2011 Dynasty Rankings | Wide Receivers
With so many NFL offenses becoming more pass-happy in recent years, wide receivers have become even more crucial in fantasy football.
It’s never too early to start thinking about the next fantasy football season, and we’re here at NFL Soup to get you pointed in the right direction. Here’s how the top 50 wide receivers look heading into the 2011 season for dynasty leagues:
1. Andre Johnson (Houston Texans)
Despite battling a nagging ankle injury pretty much all year long, AJ was still amongst the most productive wideouts in the league. He missed three games, but still amassed 1,216 yards on 86 receptions with eight touchdowns. He’s not slowing down any time soon.
2. Calvin Johnson (Detroit Lions)
The Lions had to deal with several injuries to their quarterbacks last season, but Megatron was still able to emerge as a top-tier receiver. He caught 12 touchdown passes last season, and, if the Lions can keep Matthew Stafford upright and in the lineup for a full season, look out for this tandem.
3. Roddy White (Atlanta Falcons)
White exploded last season, leading the league in catches (115) and finishing second in receiving yards (1,389). With no other scary receiving threat on the opposite side, expect White to carry a heavy workload once again in 2011. In a PPR format, he should be the No. 1 receiver.
4. Hakeem Nicks (New York Giants)
Nicks, like several Giants receivers, was slowed by injuries in 2010, but still looked like a future star when healthy. He caught 79 balls for 1,052 yards and 11 touchdowns in 13 games. If Eli Manning can stop throwing the ball to the other team, Nicks could be in for a massive season.
5. Greg Jennings (Green Bay Packers)
Any time you’re the No. 1 receiver on a pass-happy offense led by Aaron Rodgers, your fantasy stock is going to be pretty high. That’s certainly the case for Greg Jennings, who picked up over 1,200 yards through the air with 12 scores last year.
6. Vincent Jackson (San Diego Chargers)
Jackson missed tons of time last season due to suspension, hold-out and injury, but we’ve seen what he’s capable of when fully-committed. The Chargers slapped the franchise tag on him in February, so I’d expect him to shoot back towards the top.
7. Reggie Wayne (Indianapolis Colts)
Wayne was just about the only constant in a Colts passing offense ravaged by injuries last season, and his numbers benefited. He caught a career-high 111 passes for 1,355 yards and six touchdowns in 2010. As long as Peyton Manning is still Peyton Manning, Reggie Wayne will be Reggie Wayne.
8. Dwayne Bowe (Kansas City Chiefs)
Bowe seems to be near the top of draft boards just about every season, but finally lived up to the expectations in 2010. He caught 72 passes for 1,162 yards and an NFL-leading 15 touchdowns. He’s a WR1.
9. Larry Fitzgerald (Arizona Cardinals)
Fitzgerald’s fantasy stock hinges upon whether or not the Cardinals can get a real quarterback into the fold this offseason. Still, though, with a rotation of Derek Anderson, Max Hall and John Skelton throwing the ball his way last season, Fitz was able to muster 90 catches for 1,137 yards and six touchdowns. If Arizona gets a QB (Kevin Kolb?), Fitzgerald will fly up the board.
10. DeSean Jackson (Philadelphia Eagles)
I’m typically wary of all-or-nothing deep-ball kinds of guys, but Jackson has been consistent enough to make me reconsider. The 47 catches from last season may not jump off the page, but when he averages 22.5 yards per reception, you suddenly feel okay about it.
11. Mike Wallace (Pittsburgh Steelers)
Wallace, like Jackson, is primarily a deep threat. However, with Hines Ward seemingly in decline, it seems as though Wallace is going to be involved more and more in the Steelers’ offense. Big Ben trusts him, which is good enough for us.
12. Dez Bryant (Dallas Cowboys)
Bryant missed the last four games last season after fracturing his leg, but he looked brilliant at times during his rookie campaign. If he can keep his head on straight (pull your pants up, dude), he looks destined for stardom.
13. Marques Colston (New Orleans Saints)
Colston didn’t score a touchdown until week seven, but still finished with 84 catches for over 1,000 yards. He’s Drew Brees’ favorite target. This bodes well.
14. Miles Austin (Dallas Cowboys)
Austin didn’t have as successful a season in 2010 as he did in 2009, but, with Tony Romo back healthy next year, I’d expect him to rebound a bit. I think he’ll regain WR1 status, even with Dez Bryant in the fold.
