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Wide Receiver Standard Rankings, Tiers and Analysis

It’s June and the football season is right around the corner. Soon we will be meeting with our league mates to conduct our fantasy drafts. This is possibly the most exciting time of the fantasy season. The social interaction with a live draft adds a personal element to our fantasy rosters. The memories and good times created from the draft our instilled with each player selected.

Of course, if you want to be successful in your draft whether it be at a restaurant with a bunch of friends or online with your college buddies, you must have a good set of rankings. This article is going to breakdown the standard wide receiver rankings by tiers to help provide a depiction of how players should be valued in standard drafts.

Don’t worry, we will continue to update the rankings throughout the summer and during the regular season. If you need an up-to-date set of ranks for an upcoming fantasy draft, then you can always find a fresh copy of our ranks here.

 

2020 Standard WR Rankings

Position Rank Position Tier Player Name Overall Rank Overall Tier
1 1 Michael Thomas 4 1
2 1 Davante Adams 8 1
3 1 DeAndre Hopkins 10 2
4 1 Julio Jones 11 2
5 1 Tyreek Hill 12 2
6 1 Chris Godwin 15 2
7 2 Mike Evans 23 3
8 2 Kenny Golladay 24 3
9 2 Amari Cooper 26 3
10 2 Odell Beckham Jr. 30 3
11 2 Allen Robinson 31 3
12 2 JuJu Smith-Schuster 33 3
13 2 Cooper Kupp 35 3
14 2 Courtland Sutton 37 3
15 2 Adam Thielen 38 4
16 2 A.J. Brown 39 4
17 2 DeVante Parker 41 4
18 2 Keenan Allen 42 4
19 2 D.J. Moore 43 4
20 3 D.J. Chark 50 4
21 3 Tyler Lockett 52 5
22 3 Calvin Ridley 55 5
23 3 D.K. Metcalf 56 5
24 3 T.Y. Hilton 57 5
25 3 Stefon Diggs 60 5
26 3 Robert Woods 62 5
27 4 Terry McLaurin 68 5
28 4 Deebo Samuel 70 5
29 4 A.J. Green 71 5
30 4 Tyler Boyd 73 5
31 5 Julian Edelman 81 6
32 5 Jarvis Landry 90 7
33 5 Michael Gallup 92 7
34 5 Will Fuller 95 7
35 5 Marquise Brown 98 7
36 5 Brandin Cooks 100 7
37 5 John Brown 104 7
38 5 Marvin Jones 105 7
39 5 Christian Kirk 108 7
40 5 Darius Slayton 110 7
41 5 Alshon Jeffery 112 8
42 5 Emmanuel Sanders 113 8
43 5 Jerry Jeudy 114 8
44 5 Mike Williams 116 8
45 5 Sterling Shepard 118 8
46 5 CeeDee Lamb 120 8
47 5 Justin Jefferson 121 8
48 6 Henry Ruggs III 128 8
49 6 Jamison Crowder 129 8
50 6 Anthony Miller 130 8
51 6 Robby Anderson 131 8
52 6 Golden Tate 132 8
53 6 Preston Williams 139 9
54 6 Diontae Johnson 145 9
55 7 Breshad Perriman 153 9
56 7 Curtis Samuel 160 10
57 7 Sammy Watkins 164 10
58 7 Jalen Reagor 171 11
59 7 Mecole Hardman 172 11
60 7 N'Keal Harry 174 11
61 7 DeSean Jackson 179 11
62 8 Tee Higgins 187 11
63 8 Michael Pittman Jr. 192 11
64 8 Dede Westbrook 195 11
65 8 John Ross 202 12
66 8 Hunter Renfrow 203 12
67 8 James Washington 206 12
68 8 Larry Fitzgerald 207 12
69 8 Parris Campbell 208 12
70 8 Tyrell Williams 210 12
71 8 Allen Lazard 212 12
72 8 Laviska Shenault Jr. 214 12
73 8 Denzel Mims 215 12
