In addition to ranking the Top 10 fantasy running backs, another key position on any fantasy team is the wide receiver. In this pass-happy league, there’s a lot of depth at this position and for 2013, this top receivers will all look familiar.
For one, it’s appropriate to say welcome back to the list.
Calvin Johnson (Detroit Lions) – On his 4-12 team, it didn’t stop Megatron from a 2012 record-breaking season with his 1,964 yards–a league single-season receiving yards record. He also had a career-high 122 receptions with only five touchdowns (see injured fingers). There’s no reason his production will fall but the Reggie Bush factor could be interesting.
Dez Bryant (Dallas Cowboys) – Bryant also battled injuries–again the fingers–but he had 1,382 yards with 12 touchdowns last season. In the second half, he averaged 109.8 yards per game with 10 scores. He has good chemistry with his the pressure is on quarterback Tony Romo; he just needs to stay out of trouble this year.
A.J. Green (Cincinnati Bengals) – The Bengals’ top receiver, Green’s 2012 season encompassed 1,350 yards and 11 touchdowns. His production fell in the last six games with just 60 yards over the last two games but he’s typically a solid performer for this talented team.
Brandon Marshall (Chicago Bears) – Marshall just got the green light to return to practice for the Bears after offseason hip surgery. In his first season with the Bears in 2012, he rekindled his magic with quarterback Jay Cutler (40 percent of his targets) and finished with 1,508 yards and 11 touchdowns. From his 118 catches, this tied for No. 2 with Wes Welker.
Julio Jones (Atlanta Falcons) – There was no sophomore slump for Jones as he had 1,198 yards with 10 touchdowns and a Pro Bowl selection last season. He can score with five touchdowns coming in the last six games; the playoffs were even better with his 182 yards and two scores in the San Francisco 49ers loss. The Jones – Roddy White tandem is one of the best in the league.
Larry Fitzgerald (Arizona Cardinals) – With all the changes on the Cardinals this year, look for Fitzgerald’s production to return (2012 included 71 receptions for 798 yards and four scores) as a Top-10 fantasy wide receiver. Veteran Carson Palmer will provide lots of opportunities for the player and quarterback-loving coach Bruce Arians know the value of his talent.
Vincent Jackson (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) – Change was good for Jackson in his first season with the Bucs. He finished with 1,384 yards and eight touchdowns and set franchise records for the longest reception in history (95 yards) and the most receiving yards in a single game (216 yards). When Megatron went down, Jackson received his third Pro Bowl selection. The future looks bright for Jackson in the sunshine state.
Demaryius Thomas (Denver Broncos) – Playing under talented quarterback Peyton Manning, Thomas had 1,434 yards with 10 touchdowns, six of which came in the last seven games in 2012. He’ll share playing time this season with Wes Welker, which could cut his numbers, but he’s still a solid, active pick.
Percy Harvin (Seattle Seahawks) – It’s a new season and new team for speedy Harvin. In 2012, he started out strong but ended with 62 receptions for 677 yards and three touchdowns. In his first eight games, he averaged 92.4 total yards with five touchdowns before his public discontent and ankle injury. With his quarterback upgrade to Russell Wilson, Harvin should see more playing time and better numbers.
Andre Johnson (Houston Texans) – After battling injuries the two previous seasons, in 2012 Johnson returned to form with his 1,598 yards and four touchdowns. In the last seven games he averaged 147 yards. Injury concerns will lurk but he should have another good year.