The Fantasy Footballers’ Early WR Rankings: 20-11

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As the NFL draft gets close, Andy, Mike, and Jason take a look at the 2023 WR rankings. Today the guys address WR20-11, and a quick reminder as we jump into the rankings, these are a range of outcomes of where these players might end up. This is not a deep dive. These rankings are based on half-point PPR and do not include rookies. Let’s jump in!

 Want to get more info on the wide receivers? Make sure to check out the UDK+ on The Fantasy Footballers website. You can find more detailed player breakdowns, videos, and rankings.

 20. Tyler Lockett (SEA)

Age: 30.5 | Best Ball ADP: WR31 – Andy 24 | Jason 20 | Mike 17

2022 stat line: 16 games – 117 targets for 84/1033/9

Fantasy Finish: WR13

Inevitably Tyler Lockett starts us off. He was consistent with Geno Smith last season but did not have as many boom games as in years past. Last season we were all doubting Geno (valid), but we were proven wrong. Lockett has been a top-15 WR each of the last FIVE years and should be a great value, with Metcalf going much earlier in drafts. If you are eying a Seattle WR, you might want to wait for Lockett. Remember that he is on the older side of 30, so we could see his production start to decrease soon.

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 19. Mike Williams (LAC)

Age: 28.5 | Best Ball ADP: WR20 – Andy 19 | Jason 19 | Mike 20

2022 stat line: 13 games – 93 targets for 63/895/4

Fantasy Finish: WR31

Mike Williams was classic Mike Williams last year, falling from the sky with crazy catches and getting injured doing so. He is a talented player with a talented QB, but the Chargers look to be targeting a big-name WR in the draft. It seems to be feast or famine with Williams – great for best ball – but not knowing what you get every week is scary in redraft. Plus, Los Angeles has a new OC in Kellen Moore.

18. Deebo Samuel (SF)

Age: 27.2 | Best Ball ADP: WR16 – Andy 16 | Jason 21 | Mike 19

2022 stat line: 13 games – 94 targets 56/632/2 + 42/232/3 rush

Fantasy Finish: WR37

That Deebo. A real man, man, man. He is a one-of-a-kind WR with that insane rushing ability, but what do you do with Deebo? Jason is out. In 2021 he was the WR2, but as anticipated, we saw regression last year, especially with the addition of CMC. Add in the uncertainty of the QB situation in San Francisco, plus that recurring hamstring injury, makes it scary to draft him where he will no doubt be going. You need him to score TDs to be happy with Deebo, and you could wait a little later in the draft and grab Brandon Aiuyk if you want a piece of that Niner’s pie.

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17.  Keenan Allen (LAC)

Age: 30.9 | Best Ball ADP: WR25 – Andy 17 | Jason 16 | Mike 16

2022 stat line: 10 games – 89 targets for 66/752/4

Fantasy Finish: WR42

A wise man once said, If a PPR league had a baby/lovechild… it would be Keenan Allen.” Allen has proven talent and was very consistent after returning from injury and proved to be elite from week 11 on last season, but he will be 31 when the season starts. Risk exits. As mentioned when discussing Williams, the Chargers will probably add a WR in the draft so we might be getting close to Allen’s Swan song. Cue Kyle’s tears.

16. DeVonta Smith (PHI)

Age: 24.4 | Best Ball ADP: WR13 – Andy 14 | Jason 12 | Mike 18

2022 stat line: 17 games- 136 targets for 95/1196/7

Fantasy Finish: WR10

In 2022 Mr. Smith went to town. Smith truly broke out, becoming one of the five sophomore WRs over the last decade with a stat line of 95 receptions, 1100 yards, and 7 TDs, and he was actually better against tough defenses. There is concern that AJ Brown caps his season, and Mike is worried about Dallas Goedert and Jalen Hurts inside the red zone. Throw in a new OC in Brian Johnson and the loss of Shane Steichen, but Hurts got paid, so let’s see if the Eagles can run it back. Just a little further this year.

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15. DeAndre Hopkins (ARI)

Age: 30.8 | Best Ball ADP: WR19 – Andy 18 | Jason 15 | Mike 11

2022 stat line: 9 games – 96 targets – 64/717/3

Fantasy Finish: WR47

Hopkins is challenging, mainly because people assume he will not be an Arizona Cardinal next season. He could end up somewhere where he takes a step back productivity-wise, or he could end up somewhere where he still is the alpha. Time will tell. Coming back from the suspension last season, he showed that he still had it, even though he will be 31 when the season starts. Hopkins’ destination will significantly impact his final ranking.

14. Amon-Ra St. Brown (DET)

Age: 23.4 | Best Ball ADP: WR10 – Andy 15 | Jason 11 | Mike 15

2022 stat line: 16 games- 146 targets for 106/1161/6 + 9/95/0 rushing

Fantasy Finish: WR8

To Kyle’s chagrin, Amon-Ra St. Brown built on his 2021 season with a solid 2022. He tied for the most receptions with Michael Thomas and Justin Jefferson through the first two years. St. Brown was not as consistent as you thought – he finished inside the top-24 only six times in 2022. Jameson Williams should have an ascension this season, and will that mean less work for St. Brown? Jason believes he will still command targets this year as long as Jared Goff stays effective.

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13. Tee Higgins (CIN)

Age: 24.2 | Best Ball ADP: WR14 – Andy 13 | Jason 13 | Mike 14

2022 stat line: 16 games – 109 targets for 74/1029/7

Fantasy Finish: WR17

Still no extension for Tee Higgins yet, and it is a contract season for this successful WR2. Higgins is a big-play receiver on a great offense, leading the NFL in contested catches since 2020. He will be a solid WR2, but his upside is limited, being on a team with Ja’Marr Chase. Don’t forget that Higgins seems to get banged up often – he left early in three games in 2022.

12. Chris Olave (NO)

Age: 22.8 | Best Ball ADP: WR12 – Andy 12 | Jason 14 | Mike 13

2022 stat line: 15 games – 119 targets for 72/1042/4

Fantasy Finish: WR25

The rookie lived up to the NFL draft cost of the 11th overall pick last year, becoming the Saints’ go-to WR, seeing 38% of the team’s third-down targets, which is the second highest among any WR over the last five years. Over the previous decade, Olave ranks top five among all rookie WRs in both yards per route run and targets per route run. His company includes Ja’Marr Chase, Justin Jefferson, Odell Beckham Jr., and A.J. Brown. Let’s see what happens when they send in the Carr in 2023.

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11. DK Metcalf (SEA)

Age: 25.3 | Best Ball ADP: WR15 – Andy 11 | Jason 17 | Mike 10

2022 stat line: 17 games – 141 targets for 90/1048/6

Fantasy Finish: WR18

That DK Metcalf is a physical freak, and even though he led the league in end zone targets in 2022 (and the past four years), he only scored six TDs. Andy doubts Metcalf will bust, but is he worth the draft pick, and can he give you a season topping the other guys falling around him in the rankings? He is a little more volatile than you think; looking at the career consistency charts in the UDK, he has only been a top-12 WR 24% of the time through four years. He needs the TDs, and can Geno do it again?

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