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Best Ball Strategy

Updated Best-Ball WR Tiers

by John Daigle
Updated On: June 14, 2019, 9:59 am ET

Tier One

 

DeAndre Hopkins (WR1) -- Only receiver in the league to see 30-plus percent of his team's targets in back-to-back seasons. Tallied 115/1,572/11 as fantasy's WR4 despite being "the most banged up" he's been at any point throughout his career.

 

Davante Adams (WR2) -- First year without Jordy Nelson led to career-highs in targets (169), receiving yards (1,386), and touchdowns (13). Aaron Rodgers openly stated this past week that he'd "like to throw to Davante more” despite peppering Adams with the second-most targets in the league last year.

 

Michael Thomas (WR3) -- Team-high 147 targets remain safe considering lack of peripheral options added in the offseason.

 

Julio Jones (WR4) -- League-leader in targets (170) and air yards (2,420) actually left points on the table given seven-game scoreless streak to start the year.

 

Odell Beckham Jr. (WR5) -- 26-year-old has played just one full season in his first five years in the league but has averaged an unprecedented 20.6 fantasy points per game.

 

JuJu Smith-Schuster (WR6) -- Five targets shy of finishing with a league-high mark despite playing alongside Antonio Brown. Even a slight increase would vault JuJu's target share (24%) from last year into the upper echelon with Michael Thomas' and Keenan Allen's (29%), respectively.

 

 

Tier Two

 

Antonio Brown (WR7) -- Targets (albeit inefficient) won't be an issue as Oakland has 359 (67.8%) available from last season's production.

 

Mike Evans (WR8) -- 8.4 targets per over Jameis Winston's nine starts. Adam Humphries' departure leaves Evans as the only wideout with a proven rapport with Tampa Bay's signal-caller.

 

T.Y. Hilton (WR9) -- Reportedly fought through a high-ankle sprain en route to leading the league in receiving yards from Week 10 onward. Averaged 9.4 targets over Indy's last 10 games (playoffs included).

 

Keenan Allen (WR10) -- Three receptions shy of tallying back-to-back 100-catch seasons in '18. Allen’s 32% target share from Week 8 on quietly trailed only Hopkins' in that span.

 

Amari Cooper (WR11) -- Outcast in Oakland, Cooper immediately clicked with Dak Prescott in ranking as fantasy's WR6 in nine games donning the star. Reportedly worked from the slot — the very area he caught 9-of-11 targets for 147 yards and one score with the Cowboys last year — frequently at OTAs.

 

Adam Thielen (WR12) -- Fantasy's WR1 through Week 8 averaged 9.3/115.6/0.8 during that stretch but a mere 4.9/56/0.4 the rest of the way.

 

A.J. Green (WR13) -- Boasted a team-high 26 percent target share on 9.5 looks per game through eight weeks before an injured toe derailed his season altogether. Immensely positive for his availability that he was (surprisingly) able to do individual drills at Cincy's minicamp.

 

Stefon Diggs (WR14) -- Struck double-digit targets in 9-of-15 games with Kirk Cousins at the helm.

 

 

Tier Three

 

Brandin Cooks (WR15) -- Career-high 1,204 receiving yards in first year under coach Sean McVay despite getting goose-egged in Seattle in Week 5.

 

Kenny Golladay (WR16) -- Although it occurred without Marvin Jones available, 'Babytron' ranked top-five in both targets and air yards in his last six games down the stretch.

 

Robert Woods (WR17) -- Field-stretching playmaker averaged 8.5 targets as Kupp's slot replacement over the final month, but failed to record a single 100-yard outing given his less than fruitful middle-of-the-field safety valve role. Will be back on the outside to start 2019.

 

Julian Edelman (WR18) -- Eclipsed 100 targets despite serving a four-game ban for PEDs to start the year. Darkhorse candidate to finish top-five in targets given the absences of Rob Gronkowski, Chris Hogan, and Josh Gordon in '19.

 

D.J. Moore (WR19) -- WR23 in 10 starts to close the year once Torrey Smith initially went down.

 

Cooper Kupp (WR20) -- Six scores in eight games before a torn ACL cut his breakout-sophomore season short.

 

Chris Godwin (WR21) -- Godwin's totals in six career games without DeSean Jackson: 3/98, 7/111/1, 5/101/1, 1/13, 0/0, 6/114/2.

 

Tyler Lockett (WR22) -- Doug Baldwin's heir to the slot hauled in 26-of-29 targets for 454 yards and five scores on a limited basis from that position just last year.

 

Allen Robinson II (WR23) -- Strong Wild Card showing (10/143/1) an encouraging finish after production tailspinned in Bears' last five games.

 

Jarvis Landry (WR24) -- Four consecutive campaigns with 130-plus targets. Now likely back in the same shallow slot role that allowed him to hit his (high) floor weekly in four seasons with the Dolphins.

 

Tyler Boyd (WR25) -- Co-existed with Green through Cincy's first eight games for an average 6.1/77.5/0.6 on 8.3 targets per.

 

Calvin Ridley (WR26) -- Averaged 7.5/124.5/2 in two games against the Saints and a lukewarm 3.5/41.5/0.4 against the rest of the league.

