“Cut to the Chase” 2014 Wide Receiver Rankings (75-51) (Part 2 of 4)
Continuing on in the list of top fantasy receivers in the NFL, there is little to report or change rankings besides the loss of LaVon Brazill in Indianapolis for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy. Not a crushing loss by any standard, but for a sixth-round pick, Brazill has playoff experience and was turning into a solid target when QB Andrew Luck found him. Donte Moncrief and Griff Whalen will immediately reap the benefits. Moncrief should lock up a larger percentage of targets while Whalen will surely have a roster spot waiting for him after training camp in Anderson.
This list takes into account the Performance Scoring strength of schedule (PS SOS), Pass defense strength of schedule (PD SOS) and numerous attributes these players will face on a week-to-week basis such as their probable matchup and linebacker coverage for percentage of short routes based on their recent career. As for the predictions posted, they are defined by a statistical median of best and worst case scenarios for each player. My rankings are not based on my flawed stat projections, but whom I would prefer to draft, based on talent and situation.
Thank you for your interest in our work at Major League Fantasy Sports, but I encourage you to do your own statistical research and understand that your gut will ultimately influence you regardless of what you read here or see on the vast wasteland of fantasy rankings on the internet. Game on.
75. Kenny Britt, St. Louis Rams
The ultra talented Britt lost 2013 to a brutal knee injury and poor attitude when he did play. The once highly regarded 6’3 wideout has not played in 23 games in the past four years. Jeff Fisher apparently wants to kick the tires on KB for one last shot in the league. Brian Quick and Chris Givens have completely disappeared at times for the Rams and the staff wants to create some competition to hopefully bring out the best in someone. Enter Britt, who is (when healthy), is the most gifted receiver on the St. Louis roster.
2014 Prediction: 42 Receptions, 540 Yards, 4 TDs
74. Donte Moncrief, Indianapolis Colts
The Magnolia State (Mississippi) product finally makes his way out of the deep south and onto a potent receiver roster in Indianapolis. His incredibly smooth acceleration is built for the indoor Lucas Oil field, where he ran a 4.4 40-yard-dash at the NFL combine. With the aforementioned LaVon Brazill gone to suspension, Moncrief should be able to work his way into the WR3 or 4 spot, depending on how potent Hakeem Nicks still is. Don’t be surprised if he takes return duties from TY Hilton as he readies himself for a year as Luck’s number two wideout. Moncrief should step into the limelight fairly quickly.
2014: 36 Rec. 440 Yds. 3 TDs.
73. John Brown, Arizona Cardinals
Often compared to Indianapolis’ TY Hilton, John Brown has received loads of praise from all involved in early camps and workouts with his new team. Head Coach Bruce Arians has been one of Brown’s biggest trumpets, saying simply “He will be special”. The man from Pittsburg State with the 4.3 afterburners is currently in San Diego, working with QB Carson Palmer in a mini-camp. Brown is one to watch in dynasty leagues for years to come.
2014: 43 Rec. 520 Yds. 4 TDs.
72. Mohamed Sanu, Cincinnati Bengals
Sanu may have been passed on the roster by Marvin Jones, but his versatility to distract opposing defenses from Uber-stud AJ Green will come into play with Hue Jackson’s new system. Look for Sanu to line up anywhere from split H-back to his more natural slot position. Mohamed will get the field time, one way or another.
2014: 38 Rec. 405 Yds. 4 TDs.
71. Marquess Wilson, Chicago Bears
Earl Bennett’s release was Wilson’s clear cut path to the Bears’ number three spot. It’s not exactly your typical number three, behind the all-world pair of Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery. The Washington State alum will undoubtedly receive his fair share of excess targets alongside TE Martellus Bennett and RB Matt Forte. Marshall called Wilson “The steal of the draft” in 2013. Head coach Marc Trestman will put that to the test this year with week-to-week scheming.
2014: 37 Rec. 477 Yds. 4 TDs
70. Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers
The Packers’ ability to produce wideout talent is second-to-none. Adams, this year’s young number four receiver will get plenty of on field experience and will provide extremely secure hands and awe-inspiring ability to make big catches when he gets the targets. The Mountain West TD catch record holder only lacks upside due to the Pack’s WR corps and top end speed. Your A-typical possession receiver, Davante is a shorter version of Marques Colston and should garner plenty of Aaron Rodgers’ targets in the future.
2014: 33 Rec. 374 Yds. 4 TDs.
