The Fantasy Footballers’ Early WR Rankings: Top 10

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Andy, Mike, and Jason are back with the rest of their 2023 WR rankings. If you missed WR20-11, go back to the Tuesday’s show and check it out. Today the guys address the top 10 WRs 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. A statistic here, on average, only 3.6 players repeated as top-10 WRs from the previous year, and the most in that span is five. Who will it be this year?

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10. Jaylen Waddle (MIA)

Age: 24.3 | Best Ball ADP: WR11 |Andy 10 | Jason 10 | Mike 9

2022 stat line: 17 games – 117 targets for blank/1356/8

Fantasy Finish: WR7

Watch him waddle away. Jaylen Waddle proved in 2022 that he was no flash in the pan following a rookie season of WR16 with a finish at WR7. He has elite separation and the sixth most receptions ever through two years in the NFL, but is the upside capped by Tyreek Hill? Jason thinks it is not Hill who could cap Waddle, but Tua, who has had a history of concussions and leaving the game. Be that as it may, you can still bet on Waddle – even with ebbs and flows – and should be able to for a long time.

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9. Garrett Wilson (NYJ)

Age: 22.7 | Best Ball ADP: WR9 | Andy 9 | Jason 9 | Mike 12

2022 stat line: 17 games – 147 targets for 83/1103/4

Fantasy Finish: WR19

Andy loves Garrett Wilson, and Garrett Wilson may or may not love Andy. Wilson had a solid rookie season despite his horrendous QB carousel led by Zach Wilson. He has excellent upside this season, especially if Aaron Rodgers lands in New York, and last year he had the most targets by a rookie WR since Anquan Boldin in 2003. Elijah Moore has been shipped off to Cleveland, so Wilson has the chance for even more targets. Remember, the Jets also have a new OC in Nathaniel Hackett.

8. CeeDee Lamb (DAL)

Age: 24.0 | Best Ball ADP: WR8 |Andy 9 | Jason 8 | Mike 7

2022 stat line: 17 games- 156 targets for 107/1359/9 + 10/47/0 rushing

Fantasy Finish: WR6

That Mr. Lamb was drafted to be great and finally met those expectations in 2022. He has steadily improved over the last three seasons, and even when Dak missed multiple weeks last year, he showed he was worth his draft capital, finishing as WR6 and finishing fourth in receptions and targets among WRs. There are some changes to the Dallas offense – they have lost Ezekiel Elliott and Dalton Schultz and added Brandin Cooks, so Lamb’s role could be fluid, especially if a big name is added on draft night. The OC has also changed, and who knows what the combo of Mike McCarthy and Brian Schottenheimer will bring. Andy is leaning toward passing at Lamb’s draft cost.

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7. Davante Adams (LV)

Age: 30.2 | Best Ball ADP: WR7 |Andy 7 | Jason 5 | Mike 8

2022 stat line: 17 games- 180 targets for 100/1516/14

Fantasy Finish: WR3

It is a change at QB for the second straight year for Adams, with Jimmy Handsome currently slated to start. The downgrade from Rodgers to Carr last season did not cause Davante Adams to flinch slightly; he still finished as the WR3 and has been a top-three WR in four out of the past five seasons. He also had double-digit TDs in six of the last seven seasons, but he did have a couple of weeks where he did practically nothing. Weeks 14-16 (WR38, 58, 80) were particularly rough for Adams before he bounced back to win managers fantasy championships (WR2). Remember that the Raiders lost Darren Waller, and there are murmurings of them taking a QB in the draft.

6. Stefon Diggs (BUF)

Age: 29.3 | Best Ball ADP: WR5 |Andy 6 | Jason 7 | Mike 5

2022 stat line: 16 games- 154 targets for 108/1429/11

Fantasy Finish: WR4

On to the most discontent man in football. Wearing his emotion on his sleeve, Stefon Diggs is currently not attending the Bills off-season program for some reason. Last year he was fourth in red zone targets, third in yards per route run, and third in receptions – Diggs was the definition of someone returning their draft value. If Diggs is playing for Buffalo, he is a must-start as the Buffalo offenses rank top three in pass rate over expectation since Diggs came to town. DeAndre Hopkins might end up in Buffalo, so Diggs’ rank might vary slightly if that happens. TBD.

