The Top 5 wide receivers in Fantasy Football. This was a hard list to make, primarily because lots of wide receivers don’t tend to do the same things as the previous year, and in turn, defenses begin to get smarter and roll a safety over the top, double team, or play a more aggressive bump and run game against them in order to slow them down. For me, there’s only one receiver who is clearly #1 among all receivers, with the rest that can go pretty much anywhere afterwards. With that said, lets start the countdown.
1. Calvin Johnson — Detroid Lions
Easy choice right? Calvin Johnson lived up to his Megatron nickname and had himself just a ridiculous season, with some athletic high leaping grabs that made me think that this was in the books as one of the best receiving seasons for a wide receiver EVER. Don’t buy into that Madden curse BS, this is a guy who grabbed 96 passes for 1681 yards and 16 touchdowns, averaging 17.5 yards a catch to go along with leading all receivers in every major category. He can’t be guarded 1v1 and because of the problems at running back for the Detroid Lions, Calvin Johnson remains a borderline #1 pick in all drafts. He’s too good, he’s too big, he’s just Megatron.
2. Andre Johnson — Houston Texans
Last year he disappointed because he tore his hamstring and required surgery in the middle of the season. He started out great, but that injury derailed his season. I’m going to say he’s going to be back and will probably fight Megatron in terms of fantasy football eliteness. He’s just as big, just as fast, just as strong, and just as hard to guard 1v1. With the return of Schaub, a ridiculous running game, expect AJ to go off and show us why he was supposed to be the #1 pick last season.
3. Wes Welker — New England Patriots
I messed up my whole league last year because I didn’t believe in this guy. But lets face it, Welkers as safe as they come. Let’s drop the 2010 season where he came back after a major knee surgery, and every season with the Patriots, Welker has 100+ receptions and 1100+ yards every season. He scored 9 touchdowns last year. We can look at the fact that the Pats have two huge tight ends, and that Brandon Lloyd is going to stretch defenses, but what does that mean? Who’s going to guard Welker? Welker will always get his, and him and Tom Brady are probably one of the best tandems we’ve seen.
4. Mike Wallace — Pittsburgh Steelers
Mike Wallace is making this list because of the uncertainty at running back with the Steelers. Yes they still have a capable guy in Issac Redman, but the Steelers offense has been passing a lot as of recently. Mike Wallace is still a burner, and the coming of Antonio Brown as a secondary receiver should take some pressure off of him and allow him to get open deep. Most of his production will depend on if Big Ben can stay healthy, as the Steelers team becomes completely different without him under center.
5. Victor Cruz — New York Giants
Victor Cruz went undrafted last year, and no doubt, he’s going to be a high pick this year. He might even be a disappointing pick. But we can clearly see his upside, as he’s a burner after the catch, and with Hakeem Nicks coming back injury, Cruz might be getting more targets. There’s always risk though; he scored 8 of his 9 touchdowns over 20 yards. Can he repeat what he did last year? I’m expecting a regression to the mean, but I’m still betting he gets touchdowns, they’re just not going to be the highlight plays he got last year.
Honorable Mentions: Roddy White, Larry Fitzgerald, Brandon Marshall, Steve Smith, Vincent Jackson, Jordy Nelson, Greg Jennings