The wide receiver position is the deepest in fantasy football. While the position offers the most value in later rounds, the best receivers are the safest picks in your fantasy drafts early. They don’t get hurt as often as running backs and are being used more and more in a league constantly evolving towards favoring the passing game. With that in mind, here are my top 12 fantasy wide receivers for the coming season.
Top 12 Fantasy Wide Receivers in 2015
Jones is a freak. Blessed with natural talent and superlative size and strength, he does all of the little things just right. He runs crisp routes, can high point a long ball, has amazing foot control and can run hard after the catch. The Falcons have improved the offense by drafting Justin Hardy and Tevin Coleman. I’m seeing big things for a (finally) healthy Julio Jones in 2015.
Injuries have plagued the best receiver in the game over the last few years. It will always be a concern for fantasy owners with Mr. Megatron. All of that aside, he will be healthy this year and bring back his totals that had him going top five overall in fantasy drafts just last year. He is still the best at what he does and Matt Stafford loves throwing him the deep ball. Grab this guy in the second round for a big time steal.
Bryant just became the second highest paid receiver in football and rightfully so. Bryant can do anything with a football in his hands. He can make quick, lateral moves to make people miss and will lower his shoulder to truck a hopeless defender. Add those abilities to his eye for the end zone and he is an easy top 3 candidate in 2015.
If I was ranking this list in PPR (points per reception) format Brown would be much higher. I see no reason why he will not have at least 110 receptions again this year. The best thing about Brown is he cannot be covered all of the time. He will create space for himself across the field with his speed and vision. Antonio Brown is as safe as it gets this year for your WR1 position.
Peyton Manning loves chucking the ball to Thomas who, like Bryant above, signed a massive extension after getting the franchise tag. Thomas earned every bit of his $70 million contract and will continue to do so. He’s a mismatch against almost every corner in the league. Multiply that to Manning’s ability to use presnap reads to get him open, and DT is a sure fire top five receiver this year.
Finally out of Brandon Marshall’s shadow, Jeffery is poised for big things in 2015. Jay Cutler does many things wrong but he can throw a long ball, and throw the long ball he will. Jeffery is now the number one receiver and has all of the attributes Jay Cutler likes in his number one guy. Getting Jeffery in round three will put you in fabulous shape for 2015.
A nagging injury disappointed Green owners last year in a major way. He was hurt during the most important weeks of a fantasy football season. A healthy Green this year will have him back in the “best receiver” conversation. His talent is without question and Andy Dalton will lean on him heavily. I expect a bounce back year for Green and you can get him cheaper than last year.
Nelson had a stellar 2014 campaign. Aaron Rodgers has complete trust in him and rightfully so. Nelson plays the sidelines better than any receiver in the game and Rodgers’s ability to pinpoint the ball to him will have him scoring points every week. His numbers will come down slightly due to the emergence of Davante Adams but he is a sure fire number one receiver in 2015. His mid-second round value is right where it should be.
Cobb is the wild card element in the high octane Packers offense. He can line up in any place on the field and find mismatches to his speed and capabilities. He will continue to produce big numbers in almost every game. Due to his versatility he will be less affected by the uptick in Davante Adams’s production. His late second round average draft position (ADP) is just about right.
Odell Beckham, Jr.
The hype train has left the station on OBJ. He is coming off the board in the first round usually (sometimes the first wide receiver taken). While I am not that high on Beckham I do believe he is a sure fire WR1 this year. Don’t take Beckham in round one! Do take Beckham in late round two (if he gets there).
I understand that Andre Johnson is no spring chicken. I know he has slowed a little over the past couple years. Just three short years ago this guy was in the conversation with Megatron for best receiver in football with Matt “pick six” Shaub throwing him the ball. Johnson is the most talented receiver Andrew Luck has ever thrown to (including the great Reggie Wayne). With his current fourth round ADP, I will be adding Johnson as often as I can this year.
Benjamin wasn’t supposed to come out and be as good as he was last year. Concerns about his game prep and route running capabilities were quickly extinguished as he started playing football. Benjamin is a massive receiver who actually plays stronger and bigger than he looks (and he looks like a grizzly bear that can run a 4.3 40). The arrival of Devin Funchess will take a few redzone targets away. A full year of learning NFL regiments will have him doing the little things better. Add Benjamin in late round three for a draft day steal.