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In the coming weeks, ZoneBlitz will feature rankings for each fantasy position in five scoring formats. The rankings will be accompanied by a brief article highlighting some of the big names, surprises and sleepers. Combined cheat sheets for each format will be available August 1 and constantly updated based on the latest news to keep you prepared for your drafts.

Editor’s Note: Wide receiver rankings are the third of six rankings to be posted to ZoneBlitz.com. Quarterback rankings can be found here, and running back rankings can be found here.

Photo credit: Mike Morbeck via Wikipedia

Photo credit: Mike Morbeck via Wikipedia

With guys like Calvin Johnson, Brandon Marshall, Dez Bryant and AJ Green all bona fide fantasy studs, and the likes of Demaryius Thomas, Andre Johnson and Julio Jones close behind, there arguably hasn’t been a better time to be selecting near the turn at the back end of the first round of your fantasy draft. Walk away from the first three rounds with Marshall, Jones and even a Victor Cruz, Steve Smith or Jordy Nelson in round three? Yes, have some.

The top 20 or so receivers in this year’s fantasy rankings all come with little downside, so those that go RB/QB in the first

Photo credit: Georgia National Guard via Wikipedia

Photo credit: Georgia National Guard via Wikipedia

couple rounds should still be happy with their No. 1 wideout. From there, things get interesting. How well will Tavon Austin click with Sam Bradford right away? Will Torrey Smith become a legit No. 1 fantasy receiver with Anquan Boldin now in San Francisco? And how will Boldin handle the burden of being a No. 1 receiver with Michael Crabtree hurt? What will be left at the teat of Peyton Manning (not literally) for Eric Decker after Thomas and Wes Welker get their fill? Is Christian Ponder (or Matt Cassel) good enough to keep Greg Jennings in your lineup on a weekly basis? This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to receiver questions in the 20-50 range, where you’ll be filling out the back end of your receiver lot. There will be a couple borderline WR1s in that mix by the time the season’s done, and those guys will be common names among fantasy champions by season’s end.

Now obviously I’ve staked my claim in terms of who I like and don’t like based on these rankings, but please understand that rankings must take into consideration risk, along with rough estimates of average draft position. If I thought that James Jones would break through as this season’s No. 1 fantasy receiver, I wouldn’t rank him No. 1. I wouldn’t even rank him No. 4. There’s too much upside with the players already there. But I would creep Jones up to ahead of where he’s ranked basically anywhere else, which means I’d grab him a round or two before anyone else was thinking about him, while not ruining his value by selecting him in the first round.

Considering this logic, you’ll note where guys like Randall Cobb, Larry Fitzgerald and, a little further down, Danny Amendola are ranked. I used the example of Jones previously, but Cobb is the receiver I want if I just get one from Green Bay. And I think Fitzy regains his place among fantasy football’s elite with a competent quarterback running a competent offense now in Arizona. And while Amendola comes with some injury history and is in a new environment, his versatility and status as New England’s lone high-end wide receiver makes me bullish on him heading into the season. Tom Brady finds a way to win games. He’ll do so with Amendola as a conduit to success.

In the 25-45 range I could definitely see DeSean Jackson and Kendall Wright moving up based on how training camps go, and in the 46-65 range I think the biggest movers are likely to be Alshon Jeffery, Santonio Holmes and potentially Jacoby Jones. I also wouldn’t sleep on Ryan Broyles. If he’s healthy in training camp, he’ll push Nate Burleson for that No. 2 job in Detroit right away, which would vault him easily into the top 50 as his upside is higher than Burleson’s.

Have a question? Take umbrage with any of my rankings? Want to discuss the topic further? Post in the comments section and let’s chat! And if enough questions trickle in through the course of the offseason and training camp, I’ll post a few mailbag stories. Thanks for reading. Now comment away!

