Tier 1: Can’t Go Wrong Drafting Them
Justin Jefferson - Not much to be said here. A player of Jefferson’s caliber won’t be affected by the addition of Jordan Addison. As long as Kirk Cousins is under center, Jefferson is the undisputed fantasy WR1.
Ja’Marr Chase - Don’t let an injury last year cloud your judgment of Chase this season. Despite missing four games, he still managed to finish as a WR1 in 2022, and as the WR6 in PPR pts/game. Nothing has changed for Chase, and there’s nothing to worry about at this point with Burrow’s health.
Tyreek Hill - He says he’s chasing 2,000 yards in 2023, and given his speed, Hill might literally and figuratively catch up to it. Waddle is a great complement to Hill, but Tyreek won’t ever be overtaken in this offense. Tua’s health is paramount, but I can’t rank Hill lower because I’m scared of him getting hurt.
Stefon Diggs - Diggs has amassed over 150 targets and 100 receptions in all three of his years in Buffalo, and that's the expectation heading into 2023. Even with Dalton Kincaid and James Cook figuring to see substantial roles, there’s no substitute in the Bills offense for Josh Allen’s favorite target.
Tier 2: Elite Talent, Elite Target-Earning Ability
Cooper Kupp - After missing the majority of the year last year and dealing with a minor injury this year, I’m expecting to see Kupp return to form – but not before he knocks off some rust. The same goes for his QB, Matthew Stafford, who really wasn’t playing well at all in 2022 before he went down, either. Those two factors make him just slightly riskier than the pass catchers in the top tier.
Ceedee Lamb - Lamb entered the upper echelon of fantasy production last season, finishing as 1 of 7 WRs with over 100 receptions on the year. He produced even despite Dak Prescott missing five games, and he was the overall WR3 from Week 7 on after Dak returned to action.
A.J. Brown - Two wide receivers finished 2022 with 17+ yards per reception on 75 or more receptions: Jaylen Waddle and A.J. Brown. He was also hyperproductive after the catch, ranking 3rd in YAC/reception. Brown finally received WR1 usage in his first year in Philly, and he’s a threat to finish as the overall WR1 every week.
Garrett Wilson - The most speculative of any WR in this tier, but he belongs here by virtue of his performance last year and the tremendous QB upgrade he’ll enjoy this season. Wilson is the clear No. 1 and hit all the metrics we like to see for rookie receivers.
Tier 3: Elite Talent, but with some questions
Amon-Ra St. Brown - Would be a tier higher if not for a very low aDOT (4th-lowest of 75 qualifying receivers). St. Brown is an incredibly high-security investment, though, averaging just under nine targets a game last year – including a two-game stretch where he managed just 7 targets total while dealing with injury.
Calvin Ridley - This year’s darling of training camp belongs no lower than the third tier of fantasy receivers. With an ascending Trevor Lawrence at QB, a history of production in crowded offenses, and film that quells worries about him having to knock off rust after being away from the game, it’s wheels up for Ridley as a potential Top-8 fantasy WR in his return to the NFL.
Davante Adams - We had this same debate last year when Adams went from Rodgers to Carr at QB, but he proved that he can produce independently of whoever is passing the ball. Jimmy G is probably the least dynamic QB he’s played with to date, which raises concerns just a bit about his ability to reach his true ceiling and compete for a Top-5 finish.
Chris Olave - Derek Carr is an upgrade over the QB play he’s had so far in his short career, but there’s plenty of question marks surrounding this Saints offense, especially in the receiving game. Olave will hold his own, regardless, but a re-emergence from Michael Thomas or heavy RB involvement in the passing game could limit Olave’s ceiling.
Keenan Allen - Not many analysts have Keenan Allen this high in their rankings, but he’s Justin Herbert’s clear favorite target whenever he’s on the field. He’s had 10+ targets in 59% of his games since Herbert joined the team in 2020, and at least 8 targets in 76% of his starts. If not for the injury last season, Allen would have finished among the league’s best in total production in 2022. He has plenty of target competition in LA, though, especially with the Chargers using a first-round pick on TCU standout Quentin Johnston.
Tier 4: Could Sneak in as Low WR1s
Jaylen Waddle - Waddle is an excellent receiver with elite deep-threat ability, but he massively overproduced on his volume last year. He’s still on a good offense, but that efficiency could come back down to Earth - he was the only receiver with less than 120 targets to finish inside the Top-12 in PPR points scored.
Devonta Smith - Nothing against Smith as a player, but competing with A.J. Brown on a weekly basis for looks in a bottom-third offense by passing volume will ultimately limit your production at the end of the day. A.J. Brown saw the 4th-most red zone targets among all WRs, while Smith ranked just 29th.
Amari Cooper - Cooper was able to finish as the overall WR10 despite dealing with backup QB play all year. He should remain the unquestioned No. 1 target in the Browns' offense for 2023, and with Deshaun Watson taking a step forward compared to last year, Cooper can be uber-productive at an affordable price point in drafts right now. He scored the most touchdowns in a season of any year in his career with the Browns, as well.