The smell of football is in the air. Here are the LestersLegends 2013 Week 1 fantasy football wide receiver rankings.
1. Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions vs. Minnesota Vikings
Megatron shattered the NFL record with 1,964 receiving yards last year. He abused the Vikings with 207 yards and a score in his last meeting.
2. Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys vs. New York Giants
Dez closed out the season in style with 47 passes for 792 yards and nine TDs in the final seven games. He had 195 yards in his two meetings with the Giants last year.
3. Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons @ New Orleans Saints
Julio had 123 yards in two games against the Saints last year. I believe this is the year he grabs the torch from Roddy White.
4. Brandon Marshall, Chicago Bears vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Marshall caught 118 passes for 1,508 yards and 11 touchdowns last year. Jay Cutler feeds him early and often.
5. Demaryius Thomas, Denver Broncos vs. Baltimore Ravens
The Broncos have three solid receiver options, but Thomas is far and away the most explosive. He had 1,434 yards last year and 10 touchdowns. Peyton Manning will use him to exploit the Ravens.
6. Roddy White, Atlanta Falcons @ New Orleans Saints
Roddy had 114 yards in the first meeting with the Saints and 20 in the second. I’m expecting somewhere in the middle of the two with a good chance of a touchdown.
7. A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals @ Chicago Bears
Green finished with 1,350 yards and 11 touchdowns. He is a fast starter with 13 career touchdowns in the first half of the season compared to five in the second half in his two years.
8. Victor Cruz, New York Giants @ Dallas Cowboys
Cruz has averaged 1,314 yards and 9.5 touchdowns over the past two seasons. With Hakeem Nicks healthy, Cruz should be able to generate more big plays.
9. Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals @ St. Louis Rams
Carson Palmer gives Fitz an actual NFL quarterback. He had 27 targets in two games against the Rams last year, but was only able to record 11 receptions. It should be a much better ratio this year.
10. Andre Johnson, Houston Texans @ San Diego Chargers
Johnson had 1,598 yards last year. With his size and speed combination, he’s a difficult cover. If the Chargers can hang with the Texans, they’ll keep going his way.
11. Pierre Garcon, Washington Redskins vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Garcon torched the Eagles for 89 yards on seven catches in the last meeting. Robert Griffin III figures to be more of a passer in this one as he recovers from his knee injury, which should mean plenty of work for Garcon.
12. Marques Colston, New Orleans Saints vs. Atlanta Falcons
Colston finished with 1,154 yards with 10 touchdowns last year. He had 97 yards and a touchdown in his two meetings with Atlanta last year. In 2011 he had 194 yards and a score. I’m expecting this to be a shootout and Colston to be one of Drew Brees’ primary weapons.
13. Danny Amendola, New England Patriots @ Buffalo Bills
Rob Gronkowski will likely miss the first week, which means Amendola should see a fair share of targets. To put things into perspective, Wes Welker had 15 receptions for 203 yards in two meetings with Buffalo last year.
14. Vincent Jackson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ New York Jets
V-Jax won’t have to contend with Darrell Revis, but he will have to encounter former teammate Antonio Cromartie. Jackson had 1,384 yards and eight touchdowns last year. I like his chances to use his 6’5″ frame to his advantage.
15. Randall Cobb, Green Bay Packers @ San Francisco 49ers
Cobb had 77 yards against the Niners in the opener and 47 total yards in the playoff loss. He fumbled the ball in both games, and though neither was loss, that’s still a concern. He will be a tough cover in the slot.
16. Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City Chiefs @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Bowe only had 801 yards last year, but he didn’t get quarterback play to speak of. Alex Smith isn’t exceptional, but he is an obvious upgrade.
17. Jordy Nelson, Green Bay Packers @ San Francisco 49ers
Nelson dealt with a number of injuries last year, but still finished with seven touchdowns. He has 22 touchdowns in the past 28 games.
18. Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Tennessee Titans
Brown takes over as the number one option for Ben Roethlisberger now that Mike Wallace has moved on. He should be heavily targeted, which will give him fantasy points by sheer volume. He has added value in points per reception leagues in the opener against the Titans.
19. Torrey Smith, Baltimore Ravens @ Denver Broncos
Smith is also the new lead dog for his team as Anquan Boldin has moved on. He had 98 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the playoff win over the Broncos.
20. Eric Decker, Denver Broncos vs. Baltimore Ravens
Decker caught 13 touchdowns last year, really gaining Peyton Manning’s confidence. In two games against the Ravens he had 217 yards and a touchdown.
21. DeSean Jackson, Philadelphia Eagles @ Washington Redskins
Jackson is the top option for Michael Vick with Jeremy Maclin out. He’s a big play threat, but he should also see more volume this year.
22. Hakeem Nicks, New York Giants @ Dallas Cowboys
Nicks dealt with a knee injury that limited him to 692 yards and three touchdowns. Now healthy, he should return to form. In 2011 he had 239 yards and a touchdown against Dallas.
23. Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis Colts vs. Oakland Raiders
Wayne had 1,355 yards last year. The Colts plan to run a more balanced attack, which should cut down on Andrew Luck’s attempts. Wayne should still see a healthy dose of targets.
24. Steve Smith, Carolina Panthers vs. Seattle Seahawks
Smith has averaged 1,284 yards in two seasons with Cam Newton. He has a tough first draw, which makes him a low-end WR2, but he’s capable of putting up a big game.
25. Anquan Boldin, San Francisco 49ers vs. Green Bay Packers
Boldin takes over as the primary receiver option with Michael Crabtree out. He was a beast during the playoffs last year.
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