  STANDARD PPR Yardage-Heavy
  TM Player TM Player TM Player
1 DET Calvin Johnson DET Calvin Johnson DET Calvin Johnson
2 DAL Dez Bryant CHI Brandon Marshall DAL Dez Bryant
3 CHI Brandon Marshall DAL Dez Bryant CHI Brandon Marshall
4 CIN AJ Green CIN AJ Green DEN Demaryius Thomas
5 DEN Demaryius Thomas DEN Demaryius Thomas CIN AJ Green
6 ATL Julio Jones GB Randall Cobb HOU Andre Johnson
7 GB Randall Cobb SEA Percy Harvin ATL Julio Jones
8 SEA Percy Harvin HOU Andre Johnson SEA Percy Harvin
9 HOU Andre Johnson ATL Julio Jones GB Randall Cobb
10 TB Vincent Jackson ARI Larry Fitzgerald ATL Roddy White
11 ARI Larry Fitzgerald DEN Wes Welker ARI Larry Fitzgerald
12 ATL Roddy White IND Reggie Wayne DEN Wes Welker
13 DEN Wes Welker ATL Roddy White IND Reggie Wayne
14 NO Marques Colston NO Marques Colston TB Vincent Jackson
15 IND Reggie Wayne TB Vincent Jackson NO Marques Colston
16 GB Jordy Nelson NYG Victor Cruz NYG Victor Cruz
17 NYG Victor Cruz KC Dwayne Bowe KC Dwayne Bowe
18 KC Dwayne Bowe GB Jordy Nelson GB Jordy Nelson
19 MIA Mike Wallace NE Danny Amendola CAR Steve Smith
20 CAR Steve Smith CAR Steve Smith MIA Mike Wallace
21 NE Danny Amendola NYG Hakeem Nicks NE Danny Amendola
22 NYG Hakeem Nicks MIA Mike Wallace NYG Hakeem Nicks
23 WAS Pierre Garcon WAS Pierre Garcon SF Anquan Boldin
24 SF Anquan Boldin SF Anquan Boldin WAS Pierre Garcon
25 JAX Cecil Shorts PIT Antonio Brown PIT Antonio Brown
26 BAL Torrey Smith DEN Eric Decker NO Lance Moore
27 PIT Antonio Brown JAX Cecil Shorts JAX Cecil Shorts
28 GB James Jones BAL Torrey Smith STL Tavon Austin
29 DEN Eric Decker NO Lance Moore BAL Torrey Smith
30 NO Lance Moore GB James Jones GB James Jones
31 SD Danario Alexander MIN Greg Jennings DEN Eric Decker
32 TB Mike Williams STL Tavon Austin PHI DeSean Jackson
33 MIN Greg Jennings SD Danario Alexander TB Mike Williams
34 STL Tavon Austin TB Mike Williams BUF Stevie Johnson
35 PHI DeSean Jackson BUF Stevie Johnson SD Danario Alexander
36 IND TY Hilton PHI DeSean Jackson MIN Greg Jennings
37 BUF Stevie Johnson PHI Jeremy Maclin CLE Josh Gordon
38 PHI Jeremy Maclin DAL Miles Austin DAL Miles Austin
39 CLE Josh Gordon OAK Denarius Moore IND TY Hilton
40 DAL Miles Austin IND TY Hilton PHI Jeremy Maclin
41 OAK Denarius Moore CLE Josh Gordon STL Chris Givens
42 STL Chris Givens SD Malcom Floyd SD Malcom Floyd
43 SD Malcom Floyd TEN Kendall Wright OAK Denarius Moore
44 TEN Kendall Wright SEA Sidney Rice TEN Kendall Wright
45 SEA Sidney Rice STL Chris Givens NYJ Santonio Holmes
46 CHI Alshon Jeffery CHI Alshon Jeffery SEA Sidney Rice
47 PIT Emmanuel Sanders MIA Brian Hartline MIA Brian Hartline
