Arguing and debating over rankings is an offseason delight. I seek out these discussions; I encourage them. Debating over whether player X will outscore player Y on the season is a timeless tradition for the football deprived dog days the dog days of summer. It’s vital, though, that these discussions don’t manifest into concrete convictions toward a player. The key to fantasy football success is the ability to stay fluid and detached from player bias. Don’t let how much you like or dislike a player keep you from bringing home a fantasy championship. And that starts with rankings. Having a solid grasp of the entire landscape at a position will give you the ability to shift and maneuver effectively during both your drafts, and on the waiver wire.
Today’s article is the second installment of my five part series ranking the top 100 wide receivers for the 2018 NFL season. The article will focus on, you guessed it, the #80-61 ranked wide receivers. This collection of players has more sleeper breakout candidates than last week’s grouping, and they’ll be comprised mostly of players you can draft in the late round of the majority of leagues. There’s of course a few exceptions, but the majority of these players are low risk high reward players that you’ll want to keep on your radar for the last picks of your 2018 draft.
#80 – Dante Pettis, San Francisco 49ers (D):
Kyle Shanahan traded up in the draft in order to get Dante Pettis. That’s a high mark of approval for the rookie out of Washington. I’m likely higher on Pettis than others, but I think Pettis will be one of this year’s rookie breakout wide receivers. In 2016, Pettis caught 53 receptions for 822 yards and 15 touchdowns. He’s a versatile player with great route running ability, and he never missed a regular season game in college. Trent Taylor is Pettis’ primary competition on a team that ranked second in pass attempts last season with 607. There’s going to be a lot of love to go around on a this team that is looking to build on its success from last season. Pettis should be a late round flier in deeper leagues, and should be owned in dynasty.
#79 – Terrelle Pryor, New York Jets:
Terrelle Pryor had an incredibly underwhelming 2017 season in Washington where he posted 20 receptions for 240 yards and a lone touchdown. Pyror was dealing with a lingering ankle injury which hampered his playing time & ability. He was a serviceable receiver the weeks where he was able to make the field. Now he’s on the Jets, which very well may turn out to be better for Pryor overall given his positive history with McCown. It’s also a smart football move by the Jets should they need a 4th string quarterback at some point this upcoming season.
#78 – Geronimo Allison, Green Bay Packers:
Outside of having one of the best names in football, Geronimo Allison is an interesting play for fantasy purposes. He’s battling Randall Cobb for the WR2 position as Cobb seems to be struggling with an ankle injury. Any position that has Aaron Rodgers throwing you the ball is a sure thing to be coveted. My only hesitation with Allison is his lack of involvement in the past, and the fact that the Packers drafted three WRs in this most recent draft. Those moves don’t exactly scream confidence. Still, Allison has tremendous upside. If he wins that WR2 role in the Green Bay offense, he’ll outperform his ADP instantly. He best watch out for Equanimeous St. Brown though. Hot on his heels for best name in football (and the WR3 position).
#77 – Corey Coleman, Cleveland Browns:
Coleman was drafted with incredible promise and pedigree. Unfortunately, he’s been unable to stay healthy for a whole season to display his ability at the wide receiver position. Now he’s starting this season as the WR3 on a team that will be running the ball a lot, and will be competing for targets with Josh Gordon, Jarvis Landry, David Njoku, and Duke Johnson Jr. With his raw talent, there’s still the promise of a third-year breakout with Coleman, though. It will be tough for Coleman to receive the amount of targets he would need to be fantasy relevant throughout the season. He’s a late round flyer in deep leagues, and a serviceable bye-week filler option.
#76 – John Brown, Baltimore Ravens:
John Brown has so much potential, but his sickle-cell trait has really hampered his career thus far. In 2015 Brown had a breakout season for 1,000+ yards and 7 touchdowns, but since then it’s been impossible to know if he would take the field or not. He’s just so hard to rely on and trust on your roster as a result. Brown should be considered a late round flier candidate in deeper leagues, and if he stays healthy, should become a waiver-wire pickup during the season.
#75 – Quincy Enunwa, New York Jets:
Coming into the 2017 season Quincy Enunwa was considered the WR1 for the Jets. Then a neck injury cost him the whole season. Enunwa expected to make a full recovery, and is now slotted as the WR3 on the team taking snaps from the slot. In 2016 he had 58 receptions on 106 targets for 857 yards and 4 touchdowns outperforming Brandon Marshall. It would not surprise me if Enunwa re-establishes himself as the Jets’ most talented and productive receiver this season. He should be owned in all leagues, and has added value in PPR formats..
#74 – Mike Wallace, Philadelphia Eagles:
Mike Wallace has managed to maintain fantasy relevance far longer than expected. Now, as he heads to the Eagles to fill the role left vacant by Torrey Smith, Wallace is the clear cut WR3 on defending Super Bowl champs. Wallace was fantasy relevant with Flacco & Ryan Mallett under center. It’s unlikely Wallace’s targets will stay the same on the Eagles, but it’s safe to assume the quality of targets will improve with Wentz starting under center. Wallace is a bye-week replacement type of player, and should something happen to Alshon Jeffery, an instant waiver-wire pickup.
