Wide receivers can carry a fantasy football team to a championship, and the top wideouts have the potential to put up a ton of points this season.
Injuries to these players or their quarterbacks could change how productive they will be, but these receivers are the best bets to put up the most points this year.
Unless one of the elite quarterbacks or Adrian Peterson is available, the players on this list are good enough to at least think about taking in the first or second rounds of your draft.
Great running backs and wide receivers are tough to come by after the first few rounds. Quarterbacks can be found through most of the draft, so look at drafting based on position early on.
Here is a list of the top receivers in the NFL, followed by a breakdown of the elite ones.
|1||Calvin Johnson||Detroit Lions|
|2||A.J. Green||Cincinnati Bengals|
|3||Dez Bryant||Dallas Cowboys|
|4||Larry Fitzgerald||Arizona Cardinals|
|5||Roddy White||Atlanta Falcons|
|6||Andre Johnson||Houston Texans|
|7||Julio Jones||Atlanta Falcons|
|8||Brandon Marshall||Chicago Bears|
|9||Vincent Jackson||Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|10||Wes Welker||Denver Broncos|
1. Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions
There is absolutely no question who is the best receiver in the NFL.
Calvin Johnson shattered records last season. He had the most receiving yards (1,964) ever. He also set the record with eight straight games with at least 100 receiving yards and four straight games with at least 10 receptions.
The only area in which he didn't put up crazy numbers was touchdowns. He had five scores last season, which was a significant drop from 16 in 2011.
When he has started in at least 15 games, Johnson has never finished below 1,000 yards. Last year was the only time he did not record at least 10 touchdowns when he played in every game.
The 6'5" receiver is the most dominant player at his position. Defenses plan around him, and he still averaged 122 yards per game last season.
He has increased his yardage in each of the past four seasons, and he could challenge his own record this year. Getting 2,000 yards won't be easy, but Matthew Stafford has the arm to get him the ball.
Fantasy owners won't mind a slight drop in yards if Johnson can get more touchdowns this season.
2. A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals
In a year or two, A.J. Green may challenge Johnson for the title of best receiver in the NFL. He's the next best option for the upcoming season.
Johnson has Stafford, but Green has third-year quarterback Andy Dalton throwing to him. Dalton hasn't shown the ability to hit Green deep consistently, but Green has been Dalton's favorite target when the team needs a big catch.
Green had a streak of nine straight games with at least one touchdown last season. The scores added to his great season.
He had nine games with at least 85 receiving yards, including five games with 100 yards.
The third-year receiver didn't have much help last year. This year he will have Mohamed Sanu, Jermaine Gresham and Tyler Eifert to keep the defense honest.
3. Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys
This one is up for debate, but Dez Bryant is one of the receivers who can be argued as the third-best receiver in the league.
He has steadily increased his production every year since he entered the league. He caught a career-high 92 passes with 1,382 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns last year.
Bryant had a streak of seven consecutive games with at least one touchdown near the end of the season. He also had five games with at least 100 receiving yards, including three games over the 145-yard mark.
The 6'2" receiver has been criticized a lot in his career, but he is starting to put up elite numbers.
4. Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals
Now that Larry Fitzgerald has a good quarterback, he should return to being among the best in the league.
Carson Palmer has a strong arm and will be able to hit Fitzgerald down the field.
With a mess at the quarterback position in recent years, it's amazing that the receiver has still managed to put up good numbers. Last year was the first time since 2006 that he failed to reach 1,000 receiving yards. He ended the year with 798 yards on 71 receptions with only four touchdowns. His 11.2 yards per catch was the worst of his career.
Michael Floyd and Andre Roberts should be able to draw defenders away from Fitzgerald, which will help Palmer find his talented receiver.
5. Roddy White, Atlanta Falcons
This spot can go to several players, but Roddy White is the most deserving.
Andre Johnson has played 16 games only once in the last three seasons, and White has started in almost every game since 2007. His teammate Julio Jones is worthy of consideration, but White's track record is tough to argue with.
White has at least 83 receptions, 1,000 yards and six touchdowns in each of the last six seasons.
He had 1,351 yards on 92 catches and added seven touchdowns in 2012. He averaged 14.7 yards per catch.
The Falcons have White, Jones and Tony Gonzalez for Matt Ryan to throw to. Defenses have trouble covering all of them, so drafting any of those players would be a wise move.
*All stats are courtesy of NFL.com