74 8 Kenny Stills 216 12
75 8 Randall Cobb 219 13
76 8 Corey Davis 220 13
77 9 Javon Wims 229 13
78 9 Brandon Aiyuk 232 13
79 9 Cole Beasley 239 13
80 9 Chase Claypool 252 14
81 9 Mohamed Sanu 253 14
82 9 Danny Amendola 271 15
83 9 Devin Funchess 274 15
84 9 Albert Wilson 277 15
85 9 Antonio Gandy-Golden 280 15
86 9 Chris Conley 285 15
87 9 Andy Isabella 286 15
88 9 Miles Boykin 287 15
89 9 Scott Miller 290 15
90 9 KJ Hamler 295 15
91 9 Tre'Quan Smith 297 15
92 9 Jalen Hurd 298 15
93 9 Josh Reynolds 305 15
94 9 Kelvin Harmon 306 15
95 10 Isaiah Coulter 313 16
96 10 Adam Humphries 326 16
97 10 Tyler Johnson 330 16
98 10 Zach Pascal 331 16
99 10 Auden Tate 337 16
100 10 J.J. Arcega-Whiteside 338 16
101 10 Bryan Edwards 339 16
102 10 Demarcus Robinson 340 16
103 10 OlaBisi Johnson 341 16
104 10 Nelson Agholor 344 16
105 10 David Moore 347 17
106 10 Phillip Dorsett 349 17
107 10 Marquez Valdes-Scantling 353 17
108 11 Steven Sims 360 17
109 11 Russell Gage 366 17
110 11 DaeSean Hamilton 367 17
111 11 Van Jefferson 369 17
112 11 Jake Kumerow 371 17
113 11 Damiere Byrd 381 17
114 11 Jakobi Meyers 383 17
115 11 Willie Snead 385 18
116 11 Donovan Peoples-Jones 391 18
117 11 Taylor Gabriel 392 18
118 11 Keke Coutee 395 18
119 11 Demaryius Thomas 397 18
120 11 Greg Ward 398 18
121 11 Marquise Goodwin 399 18
122 12 Trent Taylor 401 18
123 12 Devin Duvernay 404 18
124 12 Paul Richardson Jr. 407 18
125 12 Tajae Sharpe 408 18
126 12 Antonio Brown 409 18
127 12 Josh Gordon 410 18
128 12 Keelan Cole 411 18
129 12 Cody Latimer 415 18
130 12 Cordarrelle Patterson 417 18
131 12 Trey Quinn 419 18
132 12 Ted Ginn 420 18
133 12 Justin Watson 421 18
134 12 Geronimo Allison 422 18
135 12 Marqise Lee 423 18
136 12 Kendrick Bourne 425 18
137 12 Dante Pettis 427 18
138 12 Riley Ridley 428 18
139 12 Allen Hurns 429 18
140 12 Deon Cain 430 18
141 13 Taywan Taylor 431 18
142 13 Tim Patrick 433 18
143 13 Jakeem Grant 434 18
144 13 KeeSean Johnson 435 18
145 13 Marcus Johnson 436 18
146 13 Alex Erickson 437 18
147 13 Zay Jones 439 18
148 13 Robert Foster 440 18
149 13 Byron Pringle 441 18
150 13 K.J. Hill 442 18
151 13 Joe Reed 443 18
152 13 Quintez Cephus 444 18
153 13 Collin Johnson 446 18
154 13 Hakeem Butler 447 18
155 13 Gabriel Davis 448 18
156 14 Jeff Thomas 24 19
157 14 Kendrick Rogers 24 20
158 14 Antonio Callaway 24 21
159 14 Gary Jennings 24 22
160 14 Tim Patrick 24 23
161 14 Omar Bayless 24 24
162 14 Taywan Taylor 24 25
163 14 Taylor Gabriel 24 26

 

Tier 1

Michael Thomas, Davante Adams, DeAndre Hopkins, Julio Jones, Tyreek Hill, and Chris Godwin

Thomas finished the 2019 season as the WR1 in standard scoring. He posted a league-leading nine WR1 weeks. His success was fueled by a 32 percent target share 40 percent share of the Saints' air yards. He also led all wide receivers with 583 yards after the catch. Only time will tell if this level of volume will be sustainable going forward. If anything, he might be the safest wide receiver in the league.

