2018 Rankings: Top 40 Wide Receivers For PPR Leagues
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Utilize our Rankings Hub for QB List’s 2018 Positional Rankings for all of your preseason positional needs.
Below is the Top 21-40 in our Top-80 PPR Wide Receivers.
Tier 4 (Cont’d):
21. Robby Anderson (New York Jets): Disclaimer: This rank is based on Anderson not receiving a suspension or a 1-2 game suspension. Just missing the cut for Day One, but still in the same Tier, Robby Anderson broke out in a big way for the Jets in 2017 with 63 receptions on 114 targets and seven touchdowns. Anderson does have a lot going against him (excluding a looming suspension) in that his quarterback is still undetermined (likely Teddy Bridgewater or Sam Darnold), his offensive line was the second worst last year, and the other skilled players on the offense are average at best. This will lead to some garbage time production and Anderson should be receiving most of the looks along the way.
22. Josh Gordon (Cleveland Browns): I am one of the managers who drafted Josh Gordon and stashed him all season last year – this is my bias. Gordon’s ceiling is too enticing to pass up, even with the clear risks involved (being a Brown, two years outside the league, potential relapse). In his one full season (in 2014) Gordon put up 1646 yards and 9 touchdowns on 87 receptions. Yes that was four years ago and yes he was rusty at the end of last season, but when he gets back this season his floor is that of a WR2 and will only go up.
23. Amari Cooper (Oakland Raiders): How bad of a season did Amari Cooper have in 2017? Removing his 210 yard, 2 touchdown game in Week 7 as an extreme outlier would place him around the 60th best wide receiver. True he missed a trio of games near the end of the season, but Cooper only broke double-digit points in five games last season — fringe receiver numbers. His 680 season yards were the lowest of his career after finishing his first two seasons with 1000+ yards. A big culprit was the step backward quarterback Derek Carr took, leading to 40 fewer targets than years prior. Cooper is a good buy-low candidate as he has a good shot at bouncing back to his previous career numbers under new head coach Jon Gruden.
24. Brandin Cooks (Los Angeles Rams): Brandin Cooks is going from a potent New England offense to a balanced Los Angeles offense that spreads the ball around and has one of the best ground games in football. Cooks will be hard-pressed to replicate the 114 targets he received in 2017 making 1000 yards a strained goal as will repeating 7-9 touchdowns with Todd Gurley as the Rams’ red zone machine. Cooks should be a solid WR2 and not much more this season.
25. Devin Funchess (Carolina Panthers): Devin Funchess is coming into the season as Cam Newton‘s top receiver and the job is his to lose to rookie D.J. Moore. Christian McCaffery will take a lion’s share of passes (ending 2017 with 113 targets compared to Funchess’ 111), but Newton should throw enough again to make both players viable PPR options once again. If Carolina opts to rush McCaffery more with Jonathan Stewart gone, Funchess would benefit most.
26. Alshon Jeffery (Philadelphia Eagles): Alshon Jeffery sort of hit the ground running in Philadelphia’s potent offense. Jeffery had 57 reception 120 targets (for an atrocious 47.5% catch rate). His final of #21 rank in 2017 was in large part due to his nine touchdowns and even with Carson Wentz at the helm failed to break 100 yards in a single game (breaking 90 yards only once). Through sheer volume alone is Jeffery ranked this high and with the notion that he will return to the mid-50 percent rate he had with Chicago, which would give him the boost needed to remain in the top-30.
26: Marqise Lee (Jacksonville Jaguars): In my boldest of rankings is Marqise Lee in at #26. Lee ended 2017 only the #40 receiver after missing 4 games, but taking over for the injured Allen Robinson as Jacksonville’s WR1. Lee is returning as the team’s top wideout and despite a bevy of talent below him, should get more targets than last season (96) and more touchdowns (3) – making Lee a sneaky good value with the potential to end in the top-15 WR if healthy all season.
27. Jamison Crowder (Washington Redskins): In back to back years, Jamison Crowder averaged 101 targets and about 66. receptions – the similarities between his two seasons were remarkably consistent. The most notable dip in his production came from an anemic three touchdowns compared to his seven in the year prior. Alex Smith replacing Kirk Cousins replacement should not lead to a significant decrease in production and Crowder should again be the focal point of Washington’s offense.
28. Chris Hogan (New England Patriots): A popular sleeper pick in 2017 after a whirlwind playoff run in 2016, Chris Hogan is back after missing half of last season. Hogan was a force of nature until he sustained a shoulder injury forcing him to nearly all of the regular season. Julian Edelman will also be back after missing the entire 2017 season with an ACL injury. Both players are over 30 and Edelman will be missing the first four games with a suspension allowing Hogan to get a good amount of targets early and given his ability to stretch the field, sustain an above average production after Edelman returns in Week 5.
29. Jarvis Landry (Cleveland Browns): Finishing as the 4th best receiver last season (and with the most receptions (112)), Jarvis Landry is in a new town, a new quarterback, but a new role. If ready, Landry would be the team’s WR2 with Josh Gordon getting the first look. Landry’s value for the past four years has been entirely dependent on volume (averaging a whopping 142.5 targets a season) – something that is almost assuredly going to go down in Cleveland. His touchdowns should also regress closer to his career average of 5.5. Landry has no where to go but down after 2017, the only question is how far.
