Fantasy Football WR Rankings: The Big 50

By on September 3, 2011



FINAL UPDATE SEPTEMBER 2ND, 2011

Well, this is it everyone. The WR rankings are final with a few additions and subtractions and some rank movement up and down the board.


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There are, however, plenty of receivers who are not listed that will add incredible value to your team, so please ask any questions you may have about a player not listed.

As a final piece of advice, remember that the 2011 season will be a “quarterback year” meaning there will be a strong emphasis towards the passing game, putting even more value into the hands (no pun intended) of the receivers globally.

When you are done with this list, be sure to also re-review our sleepers and the rest of our rankings listed below, and as always, good luck this season!

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Also, if you still haven’t decided  on your team name yet, come check out my Top 50 Fantasy Football Teams Names for 2011.

The Current Top Echelon:

1. Calvin Johnson – Stafford will be healthy and playing with a chip on his shoulder, and Detroit is going to come out of the gate throwing as often as possible. No one was targeted more on 20+ yard plays (41) than the 6’5” 235 pounder, and that number could increase in 2011.
2. Andre Johnson – He put up 1,216 yards and 8 TDs on a bum ankle in 2010. Now he’s healthy…what do you think is going to happen?
3. Larry Fitzgerald – Fitz finished 5th in catches, 8th in yards and dropped just three balls out of 93 targets last year, and that was WITH a crappy QB situation. The Cardinals are expected to land Kevin Kolb, and if so, Fitz’s value skyrockets.
4. Hakeem Nicks – Nicks climbs two spots thanks to the new CBA agreement which allows four year veterans to become unrestricted free agents…meaning Steve Smith could hit the open market and if he does, Nicks’ value goes through the roof.
5. Roddy WhiteJulio Jones might steal some targets, but if he does, that means teams will have less double teams on White. Matt Ryan must be licking his chops right now.
6. Mike WallaceWallace falls two spots thanks to the promotion to Nicks, but don’t read too much into the red arrow, Wallace is still going to be a force to reckon with in 2011.
7. Greg JenningsHe plays in one of the most explosive offenses in the National Football League, and is poised to take over as the new number one guy in title town this year.
8. DeSean Jackson – Jackson is a bona-certified Top 10 receiver, but his maturity level in 2010 keeps his early ranking grounded. He’ll still be a force to be reckoned with in 2011, though, so don’t worry.
9. Jeremy Maclin –  Maclin was the leading RECEIVER on this team in 2010, and he is expected to have an expanded role this year.
10.Miles AustinIn the end, I believe with a healthy Romo, and a less conservative offensive approach, Miles Austin regains his Top 10 status right out of the gate.

 

Tier Two:
These receivers are currently considered just outside of the Top 10 for the varying reasons listed below.

11. Dwayne BoweCharlie Weis is no longer in town, and the Chiefs are due to face much stiffer completion in 2011. Bowe might be up and down, but you could do far worse.
12. Vincent JacksonV-Jax is back on the fantasy map and will play alongside fellow receivers Patrick Crayton, Malcom Floyd and Vincent Brown. I would have him higher, but with Antonio Gates also in the mix, the ball will be spread around quite a bit. don’t worry, he’s still money all day.
13. Brandon Marshall – MIA Marshall falls, but he will still be fantasy relevant. But I fear his glory days are now behind him
14. Percy HarvinAgain, preliminary scouting here suggests his health will always be a concern, and the Vikings have a ton of issues to settle at WR before anyone can begin reading into Harvin. I do see his rank rising as the summer progresses.
15. Austin CollieMigraines and three concussions in one year is a red flag for sure, but if he remains healthy he should become the number one wide out in Indianapolis.
16. Reggie Wayne2010 was an up year in receptions and yards for Wayne, but a down year in TDs. Manning has plenty of other options to play with in 2011 and owners should forget about ever getting the 2007 version of Reggie Wayne…those days are long behind him, but he still makes for a fine WR2.
17. Wes WelkerI love Welker, but he is only valuable in PPR leagues.
18. Mike Williams (TB) – Most rookies come back down to earth in their Sophomore year, and I don’t see a repeat of last year.
19. Ochocinco – NE: Love it or hate it, the man is back and has one of the best quarterbacks in the league throwing to him. He should be good for double digit touchdown totals, and could wind up being the leading receiver on the Patriots by the end of the year.
20. Santonio Holmes – NYJ: He’ll provide fantasy owners some points, but not to their expectations.

