Spring is here and most of the major moves in NFL Free Agency have happened. That makes this an ideal time to start ranking some of the different positions in preparation for the 2014 Fantasy Football draft. Earlier this off-season I put together my first 2014 Fantasy Football 2 Round Mock Draft. Over the next few weeks I will take an in depth look at all of the individual position rankings.
Today we are ranking the WR position. Free agency has has a big effect on a number of players in the rankings. DeSean Jackson is now with the Redskins. How does that affect Pierre Garcon? What about Jeremy Maclin and Riley Cooper? Eric Decker went to the Jets. Will he be fantasy relevant? Will Emanuel Sanders finally produce a solid fantasy season with Peyton Manning as his QB?
Lets start with the Elite tier WR’s:
1 Calvin Johnson DET – Megatron remains the standard by which all other WR’s are measured.
2 Demaryius Thomas DEN With the Departure of Decker, DT moves up in to the second spot in this seasons rankings. Further justification is the issue of Wes Welker and his concussions. If Welker goes down for any period of time DT will be an absolute beast.
3 Julio Jones ATL Jones may be a touch risky considering his injury history but assuming he comes back healthy the sky is the limit. As a bonus Roddy White is another year older and his role with the team figures to diminish a bit in 2014 providing even more potential targets for Jones
4 Dez Bryant DAL – With the departure of Miles Austin, Bryant is basically the only game in town for Dallas. Romo had a down year in 2013 and Bryant’s numbers suffered. In 2014 he bounces back and produces top 5 numbers
5 Brandon Marshall CHI – Marshall is one of the most consistent WR’s in the NFL for Fantasy Football purposes. The return of Jay Cutler as QB bodes well for another solid season.
6 A.J. Green CIN – If these rankings were based on talent alone Green might actually be sitting at the top. Unfortunately for him they are not. Andy Dalton remains a QB with questionable skills.
7 Josh Gordon CLE Gordon had an epic 2013 Fantasy season and should now be considered a solid top tier WR1. The only question remaining is who will be throwing him the football? Cleveland may draft someone or they may stick with Hoyer as the starter. Either way this is a risky player with massive upside.
8 Jordy Nelson GB Nelson was a beast in 2013 and that should continue in 2014. I don’t expect the return of Randal Cobb to affect Nelson’s value much.
Tier 2 WR’s – Low end WR1 and High End WR2
9 Alshon Jefferey CHI – Alshon had a breakout season in 2013 and it should continue in 2014. He is splitting targets with Marshall and did better last season with McCown at the helm. Still his youth and upside are hard to ignore.
10 Antonio Brown PIT – In 2013 Brown answered the age old adage – “What can Brown do for you? He can deliver Fantasy glory! Brown was a target monster in 2013. I expect him to come back down to earth a bit in 2014 but that still puts him in the top ten with a bump for PPR purposes.
11 Randall Cobb GB – I’m going to drop some math on this biatch: Superstar QB + Dynamic Wide Reciever + Plenty of Targets = Fantasy Gold
Tier 3 Wide Recievers – WR2
12 Jeremy Maclin PHI – With the departure of DJax, Maclin steps up to the role primary target for Nick Foles. The Eagles have a dynamic and fast paced offense. Maclin has top 5 potential in this system assuming he stays healthy.
13 Vincent Jackson TB – With the signing of Josh McCown and the subsequent dismissal of #2WR Mike Williams, Tampa has put Jackson in a position to succeed. I expect Tampa to grab a WR within the first two rounds of the Draft but regardless Jackson is a solid high end WR2 for 2014.
14 Pierre Garcon WAS – Garcon was a target machine in 2013 mainly because Washington had no other options. The addition of DJax via free agency may reduce Garcon’s targets a bit this year but the flip side is that Defenses wont be able to focus exclusively on stopping him.
15 Andre Johnson HOU – Johnson had an up and down season in 2013 mainly due to Houston’s troubles at the QB position. They should address that in the draft. Johnson will be 32 years old to start the 2014 season and he still has plenty left in the tank.
16 Keenan Allen SD – You have to like Allen’s potential in year 2. The key for him is River’s continuing the resurgence he started in 2013.
17 Cordarrelle Patterson MIN – Patterson was coming on strong towards the end of the 2013 season. He should pick up where he left off. Considering the awful QB situation in Min last season the fact that he produced as well as he did was even more impressive.
18 Percy Harvin SEA – Harvin is another dynamic player in the Patterson mold. That said Seattle is a team that often relies on strong defense and a conservative run based offensive attack. Harvin makes it in to the top 20 as a low end WR2 due to his ability to take it to the house on any given play.
19 DeSean Jackson WAS – You never really know what will happen when a player changes teams. What type of role will they have on their new squad. I’m thinking DJax will be the deep threat guy. He has blazing speed and frankly Garcon runs crisper routes and therefore is more likely to fill the possession/mid range category. Jackson remains on the radar as a low end WR2 in 2014.
20 Eric Decker NYJ – This is my shocker special (and as an avid Jets fan this may just be my homerism talking) but I like Decker to have a top 20 season. The Jets are not known for producing fantasy relevant players but this season might be different. Michael Vick will most likely be taking over at the QB position. Vick adds a dimension to the offense that the Jets haven’t had in years. Decker could be the primary beneficiary in 2014.
That’s the top 20 Fantasy WR’s in 2014. Disagree with this list? Let me know why in the comments section below!