Big Natural’s 2017 Fantasy Football Rankings: Wide Receivers
Alright, here we go – it’s crunch time! Fantasy football drafts are firing up all over the country. The SoBros Network league is actually drafting tonight, and I can’t wait. I don’t know what I can say that I haven’t already said on this feature, so screw it – let’s just jump right in.
Check out the positions we’ve already ranked:
The Top 30 Wide Receivers Heading into 2017
1. Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers – Until further notice, Brown will remain the quintessential image of productivity in the NFL. Barring an injury, he should be the top scorer at the wide receiver position.
2. Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons – Jones is an elite wide receiver. He and Brown may be 1A and 1B. Especially considering Jones plays in that potent Falcons offense, he’s an easy first round selection.
3. Odell Beckham, Jr., New York Giants – Assuming his ankle injury isn’t too serious, Beckham remains one of the best scoring options in the NFL, despite his quarterback lapsing into spells of throwing the ball to the other team.
4. A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals – A healthy Green is a scary thing for an opposing defense. But, if John Ross is what the Bengals drafted him to be, it will only open up that offense even more. All things considered, Green could have a bounce back season.
5. Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers – As the Bucs offense develops, Evans will continue to improve. Think of what he’s done so far, and consider things will only get better.
6. Jordy Nelson, Green Bay Packers – He’s getting older, and he missed significant action in 2016. But, still, in that time frame he was an absolute monster.
7. Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys – Bryant is a big play machine and as Dak Prescott continues to develop, his stock should rise.
8. Amari Cooper, Oakland Raiders – Cooper still hasn’t reached his potential as a wide receiver, but it could happen at any moment. He has all the tools to become a top fantasy option.
9. Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints – Usually, I hold off on putting unproven receivers in my top 10, but Thomas plays like a veteran and has Drew Brees throwing to him. I’m okay with this slot.
10. Brandin Cooks, New England Patriots – Cooks is absolutely electric, and now has the most creative coaching staff in the NFL drawing up plays for him. Expect catches, carries, and all kinds of yardage.
11. DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans – I still like the big #1 in Houston, despite a messy quarterback situation. With a better option, Hopkins would be a top-five scorer.
12. Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers – We know what a healthy Allen and Philip Rivers combo can do. Well, Allen is back, so the points should come aplenty.
13. Doug Baldwin, Seattle Seahawks – At this point, we know what Baldwin is. He’s not going to consistently put yards on the board, but he’s still Russell Wilson’s most reliable scorer.
14. T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts – Like Baldwin, we know what Hilton is. He’s going to win you some games, and he’s going to disappear for a stretch. But, he’s still a high-end option.
15. Kelvin Benjamin, Carolina Panthers – All reports indicate Benjamin is in great shape, and so far, this preseason, he’s looked good. Drafting Christian McCaffrey should alleviate some of the pressure on Benjamin to be the number one option in that offense.
16. Alshon Jeffery, Philadelphia Eagles – Raise your hand if you’ve been burned by drafting Jeffery high before. Plenty of you out there, I’m sure. I wouldn’t blame anyone for staying away, but it really appears he could break out as the best receiver in the Eagles offense.
17. Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs – Hill can do it all for Kansas City. If he continues to progress, and his coaches find creative ways to get the ball in his hands, he could approach the top ten echelon.
18. Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers – Adams stepped up in 2016, but with a healthy Jordy Nelson, it may be a step back in 2017.
19. Michael Crabtree, Oakland Raiders – Crabtree is still #2 in Oakland, but he’s a damn good #2, and there are plenty of receptions to go around in that Raiders offense.
20. Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals – Yeah, I get it. He’s old. But, Fitzgerald still knows how to get open, and if Carson Palmer can stay healthy, he could have another good year as ol’ reliable.
21. Jarvis Landry, Miami Dolphins – Landry is a PPR machine, but if you’re in a standard league, he might not produce enough to warrant a high selection. I still like him as the key cog in that Dolphins offense.
22. Sammy Watkins, Los Angeles Rams – I’m not buying Watkins in the top 15. Sure, he has an opportunity to have a great season, but he hasn’t been healthy in a while, and Jared Goff shouldn’t inspire confidence in anyone.
23. Jamison Crowder, Washington Redskins – Reports suggest Crowder has become Kirk Cousins’ favorite target. In such an aerial-oriented offense, he could become a WR1 option.
24. Allen Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars – Blake Bortles has regressed terribly, but at this point in the rankings, you’re still getting a #1 WR on his team with immense talent. Can’t pass that up.
25. Stefon Diggs, Minnesota Vikings – If Diggs could ever pair his yardage potential with actual touchdowns, he could become a fantasy monster. But, that hasn’t happened yet.
26. Terrelle Pryor, Washington Redskins – Pryor is too explosive to pass up in the top 30 despite his reported chemistry issues with Kirk Cousins. I have no doubt they’ll sort it out.
27. Demaryius Thomas, Denver Broncos – The Broncos quarterback situation isn’t helping the offensive playmakers at all, but despite having a down year, Thomas still put up over a thousand yards.
28. Pierre Garcon, San Francisco 49ers – He’s safe, secure, reliable – whatever you want to call it. Garcon probably won’t score a ton of touchdowns, but he’s the #1 option on the 49ers, and should post decent yardage.
29. Randall Cobb, Green Bay Packers – A healthy Cobb could make a surprise bounce back, but I’m not ready to buy it in a crowded Packers offense.
30. Martavis Bryant, Pittsburgh Steelers – If he can reproduce his breakout 2015 season, he’ll be an absolute monster. But, he hasn’t played in a year, so proceed with caution.
The Dark Horse: The Tennessee Titans have a plethora of options at wide receiver, but Eric Decker probably has the highest fantasy ceiling. The Titans are already good in the red zone, so the former Jet could net plenty of touchdowns. I’m interested to see how DeVante Parker jives with Jay Cutler. Parker has WR1 talent, but hasn’t shown it yet. This could be the year. Finally, I love the potential of Corey Coleman this year. He’ll suffer through DeShone Kizer’s growing pains, but he’s too explosive to sleep on.
Deep, Deep Sleepers: We all know that the Bucs offense is all about that Jameis Winston-Mike Evans connection, but there’s a real opportunity for DeSean Jackson to post some serious yardage. If Rishard Matthews picks up where he left off in 2017, he’ll be a viable flex option. Finally, with Cameron Meredith injured and Kevin White still playing tentatively on his previously injured leg, Kendall Wright could become the primary fantasy options on the Chicago Bears roster.
Rookie Impact: This is a pretty deep class of rookie wide receivers, but it’s Kenny Golladay that seems to be drawing the most buzz. He’s running with the first team Detroit Lions offense. Zay Jones is looking good in Buffalo, as Cooper Kupp is in Los Angeles. All of these guys will go in the middle rounds. Corey Davis and Mike Williams haven’t truly shown what they’re capable of, both dealing with injuries. Curtis Samuel is worth a look, too.
Stoney Keeley is the Editor in Chief of The SoBros Network. A strong advocate of GSD (get shit done) and #BeBetter, he’s down to talk Tennessee Titans and Alabama Crimson Tide football over a beer any day. Check him out covering the WWE for WrestlingNews.co. Follow on Twitter @StoneyKeeley, @WrestlingNewsCo