Throughout the 2018 NFL Offseason we’ll be releasing positional rankings along side our mock drafts. 2017 saw a lot of great Wide Receivers get injured like Allen Robinson and Odell Beckham Jr. Breakout performances by Adam Thielen and Keenan Allen makes going into next years draft with lots of options at the WR position.
These rankings do not include possible retirements or rookies that may be drafted in 2018, and are based on current 2018 mock draft ADP’s.
- # 1. Antonio Brown (2018 ADP to date 1.05)
It’s not much of a surprise, but Antonio Brown is the undisputed #1 WR in the NFL right now. There isn’t much of a gap between him, Hopkins and Julio Jones, but Brown is ahead of both of them and should be the WR1 going into next year on most draft boards.
- # 2. DeAndre Hopkins (2018 ADP to date 1.06)
DeAndre Hopkins has proven time and time again it doesn’t matter who’s throwing him the ball, he’s going to get fed the ball in Houston’s offensive and he’s going to catch it. Personally, I’m not sold on Watson as much as others.
Regardless, Hopkins will get a lot of volume thus making him an amazing fantasy option. Expect both Hopkins and Brown to go a couple spots higher than any other WR. I think they’ll be the only two WR’s finishing with a ADP in the first round.
- # 3. Odell Beckham Jr. (2018 ADP to date 1.10)
Like Hopkins, Beckham is one of those talents that likely can produce with anybody throwing the ball to him. However, even though 2018 is a contract year for OBJ - who will likely be the highest paid WR in NFL history after the season - we go into the year not knowing who will be throwing the ball to him, which is always a risk.
OBJ owners and NFL fans will be hoping the ankle injury from last year is a one-off. The NFL is a better product to watch with a talent like OBJ playing.
- # 4. Michael Thomas (2018 ADP to date 2.01)
Any player who is playing in his sophomore year and breaking records is a special talent. Michael Thomas achieved exactly that this year, breaking the Saints single-season reception record with 104 catches. Thomas also had more receptions in his first two seasons than any other player in NFL history (196), breaking Jarvis Landry’s previous mark of 194.
Michael Thomas has the skillset to be a elite WR in the NFL for many years, especially with Drew Brees throwing him the ball. Draft Thomas with confidence.
- # 5. Keenan Allen (2018 ADP to date 2.07)
While Keenan Allen isn’t better than Julio Jones, his production on the Chargers leads me to ranking him higher. For some reason, Atlanta just dismisses Julio Jones in the red zone leaving a lot of potential fantasy points on the board. Rivers will be with the Chargers at least going into 2018, solidifying Allen’s role in the offence as a high-volume target. If you’re a volume driven drafter, draft Allen.
- # 6. Julio Jones (2018 ADP to date 2.02)
Julio Jones in his own right is probably the most talent WR in the NFL and his ADP shows that a lot of people still trust him. It’s worth nothing that this is the lowest ADP I’ve seen him at in years. His fantasy value, however, continues to slip year by year as more and more people realize that Atlanta has no idea how to use this man. Couple that with the resurgence of Mohamed Sanu being one of the best #2’s in the NFL, and it’s hard to rank Jones higher than anybody above him.
- # 7. A.J. Green (2018 ADP to date 2.06)
By his standards, 2017 was a pedestrian year for A.J. Green, with 75 catches for 1,078 yards. Hopefully in 2018 we can see his reception number get closer to 90. Volume is the big difference between Green and the WR’s above him. Another year in the 70s and expect Green’s ADP to fall a bit.
High valued fantasy WR’s nowadays are catching 90+ passes, and Green will need that going forward to hold value. Personally, I’ve never really been high on Green comparative, mostly due to lack of faith in Dalton.
- # 8. Tyreek Hill (2018 ADP to date 3.01)
Tyreek Hill in 2017 proved that he’s more than just a deep threat WR. While he hasn’t lost that part of his game, he’s polished the rest of his game to make him a better WR overall.
Patrick Mahomes has a cannon for an arm and I can see him connecting deep with Hill often this year. Hill will be a high risk, high reward player and banking on that this high in the draft is worrying.
I probably have Hill higher than others, especially with a rookie QB.
- # 9. Adam Thielen
2017 was a break-out year for Adam Thielen. Both his 91 catches and 1,276 yards were career highs for him. The only thing holding Thielen back from being higher in the rankings is a lack of touchdowns.
Whether he can keep up his production from 2017 will determine whether Thielen can remain an elite fantasy football WR option.
I’m not so high on Thielen as some; I think he’ll level out somewhere between his 2016 and 2017 levels.
It’s worth noting that the Vikings don’t have a contracted QB going into 2018. Thielen is also a WR2 on the Vikings, albeit a very good one.
- # 10. Mike Evans (2018 ADP to date 2.09)
You can probably tell by the average ADP of Evans that I have him ranked much lower. I simply don’t know what to think regarding the Bucs offense. A lot of experts had the Bucs being an amazing team in 2017 with some even saying they had a shot at the Superbowl. Alas, it all came crashing down and the Bucs skilled positions suffered for it.
Don’t get me wrong - Evans still had a 1,000-yard season, but I believe he’s is a much better WR than that. I’d like to see Evans around the 90-1300-8 mark because I think he has the talent for it.
Honorable mentions. T.Y. Hilton, Brandin Cooks, Davante Adams.
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You can see previous content from Arik like his 2018 Offseason mock draft by clicking HERE