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You're going to see more wide receivers than ever go in the first round and maybe the first two rounds of your draft. Should you follow the herd and make sure to get your favorites early, or is there enough depth at the position to chance waiting and instead start with other positions? Knowing who and where the best values are in your draft is more important than ever. Let's see how wide receivers look as the preseason is underway.
Target at ADP: Jefferson, Chase, Hill
Avoid in Top 5: Kupp
Your #1 overall (and #2 and #3) are likely to come from this list. Jefferson followed up an astounding, historic rookie year with a big step forward. What can he do in year two of Kevin O'Connell's offense? Chase was on pace to surpass a very strong rookie year before he got hurt, but up to that point, he was proving that his elite fantasy value wasn't going to be dependent on the big plays that were the calling card of his debut season. Hill was actually more valuable with Tua Tagovailoa (and his backups) than he was with Patrick Mahomes II. Kupp was the #1 wide receiver in PPR leagues before he got hurt. Kupp certainly could be a value as the fourth wide receiver off of the board, but suffering a hamstring injury in the preseason can't be a good thing, not to mention relying on Matthew Stafford to stay healthy and this offense to continue to be functional as the team enters a rebuilding phase. Kupp shouldn't go in the top 5 picks of drafts.
Consider at ADP: Diggs, Lamb, Brown, Adams, Wilson, St. Brown
This group probably doesn't have the juice to approach the elite WR1 tier, but they are relatively safe bets to finish the year as a WR1 nonetheless. My rankings differ slightly from consensus, putting Lamb and Adams a little ahead of their ADP, but ADP is a fine guide for drafting from this group or, alternatively, moving up your favorites. Diggs seems to be past the offseason drama and is still the clear #1 in a great offense with a great quarterback, even though they do have a lot more viable passing game options than they had last year. Lamb looks ready to graduate to a new level, although Brian Schottenheimer and Mike McCarthy aren't exactly Miracle-Gro for a passing game, and the team could miss now Chargers offensive coordinator Kellen Moore. Brown had a breakout 2022 season with Jalen Hurts, his only worry is durability, but last year he actually played a full season for the first time since his rookie year in 2019. Adams lost Derek Carr, but he also had one of his biggest games with Jarrett Stidham. Wilson will be the new #1 for Aaron Rodgers. Watch his low ankle sprain recovery to be sure it's not a problem. St. Brown should have a drop in volume with the Lions passing game adding two top pass-catching talents in the draft and a third when Jameson Williams' suspension is over, but he could also be more productive on a per-target basis with more downfield routes and a more efficient passing game around him.
Target at ADP: Ridley, Jeudy, London, Moore
Consider at ADP: Waddle, Smith, Olave
If anyone - who isn't being drafted there right now - crashes the top 10 wide receivers, it will very likely be a player from this group. Some of them have significantly higher floors than others, but all have a high ceiling. Waddle and Smith would be elite options if their running mates get hurt, and Waddle may only need Tua Tagovailoa to play all 17 games to move into the top 10, but both will cost a second-round pick. Olave could cost a second-round pick, but if Michael Thomas can't stay healthy, he'll be worth it. Ridley and Jeudy are slightly cheaper with a third-round cost. Ridley is looking like his old self in Jaguars camp, and Jeudy has been the top target in Broncos camp, so both have a path to outperform that price tag. London's ADP has been rising, but he can still present a big value if Desmond Ridder is simply competent and the Falcons continue their late-season trend of passing more with Ridder than they did with Marcus Mariota. Moore is the most polarizing player on this list, coming off of a year when he was hurt by poor quarterback play and going to a team that couldn't support even one consistently relevant fantasy wide receiver last year. All reports are that Moore and Justin Fields are establishing the rapport a quarterback wants to have with his #1 receiver. Even incremental improvement by Fields (which could happen on the basis of Moore's arrival alone) could make Moore a fantasy WR1 on a limited target load in a run-first offense.