#73 – Christian Kirk, Arizona Cardinals (D):
Kirk is likely to start as the WR2 on the Cardinals for the 2018 season. Kirk specialized as a slot receiver at A&M, and is not likely to take snaps from that position this season what with future Hall of Famer, Larry Fitzgerald locking down that role. Based on reports out of minicamp, Kirk hasn’t missed a beat after being moved to the outside, and was taking reps from the first-team offense. Kirk is worth a late round flyer in all redraft leagues, and should be owned in dynasty.
#72 – Jermaine Kearse, New York Jets:
Kearse had his best season in 2017 with 102 targets for 65 receptions, 810 yards, and five touchdowns. Despite this his outlook is rather murkey. The Jets signed Terrelle Pryor, and Quincy Enunwa is back to full health after his neck injury. The one thing Kearse had going for him in NY last season was the lack of competition for targets among receivers. Now it’s a crowded field. There’s a good chance Kearse doesn’t start the season as a Jet, and will be cut to create some cap space. If he’s a Jet in 2018, then he’s a late round pick in deep leagues. If he’s released and scooped up he’ll likely have more value wherever he lands.
#71 – Danny Amendola, Miami Dolphins:
The Dolphins lost 160 targets by trading away Jarvis Landry to the Browns. That is a lot of cheddar. Amendola would fit the bill to be the recipient of those targets if he weren’t competing with Albert Wilson. There’s plenty to go around though, and Amendola has proved himself to be extremely reliable and efficient averaging a 70.8% catch percentage since the start of his career in 2009. Amendola is not a big yardage or touchdowns receiver. The most yards he’s had in one season was 689, and that was on 123 targets. What Danny brings to the table is a secure floor. He’s worth drafting in the double digits of your redraft leagues, especially in PPR formats.
#70 – Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers:
Chris Godwin is aiming to lock himself in as the WR3 on the Buccaneers behind Mike Evans and Desean Jackson. The second year wide-out strung together a rather solid end to his rookie season once he started seeing significant snaps bringing in 16 receptions on 26 targets for 295 yards and one touchdown in the final four contests of 2017. This offseason he’s been edging Adam Humphries out of the WR3 position. The issue with him here is the Buccaneers’ commitment to the tight end position. They have Cameron Brate & OJ Howard who are both reliable pass catching tight ends. Their presence caps Godwin’s production in this offense. Godwin is worth picking up in the double-digit rounds of your drafts in all leagues. He has great upside, and is a potential sleeper breakout candidate.
#69 – Donte Moncrief, Jacksonville Jaguars:
I’m sorry, but there’s just nothing exciting about Moncrief. He had one good season in Indy, and that was with a healthy Andrew Luck throwing him the ball. How are we to expect something new from Moncrief in 2018? He now has a worse quarterback throwing him the ball. The receiving corps on the Jags is somehow still deep after losing Hurns & Robinson. And he’s on a ‘run first’ offense Moncrief is a big body receiver, and will be targeted in the redzone as he’s shown a propensity for coming down with those contested catches. Donte has a low floor with minimal upside compared to his teammates Dede Westbrook & Keelan Cole. He’ll have a few good weeks, but I’m avoiding him in drafts. There are a lot of other receivers going in the same round that I’d rather draft.
#68 – Jordan Matthews, New England Patriots:
With Julian Edelman suspended for the first four games of the 2018 season Jordan Matthews becomes an interesting draft candidate. He’s likely to take over in the slot while Edelman is out of the lineup. Though there are a lot of mouths to feed in NE, Matthews will have the opportunity for significant targets early this season. Matthews is a fantastic “flip” candidate. Draft him late, then trade away before Edelman returns from his suspension for an upgrade at one of your weaker positions. He’ll be a good player to pair with another for a 2-for-1 upgrade type of trade.
#67 – Tyrell Williams, Los Angeles Chargers:
Tyrell’s production dropped drastically from his 2016 breakout to last year’s let down of 43 receptions for 728 yards and 4 touchdowns. It was to be expected though, with the return of a healthy Keenan Allen who is an absolute target monster for the Chargers. Tyrell gets a bit of a boost with Hunter Henry’s season ending injury, but he still has to contend with second year, Mike Williams, Travis Benjamin, and Melvin Gordon for targets. I think it’s safe to predict for a similar year for Tyrell. He’s a late round draft pick in all league formats, and a decent bye-week filler.
#66 – Albert Wilson, Miami Dolphins:
I know Danny Amendola is there, but Albert Wilson was paid the big bucks to come to Miami. Wilson is coming off a career year in 2017 on the Chiefs where he had 42 receptions on 63 targets for 554 yards and three touchdowns. It stands to reason there’s room enough in the Dolphins offense to improve upon those numbers, and make a significant contribution. Currently Wilson is listed as the WR3 on the depth chart above Danny Amendola, and has been a standout at OTAs and minicamp this offseason. It will still be a battle between Wilson & Amendola for the slot receiver role on that offense, but the upside with Wilson far exceeds that of Amendola. Wilson is someone to keep an eye on as training camps get under way. He’s a last round pick in PPR leagues.
