Fantasy Football WR DraftKings Draft Rankings
Last update . Sep 08 . 10:35 AM EDT
In his third season, Jefferson finished as the fantasy WR1 after a WR5 finish the year before. He has the most receiving yards (4,825) and the most receptions (324) of any receiver in his first three seasons in the league. With Kirk Cousins and HC Kevin O’Connell returning for another season, it’s all systems go for Jefferson. The Vikings’ defense should struggle, which will keep the offense throwing the ball. He’s the WR1 off the board for good reason.
In his first season with the Dolphins, Hill set career highs in targets (170), receptions (119), yards (1,710), and yards per game (100.6). It’s clear that Mike McDaniel knows how to design an offense and that Tua Tagovailoa can deliver the ball accurately and on time. Entering his age-29 season, Hill is very much still in his prime and should have another big season for the Dolphins. Hill even predicted that 2,000 yards are within reach this season. He has the talent and environment to finish as the fantasy WR1. The NFL announced that no punitive action would be taken due to Hill’s alleged offseason physical altercation at a marina. He has reached a settlement with the alleged victim, so it’s wheels up for Hill in 2023.
As a rookie, Chase was the fantasy WR4, posting 81-1455-13 on 128 targets. He was also the WR4 on a per-game basis. Last year, he dealt with a hip injury and missed five games. He still set career highs in catches (87) and targets (134) despite missing 29% of the season. He finished as the WR16 but was the WR5 on a per-game basis. Oddly enough, his per-game average only increased from 16.3 to 16.4 per game (half-PPR) from 2021 to 2022 even though his targets increased from 7.5 to 11.2 per game. His average depth of target dropped from 12.6 to 9.0 year-over-year, so the Bengals were using him differently. It was nice to see Chase’s targets increase significantly in his second season, but the decrease in target depth negatively impacted his yards per route run, which fell from 2.51 as a rookie to 2.02 in his second season. Chase’s situation is unchanged so I’m expecting another big season. He’s a safe and effective first-round pick.
Overshadowed by fellow 2020 draftee Justin Jefferson’s record-setting 4,825 receiving yards in his first three seasons, Lamb’s 3,396 yards ranks 12th all-time. He was the fantasy WR14 in 2021 and improved to WR6 last year. He rates good to very good against man, zone, double-team, and press coverage according to Matt Harmon’s Reception Perception charting. He tied Tyreek Hill for the fourth-highest “open” score per ESPN/538’s advanced metrics, and his 2.38 yards per route run was the 10th-highest in the league in 2022. He enjoys solid quarterback play and is the unquestioned first option in his team’s passing attack. The only concern with Lamb is that the Dallas offense takes a step back with HC Mike McCarthy taking over the play-calling from OC Kellen Moore, who was let go.
Diggs was the overall WR5 last year, though he had the WR6 per-game average. He turned a WR7 season the year before (WR10 on a per-game basis). He did express some frustration with “his role in the offense and his voice in play-calling” this summer, but the team doesn’t seem to be too worried about it. He should once again return solid WR1-level production in one of the best passing attacks in the league.
|6||Amon-Ra St. Brown|
St. Brown turned in a WR8 finish after a WR27 rookie season. He posted the 7th-highest yards per route run (tied with Cooper Kupp and Stefon Diggs with 2.40). Not much has changed in Detroit, though the arrival of Jahmyr Gibbs and the return of Jameson Williams (after his suspension) could somewhat change the targets-dynamic in Detroit. But with 196 catches and 2,073 yards in his first two seasons, St. Brown’s career is off to a great start and he should produce more of the same in his third year.
