Wide receivers are a little harder to rank. There is so much depth at the position and each year, multiple WRs step up and quickly become part of the “top 5” discussion. The Fantasy Footballers writers have come up with their early consensus top 5 wide receivers for 2017. Take a look and see if you agree. Tell us what you think of these top 5 wide receivers and if you feel someone not listed should be there. Enjoy!

2017 Top 5 Wide Receivers (Half PPR scoring)
Consensus Rank Player Team Highest Rank Lowest Rank
1 Antonio Brown PIT 1 2
2 Odell Beckham Jr. NYG 1 5
3 Mike Evans TB 1 4
4 Julio Jones ATL 3 5
5 A.J. Green CIN 5 7

*Also received a top 5 vote: T.Y. Hilton #6, Dez Bryant #7, Jordy Nelson #8

After looking at our collective rankings, I wanted to ask some of the other writers to answer a few questions. My hope is to paint a better picture as to how we came to our top 5 WRs by sharing some of our expert analysis.

Q1. Who did you rank in the Top 5 that did not make the consensus?

Jordy Nelson
I have Jordy Nelson slotted in at #5. In his last 4 full seasons (2011, 2013, 2014, 2016) he finished as the WR 1, 10, 2, and 2. He’s still tied to the best QB in the league and is now one more year removed from his ACL injury.
Keaton Denlay@KeatonDenlay

T.Y. Hilton
He was in the top 5 in most formats last year and that was with 5 games with 5 or fewer points. He never saw fewer than 5 targets in a game last season and set career highs in targets, receptions, and yards. If his TDs go up, and I think they will, he will easily be a top 5 WR next season.
Ryan Weisse, @TheFantasyFive

The guy led the league in receiving yards in 2016 yet will be buried somewhere in the low-end WR1 range again because Hilton has the reputation of being somewhat of a “boom-bust” guy. He averaged 17 PPR points per game, while posting 11 of his 16 starts over 13 points. The guy was consistent. If the Colts can assemble some semblance of an O-Line for Andrew Luck, I would love reaping the rewards of someone like Hilton late in the 2nd round.
Kyle Borgognoni, @kyle_borg

Q2. Three different WRs received a number 1 ranking (Brown, OBJ, & Evans). Who did you rank 1 and why? 

Antonio Brown
AB. I rolled a 3-sided coin.
Keaton Denlay@KeatonDenlay

Antonio Brown, because I like to be right. Do I need to say more? He was 2 points off of #1 last year in 1 fewer game that Jordy (last year’s #1) and recorded over 100 catches for the 4th straight year. Brown will be back on top of the world in 2017.
Ryan Weisse, @TheFantasyFive

Mike Evans
I have Mike Evans as the top WR in 2017. He finished as the top WR in 2016 and I don’t see any reason for him not to repeat in 2017. He’s a young & dangerously talented WR with a young & talented QB that loves to target him. Evans scored 76 real life NFL points in 2016. He also scored 21.5% of Tampa Bay’s total offensive points on the season ranking him 1st amongst WRs in this category. Mike Evans shows no signs of slowing down and has no true threat from other WRs in Tampa Bay to cause his production to take a hit in 2017.
Nate Hamilton@DomiNateFF

Q3. What WR outside of your top 10 rankings has the best shot at landing a top 5 spot in 2017?

Sammy Watkins
For upside, give me Sammy Watkins. I don’t believe that Doug Whaley and the Bills believe Cardale Jones is their answer. So whether it’s Tyrod Taylor, Tony Romo, Jay Cutler or someone else I think Watkins’ elite talent can come through. For a long shot top 5 finish I like Kenny Britt to have a magical Brandon Lloyd-esque season given a good landing spot in free agency.
Keaton Denlay@KeatonDenlay

Michael Thomas
Michael Thomas is just outside my early top 10 and that will probably change. Drew Brees led the league in pass yards for the 3rd straight year and Michael Thomas looks like the WR1 he so desperately needs. I am not a fan of the inconsistent Brandin Cooks and expect Thomas to improve in year 2. Top 10 is likely and top 5 is definitely not out of the question.
Ryan Weisse, @TheFantasyFive

Golden Tate
I have Golden Tate ranked 16th, but I think he has a shot. He’s had 90+ receptions in three consecutive years with Detroit. The thing holding him back is his TDs. He has only had 14 total TDs despite 280 receptions over the past three years. Four or five ‘flukey’ TDs could put him over 10 TDs in 2017. If he pairs a 90+ reception season along with double-digit TDs, he could land himself in the top-5.
Eric Ludwig@FF_Gouge

Amari Cooper
Cooper is coming off of back to back seasons with over 1,000 receiving yards to begin his NFL career. There are signs that indicate Amari Cooper will go off in his 3rd season with the Raiders. Michael Crabtree turns 30 years old in September and could slow down in 2017. This could very well be the season that Amari Cooper establishes himself as the no question, #1 target for Derek Carr and increase his red zone targets making him a potential candidate for a top 5 WR in 2017.
Nate Hamilton@DomiNateFF

 

If you haven’t yet, check out our other articles in this series, Way Too Early RBs for 2017, Way Too Early QBs for 2017, and the Way Too Early TEs for 2017.