2013 Fantasy Wide Receiver Rankings

Brandon Marshall, 2013 Fantasy WR Rankings

As you’ve no doubt been reading over the past few months, the NFL has turned into a mega-passing league, which spills over into the 2013 Fantasy Wide Receiver Rankings. But unlike the quarterbacks position, this vertical explosion has given the wide receiver position depth in the Fantasy third and fourth strings.

While the top quarterbacks are throwing for a bazillion yards every game, it’s not just one receiver on the team that’s reaping the rewards.

Quarterbacks are throwing a lot to multiple wide receivers, and now it’s starting to be multiple tight ends, too! And let’s not forget about all the pass-catching running backs getting in on the action.

So before we dig in to the 2013 Fantasy Wide Receiver Rankings, I want to take a look back and see which trends are starting to develop at the wide receivers position.

200 Points Marks the Spot

Let’s take a look back over the past few seasons to see how the position is topped off in Fantasy points. I like to use 200 Fantasy points as a marker, because it seems to distinguish the elite from the really, really good.

In 2012, five wide receivers scored 200 or more Fantasy points, led by Lions WR Calvin Johnson, who set the single-season receiving yardage record with 1,964. Brandon Marshall, Dez Bryant, A.J. Green and DeMaryius Thomas joined Megatron in the 200 Club. (All five were under 29 years old in 2012.)

Last season, we saw five receivers score over 200 Fantasy points, 18 scored over 150, and 43 scored over 100.

By comparison, in 2011, there were four receivers over 200, 17 over 150 and 44 over 100. Not much of a difference!

For the previous 10 seasons, there was an average of 3.1 that scored 200 each season, 15.9 scored 150, and 40 over 100.

From 1991 to 2000, there were only 3.3 that scored 200 each season on average, 13.2 that scored 150, and 37 that scored 100 points.

You can see how the increase in passing led to more Fantasy points for more receivers as the decades progressed, and it’s also obvious in the decline of carries for featured running backs. Teams are leaning on the passing game, and wide receivers are obvious beneficiaries.

Larry Fitzgerald, 2013 Fantasy Wide Receiver Rankings

Larry Fitzgerald is coming off his worst Fantasy season of his career. Photo Credit: Drew McKenzie

Looking hard into 2012

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. Now he adds Wes Welker to his stable, which will make 2013 an intriguing one for Thomas’ numbers.
  • A.J. Green and Dez Bryant took huge steps forward and should be drafted among the top five WRs in 2013.
  • Vincent Jackson proved that a free agent wide receiver is not always a bad Fantasy pick. (Let’s see if Percy Harvin can take advantage of Seattle’s great offense. While he wasn’t a free agent signee, a change in jersey is usually unkind to wide receivers.)
  • 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.
Antonio Brown, 2013 Fantasy Wide Receivers Rankings

Steelers WR Antonio Brown is now the main man in Pittsburgh, with Mike Wallace playing in Miami. Photo Credit: OH_Photojournalist

Quick thoughts on my 2013 Fantasy Wide Receiver Rankings:

  •  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.
  • 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. Unfortunately, Crabtree will miss most – if not all – of 2013 with an Achilles’ injury.
  • Larry Fitzgerald leaps up about eight spots in these rankings, and a round or two in mock drafts, as former Raiders QB Carson Palmer moves to the desert in Arizona. This is Fitzgerald’s first strong-armed veteran QB since Kurt Warner. I like him as a third-rounder now.
  • Jeremy Maclin and Danario Alexander are done for the season, after both underwent knee surgeries to repair torn ACLs they suffered in training camp.

2013 Rankings: Top 60 Overall

QB | RB | WR | TE | K | DST

Offensive Lines | IDP: DL | LB | DB

Rookie Rankings: Top 30 Overall | QB | RB | WR | TE


2013 Fantasy Wide Receiver Rankings

These 2013 Fantasy Football rankings are for standard non-PPR leagues, scoring four points for a touchdown pass, starting 1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 TE, 1 K and 1 DST. These rankings are powered by the fine folks at FantasyPros.com. “ECR” stands for “Experts Consensus Rankings,” and it basically means that it’s an average ranking of over three dozen Fantasy Football writers/sites.

Fantasy Football Rankings powered by FantasyPros

2013 Rankings: Top 60 Overall

QB | RB | WR | TE | K | DST

Offensive Lines | IDP: DL | LB | DB

Rookie Rankings: Top 30 Overall | QB | RB | WR | TE

Brandon Marshall, 2013 Fantasy WR Rankings

Brandon Marshall returned to elite status with the Bears with at least 10 catches in four games in 2012. Photo Credit: CritiquesCasinosEnligne

These 2013 Fantasy Wide Receiver Rankings will be updated throughout training camps and preseason, so come back each week to see which changes have been made as news happens!

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