Thursday, August 6, 2015

2015 NFL Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Rankings & Discussion

With the NFL changing the rules to benefit the offense and passing game, no position has seen the benefit like the Wide Receiver. More wide receivers than ever are putting up huge games, and the consistency is spreading out across the board. With that being said...
it’s also the deepest position in Fantasy Football.  You’ll be able to find huge value throughout the draft, and if you play your cards right you can end up with some incredible players in the later rounds. I sat down with the Fantasy JoneZ Team to get their opinions on this year’s WR class. Here are our WR Rankings…

JoneZ Average
1. Antonio Brown
1. Antonio Brown
1. Demaryius Thomas
1. Antonio Brown
2. Dez Bryant
2. Dez Bryant
2. Antonio Brown
2. Dez Bryant
3. Demaryius Thomas
3. Odell Beckham Jr.
3. Calvin Johnson
3. Demaryius Thomas
4. Calvin Johnson
4. Demaryius Thomas
4. Dez Bryant
4. Calvin Johnson
5. Odell Beckham Jr.
5. Calvin Johnson
5. A.J. Green
5. Odell Beckham Jr.
6. Jordy Nelson
6. Jordy Nelson
6. Jordy Nelson
6. Jordy Nelson
7. A.J. Green
7. Julio Jones
7. Odell Beckham Jr.
7. A.J. Green
8. Julio Jones
8. A.J. Green
8. Julio Jones
8. Julio Jones
9. Alshon Jeffery
9. Alshon Jeffrey
9. TY Hilton
9. Alshon Jeffery
10. DeAndre Hopkins
10. Randall Cobb
10. Randall Cobb
10. Randall Cobb
11. Randall Cobb
11. TY Hilton
11. Mike Evans
11. T.Y. Hilton
12. Mike Evans
12. Mike Evans
12. Alshon Jeffery
12. Mike Evans
13. T.Y. Hilton
13. Emmanuel Sanders
13. Kelvin Benjamin
13. Kelvin Benjamin
14. Kelvin Benjamin
14. DeAndre Hopkins
14. Emmanuel Sanders
14. DeAndre Hopkins
15. Amari Cooper
15. Kelvin Benjamin
15. Sammy Watkins
15. Emmanuel Sanders
16. Jordan Matthews
16. Sammy Watkins
16. DeAndre Hopkins
16. Sammy Watkins
17. Andre Johnson
17. Golden Tate
17. DeSean Jackson
17. Jordan Matthews
18. DeSean Jackson
18. Brandin Cooks
18. Amari Cooper
18. Brandin Cooks
19. Brandin Cooks
19. Jordan Matthews
19. Keenan Allen
19. Andre Johnson
20. Emmanuel Sanders
20. DeSean Jackson
20. Brandin Cooks
20. DeSean Jackson
21. Jarvis Landry
21. Jeremy Maclin
21. Julian Edelman
21. Golden Tate
22. Allen Robinson
22. Andre Johnson
22. Jordan Matthews
22. Keenan Allen
23. Julian Edelman
23. Martavis Bryant
23. Vincent Jackson
23. Jarvis Landry
24. Sammy Watkins
24. Brandon Lafell
24. Andre Johnson
24. Martavis Bryant
25. Brandon Marshall
25. Amari Cooper
25. Golden Tate
25. Vincent Jackson

The Fantasy JoneZ team joined me to discuss wide receivers for the upcoming Fantasy Football draft, and give their takes on this season. Coming off an incredible year, Antonio Brown tops our list as the #1 WR to grab this season. We break down their draft boards to find the players rising and falling on the list. Here are the highlights from that discussion...

Welcome fellas. We all know why we're here today. We're breaking down the WR's. Looking at your respective boards I see Mike and Alex both have Antonio Brown on the top. Break down why.

