(CBS Local/CBS Pittsburgh)- Training camps have begun for some NFL teams, while the rest kick theirs off over the course of this week. As the players stretch and warm up for the coming season, fantasy owners begin their prep for their upcoming league drafts. After a several-month layoff with no football, it’s understandable if your knowledge isn’t what it should be. So, we’re here to help you get back up to speed, as you lay your plans for taking home that fantasy championship belt this season.
With both the quarterbacks and running backs out of the way, it’s now time to move to the next skill position on the roster: wide receiver. At this spot, rosters usually have at least two slots in the starting lineup, much like they do for running backs. That means planning your draft so that your starters combine to make up for the value lost if you can’t grab one of the top running backs. Or, if you have a later pick in the first round, you can snag one of the top receivers and when the draft doubles back grab one of the next level of running backs. The strategy is up to you, but below you’ll find the top five guys in CBSSports.com’s projections, followed by the rest of the top 25, so you can plan based on where your picks fall.
Of note on the projected stats, we’re using scoring for standard leagues as the ranking system. But, PPR projections are in parentheses. At the end of each line, you’ll find the player’s average draft position.
1) Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers
Projected 2019 Stats- 110 receptions, 1,387 yards, 13 TD, 12.9 FPPG (19.8 PPR) ADP: 9.73
Adams is coming off a massive year, in which he posted 1.45 fantasy points per game thanks to 111 catches, 1,300 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns. That production came in the midst of a tumultuous year for the Packers and their offense. Now, with a new head coach and a hopefully healthy Aaron Rodgers, Adams is projected to rank as the top receiver in both standard and PPR leagues.
2) DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans
Projected 2019 Stats- 115 receptions, 1,589 yards, 9 TD, 12.6 FPPG (19.8 PPR) ADP: 7.91
Hopkins has been one of the most consistent fantasy options throughout his career, despite having… not the best collection of quarterbacks throwing to him. Now, with Deshaun Watson, Hopkins has produced two of the best seasons of his career and has posted double-digit touchdowns each year. One thing to note is that Hopkins is still recovering from shoulder surgery this offseason and is currently on the physically unable to perform list. His status for Week 1 is not known yet, so if your draft is in the coming weeks, keep that in mind.
3) Odell Beckham Jr., Cleveland Browns
Projected 2019 Stats- 100 receptions, 1,453 yards, 10 TD, 12.3 FPPG (18.5 PPR) ADP: 13.13
Let’s take a moment to appreciate that the Cleveland Browns have a top-five option at receiver for the first time in awhile. Beckham Jr. comes over via trade and immediately upgrades the weaponry at Baker Mayfield’s disposal, which was already pretty solid. Whether or not you think the Browns will be good, Beckham Jr.’s production is reliable at this point. As long as he’s healthy, which he has been for most of his career, Beckham should be a dominant force once again, this time in a new uniform.
4) Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs
Projected 2019 Stats- 82 receptions, 1,406 yards, 9 TD, 12.2 FPPG (17.3 PPR) ADP: 36.61
Before getting to the on-field production, we have to note that the allegations against Hill were horrible, and it surprised many that the League didn’t hand down any suspension as discipline. That said, the League has spoken, and Hill will be available once more as Patrick Mahomes’ top option. That combination made for an explosive year from Hill, in which he averaged 17 yards per catch and hauled in 12 touchdowns. The projection system is expecting a little bit of a step back, but not much heading into this year.
5) Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons
Projected 2019 Stats- 112 receptions, 1,696 yards, 6 TD, 12.1 FPPG (19.1 PPR) ADP: 13.35
Fantasy owners everywhere are hoping a coordinator change will help free up Jones a little more in the red zone, allowing him to convert for more than just the eight touchdowns he snagged last season. Jones led the league in receiving yards last season and ranked T-3rd in receptions, but caught just the 11th-most touchdowns among guys at his position. The Matt Ryan-Jones connection needs to get better in the red zone to boost Jones to the top of the list. But, keep in mind, Jones has topped eight touchdowns just once in his career. That was all the way back in his second season in the league in 2012.
