With fantasy football drafts just around the corner, it’s time to take a look at the top 10 wide receivers for the 2013 season. The wide receiver position is deep this year but we feel there is a huge advantage to grabbing one of the elite wide receivers earlier in your drafts. Below is a list of our top ten wideouts whom we feel should all have very productive seasons.
1. Calvin Johnson
I would bet it is hard to find any site that does not rank Calvin Johnson as the overall number one 2013 fantasy football wide receiver and with good reason. Megatron had 122 catches and almost 2000 yards receiving last year while finding the end zone five times. Out of all of those numbers the only surprising one is the fact he only scored five times. The Lions love to throw the ball and will do so again in 2013 so one would think the catches and yards should be similar while his touchdowns should go up this year.
2. Brandon Marshall
Jay Cutler clearly loves Brandon Marshall, while they were teammates on Denver, Cutler targeted Marshall over 150 times each season. Last season, they were reunited on Chicago and Cutler thought he would make up for lost time targeting him an incredible 192 times. That led Marshall to have an amazing season catching 118 balls and scoring 11 times. The Bears will have a new offense installed this season but one thing can be certain, Marshall will be targeted over 150 times and he will produce again this year.
3. Dez Bryant
Bryant has always had the talent but it was never realized until the second half of last year. In the last eight games of the 2012 season Bryant had 50 catches, 879 yards, and 10 touchdowns. If he can duplicate those numbers for an entire season he has a chance to supplant Calvin Johnson as the best wideout in fantasy football. Those chances are slim but the upside is there. Regardless if Bryant reaches that crazy potential or not, he should have a stellar season again and a great number one wide receiver on any fantasy team.
4. A.J. Green
Ever since Green came into the league he has been driving defense coordinators crazy. Last season was no different as Green almost caught 100 balls, eclipsing 1300 yards, and scoring 11 times. The Bengals used their first two picks in this year’s NFL draft to get even more fire power on their offense which means A.J Green should have a little less pressure on him. Andy Dalton has been improving every year and will continue to go to Green as his first option.
5. Julio Jones
The Falcons have one of the best passing games in the NFL. Both Julio Jones and Roddy White had big years but clearly, the elder statement White will become the number two this season. Julio Jones has so much big play potential with his size and speed that double digit touchdowns should be a lock this season. If you are in a league that counts bonuses for long touchdowns he might have to jump up even higher on your rankings. If his natural ability and track record is not enough for you throw into the mix Steven Jackson for Atlanta this year. If Jackson does what he is supposed to do the safeties will have to come up to help stop the run which means single coverage for Julio Jones.
6. Andre Johnson
It is amazing how much hate Andre Johnson is getting this season. Last season on 112 catches, Andre almost had 1600 yards and found the end zone 4 times. All this coming off of an injury riddled season in 2011. So basically he produced as people hoped he would and now this year people are thinking he is going to fall off the face of the earth. Sure, he is not exactly the same player he was in 2008 but he is pretty close to it. Expect to get Andre Johnson as a very discounted value and expect another quality, high volume, season out of him.
7. Demaryius Thomas
Personally speaking I think Thomas could be a little bit higher on this list but he was voted down by Dustin and Mike. The reason behind their thinking was the fact that Denver now has Wes Welker in the fold. He might take some production away from Demaryius Thomas but not enough for all of us to agree on him being the seventh overall wide receiver this year. Peyton Manning should be even better this season and Thomas is the big play, deep threat for him. One can argue (or me during our ranking summit) that there is even the chance Wes Welker helps out Thomas this year. The addition of Welker could mean more single coverage for Thomas and he is a scary talent that cannot be covered with single coverage alone.
8. Randall Cobb
Greg Jennings is no longer in Green Bay and that opens the door for Randall Cobb to be Aaron Rodgers clear cut number one wide receiver this season. That means his targets could go up 50% from 104 targets to 150 targets in 2013. If you give his production even a 33% bump we are looking at a 110 catch, 1300 yard, 12 touchdown season and that is what we are expecting out of him on the low end. If you have ever read anything I have wrote or watched any video with me in it you know I am a huge fan of looking at targets. The fact Cobb has the best chance out of our top ten for a huge increase in targets makes him a very interesting wide receiver that you might be able to get at a discounted price.
9. Roddy White
Roddy White has been productive for so many years he is almost being underappreciated at this point. Julio Jones coming into the fold has made people forgot how great White has been and how great he was last year. Catching 92 balls, 1351 yards, and 7 touchdowns are fantastic numbers and one can argue that Jones was a big part of that. For the first time, in a long time, White did not see nearly as much double coverage and that trend will continue this year. If you are in a point per reception league White may get even a little bit more of a bump.
10. Victor Cruz
With a new contract signed Victor Cruz should head into the 2013 season with a smile on his face. In his first two seasons starting for the Giants he has averaged, 84 catches, 1316 yards and 9.5 touchdowns a season. Very solid numbers and no reason to think those should change at all this year. His speed is just something that cannot be schemed for by defensive coordinators. Often, Cruz would see double coverage but he would end up running by both the corner and the safety on the way to a long catch. Eli Manning will target Cruz quite a bit this season and he should continue to see that great fantasy production.