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2023 Fantasy Football Rankings: Wide Receiver

Continuing with the 2023 Fantasy Football rankings on The Sports Branch, our final positional group is below with the wide receivers. The Quarterback, running back and tight end rankings have already been revealed on the site. Make sure to take a look at all of our rankings to prepare for you fantasy drafts!

 

1. Justin Jefferson (MIN, 13)

2. Ja’Marr Chase (CIN, 7)

3. Tyreek Hill (MIA, 10)

4. Stefon Diggs (BUF, 13)

5. Davante Adams (LV, 13)

Adams joined the Raiders last offseason to reunite with college teammate Derek Carr and the duo helped Adams continue his fantasy dominance. Although the Raiders struggled to win games and ultimately benched and moved on from Carr, Adams still finished as the WR3 last year. Leading the league with a 32.3% target share (FantasyPros), Adams tallied over 1,500 yards and scored 14 touchdowns. Even with Jarrett Stidham as the starting QB in week 17, Adams showed that he could be counted on as a WR1 on fantasy rosters. But there are several question marks surrounding Adams and the Raiders in 2023. Jimmy Garoppolo will be the new starting QB in Las Vegas and although he’s been effective in his career, he’s not been known for his downfield passing ability, which has some worried about Adams’ big play production. Also, the star wide receiver will be 31 in December, so there are concerns about his durability, age and chance of injury. However, he’s shown in the past–including last year–that he’s far too talented even in poor situations to slip in fantasy drafts. For that reason, Adams is cemented as a top-five wideout in my rankings this year.


6. Ceedee Lamb (DAL, 7)

7. Amon-Ra St. Brown (DET, 9)

8. Garrett Wilson (NYJ, 7)

Garrett Wilson has been the consensus No. 1 breakout candidate for the upcoming season and rightfully so. The 2022 first-rounder shined as a rookie even through subpar Quarterback play. Wilson finished as the WR21 while playing his rookie season with the likes of Zach Wilson, Mike White and Joe Flacco. The Jets made the splash of the offseason by trading for multi-time MVP Aaron Rodgers who will look to boost this team into Super Bowl contention. Wilson was among the top ten across the league in targets as a rookie, leading to 83 receptions and just over 1,100 yards. Moreover, Wilson should see his touchdown numbers increase as well as he was one of three WRs to finish with 1,000 yards or more and score less than five touchdowns. Based on what we saw in the preseason and training camp, Rodgers and Wilson have already built rapport in the offense. With the massive upgrade at QB and immense talent, it would be no surprise to see Garrett Wilson finish as the WR1 this year.


9. A.J. Brown (PHI, 10)

10. Jaylen Waddle (MIA, 10)

11. Chris Olave (NO, 11)

12. Cooper Kupp (LAR, 10)

*Kupp was originally my WR4 before re-injuring his hamstring last week in practice*

13. Tee Higgins (CIN, 7)

14. DeVonta Smith (PHI, 10)

15. DK Metcalf (SEA, 5)

16. Kennan Allen (LAC, 5)

17. Calvin Ridley (JAC, 9)

Another receiver who has tons of hype around him entering 2023 is new Jacksonville Jaguar Calvin Ridley. The Jags acquired Ridley during last year’s trade deadline although he was still serving a year-long suspension for violating the NFL’s gambling policy. Ridley hasn’t played since 2021, so I can understand some hesitancy to rank or draft him this high. But with him entering an improved Jaguars offense that also hosts Christian Kirk, Evan Engram and Travis Etienne, Ridley is in a great situation. When in Atlanta and healthy, Ridley was consistently performing as a WR2-level fantasy player and was demanding high target volumes. Just because he hasn’t played in a while doesn’t mean Ridley’s abilities have seemingly disappeared, especially when you look at the second-year leap that his QB Trevor Lawrence took in 2022. We’ve already seen the flashes of the duo’s potential during the preseason and if it carries over into the regular season–it likely will–Ridley is a solidified WR2 this year.


18. Amari Cooper (CLE, 5)

19. Chris Godwin (TB, 5)

20. DJ Moore (CHI, 13)

21. Deebo Samuel (SF, 9)

22. DeAndre Hopkins (TEN, 7)

23. Diontae Johnson (PIT, 6)

If you ignore his touchdown numbers from 2022, Diontae Johnson had an incredible season. The only bad news is that if you do look at the touchdown numbers, you’ll see that he was incredibly unlucky. Johnson brought in 86 receptions for 882 yards in 2022 but scored zero touchdowns (yes, zero). To make matters worse, Johnson was 13th in target share and 10th in red zone targets (FantasyPros) but was unable to find the endzone. Although part of this can be attributed to Kenny Pickett struggling as a rookie QB, Johnson still led his squad in targets, receptions and yards. On the bright side though, the odds that Johnson is targeted at the same rate while scoring zero touchdowns again is extremely unlikely, which is why I have him as a top 25 WR. Kenny Pickett should improve in his second season, especially when looking at the improvements to their offensive line and their talented running back room. As a result, Johnson should be the recipient of over 130 targets once again and will finish as a low-end WR2 if he can find paydirt more consistently in 2023.


24. Tyler Lockett (SEA, 5)

25. Drake London (ATL, 11)

26. Christian Watson (GB, 6)

27. Terry McLaurin (WAS, 14)

28. Brandon Aiyuk (SF, 9)

29. Christian Kirk (JAC, 9)

30. Mike Williams (LAC, 5)

31. Jahan Dotson (WAS, 14)

32. Jerry Jeudy (DEN, 9)

33. Marquise Brown (ARI, 14)

34. Courtland Sutton (DEN, 9)

35. Michael Pittman Jr. (IND, 11)

36. George Pickens (PIT, 6)

37. Jordan Addison (MIN, 13)

Rookie wide receivers are worth investing in in most situations but especially in the situation of first-round pick Jordan Addison. Addison joins an offense after the departure of its number two wide receiver (Adam Thielen) and the same offense that threw the ball more than the majority of the NFL in 2022. With Thielen heading to Carolina, that vacates his 17% target share (FantasyPros) from 2022. The talented rookie from USC will step into his role right away and should be Kirk Cousins’ go-to option after Justin Jefferson and TJ Hockenson. Addison was one of the best receivers in college football over the last few years, taking home the Biletnikoff award in 2021 for Pitt before transferring to USC. His smooth route-running and after-the-catch ability is what made him such an exciting prospect and will make him an even more exciting NFL receiver. If he can separate himself from teammate KJ Osborn and maybe TJ Hockenson, he can go from a solid bench option to a WR2 in fantasy this season.


38. Brandin Cooks (DAL, 7)

39. Zay Flowers (BAL, 13)

40. Gabe Davis (BUF, 13)

41. Jaxon Smith-Njigba (SEA, 5)

42. Treylon Burks (TEN, 7)

43. JuJu Smith-Schuster (NE, 11)

44. Skyy Moore (KC, 10)

45. Quentin Johnston (LAC, 5)

46. Elijah Moore (CLE, 5)

47. Michael Thomas (NO, 11)

48. Nico Collins (HOU, 7)

49. Jakobi Meyers (LV, 11)

50. Kadarius Toney (KC, 10)


*All stats and scores were received from ESPN Fantasy, ESPN stats & Info. and FantasyPros.com*

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