With multiple receiver spots available on the roster for most leagues, it’s important to have a plan of attack that nets you a pair of solid options at the position. While the top guys above will put up massive points, the guys in the list below are all solid starting options that should be available for you as you plan your roster based on the picks that you have in the draft.
6) Juju Smith-Schuster, Pittsburgh Steelers
Projected 2019 Stats- 109 receptions, 1,481 yards, 9 TD, 11.6 FPPG (18.4 PPR) ADP: 17
7) Antonio Brown, Oakland Raiders
Projected 2019 Stats- 102 receptions, 1,283 yards, 10 TD, 11.2 FPPG (17.6 PPR) ADP: 22.65
8) Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Projected 2019 Stats- 99 receptions, 1,515 yards, 6 TD, 11.1 FPPG (17.3 PPR) ADP: 21.65
9) Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints
Projected 2019 Stats- 125 receptions, 1,383 yards, 8 TD, 11 FPPG (18.8 PPR) ADP: 19.39
10) Adam Thielen, Minnesota Vikings
Projected 2019 Stats- 108 receptions, 1,381 yards, 7 TD, 10.7 FPPG (17.4 PPR) ADP: 29
11) T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts
Projected 2019 Stats- 83 receptions, 1,399 yards, 6 TD, 10.4 FPPG (15.6 PPR) ADP: 32.91
12) Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers
Projected 2019 Stats- 99 receptions, 1,331 yards, 6 TD, 10.1 FPPG (16.3 PPR) ADP: 30
13) Robert Woods, Los Angeles Rams
Projected 2019 Stats- 89 receptions, 1,179 yards, 6 TD, 9.7 FPPG (15.3 PPR) ADP: 44.96
14) Brandin Cooks, Los Angeles Rams
Projected 2019 Stats-80 receptions, 1,233 yards, 5 TD, 9.5 FPPG (14.5 PPR) ADP: 47.87
15) A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals
Projected 2019 Stats- 78 receptions, 1,099 yards, 9 TD, 9.4 FPPG (14.3 PPR) ADP: 37.35
16) Julian Edelman, New England Patriots
Projected 2019 Stats- 88 receptions, 1,131 yards, 7 TD, 9.4 FPPG (14.9 PPR) ADP: 46.09
17) Stefon Diggs, Minnesota Vikings
Projected 2019 Stats- 100 receptions, 1,092 yards, 8 TD, 9.3 FPPG (15.6 PPR) ADP: 39.87
18) Amari Cooper, Dallas Cowboys
Projected 2019 Stats-78 receptions, 1,070 yards, 9 TD, 9.3 FPPG (14.2 PPR) ADP: 36.74
19) Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams
Projected 2019 Stats- 78 receptions, 999 yards, 9 TD, 9.1 FPPG (13.9 PPR) ADP: 53.39
20) Kenny Golladay, Detroit Lions
Projected 2019 Stats- 80 receptions, 1,196 yards, 6 TD, 9.1 FPPG (14.1 PPR) ADP: 59.45
21) Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Projected 2019 Stats- 79 receptions, 1,045 yards, 6 TD, 8.2 FPPG (13.1 PPR) ADP: 58.86
22) Calvin Ridley, Atlanta Falcons
Projected 2019 Stats- 69 receptions, 856 yards, 9 TD, 8.2 FPPG (12.5 PPR) ADP: 61.22
23) Alshon Jeffery, Philadelphia Eagles
Projected 2019 Stats- 75 receptions, 971 yards, 7 TD, 8.1 FPPG (12.8 PPR) ADP: 70.91
24) Mike Williams, Los Angeles Chargers
Projected 2019 Stats- 48 receptions, 743 yards, 9 TD, 7.8 FPPG (10.8 PPR) ADP: 75.32
25) Marvin Jones, Detroit Lions
Projected 2019 Stats- 62 receptions, 871 yards, 8 TD, 7.8 FPPG (11.7 PPR) ADP: 95.78