Adams is going off the board as the WR10, which is the latest that he’s been drafted since the 2017 season, when he was coming off of a 75-997-12 campaign in his third season. Of course, this has nothing to do with his ability to get open or catch the ball. He caught 100+ passes and racked up 1374+ yards for the third-straight season. He posted the sixth-highest yards per route run in 2022 after finishing third and first in the two previous seasons. The reason Adams is the 10th receiver off the board is the uncertainty at quarterback. Derek Carr has moved on, so Adams has to get in sync with Jimmy Garoppolo, who was recently cleared for training camp. Garoppolo may turn out to be better than Carr, but anytime there’s a (possibly negative) quarterback change, drafters rightfully get a little skittish. Still, Adams is immensely talented and Garoppolo has racked up some very efficient numbers in the last few seasons in San Francisco. Adams should provide a solid return as a second-round pick.
Brown was the WR4 in his first season with the Eagles, though he was WR7 on a per-game basis. Little has changed in Philadelphia, personnel-wise, though OC Shane Steichen did leave to join the Colts as head coach. Brown should continue to serve a the team’s top target, though DeVonta Smith is one of the best WR2s in the league. Brown’s age (26), steady production, and consistent environment make him a worthwhile first round pick, though managers may be able to get him in the early second round in RB-heavy drafts.
He played eight full games last season, and at the time of his ankle injury he had the second-most fantasy points (to Tyreek Hill) but also had the top per-game average (20.3). Even though he only played nine games, he still finished as the fantasy WR21 after the top overall finish in 2021. Matthew Stafford is back and Kupp has very little competition for targets in the Rams’ passing attack. He should see a boatload of targets on a weekly basis. Update (8/31): Kupp reportedly had a “setback” with his injured hamstring and Sean McVay called him “day-to-day.” This sounds pretty ominous for a player of his age. “Day-to-day” would indicate that he’d be able to potentially play in Week 1, but a true “setback” would put his early-season availability in doubt. I’m expecting he’ll miss a few games at the start of the season and is at a higher risk of reinjury as the season wears on.
Waddle was the WR7 last season (WR10 on a per-game basis) after a WR17 finish as a rookie. His targets dropped (8.8 per game in 2021 to 6.9 per game last year) upon the arrival of Tyreek Hill and HC Mike McDaniel, but his yards per route run spiked from 1.75 to 2.59, which tied with A.J. Brown for the third-highest in the league. (Tyreek Hill led the league in yards per route run, so clearly McDaniel knows how to design a passing attack.) Like Hill, Waddle is a very good route-runner, per Matt Harmon’s Reception Perception charting. Provided Tua Tagovailoa can stay healthy, Waddle is in line for another huge season. One other note–we need to monitor Hill’s alleged slapping incident (at a marina) because if he were to miss any time due to suspension, Waddle could see a spike in targets.
What is a WR in Fantasy Football?
In the NFL a wide receiver is a player who is generally split out wide prior to the snap. Their primary task is catching the football whereas tight ends are sometimes asked to block on passing downs. This is not the responsibility of the receivers. There are three different types of receivers – the X receiver, the Z, and the slot. The X receiver is what is generally known as the No. 1 or the alpha. They’re typically bigger and stronger because they line up directly on the line of scrimmage which invites more contact at the snap. The slot receiver is typically lined up behind the line of scrimmage and is generally aligned close to the offensive line. This enables the slot receiver more field to work with as opposed to the X receiver who has a sideline next to them. By lining up behind the line of scrimmage, it limits how much press coverage they’re typically forced to deal with. They generally have a lower average depth of target. The Z receiver or flanker also generally lines up behind the line of scrimmage, affording them with more of a cushion between them and their defender at the snap.
Who is the best fantasy wide receiver?
Cooper Kupp and Justin Jefferson are the two favorites to finish as the No. 1 receiver in 2022 based on consensus rankings. Kupp receives a slight boost in any PPR formats after racking up 145 receptions last season. However, Kupp’s old offensive coordinator is the new head coach in Minnesota, which could lead to a career year for Jefferson. With expected regression from Kupp and Jefferson getting to play what is being described as a more up-tempo, pass-centric offense, it’s very possible Jefferson finishes the season as the best receiver in fantasy football.
