2018 Fantasy Football Rankings: Wide Receivers
As we get further into August, we get ever closer to our fantasy football draft dates. Each and every one of us wants to do all the research necessary to maximize our chances of taking home our leagues’ glory, and I’m here to give you a hand in figuring everything out.
Today’s fantasy rankings will focus on wide receivers, a position which seems to gain more and more fantasy importance as time moves forward. The NFL is increasingly becoming a more pass-first league, making receivers more valuable in fantasy football than ever before.
Considering the fact that most 12-team league formats allow owners to start a maximum of three wide receivers, I’ll be talking about my top 36 wide receivers, why they’re worth your pick, as well as whatever risk they may run you, because everyone’s got their flaws. Along with each player, I’ll include their 2017-18 statistics, as well as their teams’ bye weeks for this upcoming season. Keep in mind that these rankings are based on a .5-PPR format so as to remain relatively neutral. If you’ve missed our rankings for other fantasy positions, you can check them out in the links below.
Now, let’s take a look at those receivers.
1. Antonio Brown, PIT (7)
14 games: 101 receptions, 1,533 receiving yards, 9 touchdowns
The Good: Wanna now just how great Antonio Brown is? He led the NFL last season with 109.5 receiving yards per game. Second place was Julio Jones…with 90.3. That margin is absolutely mind-blowing. Brown is an unreal athlete who runs routes better than anyone else in the league and is more capable than anyone at making something huge out of nothing. There isn’t much to say about him other than he’s the best pass-catcher in the NFL. If he’s not the first wide receiver off your board, something is amiss.
The Catch: The only thing that might hold Brown back is if quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s arm regresses with age. Other than that, he’s well worth an early to mid-first round pick.
2. DeAndre Hopkins, HOU (10)
15 games: 96 receptions, 1,378 receiving yards, 13 TD
The Good: Hopkins’s athleticism, body control, and hands are out of this world. He and quarterback Deshaun Watson formed an immediate chemistry that electrified opposing defenses and made them one of the deadliest duos the NFL has to offer. Even with Tom Savage throwing him the ball for half the season, Hopkins still managed to lead the NFL in receiving touchdowns. If he gets a full season with Watson, he should put up insane numbers.
The Catch: We just have to hope that Watson stays healthy after his midseason ACL tear from last year. All signs are pointing to that being the case, so Hopkins is more than worth a mid-first round pick.
3. Julio Jones, ATL (8)
16 games: 88 receptions, 1,444 receiving yards, 3 TD
The Good: In terms of big play ability, it doesn’t get much better than Julio Jones. Since his entrance into the league, he’s put up some of the best single games of any player in fantasy and could easily go off and lead your team in points scored in any given week. He’s a great athlete that dominates opposing defensive backs with as high a ceiling as any other receiver.
The Bad: The main issue that Jones has in terms of fantasy is that a lot of his value can come all at once as opposed to on a consistent basis. He’ll have some amazing games, as well as some where he’ll only give you a handful of points. His low touchdown total is a little scary as well, but he’s still worth a pick late in the first round.
4. Odell Beckham Jr, NYG (9)
4 games: 25 receptions, 302 receiving yards, 3 TD
The Good: There’s no denying OBJ’s talent. He could very well have the best hands in the NFL and is as good after the catch as any receiver in recent memory. Aside from last season (which was cut short by injury), he’s never had a season with fewer than 1,300 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns. If you don’t like any of the running backs available at the tail end of the first round, he’s a great pick.
The Catch: His brutal ankle injury from last season could be a turn off, but I’d say quarterback Eli Manning is the bigger hindrance. Eli looked terrible last year, and as great as Odell is, poor quarterback play would be bound to hurt his fantasy value.
5. Michael Thomas, NO (6)
16 games: 104 receptions, 1,245 receiving yards, 5 TD
The Good: Thomas spent his rookie season showing quarterback Drew Brees that future Hall of Famer has a big new target in New Orleans. His sophomore campaign was no different, as Thomas upped his targets, receptions, and receiving yards. With running back Alvin Kamara excelling at a high level, the Saints offense should be firing on all cylinders, with Thomas as one of hits prominent features.
The Catch: There isn’t much to dislike about Thomas or his situation; he just hasn’t shown quite enough to make him a definitive first rounder yet. He’s still a fantastic choice for a WR1.
