First I gave you my Top 20 Quarterbacks. Then I gave you the Top 20 Running Backs. Now I’m here to give you the Top 20 Nickelbacks. There’s only one Nickelback and they’re horrible! Oh right, sorry, got caught up with ending words in ‘back’. Blame it on my OCD, baby. I agree ‘top 20’ and ‘Nickelback’ in the same sentence should never be typed unless we’re talking ‘top 20 sellouts’ or ‘top 20 Nirvana milkers’. I try to not hate them because they’re Canadian but they still haven’t apologized for Bryan Adams so we’re not on solid ground. But where was I? Oh yeah, were’ here to discuss the top 20 Wide Receivers as we continue or trip into the land of 2013 Fantasy Football Rankings. You’ll notice I’ve got a little more like for some and a little less like for others but in the end there’s, like, a lot to like here, m’kay? As always, the tiers tell the tale. As if you were David Byrne, you may ask yourself ‘why doesn’t he just put those guys he doesn’t like lower?’. Well, I realize my like/dislike is merely how I squint my eye at these guys. I realize there’s value in the ones I don’t like but I also realize there’s guys I’d rather target that feel safer or have higher upside. Now you understand the inner conflict of a fantasy ‘expert’. It’s tough, y’all! But enough about my ulcers, let’s take a look at the top 20 wide receivers for 2013 Fantasy Football…
Stats based on receptions, receiving yards, receiving touchdowns, rushing yards and rushing touchdowns. Rankings based on a PPR setting.
1. Calvin Johnson – See Top 10 For 2013 Fantasy Football for Calvin Johnson projections.
6. Andre Johnson – Finally! Words! Andre is the start of the third wide receiver tier which I call ‘Let’s just stay friends’ and stretches to Jones. I think these two have many good arguments to be a part of the ‘Superfluous’ tier but they just don’t feel as safe. Andre got off to a very slow start last year and it makes me worry about drafting him. I worry, ok?!? Couple that with low touchdown production – he’s never had a 10 touchdown season in his career – and him turning 32 in July, there are good reasons to be cautious or at least aware. Draft him I shant unless he falls to me. 2013 Projections: 103/1452/6/0/0
7. Julio Jones – I really had a hard time ranking Jones this year. I went through my wife’s entire garden of oxeye daisies saying ‘I love him, I love him not’. I’m pretty sure I finished on ‘I love him not’ but it’s hard to remember around all the screaming that came with that bad decision on my part. I think I do really love him but I don’t trust him, his health or the return of Tony Gonzalez. I think I’m gonna like him more in 2014 but for now, he lands here. 2013 Projections: 92/1435/11/30/0
8. Randall Cobb – Cobb is the start of the next tier and it stretches down to Amendola. I call this tier ‘XOXO’ because I really want one of them on my team and for them to go to prom with me. I’ve sent each one a prom vid and am still waiting for a response. I look positively radiant in my midnight blue dress…and I’ve already said too much. You know Randall is good and I already talked about him a bit in the off-season with off-season stats with my Randall Cobb Fantasy. Well you’ll noticed I bumped his numbers up either because Greg Jennings is gone or to justify him being in the top 10. I honestly can’t remember at this point but I don’t have to. I just have to remember I want him on draft day and that’s easy enough. 2013 Projections: 98/1205/9/84 (and one miscellaneous touchdown)
9. Victor Cruz – I know it’s scary to put him in this tier. He’s having contract negotiation issues with the G-men and he had a down year in 2012. But the key thing to note: his down year had him finish as the 13th best wideout according to our End Of Season Rankings and still managed 10 touchdowns in a very, very bad Manning season. There’s value where he’s currently being ranked and I aim to take advantage. 2013 Projections: 84/1218/10/0/0
10. Roddy White – Is he as sexy as the two other guys I have in this tier so far? Nope. Has he been mister consistent for pretty much his entire career? Yup. See, I don’t always go for the flash in my like tiers. There’s not much else to say about Mr. White other than I really want someone to give me this bird in the draft. 2013 Projections: 90/1242/8/0/0
11. Marques Colston – Again, what we have here is a failure to appreciate the fine consistency. I ranked him 10th last year and got the eye roll from the crowd. Then he finished the year as the 11th best wide out. Much like Roddy, Colston is ignored in many drafts because no one sees upside. Save your upside for later or shove it up your backside, I say! Colston is Roddy without the recognition. Enjoy. 2013 Projections: 82/1156/9/0/0
