By Jesse Jordan
Depth is something that usually wins fantasy football championships. When talking about each position as a separate entity the WR position is by far the deepest. So Jesse, if the WR position is so deep does that mean I should wait on drafting WR’s in a dynasty football league? Well self, that is a great question but sometimes in fantasy sports things don’t always turn out as they seem. In a dynasty format taking a young stud WR, like the ones that are on my list here in the first round can secure your team a WR1 for 5 plus years. Each WR that I’ve listed can be the cornerstone of your championship fantasy teams. I believe there are 6 WR’s that stand out from the rest of the pack with the top 2 being in a tier of their own. I would take AJ Green and Calvin Johnson in the top 5 of any dynasty format start up draft. I will explain why below.
Name Age Rec Yd AVG TD
1 AJ Green 25 98 1,426 14.6 11
2 Calvin Johnson 28 84 1,492 17.8 12
3 Demaryius Thomas 26 92 1,430 15.5 14
4 Dez Bryant 25 93 1,233 13.3 13
5 Alshon Jeffery 24 89 1,421 16 7
6 Julio Jones 25 41 580 14.1 2
1. AJ Green
The 6’4 Bengal has been a force since he was drafted #4 overall in the 2011 NFL draft. In his first 3 years in the league he has averaged just short of 90 receptions for 1,300 yards and 10 TD’s per season. If you compare those to Megatron’s first 3 seasons, 64 rec for 1023 yards and 7 TDs you can see why I am excited for Green. Don’t let fellow thefantasyamteurs.com podster Nate scare you away from Green when he spouts all his non-sensed hate at Andy Dalton. The Bengals may transform into a run first offense but they are still going to be targeting Green a lot. Look for Green to keep his targets at over 175 in the 2014 season. AJ Green should be competing for the #1 overall pick in most dynasty format start up drafts, with Lesean McCoy and my #2 WR Calvin Johnson.
2. Calvin Johnson
The guy who has by far the coolest nickname in all of sports, Megatron. Calvin Johnson could easily be ranked higher than AJ Green and it would not be a dumb idea to take him #1 in a Dynasty startup draft. The guy has performed every year he’s been on the field and averages 82 catches on 148 targets, 1300 yards, and 9 TD’s per season. The Lions have been trying for years to put guys around Megatron to help take the defensive pressure off of him. In my opinion they should just stop worrying about the double, triple, and quadruple teams that he sees and just throw him the damn ball every play. If you’ve watched any of Megatron’s highlights the past few seasons you will find Stafford doing just that and Johnson still makes the plays. I just don’t see any of that changing even with the addition of Golden Tate and rookie tight end Eric Ebron. Johnson’s number will again be above his career average in 2014 and should stay their for years to come.
3. Demaryius Thomas
The D-Train is responsible for making Tebow almost look like an NFL QB. Thomas has really made strides the last 2 seasons with back-to-back 90+ reception years and eclipsing the 1,400-yard mark in both seasons, while pulling in double-digit touchdown receptions. Thomas doesn’t look to be slowing down any in 2014, as he will still have Peyton Manning running the show. Even though the QB future in Denver is cloudy I do believe Thomas is worthy of the #3 ranking. My colleague Joe made a solid point on The Winter Brew that if Manning were 30 D-Train could possibly be the #1 overall pick and I can’t argue with that point. Thomas doesn’t receive the targets that Green or Megatron get but has a pretty damn good QB getting the ball to him. I believe that post-Manning Bronco’s QB (whomever it is) will actually increase those targets to Thomas as we all know there are very few QB’s who spread it around like old Peyton.
4. Dez Bryant
If this was a top 5 worst people in the NFL list, Dez Bryant might be ranked #1 overall, but you know what they say, “You don’t have to be a good person to be in the NFL” I really don’t know if they say that but they should. Anyways, Bryant’s got some pretty solid numbers for his first 4 seasons in the NFL. Averaging over 1,000 yards and 10 TD’s per campaign. With his YAC ability (527 total in 2013) he has the ability to break a big play on ever catch. Even if Dez’s future isn’t with the Cowboys he will be an effective WR wherever he ends up. Go ahead and take a 1st round pick on him with confidence.
5. Alshon Jeffery
Someone forgot to tell Jeffery at the start of the 2013 season that he had no chance to be a top 10 wide receiver playing second fiddle to Brandon Marshall. The Alien caught 89 balls on 150 targets for 1400+ yards and 7 TD’s., not bad for a guy that I labeled a motherf*$er. In fact I refused to even learn Jeffery’s name even though he put up 200 yards receiving on two different occasions when I was matched up against him. The 24-year-old receiver has a perfect 6’3 frame and hands that are capable of grabbing all the bad throws Cutler will toss his way. It won’t be long and Jeffery will be the main attraction in Chicago and any one who drafts him will have years of prosperity coming their way.
6. Julio Jones
Julio’s 2013 season was shortened with a season ending injury. In his absence the Falcons found out they have a quality receiver in Harry Douglas. The three WR combo of Jones, White, and Douglas might just be the best in the NFL. Having a healthy Roddy opposite Jones and a Douglas underneath is going to take away a lot of what the defenses can do to take Jones out of a game. Look for Julio to have a bounce back year in 2014. I’m expecting 80-90 receptions, 1300 yards and 10 TD’s out of the 4th year receiver.
Bargain Bin Picks
The guys on this list have the opportunity to have some big seasons this year. Baldwin will see more targets with Tate gone, Lewis will reap the benefits of being opposite AJ Green and LaFell landed himself in New England where a WR1 is needed. These guys will be late round picks that could really help your fantasy team this year and will add that much needed depth championship rosters need.
Age Rec Yd AVG TD ADP
Doug Baldwin 25 50 778 15.6 5 184
Marvin Lewis 24 51 712 14 10 121
Brandon LaFell 27 49 627 12.8 5 236
Flyers with Big Potential
The guys on this list probably shouldn’t be labeled as Flyers but I did it because I think Flyer should describe a guy who has a huge ceiling! All three of these guys look to be huge risk huge reward guys. You will need to reach to end up with one of these guys on your team.
Age Rec Yd AVG TD ADP
Sammy Watkins 20 Rookie 20
Cordarrelle Patterson 23 45 469 10.4 4 23
T.Y. Hilton 24 82 1,083 13.2 5 52