6. AJ Green, CIN (9)
16 games: 75 receptions, 1,078 receiving yards, 8 TD
The Good: Over his seven-year NFL career, Green has been one of the most consistently dominant wide receivers in football. Outside of a 2016-17 season which saw him play in only ten games, Green has garnered at least 1,000 yards and 6 touchdowns in every season, while also making seven straight Pro Bowls. And all this while being thrown to by the perennially mediocre Andy Dalton. Green might not be the sexiest WR1, but he’s as safe as they come.
The Catch: It’s just tough to endorse a wide receiver who relies on Andy Dalton as a top 15 pick. If Green were in a better quarterback situation, he could easily be a first rounder, but he’s just a bit limited on that front.
7. Keenan Allen, LAC (8)
16 games: 102 receptions, 1,393 receiving yards, 6 TD
The Good: Allen was finally healthy last season, and spent it showing us why he’d been so heavily touted from year to year. He ranked third in the NFL in receiving yards as well as fourth in both receptions and receiving yards per game, and became the first player in NFL history to record at least 10 receptions, 100 receiving yards, and a touchdown in three straight games. He and quarterback Philip Rivers have undeniable chemistry, and Allen should be in for another great season.
The Catch: Allen’s health situation is a strange one. He’s been consistently hurt over his career, but they’ve all be different sorts of injuries. When you consider someone “injury-prone,” it’s usually in reference to one nagging health issue, but that hasn’t been the case with Allen. Still, his health is worth monitoring.
8. Davante Adams, GB (7)
14 games: 74 receptions, 885 receiving yards, 10 TD
The Good: With Jordy Nelson now a Raider, Adams assumes the role of quarterback Aaron Rodgers’s #1 option at receiver, which is always a huge boost to anyone’s fantasy value. Adams is super talented and has improved his receiving yards per game rate in each of his four pro seasons, and 2018-19 should be his biggest to date. He and Rodgers will do some damage.
The Catch: What made Rodgers and Nelson so great was their infallible chemistry. Adams is a great player and will be a valuable fantasy asset so long as Rodgers is throwing him the ball, but he’ll have to develop similar chemistry with Rodgers in order reach his highest peak in terms of fantasy value.
9. Mike Evans, TB (5)
15 games: 71 receptions, 1,001 receiving yards, 5 TD
The Good: If you were to chuck a football up in the air towards a group of players and just hope for someone to grab it, the 6’5” Evans would probably be the guy to come down with it. He has a great mix of size and talent which helps him overwhelm opposing defensive backs. When he and quarterback Jameis Winston are on the same page, they’re as dangerous as any duo in football, as was made clear by his fantastic 2016-17 season.
The Catch: Winston regressed last season, and so did Evans. He didn’t pay off on his late-first round ADP, which could justifiably scare off some fantasy owners this year. Not helping is the fact that Winston is starting off the season with a three-game suspension.
10. Doug Baldwin, SEA (7)
16 games: 75 receptions, 991 receiving yards, 8 TD
The Good: After just spending his first four NFL seasons as a pretty average wide receiver, Baldwin has spent the last three developing great chemistry with quarterback Russell Wilson and has become a solid low-end WR1 in fantasy. 2018-19 could actually be his best year yet, as Seattle’s defense will likely be worse than it has been in a long time with the Legion of Boom pretty much depleted. This being the case, the offense will need to score more, which means more passing, which means more opportunities for Baldwin.
The Catch: Baldwin doesn’t necessarily have the raw talent of some other WR1-type guys. He’s great with Wilson, but there’s no aspect of his game that really puts him above his competition on his own. Baldwin needs Wilson in order to be productive from a fantasy standpoint, which prevents me from picking him before the end of the second round.
11. TY Hilton, IND (9)
16 games: 57 receptions, 966 receiving yards, 4 TD
The Good: Hilton had a down year last year, the first since 2013-14 in which he didn’t garner at least 1,000 receiving yards. However, the reason was obvious: he had Jacoby Brissett throwing to him instead of Andrew Luck. Luck and Hilton form a fantastic duo, which helped Hilton lead the league in receiving in 2016-17. With Luck back on the field, Hilton should be back to racking up the yards as well as anybody.
The Catch: We just have to hope Luck stays healthy. Hilton isn’t enough of a red zone threat to rely on touchdowns for fantasy, and rather relies on a great arm to help him get fantasy points via yardage. If, for some reason, Luck’s shoulder still isn’t right, Hilton could be in for another lackluster fantasy season.
