SportsGuyRy’s 2018 Fantasy Football Rankings
Wide Receiver Edition (21-30):
*Photo provided by FanRag Sports*
This will be the last installment of the WR ranking series. Although the 1-10 rankings were pretty uncontroversial, the 11-20 rankings had a few more surprises. Especially some missing big names such as Alshon Jeffery and Allen Robinson. Spoiler alert – no worries, they’ll make this list.
As we finish up this WR series, a lot of these receivers are more so in a “tier” rather than true rankings. Once you get into the 20’s, it’s tough to truly rank these guys but there’s some really quality WR2/Flex guys in this final list.
Lets dive in:
21. Allen Robinson – Chicago Bears – #159 ranked WR to end 2017 with 1 point (1 per game)
*Photo provided by Acme Packing Company*
Allen Robinson was off to a really promising start to his career. After a semi injury riddled rookie year that saw him haul in 48 receptions for 548 yards and 2 touchdowns, we saw a glimmer of his potential. His sophomore year was EXCEPTIONAL. He had 80 receptions for 1400 yards and 14 touchdowns giving him an average of 17.5 yards per catch. All while Blake Bortles was throwing him the ball. His third season was a letdown, 73 receptions for 883 yards and 6 touchdowns. His final season with the Jaguars was cut down in the first game after a 17 yard catch. Still only 24 years old, there’s plenty of time for Robinson to right the ship he started in 2015.
Going into this year, he’s got a clean slate. He’s healthy from his ACL injury. He’s on a team with a great offensive minded coach in Bill Nagy. He’s got a young QB who is going to be better than Blake Bortles. With Anthony Miller and Taylor Gabriel working opposite Robinson, it should allow him to see single coverage.
Robinson has a big frame and huge catch radius. Unfortunately, the reason he struggled a bit in 2016 was due to drops. If he can get his hands right and stay healthy, I think he’s in for a big season and is likely too low on this list.
22. Jarvis Landry – Cleveland Browns – #12 ranked WR to end 2017 with 141 points (8.8 per game)
*Photo provided by NOLA.com*
Jarvis Landry is a reception machine. Over his career, he’s averaged 100 receptions per season. A lot of those receptions are dink and dunk passes, sure, but he typically turns them into bigger plays and can make people miss. He also averages over 1000 yards per season. In 2017, he had a career high 9 touchdowns. He’s remained VERY durable.
There’s a ton to like about Jarvis Landry. So, why so low on the list? In Miami, he was in a very pass friendly offense and he was essentially the only reliable option on that team. Devante Parker was always hurt, there wasn’t much of a threat at TE and Kenny Stills was doing what Kenny Stills does best, catch bombs.
“Juice” is now in a situation with Josh Gordon who made this list at #11. He’s got Corey Coleman (if he can stay healthy) and David Njoku who’s an up and coming tight end. Hue Jackson is a more run-first coach with Chubb and Duke Johnson and a solid offensive line.
I don’t think Landry is falling off a cliff here, but there’s a lot of mouths to feed. He’s got Tyrod Taylor or Baker Mayfield throwing him the ball which is a good thing given Tyrod is a low risk passer and Mayfield is a rookie who likely check down more often. All in all, Landry is going to be a good WR2.
23. Alshon Jeffery – Philadelphia Eagles – #15 ranked WR to end 2017 with 131 points (8.2 per game)
*Photo provided by Chicago Tribune*
The Super Bowl champion Alshon Jeffery is entering the 2018 season after a pretty unremarkable season in 2017. Although he finished all 16 games for the first time since 2014, he turned in the second lowest yards per reception of his career at 13.84. He had 57 receptions for 789 yards (second lowest of his career) and 9 touchdowns which is also the most he’s had since the 2014 season.
Jeffery is a very interesting player. He’s oft injured and really hasn’t made a huge impact since the 2013 and 2014 seasons. In those years with the Bears, he was pretty dominant. So everyone keeps clinging to that potential, which is why he’s this high on the list.
