wallace, Miami Dolphins
34. Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis Colts
35. Justin Blackmon, Jacksonville Jaguars
36. Jeremy Maclin, Philadelphia Eagles
37. Anquan Boldin, San Francisco 49ers
38. Terrance Williams, Dallas Cowboys
39. Rueben Randle, New York Giants
40. Hakeem Nicks, Indianapolis Colts
41. Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City Chiefs
42. DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans
43. Greg Jennings, Minnesota Vikings
44. Marvin Jones, Cincinnati Bengals
45. Riley Cooper, Philadelphia Eagles
46. Steve Smith, Baltimore Ravens
47. Tavon Austin, St. Louis Rams
48. Steve Johnson, Buffalo Bills
49. Brian Hartline, Miami Dolphins
50. Jarrett Boykin, Green Bay Packers
51. Aaron Dobson, New England Patriots
52. Mike Williams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
53. Danny Amendola, New England Patriots
54. Rod Streater, Oakland Raiders
55. Robert Woods, Buffalo Bills
56. James Jones, Oakland Raiders
57. Justin Hunter, Tennessee Titans
58. Denarius Moore, Oakland Raiders
59. Markus Wheaton, Pittsburgh Steelers
60. Jerrel Jernigan, New York Giants
61. Kenny Stills, New Orleans Saints
62. Kenny Britt, St. Louis Rams
63. Harry Douglas, Atlanta Falcons
More early 2014 Fantasy Football rankings:
- 2014 Fantasy Football QB rankings
- 2014 Fantasy Football RB rankings
- 2014 Fantasy Football TE rankings