2014 Fantasy Football – WR Rankings Part 1

1 – Calvin Johnson – Over the past three seasons, Johnson has gone for 1681, 1964 and 1492 receiving yards. With new OC Joe Lombardi aboard (Previously spending his last 7 seasons in New Orleans) look for him to bring an up-tempo look to the Detroit Offense in 2014. During Lombardi’s time in the NOLA, their offense ranked: 1st, 2nd, 6th, 1st, 1st & 4th in Total Offense. We’re excited about the entire Detroit Offense, but this team is driven by Megatron. Consider Johnson locked in for another spectacular season in 2014.

2 – Dez Bryant – Due to Dallas’ horrendous defense we’re expecting many shootouts for Tony Romo and the Cowboys in 2014. Along with this we love that Dallas added former Detroit Lions OC, Scott Linehan, to the mix. Scott Linehan coached Calvin Johnson in Detroit, Randy Moss in Minnesota and Torry Holt in St. Louis; it’s safe to say he knows how to get Top Talent the ball. Last season the Garrett/Callahan duo had trouble getting Dez the ball which resulted in some pretty questionable games. To top things off, Dez Bryant (at the age of 25) is in the final year of his rookie contract where he is set to make just $1.78 Million this season. The stars are aligning for Dez Bryant owners this year!

On another note, remember The Dez Bryant Rules?!? As laughable as they are/were, they must have done something right. Check em’ out: The Dez Bryant Rules.

3 – Demaryius Thomas – Led the NFL last season in YAC (Yards After Catch) with 704. Thomas poured in 14 TDs, 92 Receptions, 1,430 Receiving Yards and 143 Targets last season. Our rankings slot Calvin Johnson and Dez Bryant above Thomas, but there is a very real shot at Thomas finishing Number One. Adding another year of chemistry with Peyton Manning to the table and you have yourself a can’t miss option. If you are able to grab Megatron, Bryant or Thomas – consider yourself locked in for major production all season.

4 – Julio Jones – Before his season-ending injury in 2013, Jones was off to an MVP type season by racking up 41 Receptions in 5 Games for 580 Receiving Yards and 2 TDs. It should be noted that over the past three years, Jones has had two foot surgeries involving a screw in his left fifth metatarsal bone. The Falcons have expressed that Jones is cutting and running with explosiveness and will be ready by Week 1. With the Tony Gonzalez Targets and Receptions out of the picture, Jones should have an even higher ceiling in 2014 … if healthy.

5 – Brandon Marshall – Doesn’t mean much in our world, but we think it’s a nice conversation piece … Madden 15 for PS4 and XBOX 1 have Brandon Marshall listed as the 2nd best WR in the game behind Calvin Johnson. Although this is a stretch, we still like the 30 year old WR in 2014. Let’s be honest, Cutler likes throwing to Marshall more than Alshon Jeffery. In the 10 games that Cutler played last season Brandon Marshall caught 10 TDs while averaging a little over 80 yards and 10 Targets per game. We love both Marshall and Jeffery this year, especially under Marc Trestman’s Heavy Passing Scheme – Fantasy owners should look forward to their juicy Fantasy Playoff matchups hosting: DAL on a Thursday night Game, New Orleans on a Monday Night Game and Detroit in the Fantasy Championship Week.

6 – A.J. Green – Green has been a model of consistency over the past 2 seasons, yielding 11 TDs in each season with 1350 Receiving Yards in 2012 and 1426 Receiving Yards in 2013. Over his three-year career, Green has never dipped below the 1,000 Yard Mark. Previous OC Jay Gruden allowed Andy Dalton to toss 586 passes last season (The Red Rifle averaged 543 Passing Attempts over the past 3 Seasons). New OC Hue Jackson is dedicated to the ground game and the philosophy will be adapted in 2014. Expect a minor regression from A.J. Green as the Cincinasty Bengals will look to jam Bernard and Jeremy Hill down teams throats come opening game. Don’t believe us … You can get a good look at a T-Bone if you stick your head up a Butcher. Wait! It has to be your Bull!

7 – Antonio Brown – Todd Haley and Ben Roethlisberger look to incorporate another year of the Hurry-Up-Offense in Pittsburgh. OC Haley says “This is the most excited I’ve ever been about any offense,” about the 2014 Steelers. The talent is there; we’re expecting heavy offensive stats from Pittsburgh in 2014.  A year of experience under this Quick Passing Scheme will definitely help the 26 year old receiver to lead the league in receptions (finished 2nd in 2013.) Defenses will stay balanced this season with the emergence of a true RB, Le’Veon Bell – something Pittsburgh has recently lacked. Brown leads a completely new set of WR’s for the Pittsburgh Offense in WR2 Markus Wheaton and WR3 Lance Moore. Look for Big Ben to hit his favorite target very often in 2014.

8 – Alshon Jeffery – Read Brandon Marshall’s description above. To add to this, under Cutler (excluding Jeffery’s Week 5 218 yard performance) Jeffery only caught 3 TD’s while averaging 64.4 yards per game with Cutler as his QB. With another year under his belt in Marc Trestman’s Offense the talented Jeffery is in line for another 1000+ yards season while stealing the majority of TDs away from Brandon Marshall. Expect very similar numbers between the two teammates.

