The NFL regular season is getting closer by the day as teams are finishing up with their respective training camps and preparing for week two of the preseason.
Fans are very lucky these days because every single preseason game is made available to them, whether it be online or on television. That gives fantasy football players the opportunity to scout anyone and everyone that they may consider drafting.
Last week we began listing our fantasy football rankings, covering the Top 30 NFL Fantasy Football Quarterbacks, the Top 50 NFL Fantasy Football Running Backs, the Top 30 NFL Fantasy Football Tight Ends, the Top NFL Fantasy Football Sleepers and Busts and the Top NFL Fantasy Football Rookies.
This week we’ll continue with our rankings to help get you as prepared as possible for your upcoming drafts. Up next are the wide receivers.
1- Antonio Brown
As far as consistency goes, there’s no one better than Brown in the NFL. After gaining at least 50 yards during every week of the 2013 season Brown followed that up by gaining at least 70 yards every game last year. His time flying under the fantasy radar is over.
2- Dez Bryant
The Cowboys’ run-first approach has helped to open things up for Bryant in recent years and there’s no reason to suspect any changes in Dallas’ offensive plans this season. While sometimes its feast for famine with Dez, he always ranks among the top fantasy wideouts when all is said and done.
3- Demaryius Thomas
The combination of Thomas entering the prime of his career and having Peyton Manning throwing him the ball only makes the 27-year-old more appealing to fantasy owners. He does a lot of his damage after catching the ball, and the loss of Julius Thomas could mean even more red zone targets for Demaryius.
4- Calvin Johnson
While injuries have plagued Megatron during the past two years he comes into the 2015 season as healthy as he’s been in a long time. Johnson dedicated his offseason to strengthening problematic areas, meaning he could return to past glory in a big way this season.
5- Julio Jones
Coming off of his best season yet in 2014, Jones has the potential to be the best fantasy receiver in the league by years end. The Falcons often have to put up a lot of points to win games thanks to their declining defense and that usually means more opportunities for Jones to put up big numbers.
6- Jordy Nelson
Playing on one of the NFL’s most potent offenses usually fares well for Nelson, and 2015 should be no exception. The Packers re-signed Randall Cobb during the offseason, which combined with Eddie Lacy’s explosiveness out of the backfield, it makes it very difficult for opposing defenses to key in on any one of them.
7- Odell Beckham Jr.
This guy had one of the best rookie seasons by a wide receiver in NFL history, which is even more amazing when you realize that he missed the first four weeks recovering from a hamstring injury. He closed out 2014 by racking up at least 90 receiving yards in nine straight games and more of the same is expected this time around.
8- A.J. Green
It’s a good thing that Green is one of the best wideouts in the game because he plays with a sub-par quarterback in an offense that is expected to run the ball much more than throw it. His ability to catch 50-50 balls and make plays with his size will keep him amongst the best fantasy receivers despite playing with the Bengals run-first offense.
9- Alshon Jeffery
The departure of Brandon Marshall should only help Jeffery’s cause in Chicago, as he was already emerging as Jay Cutler’s favorite target. The Bears are expected to run more often under John Fox but that never stopped Steve Smith from putting up big numbers in Carolina. Expect a similar result for Jeffery.
10- Randall Cobb
Cobb knows a good thing when he sees it, which explains why he turned down more money in order to re-sign with Green Bay and continue playing in their explosive offense. He’s an ascending talent coming off of his best year in the league and should continue to play like a top fantasy wideout in 2015.
11- T.Y. Hilton
Coming off a career year last season, Hilton could have his biggest season yet after the additions of Andre Johnson and Frank Gore. With a top-tier running back and receiver for opposing defenses to focus on, things could open up even more for Hilton this year.
12- Mike Evans
Fair or not, Evans’ spectacular rookie season was overshadowed by Odell Bechkham Jr’s. The 22-year-old scored 12 touchdowns and cracked 1,000 yards receiving despite having Mike Glennon and Josh McCown as his quarterbacks in Tampa, but there could be some growing pains with the Bucs new quarterback, rookie Jameis Winston.
13- Emmanuel Sanders
Coming off the first 1,000 yard season of his career, Sanders is poised for another big year in 2015. The departure of Wes Welker and Julius Thomas, plus the ability of Demaryius Thomas, should only help Sanders be even more productive than last year.
14- Kelvin Benjamin
Benjamin had a solid rookie campaign despite getting mentally fatigued late in the season and finishing the year with the second-most drops (11) in the NFL. His combination of size (6’5”) and speed will make him a prime red zone target for Cam Newton.
15- DeAndre Hopkins
The departure of Andre Johnson means that Hopkins is the clear-cut number one receiver in Houston, and he’s looked the part so far during training camp. Regardless of who is throwing passes for the Texans in 2015, Hopkins will be the focal point of the offense.
