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2016 Fantasy Football Rankings: Wide Receivers

Wondering where to draft those receivers who missed time last year? Jordy Nelson? Keenan Allen? Kevin Benjamin? Josh Gordon?  The Pug has you covered!

It’s time to celebrate one of America’s favorite activities, the return of fantasy football. The Pug is here to guide you to another successful season. For the next few weeks we will take a look at the rankings , according to The Pug, of the top fantasy producers at their respective positions. Rankings will use a standard PPR league point system. 1 pt. for every 20 yards passing, 1 point for every 10 yards receiving and rushing, 1 pt for receptions 4 points for passing touchdowns and 6 points for rushing and receiving touchdowns.

click here for quarterback rankings

click here for running back rankings

and now the wide receivers……..

WR1

1. Antonio Brown (Pittsburgh Steelers)- The Pug’s number one wide receiver for the third season running. Over 100 receptions each of the last three years, and his number of receptions has risen each year. Not only is he the number one wideout, he should no question be your number one overall pick in PPR formats.

2. Julio Jones (Atlanta Falcons)- Julio had an amazing season last year catching as many balls as Brown (136) for a little more yardage (1871 compared to 1834), but two less touchdowns(8). He accomplished this feat all while there being no true number two wide receiver in Atlanta. Mohamed Sanu looks to fill that role which could give Jones even more big play opportunities.

3. Odell Beckham Jr. (New York Giants)- The Pug wasn’t sold on OBJ being a top tier wide receiver (woops) going into last season. After a 96 reception, 1,450 yards and 13 touchdowns in 15 games last season, there is no reason to think OBJ isn’t going to be fantasy gold for a long time coming.

4. DeAndre Hopkins (Houston Texans)- Hopkins continues to get better with each passing season. He finished fourth in fantasy points by a wideout last season, and if Brock Osweiler develops into the quarterback the Texans hope he will, he may only get better. He saw 192 targets last season, and there is no reason to believe he will see less this year.

5. Dez Bryant (Dallas Cowboys)- Remember this guy? Dez was hurt for most of last season and so was his quarterback. He has returned to camp healthy, has been spotted making amazing grabs, and looks to pick up where he left off in 2014. Bryant should have no problem staying healthy, but what about Tony Romo?…….

6. Allen Robinson (Jacksonville Jaguars)- The top wide receiver to arguably the best young offense in football, Robinson posted a 80/1,400/14 stat line last season. Robinson saw fellow wideout Allen Hurns receive a contract extension this offseason, and he will be playing this season proving to the Jaguars he is worthy of one as well. Don’t bet against him.

7. A.J. Green (Cincinnati Bengals)- Green put up solid numbers(86/1,297/10), yet again finishing in the top ten for receivers, even though the Bengals lost Andy Dalton early in week 13 to a thumb injury. Green could see downside as the Bengals did lose their wide receiver talent behind Green this offseason.

8. Jordy Nelson (Green Bay Packers)- After missing all of last season to a torn ACL, Jordy looks to become Aaron Rodgers favorite target once again. If you are Rodgers favorite target, you are destined to put up numbers, especially when you have sure hands.

9. Keenan Allen (San Diego Chargers)- Another young receiver who has shown tremendous promise, problem is he has had trouble staying healthy. Allen also hasn’t played with a true number lining up on the opposite side of him like he has this season in Travis Benjamin. If he stays healthy, he is mid WR1 with upside, especially if the offense is firing on all cylinders in San Diego.

10. Brandon Marshall (New York Jets)- The Jets stole Marshall from the Bears for a 5th round pick last season, and he rewarded the Jets with a 109/1,512/14 stat line. He ranked third among fantasy wide receivers last season, and showed no signs of slowing down. So why the drop to ten? Well, Geno Smith might be throwing him the ball and Smith has a lot to prove before trust can be put him as a legitimate starter in this league. Marshall may be a big reason he proves the doubters wrong though, and there is big upside here.

11. Alshon Jeffery (Chicago Bears)- Although Jeffery spent most of last season hurt, the Bears didn’t lose faith in him and slapped the franchise tag on him to keep him around. As a fantasy owner, you shouldn’t lose faith in him either. A healthy season where he is playing for a long-term deal and now how the comfort of knowing opposing defenses have to keep track of Kevin White on the other side, could easily bring Jeffery back into the top ten.