Even though Adams played in just 12 games, he still managed to produce eight top-24 weeks in standard leagues last year. It’s safe to say he’s Aaron Rodgers' favorite weapon after a season where he owned a 29 percent target share and averaged 105.83 air yards per game. He will be a top ten wide receiver in all formats if he can manage to play a full 16-game season.

The Arizona Cardinals ranked fourth in the league with 28.35 seconds between plays while in neutral game script. With that being said, Hopkins will be transitioning into one of the most explosive offenses in the league. As we all know, he’s a magician at the catch point and with the right amount of volume will be one of the league’s leaders in all of fantasy.

Chris Godwin might be ranked at the bottom of the first tier, but everyone needs to realize he has just as much potential as any of the top target hogs in the league. He will now be paired with Tom Brady which could develop into a match made in heaven. Godwin ran 63.4 percent of his snaps out of the slot last season which is very encouraging since we all know Brady loves to target the slot.

 

Tier 2

Mike Evans, Kenny Golladay, Amari Cooper, Odell Beckham, Allen Robinson, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Cooper Kupp, Courtland Sutton, Adam Thielen, A.J. Brown, DeVante Parker, Keenan Allen, and D.J. Moore

Believe it or not, Evans quietly posted six straight 1,000-yard seasons. He appeared in just 13 games last year, but still finished in the top-12 in standard leagues. Evans would have scored double-digit touchdowns if he played a full 16-game season. He averaged an amazing 139.15 air yards per game last year. Living off of deep targets allowed him to be a high-end fantasy producer in 2019. Will Tom Brady be able to sling the ball downfield enough to maintain Evans’ consistency?

Matthew Stafford averaged a pass of 20 yards or more on 19.2 percent of his pass attempts. When he’s firing the cannon deep, he’s routinely looking at Golladay who finished the season fifth in the league with 1,756 air yards. He only had the opportunity to play with Stafford for eight games last year, and still was able to finish as the WR3 in standard leagues.

Bad quarterback play might have been the main driver to Smith-Schuster’s poor play last season. However, Ben Roethlisberger is back and is ready to fire YOLO-balls at his favorite target not named Antonio Brown. In 30 games, Smith-Schuster averages 74.77 receiving yards per game with Roethlisberger under center. With any other quarterback in the lineup, he is averaging just 54.33 yards per game.

Sutton has the chance to develop into one of the top wide receivers in the league. He has tremendous ball skills and has a knack for making plays downfield. With him being the team’s main target hog, he managed to own a 25 percent share of the passing targets. If Drew Lock can take a step forward in his development, Sutton will be primed for a very productive season.

 

Tier 3

D.J. Chark, Tyler Lockett, Calvin Ridley, D.K. Metcalf, T.Y. Hilton, Stefon Diggs, and Robert Woods

Chark achieved his first 1,000-yard season last year. After seeing 26 targets go for 20 yards or more, it’s safe to say he’s a magnet for the deep ball. Those deep targets allowed him to accumulate 1,358 air yards. If he can continue to connect on those deep passing targets, then he will continue to have another good season in 2020.

Russell Wilson, QB Sea is blessed to have two very talented wide receivers. Lockett is an exceptional route runner. He makes his money running in the slot where he lined up 69.4 percent of the time. Willson will typically look at him for the short to intermediate passes. However, he has more than enough speed to stretch the field. Metcalf is a size-speed freak with a 99th percentile size-adjusted speed score.  His elite-level speed makes him very dangerous. If he takes a step forward in his development, then he could finish as one of the top wide receivers in the league.

A lot of people are pegging Ridley as a breakout candidate. It makes sense, the Atlanta Falcons has one of the most explosive offenses in the league. Julio Jones takes away a lot of the heat from the defensive coverage. Todd Gurley was signed to keep the chains moving. It appears that all arrows are pointing to Ridley rising to the top of the fantasy ranks. The Falcons led the league with a 66.97 percent pass rate and they will look to continue more of their offensive production in the passing game in 2020.

