Fantasy Football Rankings 2013: Under-the-Radar WR Starters for Week 1
As one of the deepest positions in fantasy football, it can be difficult to determine which wide receivers are worthy of a start in Week 1.
While guys like A.J. Green and Dez Bryant are sure-fire starters no matter what, to truly succeed at the position, owners must be able to identify under-the-radar candidates based on the opposition and specifics of the offense.
Below, owners will find three under-the-radar wide receivers for Week 1 who not only find themselves in advantageous schemes and situations that utilize their skill sets, but also have an opportunity to go off against lesser competition.
|No. 1||Calvin Johnson||Minnesota Vikings|
|No. 2||Dez Bryant||New York Giants|
|No. 3||Julio Jones||New Orleans Saints|
|No. 4||Demaryius Thomas||Baltimore Ravens|
|No. 5||Brandon Marshall||Cincinnati Bengals|
|No. 6||A.J. Green||Chicago Bears|
|No. 7||Victor Cruz||Dallas Cowboys|
|No. 8||Andre Johnson||San Diego Chargers|
|No. 9||Roddy White||New Orleans Saints|
|No. 10||Larry Fitzgerald||St. Louis Rams|
|No. 11||Marques Colston||Atlanta Falcons|
|No. 12||Danny Amendola||Buffalo Bills|
|No. 13||Randall Cobb||San Francisco 49ers|
|No. 14||Pierre Garcon||Philadelphia Eagles|
|No. 15||Antonio Brown||Tennessee Titans|
|No. 16||Vincent Jackson||New York Jets|
|No. 17||Reggie Wayne||Oakland Raiders|
|No. 18||Miles Austin||New York Giants|
|No. 19||Dwayne Bowe||Jacksonville Jaguars|
|No. 20||DeSean Jackson||Washington Redskins|
Chris Roling's Rankings
Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers (vs. Tennessee Titans)
Mike Wallace has taken his talents to Miami, so Antonio Brown is the No. 1 receiver in Pittsburgh.
That's nothing but a good thing, as Brown was the No. 2 last year yet still caught 66 passes for 787 yards and five scores.
Even better is the fact that Pittsburgh will be throwing an uncanny amount with rookie running back Le'Veon Bell out for the game and Isaac Redman, a man who has recorded 100 yards in a game just once in four years, as the starter.
THIS JUST IN: The @Steelers have announced Isaac Redman as their starting running back for Week 1.— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) September 3, 2013
In other words, Antonio Brown is going to see a heavier workload than usual with no running game to support quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
Did we mention Tennessee did little to remedy a secondary that allowed 19 touchdown passes to wide receivers last year? Brown is a lock as a No. 1 in standard leagues.
Miles Austin, Dallas Cowboys (vs. New York Giants)
Thanks to the presence of Dez Bryant, Miles Austin is beginning to get lost in the shuffle of fantasy receivers.
That's just fine for slick owners looking for bargains.
Austin was sound last year while battling nagging injuries, recording 66 receptions for 943 yards and six scores. He will continue to benefit from defenses throwing all of their attention at Bryant and having a 4,900-yard passer at quarterback in Tony Romo.
Even better for Austin is the fact that New York is reeling after the loss of starting safety Stevie Brown, who tore his ACL.
BREAKING: Giants starting safety Stevie Brown tore his ACL. Likely done for the year. (via @AdamSchefter)— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) August 25, 2013
Given that Austin also dominated the Giants last season with 13 catches for 206 yards and a touchdown, he is a must-start in Week 1.
DeSean Jackson, Philadelphia Eagles (vs. Washington Redskins)
Which WR is the best under-the-radar option for Week 1?
Things have been so average for DeSean Jackson in Philadelphia over the past two seasons that he is now safely an under-the-radar receiver.
Jackson has seen his total yards and touchdowns drop in each of the past three years, but the arrival of an innovative offensive head coach like Chip Kelly should help turn that trend around.
Kelly is implementing a fast-paced offense based around the short and intermediate route tree that should keep the elusive Jackson in open space—where he does the most damage.
Not only will Jackson be the main target in a new offense, but Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Daily News also reports that the wideout is listed as the punt returner on the official Eagles depth chart.
First Eagles depth chart has DeSean Jackson returning punts, Damaris Johnson returning kickoffs.— Les Bowen (@LesBowen) September 3, 2013
Despite injury issues over the past few years, Jackson is still firmly the No. 1 receiver and enters a favorable matchup in Week 1 against a Washington squad that allowed 18 touchdowns to wide receivers last year.
Jackson will not always be considered a must-start receiver in fantasy—especially if injury woes strike him or quarterback Mike Vick again—but in Week 1 against the Redskins, he must be in the starting lineup.
Follow B/R's Chris Roling on Twitter for more news and analysis @Chris_Roling.
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