16- Brandin Cooks
Coming off a surprisingly good rookie season, Cooks is poised for an even bigger year in 2015. He’ll be the number one target for Drew Brees now that Jimmy Graham has moved on to Seattle, and the Saints offense always seems to put up big numbers.
17- Jordan Matthews
Another guy expected to build off of an impressive rookie season is Matthews, who will be the top wideout in Philly after Jeremy Maclin signed with the Chiefs. Spending the offseason working with Hall of Famer Chris Carter should only add to Matthews’ strong skillset.
18- Julian Edelman
Being Tom Brady’s most reliable receiver usually pays huge dividends, and that has reflected in Edelman’s numbers over the past two years. His value will only go up if/when Rob Gronkowski suffers his next injury, which seems to be an annual occurrence.
19- Keenan Allen
Injuries contributed to Allen’s sophomore slump in 2014 but now he’s healthy and poised for a bounce back season. He’s expected to get more snaps in the slot which, combined with his size, should lead to a lot of yards after the catch.
20- DeSean Jackson
A shoulder injury suffered during training camp isn’t expected to keep Jackson from missing any regular season time. Despite the question marks at quarterback in Washington, Jackson continues to be one of the premier deep threats in the NFL. He had eight games in 2014 where he caught at least one pass of 40 or more yards.
21- Amari Cooper
Entering the 2015 NFL Draft as the most pro-ready receiver on the board, Cooper steps into a great situation in Oakland where he’ll be the undisputed number one wideout.
22- Sammy Watkins
Watkins is expected to build off of his impressive rookie campaign but his production could suffer due to the Bills’ lack of a solid quarterback.
23- Andre Johnson
Johnson has been one of the best receivers in the game for a decade and now he gets to catch passes from Andrew Luck in an offense that features multiple weapons.
24- Golden Tate
Coming off his first 1,000 yard season in the NFL, Tate should be a solid contributor in the Lions passing game. He’ll catch a lot of passes which only increases his value in PPR leagues.
25- Brandon Marshall
Even at age 31 there is no doubting Marshall’s talent but it could be difficult for him to put up big numbers in a Jets offense that has serious quarterback issues.
26- Vincent Jackson
Since joining the Bucs in 2012 Jackson has finished each season with at least 70 receptions and over 1,000 yards, but now he’s got a rookie quarterback throwing to him.
27- Jeremy Maclin
The injury prone Maclin is coming off a career year in Philadelphia but now he’s in Kansas City, where receivers have had a difficult time putting up medium sized numbers, let alone big ones.
28- Jarvis Landry
After catching 84 passes as a rookie in 2014, Landry has all the potential to be a star possession receiver in the NFL. He’s looked great during training camp and has high expectations for an even better sophomore season.
29- Roddy White
Though his skills are on the decline as he moves towards his mid-30s, White can still put up good numbers in the Falcons pass-heavy offense.
30- Eric Decker
Decker has plenty of talent but is now the number two receiving option for the Jets, who have issues at quarterback.
31- Allen Robinson
Robinson’s promising rookie season was cut short due to a foot injury that required surgery but he’s healthy now and should be the Jaguars top receiver.
32- Martavis Bryant
The Steelers are expecting Bryant to make a big jump in his second pro season. While he didn’t play until week 7 last year, Bryant still managed to score 8 touchdowns on just 26 receptions.
33- Mike Wallace
Wallace should get plenty of opportunities in Minnesota as the playmaking options are very limited outside of Adrian Peterson, but capitalizing on those chances will be the test.
34- Torrey Smith
Making the switch from Baltimore to San Francisco, Smith moves from one quarterback with a big arm to another. He’ll be the deep threat in the 49ers run-first offense.
35- Nelson Agholor
Agholor takes the place of playmaker Jeremy Maclin, who took the place of DeSean Jackson, in the Eagles high-flying offense. He’s looked very good early in training camp and the preseason.
36- Brandon LaFell
Though he has the talent to be a top-target, the Patriots offense does a good job of spreading the ball around which causes fantasy owners to hesitate.
37- Michael Floyd
Floyd’s down season in 2014 can be attributed to the awful play of the Cardinals’ quarterbacks after Carson Palmer went down for the year.
38- Charles Johnson
After breaking out during the second half of last season, Johnson could put up strong numbers for the Vikings in 2015, especially considering Mike Wallace will garner attention from opposing defenses.
39- Steve Smith Sr.
The departure of Torrey Smith could add to Steve Smith’s value after the veteran wideout had a major bounce-back season in 2014.
40- Larry Fitzgerald
Fitzgerald has already said that it’s not possible for him to “generate significant numbers” due to his role in the Cardinals offense, but the aging pass catcher could provide good value in PPR leagues as he’s expected to be more of a possession receiver moving forward.
41- Anquan Boldin
Sure, Boldin’s going to turn 35 during the season, but he’s still surpassed 80 catches in back-to-back years with the 49ers.
42- Marques Colston
The departure of Jimmy Graham could provide more targets for Colston but he’s not going to be putting up the kind of stats that he did between 2006 and 2012.
