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Year of the Wide Receiver?

2016 may just be the year of the wide receiver. More people than ever will be taking wide receivers in the first round of their respective fantasy drafts. I personally have four wide receivers that I would take in the first round. Those happen to be the first four WR’s in my rankings; Antonio Brown, Odell Beckham Jr., Julio Jones, and DeAndre Hopkins. I would take all of those players in the first five picks of any fantasy draft, both PPR and standard formats.

In years past I have always been a running back in the first round guy, sometimes even back to back RB’s for my first two picks, but this year my philosophy is changing a little bit. I still may end up taking a running back in the first round this year, but I can guarantee you that it will not be in the first four picks. If I end up with one of the first four draft picks in my leagues, I will be selecting a WR with my first round pick.

With so many people taking WR’s early and often in drafts this season, it may end up being a better strategy to go Zero-WR. Ultimately, running backs and wide receivers as a unit make roughly the same contribution to a fantasy roster. Generally speaking, the yardages are similar and the scores are similar. Materially, there isn’t the difference between the two positions that there is between, say, running backs and quarterbacks. So going against the common trend for the season may be a legitimate strategy.

If my pick falls later in the first round I may employ this strategy if all of the stud WR’s are gobbled up. In a perfect world, I get one of my top four WR’s in the first round, then follow it up with one or two RB’s in the 2nd or 3rd round.

Wherever you end up selecting a WR, you can bet that there will be value in virtually every round. The wide receiver position is deep this year, and to help you navigate that depth, here are my top 50 Wide Receiver Rankings.

  1. Antonio Brown
  2. Odell Beckham Jr.
  3. Julio Jones
  4. DeAndre Hopkins
  5. Allen Robinson
  6. Jordy Nelson
  7. Dez Bryant
  8. A.J. Green
  9. Brandon Marshall
  10. Alshon Jeffery
  11. Keenan Allen
  12. Brandin Cooks
  13. Sammy Watkins
  14. Mike Evans
  15. Demaryius Thomas
  16. Julian Edelman
  17. Kelvin Benjamin
  18. Amari Cooper
  19. Randall Cobb
  20. T.Y. Hilton
  21. Jarvis Landry
  22. Golden Tate
  23. Doug Baldwin
  24. Jeremy Maclin
  25. Michael Floyd
  26. Eric Decker
  27. John Brown
  28. Emmanuel Sanders
  29. Donte Moncrief
  30. DeSean Jackson
  31. Michael Crabtree
  32. Jordan Matthews
  33. Sterling Shepard
  34. Kevin White
  35. DeVante Parker
  36. Torrey Smith
  37. Tyler Lockett
  38. Corey Coleman
  39. Marvin Jones
  40. Allen Hurns
  41. Markus Wheaton
  42. Larry Fitzgerald
  43. Travis Benjamin
  44. Laquon Treadwell
  45. Tavon Austin
  46. Vincent Jackson
  47. Michael Thomas
  48. Kamar Aiken
  49. Josh Doctson
  50. Dorial Green-Beckham
Please hit me up on Facebook, Instagram, and on Twitter @ugagood with any comments, concerns, or insults.

Also please check out the all new fantasy football podcast The Fantasy Flex @FantasyFlexPod that I Co-Host with Nathan Miller @Miller_RotoDad on Blog Talk Radio, and coming soon to iTunes.

Does Drew Brees have yet another huge season in him? How do the four lead running backs in the NFC South stack up to one another & the rest of the NFL? Are Coby Fleener, Austin Seferian-Jenkins and/or Austin Hooper ready to break out at tight end? All that and more on the NFC South preview edition of The Fantasy Flex.

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