 

Tier Three:

Colston will try playing his first season in the NFL without a missing a game due to injury.

21.  Marques Colston5 knee surgeries in five years is a cause for concern, and with Jimmy Graham in the mix, I would exercise caution with Colston.

He might be a better suited high-upside WR2 right now.I’m not saying the guy isn’t going to produce this year, but one has to be significantly worried about the potential repercussions of five knee surgeries in one career—albeit a very young career.

If it makes you feel better, he is currently impressing in camp and is practicing without issue. If I am wrong, but you still draft Colston low, we both win as I wind up right on the backend, and you get yourself a low-cost fantasy football gem.

Here’s to hoping!

22. Dez Bryant – DAL: Bryant will be a valuable piece to this offense, and will also be a situational punt returner adding to his overall value.
23. Danny Amendola – STL: Amendola has completely separated himself in camp and is the clear cut WR1 in a pass friendly Josh McDaniels’ offense. He makes for a solid WR3/4 in fantasy football.
24. Malcom Floyd – SD: Floyd was re-signed to a two-years deal by SD. He’s right where he should be.
25. Brandon Lloyd – Even if Orton is the starter expect Lloyd to regress from last year’s totals.
26. Kenny Britt – Legal troubles, and immaturity keeps Britt down in the rankings, and he should be considered a liability for now. if he cleans things up, though, watch out!
27. Sidney Rice – SEA:Rice falls near to the third tier range which is about right.
28. James Jones – The Packers managed to keep Jones, but the kitchen is full of cooks which will hurt his 2011 potential.
29. Johnny Knox – CHI: Knox will be featured even more now that Williams showed himself to be a failed venture so early on.
30. Steve JohnsonJohnson came out of nowhere last year, and he is officially on a tentative watch right now in regard to his current rank. He will see more double teams this year, though, which is something he struggled with in 2010.

 

The Final Cut: The following are a list of receivers are currently valued only as a draftee in the back half of your draft (4th round or later). This is not to say that some of these receivers won’t perform or do your fantasy football team any good, just that you wouldn’t take any of these players over the Top 10, or second tire players.

31. Hines Ward – PITT
32. Mike Sims-Walker – STL: MSW will have one year to prove he is worth a long-term contract, whether it is with St.  Louis or someone else. You can bet he will make the best of it, which should benefit your fantasy team.
33. Nate Washington – TEN
34. Jordy Nelson – GB
35. Nate Burleson – DET
36. Steve Breaston – KC: will compete for snaps. His knee is also a huge concern.
37. Earl Bennet – CHI
38. Mario Mannigham – NYG
39. Anquan Boldin – BAL (final-ranking)
40. Steve Smith – CAR
41. Mike Thomas – JAX
42. Jacoby Ford – OAK:
43. Davone Bess – MIA
44. Julio Jones – ATL (great Dynasty draftee)
45. Steve Smith – PHI:His role in Philly will be limited, which puts a cap on his fantasy value once he’s healthy enough to play.
46. Patrick Crayton – SD (final-ranking)
47. Emmanuel Sanders – PITT: There is little fantasy separation between Sanders and Brown, considering how close the two are, but the word is sanders has the slight edge over Brown. The only issue is that Sanders is still hampered by that foot injury, so he is likely to start the season slower than expected, which will initially add to Brown’s early value.
48. Michael Jenkins – MIN: He’ll likely gain value as the season goes on, but he needs to be treated with some caution.
49. Harry Douglas – ATL: Douglas makes the Top 50, and you can further read why Harry Douglas, and others, are great late-round steals.
50. Antonio Brown – PITT: The athletic receiver has shown that he is more than a situational receiver in Pittsburgh, and it is clear that they will utilize him as both a slot option and a deep-ball threat. You getting Brown at a significantly discounted price here.

 

Other receivers who should add some nice value to your team, or make for excellent waiver wire grabs:

Titus Young – Detroit Lions
A.J. Green – Cincinnati Bengals
Randall Cobb – Green Bay Packers
Jason Avant – Philadelphia Eagles
Devin Aromashodu – Minnesota Vikings
Deion Branch – New England Patriots
Derrick Mason – New York Jets
Braylon Edwards – San Francisco 49ers
Jericho Cotchery – Pittsburgh Steelers
Greg Little – Cleveland Browns
Denarius Moore  – Oakland Raiders
Johnathan Baldwin – Kansas City Chiefs
Arrelious Benn – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Lance Moore – New Orleans Saints

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