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Fantasy football rankings 2015: Wide receivers in PPR leagues

SB Nation's team of fantasy writers break down the best fantasy football wide receivers for PPR leagues. We have seven sets of writer rankings, plus consensus standard wide receiver rankings.

The PPR craze around the fantasy football landscape has changed the value of receivers. More often than not, receivers are going to outscore running backs in PPR, and successful fantasy owners need to have production out of their receivers. Plus, leagues with a flex spot should absolutely be using a receiver over a running back or a tight end for higher floors and ceilings on lower-end players.

Because of the value of receivers, a lot of fantasy owners will go into a draft with a zero-RB plan, which is dangerous territory. Basically, owners won’t take a running back until the middle rounds and try to dominate everywhere else, hoping they hit on a lottery ticket or on the waiver wire. While that isn’t the most plausible plan, going zero-WR in a PPR is just foolish. The upside is too high and they’re too valuable.

Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Antonio Brown has quickly become the most valuable PPR asset for receivers. In fact, you could argue he will outscore any running back this season in PPR leagues. He’s also less likely to get hurt, so there’s a case to take him first overall in PPR. To nobody's surprise, all seven of us have Brown as the No. 1 receiver, which is a testament to his sky-high ceiling and elite floor.

Other possible first-round targets for PPR

After Brown, none of us are in agreement on the top three, but Dez Bryant, Julio Jones, Demaryius Thomas, Odell Beckham Jr., Jordy Nelson and Calvin Johnson all seem to be somewhat close. Most of these guys have some injury concerns, especially Johnson. Megatron was basically everyone’s No. 1 receiver for drafts last year, but numerous injuries led to decreased production. He and Beckham figure to be the biggest boom-or-bust guys in this tier. Personally, I don’t see how you can let Demaryius, Dez or Julio fall out of the first round.

Let’s take a quick look at how our rankings compare beyond the top 10 to others out there. This is based on our rankings vs. the average ADPs of MyFantasyLeague.com and Fantasy Football Calculator.

Who we like

Jeremy Maclin, Kansas City Chiefs -- A couple of our rankings have Maclin in the top 15, but only one of us has him outside of the top 23. Maclin’s ADP is WR29 right now, which would be a steal. Yes, we all know how much trouble the Chiefs had with their receivers scoring the ball last year, but Maclin is much more talented than Dwayne Bowe. He should be a popular red zone target with coach Andy Reid, all while getting some production between the 20s.

Eric Decker, New York Jets -- We have him at WR28 compared to WR44 on the ADP. Most people don’t like the Jets offense, but they have a great offensive line and Decker is going to have some big games this year.

Who We Don’t Like

Andre Johnson, Indianapolis Colts -- This one is a little tough for me to write because I have AJ as WR18, which is the highest among our writers. Presumably, there is some concern about receiver T.Y. Hilton taking away his targets and maybe Johnson’s age is a factor. For me, the Colts are going to score a ton, be pass-happy and they play in a dome. We have him as WR26 compared to the ADP sitting at WR18.

Jarvis Landry, Miami Dolphins -- His ADP is WR26 and we have him at WR31. The Dolphins are tricky. With tight end Jordan Cameron around, it’s going to be a little tougher to project who gets the targets between the numbers. Plus, don’t forget about DeVante Parker, Kenny Stills and even Greg Jennings. The inconsistency is a little too scary to take him as a high-end WR3.

Martavis Bryant, Pittsburgh Steelers -- Most of us are fans of Bryant, but we have a couple guys who aren’t ready to ante up for a wide receiver with little experience. He could be an absolute superstar, but you’ll basically have to pay a WR2 price to get him. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has said Bryant won’t start, but it sure sounds like a smokescreen. He’s arguably the most popular pick for breakout receiver. His ADP is WR23 and he’s just WR34 for us. For what it’s worth, WR23 in PPR is really, really high. He may be worth that in standard, though.

