Fantasy Football Week 1 Rankings: Top 40 Wide Receivers

Eric StashinSenior Writer ISeptember 6, 2011

ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 15:  Roddy White #84 of the Atlanta Falcons runs for yards after the catch against the Green Bay Packers during their 2011 NFC divisional playoff game at Georgia Dome on January 15, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Week 1 is just days away now, with lots of news coming in to help affect these rankings.  How does Peyton Manning’s injury hurt Reggie Wayne and company?  How do the Cowboys receivers stack up taking on the Jets?  Where could the surprise performances come from?  Let’s answer those questions and more:

  1. Roddy White – Atlanta Falcons – at Chicago
  2. Calvin Johnson – Detroit Lions – at Tampa Bay
  3. Vincent Jackson – San Diego Chargers – vs. Minnesota
  4. Andre Johnson – Houston Texans – vs. Indianapolis
  5. Hakeem Nicks – New York Giants – at Washington
  6. Larry Fitzgerald – Arizona Cardinals – vs. Carolina
  7. Brandon Marshall – Miami Dolphins – vs. New England
  8. DeSean Jackson – Philadelphia Eagles – at St. Louis
  9. Mike Wallace – Pittsburgh Steelers – at Baltimore
  10. Greg Jennings – Green Bay Packers – vs. New Orleans
  11. Dwayne Bowe – Kansas City Chiefs – vs. Buffalo
  12. Mike Williams – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – vs. Detroit
  13. Reggie Wayne – Indianapolis Colts – at Houston
  14. Brandon Lloyd – Denver Broncos – vs. Oakland
  15. Santonio Holmes – New York Jets – vs. Dallas
  16. Kenny Britt – Tennessee Titans – at Jacksonville
  17. Wes Welker – New England Patriots – at Miami
  18. Anquan Boldin – Baltimore Ravens – vs. Pittsburgh
  19. Dez Bryant – Dallas Cowboys – at New York Jets
  20. Santana Moss – Washington Redskins – vs. New York Giants
  21. Mario Manningham – New York Giants – at Washington
  22. Stevie Johnson – Buffalo Bills – at Kansas City
  23. Mike Thomas – Jacksonville Jaguars – vs. Tennessee
  24. Miles Austin – Dallas Cowboys – at New York Jets
  25. Julio Jones – Atlanta Falcons – at Chicago
  26. Marques Colston – New Orleans Saints – at Green Bay
  27. Malcolm Floyd – San Diego Chargers – vs. Minnesota
  28. Chad Ochocinco – New England Patriots – at Miami
  29. Percy Harvin – Minnesota Vikings – at San Diego
  30. Jeremy Maclin – Philadelphia Eagles – at St. Louis
  31. Braylon Edwards – San Francisco 49ers – vs. Seattle
  32. Pierre Garcon – Indianapolis Colts – at Houston
  33. Austin Collie – Indianapolis Colts – at Houston
  34. Steve Smith – Carolina Panthers – at Arizona
  35. Davone Bess – Miami Dolphins – vs. New England
  36. Sidney Rice – Seattle Seahawks – at San Francisco
  37. Jacoby Ford – Oakland Raiders – at Denver
  38. Mike Sims-Walker – St. Louis Rams – vs. Philadelphia
  39. Danny Amendola – St. Louis Rams – vs. Philadelphia
  40. Lance Moore – New Orleans Saints – at Green Bay


  • The questions with Hakeem Nicks are if Eli Manning can finally find his form (because he didn’t in the preseason) and if the Giants will change to more of a run-first approach.  Will Nicks continue to get his catches?  Absolutely.  Will he be one of the top receivers in the league?  You’d think so.  However, if those questions weren’t hanging over him he would’ve had the potential to be the top option this week against the Redskins.
  • Will Peyton Manning play or won’t he (though things are significantly starting to look like he will be on the sidelines)?  If he even does suit up, will he be 100 percent?  These questions help to suppress the value of all of the Colts’ wide receivers in Week 1.  Don’t expect it to last very long, however.
  • Two-time Pro Bowl free safety Brandon Meriweather was cut, leaving a little bit of a question mark in a Patriots secondary that was well below average in 2010.  In fact, it was among the worst in the league, allowing 258.5 yards per game.  They were better in the preseason (187.0 passing yards/game), but how much can we really read into that?  Brandon Marshall and company could be in line for a big game.
  • Miles Austin vs. Darrelle Revis.  It’s unfortunate, but Austin has to be considered, at best, a WR2 in Week 1.  I’d still use him unless you are loaded with alternatives, but be prepared for a poor week.  Will that mean Tony Romo and Dez Bryant going after Antonio Cromartie?  It could be a big week for Bryant, making him an attractive WR2.
  • We all know that Wes Welker, Chad Ochocinco and company are going to get their opportunities to produce.  The question is, who is going to be the focus this week?  Will it be the receivers?  How about the running backs?  Maybe the pair of young tight ends?  That type of uncertainty helps to suppress everyone’s value a little bit, though chances are everyone could end up more than usable.
  • Kenny Britt was able to avoid league suspension, despite his numerous offseason indiscretions.  Now, he needs to get down to business and make a statement in Week 1.  He draws a Jaguars defense that was poor against the pass in 2010 and the worst in the league in the preseason (292.0 passing yards/game as well as seven TD allowed).  While he may not have the best QB tossing him the ball, he has the opportunity to put up some impressive numbers this week.
  • Will Jeremy Maclin be completely up-to-speed in Week 1?  I’m not willing to take the risk, personally, and would only consider him a WR3 until he proves otherwise.
  • Mike Thomas was a preseason sleeper for many.  Now, in Week 1, he’ll have the chance to make those who selected him look extremely smart.  The Titans’ were among the worst passing defenses in the league in 2010 and followed that up by again looking unimpressive in the preseason.  Thomas should be considered a viable WR2 in all formats.
  • Does anyone have faith in the Seattle Seahawks wide receivers with Tarvaris Jackson as the QB?  Sidney Rice is nothing more than a WR3 right now (and Mike Williams more of a bench warmer), though a change at QB could lead to significantly more value.

Make sure to check out all of Rotoprofessor’s Week 1 Rankings: