Never-Too-Early 2019 Wide Receiver Rankings

Never-Too-Early 2019 Wide Receiver Rankings

By John Paulsen (Director of Forecasting), last update Mar 12, 2019

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John was named the Most Accurate Fantasy Football Expert by FantasyPros for the 2010 and 2014 seasons, and has finished in the Top 6 in seven of the last eight years. Cumulatively, John has been the most accurate expert from 2010-17 while also winning the 2011 Fantasy Sports Trade Association award for the most accurate draft rankings. 

Follow John Paulsen on Twitter: @4for4_John.

Below you'll find my second stab at 2019 rankings for the wide receiver position.

The rankings are based on half-PPR scoring systems. I’ve included 2018 regular season points per game and two-year points per game (where applicable). I’ve also included the difference (DIFF) between my rank and the player’s current average draft position (ADP) of 12-team half-PPR best ball drafts at DRAFT. A positive number means that I'm relatively high on the player while a negative number means—you guessed it—that I'm relatively low on the player.


More Never-Too-Early Rankings: QB | RB | TE


Below the rankings you'll find some discussion about a few players that jump out as particularly good or poor values heading into the spring.

Never-Too-Early Wide Receiver Rankings (2019)
Rank Player Team 2018 PPG 2-YR PPG DIFF
1 DeAndre Hopkins HOU 17.0 17.2 0
2 Davante Adams GB 18.1 15.8 1
3 Tyreek Hill KC 17.2 15.3 -1
4 Michael Thomas NO 16.5 14.7 0
5 Julio Jones ATL 16.3 14.7 0
6 JuJu Smith-Schuster PIT 15.1 13.0 0
7 Odell Beckham NYG 16.0 15.8 0
8 T.Y. Hilton IND 14.9 12.1 3
9 Amari Cooper DAL 12.5 10.7 4
10 Mike Evans TB 14.4 12.9 -1
11 Antonio Brown OAK 18.1 18.3 -3
12 A.J. Green CIN 14.0 13.0 2
13 Adam Thielen MIN 16.2 14.3 -3
14 Robert Woods LAR 14.6 13.1 5
15 Julian Edelman NE 13.9 13.9 3
16 Keenan Allen LAC 13.4 13.5 -4
17 Stefon Diggs MIN 14.2 13.0 -2
18 Cooper Kupp LAR 14.4 11.3 2
19 Kenny Golladay DET 11.5 9.5 -2
20 Brandin Cooks LAR 12.2 11.7 -4
21 Tyler Lockett SEA 11.9 9.0 9
22 Alshon Jeffery PHI 11.5 11.1 6
23 Allen Robinson CHI 9.7 9.1 -1
24 Jarvis Landry CLE 10.4 11.3 -3
25 Doug Baldwin SEA 9.4 10.1 2
26 Chris Godwin TB 8.5 6.1 0
27 Marvin Jones DET 10.9 11.5 9
28 Robby Anderson NYJ 9.8 10.5 4
29 Tyler Boyd CIN 13.1 9.2 -5
30 Calvin Ridley ATL 10.9 10.9 -7
31 Mike Williams LAC 9.5 6.5 -6
32 Emmanuel Sanders DEN 13.6 10.6 1
33 Golden Tate ? 9.9 10.2 8
34 Corey Davis TEN 9.6 7.9 -3
35 Will Fuller HOU 12.9 11.7 -1
36 Sammy Watkins KC 9.5 8.9 -1
37 D.J. Moore CAR 8.0 8.0 -8
38 Courtland Sutton DEN 7.5 7.5 1
39 James Washington PIT 2.1 2.1 1
40 Dante Pettis SF 8.2 8.2 -2
41 Keke Coutee HOU 8.1 8.1 2
42 Dede Westbrook JAX 9.3 9.1 2
43 Christian Kirk ARI 8.5 8.5 -1
44 DeSean Jackson TB 10.9 9.4 16
45 Larry Fitzgerald ARI 9.2 11.1 -8
46 Curtis Samuel CAR 8.6 6.1 3
47 Robert Foster BUF 6.3 6.3 5
48 Sterling Shepard NYG 9.2 9.7 -2
49 Zay Jones BUF 7.4 5.7 -4
50 Marquise Goodwin SF 6.9 7.9 1
51 Michael Gallup DAL 4.8 4.8 -3
52 Mohamed Sanu ATL 8.7 9.0 11
53 Nelson Agholor PHI 7.7 8.9 8
54 John Brown ? 8.1 7.5 3
55 Ted Ginn NO 8.4 9.0 16
56 Marquise Brown ? - - -
57 Jordy Nelson OAK 7.9 7.6 15
58 Kenny Stills MIA 7.5 8.5 0
59 D.K. Metcalf ? - - -
60 Albert Wilson MIA 12.0 8.4 -5
61 Anthony Miller CHI 7.4 7.4 -8
62 TreQuan Smith NO 5.4 5.4 -3
63 A.J. Brown ? - - -
64 Geronimo Allison GB 10.5 4.5 -8