15. Mike Williams (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
As a rookie fourth-round pick of of Syracuse, Williams became the primary target of Josh Freeman in Tampa’s offense. He caught 65 passes for 964 yards and 11 touchdowns. I don’t think Tampa will be winning 10 games again next season, but I do think Williams will be even better will a full NFL season under his belt.
16. Brandon Marshall (Miami Dolphins)
Marshall’s first season in Miami was an utter disappointment, as the former fantasy stud scored just three touchdowns. He did catch over 80 passes for over 1,000 yards, though, so maybe there’s some hope for him yet. Proceed with caution.
17. Sidney Rice (Minnesota Vikings)
Rice didn’t play until week 11 due to hip surgery during the offseason, and enjoyed moderate success following his return. Brett Favre’s poor season didn’t help things, and it’ll be interesting to see what comes of the Vikings QB situation before next season. Rice is a guy with the potential to be a WR1, though.
18. Santonio Holmes (New York Jets)
Holmes missed the first four games of last season due to suspension, but once he got onto the field, he and Mark Sanchez showed some great chemistry. With Braylon Edwards likely heading elsewhere, Holmes will be the undisputed No. 1 guy.
19. Kenny Britt (Tennessee Titans)
Despite having to deal with the unspectacular QB tandem of Vince Young and Kerry Collins, Britt has shown flashes of brilliance through his first two seasons in the NFL. If Tennessee can get a capable passer into town, Britt could be in for a breakout year.
20. Jeremy Maclin (Philadelphia Eagles)
While the combo of DeSean Jackson and Michael Vick drew all the highlights, Maclin was actually quite serviceable in his second pro season. He caught 70 balls for 964 yards and 10 touchdowns.
21. Brandon Lloyd (Denver Broncos)
Lloyd replaced Marshall as the top dog in Denver after picking up a ridiculous 1,448 yards and 11 touchdowns for the high-flying Broncos offense. If Kyle Orton is indeed the starter next season, Lloyd should be productive once again. However, considering he hadn’t done much of anything throughout his eight-year career until 2010, I’m reluctant to completely trust him.
22. Anquan Boldin (Baltimore Ravens)
Boldin’s first season as a Raven didn’t go quite as expected, catching just over 800 yards worth of passes for seven scores. Maybe he and Joe Flacco just needed a full season together before they could get accustomed to one another. Let’s hope that’s the case.
23. Wes Welker (New England Patriots)
Welker struggled a bit immediately following the release of Randy Moss, but once the Patriots hit their stride, Wes was right in the thick of things. He can be a PPR menace, and I’d expect him to get back to 1,000 yards once again.
24. Percy Harvin (Minnesota Vikings)
Harvin’s season was marred by a nagging migraine problem, but he was still able to put up decent numbers, catching 71 passes for 868 yards and five touchdowns. He’s an ideal slot receiver, and, if the migraine issues have subsided, Harvin is extremely dangerous
25. Steve Johnson (Buffalo Bills)
Johnson burst onto the scene last season for the Bills, but struggled down the stretch. He finished with 82 catches for 1,073 yards and 10 touchdowns. He’s likely supplanted Lee Evans as Buffalo’s No. 1 receiver (low hurdle, I know), so he should be solid going forward.
26. Randy Moss (Free Agent)
Moss endured a tumultuous 2010 season with New England, Minnesota and Tennessee, and was not a factor at all late in the season fantasy-wise. It’s impossible to project him heading into next season, so keep an eye on his situation.
27. A.J. Green, WR, (Cincinnati Bengals)
Green is a potential stud from day one, with his success largely hanging on Cincy’s unresolved quarterback situation. Still, he’s too big, physical, and talented not to make a solid impact in 2011.
28. Austin Collie (Indianapolis Colts)
Collie’s season was cut short because of a couple of concussions, but he looked like a real steal while he was on the field. He caught 58 passes for 649 yards and eight touchdowns in just nine games.
29. Mike Thomas (Jacksonville Jaguars)
Thomas was a nice PPR option last season, but didn’t find the end zone much, scoring just four touchdowns. He’s not a WR1 by any means, but if Mike Sims-Walker isn’t back in a Jaguars uniform next year, Thomas should see an increased workload.
30. Michael Crabtree (San Francisco 49ers)
Crabtree was one of the most productive college receivers ever during his brief tenure at Texas Tech, but that same success hasn’t yet translated to the NFL. As is the case with several receivers, if Crabtree gets a good quarterback, he’ll be useful in fantasy.
