2013 Top 10 Wide Receivers; NFL Fantasy Football Players to Draft, Rankings

The wide receiver position can be the most difficult part of filling your fantasy roster. As many fantasy owners realized in 2012, a weak or inconsistent quarterback can limit or even kill all fantasy value of a wide receiver. Larry Fitzgerald is one of the most talented wide receivers in the NFL, but because of the Arizona Cardinals’ issues at quarterback, he had a terrible season. This list looks at the top ten wide receivers for the upcoming season and gives reason why each will be a solid pick for your fantasy team.

Here is a list of the top 10 fantasy wide receivers to draft in 2013:

#10. Roddy White – Atlanta Falcons
Roddy White is 31 and probably a little past his peak as a wide receiver, but is still elite. In 2011, White had 92 receptions, 1,351 yards, and 7 touchdowns. The 7 touchdowns matches his lowest total in the last five seasons with the Atlanta Falcons. White will continue to split targets and receptions with Julio Jones, but is still a top 10 wide receiver and a good fantasy draft pick if you can get him in the 4th round or later.

#9. Victor Cruz – New York Giants (Restricted Free Agent)
Victor Cruz finished the 2012 season with the 15th most receiving yards with 1,092. Late season struggles by the New York Giants and Eli Manning greatly affected Cruz’ production. In the last three games of the season, he had a combined 10 receptions for 88 yards and 1 touchdown, which is less than his week 2 performance. He finished the season with 86 receptions and 10 touchdowns. Look for a similar year with more receptions and yards in 2013.

#8. Percy Harvin – Minnesota Vikings
Although he finished the season on the injured reserve list for the Minnesota Vikings, Percy Harvin looks ready to have a career year in 2013. Harvin played in nine games and had 62 receptions, 677 yards receiving, 3 receiving touchdowns, 96 rushing yards, and 1 rushing touchdown. Before the injury ended his season, he was on pace to have over 100 receptions and 1,200 yards receiving. Harvin should be involved even more in the offense next season and could be a great candidate for comeback player of the year. If it was not for injury concerns, he would be higher on this list. Draft Harvin with the knowledge that he has battled injuries for most of his young career.

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#7. Vincent Jackson – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Vincent Jackson was 25th in the NFL in receptions with 72, but he was 5th in receiving yards and led the league in yards per reception with 19.2. If it wasn’t for sharing time with the talented Mike Williams, Jackson may have had far better statistics. Although he finished with 8 touchdowns, he had only 1 touchdown in the final six games of the season. Jackson is a reliable and dangerous threat for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and will have another top 10 fantasy worthy season.

#6. Julio Jones – Atlanta Falcons
Although one of the most talented receivers in the NFL, Julio Jones has to split time with another elite receiver in Roddy White. Jones is the younger and more athletic of the two, and had a slightly better season than White. Jones finished with 79 receptions, 1,198 yards and 10 touchdowns. He should separate himself a little bit more from White this season and become the clear favorite of quarterback Matt Ryan.

#5. A.J. Green – Cincinnati Bengals
Although he started the year off strong, he finished the 2012 season with only 1 touchdown in seven games, including the playoff loss to the Houston Texans. The Bengals saw several other receivers step up during the season and Andy Dalton seemed to focus on other targets. Green still finished the season with fantastic statistics. He had 11 touchdowns, 1,350 yards receiving and 97 receptions. I would expect a similar season. Green will most likely be drafted earlier than he should be due to his perceived value being higher than actual value. It may be best to let another owner in your league reach for Green, and focus on other receivers on this list that you can wait to draft until later rounds.

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#4. Demaryius Thomas – Denver Broncos
On a roster loaded with receiving talent, Demaryius Thomas isolated himself from the pack with his outstanding performance. Having Peyton Manning as his quarterback; Thomas easily had the best season of his career and proved that he is an elite receiver and not just a terrific athlete. Thomas was 4th in receiving yards with 1,434, and had 94 receptions and 10 touchdowns. Although he will still be sharing targets with Eric Decker, you can be sure that he will still get his share of looks and put up another great season in 2013.

#3. Dez Bryant – Dallas Cowboys
Dez Bryant went from someone that looked to be on the way out of a roster spot due to bad behavior, to one of the best and most dangerous receiving threats in the game. Bryant finished the season strong for the Dallas Cowboys and for fantasy owners. Over his last seven games, Bryant averaged 6.7 receptions, 113 yards, and 1.28 touchdowns a game. He finished the year with 92 receptions, 1,382 receiving yards, and 12 touchdowns. Look for Bryant to start 2013 like he left off 2012, and to be one of the best fantasy options at wide receiver.

#2. Brandon Marshall – Chicago Bears
Brandon Marshall was expected to give a big boost to the Chicago Bears’ passing attack, but he wasn’t expected to be all of the Bears’ passing attack. Marshall had a fantastic first season with the Bears. He finished the season with 118 receptions, 1,508 yards and 11 touchdowns. The Bears are going through some changes and should get some more receiving help from players getting healthy and possibly through the draft. Even with added help, Marshall will be the primary target and should have another strong fantasy performance this year.

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#1. Calvin Johnson – Detroit Lions
With a season for the ages, Calvin Johnson smashed the all-time receiving yards in a season record previously held by Jerry Rice. Johnson finished the season with 1,964 yards, but only 5 touchdowns.
It took a little while for him to heat up during the season as he had only one receiving touchdown through the first eight games of the season. After the somewhat slow start, Calvin went on a hot streak of four straight games with 140 yards receiving or more and a touchdown in each contest. Expect a higher touchdown total in 2013 with a little decrease in yardage. Johnson is safely the top wide receiver to draft this season.

*All statistics from NFL via NFL.com

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