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WIDE RECEIVER RANKINGS

 

Check out NFL Fantasy Football Expert Analyst Lance Goodman and special guests, as they chop it up and break down the 2019 Wide Receiver Rankings.

Lance Goodman

September 2019

#GoNFLEx

THE EXTRA POINTS FANTASY FOOTBALL SHOW

WIDE RECEIVER RANKINGS- updated 9/17/19

1. DeAdre Hopkins, HOU
2. Michael Thomas, NO
3. Odell Beckham Jr., CLE
4.  Julio Jones, ATL
5. Davante Adams, GB
6. John Ross, CIN
7. Keenan Allen, LAC
8. Larry Fitzgerald, ARI
9. Chris Godwin, TB
10. Kenny Golladay, DET
11. Calvin Ridley, ATL
12. Amari Cooper, DAL
13. Marquise Brown, BAL
14. Emmanuel Sanders, DEN
15. Brown, Edelman & Gordon, NE
16. Watkins, Robinson & Hardman, KC
17. Kupp, Cooks & Woods, LAR
18. S. Diggs & A. Theilen, MIN
19. T. Lockett & D.K. Metcalf, SEA
20. Tyrell Williams, OAK
21. D.J. Moore, CAR
22. Tyler Boyd, CIN
23. T.Y. Hilton, IND
24. Juju Smith-Schuster, PIT
25. Christian Kirk, ARI
26. Terry McLaurin, WAS
27. Courtland Sutton, DEN
28. Mike Evans, TB
29. Allen Robinson, CHI
30. DeSean Jackson, PHI (+)
31. Alshon Jeffery, PHI (+) 
32. Michael Gallup, DAL (+)

Week 3 START/SIT: LISTEN NOW!

My elite Wide Receivers likely won't change too much this season, with the Top 5 almost being a lock. Regardless of order, DeAndre Hopkins, Michael Thomas, Julio Jones, Odell Beckham Jr. And Davante Adams present fantasy owners with the highest ceiling of production on a weekly basis. Through 2 weeks, Hopkins has already recorded a multi touchdown game in Week 1, Thomas has back to back weeks with 10 receptions, Jones has scored 3 touchdowns, including a screen pass, that he converted into a 54-yard TD run. Beckham Jr. 12 catches for 226 yards, including a quick slant, that quickly turned into an 89-yard TD and Adams recorded a 100 yard receiving game last week against a tough Vikings defense. If anyone were to fall out, it likely would be Thomas who could possibly see a drop off in weekly production with his starting Quarterback Drew Brees on the shelf for the next 6-8 weeks. After the Top 5, it's fair game for all and you can expect to see subtle not dramatic changes throughout the rest of the list. Again I don't want owners to get carried away with a ranking because there's really not a huge difference between #8 and #13. 

 