 

Sammy Watkins (WR27) -- Pending Tyreek Hill's status, Watkins projects to be the primary beneficiary of 285 vacated targets from last season's production in Kansas City.

 

Tier Four

 

Christian Kirk (WR28) -- Specifically mentioned by coach Kliff Kingsbury as a player who is ahead of the curve understanding the former Tech coach's offense. (Admittedly, the first time I pass on Kirk in the mid-rounds of a Best-Ball league will be the first time I pass on Kirk in the mid-rounds of a Best-Ball league.)

 

Mike Williams (WR29) -- Team-high nine targets inside the 10-yard line potentially distributed differently with Hunter Henry healthy.

 

Will Fuller (WR30) -- Steady 4/71/1 average in 11 games with Deshaun Watson under center.

 

Robby Anderson (WR31) -- 9.8 targets per game over New York's last four affairs in '18.

 

Alshon Jeffery (WR32) -- Team-high 757 air yards in 11 games with Carson Wentz under center last year.

 

Courtland Sutton (WR33) -- Bound for positive regression following a debut season in which he ranked 21st-overall in air yards but merely 41st in receiving yards.

 

Curtis Samuel (WR34) -- Carolina's third receiving option quietly averaged seven targets in a full-time role from Week 12 on.

 

Dante Pettis (WR35) -- 14.6 fantasy points per game on 74.6% of team's offensive snaps in final six outings.

 

Corey Davis (WR36) -- 2018's 26.5 percent target share from Marcus Mariota sure to take a hit following the offseason additions of reliable slot vacuum Adam Humphries and standout rookie A.J. Brown.

 

Golden Tate (WR37) -- Perennial slot wideout may be forced to uncomfortably move outside pending Shepard's role.

 

N'Keal Harry (WR38) -- Day One-rookie brings a mishmash of strengths to a team suddenly lacking downfield playmakers. Received first-string run and worked daily private sessions with Tom Brady and OC Josh McDaniels at OTAs.

 

Larry Fitzgerald (WR39) -- Numerous mouths to feed, but the soon-to-be 36-year-old is still expected to come away from Arizona's new-look offense as the first or second-most targeted option.

 

DeSean Jackson (WR40) -- Boom-or-bust tendency best formatted for Best Ball scoring, but was a minicamp standout working with Carson Wentz and the first-string offense each and every day.

 

Sterling Shepard (WR41) -- 26.3 percent target share without Beckham over the G-Men's final four games last season.

 

Dede Westbrook (WR42) -- Jacksonville's starting slot wideout will run routes from the same part of the field where Nick Foles connected with Nelson Agholor on 13-of-18 targets for 182 yards and three scores last year.

 

Keke Coutee (WR43) -- Averaged a ridiculous 11.2 targets in the (only) four games he didn't exit early.

 

Marvin Jones (WR44) -- Detroit's primary downfield threat stacked a team-high 802 air yards before a bone bruise cost him the final seven games of 2018.

 

Tyreek Hill (WR45) – Purely a game theory-selection at this point (typically the ninth-round or later). Choice could leave owner empty-handed or reaping the rewards of a top-10 option over the second half of the year.

 

James Washington (WR46) -- Presumed first crack over Donte Moncrief and rookie Diontae Johnson for AB's vacated 168 targets and 38 percent air yards share.

 

Robert Foster (WR47) -- Still projected to lead Bills in receiving despite numerous offseason additions at wideout. Proven chemistry with Josh Allen led to 3.6/73/0.4 seven-game stretch to close the year.

 

D.K. Metcalf (WR48) -- Freak specimen with straight-line speed, Metcalf could boom in his first year if utilized properly given Russell Wilson's 128.1 passer rating on attempts 20-plus yards downfield.

 

DaeSean Hamilton (WR49) -- Averaged 9.5 targets over Denver's last four games.

 

Geronimo Allison (WR50) -- Second on the Packers in targets and routes run through four weeks before a core-muscle injury kaput his campaign. Forecasted to start in the slot in coach Matt LeFleur's progressive high-octane scheme.

 

Jamison Crowder (WR51) -- Jermaine Kearse finished second on the team in targets playing from the slot last year but pathetically hauled in just 48.7 percent of said looks. Crowder steps into that same position with a career catch rate (67.1%) nearly 20 percentage points higher than Kearse's showing. Showed and participated in all of voluntary veteran minicamp, offseason workouts, and OTAs in order to begin building early rapport with Sam Darnold.

 

Anthony Miller (WR52) -- Spiked a team-high seven receiving scores in his debut season despite slogging through a shoulder injury for most of the year. Will reportedly be 100 percent by the time camp opens.

 

Mecole Hardman (WR53) -- Field-flipping 4.33 40-speedster envisioned as Tyreek Hill's replacement. Usage obviously depends on Hill's pending investigation.

 

Parris Campbell (WR54) -- "Speed was obvious" at rookie camp as Campbell reportedly "looked like the best player on the field." Slightly worrisome he worked behind Chester Rogers as a gadget-player throughout all phases of OTAs.

 

Donte Moncrief (WR55) -- Most recently dragged down in Jacksonville's sinking ship, Pittsburgh's wideout room is admittedly the perfect destination for Moncrief's skillset. Direct path to a starting role behind Smith-Schuster.