It remains true that running backs are the backbone of your fantasy football team, but wide receivers win championships. Getting the best three-deep combination is the difference between winning and losing your league, and this year getting a top pass catcher might be more important than ever.
The difference between fielding a top receiving corps and a middling one can cost you hundreds of points a season. In fact, only five receivers in 2022 finished with over 200 total points in non-PPR leagues, with the vast majority falling into the sub-125 range. Today we look at the Top 20 players you should be targeting with your picks and well as some tips for dominating your league.
Fantasy Football Top 20 WRs for 2023
|11||Amon-Ra St. Brown||DET||9|
How early should I take Justin Jefferson?
Jefferson is absolutely worth a first-round pick. In my view, he’s the only receiver who is worth being taken this high, and especially if you’re at the back-end of the first round with most top running backs taken, then he’s worth the investment.
Jefferson was fifth in non-QB scoring in non-PPR leagues last season and fifth in the ENTIRE NFL in PPR leagues. The entire Vikings offense runs through him, and with Adam Thielen now gone Jefferson will see even more targets while the team integrates Jordan Addison into the offense.
It’s true Jefferson will attract plenty of attention from defenses, but he’s so difficult to defend that he’s going to eat all season long.
Be very careful with Cooper Kupp
I have Kupp as the No. 5 WR this year because I just couldn’t envision him being any lower, but there’s a lot that worries me about Kupp this season. He’s returning from injury, and had ankle surgery this offseason. Also, the wheels could fall off the Rams offense at any time.
We know Matthew Stafford loves targeting Kupp (and only Kupp), so he’s probably a lock in PPR leagues. However in standard it’s a bit of a minefield and I could easily justify passing over him for an equal player on the board at another position.
Don’t be the person who over-drafts Davante Adams
Davante Adams was an absolute beast in PPR leagues last season, finishing with 335 points and third among receivers. This year he takes a major step back largely because of quarterback play.
Derek Carr is far from amazing, but he had a big arm and was good at stretching the field, in addition to having familiarity and a comfort level with Adams, his college teammate at Fresno State. The switch to Jimmy Garoppolo makes the Raiders a more consistent, reliable offense — but that could easily come at the expense of Adams’ individual stats. It’s very difficult to envision him catching 100 passes this year like he did in 2022.
Carr averaged 6.6 completed air yards last season. The best in Garoppolo’s career is 6.1. That might not sound like a lot, but over the course of a year it adds up massively.
Calvin Ridley is the ideal sleeper pick
Ridley should be available in the mid-late rounds and should be a top target for your flex position. There are a lot of unknowns as Ridley returns from his year-long suspension, but don’t forget that in 2020 he caught 90 passes for over 1,300 yards from Matt Ryan.
Now he joins the Jaguars in full, and one of the best young quarterbacks in the league in Trevor Lawrence. There is a very real chance he emerges as Jacksonville’s No. 1 receiver quickly, and a lot of fantasy players might be dissuaded from taking him because of the year he missed.
This will push Ridley down boards far lower than he should go and make him a primary target later in the draft. He’s the kind of player who could swing the league for you.