He’s on a friendly offense that likes to feed a lot of mouths including multiple running backs. He’s got Nelson Agholor eating up receptions as well as Ertz, who’s entering his prime years. We will see if Jeffery can get back to his early years.
24. Golden Tate – Detroit Lions – #21 ranked WR to end 2017 with 123 points (7.7 per game)
*Photo provided by WTMJ.com*
Golden Tate is an incredibly reliable receiver. He’s missed a total of 6 games in his 8 year career. His best years have come since he’s been with the Detroit Lions. Stafford seems to love him. Since his first year in Detroit, he’s averaged 93 receptions a season for 1056 yards and 5 touchdowns. Those are solid numbers for a guy who works primarily out of the slot.
As you’ve already seen, Marvin Jones is high on my list at #12 and I believe he’s going to yet again be the WR1 for Detroit but that doesn’t mean Tate will suffer too much. Jones’ breakout year was last year and Tate still had 1003 yards and 5 touchdowns. The Lions and Stafford throw a ton due to incompetence at the RB position.
Kerryon Johnson has arrived and we will see if he can finally give Lions a run game and Kenny Golladay is now a sophomore and he showed flashes of being a threat last year. If these two guys come on a bit, I think Tate would suffer the most. All in all, Tate should be a solid WR2 and Flex as well.
25. Juju Smith-Schuster – Pittsburgh Steelers – #18 ranked WR to end 2017 with 125 points (8.9 per game)
*Photo provided by ClutchPoints*
What a breakout season for Juju Smith-Schuster. Not only was he a sensation on the field, he took the league by storm with some fun off the field antics with his bike being stolen and his video games. We couldn’t get enough of Juju! Labeled slow after the pre-draft assessments, Juju really showed his NFL speed last year by taking 58 receptions for 917 yards and 7 touchdowns. He played in 14 games and started 7 after Martavis Bryant didn’t show up like he should opposite Antonio Brown.
I want Juju to show me more in his second season. He did great but can he maintain. I think he can. He doesn’t have much competition behind him as the true #2. James Washington was brought in and I’m high on him but he’s not going to unseat Juju. There is a new OC in Pittsburgh this year, which may affect how things work a bit and he’s really third in line for touches behind Brown and Bell but that shouldn’t be a problem for this dynamic offense.
26. Sammy Watkins – Kansas City Chiefs – #32 ranked WR to end 2017 with 99 points (6.6 per game)
*Photo provided by 247Sports*
I was expecting much more from Sammy Watkins last year. I guess I could say that evert year he’s been in the league. Whether its been lack of production or injuries. Watkins hasn’t lived up to the lofty expectations that came with his draft slot when the Bills selected him 4th overall.
Entering year 5 of his career, Watkins hasn’t finished a full season since his rookie year. His first two years were solid, pulling in an average of 1015 yards and 63 receptions in those first two years. His last two years yards production combined are less than his 2015 season. He did see an uptick in touchdowns last year with 8, his second best output of his career.
Always a threat to make a big play, Watkins is always an intriguing player in fantasy. If he can stay healthy and play to his potential, he’s going to dominate. He’s in a dynamic new offense with a young QB in Mahomes, a balanced attack with Hunt at RB and playmakers all around. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of mouths to feed in the passing game with Tyreek Hill, #14, and Travis Kelce. Can Mahomes manage to feed everyone? He’s a gunslinger and I like him a lot so I’m going with yes.
27. Robby Anderson – New York Jets – #16 ranked WR to end 2017 with 127 points (7.9 per game)
*Photo provided by Sporting News*
Robby Anderson is coming off a career year. In his sophomore season, Robby put up 941 yards on 63 receptions and 7 touchdowns. He was one of the main drivers for the Jets offense and why Josh McCown is likely still employed. He had 3 100 yard games. He’s fast and a great route runner.
This year could even be better. He’s got McCown until Josh Darnold is ready or if they keep Teddy Bridgewater, there’s a chance Teddy could beat out McCown to lead the team until Darnold is ready. Either way, another season to grow and better QB play to come, he’s going to be productive again. The Jets didn’t add much to the offense that should take much away from him.
