2018 Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Tiers

by Ryan Lopes ·

This year’s depth at the wide receiver position forces your hand. The Zero RB approach has been kind to many of us during recent campaigns, and the same many of us — for the most part — are still interested and able to deploy a similar strategy this year.

As I craft my positional tiers and rankings, I keep coming back to the obvious value later on in the drafts at receiver. There are styles and flavors for everyone. Whether you’re interested in safe, slot-based (potential) target hogs, deep threats with home run ability and touchdown upside, sophomore breakouts, or third- or fourth-year pro’s that have been largely forgotten about — there’s something for you. At the end of the day, with the more rosters that I’ve built, I’ve always come away feeling a lot more comfortable with my late-round wide receiver selections as opposed to the dice-rolls at the running back spot.

I couldn’t be more excited for this 2018 season. Can Antonio Brown hold on to the crown? DeAndre Hopkins gets the QB1 back under center. Julio Jones is bound to fill up the touchdown column more so than last year. Odell Beckham just got all the money. Keenan Allen is poised for another big season. Stefon Diggs is ready to cement that household name-status. On paper, the top tiers of the wide receiver position look stronger than ever. Whether you prefer your wide receives early and often, or rather are looking to lock-up the value later on, I think we’re in for a bountiful bounce-back season for the position across the board.

The tiers below have a redraft, full-point PPR focus and complete rankings are found on the PlayerProfiler “World Famous” Draft Kit’s Extreme Draft Cheat.

Tier 1

Antonio Brown, PIT: “The king stay the king.”

Tier 2

Julio Jones, ATL: One of the more obvious positive-regression candidate this season. Revised contract earlier this offseason.

Odell Beckham, NYG: Elite player on an elite pace, despite some early injuries. New five-year, $95 million dollar deal.

DeAndre Hopkins, HOU: Quarterback-proof but returns QB1 Deshaun Watson.

Keenan Allen, LAC: Target monster who should benefit even more so from Hunter Henry‘s absence.


Michael Thomas, NO: Enormous target share during a Drew Brees “down year”; the best is yet to come.

Tier 3

Davante Adams, GB: Aaron Rodgers’ new WR1. That’s the end of the analysis.

T.Y. Hilton, IND: Finally gets Andrew Luck “back”, where the duo made sweet music in 2016 to the tune of 155 targets and 1400+ yards.

A.J. Green, CIN: Consistently dominant despite being attached to Andy Dalton. Bengals’ offense should be better in 2018.


Stefon Diggs, MIN: On the cusp of superstardom, although lack of consistent slot work may prolong the breakout we all want. Special talent, but with an injury history.

Tier 4

Tyreek Hill, KC: Arguably the league’s most explosive weapon, now paired ideally with bazooka-arm’d Patrick Mahomes.

Adam Thielen, MIN: Main benefactor out of the slot in 2017, which should continue this year. Upgraded at quarterback, too.

Amari Cooper, OAK: Jon Gruden has always fed his WR1’s, and Cooper is in line for the lion’s share. Could easily be over 130 targets this year.

Larry Fitzgerald, ARI: Ageless and still impactful with only a rookie opposite him to worry about volume-wise.

Jarvis Landry, CLE: Perhaps this is the season where the depth of target knocks stop? Should gobble up opportunity once more.

Chris Hogan, NE:  Tom Brady’s WR1, benefiting from the Edelman four-gamer.


Mike Evans, TB: God+win is coming, and the Jameis Winston suspension doesn’t make things easier. Lower-tier WR1.

JuJu Smith-Schuster, PIT: Young and ascending WR2 running opposite Brown.

Marvin Jones, DET: Lions’ options remain plentiful at receiver, thus lowering the ceiling.

Tier 5

Doug Baldwin, SEA: Confirms he’ll be “less than 100%” all season long.

Allen Robinson, CHI: Ideal landing spot in exciting Bears’ offense; has missed a lot of football.

Golden Tate, DET: Super-safe PPR bet, also dinged due to crowded wide receiver room. Missing Eric Ebron, however.

Emmanuel Sanders, DEN: Good bet to out-produce his teammate with the higher ADP.

Brandin Cooks, LAR: Cooks’ run of perfect scenarios continues (from Brees, to Brady, and now Jared Goff/McVay in Los Angeles).

Marquise Goodwin, SF: Speedster who is rising star quarterbacks’ go-to target.

Demaryius Thomas, DEN: Finally a decent passer post-Peyton Manning, but now in his age-30 season, and with a promising rookie knocking.

Josh Gordon (WR17), CLE:  Stud CB Casey Hayward crowned Gordon as the toughest wideout he faced last year, off the limited return. I’m buying all the narratives. He’s back.

Tier 6

Julian Edelman, NE: “Unrecognized substances” cost him 4-games; expect the targets to come in waves upon his return.

Will Fuller, HOU: His health and Watson’s full-season availability are the “only” things standing in Fuller’s way of a breakout.