43- Davante Adams
Just because he’s the third receiver doesn’t mean that Adams can’t put up big numbers in the Packers explosive offense (James Jones scored 14 touchdowns in 2012 after all).
44- John Brown
There’s plenty of playmaking potential in Brown but his opportunities will be limited as long as he’s the third receiver on Arizona’s offense.
45- DeVante Parker
The Dolphins rookie was impressive during mini camps and OTAs but has been sidelined after having a procedure on his foot. Once he’s healthy, Parker could be a major player in Miami’s ascending offense.
46- Pierre Garcon
The NFL’s reception leader from 2013 had a down year in Washington last season, but who didn’t? Garcon still has plenty of talent and could turn some heads if the Redskins get consistent play from the quarterback position.
47- Breshad Perriman
Expected to take Torrey Smith’s spot as the second starting receiver in Baltimore, Perriman’s speed could help the 2015 first round pick make an immediate impact.
48- Kendall Wright
Wright spent the offseason getting more familiar with Ken Whisenhunt’s offense and is hoping to have a more prominent role, especially with stable quarterback play from rookie Marcus Mariota.
49- Kenny Stills
Coming to Miami could be a blessing in disguise for Stills, who should thrive in Bill Lazor’s fast-paced offensive scheme.
50- Victor Cruz
Coming back from a torn patellar tendon is never easy, but if Cruz can heal up in time for the season he could be a late-round steal.
51- Percy Harvin
The injury-prone Harvin has never been a great fantasy player, and joining the Bills offense isn’t expected to change that.
52- Cody Latimer
Playing with Peyton Manning always seems to boost a receiver’s value, and Latimer could be in store for a big second season in the NFL now that Wes Welker and Julius Thomas are gone.
53- Terrance Williams
Williams isn’t going to get a ton of targets but he tends to make the most out of what he gets, which is shown in his numbers from 2014. He scored 8 touchdowns on just 37 receptions.
54- Dorial Green-Beckham
Green-Beckham fell in the draft due to off-the-field concerns but if he can keep that part of his life under control, he has a lot of potential for what he can do on the field.
55- Donte Moncrief
It will be tough for Moncrief to get targets with all the weapons on the Colts offense but he should still put up decent numbers with the looks that he does get.
56- Greg Jennings
Always a strong route runner with great hands, Jennings should fit in nicely with Miami’s intermediate passing game. He’s already been seen developing a strong chemistry with Ryan Tannehill during training camp.
57- Malcom Floyd
If Floyd can stay healthy, he’ll be a major part of the Chargers passing game. He played all 16 games in 2014, the first time he’s done that since 2009.
58- Marvin Jones
Coming off a strong year in 2013 in which he caught 10 touchdowns, Jones missed all of last season after suffering a foot injury during training camp. He’s likely to be the second starting wideout in Cincinnati opposite A.J. Green.
59- Rueben Randal
Despite a strong showing in 2014, Randal’s value will depend on how productive Victor Cruz can be after returning from a very serious injury.
60- Michael Crabtree
Oakland’s number one receiver is going to be rookie Amari Cooper, which bodes well for Crabtree trying to resurrect his career. Opposing defenses will likely put their top cover corner on Cooper, freeing things up for Crabtree.
61- Doug Baldwin
It’s hard to get excited about any receiver on Seattle’s run-first offense, especially now with the addition of Jimmy Graham. Marshawn Lynch led the Seahawks in touchdown receptions last season with five.
62- Brian Quick
Shoulder surgery derailed Quick’s 2014 season but word out of St. Louis is that he’s healing up nicely and should be ready for week one.
63- Dwayne Bowe
Bowe is hoping a fresh start in Cleveland will turn things around but the 30-year-old didn’t have a touchdown catch last season and he hasn’t cracked 1,000 yards since 2011.
64- Devin Funchess
A big receiver with plenty of upside, Funchess should emerge as the number two receiver in Carolina during his rookie campaign.
65- Cecil Shorts III
Shorts will have to battle rookie Jaelen Strong for the second starting receiver job in Houston, but he could have a solid year if he gets the snaps.
66- Eddie Royal
Royal’s value got a bump after the injury to Bears rookie Kevin White and now he’s set to be the number two receiver for Jay Cutler.
67- Justin Hunter
If Hunter can get his head on straight and focus on football, the 6-4 receiver could be a major contributor for the Titans and rookie Marcus Mariota.
68- Mohamed Sanu
Sanu’s career year in 2014 could be tough to replicate as the majority of his opportunities came due to injuries to Marvin Jones and A.J. Green, both of whom are healthy heading into this season.
69- Stevie Johnson
Things aren’t looking good for Johnson as he’s likely the fourth receiving option on a Chargers team looking to run the ball more.
70- Nick Toon
There is plenty of upside with Toon, especially playing on the Saints offense. He’s someone to keep an eye on early in the season.
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