Target at ADP: Lockett
Consider at ADP: Allen, Cooper, Godwin, Johnson, Brown
Avoid at ADP: Higgins, McLaurin, Kirk, Hopkins
If you're looking for ceiling in WR2/WR3 pick, this group won't provide it, but they are all safe high-floor plays. Lockett is the best value at the lowest ADP on this list. Lockett was a point a game better than DK Metcalf, but for some reason, he is going two or more rounds after Metcalf. Allen and Cooper just need to stay healthy to deliver third-round value, and Cooper has some upside if Deshaun Watson can return to form. Godwin is risky with probably the worst quarterback situation in the league, but his offense is designed to funnel targets to him, and he was coming back from an ACL tear last year. Johnson should have better touchdown luck this year, but Allen Robinson's presence could take away some of his layup PPR-friendly targets. Brown should be the #1 target in Arizona, but who knows what that will be worth, with Kyler Murray likely on the shelf to begin the season. Higgins is overpriced as a player who usually goes near the 2-3 turn. He improved his output while Ja'Marr Chase was out last year but wasn't exactly a league winner. When Chase was on the field, Higgins was a mere WR3/Flex level play. McLaurin hasn't taken the next step as a fantasy receiver after a huge rookie year, and Jahan Dotson could make this into a 1A/1B situation. Kirk's production should take a hit with Calvin Ridley's arrival, and he was only a low WR2 without Ridley. Hopkins is a bit of an unknown in Tennessee, although if Treylon Burks doesn't make a big step in year two and Hopkins' ADP continues to fall from the 3rd-4th round range it was in before he signed in Tennessee, he could become a reasonable pick at cost.
Target at ADP: Williams, Dotson
Consider at ADP: Aiyuk
AVOID AT ADP: Metcalf, Watson
This group is full of players who could outproduce ADP, but at least a few also have a lower floor than their WR2 peers. Mike Williams is an attractive pick if you can get him in the fifth. He is lining up more in the slot and could get more downfield targets as the Chargers transition from dink and dunk Joe Lombardi to highly efficient Kellen Moore at offensive coordinator. Dotson had an auspicious rookie year despite injuries and poor quarterback play, and he made his mark in the red zone, which wasn't considered a big strength when he went in the first round last year. A healthy Brock Purdy should help Aiyuk, and he's having a great camp by most accounts. Metcalf is so physically impressive, but it's hard to see what other than that is keeping him in the 3rd/4th round of drafts. He was WR23 in PPR leagues last year, and the team added a strong #3 in Jaxon Smith-Njigba. Watson had a breakout of sorts with Aaron Rodgers despite getting hurt during his rookie year, but who knows what Jordan Love can support and whether the new starting quarterback might favor fellow second-year receiver Romeo Doubs.
Zay Flowers, BAL
Michael Pittman Jr, IND
Mike Evans, TB
Elijah Moore, CLE
Gabe Davis, BUF
Jordan Addison, MIN
Skyy Moore, KC
George Pickens, PIT
Jaxon Smith-Njigba, SEA
Odell Beckham Jr, BAL
Courtland Sutton, DEN
Michael Thomas, NO
Kadarius Toney, KC
Target at ADP: Flowers, EMoore, SMoore, Beckham
Consider at ADP: Evans, Davis, Addison, Sutton, Thomas
Avoid at ADP: Pittman. Pickens, Smith-Njigba, Toney
You can't count on this group to give you an every-week starter, but it should yield at least a few. Flowers is going to be a must-draft if his ADP doesn't rise on training camp buzz, an improved offense, and Rashod Bateman remains on the PUP. Elijah Moore has a chance to become Deshaun Watson's favorite target, and he's still priced reasonably. Skyy Moore should have every chance to at least reproduce Juju Smith-Schuster's numbers from last year, with Kadarius Toney likely on the shelf to begin the season. Beckham is risky, but that risk is more than priced since he's available in the 9th/10th round. Evans is going to be playing with wide receiver value killer Baker Mayfield or Kyle Trask, but he has a long track record of success despite a down year in 2022. Davis was playing hurt last year, but the offense has a lot of quality new additions. Addison should be the #2 wide receiver from day one, but Adam Thielen was only WR44 in the same role last year. Sutton will probably be in Jerry Jeudy's shadow, but Jeudy isn't known for consistency and endearing himself to his quarterback. Thomas can't stay healthy, but at least he showed last year that he can still be a PPR WR1 when he's on the field. Pittman is going to be playing with a running rookie quarterback, so his outlook is dim based on the history of rookie passers, especially those that can rely on their legs. Pickens was WR55 on PPR points-per-game basis last year. There's room for growth in year two, but not enough to support his ADP. Smith-Njigba's outlook isn't better than Addison or Flowers, but he's going a round or more ahead of both.
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