(DK: Daniel Kelley; DC: Dan Ciarrocchi; AW: Alex Welch; JD: John Daigle; KA: Kenneth Arthur; SK: Scott Kaliska; MG: Michael Gallagher)

Rank Consensus Team DK DC AW JD KA SK MG
1 Antonio Brown PIT 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
2 Dez Bryant DAL 2 2 3 2 5 4 3
3 Julio Jones ATL 3 6 2 4 2 2 4
4 Demaryius Thomas DEN 4 3 4 3 4 3 2
5 Jordy Nelson GB 5 7 7 5 3 8 5
6 Odell Beckham Jr. NYG 6 5 5 6 7 5 7
7 Calvin Johnson DET 7 4 6 7 6 6 6
8 AJ Green CIN 10 8 8 9 12 7 9
9 Randall Cobb GB 13 11 9 10 9 10 8
10 Alshon Jeffery CHI 9 13 10 11 13 9 10
11 Mike Evans TAM 15 10 11 8 16 11 11
12 DeAndre Hopkins HOU 8 14 14 12 11 13 12
13 TY Hilton IND 12 16 13 13 15 12 15
14 Emmanuel Sanders DEN 17 9 15 17 8 15 19
15 Brandin Cooks NO 22 12 12 18 20 14 14
16 Kelvin Benjamin CAR 14 15 16 16 22 19 13
17 Julian Edelman NE 19 17 17 15 17 17 23
18 Jordan Matthews PHI 18 26 18 14 18 16 16
19 Keenan Allen SD 24 18 19 20 23 20 22
20 Jeremy Maclin KAN 11 27 23 33 14 24 21
21 Golden Tate DET 33 20 25 25 10 21 25
22 Amari Cooper OAK 32 21 20 19 19 26 26
23 Andre Johnson IND 31 25 22 26 29 18 18
24 DeSean Jackson WAS 20 23 30 29 18 28 24
25 Brandon Marshall NYJ 23 19 24 37 31 22 17
26 Allen Robinson JAC 21 24 26 22 41 23 20
27 Eric Decker NYJ 16 36 28 27 21 31 29
28 Sammy Watkins BUF 30 28 27 34 25 27 33
29 Jarvis Landry MIA 37 29 33 21 33 25 32
30 Roddy White ATL 26 33 29 30 26 29 44
31 Vincent Jackson TAM 29 30 21 28 39 30 --
32 Anquan Boldin SF 34 39 40 23 30 32 31
33 Steve Smith Sr. BAL 25 32 37 36 24 33 43
34 Martavis Bryant PIT -- 22 31 24 -- 35 28
35 Brandon LaFell NE 35 38 35 38 42 36 34
36 Charles Johnson MIN 43 35 44 45 43 41 27
37 Nelson Agholor PHI 44 34 34 44 48 39 35
38 Michael Floyd ARI -- 31 42 -- 37 45 30
39 Victor Cruz NYG 28 49 45 46 27 47 --
40 Marques Colston NO -- 37 32 39 -- 40 47
41 Mike Wallace MIN 47 41 48 35 -- 37 39
42 Pierre Garcon WAS -- 42 49 32 49 38 38
43 Kendall Wright TEN 45 43 47 40 34 42 49
44 Torrey Smith SF -- 45 38 47 40 46 36
45 John Brown ARI 50 46 41 31 -- 43 45
46 Larry Fitzgerald ARI -- 40 39 41 -- 34 --
47 Kenny Stills MIA 27 44 -- 50 35 -- --
48 Breshad Perriman BAL 48 50 36 43 -- 49 37
49 Andrew Hawkins CLE 36 -- -- -- 28 -- --
50 Marvin Jones CIN 39 -- 50 -- 36 -- 46
-- Eddie Royal CHI 40 -- -- 45 -- 44 --
-- Brian Quick STL 38 -- -- -- 47 -- --
-- Doug Baldwin SEA 41 -- -- -- 44 -- --
-- Terrance Williams DAL -- 48 -- -- 38 -- --
-- Cecil Shorts III HOU 42 -- -- -- 45 -- --
-- DeVante Parker MIA 49 -- 43 -- 46 -- --
-- Percy Harvin BUF -- 47 -- -- -- -- 41
-- Stevie Johnson SD -- -- -- -- -- -- 40
-- Davante Adams GB -- -- 46 48 -- 48 50
-- Rueben Randle NYG -- -- -- 49 -- 50 42
-- Dorial Green-Beckham TEN 46 -- -- -- -- -- --
-- Devin Funchess CAR -- -- -- -- -- -- 48

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