Dynasty WR Rankings (PPR): The Top 10
By Joe Kilroy (@KilroyDFW)
1. CALVIN JOHNSON, Detroit Lions | DOB: 9/29/1985 (27)
Short Term Outlook (STO):Calvin Johnson only had five touchdowns last year, yet he was still the most dominant receiver in fantasy leagues thanks to his 122 receptions and record breaking 1964 yards receiving. He may not match the yardage and reception totals, but he’ll still be amongst the best in those categories and his touchdown production should take a sizeable spike upwards.
Long Term Outlook (LTO): Johnson turns 28 in late September and is signed with the Lions through the 2019 season. He’ll be 34 when the current deal expires, but it wouldn’t shock anyone if he’s still a top five fantasy receiver when that time comes.
2. A.J. GREEN, Cincinnati Bengals | DOB: 7/31/1988 (25)
STO: After posting 67 receptions, 1057 yards receiving, and 7 touchdowns in 15 games as a rookie A.J. Green easily surpassed all those totals last year in just his second season (97/1350/11). He may not reach those marks in 2013, but he’ll come close.
LTO: Green’s rookie deal with the Bengals expires after the 2014 campaign. He won’t be going anywhere though as Cincinnati will surely use the franchise tag on him if a long term deal isn’t reached before then. Wherever he plays he’ll be a fantasy stud for years to come.
3. DEZ BRYANT, Dallas Cowboys | DOB: 11/4/1988 (24)
STO:It took some time, but Bryant finally reached his potential last season as he posted 92 receptions for 1382 yards and 12 touchdowns. He’s coming into his own and should have another dominant year in 2013.
LTO: Bryant’s current deal expires after the 2014 season, but the Cowboys won’t be letting him get away. He’s one of the best young receivers in the game and is now entering his prime.
4. JULIO JONES, Atlanta Falcons | DOB: 2/3/1989 (24)
STO: Julio is entering his third year in the league and while he’s already put together two strong seasons it’s very possible 2013 will be the one in which he truly breaks out. If not he’s still a safe bet for no less than 75 receptions, 1050 yards receiving, and 9-12 touchdowns.
LTO: Jones hasn’t jumped into the truly elite category quite yet like the players listed above him, but he will soon enough. He’s a yearly threat for double-digit touchdowns. And if he gets his reception totals into the 85-95 range regularly he’ll deliver top of the line production. His current deal calls for him to be a free agent in 2015, but like most of the top receivers in the game he’ll get slapped with the franchise tag if a long term deal isn’t reached before then.
5. RANDALL COBB, Green Bay Packers | DOB: 8/22/1990 (22)
STO:Cobb fell just shy of a 1000-yard season last year, but he still recorded 80 receptions and 8 touchdowns after being thrust into more of a primary role due to Greg Jennings’ injury issues. He’ll be an offensive factor from the start this year and could very well post 90-100 catches for over a thousand yards and 8-10 touchdowns.
LTO:Cobb is the best offensive weapon Aaron Rodgers has to work with and he’ll be sure to make the most of him. Rodgers is already on record stating he believes Cobb is a 100-catch performer at the NFL level. Cobb’s current deal expires after the 2014 campaign, but it’s doubtful the Packers will let him get away.
6. BRANDON MARSHALL, Chicago Bears | DOB: 3/23/1984 (29)
STO: Marshall will be hard pressed to match the career highs he posted across the board last season (118/1508/11), but his production should remain amongst the very best at his position in the year ahead. Another 100 receptions shouldn’t be ruled out.
LTO:Marshall will be a 31-year old free agent during the 2015 offseason. If his level of play remains high over the next two years and Marc Trestman finds success in Chicago the Bears will likely find a way to retain Marshall’s services. If his production slips considerably though – which seems unlikely – or if Trestman proves unsuccessful Marshall could very well finish the remainder of his career in a different uniform.
7. DEMARYIUS THOMAS, Denver Broncos | DOB: 12/25/1987 (25)
STO:Fantasy owners got outstanding production from Thomas last season and can expect the same in the year ahead. The arrival of Wes Welker to man the slot shouldn’t be much of a hindrance – if any – to Thomas’ production.
LTO:Thomas broke out last season with the arrival of Peyton Manning in Denver.And for as long as Peyton remains in the Mile-High City Thomas is a safe bet to be a top ten receiver in fantasy leagues. Once Manning departs however its fair game to question just how much a dip in Thomas’ production may come about. He should remain a thousand yard receiver though as long as Denver has someone even moderately worthwhile under center once Manning retires. Thomas’ current deal is set to expire after the 2014 season.
8. VICTOR CRUZ, New York Giants | DOB: 11/11/1986 (26)
STO: Cruz couldn’t match the 18.7 yards per catch he averaged in 2011 last year, but he still came through with 86 receptions for 1092 yards and 10 touchdowns. He’s a safe bet to match or exceed that production in 2013.
LTO:At just 26-years of age, and armed with a new long term contract, Cruz should be a rock steady performer over the upcoming 3-5 seasons. He can be safely relied upon for roughly 85 receptions, 1100 yards receiving, and 8-10 touchdowns per year during that span.
9. LARRY FITZGERALD, Arizona Cardinals | DOB: 8/31/1983 (29)
STO:Fitzgerald had the most disappointing season of his career in 2012 but should fare much better this year with Bruce Arians in control of the offense and Carson Palmer under center. His reception and yardage totals should rise considerably. He may be hard pressed to surpass 8 touchdowns however; a mark he hasn’t topped since 2009.
LTO: The tenth-year veteran turns 30 in late August and has been less than elite in recent years. Nonetheless Fitzgerald remains one of the more talented receivers in the league and could see a significant rise across the board now that he has a capable QB under center for the first time since 2009 and the offensive minded Bruce Arians in place as head coach. If he falters this year his value will drop significantly, but it’s more likely to trend in the upward direction. His current contract runs through the year 2018.
10. RODDY WHITE, Atlanta Falcons | DOB: 11/2/1981 (31)
STO:Roddy White has been as consistent a performer as there is over the years and until he shows us otherwise there is no reason to question his abilities regardless of his age. In the year ahead he should come through with no less than 85 receptions, 1150 yards receiving, and 7 touchdowns.
LTO: Roddy is getting older, but he has shown no signs of slowing down. He also hasn’t missed a single game during his eight-year career. For both those reasons he can be reasonably viewed as a top ten receiver in dynasty leagues despite his age. It wouldn’t surprise me if he had another three years left in him producing the types of numbers I mentioned above (85/1150/7). He’s set to be a free agent in 2015, but hopefully the Falcons will make sure he retires wearing the only NFL uniform he’s ever known.