He did have that weird encounter off the field with the cop where he said some pretty messed up things. There’s still no word if he’s going to be suspended for that as the NFL continues the investigation. He’ll be a good WR2/Flex but ensure you draft depth in case he is suspended. He’s worth the gamble.
28. Devin Funchess – Carolina Panthers – #19 ranked WR to end 2017 with 124 points (7.8 per game)
*Photo provided by NFL Mocks*
Being the de facto #1 receiver for the Panthers last year after they traded away Kelvin Benjamin, Devin Funchess ran with It really well. Fighting through injuries all year, he put up 840 yards in 16 games. He added 8 touchdowns last year. He had one game with over 100 yards and averaged about 4 catches a game.
None of this is exceptional. However, he was productive enough to have a better fantasy season than Mike Evans. Nothing flashy but consistent. He’s not going to be a burner, he’s not the greatest route runner and doesn’t get consistent separation. However, he can high point the ball, has sure hands and gets plenty of targets. He’s in an offense that added DJ Moore who’s likely going to be a stud and has Christian McCaffery who ate up 80 receptions last year but I expect the same consistent production from Funchess in 2018.
29. Michael Crabtree – Baltimore Ravens – #28 ranked WR to end 2017 with 105 points (7.5 per game)
*Photo provided by Raiders Wire – USA Today*
I feel like Michael Crabtree has been in the league for 100 years. I still remember the tip toe sideline catch and run that allowed my Sooners to make it to the Big 12 Championship game when he scored that beat Texas his last year at Texas Tech.
Entering his 10th season, he’s entering a pretty good situation. Baltimore Ravens have been painfully bad a receiver in recent years. After adding a bunch of average at best talent at receiver this offseason, Crabtree was added and is taking over the WR1 role on the team. With a newly developed running game with Alex Collins, there should be a good balanced attack. There are some concerns, over the years, he gets hurt and stays hurt. He’s got a QB situation that’s murky with Lamar Jackson nipping at the heels of Joe Flacco. This doesn’t always translate into missing games. He often plays through it but it does affect his performance.
Last year was a down year, missing two games and being relatively ineffective compared to his previous seasons with the Raiders. He turned in 618 yards and 8 touchdowns. In 2016, he topped 1000 yards and 8 touchdowns. 2015 he had 922 yards and 9 touchdowns, tied for the most in his career. He was productive in Oakland but also had a great partner in Amari Cooper. As he steps in the lead dog position this year, he will have plenty of opportunity and I’m excited to see how he runs with it.
30. Marquise Goodwin – San Francisco 49ers – #30 ranked WR to end 2017 with 102 points (6.4 per game)
*Photo provided by FanRag Sports*
I’ve always been a big fan of Marquise Goodwin. He has a great family story with his sister having cerebral palsy, who he’s very close with and spends a lot of time with. You always cheer for guys like that.
Goodwin is a burner. He’s got world class track speed and in fact, competed at the 2012 Summer Olympics. Unfortunately for him, that didn’t translate to NFL success early in his career. He spent a lot of the first 4 seasons of his career on the sidelines hurt. 49 receptions in the first four season for 780 yards and 6 touchdowns wasn’t what he had in mind coming out of Texas.
Fast forward to 2017. A fresh start away from Buffalo (and their incompetent QBs), he joined the 49ers and really shined. He had more receptions and yards last year than the previous 4 seasons with 56 receptions for 962 yards and 2 touchdowns. He played in all 16 games for the first time in his career. When Jimmy Garoppolo joined the team, he really took off, bringing in 29 receptions for 384 of those yards in the final 5 games.
I couldn’t be happier for Goodwin and hope he continues to have success starting Week 2 and beyond in the 2018 season. He deserves it.
This will wrap up my series on Wide Receivers. Quarterbacks will be the next series I cover as a two part series, followed by Tight ends, which will also be a two part series and then wrapping up with one article covering defenses and kickers.
I hope this content is helpful for you as you prepare for the fantasy draft season. As always, please let me know your thoughts and provide feedback!
Thank you for reading and see you next time!