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2013 Fantasy Football Keeper Rankings – Wide Receivers

The top wide receivers to draft for the 2013 fantasy football season in keeper/dynasty leagues.

By Position:





1. Calvin Johnson (DET)   Age: 28

  Receiving Stats Rushing Stats
Year Rec Yds TD Avg Att Yds TD Avg
2013 Projections View Calvin Johnson's 2013 projected stats.

If someone told you Johnson scored only five touchdowns, had only five catches of 40 or more yards and averaged 9.6 YPT (down from 10.6 in 2011), you'd probably think he had an off year. Instead he destroyed the single-season record for receiving yards. While Johnson didn't strike for too many huge plays, he had 40 catches of 20-yards or more, 11 more than Demaryius Thomas who would have led the league by a wide margin in almost any other season. Johnson's lack of touchdowns stemmed partly from bad luck – Matthew Stafford, who led the NFL in bad passes (44), missed him after he had gotten behind the defense on a few occasions, and Johnson also caught a few balls just short of the goal line – but also from an inexplicable lack of use from in close. Of Johnson's league-leading 204 targets, only 17 were red-zone looks (T-17th), eight from inside the 10 (T-12th) and five from inside the five (T-5th). We have to think that will change for the 6-5, 235-pound Johnson – whose size and frame make him ideal for work in that area. If it doesn't, the TDs will rebound anyway, but closer to 10 than 15, making him essentially Andre Johnson in his prime.

2. A.J. Green (CIN)   Age: 25

  Receiving Stats Rushing Stats
Year Rec Yds TD Avg Att Yds TD Avg
2013 Projections View A.J. Green's 2013 projected stats.

Believe it or not, Green had a down year – at least on a per play basis. While Green led the league with seven catches of 40-plus, he had only 16 catches of 20-plus (T-15th) on 164 targets (T-5th), and he averaged a pedestrian 8.2 yards per target, 16th among the league's 39 100-target wideouts. Green was primarily a volume guy and a goal-line threat, with 23 red-zone looks (T-2nd), 14 from inside the 10 (1st).  Nonetheless, Green finished as the No. 4 overall receiver in standard leagues last year (No. 3 in PPR), and there's reason to think his efficiency will improve. Green averaged 9.2 YPT during his rookie season and had more big plays (19 to 16) despite 49 fewer targets. At 24, the 6-4, 210-pound burner hasn't lost a step, and quarterback Andy Dalton could get better in Year 3. Even at the current pace, the volume and red-zone looks ensure a high floor.

3. Demaryius Thomas (DEN)   Age: 26

  Receiving Stats Rushing Stats
Year Rec Yds TD Avg Att Yds TD Avg
2013 Projections View Demaryius Thomas's 2013 projected stats.

Thomas' first year with Peyton Manning under center could hardly have gone better. Thomas led the league's 100-target receivers in efficiency with 10.2 yards per look, thanks to 15.3 YPC and a 67-percent catch rate. Thomas was also fourth in red-zone targets (six of his 21 chances there went for scores), despite teammate Eric Decker leading the league with 25 red-zone looks and 12 red-zone scores. At 6-3, 229, and with 4.38 40 speed, Thomas possesses elite physical skills, and he put those to good use, with five catches of 40-plus (T-9th) and 29 catches of 20 yards or more, second only to Calvin Johnson’s 40. The addition of Wes Welker this offseason could cut into everyone’s targets, but there's reason to think it will impact Decker and the team's tight ends more severely than Thomas who runs routes further down the field. Moreover, while Welker and Decker are quality players, neither is a gamebreaker in Thomas' mold, a fact of which Manning is undoubtedly aware.

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