Running backs get all the love from the national media, but you'll struggle to win your fantasy football league without a strong corps of wide receivers.
Picking receivers for your fantasy team can be a tricky endeavor.
Ideally, your top receivers will consistently give you production from week to week.
However, consistency is an elusive creature when dealing with most receivers. Even when you've done all your homework and collected a group you believe can give you high point totals every week, injuries to offensive linemen and quarterbacks can throw a monkey wrench into your production.
That said, there are some receivers who can be counted on to put up big totals nearly every week during the season.
Here's a look at my top 25 receivers, followed by a closer look at a few highlighted players who will be stalwarts for your fantasy team this season.
|1||Calvin Johnson||Detroit Lions|
|2||Dez Bryant||Dallas Cowboys|
|3||Brandon Marshall||Chicago Bears|
|4||A.J. Green||Cincinnati Bengals|
|5||Julio Jones||Atlanta Falcons|
|6||Vincent Jackson||Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|7||Demaryius Thomas||Denver Broncos|
|8||Roddy White||Atlanta Falcons|
|9||Larry Fitzgerald||Arizona Cardinals|
|10||Reggie Wayne||Indianapolis Colts|
|11||Andre Johnson||Houston Texans|
|12||Victor Cruz||New York Giants|
|13||Marques Colston||New Orleans Saints|
|14||Wes Welker||Denver Broncos|
|15||Randall Cobb||Green Bay Packers|
|16||Danny Amendola||New England Patriots|
|17||Hakeem Nicks||New York Giants|
|18||Steve Smith||Carolina Panthers|
|19||Antonio Brown||Pittsburgh Steelers|
|20||James Jones||Green Bay Packers|
|21||Pierre Garcon||Washington Redskins|
|22||DeSean Jackson||Philadelphia Eagles|
|23||Eric Decker||Denver Broncos|
|24||Mike Wallace||Miami Dolphins|
|25||Dwayne Bowe||Kansas City Chiefs|
Dez Bryant (No. 2 Overall), Dallas Cowboys
Since joining the Cowboys as a rookie in 2010, Bryant has taken monumental steps forward in each of his first three seasons.
Based on what we've seen from the burgeoning superstar, Bryant's best days are still ahead of him, too.
In limited action this preseason, Bryant has caught 13 passes for 183 yards and a touchdown. His improved footwork and ever-growing repertoire of route-running skills have been on full display this summer, and he'll be a primary target for Tony Romo this upcoming season.
One of the most consistent receivers in 2012, Bryant appears ready to challenge Calvin "Megatron" Johnson for the top spot at the end of the 2013 season, as noted by Rotoworld.com's Patrick Daugherty:
Dez Bryant looked scary good this preseason. He'll make a run at Mega for No. 1 receiver honors if he appears in all 16 games.— Patrick Daugherty (@RotoPat) August 25, 2013
Even better for fantasy owners than Bryant's incredible skill set is the fact that the Cowboys will once again be throwing the ball far more often than they run it this year, thanks to a lack of depth and talent at the offensive line and running back positions.
Reggie Wayne (No. 10 Overall), Indianapolis Colts
The Colts have been a pass-first team since Wayne joined the club as a rookie out of Miami in 2001, and Wayne has been one of the league's best receivers since breaking out with 77 receptions for 1,210 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2004.
Since then, the only season in which Wayne hasn't hit the 1,000-yard mark was in 2011—the year that Manning sat out and the team went 2-14 as a result.
In his first season playing with Luck, Wayne caught 106 passes for 1,355 yards with five touchdowns. He made a huge statement in the Colts' third preseason game this year, catching seven passes for 79 yards—including a circus catch for a touchdown on a bad throw from Luck.
The Colts are going to be a fun team to watch this season, and Wayne is going to have another monster year catching passes from Luck, who is one of the most promising young quarterbacks the league has seen in decades.
Pierre Garcon (No. 21 Overall), Washington Redskins
An injury plagued Garcon's first season with the Redskins, and he appeared in just 10 games as a result. When healthy, however, the former Colts receiver looked like the playmaker the Redskins hoped to see when they signed him as a free agent in 2011.
For the season, Garcon caught 44 passes for 633 yards and four touchdowns—solid numbers, but certainly nothing to get excited about from a fantasy standpoint.
Washington expects big things from the Mount Union star in 2013, however. Santana Moss recently told Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com that Garcon will have an "Andre Johnson-type season" for the Redskins this year:
Santana Moss believes Pierre Garcon can have an Andre Johnson-like season for the Skins. I couldn't agree more: http://t.co/CsfBzSz9zJ— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) August 26, 2013
Based on what we've heard coming out of Redskins camp and his brief appearances in preseason, Garcon is ready to take the next step in his development as a legitimate superstar in the NFL and in fantasy circles.
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