30. Marquise Goodwin (San Francisco 49ers): Marquise Goodwin was able to turn something out of nothing after Pierre Garcon went down for the season in Week 8. Goodwin finished with 962 yards and a paltry two touchdowns and as one of San Francisco’s only offensive producers. Goodwin should be able to replicate the 105 targets he received last year, even with Garcon returning with Jimmy Garappolo as the team’s new franchise quarterback.
31. Emmanuel Sanders (Denver Broncos): I am a bit lower on Emmanuel Sanders than my cohort Alex Silverman largely because I am not sure whether his targets get back up to his pre-2017 level (ballpark 130 targets). The comparisons between Minnesota’s offense and Denver’s offense are pretty comparable – a terrible offensive line, Case Keenum, and two capable wide receivers. The biggest difference is that Stefon Diggs is younger and more talented than Sanders – ultimately creating the gap in rank. Sanders has signficant upside to rebound, but count me as a skeptic.
32. Cooper Kupp (Los Angeles Rams): Cooper Kupp lead the Rams in targets and receptions in 2017 (94/62) in what amounted to a near even split with Robert Woods (and to a lesser degree, Sammy Watkins). Kupp will take a back seat to Brandin Cooks this season after the Rams inked Cooks to a five-year, $80 million extension. Kupp should still get enough targets to be relevant and Cooks should be able to pull more coverage than Watkins was able to – further expanding Kupp’s role in this offense.
33. Michael Crabtree (Baltimore Ravens): The Oakland Raiders suffered offensively last season and Michael Crabtree was no exception largely brought on by his missing four games with an injury. When on the field he performed well and was still on target for the 140 targets he had received in his two years prior. A full season would have netted Crabtree somewhere around WR15. This season he will be the WR1 on a lackluster Baltimore offense and should eclipse Mike Wallace‘s team-leading 96 targets from 2017.
34. Sterling Shepard (New York Giants): With the return of Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard‘s value could actually go up. In 2016, with a healthy OBJ, Shepard saw 105 targets. Despite missing six games in 2017, without OBJ, Shepard was on pace for 120ish targets. Expectations for 100 targets and five or six touchdowns should solidly put Shepard in the WR2 discussion. Shepard’s biggest concern is how many targets he will have to share with rising star Evan Engram. The Giants lead the league in pass attempts last season (608) – expect that number to drop a bit with Saquon Barkley on the ground more often, but the Giants will be airing it out enough to spread the love.
35. Nelson Agholor (Philadelphia Eagles): Nelon Agholor is Alshon Jeffery‘s WR2 – but managed to pull down 62 catches on 95 targets. While Agholor’s targets have gone up in each of his three seasons, he nearly tripled his touchdown production (8) – giving him the boost to end as the 23rd best receiver last season. Expect that number to go down for although his targets should remain similar this year a drop in touchdowns will knock him down a level, but otherwise be serviceable most weeks.
36. Will Fuller (Houston Texans): Will Fuller is an incredibly skilled deep threat receiver, who has managed to find success despite a 56% catch rate. With enough targets, a full season, and DeAndre Hopkins pulling double coverage Fuller’s upside is enormous. When paired with Deshaun Watson, Fuller will consistently be a red zone threat. Injury concerns and catch rate will be a significant consideration when drafting him, but he could easily be in the top-20 if he manages a full season.
37. Randall Cobb (Green Bay Packers): For the first time in his career, Randall Cobb is considered a WR2 in fantasy and his own team. Davante Adams is a bonafide stud and with Aaron Rodgers back, Cobb should see a return to his 2014/2015 targets in the ballpark of 120. The additional workload should be a boon to Cobb’s 2018 value, even more so if he is able to get more red zone looks and improve upon his four touchdowns last season.
38. Julian Edelman (New England Patriots): Tom Brady‘s perennial favorite receiver, Edelman missed the 2017 season with an ACL injury and will start 2018 with a four-game suspension. He is 32 this season and now a year removed from his career-best season where he caught 98 passes on 159 targets, but only 1106 yards and three touchdowns. Edelman won’t match those targets or receptions again and will probably struggle to hit 1000 yards again in his career – and his career three touchdowns per year average do not leave much room for optimism. He still should get considerable looks from Brady, but his upside is significantly limited.
39. Dez Bryant (Free Agent): As of this drafting of these rankings, Dez Bryant is a free agent and there are rumors Cleveland has interest in signing him. Bryant still got a considerable share of targets last year (132), bringing in 69. The team Bryant eventually signs with will make or break his 2018 value, so, for now, his value is depressed. There will be an editor’s note once Bryant signs with a team during the preseason reassessing his value.
40. Allen Hurns (Dallas Cowboys): Speaking of Dez Bryant, with his exit there is a vacuum in Dallas for a receiver to take the lead in their run-first offense. Allen Hurns looks to get the first look starting the season, although there could easily be a shift in power with rookie Michael Gallup continuing his great preseason. Hurns only played half a season for Jacksonville in 2017 and had 56 targets and 39 receptions (69% catch rate) – extrapolating that he would have ranked with Robby Anderson and Brandin Cooks in targets and very well could have broken out. Hurns is a deeper sleeper, but with massive upside in Dallas. Don’t sleep.