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Who is the No. 1 Wide Receiver? (2019 Fantasy Football)

Jul 18, 2019

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It’s clear that each position has its set of tiers entering the new season. A tier-based drafting strategy is essential in snake drafts and auctions alike to avoid getting left behind during position runs.

While tiers are important, constructing the proper tiers are especially valuable. We help you in that area, providing tiers in our expert consensus rankings. However, sometimes questions remain at certain positions. We’ve looked at who our writers are taking after the ‘Big 3’ at tight end are off the board. Similarly, we asked for their next best running back after the consensus top four of Saquon Barkley, Ezekiel Elliott, Alvin Kamara, and Christian McCaffrey. Now, we’re looking for our writers to provide their No. 1 overall fantasy wide receiver.

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Who is your No. 1 overall fantasy football wide receiver?

Half-PPR formats

DeAndre Hopkins (HOU)
The short answer behind my reasoning is that I don’t think Tyreek Hill is playing 16 games so I can’t pick him. The longer answer is that DeAndre Hopkins is like Davante Adams, except with a higher ceiling. Adams gets credit for having never scored below 16 PPR points in any week. Hopkins scored below that number five times, but only barely. His lowest weekly finish was WR34. Meanwhile, Hopkins has that game-breaking ceiling, eclipsing 30 points twice and 25 points five times. Adams had a single week over 30 with 35 points and broke the 25 point barrier just three times. Both have extremely high floors, but the edge goes to Hopkins for having the higher weekly ceiling. I don’t really think you can argue for anyone else top two, except maybe Odell Beckham, which is an entirely different analysis.
– Jason Katz (@jasonkatz13)

Did you know DeAndre Hopkins is the only 99 rated WR on Madden ’20? Granted, that hardly constitutes expert analysis, but it does serve to provide a glimpse into how the star receiver is perceived based on talent alone. Let’s get to some real analysis. According to PFF, given a full season with Deshaun Watson, DeAndre Hopkins posted a career-best 115.2 passer rating when targeted in 2018. Davante Adams will be a popular pick given his finish last year as the best overall WR despite a down year for Aaron Rodgers, but Green Bay is installing a new offense with less audibles and no-huddle under a new coach in Matt LaFleur who has publicly stated he wants to tweak Rodgers’ mechanics. Can a stubborn, old dog learn new tricks? Why bet on that when Hopkins continues to flourish with Watson under the continuity of Bill O’Brien’s offense? The only obstacle has been poor O-line play killing drives, but Houston drafted two offensive linemen in the first two rounds of April’s draft. Despite the atrocious line play, over the last two years among all WRs, Hopkins is tied for first in TDs, second in receiving yards, third in yards per game, second in catches, and has dropped just five balls in over 330 targets. In fact, he didn’t drop a single pass on 169 targets last season. PFF has DeAndre Hopkins projected to eclipse 1,200 receiving yards for the fifth time in six seasons in 2019. Only 12 other receivers in NFL history have accomplished that. The best part? He’s only 27. Hopkins is the best receiver in football, both in fantasy and reality, and it may not be as close as people think when the 2019 season comes to a close.
– Paul Ghiglieri (@FantasyGhigs)

There are two things it takes to be the top-ranked fantasy wide receiver. The first is to have special talent, because any player that is going to lead the league in fantasy points at the wide receiver position is going to need to tally at least 100 receptions, at least 1,500 yards recieving, and at least 10 receiving touchdowns. The second thing a player needs to be the best fantasy receiver is to play on an offense with a good quarterback that will target the receiver at least 10 times per game. I think there are a few good potential options that fit that bill. Cleveland Browns WR Odell Beckham Jr. is capable of dominating fantasy football as the Browns’ lead option playing with young phenom, QB Baker Mayfield. New Orleans Saints WR Michael Thomas has a ton of talent and he plays with one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history, Drew Brees. And then you have Julio and Davante. Hopkins still seems like the best bet of the bunch. Hopkins has been targeted at least 150 times the last four years, including 163 targets last year. He is their only proven wide receiver on the roster, QB Deshaun Watson is going to target him a ton this year. Second, they also do not have a great running game, like Cleveland and New Orleans do, so Hopkins is going to be both their best wide receiver and red zone weapon. Hopkins has finished first in 2017 and second in 2018 among fantasy wide receivers in half-PPR scoring leagues, which means that he is a pretty safe bet to have an elite season. He is only 27 years old, Watson is only 24 years old, and they are entering their third year playing together. When it comes to safe players, Hopkins is about as safe as they come in the NFL. His youth, his skill at playing wide receiver, his athleticism, past production, and the talent of his quarterback all make him the most desirable fantasy wide receiver.
– Derek Lofland (@DerekLofland)

