Building your dynasty squad around wide receivers is a double-edged sword. The pro side is receivers have longer shelf lives and are more predictable on a year-to-year basis.
In other words, they provide stability and flexibility to build your dynasty squad because you don’t have to be as worried about high-value risk. On the flip side, wide receiver is the deepest position in dynasty.
That may not seem like a con, but when you look across your league, the plethora of wide receiver talent is apparent. That means it’s harder to get an advantage at that position.
These tiered rankings can help decipher where these advantages should be found.
Dynasty WR Rankings
Value Estimation: 3 Premium First-Round Picks
|1||Justin Jefferson||Minnesota Vikings|
|2||Ja’Marr Chase||Cincinnati Bengals|
Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings
Coming off a season where his 21.5 PPG was the most ever by a third-year receiver, we are only expecting greatness from Justin Jefferson. It comes after a season where he put up the fourth-highest PPG for a second-year receiver ever. With the Minnesota Vikings likely continuing to deploy a high passing volume offense, we should only expect more in 2023.
Value Estimation: 2 Premium First-Round Picks
|3||A.J. Brown||Philadelphia Eagles|
|4||CeeDee Lamb||Dallas Cowboys|
|5||Garrett Wilson||New York Jets|
|6||Chris Olave||New Orleans Saints|
|7||Drake London||Atlanta Falcons|
CeeDee Lamb, Dallas Cowboys
After back-to-back seasons with below a 20 percent target share — despite his yards per route run saying he’s one of the league’s top wideouts — CeeDee Lamb finally had the breakthrough we looked for. His 28.1 percent target share in a Dak Prescott-led offense helped him put up 17.7 PPG and finish as the WR7 in just his third season.
Drake London, Atlanta Falcons
Drake London’s rookie season is being underrated. As an elite prospect, he put up the second-highest target share for a rookie, only trailing Odell Beckham Jr. Superstar is written all over London’s profile.
Value Estimation: Premium First-Round Pick
|8||Jaylen Waddle||Miami Dolphins|
|9||Amon-Ra St Brown||Detroit Lions|
|10||DeVonta Smith||Philadelphia Eagles|
|11||DK Metcalf||Seattle Seahawks|
|12||Tee Higgins||Cincinnati Bengals|
Jaylen Waddle, Miami Dolphins
Jaylen Waddle’s value rose despite putting up the same PPG in each of his first two seasons. Waddle was extremely efficient with his targets, with the eighth-highest yards per team pass attempt in the league last season. His average target depth increased from 7.0 to 12.2, but his target share dropped by more than 4.0 percent as a result. There is a lot to like about Waddle, but it’s hard to rank him in Tier 2. There is still concern about him reaching upper-echelon production.
Amon-Ra St Brown, Detroit Lions
After all the talk about the lack of target competition Amon-Ra St. Brown faced as a rookie, he put up a WR9 PPG season. His peripherals were fantastic, having a more than 30 percent target rate. Brandon Marshall was the only other receiver to do that in their second season. Marshall had six seasons with more than 16.0 PPG and more than 18.0 PPG.
DeVonta Smith, Philadelphia Eagles
The Philadelphia Eagles were the only team with a pair of teammates to have a more than 25 percent target share. We knew A.J. Brown would earn a high volume of targets, but DeVonta Smith’s target share confirms how good he is. Also, the Eagles also had Dallas Goedert funneling targets.
Value Estimation: Early First-Round Pick
|13||Stefon Diggs||Buffalo Bills|
|14||Tyreek Hill||Miami Dolphins|
|15||Davante Adams||Las Vegas Raiders|
|16||Cooper Kupp||Los Angeles Rams|
Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams
Davante Adams and Cooper Kupp are the only receivers to put up a more than 30 percent target share in the last two seasons. Despite Kupp turning 30 before the season, he still possesses league-winning upside. The only question with Kupp is who exactly his quarterback in Los Angeles will be.