12. Adam Thielen, MIN (10)
16 games: 91 receptions, 1,276 receiving yards, 4 TD
The Good: One of 2017-18’s big breakout stars, Thielen finished the season fifth in the NFL in receiving yards and eighth in receptions. He’s a brilliant route runner, capable of juking opposing defensive backs out of their shoes and getting himself wide open whenever the opportunity presents itself. Thielen is a fantastic compliment to fellow Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs’s big play ability and should thrive with Kirk Cousins now under center in Minnesota.
The Catch: The fact that Thielen was still pretty good in 2016-17 sort of makes the “one year wonder” argument kind of invalid. The main concern from a fantasy perspective has to be how he and Cousins develop their relationship. Cousins is entering a brand new offense, so we’ll have to wait and see how they both adjust.
13. Larry Fitzgerald, ARI (9)
16 games: 109 receptions, 1,156 receiving yards, 6 TD
The Good: No matter how old Fitzgerald gets, he’s still going to be one of the top receivers in fantasy. After taking a bit of a dip between 2012 and 2014, Fitz has had a career-renaissance over the past three seasons, finishing with at least 107 receptions, 1,000 yards, and six touchdowns each year. He’s showing no signs of slowing down as he continues to make his case as a future first-ballot Hall of Famer as his fantasy value remains one of the best in game.
The Catch: I’d say his age is a concern (he’ll be 35 at the end of August), but it’s Arizona’s quarterback situation that’s a bigger issue. Sam Bradford is never great and Josh Rosen, although promising, is entering his rookie year, and it’s tough to ever fully trust a rookie QB.
14. Tyreek Hill, KC (12)
15 games: 75 receptions, 1,183 receiving yards, 7 TD
The Good: The fastest man in football, Hill is capable of outrunning literally anybody on his way into the end zone. He could thrive with the hard-throwing Patrick Mahomes at quarterback, as the two can link up down the field with opposing DBs left in the dust. Hill is also one of the league’s elite punt returners, and could give you a touchdown or two over the season as some bonus fantasy value.
The Catch: A lot of Hill’s value hinges on whether or not Mahomes will be successful this season. Mahomes has a cannon for an arm but isn’t incredibly accurate and could certainly struggle in his first full season as a starter.
15. Amari Cooper, OAK (7)
14 games: 48 receptions, 680 receiving yards, 7 TD
The Good: Last season aside, Cooper had at least 70 receptions, 1,000 receiving yards, and five touchdowns in both of his first two NFL seasons. The Raiders were awful last year and Cooper’s fantasy production took a big hit, but he’s talented enough to still warrant a WR2 selection. He and quarterback Derek Carr work very well together and coach Jon Gruden’s new offense could be strongly beneficial for Cooper.
The Catch: Gruden hasn’t coached in the NFL in over a decade, so it’s impossible to tell just how Cooper will bounce back from last season’s poor fantasy performance. Take him if you’re confident in his talent, but be wary of the uncertainty surrounding him.
16. Stefon Diggs, MIN (10)
14 games: 64 receptions, 849 receiving yards, 8 TD
The Good: Adam Thielen is the possession guy, and Diggs is the down-the-field threat. Super athletic and full of fantasy potential, Diggs is always a threat to go downfield for a score. Kirk Cousins presents him with the best quarterback he’s played with so far, so it’s fairly safe to assume that he’ll be in for his highest single season fantasy value yet.
The Catch: Much like Thielen, we can’t be sure of how Diggs and Cousins will work together. Perhaps more concerning, though, is that Diggs has never put up a 1,000 yard season, and it’s never totally safe to really on a player’s fantasy prospects as opposed to what we’ve actually seen in the past.
17. Demaryius Thomas, DEN (10)
16 games: 83 receptions, 949 receiving yards, 5 TD
The Good: Thomas was a perennial top 7 receiver for a few years when Peyton Manning was throwing him the ball. His fantasy value has slowed down without Manning, but that doesn’t mean he’s not still as talented as he’s always been. Case Keenum is probably the best quarterback Denver has had since Manning’s retirement, and Thomas could shoot way back up the fantasy rankings with a competent QB under center.
The Catch: Keenum had his best season as a pro last season in a fantastic Vikings system after being a career backup beforehand. It’s understandable to think that he won’t be nearly as good as he was last season, so Thomas’s fantasy value could suffer.
