Fantasy Football

Way Too Early 2018 Wide Receiver Rankings


There is no better time than now to start getting ready for the 2018 Fantasy Football Season. So why not go ahead and start with these early 2018 wide receiver rankings?

This article will detail my projected WR1s, top-12 wide receivers, as well as subsequent categories including:

  • Bust of the group.
  • Who could make their way into the group.
  • Who could make their way out of the group.
  • Who, outside the elite tier, could finish as the overall WR1.

A lot can happen from this point until the start of the season, but these guys seem as good as any to remain at the top of the wide receiver leader-boards for 2018.

Also, check out my Way Too Early Running Back Rankings too.

Way Too Early 2018 Wide Receiver Rankings

No. 1: Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers

The overall WR1 in Fantasy Football four years in a row – 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017. That is all.

No. 2: DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans

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The NFL’s target leader with 174, Hopkins certainly benefited from volume regardless of who was throwing him the ball last season. How dangerous will he be in a full season with a healthy Deshaun Watson? Let’s just say Hopkins averaged 21.5 Fantasy points in games that Watson started.

No. 3: Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons

First or second in receiving yards in each of the last three years, Jones has consistently been a yardage monster. What happens when he becomes more dominant in the end zone? This will be the first year he catches double-digit touchdowns since 2012.

No. 4: Odell Beckham Jr., New York Giants

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A star since coming into the league, where will he play this season? And how will he bounce back from a season-ending ankle injury and a drama plagued offseason?

No. 5: Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers

Finally, an injury-free season from Allen and he certainly made the most of it, finishing as the third best wide receiver. A target monster and a PPR stud.

No. 6: Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints

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Two seasons in the NFL and two seasons as a top-7 Fantasy Football Wide Receiver. No need to expect anything different with another year with Drew Brees at QB.

No. 7: Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers

Adams had six touchdowns in the seven games Aaron Rodgers played and managed to finish as a top-14 Fantasy WR even without Rodgers for most of the season. With Rodgers healthy and Jordy Nelson gone, Adams is primed for a big season.

No. 8: A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals were dysfunctional last season, but AJ Green was still a WR1. The Bengals should be a much better offense this year and Green will continue to be one of the bigger target hogs in the league.

No. 9: Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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Still one of the best young receivers in the league, expect the chemistry between Jameis Winston and Evans to be better this season in route to a bounce back year for Evans.

No. 10: TY Hilton, Indianapolis Colts

After leading the NFL in receiving yards in 2016, Hilton was nothing short of mediocre without Andrew Luck under center last season. If Luck is back, Hilton is a WR1.

No. 11: Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals

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Mr. Reliable is returning for another year and his success will mostly depend on the health of new Cardinals’ quarterback Sam Bradford. Bradford loves his safety valves and Fitzgerald his one of the safest receivers in the league, he should have another WR1 worthy PPR season.

No. 12: Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs

In his first year as the Chiefs’ X receiver, Hill was a WR1. What can he do with Alex Smith gone and the addition of Sammy Watkins?

Bust of the Group

Tyreek Hill

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Hill was less boom or bust in his second year in the NFL but was still frustratingly inconsistent. He had only seven games with double-digit non-PPR Fantasy points. In the other eight games, he averaged right around five non-PPR fantasy points.


That is not what you want from your WR1. Though he can put up huge numbers in any given game due to his speed and big-play ability, starting him each week can be painfully frustrating.

Now with the addition of Sammy Watkins who is also a big play weapon, and unproven chemistry with second-year QB Patrick Mahomes Hill could easily fall out of WR1 territory. If you are looking for week-to-week consistency in your WR1, look other places.

Who could fall out of the group?

Larry Fitzgerald

Now in his 15th season, Fitzgerald has been a WR1 in three of the last five seasons. But age and a new quarterback could finally have an impact on his production. Regardless, Fitzgerald always seems to be a draft bargain come Fantasy draft season.

TY Hilton

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If Luck does not play, Hilton is not a WR1. It is as simple as that. Luck’s injury situation could be more serious than expected after he missed the entire 2017 season. Hilton’s value is strongly correlated to Luck’s health. Fantasy drafters should monitor this situation closely.

Who, outside the big 4, could be the No. 1 overall

Keenan Allen

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As mentioned above, Allen was a Fantasy stud last season as he was finally able to stay healthy for a full season. Allen will push to lead the NFL in targets and receptions, and if his touchdowns go up, he could easily finish as the overall WR1.

Davante Adams

Adams finished as a borderline WR1/WR2 last season with both Aaron Rodgers hurt for the majority of the year and Jordy Nelson still in Green Bay.

Aaron Rodgers has consistently produced high-caliber Fantasy wide receivers with two top 3 WRs in the past four years. They were both Nelson, finishing as the No. 2 and No. 3 Fantasy WR in 2016 and 2014 respectively.

Now Jordy is in Oakland making Adams the for sure lead receiver in Green Bay and Rodgers is healthy. The stars are aligned for Adams to contend for overall WR1 elite status. Or, it could be a repeat of 2015 when Jordy missed the entire season and Adams did not live up to expectations.

Who could jump into this group?

Amari Cooper

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From 2003 to 2009, Jon Gruden’s teams produced four WR1s in seven seasons. Now Gruden is reunited with the Raiders as he will look to help Cooper finally breakout.

Gruden has already mentioned that he wants to make Cooper the focal point of the offense and he is certainly talented enough to take on that role. With Crabtree gone and Jordy Nelson playing as the number two, Cooper could easily find his way into WR1 territory in 2018.

Doug Baldwin

Baldwin finished as the 13th best WR in Fantasy last year. In the two years before that, he was a WR1.

Jimmy Graham took a lot of the work away from Baldwin last year, but Graham is now with the Packers. Baldwin should go back to seeing heavy volume, and if the Seahawks cannot fix their run game, Baldwin will need to carry an even heavier load.

Josh Gordon

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In his first full year back from suspension and rehabilitation, Gordon will be the X receiver in a Browns’ offense that could surprise a few people this year.

We all know what Gordon can do, regardless of who the quarterback is. The question is whether he will stay on the field and whether he can return to his 2013 form.

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With Jarvis Landry taking pressure off of Gordon and Gordon playing in what is the best offense he has played with since coming into the NFL, he may be able to find his way back into WR1 territory.

Visit the F6P Fantasy Football section for more off-season and dynasty content.

About Alex Hamrick

Alex is an avid fantasy football enthusiast and writer for Fantasy Six Pack. With a background in quantitative methods and analysis, Alex enjoys using statistics and data analytics to develop detailed fantasy football analysis. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram @AlexBHamrick

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