12. Danny Amendola – Riddle me this, Batman. I’m not Batman. It’s a figure of speech, imaginary reader. I don’t care, don’t call me fictitious comic book heroes. But you’re already imaginary, why not be an awesome type of imaginary? I’ll show you imaginary awesome! Wait’ll they get a load of me…Officially creepy, I.R…well, riddle me this imaginary reader: what has replaced Welker, has a better downfield game than Wes and has the same great quarterback? Tim Tebow? You’re funny. Of course it’s Amendola. I’m not saying they’re the same player. Far from it. In fact, I’m saying Amendola is a bit better because he should see more scoring opportunities with the Pats than Wes did. Factor in Gronk and A-Hern’s health/law issues and ‘dola could be in for a career year. And before you quip about it, I know he himself is a health risk. Yes, this could come back to bite you or me but if there’s someone out there besides Marv Albert I’d rather have doing that, it’s Danny-boy. 2013 Projections: 105/1291/6/0/0
13. Percy Harvin –
Harvin is the start of the next tier and it stretches to Fitzgerald. I call this tier the ‘not my type’ tier as I think there’s too much baked into the ADP cake with them and I don’t see upside where they’re being drafted. Harvin had an amazing year last year before getting hurt but ya see, that was a big fish, small pond thing. Ponder had no one else besides Harvin to really throw it to outside of Rudolph. RW3 doesn’t have that problem and Seattle doesn’t need to chuck it at Percy all day to win games, something I alluded to in my Percy Harvin Fantasy write up in the off-season. It’s a good offense up there in the PNW and he’s not gonna run the table every day like he would’ve with the Vikings. 2013 Projections: 85/1003/6/160/1 (and one miscellaneous touchdown) Out 3-4 months with a torn labrum in his hip. Could return week 9 but I’d guess week 13. Not draftable but definitely a decent bench flier once the bye week dust settles and you want some upside on your bench.
14. Vincent Jackson – Don’t get me wrong, I do truly like V-Jax. He proved he was WR1 material last year and I do think he’s got a shot to do it again. But in ranking him as a top 10 wideout, you’d be asking me to trust Josh Freeman to repeat a solid but inconsistent 2012 campaign. We’ve been down that trail before and I’d like to not revisit it if I can manage it. And look at that, I’m doing so by probably not getting V-Jax where I ranked him. 2013 Projections: 70/1246/7/0/0
15. Larry Fitzgerald – It was a rough 2012 for Fitzgerald. With the QB carousel in Cards country, it would figure that Larry never really got on track. I know with Carson Palmer in town there’ll be some improvement but I don’t see a reason to overspend to find out. 2013 Projections: 83/1054/7/0/0
16. Jordy Nelson – Jordy is the start of the next tier and it goes to Bowe. I call this tier the ‘That’s My Jam, Son’ tier as I do like all 4 of these guys to varying degrees. Jordy I will say is the last wide out I 100% trust from this tier but I see value in all four of them. Jordy had a bit of an up and down year in 2012 in part due to injuries. Not much you can do about that other than move on and tackle the next year. Keep in mind Jordy is a year removed from a 15 touchdown season. I’d say that was probably a career year never to be seen again but I still think he’s closer to a top 10 wide out than he is a WR2. And that’s the story of why he’s in this tier. 2013 Projections: 66/1102/11/0/0
17. Eric Decker – Yeah, it’s not safe to put him here. But is it all that safe to put Nicks ahead of him like many sites are doing? Yeah, not really. You can clearly circle me as one of those ‘experts’ who doesn’t see a disruption in the force in Denver with Welker around. 2013 Projections: 80/1080/11/0/0
18. Stevie Johnson – I’m 100% ready to move him down if this vertebrae thing is serious. I mean, it’s a frickin fracture in his L-5 so it SHOULD be taken serious but he’s practicing so what should I do? He’s proven himself capable with Fitzpatrick slinging to him, here’s me showing faith he can stay consistent without him. 2013 Projections: 88/1064/6/0/0
19. Dwayne Bowe – I’m not overly confident that Alex Smith is ‘the answer’ in KC but I am confident he’s a better QB than Matt Cassel. That in and of itself justifies Bowe having a better year than he did last year. Add in a positive coaching change with Andy Reid and you get why he’s here. 2013 Projections: 81/1150/5/0/0
20. Hakeem Nicks – Nicks is the start of the next tier which goes into the top 40 for wide receivers. I call this tier the ‘Strained Relationship’ tier as all of the receivers from this bunch have had injury issues in the past and have made them either draft day values or draft day death. Nicks has not played a full season yet in his career but each year he’s put as a top 15 or better wide out. I don’t get it and I probably won’t get him this year because of where he’s ranked and truthfully, I’m absolutely F-I-N-E with that. 2013 Projections: 73/1088/8/0/0