18. Allen Robinson, CHI (5)
1 game: 1 reception, 17 yards
The Good: Let’s just put it this way: Robinson is talented enough to make Blake Bortles look like an elite fantasy quarterback. He racked up 1,400 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns in 2015-16, showing off some excellent hands and big play ability. He had a down 2016-17 and suffered a torn ACL on his first catch of last season, but his new change in scenery could be exactly what he needs to come back into fantasy relevancy.
The Catch: Robinson has only had one great season and we’re not entirely sure of how good Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky actually is. Robinson is super talented but needs to develop a nice relationship with his young QB in order to be successful from a fantasy perspective.
19. Josh Gordon, CLE (11)
5 games: 18 receptions, 335 receiving yards, 1 TD
The Good: Personally, there’s no single player I’m rooting for harder than Josh Gordon this season. After taking the league by storm in 2013-14, Gordon only played in five games from 2014 to 2016 due to constant suspensions rooted in substance abuse and mental health problems. Gordon came back for the latter half of last season and looked great. If he can stay on the field this season, he has WR1 fantasy upside and a massively high ceiling.
The Catch: I hate to say it, but fantasy owners cannot be 100% confident in Gordon’s ability to stay on the field. He looks like he’s really turned his life around and it’s safe to say that most of us want him to succeed, but wariness on the part of fantasy owners is entirely understandable.
20. Alshon Jeffery, PHI (9)
16 games: 57 receptions, 789 receiving yards, 9 TD
The Good: Although he hasn’t quite lived up to the high standards he set for himself in Chicago early on in his career, the fact that Jeffery played in all 16 of Philadelphia’s game last year is huge. His health has been his main detriment over the past few years, as his talent and high fantasy value are undeniable. If stays healthy this season, he could have one of his best seasons as a pro with star quarterback Carson Wentz getting him the ball.
The Catch: Jeffery has been so injury prone over the past few years that it’s tough to fully trust him unless we see another season of at least 13 or 14 games. He really does have WR1 upside, but he needs to stay healthy.
21. JuJu Smith-Schuster, PIT (7)
14 games: 58 receptions, 917 receiving yards, 7 TD
The Good: The NFL’s youngest player last season, JuJu spent the latter half of 2017-18 playing better than any fantasy owner could have hoped, averaging 98 receiving yards per game from Week 8 on, while also scoring four touchdowns over that span. He’s no longer a secret weapon and should get plenty of catches with opposing defenses trying to shut down Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell.
The Catch: Just like Brown, Smith-Schuster owners have to watch out for Roethlisberger’s arm. JuJu isn’t quite the playmaker that Brown is, so he has to rely more on Big Ben successfully getting him the ball.
22. Golden Tate, DET (6)
16 games: 92 receptions, 1,003 receiving yards, 5 TD
The Good: Tate has been a PPR dream since coming to Detroit, finishing all four of his seasons with the Lions having caught at least 90 balls. He’s by far quarterback Matthew Stafford’s favorite target and is always a lock for plenty of targets week in and week out. He’s not a home run guy, but he’s very dependable as a definite WR2.
The Catch: Tate doesn’t get very many touchdowns, making him more of a fringe WR2/WR3 player in non-PPR formats. He’s a high-floor, low-ceiling receiver, so if you’re looking for someone who will outplay their ADP, you might want to look elsewhere.
23. Jarvis Landry, CLE (11)
16 games: 112 receptions, 987 receiving yards, 9 TD
The Good: Arguably a WR1 in full-PPR leagues, Landry currently holds the record for most receptions through the first four seasons of an NFL career in history. Next to Odell and Larry Fitzgerald, he arguably has the best hands in the game and is as good a slot receiver as it gets. He could thrive in Cleveland’s revamped offense, especially as a nice dump off man if Baker Mayfield ends up starting at quarterback and needs to get rid of the ball.
The Catch: We don’t know what’s up with the quarterback situation in Cleveland, which provides some level of uncertainty in terms of what kind of consistency Landry can see in terms of targets. This will also be the first year of his career in which he’s not the best receiver on his team if Josh Gordon plays up to his potential, so his reception total could take a hit.
24. chris hogan, NE (11)
9 games: 34 receptions, 439 receiving yards, 5 TD
The Good: With Brandin Cooks and Danny Amendola gone, Hogan becomes New England’s second best wide receiver, and the team’s best during the first four games of the season with Julian Edelman suspended. Quarterback Tom Brady trusts Hogan to make some big plays, and the receiver can have great stretches at a time. In between Weeks 2 and 5, he recorded 280 receiving yards and five touches. Expect Hogan’s volume to increase.