48 NYJ Santonio Holmes NYJ Santonio Holmes TEN Kenny Britt
49 TEN Kenny Britt ARI Andre Roberts CHI Alshon Jeffery
50 JAX Justin Blackmon JAX Justin Blackmon JAX Justin Blackmon
51 IND Darrius Heyward-Bey PIT Emmanuel Sanders PIT Emmanuel Sanders
52 MIA Brian Hartline TEN Kenny Britt ARI Andre Roberts
53 ARI Andre Roberts IND Darrius Heyward-Bey IND Darrius Heyward-Bey
54 WAS Santana Moss HOU DeAndre Hopkins DET Nate Burleson
55 SEA Golden Tate DET Nate Burleson WAS Santana Moss
56 HOU DeAndre Hopkins BAL Jacoby Jones HOU DeAndre Hopkins
57 ARI Michael Floyd WAS Santana Moss CAR Brandon LaFell
58 BAL Jacoby Jones SEA Golden Tate NYJ Stephen Hill
59 DET Nate Burleson NYJ Stephen Hill BAL Jacoby Jones
60 NYG Rueben Randle ARI Michael Floyd ARI Michael Floyd
61 NYJ Stephen Hill KC Donnie Avery NYG Rueben Randle
62 CAR Brandon LaFell CAR Brandon LaFell SEA Golden Tate
63 SF AJ Jenkins CLE Greg Little CLE Greg Little
64 PIT Markus Wheaton NYG Rueben Randle KC Donnie Avery
65 CLE Greg Little SF AJ Jenkins NE Aaron Dobson
66 NE Aaron Dobson PIT Markus Wheaton BUF Robert Woods
67 KC Donnie Avery STL Brian Quick SF AJ Jenkins
68 BUF Robert Woods NYJ Jeremy Kerley PIT Markus Wheaton
69 STL Brian Quick NE Aaron Dobson OAK Rod Streater
70 MIN Cordarrelle Patterson BUF Robert Woods MIN Jarius Wright
71 WAS Leonard Hankerson MIN Cordarrelle Patterson STL Brian Quick
72 OAK Rod Streater WAS Leonard Hankerson WAS Leonard Hankerson
73 MIN Jarius Wright CIN Mohamed Sanu NYJ Jeremy Kerley
74 CIN Mohamed Sanu OAK Rod Streater SD Vincent Brown
75 NYJ Jeremy Kerley DET Ryan Broyles CLE Davone Bess
76 SD Vincent Brown SD Vincent Brown MIA Brandon Gibson
77 DET Ryan Broyles WAS Josh Morgan KC Dexter McCluster
78 WAS Josh Morgan CLE Davone Bess DET Ryan Broyles
79 SF Mario Manningham SF Mario Manningham SF Mario Manningham
80 SF Michael Crabtree SF Michael Crabtree SF Michael Crabtree
TD-Heavy Dynasty  
TM Player TM Player  
DET Calvin Johnson DET Calvin Johnson 1
DAL Dez Bryant DAL Dez Bryant 2
CHI Brandon Marshall CHI Brandon Marshall 3
CIN AJ Green CIN AJ Green 4
ATL Julio Jones ATL Julio Jones 5
DEN Demaryius Thomas DEN Demaryius Thomas 6
GB Randall Cobb GB Randall Cobb 7
SEA Percy Harvin SEA Percy Harvin 8
TB Vincent Jackson TB Vincent Jackson 9
ARI Larry Fitzgerald ARI Larry Fitzgerald 10
HOU Andre Johnson HOU Andre Johnson 11
NO Marques Colston NO Marques Colston 12
ATL Roddy White ATL Roddy White 13
DEN Wes Welker DEN Wes Welker 14
GB Jordy Nelson GB Jordy Nelson 15
IND Reggie Wayne IND Reggie Wayne 16
MIA Mike Wallace MIA Mike Wallace 17
NYG Victor Cruz NYG Victor Cruz 18
KC Dwayne Bowe KC Dwayne Bowe 19
CAR Steve Smith CAR Steve Smith 20