65 Marquez Valdes-Scantling GB 5.7 5.7 -3
66 Antonio Callaway CLE 6.2 6.2 -19
67 Tyrell Williams ? 7.6 7.2 -17
68 Taylor Gabriel CHI 7.4 5.9 0
69 Quincy Enunwa NYJ 6.2 6.2 -4
70 Michael Crabtree BAL 6.8 8.5 9
  • T.Y. Hilton finished as the No. 14 WR despite missing two games, and would have finished in the top 10 had he played a full season. He barely practiced once he suffered an ankle injury in Week 15, but still managed to catch 23 passes for 429 yards and a touchdown in his final five games, including the postseason. Since 2016, he has averaged 5.7 catches for 92 yards and 0.41 touchdowns in 29 games with Andrew Luck under center.
  • I was skeptical about how Amari Cooper would fare after a midseason trade to the Cowboys, but the team got him very involved immediately and he responded with top tier production. In 11 games with Dallas, he averaged 6.0 catches for 81.5 yards and 0.64 touchdowns (a 96-1304-10.2 pace) on 8.5 targets per game. I think we need to treat him as a bona fide fantasy WR1 heading into the 2019 season.
  • In 13 games (including the playoffs), Julian Edelman played at a 102-catch, 1232-yard, 7.4-touchdown pace. Rob Gronkowski is fading and may retire, which will leave Edelman as the primary weapon in the passing game, if he isn’t already.
  • If DeSean Jackson moves on, Chris Godwin should return great value on his current sixth round ADP. He finished strong in 2017, posting 3-98 on six targets against the Panthers in Week 16 and 7-111-1 on 12 targets against the Saints in Week 17. In the five games as a rookie where he played at least 50% of the snaps, he averaged 4.2 catches for 73 yards and 0.20 touchdowns on 7.2 targets per game. In 2018, he finished the season as the No. 25 receiver despite the fact that he played more than 70% of the snaps in just six games, five of which came with Jackson mostly sidelined from Week 13 to Week 17. If Godwin is playing starter’s snaps, he should break out in 2019.
  • Through Week 10 (before his knee injury), Marvin Jones was the No. 26 receiver, and that was mostly prior to the Golden Tate trade. Early drafters have pegged Kenny Golladay as the WR1 for the Lions, but there’s a decent chance that Jones lead this receiving corps in fantasy points. In 25 games over the past two seasons, Jones is averaging 3.9 catches for 64 yards and 0.56 touchdowns. The biggest threat to Jones’s production is probably Matt Patricia’s insistence on establishing the run. Jones looks like a steal in the early eighth round.
  • I’m very interested to see where my top free agent receiver—Golden Tate—lands when the dust settles. Tate was the No. 18 receiver in half-PPR formats prior to his trade to the Eagles, so he just needs to find a good fit.

3/10/19 Updates

  • Free agent receivers tend to disappoint after joining a new team, and I'm not confident that Antonio Brown will be able to maintain his ridiculous production as he joins the Raiders. He'll experience a downgrade at quarterback from Ben Roethlisberger to Derek Carr, and HC Jon Gruden did a poor job utilizing Amari Cooper, who went on to have a great stretch with the Cowboys after he got out of Oakland.
  • Brown's departure solidifies JuJu Smith-Schuster as a fantasy WR1 and James Washington should see a big bump in playing time and targets, though the team could look to free agency or the draft for another starter.
Filed Under:
Preseason
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2019