The 2018 NFL wide receiver class is looking like it will turn out to be a very nice class. At this time last year, this group wasn’t given very much credit and was overlooked. The class now has six wide receivers inside the top 40 of most dynasty wide receiver rankings. At this time last year, they had zero inside the top 40.
After strong rookie seasons, this class continues to grow and it looks as if owners have been rewarded with rookie wideouts after being burned by the Laquon Treadwells, Corey Colemans, and Devante Parkers of the world. Let’s look at the class and where they are now compared to last year, and project their dynasty values going forwards.
D.J. Moore – Carolina Panthers
ADP in April 2018 – 68
ADP in April 2019 – 39 (+29)
D.J. Moore was one of the highest ranked rookie wideouts last year and remains at the top of my ranks after an impressive rookie season with the Panthers. Moore caught 55 balls for 788 yards and two touchdowns. Although we saw Moore in all 16 games, he did not start until week seven. Now with Devin Funchess gone and Greg Olsen’s status up in the air, Moore should see a healthy amount of targets behind Christian McCaffrey.
Moore was very promising in his ten games as a starter. His numbers in those ten games would’ve put him on track to go for just under 1,000 yards receiving on the year. Something which he could easily surpass next year with a year now under his belt.
Moore looks to have all the tools to become a WR1 in fantasy. Tied to a good quarterback, Moore should see his targets and production improve in year two. Moore remains my WR1 of this class.
Calvin Ridley – Atlanta Falcons
ADP in April 2018 – 76
ADP in April 2019 – 50 (+26)
No one toke more criticism last year than Calvin Ridley and his age. Being that he was already 23 at the time of the draft, the dynasty community knocked him for his “old” age. Ridley’s value took another hit when he was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons, who of course had Julio Jones and Mo Sanu on their roster. Ridley’s debut wasn’t what anyone wanted as he failed to catch either of his two targets. Then Ridley went on a three-week tear, scoring six touchdowns in just three weeks. Ridley would end the year with 64 catches, 821 yards, and 10 touchdowns, not bad for a rookie season.
While his touchdowns numbers are likely to regress, Ridley was still able to haul nearly 70% of his targets. While it is yet to be seen how Ridley would handle being the WR1 of a team, he should remain fantasy relevant as long as Julio Jones is commanding the majority of attention opposite of him. If Julio retires in three to four years, maybe Ridley’s value changes, but for now, he has flashed enough upside to be the WR2 of this class for me.
Calvin Ridley is BALLIN OUT🔥🔥pic.twitter.com/qbCZbmcWne
— Sports Thread (@sportsthread) October 2, 2018
Christian Kirk – Arizona Cardinals
ADP in April 2018 – 90
ADP in April 2019 – 75 (+15)
Christian Kirk is one of my personal biggest risers over the past year since this draft class. After breaking out in college as a freshman and producing all three years at Texas A&M, Kirk was lost in the shuffle on dynasty ranks as a rookie. Knocked mostly for his size, Kirk saw himself fall to the Cardinals in the second round of the 2018 NFL draft. At first, it was a weird landing spot. Most thought of him as just a slot guy, and with Larry Fitzgerald already commanding that spot, Kirk’s year one production wasn’t supposed to be much. However, Kirk showed in year one that he is more than capable of moving around and playing outside.
— Ian Hartitz (@Ihartitz) April 10, 2019
Kirk’s versatility is one of the reasons he could end up as the best wideout in this class. Whether it is with Josh Rosen or Kyler Murray, Kirk could see the most targets on the Cardinals offense depending on if we finally see Fitzgerald start to fall off. Kirk is a threat to score anytime he touches the ball.
Christian Kirk makes a player miss AND IS GONE!
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) November 18, 2018
Kirk could very well find himself at the top of this list next year. Kirk is a major buy right now in all dynasty formats.
Dante Pettis – San Francisco 49ers
ADP in April 2018 – 222
ADP in April 2019 – 74 (+148)
This is where things got a little more difficult. Dante Pettis’s value could rise even more or crash depending on whether or not the 49ers draft a wide receiver early in this draft. We saw just eight games out of Pettis as a rookie, and only two of which were with Jimmy G. The rest of his rookie year was spent with Nick Mullens. Even with Mullens, Pettis remained a very good threat on the field and looked like the next best option behind George Kittle.
Now going into 2019 with Jimmy G back, Pettis will look to build off of a promising rookie year. Pettis week 7-12 game pace as a starter would put him at right at 1,000 yards receiving, which is something I think he is more than capable of with Jimmy G back and a year of the 49ers offense under his belt. If the 49ers elect to roll into 2019 with Pettis as the WR1 on the team, Pettis could be in for a big year.
Courtland Sutton – Denver Broncos
ADP in April 2018 – 59
ADP in April 2019 – 59 (Even)
This may come as a surprise to some, as Sutton was one of the top-ranked wide receivers last year, but he lands at five in my ranks. Sutton was very productive in college at SMU, posting two 1,000+ yard seasons. He now is in a good spot with the opportunity to become the number one option on his team. However, I am not sure Sutton has what it takes to be a teams alpha receiver. He reminds me of a more athletic Mike Williams. Both had good productive college careers and are big-bodied wide receivers who will be major threats inside the 20 and into the red zone, but not much more. And while the verdict is still out on Williams and Sutton both, I would not be surprised if the Broncos elect to bring in a WR1 and have a similar situation that the Chargers have with Keenan Allen and Mike Williams.
Sutton still carries plenty of dynasty value despite a disappointing rookie year, which makes him a decent sell candidate. The Broncos as of now are going to be led by Joe Flacco which is far from exciting. Flacco will give Sutton his fair share of 50/50 jump balls to go up and get, which may make him intriguing in best ball leagues, but for now, I am keeping Sutton down the list. The guys ahead of him flashed too much WR1 upside to put him anywhere else. Sutton still possesses upside to climb this list next year, but I am staying away at his current price.