There aren’t many golden ages in sport, however we appear to have one proper now on the wide receiver place. The athleticism, skill, and number of physique is actually outrageous in the meanwhile and there are a surprising quantity of receivers who appear nearly not possible to defend.
Nevertheless, that doesn’t imply the place, in fantasy phrases, is extraordinarily deep. There’s a clear prime tier of elite performers and also you shortly see some separation between the highest guys and the remainder. That mentioned, this prime 10 is stacked and any of those guys will produce on a constant foundation.
1. Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers
#1 with a bullet, Antonio Brown is a 5’10” monster, with “just” 106 catches, 1,284 yards, and 12 touchdowns final 12 months he wasn’t the highest man, however his manufacturing over the past 4 years has been unparalleled. Since 2013 he has averaged 100 yards a recreation and 11 touchdowns per 16 video games. I’d be very happy simply to take that common proper now.
2. Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons
Misplaced within the insanity of Tremendous Bowl XLI was Julio Jones’ ridiculousness. When Invoice Belichick tries to gameplan you out of the sport and might’t you’re good. The explanation he’s not the #1 man, past Brown’s expertise, are two elements. For a begin, Jones has performed 16 video games simply as soon as in his profession and is constantly blighted by niggling accidents, the opposite issue is the lack of Kyle Shanahan. Nobody is kind of positive how the Falcons offense will reply to the lack of such a dynamic coordinator.
three. Odell Beckham Jr, New York Giants
Put apart the kicking nets and ill-timed events on a ship. Odell Beckham is a superb receiver who at a minimal has picked up 1,300 yards and 10 touchdowns in each considered one of his three years within the NFL. That sort of consistency is fantastic, particularly when the Giants offense has been so hit or miss lately.
With the addition of Brandon Marshall and Evan Engram this offseason it should make it tougher for defenses to give attention to Beckham, and whereas his targets might even see a dip attributable to Eli Manning having just a few extra weapons, he ought to nonetheless be extremely productive within the elevated house.
four. Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Evans is one other whose offense now has much more weaponry. DeSean Jackson and OJ Howard had been added to the Bucs passing recreation in free company and the Draft. What that ought to do is open house for Evans, however it might nicely value him as nicely. In pure expertise Evans is a monster, with a mean of 1,245 yards and 9 touchdowns per 16 video games, however with Jameis Winston and a few extra competitors, there are doubts he can keep that manufacturing.
The counter-point is that with Jackson dragging a security to his facet of the sphere it should create extra one-on-ones for Evans. Like with Beckham, there may be some projection occurring however the odds are good that he places on a present as soon as once more.
5. AJ Inexperienced, Cincinnati Bengals
Coming off a 10-game, 964-yard, 4 landing season, there are some considerations about Inexperienced, however like everybody else, he’s supremely gifted. The issue is that the offense round him has been decimated over the previous couple of years. This offseason it was the offensive line being picked aside in free company, and if Andy Dalton is on his again he can’t get the ball downfield to Inexperienced…
6. Jordy Nelson, Inexperienced Bay Packers
After lacking the 2015 season with a torn ACL, Jordy Nelson returned to motion final 12 months with a powerful season. He led the NFL in receiving touchdowns final 12 months with 14, and added 1,257 yards in considered one of his best seasons ever.
The issue with Nelson is that he doesn’t rack up catches, nonetheless as one of many deeper targets in Inexperienced Bay, and with a magician at quarterback, he picks up yards despite that. He’s but to hit 100 catches in a 12 months, however with 98 & 97 in his final two lively seasons, that’s not precisely a horrible factor.
7. Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys
Dez Bryant’s fortune hinges on how Dak Prescott festivals in 12 months two. If final 12 months was simply lightning within the bottle then Bryant might find yourself barely scratching the highest 20, but when he builds on final 12 months and turns into even higher he might simply be a prime 5 receiver.
Nevertheless, staying on the sphere has turn into a difficulty for Bryant. He has missed 10 video games within the final two seasons and put up simply 1,197 yards and 11 scores within the 22 video games he did play. Bryant stays one of the vital bodily imposing receivers within the league, however his current historical past is sufficient to be slightly skeptical.
eight. TY Hilton, Indianapolis Colts
There’s a big asterisk subsequent to this rating in gentle of the current stories about Andrew Luck’s shoulder. If Luck isn’t in a position to play then Hilton will tumble down our rankings, if Luck is Luck, then he’ll stay one of many deadliest deep threats within the league.
Hilton led the NFL in receiving yards final 12 months with a large 1,448 on simply 91 catches final 12 months. He’s but to place up a giant landing season, however his constant yardage totals maintain his worth very secure and his manufacturing dependable.
9. Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints
Thomas exploded onto the scene final 12 months with 92-catch, 1,137-yard, nine-touchdown rookie season. He was so good that Brandin Cooks turned disposable to the Saints offense.
Whereas Drew Brees is likely one of the greatest at distributing the ball throughout the sphere and involving quite a lot of receivers, however he additionally throws a ton, making his #1 receiver nearly a lock to have a powerful 12 months. The one query is that if Thomas can deal with the defensive focus and stress a #1 receiver will get.
10. Amari Cooper, Oakland Raiders
Rounding out the highest 10 is Oakland’s Amari Cooper. Averaging 1,112 yards and 6 scores per 16 video games to this point within the NFL, Cooper may very well be in line to enhance these numbers in 12 months three with Derek Carr. He’s definitely gifted sufficient to carry out below a heavier workload, the difficulty is that Oakland is beginning to transfer towards a run-first offense with it’s brutal offensive line and new backfield beast. Even when that’s the case although, Cooper can nonetheless carry out nicely sufficient with 85-90 catches to be a prime 10 receiver, however he has the potential to be even higher ought to Carr’s efficiency development upward as we suspect it should.
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