9 – Jordy Nelson – The Packers let Greg Jennings and James Jones go, but kept Nelson. Nelson deserves it, but it also shows how much they value the very talented Nelson in their receiving game. Nelson is a big reason why we have Rodgers ranked as the number 1 QB this season. GB’s schedule this year for Fantasy WR’s couldn’t get too much better – the Packers play 10 teams that ranked 18th or lower against Fantasy WR’s last season. This includes Detroit twice who ranked 30th in the NFL against WR’s giving up an average of 25.8 points per game and Minnesota twice who ranked 31st in the NFL against Fantasy WR’s giving up an average of 26.4 points per game to Fantasy WR’s. Along with this, the Packers still want a fast-paced high volume offense. The Nelson/Rodgers duo is still at the peak of its game – we value Nelson over Cobb in 2014.

10 – Randall Cobb – Many are expecting Cobb to compete for the top spot in receptions for 2014. At age 23, Cobb is a big name with not much on his resume other than the players and organization he is surrounded with. Cobb emerged in 2012 as Green Bay’s No. 3 Option at WR, yielding 955 Receiving Yards, 80 Receptions and 8 TDs. His season last year was cut short after 6 Games when suffering a broken leg. With the 2014 season rapidly approaching, Cobb enters a contract year which always sends fantasy owners buzzing. We expect Cobb to be a vital part of the Green Bay attack and see him hitting the triple-digit mark in Receptions. Look for +100 Receptions, 1150/1200 Receiving Yards and 7-8 TDs in 2014.

11 – Pierre Garcon – Led the NFL last season with 113 Receptions. Garcon also netted 1346 Receiving Yards and only 5 TDs. The acquisition of DeSean Jackson will mean less double coverage in 2014 for Garcon, but will also mean that there are more mouths to feed in DC. The Washington Post recently reported that Jackson will take over the “Z” which was the position of A.J. Green last season in Jay Gruden’s Cincinnati Offense with Garcon handling the “X” at WR. Ultimately, we feel that Garcon will see a bump in Yards Per Reception and an increase in TD totals with the presence of DeSean Jackson. However, we fully expect a regression in Receptions in 2014. The rejuvenated Washington Offense will make Pierre Garcon once again another solid fantasy option – Draft with confidence.

12 – Andre Johnson – Gary Kubiak is out, Bill O’Brien is in. Remember in Week 9 last season when Andre Johnson scored his first TD of the season? Remember Weeks 9 and 10 were the only 2 weeks Andre 3000 scored TD’s on the season? Instead of Kubiak’s heavy featured run scheme where he didn’t utilize Andre in the Red Zone, Bill O’Brien will. In the Red Zone Kubiak only featured TE’s and RB’s; this will be different with new coach Bill O’Brien. At Penn State, O’Brien ran a pro styled offense depending on the opponents strength. With Houston’s easy pass schedule this season, O’Brien will get his Playmaker the ball. With Ryan Fitzpatrick in at QB Andre Johnson will continue to see a ton of targets. His deep ball numbers may actually be down a little, but a 33 year old Andre Johnson will again put up WR2 Fantasy numbers, if healthy for an entire season.

12 – Keenan Allen Full Analysis Here

13 – Vincent Jackson – Is Josh McCown really an upgrade over Glennon? Sure he prospered in Trestman’s pass happy offense on a team full of playmakers, but the Tampa Bay Offense is a different story. New Coach Lovie Smith is a run first coach with a brand new NFL Offensive Coordinator, Jeff Tedford; it’s unlikely he’ll give the entire reign to Tedford in his first NFL season. One thing to note: TB plays in the NFC South which is composed of a very good Carolina Run D, very questionable Atlanta Pass D and the New Orleans Saints. It’s safe to say they’ll be avoiding the “Heavy Run” offense in these games, which is a good thing for Jackson. Tampa Bay also added WR Mike Evans, TE Austin Serafian-Jenkins and now have Doug Martin fully healthy. The Bucs won’t be relying nearly as much on Jackson this year as they did in 2013.

14 – Victor Cruz – Victor Cruz is being moved all over the field this season and will remain the primary slot WR for the Giants. Ben McAdoo, Ex-Green Bay Packer, is installing a west coast pass happy scheme in New York which suits Cruz perfectly. “It enhances my skills,” Cruz said about the new offense. Cruz will continue to see the majority of Targets in the New York Receiving Corps with an in-experienced group of Randle and Beckham. Eli Manning’s unproductive 2013 season killed Cruz’s numbers, but hitting Cruz on the short passes in McAdoo’s scheme will limit interceptions allowing Victor Cruz to produce numbers after the catch. Cruz has claimed his goal is to catch 100 balls this season.

15 – DeSean Jackson – Prior to Chip Kelly’s arrival in Philly, Jackson has never had a season where he eclipsed more than 63 Receptions. Jackson is coming off of a career year as he yielded 82 Receptions, 1332 Receiving Yards and 9 TDs. In DC, the acquisition of DeSean Jackson will mean less double coverage in 2014 for Garcon, but will also mean that there are more mouths to feed. The Washington Post recently reported that Jackson will take over the “Z” position which was the position of A.J. Green last season in Jay Gruden’s Cincinnati Offense with Garcon handling the “X” at WR. Along with Jackson, DC is rounded out with options such as: Pierre Garcon, Jordan Reed and Andre Roberts in the Receiving Game. We expect a dip in receptions, but Jackson possesses the home run ability to drive the TD and Yardage Numbers.

Be sure to follow @LegionReport for breaking Fantasy Football news and up-to-date information/articles.

To catch up on some of our previous Fantasy Football Articles, check out:

2014 QB Rankings

2014 RB Rankings Part 1

2014 RB Rankings Part 2

Breakout Players

Emerging Fantasy Football Stars

Offensive Line Rankings and Stats

3rd Year Wide Receivers

Top Wide Receiver Duos

Jordan and Michael Tozzi were 2013's Most Accurate Fantasy Football Experts in the nation. Owners of LegionReport.com

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