 

Tier 4

Terry McLaurin, Deebo Samuel, A.J. Green, and Tyler Boyd

After playing just 14 games during his rookie season, McLaurin managed to catch 58 passes for 919 and 7 touchdowns. He was highly efficient, averaging 2.04 yards per route run. The Redskins utilized him as a deep threat. McLaurin achieved an average depth of target of 14.0 yards. The deep passes combined with his 22 percent target share will allow him to be a highly productive fantasy asset.

The foot injury Samuel recently suffered could prevent him from starting the season. His ranking should drop a few notches considering he’s in jeopardy of missing some time at the beginning of the season. Once he’s installed back into the lineup, Samuel has the potential to dramatically impact your fantasy team’s performance. Last year he averaged 8.5 yards after the catch per reception. His ability to make plays in the open field makes him a potential breakout candidate.

Joe Burrow will start his rookie season with two very talented wide receivers to toss the football too. When healthy, Green is one of the most talented wide receivers in the league. He’s a deep threat who can outleap defenders at the catch-point. Boyd spends a large portion of his time operating out of the slot. His career 68.8 percent catch rate makes him a very dependable receiving option.

 

Tier 5

Julian Edelman, Jarvis Landry, Michael Gallup, Will Fuller, Marquise Brown, Brandin Cooks, John Brown, Marvin Jones, Christian Kirk, Darius Slayton, Alshon Jeffery, Emmanuel Sanders, Jerry Jeudy, Mike Williams, Sterling Shepard, CeeDee Lamb, and Justin Jefferson

The fifth tier in the rankings is deep with talent and is infused with older veterans, highly talented rookies, and younger players who’ve displayed a lot of promise. There’s a good chance there’s a league winning asset in this group.

Let’s look at the older veterans first. Edleman will be transitioning to life without Tom Brady. We don’t know how this will pan out, but he will be inline to see a large portion of the targets. Landry has been productive throughout his career but has always managed to be underrated by producing 1,000-yard seasons in five of his last six seasons. He will be a key staple in the Browns’ passing offense. Concussions and other injuries have deflated Cooks’ fantasy value, but he does have the chance to blow the door wide open if he builds a rapport with Deshaun Watson.

There are three highly talented rookie wide receivers that we need to get well acquainted with before we enter our drafts. Lamb led all collegiate wide receivers with 3.99 yards per route run and was fantastic after the catch during his tenure at Oklahoma. Jeudy is pro read and will immediately enter the league as one of the best route runners in the NFL. Jefferson will start his career with a high possibility of seeing a large portion of the Vikings’ targets since there isn’t much competition for the WR2 spot on the team’s depth chart.

We have some younger prospects who could emerge as one of the more lucrative wide receiver options in the league if the dominos fall in the right direction. Slayton burned the league with his speed last season, and it appears he win be one of Daniel Jones' main passing options in 2020. The Arizona Cardinals have one of the fastest-paced offenses in the league. Kirk will benefit from Arizona's offense who passed the ball on 61.6 percent of their plays a year ago.

 

Tier 6

Henry Ruggs, Jamison Crowder, Anthony Miller, Robby Anderson, Golden Tate, Preston Williams, and Diontae Johnson

Ruggs was the first wide receiver selected in this year’s draft. He displayed all-world speed all throughout his career at Alabama and at the combine where he ran a 4.27 40-yard dash. It’s hard to tell how he will transition to the league during his rookie season, but he has more than enough juice to blow by defenses on a weekly basis.

Williams had a strong start to the 2019 season until an ACL injury caused him to miss the rest of the season. However, during the nine weeks he was present in the Dolphins’ lineup, Williams owned a 21 percent target share and obtained a 13.6 average depth of target. He had six or more targets in every game but one. If anything, he has proven that he can churn volume into fantasy production.

Johnson is one of the hot names going into the off-season. He led the team with 92 targets last season and could develop into one of Ben Roethlisberger’s top targets this season. He’s a highly efficient route runner who has very sticky hands. A full season of increased volume could lead to him be a valuable fantasy asset.