#65 – Paul Richardson, Washington Redskins:
In yet another brilliant move by the Redskins brass, they signed Paul Richardson to a five-year, $40 million contract. Paul Richardson is coming off a career year with 44 receptions on 80 targets for 703 yards and six touchdowns. He’s a talented player, don’t get me wrong, but has he really done anything to prove he’s worth a $40 million contract? I digress. Richardson has some competition in Washington with Crowder, Doctson, Reed, and Thompson, so it’s likely his production in 2018 mirrors that of last season. That said, he’s a great sleeper candidate, and will be available in the double digit rounds of your drafts.
#64 – Mike Williams, Los Angeles Chargers:
Mike Williams did essentially nothing his rookie season. The Chargers and fantasy football fans alike are hoping for a big step forward in his sophomore season. With Hunter Henry out for the season, and no clear indication of bringing Antonio Gates back for the 2018 season, the Chargers have a void of nearly half their targets within the 10-yard line. Rivers’ reliance on the TE in the redzone was well documented. This gives Mike Williams added intrigue. At 6’4” he will likely be called upon to make those contested, big body catches in the endzone. There’s still a decent amount of risk associated with Williams, but he has the opportunity to make significant strides this coming season. Williams is a late round flier in all league formats for 2018.
#63 – Dede Westbrook, Jacksonville Jaguars:
Dede Westbrook still has a lot to prove coming into this season. He missed the first 10 games of his rookie season due to a core muscle injury that he needed surgery on. It was just an all around bad situation for Dede. Now, I’m putting my money on him ending up as the clear cut WR2 on the Jags by season’s end. I don’t think anybody is dethroning Marquise Lee as the WR1, so there’s essentially a three way battle for the WR2 position between Dede, Moncrief, and Cole. Dede just has the most upside at the position. I’m targeting him as one of my second year WR breakouts, and is an easy late round flier draft pick.
#62 – Ted Ginn Jr., New Orleans Saints:
Ginn finished the 2017 receiver as the WR #34 in PPR with 70 targets for 53 receptions, 787 yards and 4 touchdowns. That was with an astounding 75.7 catch percentage! It’s unlikely Ginn, 33, will be able to replicate those numbers in this upcoming season now that the Saints have brought in Cameron Meredith & Ben Watson, and drafted Tre’Quan Smith. Ginn’s production will be capped with these new mouths to feed in the Saints’ offense. Fortunately, he’ll still be catching passes from one of the all time greats, Drew Brees. Ginn is a boom-bust receiver, and is more of a DFS/bye-week play.
#61 – Michael Gallup, Dallas Cowboys (D):
Gallup is one of the rookie wide receivers I’m most excited about for this upcoming season. He’s walking into an incredibly favorable situation on the Cowboys in terms of opportunity. Dez Bryant & Jason Witten are gone, and with them a load of targets and touchdowns that are looking for a new home. Gallup is aiming to be the guy in Dallas. He’ll be competing for targets with Allen Hurns, Terrance Williams, & Cole Beasley primarily. Hurns will operate mostly out of the slot leaving the outside relatively open for Gallup to establish himself. Gallup was sensational at CU bringing in 176 receptions for 2,690 yards and 21 touchdowns in two season. He’s a must own in dynasty, and is currently a late round flier in all redraft formats.
Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio Show: Join host Brian Roach, Jr, and Cole Freel live on Sunday July 15th, 2018 from 8-9:30pm EST for episode #129 of Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio. We are a live broadcast that will take callers at 323-870-4395. Press 1 to speak with the host. We will discss the latest information in the world of fantasy baseball.
Major League Fantasy Football Radio Show: Join host Corey D Roberts, James Wilk, and Coach Jeff Nelson live July 19th, 2018 from 8-9:30pm EST for episode #85 of Major League Fantasy Football Radio. Call in number is 323-870-4395 press 1 to speak with the host. We will hit free agents, rookies, and fantasy football as a whole for each team for 2018. This week we will discuss everything NFC East!
Jeff has been a member of majorleaguefantasyports.com for 10 years, he is also a 3 time Major League Fantasy Football Champion, and was the defensive coach at White Hall H.S. in PA where Saquan Barkley went to H.S. Jeff clued us in on Barkley nearly 4 years ago on one of our football shows.
Major League Fantasy Baseball Show Episode #167, 6/23/2019 Host Brian Roach, Jr., Co-Host Cole Freel, Guest Kevin Bzdek
Major League Fantasy Baseball Show Episode #169, 8/4/2019 Host Cole Freel, Guest Joe Iannone
@brandonziman You are more than welcome Brandon. You were a fantastic writer and a joy to work with. As we move through a very big transition for us hopefully we can continue to work with one anither.