This past season was a story of big successes and big failures (Larry Fitzgerald’s owners need no reminders) by many wide receivers. The 2013 WR Rankings reflect my reactions to the amazing/horrible seasons that some of these guys had. With many leagues now requiring three starting wide receivers or using flex spots, the wide receiver position has taken on new meaning.
(UPDATE: Actually, our latest 2013 WR Rankings are posted here! We’ll be updating them throughout the summer and preseason!)
In 2012, we saw Calvin Johnson get drafted among the top six picks in most Fantasy leagues. He then went out and broke Jerry Rice’s single-season yardage record, and nearly caught 2,000-yards worth of passes. Unfortunately, he scored just five touchdowns, which is the second-lowest total among the top 14 wide receivers. So even though he was the top Fantasy wide receiver, it wasn’t by a landslide, as Brandon Marshall’s 11 touchdowns and 1,500 yards were right on Megatron’s tail.
Calvin Johnson actually had a better Fantasy season in 2011, since he scored nearly 50 points more than the second-best that season, Jordy Nelson.Some other hindsight observations on the 2012 season:
- Julio Jones and Roddy White split the difference and settled back down to the bottom of the top 10.
- Two Broncos ended up among the top seven Fantasy wide receivers. Demaryius Thomas was just incredible and continued Peyton Manning’s streak of having superstar Fantasy wide receivers on the other end of his passes.
- Brandon Lloyd’s reunion with Josh McDaniels was a big flop, and Wes Welker’s (probably) last season with Tom Brady was another WR1 year.
- A.J. Green and Dez Bryant took huge steps forward and should be drafted among the top five WRs next season in all leagues.
- Vincent Jackson proved that a free agent wide receiver is not always a bad Fantasy pick.
- The Giants’ dynamic duo of wide receivers came up short, scoring 13 touchdowns and 1,700 yards combined, mostly due to Hakeem Nicks’ continued fragility.
So let’s look ahead into the 2013 season!
Quick thoughts on my 2013 Fantasy Football WR Rankings:
- Remember, we’re talking about non-PPR leagues here. This 2012 group of wide receivers had five that scored over 200 Fantasy points. That total is tied for the third-most wide receivers to score 200 Fantasy points in one year dating back to 1990, when Jerry Rice was the only one. Remember that guy?
- In retrospect, I think the craziest number from the 2012 season as far as wide receivers go, Reggie Wayne and Calvin Johnson were targeted over 200 times. TWO HUNDRED!!! Stats on targets don’t go too far back, but those are definitely the highest numbers I’ve ever seen.
- But nearly as impressive!?! There were eight total wide receivers that were targeted more than 150 times in 2012. EIGHT! (I like punctuating big numbers by writing them in caps. Have you noticed?)
- I have Welker down a bit in the 2012 Fantasy Football WR Rankings, but mostly because I don’t expect him to be on the other end of Brady’s passes anymore.
- Michael Crabtree had a breakout season with the Niners, and it was no coincidence that he started to get better once Colin Kaepernick took over full time at QB. He scored five touchdowns in the final seven games, and three of his four 100-yard games came with the sophomore signal-caller throwing to him. He was also targeted over 10 times in four games with Kaepernick, compared to zero with Alex Smith, in 2012.
- Larry Fitzgerald leaps up about eight spots in these rankings, and a round or two in mock drafts, as former Raiders QB Carson Palmer comes to town. It’s Fitzgerald’s first strong-armed veteran QB since Kurt Warner was in the desert. I like him as an early third-rounder now.
Rookies aren’t in these rankings, but we’ll add them after the draft – and bump down the veterans whose jobs are suddenly in danger!
2013 Fantasy Football Draft Prep
|Rankings: Top 200 Overall | QB | RB | WR | TE | K | DST | Sleepers|
|PPR Rankings: Top 200 Overall | RB | WR | TE | Offensive Line Rankings|
|IDP Rankings: Top 195 Overall | DL | LB | DB | Auction Dos/Don'ts|
|Rookie Rankings: Top 30 Overall | QB | RB | WR | TE|
|3rd-Year Wide Receivers: History | 3 to Target | The Big 3 | Avoid|
|All-Reliable Team: QB | RB | WR | TE | All-Risk Team: QB | RB | WR | TE|
|Injured Players on the Mend: QB | RB | WR | TE|
|NFL Coaching Changes: Pt 1 and Pt 2 | Strength of Schedule: 9 Players|
2013 Fantasy Football WR Rankings
These 2013 Fantasy Football WR Rankings should give you a decent look into the upcoming draft season. Did I miss the boat on a couple guys? Do I have the 2012 rookie class too low, with both Justin Blackmon and Josh Brown ranked in the 30s? Let us know what you think.
David Gonos spent 5 years as a CBSSports.com Senior Fantasy Writer and three more years writing with SI.com. Over the past 17 years, his work has been published on NFL.com, MLB.com, FanDuel, FoxSports.com and USA Today. Since 2001, he has been tracking down the Top 50-plus Free Fantasy Football Draft Tools online. You can contact David Gonos here.