 

Tier 7

Breshad Perriman, Curtis Samuel, Sammy Watkins, Jalen Reagor, Mecole Hardman, N’Keal Harry, and DeSean Jackson

Perriman finished 2019 with four straight top-24 weeks in standard scoring. There was a lot of optimism surrounding Perriman when he entered the league as a rookie. Injuries prevented him from taking off and hitting his true potential. He is now with the Jets and will need to build a rapport with Sam Darnold for him to continue the upward progression of his fantasy success.

We saw some of the top rookie wide receivers get mentioned in tier six, but Reagor is another rookie wide receiver we shouldn’t sleep on. The Eagles selected him in the first round of this year’s draft. Philadelphia has an ambiguous depth chart at the wide receiver position. There’s a very real possibility that he leaves his rookie season as the team’s leader in targets.

Another breakout candidate we could see from this tier is Hardman. He’s approaching his second year in the league and plays in one of the most explosive offenses in NFL history. It’s hard to ignore his elite-level speed and his ability to make plays after the catch. All it takes is an injury at the top of the depth chart for his targets to increase. Last year we saw him score six touchdowns on just 41 targets. Although it’s an unsustainable rate, he did produce more yards after the catch (292) than Tyreek Hill (275) did on 48 fewer targets.

 

Tier 8

Tee Higgins, Michael Pittman, Dede Westbrook, John Ross, Hunter Renfrow, James Washington, Larry Fitzgerald, Parris Campbell, Tyrell Williams, Allen Lazard, Laviska Shenault, Denzel Mims, Kenny Stills, Randall Cobb, and Corey Davis

Tier eight is another deep tier. This tier is riddled with young wide receivers and aging vets. It’s very comparable to tier six and five, but the odds of these players hitting are a lot slimmer due to the lack of talent. The upside is there with this group, just the floor is a lot lower compared to some of the previously mentioned wide receiver prospects.

The rookies in this tier are Higgins, Pittman, Shenault, and Mims. Each of those receivers has qualities in their game that could allow them to break out during their rookie season. All of them are on ambiguous depth charts. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see one of these rookies crack the WR2 range by the end of the year.

The aging veterans with question marks are Westbrook, Fitzgerald, Stills, and Cobb. Westbrook isn’t an older player, but his play has dipped off recently, producing just 660 and three touchdowns in 2019. He will also be facing more competition for targets this year along with having to get acquainted with a new offensive coordinator. Father time is waiting to step in for Fitzgerald and Cobb. We don’t know when their play will completely drop off the map, but it’s eventually going to happen.

Stills has some upside, considering he could receive a large insertion into the starting lineup somewhere down the line. However, he is playing for one of the most questionable franchises in the league, and he will need something to happen to the top of the wide receiver depth chart for him to receive a larger workload.

 

Tier 9

Javon Wims, Brandon Aiyuk, Cole Beasley, Chase Claypool, Mohamed Sanu, Danny Amendola, Devin Funchess, Albert Wilson, Antonio Gandy-Golden, Chris Conley, Andy Isabella, Miles Boykin, and Scotty Miller

The wide receiver pool starts getting very shallow as we approach the ninth tier of our rankings. Most of these players will go undrafted in traditional redraft leagues. This should be expected as we get deeper into our rankings. However, there are values that could be had from this list.

We will see Aiyuk shoot up draft boards after the reports from Deebo Samuel’s recent foot injury. We should see him get bumped up a tier or two real soon. Don’t be surprised if he breaks out during his rookie season. He has a first-round pedigree and due to attrition, he could be in line for a heftier workload than expected.

There are a few highly athletic wide receivers in this tier. These players have the athleticism to make something happen but need an increase in targets or more volume churned out by the passing offense. Claypool, Wilson, Conley, Isabella, and Boykin can all exceed expectations if given a higher work rate.

Funchess and Amendola are ancillary pieces in their respected offenses, but also have the potential of developing into cheap flex options somewhere down the line. They are both in good offenses and all they need is a little bit of volume to break their way for them to be fantasy relevant.

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