Corey Davis, TEN: Sophomore breakout candidate who’s tied to shaky-at-times Marcus Mariota.

Robby Anderson, NYJ: One of the league’s premiere deep threats on a roster without very many pass-catching options in general.

Nelson Agholor, PHI: Missing Alshon Jeffery for the first couple of weeks will help pad the volume nicely.

Cooper Kupp, LAR: Figures to fall behind Gurley, Cooks, and probably Woods, although hard to ignore the connect with his quarterback last season.

Kenny Stills, MIA: Dolphins’ “WR1” in an offense that loses target monster Landry and now with teammate DeVante Parker nursing a finger injury.

Sammy Watkins, KC: New home, and still a believer in the raw talent. Super-quiet preseason, but anticipating spiked weeks with Mahomes under center.

Robert Woods, LAR: Feature role in Sean McVay’s passing attack last season; the arrival of Cooks should change that.

Tyler Lockett, SEA: Seattle is without Jimmy Graham and Paul Richardson, while Baldwin is playing at less than 100%. Stock up, with new money.


Alshon Jeffery, PHI: Set to miss early-regular season action. Never forget Chris Raybon blessing the timeline.

Tier 7

Pierre Garcon, SF: Returning from a neck injury and losing work to Goodwin.

Jordy Nelson, OAK: Derek Carr’s new red zone target with Michael Crabtree‘s broken gold chains off to Baltimore.

Keelan Cole, JAX: Should be the primary beneficiary after an unfortunate Marqise Lee season-ending injury.

Check out Keelan Cole on PlayerProfiler’s “World Famous” Draft Kit:

Randall Cobb, GB: Was rumored to be on the trade block; Rodgers’ WR2 until otherwise stated. Could easily smash ADP.

Michael Crabtree, BAL: Raiders preferred paying Nelson over him, but role and impact in Baltimore could the similar to his usage in Oakland.

Devin Funchess, CAR: Anticipating role to be dialed back after a breakout 2017 year.

Jamison Crowder, WAS: Frustratingly a year early on the breakout call; rapport was evident with new quarterback Alex Smith early on this offseason.

Tier 8

Kenny Golladay, DET: Another sophomore breakout candidate who was getting looks over Tate in two-wideout sets in camp.

John Brown, BAL: Training camp stud. If health is on his side, shades of 2015, even?

Sterling Shepard, NYG: Flies up the board if Beckham misses any sort of time; carries decent standalone value regardless.

Rishard Matthews, TEN: Odd injury, leading to missed time, and then followed by an even odder (random?) contract extension.

Chris Godwin, TB: Only a matter of time before he completely leapfrog’s DeSean Jackson.


Kelvin Benjamin, BUF: Slandered Cam Newton, and now is stuck with Josh Allen as one of Buffalo’s only “threats”.

Allen Hurns, DAL: Rarely healthy, and the story appears the same early on in Dallas. Ticketed as the “WR1” when he is available, however.

Tier 9

D.J. Moore, CAR: Rookie WR1, but a lot of mouths to feed in Carolina.

Tyrell Williams, LAC: Most talented wideout on the Chargers’ roster behind Allen. Has a sore foot, and a lack of draft capital.

John Ross, CIN: Injuries have been the story, but so has the speed and big-play ability which has been on display this preseason.

Anthony Miller, CHI: Impressive rookie has been a menace off the line and in contested situations. Getting all the slot work.

Dede Westbrook, JAX: Talented enough to push Cole and others for more volume.


Paul Richardson, WAS: Secured the bag on his way to Washington.

Mike Williams, LAC: I’m team Tyrell > Mike, but feeding and favoring the first-round selection, especially in the red area, wouldn’t surprise.

Quincy Enunwa, NYJ: Slot player in a WR2/3 capacity for the Jets.

Danny Amendola, MIA: Quietly serviceable PPR option commanding the slot post-Landry.

Ryan Grant, IND: Lining up opposite Hilton in an offense that will spread the ball around.

Tier 10

Michael Gallup, DAL: Good shot at unseating Hurns as the WR1 in Dallas before the year’s end.

DeSean Jackson, TB: How long can he hold off Godwin?

Courtland Sutton, DEN: Ball skills have been on display for the WR3+ in a Case Keenum-led offense.


Taywan Taylor, TEN: Usage in question going forward with Matthews apparently back in the fold.

Donte Moncrief, IND: Paid, and only now somewhat intriguing following the Lee injury.

Mike Wallace, PHI: Fighting for the three spot which should get a bit easier with the more time Jeffery misses.

DeVante Parker, MIA: Early season availability in question with a lingering finger injury, but I (perhaps foolishly) am still a fan and believer in the talent.

Cameron Meredith, NO: Chicago was content letting him walk. Depth chart a bit muddled in the Dome currently, coupled with Meredith’s disappearing act this preseason.