Authors Note (8/18): Initial Projections have been modified, and include TY Hilton, and James Jones, who were previously overlooked. Some adjustments were made to projected receptions, but it had a minimal affect on the rankings as a whole. Please check back as they may change again.
Day Three of my fantasy rankings and projections brings us to the Wide Receiver’s. Easily the most increased position of importance, it is the one that will make or break your roster. So many variables affect a receivers ability (quarterback play, offensive schemes, ball control, etc) and there are many to choose from. After the handful of studs are gone, who is left that you can deem reliable. As with the previous position rankings, I will focus on bargains that are currently falling on most peoples cheat sheets, as well as players that are going higher than where you should draft them. Keep in mind when doing my projections I assume healthy seasons for all players, and round up what I think their ceiling can be for this season. This is done across the board so it does not affect their ranking on my list. If you are on twitter please add me, and if you have any specific questions you can email them to PeoplezPerspective@gmail.com.
..:: Three Up ::..
Jeremy Kerley, New York Jets
Another player from one of the weaker offensive units in the NFL appears on my Sleepers list, and it is not because I happen to be a Jets fan. Kerley emerged last season as a viable target on a team desperately lacking a top notch receiver. Regardless of who the Jets quarterback is this season, he will be the one wide out that consistently gets open. The return of a healthy Santonio Holmes will only help his value and production. With an ADP of 281 he is someone that is only being drafted in the deepest of leagues. He will be around the Top 30 mark for Wide Receivers and someone you will feel comfortable with as a bye week or injury replacement for one of your regular starters.
Lance Moore, New Orleans Saints
This is the first season Moore will be a starter from day one, and over his time with the Saints he has become one of Drew Brees’ favorite options. It isn’t a big secret that New Orleans loves to throw the ball, and owning the guy who is in line to haul in most of those passes is smart money. His ADP of 96.95 is proof that his tenure in the league has hurt his draft day stock. Do not be the owner who thinks of his past as a marginal third option, but rather his new role which will have him finish near the Top 15 in receivers. He should be drafted much sooner than the start of the 9th round and it is ok to go as high as the 6th for his services.
Tavon Austin, St. Louis Rams
It is hard to put a rookie who has yet to play a down in the league on a list like this, however I firmly believe he will be a valuable commodity this season. His size will always be a question against him, but he also brings a talent that never fails: Speed. The revamped Rams will put a lot of faith in quarterback Sam Bradford this season and Austin will be the main beneficiary. Not including his potential as a kick returner (if you get points for that he is an even better pick) he will fall into the Top 15 Wide Receiver rankings by seasons end. Currently a 6th round pick (70.23 ADP) you can sneak in and grab him by the 5th round.
..:: Three Down ::..
Pierre Garcon, Washington Redskins
The success of Robert Griffin III as a passing quarterback has many expecting big things from Garcon. The skills are there but even at his best he will never be an elite receiver. This is not to say he won’t be productive, just do not view him as a 5th round pick which is what you will have to spend to get him (54.87 ADP). If you can get him to fall in your draft to the 7th or 8th round he is worth the gamble, but to reach at five is not smart due to his inconsistencies.
Jordy Nelson, Green Bay Packers
Playing on the pass happy Packers made Nelson a trendy pick last season, following his breakout 2011 campaign. He failed to live up to those expectations, and you should expect similar numbers this year. An added emphasis to the running game this season, as well as the majority of looks going to Randall Cobb and Jermichael Finley will leave Nelson near the Top 30 mark. He is being drafted as a WR2 in the 5th round (53.22) but you can get better bang for your buck elsewhere. Leave him off your draft board and let someone else deal with the frustration of expecting more than what he will give.
DeSean Jackson, Philadelphia Eagles
A new coach and a new offense will help to improve Jackson’s disappointing 2012 campaign. Even with the added targets due to the loss of Jeremy Maclin, Jackson will not make enough of an impact to give you any reliability week to week. He will have a great game or two that will make you think you should have taken a flier on him, but drafting him (70.44) will leave you feeling empty more often than not. The name recognition goes beyond the production, draft with caution.
The Peoplez Perspective 2013 Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Projections:
* Updated Sunday, August 18, 2013
(Rankings based on PPR, 1 point per 10 yards receiving, 6 points per TD)