A list of the top wide receivers to draft for the 2015 fantasy football season.
1. Dez Bryant (DAL)
|Receiving Stats||Rushing Stats|
|2015 Projections||View Dez Bryant's 2015 projected stats.|
The league's premier touchdown catcher - other than maybe a healthy Rob Gronkowski - Bryant led the NFL with 16 last season, running his three-year total to 41. Unlike Demaryius Thomas and Antonio Brown, who did their damage with north of 180 targets, Bryant checked in 12th overall (137), tied for 18th in the red-zone (15) and seventh inside the 10 (10). Bryant tied for second in goal-line targets with eight, however, a hallmark of Scott Linehan's play calling since his days with the Dolphins when even Chris Chambers got double-digit scores. At 6-2, 220, with 4.5 speed, Bryant has the specs you'd want from a No. 1 NFL receiver, and he plays even bigger and more physical than that. Bryant's 9.6 YPT placed seventh among the league's 41 100-target wideouts, and his 22 catches for 20-plus yards tied for fifth. Entering 2015, Bryant's role could potentially grow. While the Cowboys return an all-world offensive line and quarterback Tony Romo, they are thin at wide receiver with only the disappointing Terrance Williams and slot man Cole Beasley providing experienced depth. Moreover, Jason Witten turned 33 in May, and workhorse tailback DeMarco Murray is in Philadelphia. Given the strength of the line and the team's success a year ago, one would think Dallas will again feature a run-heavy scheme, but at press time, it's hard to envision the backfield options (individually or collectively) absorbing Murray's 392-carry load. That could portend more work for Bryant.
2. Antonio Brown (PIT)
|Receiving Stats||Rushing Stats|
|2015 Projections||View Antonio Brown's 2015 projected stats.|
In 2013, Brown was the lone small receiver atop a leaderboard filled with athletic freaks and monsters. Last year, he was the monster. Brown had the second-most receptions in NFL history with 129 and led the league in receiving yards with the sixth-highest all-time total (1,698). He also tied for second in TD receptions (13), with only Dez Bryant's 16 preventing Brown from a receiving triple crown. Brown was also the league's most consistent fantasy player last year with at least 70 receiving yards in all 16 games. Put differently, he never once failed to eclipse 13 points in PPR formats. At 5-10, 186, Brown is not your typical red-zone target, but he saw 34 from that area (2nd), and his 18 targets from inside the 10 tied him with Demaryius Thomas for the league lead. Although Brown is fast - his 4.47 40 is above average - he excels with uncanny quickness, excellent hands and first-rate ball skills. And while he didn't make an inordinate amount of big plays (19 catches of 20-plus, four of 40 or more), Brown averaged a robust 9.4 yards per target (9th among the league's 41 100-target WR), on heavy volume thanks to his 71-percent catch rate (4th). It's hard to find much downside, but the volume could drop slightly with Martavis Bryant likely to have a bigger role and rookie Sammie Coates providing an upgrade over last year's fourth option. And whenever you're looking at a historic season, some regression is always a prudent bet. Even so, in PPR leagues, Brown is the clear No. 1 choice.
3. Demaryius Thomas (DEN)
|Receiving Stats||Rushing Stats|
|2015 Projections||View Demaryius Thomas's 2015 projected stats.|
Peyton Manning didn't repeat his historic 2013, but that didn't matter to Thomas. Despite a slow start, Thomas led the league in targets (184) and finished second in catches (111) and yards (1619). While he tied for seventh in touchdowns (11), he led the NFL in targets inside the 20-, 10- and five-yard lines, so it wasn't for lack of opportunities from in close. At 6-2, 220, with 4.5 speed, Thomas is the prototypical dominant, physical No. 1 receiver in the modern NFL, and at 27 is still in his late prime. While Thomas' per-play production dropped from 2013 to 2014, his 14.6 YPC and 8.8 YPT on heavy volume were still strong, if less than elite. Thomas also finished second in catches for 20-plus yards (25) and tied for fourth (with five other players) with six receptions of 40 yards or more. Keep in mind it took Thomas 50 more targets to get there than Odell Beckham Jr., T.Y. Hilton or DeAndre Hopkins. The bigger concerns for Thomas, however, are the age and health of Manning, who turned 39 in March, dropped off significantly in last year's second half and was terrible playing through a quad injury in the divisional playoffs against the Colts. At press time, Manning is completely healthy, however, and because his game is timing, accuracy and reading defenses rather than mobility or arm strength, it's likely he'll be good enough to keep Thomas productive. The arrival of new coach Gary Kubiak and offensive coordinator Rick Dennison add two more variables, but as Manning is essentially the team's play-caller and a player-coach at this point, it probably won't make a significant difference. The tight-end swap of Julius Thomas for Owen Daniels is unlikely to move the needle, either.
Imagine how confident you'll feel going into your draft with exclusive wide receiver rankings from the premier fantasy football source on the web. Once you sign up, you'll not only get access to these rankings, you'll completely unlock every page on RotoWire.com.
P.S. Here at RotoWire.com, we've been giving out high-quality fantasy football advice for over a decade and we've won nearly three times as many industry awards as our next closest competitor. Try us out this season and we'll help you look like a genius.
2015 Positional Rankings
Find out where Andrew Luck, Cam Newton, Russell Wilson, Aaron Rodgers and other quarterbacks are ranked going into your fantasy draft.
Find out where Arian Foster, Eddie Lacy, LeSean McCoy, Jamaal Charles and other running backs are ranked going into your fantasy draft.
Find out where A.J. Green, Calvin Johnson, Dez Bryant, Odell Beckham and other wide receivers are ranked going into your fantasy draft.
Find out where Rob Gronkowski, Vernon Davis, Jimmy Graham, Julius Thomas and other tight ends are ranked going into your fantasy draft.
Find out where Shaun Suisham, Adam Vinatieri, Blair Walsh, Connor Barth and other kickers are ranked going into your fantasy draft.
Which team will stand out on defense this year? Our team defense rankings will help you find the right defense to draft this season.
Find out where J.J. Watt, Lavonte David, Luke Kuechly, Robert Quinn and other defensive players are ranked going into your fantasy draft.
A team's offensive line can have a tremendous impact on how its quarterback, running backs, and wide receivers perform. Consult our rankings for help.