Mike - Even in a non PPR, the kid is a monster. Without LeVeon Bell in the first two games they're going to have to throw the ball a lot. Sky's the limit with him. He keeps getting better, and I don't think it's going to go to his head. He's said the reason his number is 84 is because 8x4=32 and 32 teams passed up on him. He was a late round pick who still has a chip on his shoulder.

Alex - He's the best receiver in the league. He can play in every place on the field. The slot, one, and two. He runs the ball on the reverse, and even passes the ball occasionally. They go to him early and often.

Mason, you have Brown at number two so he still got your respect, but you've got Demaryius Thomas at #1. He had another great season last year, but Peyton Manning is a year older. Why did you put Thomas up top?

Mason - Last year he led the league in targets. I'm a big targets guy. He has that bubble screen that they run a lot, and he can take that to the house. Peyton Manning is coming back healthy so he'll be stretching the field, and the play action will be strong. I expect to see Thomas on a lot of double moves this year.

Mike - He's also the best in the league when it comes to yards after the catch(YAC).

Not only do Alex and Mike have Brown at #1 but they also have Dez Bryant #2. Mason, you have him down at #4, which isn't a big drop, but you have him behind Megatron. Why is he below Calvin Johnson?

Mason - It's more about the receivers ahead of him than a knock against him. People like to say they'll have to throw it more now that DeMarco Murray is gone, but defenses won't have to stack the box as much either. You're going to see a frustrated Dez Bryant with a corner and safety on him all game. Calvin has proven he can beat that and he doesn't get frustrated like Dez. He doesn't let that double team get the best of him in the 3rd and 4th quarter because Calvin has been dealing with it since day one. If he can stay on the field all season we'll see the Megatron of old.

Alex - I think that Dez is playing at a higher level, and he isn't dealing with any nagging injuries. Of course they'll have to throw more. Darren McFadden is already banged up, and Joseph Randle isn't Murray. Bryant and Brown are the safest 1st Round receiver picks there are.

Mike - He's a very safe pick. Dez leads the league in TD grabs since his rookie year. His TD numbers compare to the likes of Jerry Rice and Randy moss in their first few years. He's been dealing with that safety on the top. 

Mike, you've got a second year receiver making a jump this year. NY Giants receiver Odell Beckham all the way up to #3...

Mike - Yes I do. That guy is ridiculous. It's not just the crazy catches, it's the route running. His hands are incredible, and he's so agile. He reminds me a lot of Antonio Brown because he's a smaller guy. He's quick and he uses his body so well. He separates out of press coverage. He did some nasty things to Richard Sherman. Eli Manning still has very good arm talent. Look at the numbers he put up last year in 12 games. 91 catches, 1,300 yards, and 12 TD's. Spread that out over a whole season. You could make a case to put him at #1 on the list, and I wouldn't argue with you. He may get more attention, but I think this guy can handle it.

Alex - He plays NFC East opponents in 6 games...

Mike - Exactly! Nobody's accusing them of having great defenses.

Alex, you had Beckham high as well, but Mason has him down at #7. You still have A.J. Green in your top 5.

Mike - He loves A.J. Green.

Mason - Are we questioning A.J. Green? This is the thing about WR's this year, that first plateau is deep. I like A.J. Though. He's a guy that can take that 4 yard slant to the house. He has that rapport with Andy Dalton too. 

Alex - The fact Cincinnati has the best RB tandem in the league is the only reason I have Green below Beckham and Jordy Nelson. I think he's more talented that Nelson, but the Green Bay offense will lead to more points.

Looking at all of your lists it looks like the top 8 is pretty set. The one difference I see is Mason has T.Y. Hilton in the top ten. Is this the year you think he'll finally be consistent? We all know what he can do in big games, especially against Houston.

Mason - He's in a contract year. They have a real possession receiver in Andre Johnson now. The safety is going to have to stay down a little bit because when T.Y. runs deep you've got Johnson underneath. 9 times out of 10 it'll go to Andre, but that one time they hit T.Y. it's a TD! I see him with double digit TD's this year.

