2013 Fantasy Football: Evaluating the 2nd Tier of Wide Receivers

Garrett BakerSenior Analyst IAugust 18, 2013

ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 20:  Wide receiver Julio Jones #11 and wide receiver Roddy White #84 of the Atlanta Falcons celebrate after Jones catches a 20-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter against the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship game at the Georgia Dome on January 20, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

After discussing the elite tier of wide receivers in fantasy football for 2013, it's time to go one step further and delve into the next tier.

Calvin Johnson, A.J. Green, Dez Bryant and Brandon Marshall are all studs, but they all have extremely high ADPs and don't necessarily present the best values.

This second tier of wideouts all have the potential to be top-five receivers at the end of the season and for the most part, they are cheaper on draft day. 

They are listed in the order of my personal preference, but by definition, players in the same tier are all very similar.


Julio Jones 

A dynamic receiver with the ability to take it to the house every play, Julio Jones does more with his workload than any other receiver could.

He turned 79 catches into 10 touchdowns and 1,198 yards, good for an 8-1 catch-to-touchdown ratio and 15.2 yards per reception.

The only thing holding him back from the top tier is the presence of Roddy White, and the fact that his value relied too much on a few big games in 2012.


Demaryius Thomas

If Wes Welker had not been signed by the Broncos this offseason, Demaryius Thomas would have been a shoo-in for the top tier of fantasy receivers.

But Welker's presence in the slot will take away a somewhat significant amount of targets from Thomas and No. 2 wideout Eric Decker, which diminishes each of their values a little.

Thomas is still an unbelievably talented player who broke out in 2012, catching 94 passes for 1,434 yards and 10 touchdowns. With Welker there, he won't top those numbers, but he could easily repeat them.


Larry Fitzgerald

Consider me all-in for the resurgence of Larry Fitzgerald. He still rivals Megatron as the most gifted wide receiver in the game, and he should prove that again in 2013.

People have to realize just how awful the Cardinals offense was last year. They had a quarterback rotation of Kevin Kolb, John Skelton and Ryan Lindley, along with no other legitimate receiving options and a revolving door at running back.

Their offensive line isn't great, but Carson Palmer and the emergence of Michael Floyd as the No. 2 receiver will help Fitz get back to his heyday.


Randall Cobb

There has been some concern in the past couple of days about Randall Cobb having to play through pain, but the Packers will be smart with Cobb and make sure that he's good to start the season.

Greg Jennings and Donald Driver are gone, and Jordy Nelson is dealing with some knee problems that are keeping him out of the preseason.

Everything is there for the explosive and versatile Cobb to rack up a ton of targets and have a monster year. And it can only mean good things that Aaron Rodgers told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that he can see Cobb being a 100-catch guy


Roddy White

Roddy White has really been forgotten about since Julio Jones arrived in Atlanta two years ago, but he has been one of the most consistent performers in the past decade.

White has finished in the top 10 in scoring for receivers in each of the past five seasons, which is a testament to his remarkable steadiness.

He is also available roughly a round later than Jones, and I think he actually presents a better overall value than Jones.


Andre Johnson

One of the most frustrating players in fantasy football, Andre Johnson has all of the talent in the world but hasn't been able to fully put it together in recent years.

Last year he had an extremely impressive 112 receptions for 1,598 yards but only scored four touchdowns. Johnson has never scored more than nine touchdowns in his 10-year career.

Rookie DeAndre Hopkins could help free the veteran up some on the outside, but he could also steal a few targets as well. And with Matt Schaub throwing the ball, it's tough to put Johnson any higher than this. 


Vincent Jackson

This article delves deeper into the facts, but my biggest knock against Vincent Jackson is his lack of consistency throughout a season.

His ADP is awfully high for a guy who could get you single-digit points in about half of your games this season. He's supremely talented, but he just doesn't get it done every week.

Sure, there is a chance that Josh Freeman takes a major step forward and Jackson cuts back on his drops, but I'm not betting on it. Jackson can win you a couple of games on his own, but he may also lose some too, and that's what holds him back from being an elite guy.