The Catch: Given how much Brady spreads the ball around, it’s tough to take any player on the Patriots offense who isn’t Edelman or tight end Rob Gronkowski, and even Edelman brings his uncertainties. Fantasy owners have to hope that Brady gets Hogan the ball as much as expected.
25. Emmanuel Sanders, DEN (10)
12 games: 47 receptions, 555 receiving yards, 2 TD
The Good: Much like his teammate Demaryius Thomas, Sanders is wildly talented but has suffered due to poor quarterback play from a fantasy perspective. He’s great in the slot, making him an excellent pick as a WR2 in half or full-PPR. If Case Keenum fits into the Broncos offense as well as the organization hopes, Sanders could be in for a fantasy resurgence.
The Catch: Just like Thomas, we can’t be too sure of how well Keenum will be able to get the ball to Sanders. Sanders’s talent gives him some nice upside, especially in the sixth round, but it’s tough to rely on Keenum at this point.
26. Brandin Cooks, LAR (12)
16 games: 65 receptions, 1,082 receiving yards, 7 TD
The Good: The Rams signing Cooks to a five-year, $80 million deal before even playing a snap for the team means they have big plans for their new receiver. They had the best offense in the NFL last season, and Cooks provides them with a huge downfield threat for quarterback Jared Goff to take advantage of. It’s not unsafe to think that Cooks can put up high-end WR2 numbers if the situation turns out as nice as it appears.
The Catch: There’s just so much going on with the Rams that it’s tough to have absolute faith in any playmaker not named Todd Gurley. Gurley is so dominant on offense that he could take the ball out of receivers’ hands thanks to his huge big play ability, and fellow wide receiver Robert Woods will also get some targets after a nice breakout campaign last season.
27. Pierre Garcon, SF (11)
8 games: 40 receptions, 500 yards, 0 TD
The Good: Garcon starts off the season as probably the best receiver in an offense that is sure to pass the ball plenty. The 49ers are all in on quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, and they likely plan on having him pass the ball as much as possible. Garcon should have plenty of balls come his way as San Francisco continues on their quest to become an elite NFL offense.
The Catch: Although Jimmy G won all of his starts for the 49ers last season, Garcon actually didn’t play in any of them. This being the case, we have no idea how much chemistry the two of them will have. Garoppolo was great without Garcon last season, so fantasy owners might wants to be a wary of an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” philosophy for San Francisco’s offense.
28. Marvin Jones Jr, DET (6)
16 games: 61 receptions, 1,101 receiving yards, 9 TD
The Good: Jones isn’t Calvin Johnson, but he’s the closest thing Detroit has had since Megatron retired. He led the NFL in yards per reception (18.0) last season and is always a huge threat to bolt downfield for a long touchdown. He has WR1 upside in any given week.
The Catch: Although he has great upside in any week, Jones’s fantasy value all too often comes all at once. With Golden Tate being the big possession guy for Detroit’s offense, Jones is often a boom-or-bust fantasy play. He’s a solid pick in the middle rounds, but fantasy owners cannot always feel confident starting him.
29. Michael Crabtree, BAL (10)
14 games: 58 receptions, 618 receiving yards, 8 TD
The Good: Crabtree comes to Baltimore as the team’s #1 receiving option and the team’s best bet for fantasy value from a pass-catcher. He’s proven himself to be deadly in the red zone, as he’s scored at least eight touchdowns in the past three seasons, despite Oakland’s offense being terrible all around last year. The Ravens gave Crabtree a three-year deal worth $21 million this past offseason, and they clearly have big plans for him in their offense this season.
The Catch: Baltimore’s quarterback situation is not good. Veteran quarterback Joe Flacco has never been great but he looked terrible last year, which was his worst full season since his rookie year. His contract is up after this season, and rookie QB Lamar Jackson could replace him sooner than expected if Flacco underperforms again this season. Not only is this situation uncertain, but it’s just plain bad.
30. Robert Woods, LAR (12)
12 games: 56 receptions, 781 receiving yards, 5 TD
The Good: Woods was a great waiver wire pick up option toward the end of last season, as he put up some huge fantasy numbers in the latter half of 2017-18. One could consider his first season with the Rams to have been Woods’s breakout, and things will likely improve this year. He’s a huge downfield threat at any given time and Jared Goff seems to really trust him to make big catches.