Drafting a WR in Fantasy Football
Fantasy managers don’t need to be too concerned with the scoring format inside the top 20 of receiver rankings. These players are generally viewed as the best players and there’s generally more consensus on these receivers. Outside of the top 20, fantasy managers should be paying attention to what kind of format their league is operating under. If you are playing in any kind of PPR-scoring league, slot receivers who may not rack up as much yardage will have more value. This includes players like Hunter Renfrow, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and Amon-Ra St. Brown. In standard scoring leagues where there are no bonuses for receptions, players such as Gabriel Davis and Allen Lazard will receive a boost since they have high touchdown potential being connected to explosive offenses and a defined red zone role. There are several criteria fantasy managers should look for when drafting a receiver. The first is their volume. Fantasy managers should want to envision a potential pathway to 115+ targets for WR2 viability. The next is what kind of offense they play on. If it’s a run-based offense like the Eagles or Seahawks, the volume could become a concern. Targeting receivers on pass-heavy systems with strong quarterback play is always a good bet.
How many Fantasy Football Wide Receivers should I have?
The answer to this question depends on your roster format. Some leagues only require two starting receivers and a flex. Others require three receivers and a flex. In any PPR-scoring league, with the league continuing to focus more and more on the pass and with the injury concerns at running back, it makes sense for fantasy managers to target receivers with their flex positions. Depending on how large your bench is, fantasy managers should be planning on filling up their reserves with mostly running backs and wide receivers. It makes sense to have a bench tight end or quarterback if your bench is large enough, but for the most part, your bench should be focused on running backs and receivers, since they make up the majority of our starting roster. Each fantasy manager should have at least five receivers on your team based on starting requirements and bench sizes and upwards of eight on the higher end.
How do different scoring formats affect a wide receiver in fantasy football?
The scoring format can impact not only how fantasy managers rank certain receivers, but also how valuable a given position is. In regard to receivers, in standard scoring leagues, receivers take a sizable hit to their value. This is because they’re no longer being awarded for each reception, which has been used to create a more even playing field between receivers and running backs. In full-PPR leagues, the value shifts to the receivers and it’s the running back position that takes a hit in value because there are so few true three-down backs anymore. The scoring format helps inform each player which players are more beneficial. Focusing on just the receiver position, slot receivers tend to have more value in PPR leagues. This is because although they may not generally finish with as much yardage, the number of receptions they have can help in making up the difference. In years past, fantasy managers have seen players like Keenan Allen and JuJu Smith-Schuster be incredibly valuable PPR assets because they caught so many passes. Deep threat receivers and those who generally have a high average depth of target lose value in PPR leagues because they often finish with lower reception totals. This may include guys like Marquez Valdes-Scantling and DeSean Jackson.
What should I look for in Drafting Wide Receivers?
Some of the most important things to look at when drafting receivers are their target share, the average depth of their targets, and their red zone utilization. The more targets, the better. The average depth of target is important because it can be a way to predict upside and consistency. If a player has an average depth of target that’s lower than most, their upside is likely to be limited. If it’s too high, their consistency might wane because those targets have a lower rate of success. Red zone utilization is also very important because it also provides important information in determining what kind of upside a particular player has. Players like Adam Thielen and Mike Evans are regularly used by their teams in the red zone and this increases their value. Fantasy managers should also pay attention to the kind of offense they’re playing. Look at Stefon Diggs when he was in Minnesota. That offense was primarily based around the running game and Dalvin Cook. It was a slower-paced offense and even though Diggs was very efficient, he never truly broke out. In just year one in Buffalo with a very pass-heavy system and an up-tempo offense, he became a top-five fantasy receiver. Players like AJ Brown and DK Metcalf are negatively impacted by their team’s offensive style, while Mike Williams and CeeDee Lamb are boosted by theirs.
M/U = 4for4 matchup ranking (Schedule-Adjusted Fantasy Points Allowed). 1 = Worst Matchup, 32 = Best Matchup