Rookie Ranking Fluctuations: Wide Receivers

I’ll spare you the preamble, but if you’re interested in my process when determining my positional rankings, you can find that and my QB rankings here. I also ranked the running backs if that’s something that interests you.

My receiver rankings change daily, if not hourly. Between my time writing this and the time you’re reading it, I’m sure I’ve tinkered with it at least five times. The only player who was consistently near the top was D.J. Moore, and after his draft day landing spot, he became my rock solid WR1 of this class.

Anthony Miller grew on me more and more throughout the process and landing in Chicago might have been a gift. I’m not as high on Allen Robinson as most, so I think Miller could become the number 1 option there sooner than expected. Christian Kirk steadily kept moving up and landing in Arizona with Josh Rosen speaks well for his chances for long-term success.

The top three are my distinct top tier at the position. My second tier starts with Michael Gallup, a player who I thought was slightly above average, but landing in Dallas with little competition for targets bumped him up due to the probable volume he should see.

Antonio Callaway is becoming my favorite football player in the group. Based on talent alone, had he not missed so much time due to suspension and other foolish criminal behavior, he could have been the hands-down WR1 in this class. I knew Callaway was talented, but the more tape I watched, the more it was apparent how good he could be one day. His performance at the Combine was impressive, as I thought he was the most fluid receiver on the field, and you can see this as I moved him up 10-spots in my rankings post-Combine. I loved his landing spot and can see him being the Browns’ #1 WR in two years if Josh Gordon doesn’t return, or at worst a dynamic second option opposite Gordon if he does re-sign.

I’m not a big Calvin Ridley fan, but I couldn’t justifiably rank him lower than the players I have behind him.

My next tier is a bit of a muddled mess. I wasn’t particularly high on Dante Pettis, but if Kyle Shanahan thinks highly enough of him to make him the 4th wide receiver taken in this class, then he gets a small bump from me. I don’t know what to make of James Washington’s landing spot. Is Big Ben retiring? Where does Bell wind up after this season? Will Juju improve after last year or regress? How many more years will Antonio Brown be an elite wide receiver? Will Mason Rudolph take over sooner rather than later? All the uncertainty swirling around Washington hurt him in my eyes, but I love the talent. D.J. Chark stayed fairly stagnant for me and landing in Jacksonville was uninspiring. I see a Kenny Stills-esque career for him.

One of my most significant changes in the last two-ish weeks is my Equanimeous St. Brown ranking. I have no clue why he was still at 10th overall. He’s outside of my top 15 now and probably outside of my top-20. Three punters and a kicker were drafted before him, and the Packers drafted two other receivers ahead of him. There is a reason for that, and he has no business being that high post-draft. Much like the Packers, I’ve now placed J’Mon Moore and Marquez Valdes-Scantling ahead of him.

I like Courtland Sutton and Daesean Hamilton, but I wasn’t a fan of them both landing in Denver. I was very eager to see where they landed come draft day, and I ended up very disappointed. They’re both buried behind Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders, and just about the time they might be poised to take over in 2 years, Case Keenum’s contract will be expiring, and they’re looking at possible question marks at quarterback.

Most of the remaining players aren’t worth mentioning, but I do really like Jaleel Scott and Daurice Fountain. Scott has a 98th-percentile wingspan with 10” hands on the ends. He’s like an albatross with two first-baseman mitts at the ends of his wings. He’s an instant red zone weapon and his height/weight adjusted speed score is in the 86th percentile too, so he’s not just a big body.

Fountain has little competition ahead of him en route to becoming Andrew Luck’s second option in the passing game behind T.Y. Hilton. Whether or not Luck ever Throws a football again is a matter for another time, but Fountain checks all the boxes with a 99th percentile burst score, a 95th percentile catch radius and a 70th percentile Sparq-x score according to playerprofiler. Fountain is one of my fast risers in this class.


Chicagoan living in Las Vegas. Fantasy Football writer & Director of In-Season Analysis for Dynasty Football Factory, blogger for USFantasy and contributor to TheFakeHockey. Member FSWA.

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