The NFL season is approaching, and that means fantasy football fans are shuffling out all the cards in the deck, in order to find the right lineup.
I ranked my top five wide receivers for fantasy football – the top three are pretty much cemented, but the last two are left up for debate. The first pick always seems to be controversial, nonetheless, this a solid starting wide receiver core.
- Michael Thomas
The controversy starts with selecting Saints’ Michael Thomas as the top wide receiver.
Thomas has been putting up insane numbers for years with his future Hall of Fame QB, Drew Brees, and these two are now more in sync then they ever have been.
Thomas currently holds the NFL record for the most receptions by a player through his first three seasons, with 321. He continually puts up over 1,000 yards receiving annually, and is eight receptions away from averaging 100 every year.
Alike some of the other wide receivers on the list, Thomas has not only a great ability, but physically gifted at 6’3’’. He is able to maneuver through traffic with his speed, but can also take hits down the middle, weighing at 203 lbs.
Look for Thomas and Brees to put on an offensive clinic, along with their star running back Alvin Kamara. The Saints are more motivated than ever after their distaste from last season, in which was associated with a controversial call late in the game.
Watch out for the Saints.
2. DeAndre Hopkins
Since being drafted in the first round in 2013, DeAndre Hopkins has been a model of consistency for the Houston Texans. He has already an impressive resume: 3x Pro Bowl, 2x First-team All-Pro, and Second-team All-Pro.
Hopkins has always shined, even as a rookie, making the NFL All-Rookie Team. Aside from the rookie campaign (800), and the 2016 season (954), Hopkins has averaged 1,000 yards receiving throughout his entire career.
The Texans have had their fair share of struggles since Hopkins joined the team, playing for nearly a different quarterback every single season until the Deshaun Watson Era began. After playing together for a couple seasons, the Watson/Hopkins connection should be one of the league’s best offensive duos today.
3. Julio Jones
Rare combination of size and speed (6’ 3’’and 220 lb.), and catching ability – Julio Jones, has been that role model receiver for nearly the past decade. He is elite, possibly elevating himself to a legendary wide receiver who will most likely be a Future Hall of Famer.
Julio Jones helped his Crimson Tide go undefeated (14-0) in his sophomore year, including a BCS National Championship title. With the Falcons, Jones has been invited to six Pro Bowls, was a first-team All-Pro selection in 2015, after leading the league in catches and receiving yards, and was named second-team All-Pro twice in 2017, 2018.
While Jones would be a necessarily No. 1 pick, he falls to No. 3 because of his red-zone inefficiency. There are just some players who don’t get in the end zone, and surprisingly, Jones is one of them.
Just one season following their Super Bowl appearance, the Atlanta Falcons were ranked 23rdin red zone efficiency. On their trip to the goal-line, the Falcons only managed to score on 49 percent of their possessions inside the opponent’s 20-yard line.
Will Julio Jones and the Falcons finally be able to get over there red-zone woes?
4. Davante Adams
Speaking of Julio Jones, Davante Adams really is the pro-type wide receiver of the decade. Similar to Jones, Adams is gifted with size and speed, and has one of the best hands in the league.
With a future Hall of Fame quarterback giving you confidence, there is no telling how high the ceiling is for Adams. Packers QB Aaron Rodgers is going to throw the ball to Adams all day; their chemistry, and him being the no.1 option, certainly makes a case for No. 1.
Adams sits at No. 4 mainly due to the one-dimensional offense right now for Green Bay. While the Packers had some success running the ball last season, it has been anything but the Eddie Lacy days.
The Packers’ star receiver is going to see even more traffic this season, so the offense is going to have to be more balanced. Rodgers is going to have to utilize more run-option plays, and disguise their offense as much as they can, because everyone knows their motto is to throw the ball.
5. Odell Beckham Jr.
Look for a breakout year from Odell Beckham Jr. – you can book it. Arguably the best receiver, or thebest hands in the NFL, Beckham has been a poster boy for the NFL since his debut with the New York Giants.
After a dramatic departure with the Giants, Beckham hopes to get rid of his inner demon from New York, and start fresh in Cleveland. He already seems to be in a better place, being happy to play with with his LSU teammate Jarvis Landry, and suit up for team with real potential.
Sure, this will be a busy offense with the accumulation of all the first round picks on offense, but this is Odell Beckham Jr. we are talking about. He is going to get his, and I think the combination with Landry on offense, will motivate him to be a better receiver.
A motivated Beckham, is a scary one. I believe it’s a 1000-yard season for Beckham, but also will touchdown, game after game.
Featured image by Clutch Points