A list of the top wide receivers to draft for the 2018 fantasy football season.
1. Antonio Brown (PIT)
|Receiving Stats||Rushing Stats|
|2018 Projections||View Antonio Brown's 2018 projected stats.|
After a down year by his standards in 2016, Brown set the NFL ablaze again last year, leading the league in yards by a wide margin, despite missing two and a half games. In a down year for wide receivers, he was an absolute monster, though his timing - his calf injury came during the fantasy playoffs - wasn't ideal. Brown averaged 9.4 YPT, fifth among the league's 27 100-target WR, and 15.2 YPC (7th). He had five games with 150-plus receiving yards, a league-leading 27 catches for 20 or more yards and tied for second with seven catches of 40-plus. At 5-10, 181, and running a poorly timed 4.56 40, Brown resembles an average man more than a freak NFL receiver. But looks can be deceiving. Brown plays more like a 4.4 runner, and his electrifying quickness makes him just about cornerback-proof. Consider what he did to Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye in the AFC divisional playoffs while coming back from the calf injury - seven catches on 11 targets for 132 yards and two TDs. Brown will turn 30 in July, reaching an age where most receivers are on their downsides, but small receivers typically age better than big ones, and given his long track record of good health and no signs whatsoever of decline, this shouldn't be a major concern. That Ben Roethlisberger - who also seemed at the top of his game during the playoff loss to Jacksonville - has committed to 2018 locks Brown in as the No. 1 WR on the board. Second-year man JuJu Smith-Schuster looks like a star in the making, but given the Steelers' narrow tree, his presence might add rather than detract from Brown's value. The one wild card is the departure of offensive coordinator Todd Haley, but given that he's being replaced by former quarterbacks coach Randy Fichtner, a major scheme overhaul is unlikely.
2. Odell Beckham (NYG)
|Receiving Stats||Rushing Stats|
|2018 Projections||View Odell Beckham's 2018 projected stats.|
After missing Week 1 due to a summer ankle sprain, Beckham was on pace for a 1,200-yard, 12-score, 100-catch season through the better part of four games before breaking his ankle late Week 5 and missing the rest of the season. Beckham is the only receiver in NFL history to post 90-1,300-10 receiving lines in his first two seasons, and he did it for three. At 5-11, 198, he has only average size, but he ran a slick 4.43 40 at the combine, plays faster in pads and is even quicker than he is fast. One of the league's most dangerous players in space, he can beat defensive backs down the field or take a short slant to the house. And while Beckham isn't big, he plays big - Beckham can out-leap defensive backs in the end zone, and his large hands and ability to catch the ball one-handed extend his catch radius. Assuming Beckham is fully recovered - as expected - the biggest question is the Giants offense. The team brought back a declining, 37-year-old Eli Manning, but the departure of inept play callers Ben McAdoo and Mike Sullivan in favor of new coach Pat Shurmur could have a major impact. After all, as offensive coordinator of the Vikings, Shurmur got 1,276 yards and 9.0 YPT out of Adam Thielen and 849 yards and 8.9 YPT out of Stefon Diggs with Case Keenum under center. Beckham is a far greater talent than either Vikings wideout and won't turn 26 until November. In other words, he's still firmly in his prime. Second-overall pick RB Saquon Barkley figures to occupy a large share of the team's offense, and third-year man Sterling Shepard will have a significant role as will second-year TE Evan Engram. But a healthy Beckham should command his usual target share, and the circumstances around him have never been better. Beckham ran routes on the side during minicamp in June, and the team expects him to return to full practice for training camp.
3. DeAndre Hopkins (HOU)
|Receiving Stats||Rushing Stats|
|2018 Projections||View DeAndre Hopkins's 2018 projected stats.|
As great as Antonio Brown's season was, Hopkins' was arguably more impressive, given the positively barbaric QB play he endured for more than half the year - eight games of Tom Savage and 73 attempts from T.J. Yates. Even so, Hopkins reeled in 13 touchdowns in 15 games on a league-leading 174 targets. His per-play averages - 7.9 YPT (15th among 100-target WR) and 14.4 YPC (10th) - were nothing special, but keep in mind he should have a healthy Deshaun Watson this year. During the six full games the duo suited up together, Hopkins posted a 38-551-6 stat line on 60 targets, which prorates to 101 catches on 160 targets for 1,469 yards and 16 TDs over 16 games. He also improved his per-target to 9.2 and his per-catch to 14.5 playing with Watson, though Hopkins' efficiency marks were at least decent no matter who was under center. At 6-1, 215, and with a 4.46 40 during his pro day, Hopkins has good size and the speed to get separation, but he's not a freak in the Julio Jones or Mike Evans mold. Instead, Hopkins excels by making the seemingly impossible catch even when he's well covered and getting his toes down in bounds when there's barely an inch of room on the sidelines. In short, his focus, concentration and ball skills allowed him to transcend some of the league's worst QB play, and in 2018 his situation should improve materially. The emergence of speedster Will Fuller could cut into some of Hopkins' downfield looks, but Fuller is the perfect complement - a small, modest-volume deep threat to occupy the defense but never threaten Hopkins' status as the team's undisputed No. 1. Hopkins missed Week 17 and the Pro Bowl with a calf injury, but he made a full recovery for offseason activities.
Imagine how confident you'll feel going into your draft with exclusive wide receiver rankings from the premier fantasy football source on the web. Once you sign up, you'll not only get access to these rankings, you'll completely unlock every page on RotoWire.com.
P.S. Here at RotoWire.com, we've been giving out high-quality fantasy football advice for over a decade and we've won nearly three times as many industry awards as our next closest competitor. Try us out this season and we'll help you look like a genius.
2018 Positional Rankings
Find out where Andrew Luck, Tom Brady, Marcus Mariota, Aaron Rodgers and other quarterbacks are ranked going into your fantasy draft.
Find out where David Johnson, Ezekiel Elliott, Melvin Gordon, Devonta Freeman and other running backs are ranked going into your fantasy draft.
Find out where A.J. Green, Antonio Brown, Julio Jones, Odell Beckham and other wide receivers are ranked going into your fantasy draft.
Find out where Rob Gronkowski, Jordan Reed, Travis Kelce, Greg Olsen and other tight ends are ranked going into your fantasy draft.
Find out where Justin Tucker, Dan Bailey, Matt Bryant, Mason Crosby and other kickers are ranked going into your fantasy draft.
Which team will stand out on defense this year? Our team defense rankings will help you find the right defense to draft this season.
Find out where J.J. Watt, Lavonte David, Luke Kuechly, Kwon Alexander and other defensive players are ranked going into your fantasy draft.
A team's offensive line can have a tremendous impact on how its quarterback, running backs, and wide receivers perform. Consult our rankings for help.