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Fantasy football rankings 2016: Wide receivers in standard leagues

Wide receivers are all the rage in fantasy football these days. Check out SB Nation’s top picks at the position for standard leagues.

The times are changing in fantasy football. Running back, once the most important position in the game, has fallen into second-tier status, while wide receiver rose as the dominant position. Unlike years past when owners would automatically use their first or even their first two draft picks on a running back, this year you’re most likely taking a receiver in the first round.

There are a number of reasons for this, the most prominent one being the NFL’s transformation into a passing league. But we’re also in a golden age of dominant, generational WR1 talents, with Antonio Brown, Julio Jones and Odell Beckham Jr. leading the way.

In most standard leagues, Brown/Jones/Beckham will be the first three names off the draft board, and for good reason. Brown has taken up Calvin Johnson’s mantle as the best receiver in the game, finishing with 1,834 receiving yards last year. Had Ben Roethlisberger not missed multiple games with injury, Brown could’ve easily broken Megatron’s single-season record of 1,964. Squarely in his prime at age 28, Brown is an easy choice for overall WR1 in fantasy.

Jones is a slight injury concern because his surgically repaired foot has caused him problems in the past, but the 27-year-old stayed healthy last season and set new career highs in catches (136) and yards (1,871). Offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan loves force-feeding targets to his No. 1 receiver, so Jones should continue seeing around 180 targets or so even with Mohamed Sanu in the mix.

Beckham missed four games in 2014 and still had 1,305 yards and 13 touchdowns. He missed one game due to a suspension last season and still finished with 1,450 yards and 13 scores. Brown and Jones are probably the only fantasy receivers more consistent than Beckham, and the 23-year-old still has room for growth. If you get him any time after the third overall pick, you got a bargain.

Even if you don’t get one of the big three, there is plenty of first-round worthy talent such as DeAndre Hopkins, A.J. Green, Allen Robinson and Dez Bryant. The second round should also be filled with clear WR1s like Jordy Nelson, Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery and Mike Evans. With running back a giant question mark this season, now’s the time to jump on the bounty of riches available at the wideout position.

Rank Consensus Team DC AW SK MG DG
1 Antonio Brown PIT 1 1 1 1 1
2 Odell Beckham Jr. NYG 2 3 2 4 2
3 Julio Jones ATL 3 2 3 2 4
4 DeAndre Hopkins HOU 4 4 5 3 5
5 A.J. Green CIN 5 5 4 5 3
6 Dez Bryant DAL 6 6 6 6 6
7 Allen Robinson JAC 9 7 7 7 8
8 Mike Evans TB 7 9 8 10 12
9 Jordy Nelson GB 8 10 9 9 10
10 Alshon Jeffery CHI 11 8 11 11 9
11 Brandon Marshall NYJ 13 12 10 12 7
12 Keenan Allen SD 10 11 12 8 13
13 Brandin Cooks NO 14 14 13 13 15
14 Amari Cooper OAK 12 16 14 15 14
15 Demaryius Thomas DEN 15 15 17 18 11
16 Sammy Watkins BUF 19 18 16 14 16
17 T.Y. Hilton IND 17 13 15 16 25
18 Jeremy Maclin KC 18 19 19 17 19
19 Randall Cobb GB 22 17 18 21 18
20 Eric Decker NYJ 24 23 20 19 22
21 Kelvin Benjamin CAR 20 25 25 23 17
22 Golden Tate DET 21 20 23 24 24
23 Julian Edelman NE 16 27 22 28 23
24 Doug Baldwin SEA 26 24 24 20 26
25 Jarvis Landry MIA 23 22 21 29 28
26 Donte Moncrief IND 27 21 26 22 35
27 Michael Floyd ARI 25 26 27 25 31
28 Jordan Matthews PHI 28 28 30 26 33
29 John Brown ARI 32 29 28 34 30
30 Emmanuel Sanders DEN 34 30 31 40 20
31 Allen Hurns JAC 31 35 33 32 27
32 DeVante Parker MIA 36 32 32 27 36
33 Larry Fitzgerald ARI 38 31 29 49 21
34 DeSean Jackson WAS 33 33 36 33 34
35 Josh Gordon CLE 30 36 40 31 32
36 Michael Crabtree OAK 35 38 37 36 29
37 Tyler Lockett SEA 37 34 34 37 37
38 Marvin Jones DET 40 37 35 35 39
39 Torrey Smith SF 29 42 41 30 --
40 Kevin White CHI 42 39 38 39 42
41 Corey Coleman CLE 41 43 42 38 50
42 Tavon Austin LA 43 40 45 48 41
43 Sterling Shepard NYG 44 46 39 42 --
44 Stefon Diggs MIN 39 49 44 41 --
45 Markus Wheaton PIT 45 45 49 46 40
46 Willie Snead NO 47 47 43 45 --
47 Devin Funchess CAR 48 44 50 -- 47
48 Kamar Aiken BAL 49 41 48 -- --
49 Vincent Jackson TB 46 50 47 47 --
50 Laquon Treadwell MIN -- 48 -- 43 49
-- Mike Wallace BAL -- -- -- -- 38
-- Travis Benjamin SD -- -- 46 50 44
-- Dorial Green-Beckham PHI -- -- -- 44 48
-- Steve Smith BAL -- -- -- -- 43
-- Phillip Dorsett IND -- -- -- -- 45
-- Pierre Garcon WAS -- -- -- -- 46
-- Terrance Williams DAL 50 -- -- -- --