Value Estimation: Mid-First-Round Pick
|17||Jaxon Smith-Njigba||Seattle Seahawks|
|18||Quentin Johnston||Los Angeles Chargers|
|19||Jordan Addison||Minnesota Vikings|
|20||Brandon Aiyuk||San Francisco 49ers|
|21||Treylon Burks||Tennessee Titans|
|22||DJ Moore||Chicago Bears|
|23||Deebo Samuel||San Francisco 49ers|
Quentin Johnston, Los Angeles Chargers
There were only 10 elite alpha wide receiver prospects from 2006 to 2021. Of those 10, only one didn’t post a season with more than 14 PPG, let alone multiple. Half of them have put up a season with more than 16.0 PPG. There is a high hit rate with Quentin Johnston, despite what someone on Twitter might tell you. He also landed with one of the most receiver-friendly offenses in the whole league.
Treylon Burks, Tennessee Titans
Treylon Burks had a great prospect profile, and he followed up with a 21.3 percent target rate in Tennessee. There have been 16 elite wide receiver prospects to post a more than 20 percent rookie target rate before 2022. Just less than 94 percent have put up a season with more than 14.0 PPG, while 75 percent have put up a season with more than 16.0 PPG.
DJ Moore, Chicago Bears
DJ Moore put up strong peripherals every season despite the Carolina Panthers‘ inconsistent quarterback play. This offseason, Moore was traded to the Chicago Bears, bringing hope to some dynasty players. Unfortunately, Moore is playing with Justin Fields, who has been one of the worst passers in the league for the past two years. Plus, the offense’s passing volume was the lowest the NFL has seen in the past five years. When will this strong peripheral performer finally catch a break?
Value Estimation: Late First-Round Pick
|24||Michael Pittman Jr.||Indianapolis Colts|
|25||Terry McLaurin||Washington Commanders|
|26||Jerry Jeudy||Denver Broncos|
|27||Diontae Johnson||Pittsburgh Steelers|
|28||Christian Kirk||Jacksonville Jaguars|
|29||Marquise Brown||Arizona Cardinals|
|30||Christian Watson||Green Bay Packers|
|31||Calvin Ridley||Jacksonville Jaguars|
|32||Rashod Bateman||Baltimore Ravens|
|33||Zay Flowers||Baltimore Ravens|
|34||Chris Godwin||Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|35||Jameson Williams||Detroit Lions|
|36||Amari Cooper||Cleveland Browns|
|37||Jahan Dotson||Washington Commanders|
|38||George Pickens||Pittsburgh Steelers|
Diontae Johnson, Pittsburgh Steelers
The -4.3 difference in expected PPG versus actual PPG in 2022 was the league’s worst for a wide receiver. For a guy that has continued to put up a more than 25 percent target share, the regression in fantasy production should be coming in 2023. The overall peripherals may not light the world on fire, but it’s hard to find guys who earn targets like Diontae Johnson does.
Jahan Dotson, Washington Commanders
A range of outcomes for a second-year player comprises both their rookie peripherals and prospect profile. Looking at Jahan Dotson’s range of outcomes, we get a list of 19 receivers with only 21.1 percent putting up at least a more than 16.0 PPG season. When the upside of his range of outcomes features names like Emmanuel Sanders, Lockett and Jeremy Maclin, it’s hard to take on the downside risk if those are the best-case scenarios.
Zay Flowers, Baltimore Ravens
There have been 23 low-floor prospect receivers to go in the first round of the NFL Draft. Only two of them had a season with more than 16 PPG: Maclin and Dwayne Bowe. It’s not like Zay Flowers is some awful prospect, but even when accounting for his draft capital, the hit rate is less than ideal.
Value Estimation: Early Second-Round Pick
|39||Keenan Allen||Los Angeles Chargers|
|40||DeAndre Hopkins||Free agent|
|41||Mike Evans||Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|42||Mike Williams||Los Angeles Chargers|
|43||Tyler Lockett||Seattle Seahawks|
|44||Brandin Cooks||Dallas Cowboys|
Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
As surprising as it sounds for a receiver that continues to put up more than 15.0 PPG, Mike Evans hasn’t had a 20 percent target share for over three years. It’s much easier to hide declining peripherals when your quarterback is throwing for league-leading volume and a strong touchdown rate. We’re now faced with the reality of soon-to-be 30-year-old Evans and his declining peripherals transitioning from Tom Brady to Baker Mayfield.