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5. A.J. Brown (PHI)

Age: 25.8 | Best Ball ADP: WR6 | Andy 3 | Jason 6 | Mike 6

2022 stat line: 17 games- 146 targets for 88/1496/11

Fantasy Finish: WR5

A.J. Brown is the alpha, with the wealthy Jalen Hurts leading a dynamic Eagles offense. Making the leap to a top-five fantasy WR in 2022, he led the NFL in receiving yards on vertical routes and was fourth in air yards and yards per target. Jason ponders whether Smith’s target number could be capped with DeVonta Smith there. Throw in a new OC in Brian Johnson, and Andy thinks there is a 15-16 TD upside in Brown’s range of outcomes. Won’t say no to that.

4. Tyreek Hill (MIA)

Age: 29.1 | Best Ball ADP: WR3 |Andy 5 | Jason 4 | Mike 3

2022 stat line: 17 games- 170 targets for 119/1710/7 + 7/32/2 rushing

Fantasy Finish: WR2

Any piece of doubt in the off-season was foolish, and Tyreek Hill proved once again that he is an elite WR, finishing as the WR2 in his first year in the Florida sunshine. He has been incredible, finishing as a top-six fantasy WR in five out of the past six seasons, and anytime he gets the football, he is a big play waiting to happen. Hill led all WRs in yards per route run, which is better than Cooper Kupp’s 2021 season, which was one for the books. As mentioned with Waddle, the only genuine concern with Hill is Tua and his health. Hill is so good that waiting to draft Waddle for value seems moot – you can go all in with confidence on your return for Tyreek. 

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3. Ja’Marr Chase (CIN)

Age: 23.1 | Best Ball ADP: WR2 |Andy 2 | Jason 3 | Mike 4

2022 stat line: 12 games – 134 targets for 87/1046/9

Fantasy Finish: WR12

Ja’Marr Chase continues to impress, putting together a WR12 performance in just twelve games. He has been elite, finishing first among WRs in expected fantasy points per game, and he is targeted in almost 25% of his routes. He brings your fantasy team stability with his connection to Joe Burrow, and he was better at home and against bad defenses. The guys remind us that the volume might be safer with some of these other top-end WRs with the existence of teammate Tee Higgins.

2. Cooper Kupp (LAR)

Age: 29.8 | Best Ball ADP: WR4 |Andy 4 | Jason 1 | Mike 2

2022 stat line: 9 games- 98 targets for 75/812/6 + 9/52/1 rushing

Fantasy Finish: WR24

Remember Cooper Kupp? Kupp was the WR1 by a ridiculous gap two years ago and was on the way to building on that last season until the injury happened. He is a game-breaker with Matthew Stafford and manages somehow to consistently get open. Our injury expert Matthew Betz says Kupp should enter 2023 without any limitations, and we could see fireworks once again as long as new OC Mike LaFleur can lead the offense again to greatness.

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1. Justin Jefferson (MIN)

Age: 23.8 | Best Ball ADP: WR1 |Andy 1 | Jason 2 | Mike 1

2022 stat line: 17 games- 184 targets for 128/1809/8 + 4/24/1 rushing

Fantasy Finish: WR1

Justin Jefferson rounds out the top ten with the sixth-most receiving yards of ALL TIME in 2022. Jefferson has the most targets through his first three seasons in the NFL; but he wasn’t nearly as consistent as you would think – he actually busted 29% of the time and was held under 50 receiving yards seven times. Adam Thielen is gone, and it will be interesting to see if bouquet catcher KJ Osborn can even step up to give Jefferson more consistency, but the guys think Jefferson is just so good that it doesn’t even matter. Not much will go wrong for Justin Jefferson this year.

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