31. Deion Branch (New England Patriots)
Branch came back from the dead to serve as Moss’ replacement for the Patriots last season, and returned to fantasy relevance. He caught 48 passes for 706 yards and five touchdowns in 11 games following his reunion with Tom Brady and company. He seems like a solid option..
32. Santana Moss (Washington Redskins)
Despite the struggles of Donovan McNabb, Santana Moss actually enjoyed a fairly successful season. He caught 93 passes for 1,115 yards and six touchdowns. While McNabb doesn’t seem likely to return, the 31-year-old Moss still appears to have something left in the tank.
33. Steve Smith (New York Giants)
Smith can be under-the-radar at times in the Giants’ offense, but he did emerge as a PPR machine last season. He missed about half of the season due to injury, but seems like he’ll get you at least five catches on a consistent basis when healthy.
34. Jordy Nelson (Green Bay Packers)
Nelson’s stock appears to be on the rise. With James Jones headed for free agency, Nelson’s role in the Packers’ offense could improve. He was a crucial part of the Super Bowl victory (nine catches, 140 yards, TD), and Aaron Rodgers clearly has faith in him.
35. Julio Jones, WR, (Atlanta Falcons)
A very talented receiver with great speed and play-making ability, Jones gives Atlanta a dimension in their passing game that they’ve been lacking. With defenses focusing on Roddy White, Tony Gonzales, and Michael Turner, Jones could slip through the cracks often in 2011 to become a solid fantasy option.
36. Chad Ochocinco (Cincinnati Bengals)
The artist formerly known as Chad Johnson appears to be in decline, but he’ll have his big weeks every now and then. Carson Palmer’s accuracy issues couldn’t have helped things last season, so it will be interesting to see how Ocho responds to what will likely be a brand new situation. A new environment (possibly New England) could help revive his career.
37. Mike Williams (Seattle Seahawks)
Pete Carroll brought Williams back from the dead last season, and he responded with a very solid season. He struggled a bit with his consistency, but, with no other big-time receiving threats on the Seahawks (unless you really enjoy the work of Ben Obomanu), Williams has good value.
38. Mario Manningham (New York Giants)
The Giants have an intriguing young trio of receivers on their hands, and Manningham caught 60 balls for 944 yards and nine touchdowns of his own last year. He’ll likely never be a No. 1 receiver, but he’s consistent enough to make him worth your while, fantasy-wise.
39. Braylon Edwards (New York Jets)
Edwards is still a Jet, but it seems as though he’ll be let go as soon as free agency happens. If he can keep his head on straight, there’s no doubting his talent, and is a Pro Bowl caliber player at the top of his game. His stock will rise or fall based on where he winds up.
40. Malcom Floyd (San Diego Chargers)
Floyd is another guy whose season was derailed a bit with injuries, but he’s shown flashes of being a potentially brilliant player. He should have less pressure on him with Vincent Jackson back in the fold, so expect solid numbers from Floyd.
41. Jonathan Baldwin, WR, (Kansas Cit Chiefs)
Baldwin is still a bit raw, but his physical tools and ability to go after any ball make him an interesting player. Kansas City doesn’t have an elite tight end option and has very little to talk about beyond Dwayne Bowe, so Baldwin is a welcomed addition. His size and play-making ability should have him making a solid impact in his first season.
42. Pierre Garcon (Indianapolis Colts)
Garcon got off to a slow start last season, but his production increased after Austin Collie’s slew of injuries kept him out for extended periods of time. He regained Peyton Manning’s trust about midway through the season, and it paid major dividends.
43. Robert Meachem (New Orleans Saints)
Meachem is another guy that can get lost in the fold of the prolific New Orleans offense, but he’s still solid from time-to-time. At just 26, there’s still plenty of room for him to grow.
44. Hines Ward (Pittsburgh Steelers)
Ben Roethlisberger trusts Ward, so the time may not be up on the 35-year-old quite yet. Don’t expect week-to-week greatness, but he can still likely serve as an okay flex option.
45. Davone Bess (Miami Dolphins)
Bess, who went undrafted in 2008, actually emerged as a more useful fantasy receiver than teammate Brandon Marshall last season. Bess caught 79 passes last season, and is very valuable in a PPR league.
