There are just two weekends left before the NFL starts the regular season. Thousands of fantasy football leagues will be drafting this weekend. For the next few days reigning 3-peat Office Football League champ Rich Tijerina and I will share our rankings for each position side-by-side. We’ve ranked quarterbacks and running backs. Up next are wide receivers, followed by tight ends and defenses. At the end of this list are a few questions regarding where we ranked the wide receivers. Ranks in bold are discussed at the bottom.
1. Tijerina—Antonio Brown; Vasquez—Antonio Brown
2. Tijerina—Julio Jones; Vasquez—Julio Jones
3. Tijerina—Odell Beckham Jr.; Vasquez—Odell Beckham Jr.
4. Tijerina—Mike Evans; Vasquez—A.J. Green
5. Tijerina—Dez Bryant; Vasquez—Mike Evans
6. Tijerina—Jordy Nelson; Vasquez—Jordy Nelson
7. Tijerina—A.J. Green; Vasquez—Michael Thomas
8. Tijerina—Michael Thomas; Vasquez—Dez Bryant
9. Tijerina—Amari Cooper; Vasquez—T.Y. Hilton
10. Tijerina—Doug Baldwin; Vasquez—Doug Baldwin
11. Tijerina—T.Y. Hilton; Vasquez—Amari Cooper
12. Tijerina—Tyreek Hill; Vasquez—Alshon Jeffery
13. Tijerina—Demaryius Thomas; Vasquez—Demaryius Thomas
14. Tijerina—Michael Crabtree; Vasquez—Brandin Cooks
15. Tijerina—DeAndre Hopkins; Vasquez—Terrelle Pryor
16. Tijerina—Emmanuel Sanders; Vasquez—Michael Crabtree
17. Tijerina—Martavis Bryant; Vasquez—DeAndre Hopkins
18. Tijerina—Davante Adams; Vasquez—Larry Fitzgerald
19. Tijerina—Kelvin Benjamin; Vasquez—Golden Tate
20. Tijerina—Terrelle Pryor; Vasquez—Keenan Allen
21. Tijerina—Stefon Diggs; Vasquez—Julian Edelman
22. Tijerina—Larry Fitzgerald; Vasquez—Sammy Watkins
23. Tijerina—Golden Tate; Vasquez—Jamison Crowder
24. Tijerina—Keenan Allen; Vasquez—Allen Robinson
25. Tijerina—Jamison Crowder; Vasquez—Donte Moncrief
26. Tijerina—Brandin Cooks; Vasquez—Jarvis Landry
27. Tijerina—Randall Cobb; Vasquez—Tyreek Hill
28. Tijerina—DeVante Parker; Vasquez—Davante Adams
29. Tijerina—Jarvis Landry; Vasquez—Jeremy Maclin
30. Tijerina—Willie Snead; Vasquez—Martavis Bryant
31. Tijerina—Pierre Garcon; Vasquez—Stefon Diggs
32. Tijerina—Brandon Marshall; Vasquez—Brandon Marshall
33. Tijerina—Marvin Jones; Vasquez—Emmanuel Sanders
34. Tijerina—Donte Moncrief; Vasquez—Kelvin Benjamin
35. Tijerina—Mohamed Sanu; Vasquez—Pierre Garcon
Three questions about these rankings:
Will Tyreek Hill be a WR1 after last season’s breakout performance?
Tijerina: I suspect he’ll end up being a WR2, somewhere in the good-to-upper-end WR2 territory. Still dangerous, still explosive. But the rest of the league is wise to him, he’s not going to be used as often on returns, and the addition of Kareem Hunt is going to affect him too. He’ll dip a bit from 2016 but is still a good one to get.
Vasquez: I’m going with no, due to the fact that he’s going to be the No. 1 wide receiver option in Kansas City. Sounds counter intuitive, doesn’t it? Well, the problem is he’ll be the top priority to stop for defenses now that Jeremy Maclin is in Baltimore. Travis Kelce will likely get more targets and I think the Chiefs will try to lean on a running game with Spencer Ware and rookie Kareem Hunt contributing. I like Hill and what he can do, but I wouldn’t draft him at his current ADP which is in the early fourth round.
Do you believe Brandin Cooks will thrive in New England?
Tijerina: He won’t Randy Moss-thrive, but he’s the top receiver New England has. It’s Gronk, Cooks and Edelman in Tom Brady’s pecking order. I give Cooks the fantasy edge over Edelman, even with Edelman’s history with Brady, because Cooks is more explosive but also can catch those shorter routes that Brady likes. Brady will spread it around, though. That’ll affect all of their numbers.
Vasquez: Players just end up performing better when they go to New England. I go back-and-forth with Cooks. One one hand I see the talent and production he’s managed, but on the other I see the big fat goose egg he put up in one week last year. Still, I’m going to believe that Tom Brady takes advantage of Cooks’ skill set.
Who in your top-24 (WR1-WR2 range) concerns you the most?
Tijerina: T.Y. Hilton, at 11. He’s so dependent upon Andrew Luck, and Luck for me is so iffy for 2017. Luck still hasn’t thrown, Hilton still hasn’t caught a preseason pass, we don’t know if Luck will be there Week 1 and the Colts’ center is out till maybe November. I’m wary of all Colts this year. I have Hilton at 11 on the hope/assumption that Luck will be Luck. That being said, if it’s my pick, I need either a WR1 or WR2 and I’ve got my top four available guys on the board — No. 11 Hilton, No. 12 Hill, No. 13 Demaryius Thomas, No. 14 Michael Crabtree and No. 15 DeAndre Hopkins … I’m probably going to take Hill, Thomas, Hopkins or Crabtree ahead of Hilton, and probably in that order.
Vasquez: It’s Doug Baldwin at No. 10. Not because I don’t believe he’ll end up with great numbers overall, but because of the amount of games he came up short last season. For a WR1, which I’m predicting he’ll be, he busted in eight games last season. I’m defining that as not scoring or catching passes for less than 70 yards. That’s a lot of bad games. But at the end of the season, he still ended up as a WR1. That’s the problem. He gets the numbers over the course of the season, but he can lose you games if he puts up duds as frequently as he did last year. That said, I think Russell Wilson will be able to stay a bit healthier this season, helping Baldwin keep a high floor.