Heading into Week 3, you have to like what John Ross has done so far. With A.J. Green out and defenses primarily focusing on Receiver Tyler Boyd, Ross has come out the gates strong leading the league with 270 receiving yards, while averaging 24.5 you and scoring 3 TDs. Keenan Allen hasn't wasted anytime this season posting back to back 100 yard receiving games. With Tyrell Williams gone to Oakland and Tight End Hunter Henry out for the next month, owners can expect to see Allen garner a ton of targets as I advised would happen coming into the season. Larry Fitzgerald has been able to elevate his fantasy status with an improvement at Quarterback, posting consecutive 100 yard games to start the season as well. With a shaky running game, the Cardinals likely will be passing a lot and Fitzgerald will be the main beneficiary. Chris Godwin has been the best Receiver in Tampa Bay through 2 weeks with touchdowns in both games, including a strong 8 catch, 121-yard outing. Even when primary target Mike Evans gets back into the flow, Godwin will still remain a major piece of the Bucs passing game. Kenny Golladay is off to a nice start as well, scoring touchdowns in both contests this year, one in which he tallied 8 catches for 117 yards. Golladay used his first two years in the league to learn the ropes and now seems primed to thrive as Quarterback Matthew Stafford's big play guy. Calvin Ridley is next on the list and it's pretty interesting here early on with Godwin, Golladay and Ridley all receiving Preseason votes to win Wide Receiver Breakout Player of the Year. Ridley has also scored in both games this year and has a 100-yard game to his credit. Working opposite Julio Jones and having a Quarterback who likes to air it out, makes him a strong play weekly. I guess we starting to see a trend here, as Amari Cooper has also scored in both games this year, to go along with a 100 yard receiving game as well. Quarterback Dak Prescott is spreading the wealth but there's no question about Cooper being the focal point of the Cowboys passing attack. Marquise "Hollywood" Brown cracks the Top 15 and is the first Rookie on the list. The speedster out of Oklahoma wasted no time making his presence felt, showing his quick strike ability in Week 1, taking a quick slant 83 yards to the house before catching a 47-yard TD later in the game. With Quarterback Lamar Jackson looking for big plays downfield, Brown could end up being one the biggest steals in this years Draft. Veteran Emmanuel Sanders continues to play at a high level and has quickly become new Quarterback Joe Flacco's most trusted target. Despite an Achilles injury less than a year ago, Sanders is up to his usual tactics, running crisp routes to get open and making toe tap catches along the back of the end zone. He has 2 touchdowns on the season, including a tip toe beauty last week against Chicago. The Patriots have a trio of Receivers that all have value and will share in the wealth. New comer Antonio Brown is the most complete and skilled out of the group and maintains the highest ceiling of potential. Brown and Quarterback Tom Brady connected on a deadly 20 Yard back shoulder TD pass last week in Miami. Julian Edelman is not too far behind. He's the longest tenured Receiver in the group and has the most trust and chemistry with Quarterback Tom Brady. Even though Brown has more upside, Edelman is still a strong weekly play, working out of the slot, where he makes a living, picking up tough yards between the hashes. He’s never been a big touchdown scorer but is always money in PPR formats. Josh Gordon rounds out the group, as the most physically imposing. At 6'4'', 220 pounds, with top end speed, Gordon will be the wild card of the bunch, with the ability to score from any place at any time. Unlike the veteran group in New England, the Chiefs have a group of young Receivers looking to make a name for themselves. Sammy Watkins exploded in Week 1 with 9 catches for 198 yards and 3 TDs. Watkins has struggled with injuries throughout his career but remains a big vertical threat, with big time speed and can be lethal with Patrick Mahomes at Quarterback. Demarcus Robinson is in his second season with Kansas City and found himself on the receiving end of 7 passes that went for 172 yards and 2 TDs. After not catching a pass in Week 1, Robinson figures to be in the mix, at least until Pro Bowl Receiver Tyreek Hill returns. Rookie Meocole Hardman was able to answer the call in Week 2 as well, catching 4 passes for 61 yards, including a 42-yard TD pass. With the Chiefs offense having so many weapons, Hardman may be last in the pecking order but may not need a lot of targets to cash in. The Rams are next in line and they have three legitimate Wide Receivers as well in Cooper Kupp, Brandin Cooks and Robert Woods. Kupp is the most consistent force, as the safety net for Quarterback Jared Goff who looks to his slot man whenever he's in trouble or in need of a crucial first down. Brandin Cooks is the vertical threat in the offense and likes to use his speed to burn defenses deep. He's also continued to make strides and improvements in the short and intermediate game, although he's not asked to do so as much because Robert Woods likes to make his living there. Woods is the jack of all trades Receiver of the unit, able to make plays all over the field, including the occasional jet sweep or reverse. Woods led the team in yards in Week 1, while both Kupp and Cooks scored in Week 2. Stefon Diggs and Adam Theilen have both scored touchdowns this year and remain the dominant targets for Minnesota Quarterback Kirk Cousins. Both players are Pro Bowl caliber talents and I fully expect for them to have strong years but right now Cousins and the offensive line are struggling, which is hurting their production early