12. Amari Cooper (Oakland Raiders)- A solid rookie campaign (72/1,070/6), Cooper joins the WR1 boys since he, just like the Oakland Raiders as a team, is on the rise. With the emergence of Derek Carr as one of the top young arms in the game, taking his number one target is a safe and wise choice. He had 130 targets last year, and the Pug could see that number rise as high as 170.

13. Demaryius Thomas (Denver Broncos)- Although he still put up strong numbers last season (105/1,304/6), he was a step back from the previous season. Thomas saw 315 less yards and five less touchdowns, and although its hard to label him as anything but a WR1 right now, the quarterback change in Denver may not do him any favors.

14. Mike Evans (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)- Although his touchdown production was down last season, Evans saw more targets, receptions, and yardage in his second season. Drops were a big problem for him last season, but if Evans can grow into a successful veteran alongside Jamesis Winston, this duo could be one the fantasy world raves about for a long time.
15. T.Y. Hilton (Indianapolis Colts)- Hilton rounds out the WR1 options as Andrew Luck’s top guy. The Colts were not that good last year, but that was due to Andrew Luck and his nagging injuries keeping him away from the field. With Luck becoming the top paid player in the game, there will be pressure for him to perform up to his contract, and Hilton could rise in the rankings because of that.

WR2

16. Brandin Cooks (New Orleans Saints)- Cooks quietly enjoyed a great second season (84/1,138/9), emerging as one of Drew Brees’s favorite targets. Downside is Brees does such a good job of spreading the ball around, it is hard to zero in on of the Saints wide receivers, which is why Cooks sits on top of the second tier of wide receivers. Drafting him could have huge upside, but be ready to have games where he becomes non-existent as a downside.

17. Jarvis Landry (Miami Dolphins)- Landry is a hard guy to peg. His upside and talent are endless, as the Pug believes him to be one of the most talented young receivers in the game today. Problem is the rest of the offense surrounding him . Ryan Tannehill has been too inconsistent, the other receivers around him are average at best, and the running game is a huge question mark right now. A swing in either direction could be possible, but with his big play ability i would learn more towards up then down.

18. Julian Edelman (New England Patriots)- Edelman always has the potential to be a top ten wide receiver, but year after year it seems injuries are holding him back. He begins training camp on the PUP list after having offseason foot surgery, although he should be back in time for the season opener. Huge question mark this year for the first four weeks since Tom Brady will be suspended, and he may not be 100%.

19. Kelvin Benjamin (Carolina Panthers)- After breaking the 1k mark as a rookie, Benjamin had huge expectations going into his sophomore season. Last season never happened for him after tearing his ACL in practice, and without a number one receiver, their offense was successful and went to the Super Bowl. Will he bounce back from ACL surgery and improve this offense. The Pug believes so which is why Benjamin has as much upside as anyone in the WR2 category.

20. Doug Baldwin ( Seattle Seahawks)- Chances are if you had Baldwin last season and were fighting for a playoff spot, Baldwin’s torrid second half last yea not only helped you make the playoffs, but made you a legitimate contender for the championship.From week 12 to week 16 he had 29 receptions for 484 yards and eye popping 11 touchdowns. Huge upside here as he signed an extension this offseason to be Russell Wilson’s top target for the next four years.

21. Jeremy Maclin (Kansas City Chiefs)- The Chiefs brought Maclin in last season to break a long drought of wide receiver touchdowns and he did just that. Downside of Maclin is the lack of receiving depth behind him, even though he is talented enough to still put up numbers of a WR2. If the Chiefs get any other wide receiver to emerge this season, he could be poised for a breakout season.

22. Larry Fitzgerald (Arizona Cardinals)- Although he is aging, the amount of talent around him,and the fact that he catches everything thrown his way (only one drop last season) makes him a safe WR2 option. He continues to be the top option for Carson Palmer, even with emerging stars Michael Floyd and john Brown behind him.

23. Allen Hurns (Jacksonville Jaguars)- One half of the dynamic Allen twins from Duval, look for Hurns to do enough for the world to see them become the top wide receiver duo in the league. Hurns broke the 1k mark and scored ten touchdowns last season, a number that he could match this season. The Jags are betting he will by giving him a four year extension this offseason, part of a plan to keep their big three offensive young guns together for as long as possible.

