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Sunday, 10 May 2015

Fantasy Football: Top 30 Wide Receivers for 2015

Disclaimer: It's dangerous to do any sort of rankings this early.

The NFL draft is out of the way and rookie mini camps are in session, but there is so much of the offseason yet to play out. OTAs, training camp, preseason games -- all will weigh heavily in determining depth charts and, correspondingly, a player's value.

Things will certainly change in the coming months.

With that said, it's never too early to establish a foundation, tinkering with rankings and beginning the joyous process of draft prep.

These rankings are for standard scoring leagues, not PPR leagues.

1. Antonio Brown -- What more could you want? Tops in catches (by 18) and yards in 2014. Second in targets and touchdowns. Only had three games of less than 10 fantasy points. Hard to rank anyone above him.

2. Julio Jones -- Kyle Shanahan, Atlanta's new offensive coordinator, is known for feeding his top receivers. Set career-high marks in receptions and yards last season. May top those this year. Led receivers in gains of at least 20 yards.

3. Demaryius Thomas -- As Peyton Manning's top target, Thomas has been a top-five fantasy wideout each of the past three seasons. Led NFL in targets in '14.

4. Dez Bryant -- Cowboys depleted running back situation should mean more passing. Scandalous 16 touchdowns a year ago. Will be hard to sustain that.

5. Jordy Nelson -- Undervalued for too long. Finally getting his due. Stay tuned on the hip issue. Could be reason for concern. Not much separation on these first five.

6. Calvin Johnson -- His days as the clear-cut best at the position are over. Slowed by injuries in '14, still had 1,000-yard campaign.

7. Odell Beckham -- What he did last year was incredible. Will be a sexy pick this fall. He may be the first receiver off the board in some leagues. I need to see him do it again before he climbs any higher. Maybe I'm late to the party.

8. A.J. Green -- Identical '14 to Megatron. Missed three games, still passed the century mark.

9. Randall Cobb -- Has a lot going for him. Leaving for Oakland would've sent him tumbling down this list.

10. Alshon Jeffery -- Should see a target bump with Brandon Marshall gone. Elite end zone jump-ball winner.

11. Emmanuel Sanders -- Peyton Manning can support two WR1s. Fifth in receptions and yards last season.

12. T.Y. Hilton -- Proven to be more than a speed guy. Best weapon on one of the league's best offenses. Addition of Andre Johnson may take away some looks.

13. DeAndre Hopkins -- Good news, bad news: Andre Johnson is gone, freeing up 147 targets, but the QB situation is still a mess. Set career marks across the board in '14.

14. Mike Evans -- QB play will be improved. In 2014, was 19th in yards and 36th in catches. Needs to become less touchdown-reliant to be a true WR1.

15. Andre Johnson -- Would've loved to see Johnson in his prime with an elite QB, but he's still a capable producer. Should assume Hakeem Nicks's and Reggie Wayne's targets.

16. Jordan Matthews -- Finished '14 strong. Unsure if he or rookie Nelson Agholor will be in the slot. Bradford will be fine.

17. Brandin Cooks -- Bump up a few spots for PPR. No Graham, no Stills. Drew Brees likes to spread it around but should be top target.

18. Julian Edelman -- Proved his '13 breakout was no fluke. Has a tough time scoring touchdowns from the slot. Would drop some if Tom Brady is suspended for significant time.

19. Kelvin Benjamin -- Good: Targeted 146 times in '14, sixth most in the league. Bad: Only caught 73 of those, exactly half. Will need to sustain volume and improve efficiency to flirt with WR1 status.

20. Keenan Allen -- Favorite buy-low/value pick of the year. Big plays and touchdowns regressed in '14. Betting on them to return this year. Still only 23. Unquestioned top wideout for Chargers.

21. Brandon Marshall -- With the Cutler bromance in the rearview mirror, he should still see a bunch of targets. Tough guy to rank.

22. Desean Jackson -- Had a nice debut season with the Redskins. A stable Robert Griffin III would help.

23. Nelson Agholor -- Very high on him. Think he has the best rookie season of the WRs. With Jeremy Maclin and Lesean McCoy gone, there's ample opportunity to produce immediately.

24. Golden Tate -- Inflated numbers thanks to Calvin Johnson's injury-riddled season. Will likely go before this. Let someone else overpay.

25. Allen Robinson -- Showed signs before season-ending injury. Has all the tools, now just needs better QB play. Should be participating in a bunch of garbage time.

26. Jeremy Maclin -- Quite a fall from Philadelphia to Kansas City. Will be tough to replicate excellent '14 with Alex Smith under center. 

27. Amari Cooper -- Derek Carr loves to throw the ball quickly. Cooper excels on short, intermediate routes. Perfect match. Can see 80-85 receptions. Legit WR2 in PPR.  

28. Sammy Watkins -- Lots of things working against him: QB play, under the knife this offseason and addition of Lesean McCoy foreshadows ground-and-pound.

29. Charles Johnson -- Will be a solid value pick. Really came on last season. Norv Turner running the offense. Not a lot of competition for targets.

30. Jarvis Landry -- Historic '14 receiver class led to him being overlooked. Was Tannehill's No. 1 option at season's end. Caught 84 of 111 targets. Bump up in PPR.



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