Tyler Lockett, Seattle Seahawks
For a receiver that hasn’t posted below less than a 13.0 PPG season since his third year in the NFL, you’d think Tyler Lockett wouldn’t be underrated. It’s not as if he’s a game wrecker with his peripherals, but his more than 20 percent target share and more than 1.90 receiving yards per team pass attempt will continue to get it done.
Value Estimation: Mid-Second Round Pick
|45||Kadarius Toney||Kansas City Chiefs|
|46||Marvin Mims||Denver Broncos|
Kadarius Toney, Kansas City Chiefs
There is no question what Kadarius Toney has done on a per-route basis since entering the NFL. He’s put up a 29.1 and 24.1 percent target rate and has more than a 2.00 yards per route run rate in his first two seasons. With him attached to a Patrick Mahomes offense, if we can get an uptick in route percentage, a high-end finish is possible.
Value Estimation: Late Second-Round Pick
|47||Darnell Mooney||Chicago Bears|
|48||Michael Thomas||New Orleans Saints|
|49||Jakobi Meyers||Las Vegas Raiders|
|50||Courtland Sutton||Denver Broncos|
|51||Rashee Rice||Kansas City Chiefs|
|52||Wan’Dale Robinson||New York Giants|
Rashee Rice, Kansas City Chiefs
There have been 45 low-floor receiving prospects drafted in the second round. Just less than 27 percent put up at least a 14.0 PPG season while 17.8 percent put up at least a 16.0 PPG. Not the strongest hit rate by any means, but there is upside. If the price is right, it might be worth taking that upside shot with Rashee Rice.
Value Estimation: Third-Round Pick
|53||Skyy Moore||Kansas City Chiefs|
|54||Elijah Moore||Cleveland Browns|
|55||Jonathan Mingo||Carolina Panthers|
|56||Nico Collins||Houston Texans|
|57||Jayden Reed||Green Bay Packers|
|58||Allen Lazard||New York Jets|
|59||Gabriel Davis||Buffalo Bills|
|60||Josh Downs||Indianapolis Colts|
|61||Jalin Hyatt||New York Giants|
|62||Alec Pierce||Indianapolis Colts|
|63||John Metchie||Houston Texans|
|64||JuJu Smith-Schuster||Pittsburgh Steelers|
|65||Donovan Peoples-Jones||Cleveland Browns|
|66||Chase Claypool||Chicago Bears|
|67||Romeo Doubs||Green Bay Packers|
|68||Tyler Boyd||Cincinnati Bengals|
|69||Rondale Moore||Arizona Cardinals|
|70||Odell Beckham Jr||Baltimore Ravens|
|71||Curtis Samuel||Washington Commanders|
|72||Zay Jones||Jacksonville Jaguars|
|73||Darius Slayton||New York Giants|
|74||Tyquan Thornton||New England Patriots|
Jonathan Mingo, Carolina Panthers
It may seem outlandish to have a second-round selection in Tier 10 of dynasty wide receiver ranks, but we don’t typically see profiles like Jonathan Mingo’s go that high. In fact, Donnie Avery is the only bust-level prospect to get drafted higher. If we look at all 11 bust-level receiver prospects to get drafted in the second round, not even one had a season with more than 12 PPG. Yikes.
Nico Collins, Houston Texans
There are some intriguing aspects regarding Nico Collins’ profile, such as his 19.4 percent target share. But nothing stands out as impressive when compared to other second-year receivers. He’s now in an offense led by a rookie quarterback.
Elijah Moore, Cleveland Browns
We don’t see such a difference in rookie versus second-year production, especially in a negative manner. Elijah Moore’s only the third receiver to put up a more than 15 percent target share and a more than 70.0 receiving grade as a rookie but fall short of those marks in Year 2. He joins Sidney Rice and Denzel Mims. Take that for what you will, but the projection going forward does not appear strong.
If you’re looking for an even deeper look at rookie wide receivers specifically, we have write-ups, player comparisons, and more in the Rookie Guide which is FREE on the site.