NE Danny Amendola NE Danny Amendola 21
NYG Hakeem Nicks NYG Hakeem Nicks 22
WAS Pierre Garcon WAS Pierre Garcon 23
JAX Cecil Shorts JAX Cecil Shorts 24
SF Anquan Boldin SF Anquan Boldin 25
BAL Torrey Smith BAL Torrey Smith 26
GB James Jones GB James Jones 27
DEN Eric Decker DEN Eric Decker 28
PIT Antonio Brown PIT Antonio Brown 29
SD Danario Alexander SD Danario Alexander 30
TB Mike Williams TB Mike Williams 31
NO Lance Moore NO Lance Moore 32
MIN Greg Jennings MIN Greg Jennings 33
IND TY Hilton IND TY Hilton 34
STL Tavon Austin STL Tavon Austin 35
PHI DeSean Jackson PHI DeSean Jackson 36
PHI Jeremy Maclin PHI Jeremy Maclin 37
BUF Stevie Johnson BUF Stevie Johnson 38
OAK Denarius Moore OAK Denarius Moore 39
CLE Josh Gordon CLE Josh Gordon 40
DAL Miles Austin DAL Miles Austin 41
CHI Alshon Jeffery CHI Alshon Jeffery 42
STL Chris Givens STL Chris Givens 43
SEA Sidney Rice SEA Sidney Rice 44
TEN Kendall Wright TEN Kendall Wright 45
PIT Emmanuel Sanders PIT Emmanuel Sanders 46
SD Malcom Floyd SD Malcom Floyd 47
IND Darrius Heyward-Bey IND Darrius Heyward-Bey 48
NYJ Santonio Holmes NYJ Santonio Holmes 49
TEN Kenny Britt TEN Kenny Britt 50
JAX Justin Blackmon JAX Justin Blackmon 51
WAS Santana Moss WAS Santana Moss 52
MIA Brian Hartline MIA Brian Hartline 53
SEA Golden Tate SEA Golden Tate 54
ARI Andre Roberts ARI Andre Roberts 55
ARI Michael Floyd ARI Michael Floyd 56
HOU DeAndre Hopkins HOU DeAndre Hopkins 57
BAL Jacoby Jones BAL Jacoby Jones 58
NYG Rueben Randle NYG Rueben Randle 59
DET Nate Burleson DET Nate Burleson 60
SF AJ Jenkins SF AJ Jenkins 61
PIT Markus Wheaton PIT Markus Wheaton 62
NYJ Stephen Hill NYJ Stephen Hill 63
CAR Brandon LaFell CAR Brandon LaFell 64
CLE Greg Little CLE Greg Little 65
NE Aaron Dobson NE Aaron Dobson 66
KC Donnie Avery KC Donnie Avery 67
STL Brian Quick STL Brian Quick 68
BUF Robert Woods BUF Robert Woods 69
WAS Leonard Hankerson WAS Leonard Hankerson 70
CLE Davone Bess CLE Davone Bess 71
MIA Brandon Gibson MIA Brandon Gibson 72
OAK Rod Streater OAK Rod Streater 73
MIN Jarius Wright MIN Jarius Wright 74
DET Ryan Broyles DET Ryan Broyles 75
KC Dexter McCluster KC Dexter McCluster 76
NYJ Jeremy Kerley NYJ Jeremy Kerley 77
SD Vincent Brown SD Vincent Brown 78
SF Michael Crabtree SF Michael Crabtree 79
SF Mario Manningham SF Mario Manningham 80

For Zoneblitz.com’s quarterback ratings, click here.
For Zoneblitz.com’s running back ratings, click here.
For Zoneblitz.com’s tight end ratings, click here.
For Zoneblitz.com’s kicker ratings, click here.
For Zoneblitz.com’s defense ratings, click here.

 

 

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