69. Harry Douglas, Atlanta Falcons
Douglas has proved himself to be a more-than serviceable number three in Atlanta, totaling over 1,000 yards in Julio Jones’ absence. With All-Pro Tony Gonzalez gone in 2014, there is no reason why Douglas can’t find plenty of targets, even with a healthy WR roster. The unseen variable for most prognosticators is the emergence of TE Levine Toilolo and a renewed commitment to backfield passing with Jacquizz Rodgers, Steven Jackson and Devonta Freeman. Douglas won’t sniff 1,000 yards again, but don’t count out 800.
2014: 50 Rec. 626 Yds. 2 TDs.
68. Jordan Matthews, Philadelphia Eagles
The Vanderbilt alum is front and center in Philadelphia’s long and short-term plans after being drafted in the second round. Initially Kelly and company will line Matthews up as a slot, but look for him to move outside and Jeremy Maclin will be shuttled inside to take over most of the short flag and wheel routes. TE Zach Ertz and RB Darren Sproles will vulture targets, but look for Matthews to see more and more of Foles’ attention as the season progresses.
2014: 47 Rec. 536 Yds. 5 TDs.
67. Steve Smith, Baltimore Ravens
Steve Smith’s mouth finally ran him out of Carolina. Cut by the Panthers, Smith finds himself in an immediate slide for production after having a terrific career down south. The run-first Ravens will take plenty of targets out of Smith’s hands with Torrey Smith and Marlon Brown outside, Dennis Pitta at TE as well as Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce catching from the backfield.
2014: 48 Rec. 648 Yds. 4 TDs.
66. Markus Wheaton, Pittsburgh Steelers
The former Oregon State Beaver has a lot of excitement surrounding him, considering he only caught six balls in 2013. From that tiny sample from last year we learned about Wheaton is that he has dynamic footwork and excellent route running ability. Look for Todd Haley to utilize Wheaton’s strengths in the red zone and then some after the departure of Emmanuel Sanders to Denver.
2014: 50 Rec. 678 Yds. 4 TDs.
65. Cody Latimer, Denver Broncos
When a historically vertical offense like that of the current Denver Broncos makes a move to the second round to snatch a receiver like Cody Latimer, fantasy owners prick their ears. Latimer will be the number four to begin the 2014 season, but will undoubtedly be the future next to Demaryius Thomas in Mile High. The Hoosier has incredible wingspan and spectacular catch ability that should be on display in the red zone to some degree this year.
2014: 30 Rec. 387 Yds. 3 TDs.
64. Marvin Jones, Cincinnati Bengals
A great compliment to AJ Green, Jones will find plenty of targets when teams over mark Green. Green’s excellence, Mohamed Sanu and the emergence of Tyler Eifert and a Hue Jackson run-heavy offensive plan should take plenty of targets out of Jones’ hands. Look for a very similar pattern to Detroit’s Megatron-Golden Tate target percentages.
2014: 55 Rec. 723 Yds. 6 TDs.
63. Malcom Floyd, San Diego Chargers
Keenan Allen has Malcom Floyd to thank for his explosive emergence in 2013. Floyd looked to be a bit of a trendy fantasy sweetheart until his career threatening neck injury in week two… then Allen took over and the rest was history. Floyd has been cleared to play and will look to break into the WR2 category. Look for Phillip Rivers to find Allen more times than not after the youngster helped jumpstart Rivers’ career. Floyd will be back to fantasy middle ground with a heavy rotation of Vincent Brown and Eddie Royal around him.
2014: 37 Rec. 616 Yds. 4 TDs.
62. Allen Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars
The deepest WR-laden draft in recent memory produced not one, but two wideouts for Jacksonville and Quarterback of the future Blake Bortles. Robinson will become the Jaguars’ big-bodied possession guy at 6’3, 220 lbs. The Penn State alum can make catches in traffic and should have no problem finding 35 targets this year.
2014: 38 Rec. 535 Yds. 3 TDs.
61. Robert Woods, Buffalo Bills
Last year was pretty rough for the Bills and their personnel in and out of the lineup due to injury. Woods was a bright spot, only totaling 587 Yds and 3 TDs, but showed great route running capabilities and shook some impressive defensive backs with his acceleration and lateral movement. Look for Woods to get back to building his rapport with EJ Manuel on the way to a solid season as the slot in the Queen City.
2014: 52 Rec. 671 Yds. 5 TDs.
60. Steve Johnson, San Francisco 49ers
A run heavy offense loaded with apt wideouts spells a down turn for Stevie in San Fran. Johnson will most likely run the slot for Anquan Boldin and Michael Crabtree and will have to adapt to a complementary role after being the man in Buffalo. Factoring in Vernon Davis and you have nothing more than a WR5.
