Top 25 WRs – 2018

The next installment of our look ahead to 2018 consists of the top WRs to target in next season’s drafts. The wide receiver position is the deepest group in fantasy football, and for me, the most important. Once you get past the top-15 or so, 16-50 can probably make a decent argument to all be the 20th WR drafted. In my opinion, the same goes for the top-6 on this list. I believe there can be an argument made for any of them being the first receiver taken next year, and I wouldn’t criticize anyone who takes one of them first. For the most part, fantasy football is about numbers, but it’s also preference. The biggest factor in being a successful fantasy player in any sport is taking out personal preference for favorite players. If you draft Dez Bryant before Odell Beckham, Jr. because you’re a loyal Cowboys fan, then chances are you’ll be struggling to win your league unless the rest of your picks are absolute steals.

The top-6 on this list, however, is generally preference because they’re all very capable of being the highest scoring WR in fantasy football. You can analyze the offensive tendencies (pass play %), the QB situation, the offensive line, the top corners in the division, etc. But, I see these 6 as generally equal, and if there’s any way you can manage to steal 2 of them (if there’s the crazy 1st round QB drafter, or the “way too early” Rob Gronkowski takers), you’ll be set up beautifully to take down the title.

I know I’m a Giants’ fan, but I’ve learned to truly take my fandom out of the equation when playing fantasy sports. In a completely un-biased way, I’m most intrigued by Odell Beckham, Jr. this season. Not because of the logo on his helmet, but because of how different the team’s situation will be when he returns then it was when he left. When his season ended in Week 5, sure, the team was 0-4 (about to be 0-5), but the team was still together, in all senses of the word. Since he’s been out, the Giants suspended Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Janoris Jenkins, and Eli Apple (twice), benched QB Eli Manning, fired HC Ben McAdoo and GM Jerry Reese, reinstated Manning as the starter just two weeks later, and won just 3 games. Not to mention the tensions between players within the locker room, a la Landon Collins and Eli Apple. In addition to all the mess, the Giants were in a perfect position to get a good, long look at their 2017 3rd round pick QB Davis Webb prior to having the 2nd overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft and the best opportunity possible to find Manning’s successor. After all, he is 37 years old. But, Webb was only activated for one game and never saw the field. The Giants are entering 2018 with a new HC, a new OC, a new GM, possibly a new QB, and most likely a brand new OL configuration. These are all factors that play a huge role in the success of WRs, especially one with Beckham’s knack for getting separation deep. The QB and OL play a huge role in a team’s deep passes. Then again, he’s one of a few in the game that can turn a 4-yard quick slant into a 72-yard score.

If the injury never happened, he would most likely have been signed to a long-term deal worth a bunch of guaranteed money by now. Unlucky for him; for actually being a good teammate by showing up to training camp and not holding out for cash, he took an awkward hit in the preseason that kept him out of the first game of the season, and eventually knocked him out for the season after a second blow broke the ankle once and for all. Now, he has to “earn” his money, again. With all the question marks around him on the Giants’ offense, I can see him balling out. Maybe even putting himself before the team, which, contrary to popular belief, he doesn’t normally do. If Eli returns, we know Beckham will get the ball like normal and make plays like normal. If Eli does not return, who will become the new (rookie) QB’s security blanket on the outside? That’s right, Odell Beckham, Jr.

Talent prevails, and Odell has more natural talent than just about anyone else on the planet. Look at what DeAndre Hopkins did with Tom Savage. Beckham will put up numbers no matter who is throwing him the ball. Health will be the only question, and as I’ve previously stated, you have to draft assuming full health. Assuming full health, Beckham is one of the most dynamic players in the world, and very worthy of being a top-10 overall pick and a top-3 WR.

Here’s the complete top-25 list for WRs looking ahead to 2018:

  1. DeAndre Hopkins (texans)
  2. Antonio Brown (steelers)
  3. Odell Beckham, Jr. (giants)
  4. Julio Jones (falcons)
  5. Keenan Allen (chargers)
  6. Michael Thomas (saints)
  7. A.J. Green (bengals)
  8. Mike Evans (buccaneers)
  9. Jarvis Landry (dolphins)
  10. Michael Crabtree (raiders)
  11. Davante Adams (packers)
  12. Josh Gordon (browns)
  13. Golden Tate (lions)
  14. Demaryius Thomas (broncos)
  15. Tyreek Hill (chiefs)
  16. Brandin Cooks (patriots)
  17. Adam Thielen (vikings)
  18. JuJu Smith-Schuster (steelers)
  19. Doug Baldwin (seahawks)
  20. Amari Cooper (raiders)
  21. T.Y. Hilton (colts)
  22. Dez Bryant (cowboys)
  23. Robby Anderson (jets)
  24. Marvin Jones, Jr. (lions)
  25. Larry Fitzgerald (cardinals)

Let me know what you think, which players are you most intrigued with heading into next season? Comment below or find me on Twitter @joebuttgereit !

 

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