24. Sammy Watkins (Buffalo Bills)- Watkins has huge upside , but his inability to stay healthy during his entire career makes the Pug weary of taking him any higher than a middle ground WR2. Can Tyrod Taylor continue to grow his second year and Buffalo and Watkins stay healthy this season? Sure, but that is a lot of what if’s associated with picking Watkins any higher.

25. Eric Decker (New York Jets)- Decker enjoyed a fine fantasy season last year that saw him post a 80/1,027/12 stat line, good for 14th best among fantasy wide receivers. His drop in the rankings is the same reason why Brandon Marshall dropped in the rankings, uncertainty at the quarterback position. Like Marshall, Decker could rise up this list to a high end WR2 if the Jets can get decent QB play from Geno Smith.

26. Golden Tate (Detroit Lions)- Tate is set to be the Lions number one guy, a role he may not be well suited for. The recent signing of Anquan Boldin may help take some pressure off him though. His numbers last year were down from his first season in Detroit, but so was the offense as a whole. If Tate could step up and help the Lions curb the loss of Calvin Johnson to retirement, Tate could rise to as high as a low end WR1.

27. Randall Cobb (Green Bay Packers)- Although his numbers dropped in 2015, look for a bounce back season for Cobb with defenses having to once again gameplan for Jordy Nelson. Without Cobb playing against the opposing defenses top guy, look for him to return to similar numbers as 2014 (91/1,287/12) as his upside.

28. Jordan Matthews (Philadelphia Eagles)- A guy many people saw as a top tier wide receiver last season, Matthews did not live up to expectations. This season may not get any easier for him as the Eagles have more questions on offense right now then the Pug has underwear. The upside still exist, but this is one guy that should be drafted with minimal expectations.

29. Emmanuel Sanders (Denver Broncos)- After joining the Broncos two years ago and seeing his fantasy relevance skyrocket, Sanders was not as productive his second year in town. not saying his talent is down, but the quarterback talent slowed around him as did his production. Bringing in Mark Sanchez to be the starting QB didn’t do much to change that situation, and the possibility of seeing Sanders numbers drop again is very real.

30. Michael Floyd (Arizona Cardinals)- The biggest knock against Floyd is not that he isn’t talented or isn’t capable of being a high end WR2, it’s that Palmer has a lot of weapons to spread the ball around to. Floyd will be a solid contributor this year, but be weary of the games where one of the other Cardinals wide receivers steal the spotlight, and Floyd has a quiet week.

WR3

31. John Brown (Arizona Cardinals)

32. Tyler Lockett (Seattle Seahawks)

33. Kevin White (Chicago Bears)

34. Laquon Treadwell<Rookie>(Minnesota Vikings)

35. Donte Moncrief (Indianapolis Colts)

36. DeSean Jackson (Washington Redskins)

37. Corey Coleman<Rookie>(Cleveland Browns) 

38. Marvin Jones (Detroit Lions)

39. Devante Parker (Miami Dolphins)

40. Josh Gordon (Cleveland Browns)

41. Willie Snead (New Orleans Saints)

42. Steve Smith (Baltimore Ravens)

43. Kamar Aiken (Baltimore Ravens)

44. Vincent Jackson (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

45. Travis Benjamin (San Diego Chargers)

WR4

46. Stefon Diggs (Minnesota Vikings)

47. Torrey Smith (San Francisco 49ers)

48. Tavon Austin (Los Angeles Rams)

49. Victor Cruz (New York Giants)

50. Sterling Shepard<Rookie>(New York Giants)

51. Markus Wheaton (Pittsburgh Steelers)

52. Dorial Green-Beckham (Tennessee Titans)

53. Michael Crabtree (Oakland Raiders)

54. Mohamed Sanu (Atlanta Falcons)

55. Josh Doctson<Rookie>(Washington Redskins)

56. Steve Johnson (San Diego Chargers)

57. Nelson Agholor (Philadelphia Eagles)

58. Chris Hogan (New England Patriots)

59. Anquan Boldin (Detroit Lions)

60. Terrance Williams (Dallas Cowboys)

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