2014: 44 Rec. 550 Yds. 4 TDs.
59. Nate Washington, Tennessee Titans
Not a sexy fantasy name or location, but Nate Washington has the goods. He rarely drops balls (Did not record a single drop in ‘13) and shows a consistent knack for making great grabs in traffic. Washington will take a back seat to Justin Hunter and Kendall Wright in 2014 and shouldn’t see anywhere near last year’s production. Regardless of how consistent the Tiffin grad is, he lacks the explosive speed and shake moves to be anything more than a WR4.
2014: 39 Rec. 596 Yds. 4 TDs.
58. Jarrett Boykin, Green Bay Packers
Cobb going down made Boykin relevant and showcased solid hands and playmaking skills. James Jones’ move to Oakland and a healthy Aaron Rodgers should spell a very consistent WR4-type season for the former Hokie in 2014.
2014: 47 Rec. 644 Yds. 4 TDs.
57. Marqise Lee, Jacksonville Jaguars
As far as experience and playing time goes, Marqise could not have landed on a better team. The USC alum will pair with Allen Robinson to hopefully form the Jaguars’ majority of receiving yards for this decade. Lee is something like Victor Cruz in which he finds seams in secondaries and exploits them with blazing speed and has a propensity to find the end zone on the regular.
2014: 53 Rec. 725 Yds. 6 TDs.
56. Josh Gordon, Cleveland Browns
His recent DWI will almost certainly nullify his suspension appeal and 2014 should be lost for the year. This position was based off several sources that felt his year long suspension would be taken down to 4-6 games. Browns fans really had hope until Friday when the arrest happened, hopefully such a talented young man can make it back into the league after dealing with some apparent maturity and substance abuse issues. So long Gordon, and give a slight uptick to the receiving corps in fantasy land.
55. Doug Baldwin, Seattle Seahawks
Baldwin should start opposite the oft-injured Percy Harvin this year. You will not find a smarter, tougher receiver in the NFC West. His clutch plays raised some eyebrows last year, but his lack of measureables and upside will continue to work against his targets and playing time. A healthy Sidney Rice and a run heavy offense should continue to cut into Baldwin’s production as the season rolls on. Just like before, his WR5 status could turn into a WR2 with an injury or two.
2014: 44 Rec. 745 Yds. 6 TDs.
54. Brandin Cooks, New Orleans Saints *PR*
Cooks is a gamer. The 5-10 burner sought out Oregon State after being offered multiple scholarships by elite programs, solely on the promise that he could compete to play in his freshman year (Played in twelve games). The Saints obviously had big plans for Cooks, whom they traded to get in the first round. Lance Moore and Darren Sproles making their trek to Pennsylvania leaves a perfect role for the former track star. Sean Payton has a history of under utilizing rookies, but in this case, Cooks hands and sub-4.4 speed gives the Saints the best chance to win.
2014: 54 Rec. 667 Yds. 5 TDs.
53. Kenny Stills, New Orleans Saints
Kenny Stills success as a rookie may have led the way for Cooks to be a hot commodity and first round pick in NOLA. After a slow start, Stills found production and made the Saints’ front office look like geniuses for finding him in the fifth round. Not as much of an athlete as incoming Cooks, Stills has excellent quickness, solid routes and will reap the benefits of Moore and Sproles leaving for Amish country.
2014: 46 Rec. 705 Yds. 5 TDs.
52. Odell Beckham Jr., New York Giants
At least one guy in New York was extremely happy, reportedly. Eli Manning had lobbied for the Giants to draft Beckham since watching his SEC play. OBJ has hops and might be one of the most aggressive receivers you ever witness. The propensity to grapple with defenders and make significant catches in traffic like a much bigger wideout is Beckham’s trademark. Look for Odell to find plenty of playing time and increase his role as the season progresses.
2014: 49 Rec. 699 Yds. 6 TDs.
51. Justin Hunter, Tennessee Titans
18 Receptions in a suspension shortened season doesn’t sound like much. Justin Hunter made all 18 of those count, showing outstanding athleticism and thorough catching tactics, as well as solid routes and football IQ. His YAC and reliable hands should continue to churn out big games as his career progresses alongside Kendall Wright, especially if he finds a way to put some weight on his 6’4 196 lb. frame.
2014: 48 Rec. 722 Yds. 5 TDs.
*KR/PR* yardage is not reflected on these rankings, but you’ll findMajorLeagueFantasySports.com and many leagues out there make most of this stat in their leagues. We will be providing rankings on the top 20 Kick Returners, and top 20 Punt Returners in the coming weeks.
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