The Catch: As is the case with most receivers who are primarily downfield threats, Woods’s fantasy value could potentially be boom-or-bust on a weekly basis. Brandin Cooks is another downfield threat the Rams have, and he could take the ball out of Woods’s hands on some touchdown plays.
31. Corey Davis, TEN (8)
11 games: 34 receptions, 375 receiving yards, 0 TD
The Good: The #5 overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft is one of my bigger sleeper picks for this fantasy season. Taking a wide receiver that early in the draft means that the Titans clearly have big plans for Davis, and as quarterback Marcus Mariota continues to get better, he should see more and more targets. Tennessee’s other receiving options aren’t necessarily elite either, so Davis’s volume is sure to increase this season and could be a great keeper option in the mid to late rounds.
The Catch: We basically just haven’t seen Davis perform well enough to start him off this season as anything more than a FLEX option. He’s got plenty of room to grow, but for now he’s a WR3.
32. Will Fuller V, HOU (10)
10 games: 28 receptions, 423 receiving yards, 2 TD
The Good: Fuller played in four games with Deshaun Watson throwing him the ball. Over those four games, he caught seven touchdowns. That rate obviously won’t continue into this season, but that is still wild. DeAndre Hopkins might be the big receiver in Houston, but Fuller has great value from his downfield prowess. He could be in for a huge third season.
The Catch: As great as he was with Watson on the field, Fuller average 24 yards per game with other quarterbacks throwing him the ball. Fantasy owners not only have to worry about how his nice performances from last season can carry into this year, but if Watson’s ACL should act up at any point, Fuller could be next to useless from a fantasy perspective.
33. Devin Funchess, CAR (4)
16 games: 63 receptions, 840 receiving yards, 8 TD
The Good: Funchess had a nice first season as Carolina’s #1 wide receiver and should benefit from the newly acquired Torrey Smith taking some attention off of him. If tight end Greg Olsen stays healthy, Carolina could have a pretty nice set of playmakers down the field, with Funchess perhaps being the most exciting.
The Catch: Funchess hasn’t shown us anything that makes fantasy owners think that his ceiling is particularly high. His value also hinges on quarterback Cam Newton’s own prowess. The Panthers have never had back-to-back winning seasons with Cam at QB, and having gone 11-5 last season, Carolina’s offense could very well see a significant dip in production.
34. Sammy Watkins, KC (12)
15 games: 39 receptions, 593 receiving yards, 8 TD
The Good: Watkins obviously has a ton of talent, as was proven by his solid start to his NFL career in Buffalo. However, health hindered him in his third season, and his one year with the Rams last season was nothing tremendously special. Watkins can be in for a serious resurgence in Kansas City, however. For all we know, he could become Patrick Mahomes’s favorite target. Consider him a decent FLEX with WR2 upside.
The Catch: Being presumably the third receiving option on a brand new team isn’t really a good thing for a fantasy receiver. We have no idea how he will fit into coach Andy Reid’s offense or what his relationship with Mahomes will be like. Watkins seems to have just as much uncertainty surrounding his fantasy value as he does upside.
35. Cooper Kupp, LAR (12)
15 games: 62 receptions, 869 receiving yards, 5 TD
The Good: Kupp spent 2017-18 as one of the most pleasant surprises in fantasy, becoming Jared Goff’s favorite target while playing an integral role in the NFL’s best offense. He has a chance to be even better this season, with Brandin Cooks coming in to take some of the heat off. Cooks and Robert Woods are both downfield threats while Kupp thrives in the slot, so Kupp’s fantasy value shouldn’t take a hit.
The Catch: Kupp’s rookie season wasn’t amazing enough to warrant starting the season off as more than a WR3. It’s tough to get overly excited about him this season, but he should work just fine so long as fantasy owners don’t reach too far for him.
36. Julian Edelman, NE (11)
0 games (injury)
The Good: Although he missed all of last season with a torn ACL and will be suspended for the first four games of this season, Edelman is still probably Tom Brady’s top target aside from maybe Rob Gronkowski. He can be a reception machine, making him super valuable in PPR. If none of the receivers you’ve drafted so far don’t have a Week 4 bye, Edelman could have a nice value when drafted as a WR3 given his proven upside.
The Catch: The four-game suspension obviously hurts Edelman’s fantasy value, but perhaps more troubling is the fact that it’s a PED suspension. How long as Edelman been using PEDs? How much could they have affected his game in the past? It’s tough to know if he’ll be the same player when he returns.