on. D.K. Metcalf is the second Rookie on the list and he's paired up with running mate Tyler Lockett out in Seattle. Both players have scored this year and are setup for long term success as Quarterback Russell Wilson's primary passing options. Tyrell Williams has fared well, scoring TDs in his first two games with the Raiders, which gave his ranking a nice boost as the new go to guy for Quarterback Derek Carr. If Williams can stay healthy, he's expected to see a lot of targets and could end up being a great late round bargain for owners. Second year Wide Receiver D.J. Moore appears to be in the process of staking his claim atop the Panthers depth chart after a strong start this year. He had 8 catches in Week 1 and 7 catches in Week 2, which is great for where he drafted, especially in full point PPR leagues. Tyler Boyd has been consistent this year as the other highly targeted Receiver in Cincinnati besides John Ross. With A.J. Green out of the lineup, defenses have made Boyd their primary focus, yet he had 60+ receiving yards in Week 1 and a big PPR day in Week 2 with 10 catches for 122 yards. Boyd and Quarterback Andy Dalton have developed some good chemistry over the last few years. T.Y. Hilton is still one of the better Wide Outs in the NFL but with elite Quarterback Andrew Luck no longer under center, owners can expect for Hilton's production to be more random and scattered, as opposed to steady and consistent. In Week 1, Hilton had 8 catches for 87 yards and scored 2 TDs but didn't have much of an impact in Week 2. Owners will either have to stick with him in their lineups weekly to yield good results or try to play him according to his weekly match up, which can be risky. Juju Smith-Schuster has taken a dramatic fall out of the Top 10 to start the season after failing to reach 80 yards or the end zone in his first two games. His Week 1 output of 6 catches for 78 yards is respectable but he came up short in Week 2 and now must rely on 2nd year Quarterback Mason Rudolph to get him quality targets, since starting Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is out for the season. Smith-Schuster is expected to continue on as the teams primary passing option but his new Quarterback is now in control of his destiny. Christian Kirk rounds out the Top 25 after establishing himself as Plan B for Rookie Quarterback Kyler Murray and the Cardinals passing game. Kirk scored a touchdown in Week 1 and had over 100 receiving yards in Week 2, making him an excellent value pick and weekly play that owners can now trust. Larry Fitzgerald is still the head honcho but Kirk will have ample opportunity to stack good numbers. The 3rd Rookie making the cut is Terry McLaurin, who made a huge splash in Week 1 with 125 receiving yards, including a 69-yard TD catch. In Week 2 his yardage was cut in half but he found pay dirt again, which is the most important and meaningful stat in fantasy football. It's still early but McLaurin seems to be a favorite target of new Redskins Case Keenum, who is throwing the football a lot because of a lack luster running game. Courtland Sutton is in a good situation to start the season, as the solidified #2 Wide Receiver in Denver. Veteran Emmanuel Sanders is the more polished and trusted target for new Quarterback Joe Flacco but, Sutton is just as capable of leading the team as evidenced by his Week 1 showing. Sanders was able to score a touchdown but it was Sutton who pulled in 7 catches for 120 yards. Sutton suffered a minor setback hurting his rib during a weight lifting session but should return soon and be a player that fantasy owners should feel good about having in their line ups as a strong flex option. I don't like the early start for Mike Evans at all and hope he turns things around quick. There has never been a question about Evans talent and play making ability but early in his career, he's developed a bad pattern of having off and on years in fantasy football. He's had two outstanding years playing at an elite level and also two years that weren't necessarily bad but were a big drop off from his production the previous year. In Week 1, he was dealing with an illness, so we'll excuse that poor performance and Week 2 was played on a short week so, owners will have to live with his 4 catches for 61 yards. This week at home against the Giants, there aren't excuses left if he doesn't have a big game, unless his Quarterback Jameis Winston can't get him the ball. Allen Robinson has his spot locked up atop the Bears depth chart and in terms of past success and fantasy upside, he was definitely a nice find in this years Draft. Despite having everything work in his favor, Robinson's production may be a bit scattered based on weekly match ups and more importantly, the progress of Chicago's offense, which has no true identity right now. He had 7 catches for 103 yards in Week 1 but found himself in a tough match up in Week 2, in which he only had 4 catches for 43 yards. Robinson is the safest bet among the Bears Wide Receivers but owners should play him with little expectation. DeSean Jackson, Alshon Jeffery and Michael Gallup are all expected to miss Week 3 with injures. Both Jackson and Jeffery scored 2 TDs in Week 1 before going down early in Week 2. Jackson is expected to return in a week or two, while Jeffery likely will be out 2-3 weeks. As for Gallup, he got off to a really strong start, with 168 receiving yards in Week 1 and was building towards another 100-yard game in Week 2, before a knee injury cut his day short at 68 yards. If all goes well, he's expected to return around Week 8 or 9. 

WEEK 3 Top Waiver Pick Ups

John Ross, WR-CIN

Christian Kirk, WR-ARI  

Nelson Agahlor, WR-PHI (+) 

Terry McLaurin, WR-WAS  

Mike Williams, WR-LAC  

DeMarcus Robinson, WR-KC

Mecole Hardman, WR-KC

Devin Smith, WR-DAL