Johnson continues to sit atop the WR rankings
It’s hard to believe, but we are less than a month away from the beginning of training camp. It seems like only yesterday the Baltimore Ravens were hoisting the Lombardi Trophy in the Superdome.
With the beginning of training camp, we can finally start—in earnest—to discuss fantasy football and the players we should be thinking about drafting this summer. Before you know it, draft day will be here.
That being said, let’s take a look at wide receivers. In this slideshow, I will rank the top 10 wide receivers for fantasy purposes and look at their potential impact for the 2013 season.
Larry Fitzgerald just misses the cut for the Top 10.
Percy Harvin looks to improve on his numbers in Seattle.
Prior to getting hurt and ending his season early, Harvin was a legitimate No. 1 receiver last year in Minnesota. In nine games last season, Harvin piled up 677 receiving yards and three touchdowns on 62 receptions.
Now that he is healthy and taking his talents to Seattle, while hooking up with Russell Wilson, Harvin should be able to get back on track and cement himself as a low-end No.1 receiver for fantasy purposes.
More salsa dances should be in store for Cruz in 2013.
Now that he has come to an agreement with the Giants on a one-year deal, Cruz can get back to concentrating on football while not worrying about outside distractions.
With his contract situation out of the way for the moment, we should expect Cruz to get back to doing what he does best: catching passes in bunches, which lead to his signature salsa dances in the end zone.
In the last two years, Cruz has become Eli Manning’s go-to-guy, as he has proven to be dependable, durable and productive. In the last two years Cruz has managed to average 84 receptions, 1,314 receiving yards and 9.5 touchdowns.
There is no reason to think Cruz can’t continue to put up those types of numbers in 2013.
At 32, White is the elder statesmen in the Falcons’ pass game. Eventually he will give way to Julio Jones as the go-to-receiver in Atlanta, but don’t push him out the door just yet.
White is still producing at an elite rate and is coming off six straight years of producing at least 1,100-plus receiving yards. Additionally, White has averaged 102 receptions and 8.3 touchdowns in the last three years. That’s consistency at its finest.
While Jones will play a more featured role with the Falcons, don’t expect Matt Ryan to forget White. White’s experience, consistency and savvy will continue to make him a No. 1 wide receiver for a few more years.
Expect more of the same from Thomas this year.
After staying healthy and getting a legitimate quarterback (Peyton Manning) to throw him the ball, Thomas finally broke out last year and delivered on his vast potential.
Last year Thomas was good for 1,434 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns on 94 receptions. Although the addition of Wes Welker—not to mention Eric Decker still opposite him—may take some targets away from Thomas, Thomas is the prototypical receiver Manning will continue to look to most—especially in the red zone.
Thomas should be relied on as a bona fide No. 1 receiver heading into 2013.
As long as he is healthy, just as he showed in 2012 while playing in all 16 games, Johnson will always be in contention for being regarded the league’s top receiver.
Last year Johnson was second in the league in receiving yards (1,598) and fourth in receptions (112) while also chipping in with four touchdowns.
Although you’d like the touchdowns to be higher, Johnson offers consistency in every other facet of the game. For a guy who has never reached double digits in touchdowns, maybe this is the year he reaches that mark. Regardless, his consistency and big-play ability make him a solid third or fourth-round selection.
Bryant is only scratching the surface of his immense potential.
After years of maddening inconsistency, Bryant finally put it all together in 2012.
Blessed with above-average athleticism, Bryant should only get better as he approaches his prime. Last year Bryant exploded for 92 receptions, 1,382 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns.
With three years under his belt and the Dallas offense still intact, Bryant should be a good bet to at least match last year’s numbers—with a chance for even better numbers as he matures into a complete receiver.
Jones is rapidly emerging as an elite receiver in this league, and when you combine him with Roddy White, the Falcons have the best duo of wide receivers in the league.
Jones, who is only 24 years old, is only beginning to tap his awesome potential. Jones is coming off a fantastic season in which he racked up 1,198 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns on 79 receptions, and he should only get better as Atlanta slowly makes him the centerpiece of the passing game.
Expect more receptions for White this year with him being close to 1,200-1,300 receiving yards and double-digit touchdowns once again.
Can Green get even better in his third year?
Usually, second-year receivers are not supposed to be this good. But then again, Green is no ordinary receiver.
Last year, Green caught 97 passes for 1,350 yards while also scoring 11 touchdowns. With the Bengals drafting Tyler Eifert and Giovani Bernard in this year’s draft, the Bengals are emphasizing improving the offense, which should only help Green’s game.
Green should see less double-coverage and continue to be Andy Dalton’s main man in the Bengals’ passing game for years to come. So, expect another year of 90-plus receptions, 1,200-plus receiving yards and double-digit touchdowns for Green again.
Brandon Marshall looks to repeat succeess in 2013.
Even though the Bears are not considered an offensive juggernaut, that didn’t stop Marshall from being a beast in his first season in Chicago.
Marshall was marvelous in 2012, posting 118 receptions (second in the league) to go along with 1,508 receiving yards (third in the league) and 11 touchdowns (tied for fourth in the league).
Marshall and his quarterback, Jay Cutler, have a strong rapport and they should continue to thrive once again in 2013.
As if there was any doubt who the top wide receiver would be!
Johnson is miles ahead of his peers, as his size and strength make him the game’s most lethal pass-catching machine. Coming off a season in which he recorded a record 1,964 receiving yards on a whopping 122 receptions, Johnson is in a league all his own.
Sure, the five touchdowns he recorded in 2012 left a bad taste in many owners’ mouths, but he was tackled just short of the goal line on many occasions. Considering he recorded 16 touchdowns in 2011, Johnson should go back to at least registering double digits in touchdowns this coming season while once again being the league-leader in receptions and receiving yards.