Alex - There's just so many weapons in Indy. He's one of the fastest guys in the NFL, but they went out and signed Frank Gore. They also drafted Phillip Dorsett who's another fast guy. He's still gonna get his, but I couldn't put him ahead of guys like Mike Evans and Alshon Jeffery. They're the #1 guys on their teams, and are going to get more looks.

Mike - This is the kind of guy that you look at as inconsistent. He isn't that crafty yet, although I think he'll get there, he's a home run threat. He doesn't take those short passes and take them to the house either. He isn't that good in the red zone. There's going to be some weeks where he's off the map. 60 yards here, 40 yards there, and then hits you with that 150 yard 2 TD game where you better have him in your lineup.

The guy you have jumping into your top 10 is DeAndre Hopkins Alex. Why?

Alex - They lost Andre Johnson, that was a big piece. He was a big time receiver last year. I don't know who's going to be the QB there, but either Ryan Mallett or Brian Hoyer can get the ball to him. The running game is also up in the air with Arian Foster getting hurt, which may require surgery. Hopkins is a stud, and there isn't much around him. He's going to get a lot of looks.

Mason - I don't see how he was a big time player last year.

Mike - He was really spotty last year. He was good down the stretch.

Mason - He was good down the stretch, but I don't see him being a big time player. He barely cracked the Top 20 last year.

Alex - I remember him being a good player last year, and think he has a bigger year this season. He's getting the looks in Houston.

I just asked because you have him over a guy like Randall Cobb who put up huge numbers, last year. He also plays with the best QB in the league in Aaron Rodgers.

Alex - It comes down to targets. Mason said it himself. There's a lot of weapons in Green Bay, and Davante Adams is going to be big for them this year. 

Mason - Quality targets though. Aaron Rodgers is giving his guys better looks than anyone in Houston by far.

Mike - Cobb is the best slot receiver in the league. 

Mason - The only reason Jordy Nelson is higher than Cobb is because he gets the Red Zone looks. Cobb still scores a lot of TD's though.

You all have Mike Evans moving real close to the Top 10. Mike and Mason, you both have Emmanuel Sanders pretty high, but you don't Alex. You've got him down at 20. He was a stud last year.

Alex - He was a stud because Wes Welker couldn't get anything done, and now you have Cody Latimer taking that spot. Last year, he even admitted it, Latimer had a real problem figuring out the playbook. This year Latimer comes in and takes some touches away from Sanders. If Sanders plays the majority of time in the slot he could finish much higher than I have him. Plus, Gary Kubiak is a run heavy guy.

You have Amari Cooper pretty high. Seems you like the rookie out of Alabama.

Alex - Yeah! I think Cooper is a 1,000 yard receiver this year. They're already comparing him to Antonio Brown.

Mason, you have him at 18 so that's pretty high. Mike, you have him down at 25 though.

Mike - I don't think he's going to be a big TD guy. Since we aren't talking PPR I would temper my expectations. He could hit 1,000 yards but i think he'll only have around 6 TD's.

Who makes the biggest jump this year?

Alex - You already know I think Hopkins, we've discussed that.

Mike - Sammy Watkins. He's the man in Buffalo. I know there's questions surrounding the QB situation, but there's a reason he was the 1st WR taken in last years draft. Not saying he's better than Odell Beckham, but he's a damn good player.

Mason - Mine is Mike Evans. That offense is going to explode this year. He's got Vincent Jackson on the other side of him. Hopefully they can figure out that offensive line. We know Jameis Winston will make some mistakes, but he's got the tools.

One name, who takes the biggest fall this year?

Mason - Alshon Jeffery. His best years were with Brandon Marshall taking the attention. Not gonna happen this year.

Mike - Kelvin Benjamin. He already came into camp out of shape. I can see a sophomore slump.

Alex - It's gotta be Jeremy Maclin. His numbers won't come close to last year.

Thanks for your expertise guys. See you when it's time for TE's and D/ST.