46. Nate Burleson (Detroit Lions)
Speaking of PPR, Burleson is another guy that can help you in that area. With so much attention paid to Calvin Johnson, Burleson is often left open underneath and allowed to run free.
47. Lance Moore (New Orleans Saints)
Saints’ receivers are often unpredictable, but Moore showed he can be a fairly consistent threat last season. Moore’s great speed and explosiveness make him very dangerous with Drew Brees running that offense, as his 66 catches for 763 yards and eight touchdowns showed.
48. Jerome Simpson (Cincinnati Bengals)
With the “T. Ocho Show” likely headed out of town, Jerome Simpson may well enter next season as the Bengals’ primary receiving option. It’s tough to tell how the potential departure of Carson Palmer will affect him, but Simpson clearly has talent.
49. Danny Amendola (St. Louis Rams)
Amendola’s numbers won’t blow you away, but he is a pass-catching machine. He scored just three touchdowns last year, but he did catch a team-high 85 passes. Without a real No. 1 option in there (for the time being) for Sam Bradford to work with, Amendola is sitting pretty as the top target.
50. Steve Breaston (Arizona Cardinals)
Breaston has never been a household name, but he’s been able to put up decent numbers for a couple of years. The 718 yards from last season is respectable, but the one TD is certainly cause for concern. This is another guy whose performance hinges upon his team’s QB situation next season.
51. Mike Sims-Walker (Jacksonville Jaguars)
There’s tons of upside here, and it may be realized outside of Jacksonville. Sims-Walker’s production dipped severely last season (20 fewer catches, 300 fewer yards), but he did pick up seven touchdowns for the second-consecutive season. Very hit-or-miss.
52. James Jones (Green Bay Packers)
Jones has suffered from a perceived lack of focus at times, but he still has tons of potential. He caught 50 passes for 679 yards and five touchdowns, which are fairly encouraging numbers for a guy that spent most of the season as the No. 3 or 4 option. If he leaves, he could be a WR2 somewhere.
53. Greg Little, WR, (Cleveland Browns)
Little isn’t a speedy receiver, but his toughness and play-making ability make him a perfect fit for Cleveland’s West Coast Offense. His success largely depends on the development of Colt McCoy, but Little’s size and physical tools should go a long way in assisting that growth. Mike Holmgren believe Little is the Browns’ most talented target, so he could be active early in 2011.
54. Jacoby Jones (Houston Texans)
Jones is pretty inconsistent, but he has good speed and play-making ability. The potential is there, but there’s not telling if he’ll ever fully develop.
55. Terrell Owens (Cincinnati Bengals)
Every time we assume T.O. has nothing left, he comes out and proves us wrong. He still keeps himself in great shape, and he exploded in the middle of last season for the Bengals. It seems like he’ll be on his third team in three years next season, so keep an eye on where he winds up.
56. Titus Young, WR, (Detroit Lions)
Young is in the mold of a DeSean Jackson, bringing versatility and explosiveness to the table. He’s raw and needs to work on his route-running, but he has enormous first-year potential. He’ll play second-fiddle to Calvin Johnson in 2011, but if he unseats Nate Burleson for number two work, his fantasy stock would see a major rise.
57. Early Doucet, WR, (Arizona Cardinals)
Doucet has the talent to make a bigger impact, but his future is currently in doubt, as far as where he’ll be playing and what his role will be.
58. Brian Hartline, WR, (Miami Dolphins)
Hartline is a shifty, elusive receiver who has displayed solid hands and good play-making ability after the catch. He’s not a world-beater, but he can progress into a solid number two receiver. The jury is still out, however.
59. Torrey Smith, WR, (Baltimore Ravens)
Baltimore’s speedy rookie, Smith could make an impact in 2011 as a big-play threat and situational receiver. He has the speed to kill, and could really make Flacco go nuts with the deep ball. The potential is there for him to have an immediate impact.
60. Jordan Shipley, WR, (Cincinnati Bengals)
Shipley is older than most second-year receivers, but arguably much wiser. He’s a crafty, elusive receiver that is perfect for the slot and can make solid plays when given the opportunity. With Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco headed out of town, he could have a more prominent role in 2011 and beyond.
61. Eric Decker, WR, (Denver Broncos)
Decker is the wild card of the moment, as he is rumored to possibly be getting a chance to compete for a starting gig for 2011. Keep an eye on him, as his nice size and control projects him as a very solid possession receiver going forward.