Ok, this dude is just nasty. What’s crazy about Hopkins is the fact that he finished first in total fantasy points in 2017 and backed that up with a second-place finish in 2018. What makes that second-place finish truly absurd is the fact that he did that damage while playing with a gluttony of injuries. He recently said that it was the most banged up that he’s ever been in his career and that he’s 100 percent headed into this season. Anyone willing to play through injury while performing like that needs to be considered the top receiver in the game. With all that said, I think Hopkins is the best fantasy receiver while I truly believe that Julio Jones is the most talented receiver in our game.
– Joel Bartilotta (@Bartilottajoel)

I was tempted to put Julio Jones as my number one reciever, but after watching Hopkins dominate despite playing through thumb, ankle, foot, AND hamstring issues, he won my vote. Hopkins has averaged 96.5 yards and 0.77 touchdowns in Deshaun Watson’s 22 starts, and has posted back-to-back double-digit TD seasons. He is frequently targeted in the red zone, evidenced by his 25 targets inside the 20, 15 inside the 10, and nine inside the five. With perfect complimentary targets in Will Fuller and Keke Coutee, expect Hopkins to continue to his dominant red-zone role. Hopkins should be ready for training camp and is my pick to finish as fantasy’s number one receiver in 2019.
– Brad Camara (@beerad30)

Davante Adams (GB)
Antonio Brown’s departure from Pittsburgh created a void at the top of the wide receiver rankings, and there is no consensus pick on who will replace him. An argument can be made for each of DeAndre Hopkins, Davante Adams, and Julio Jones — and each would be valid. Similar to what we got from Antonio for all these years, the consistency you get with Adams is what puts him in a tier of his own. In standard scoring leagues, Julio had four games last year with less than double-digits, while Hopkins had five. In PPR, Julio had five games with fewer than 15 points, whereas Hopkins had four. Let’s compare it to Adams, shall we? Davante Adams had just one game without double-digits in standard leagues and not a single game without 15 points in PPR leagues. Not one. Zero. Nada. Ziltch. That’s the kind of consistency you get only from the number one receiver.
– Elisha Twerski (@ElishaTwerski)

For the first time in what seems like forever, there is some real controversy over who should be the first wide receiver off the board in all fantasy drafts. The days of Antonio Brown as the automatic WR1 seem to be behind us, and it’s time to welcome in the new breed of wide receivers. The two names being thrown around the most are Packers WR Davante Adams and Texans WR Deandre Hopkins. You can’t go wrong either way, but my money is on Adams. Davante Adams is coming off one his best year in the NFL and is still just entering his prime. He finished the 2018 season with 111 catches, 1,368 yards, and 13 touchdowns which was good enough to finish as WR2 in PPR formats. What was most impressive about Adams’ season was his consistency. Adams averaged nearly 22 PPR points per game last year while never once scoring below 16 PPR points. That floor is simply unbeatable. There was not one game last year in which Adams did not either score a touchdown or have at least 80 receiving yards. Any way you look at it, Adams is going to rack up the points every time he steps on the field. Another thing that really stood out to me with Adams was his league-leading 31 red-zone targets in only 15 games. That was over double the amount of other top-end WRs like Keenan Allen, Mike Evans, and Amari Cooper. There is nothing more valuable to a wide receiver than red zone looks and you know Adams is going to get them. Over the last three seasons, Adams is second in the NFL in touchdowns with 35 behind only Antonio Brown’s 36. Of those 35 touchdowns, 28 have come in the red zone! In the red  zone or between the 20s, it doesn’t matter, Adams is Aaron Rodgers’ go-to guy, and he has been for a couple of years now. He received 169 targets last year and according to Rodgers that wasn’t even enough. When asked about Adams’ target volume Rodgers had this to say “I’d like to throw to Davante more. He’s that open. We’ve got to keep finding ways to get him the ball.” I’m confident they will continue to feed Adams at an extremely high rate, resulting in a  No.1 fantasy finish.
– Eli Berkovits (@PTTF_Eli)

Davante Adams is coming off a year in which he finished first in average targets per game with 11.3 and first in average fantasy points per game with 18.3 in half-PPR scoring. Adams was also scoring these numbers at a better consistency than any WR last season. From the top-10 WRs being drafted based on their ADP, not only did Adams have the highest average points per game, he did it more consistently then all the other WRs with a 4.6 standard deviation. In fantasy terms, he had the safest floor of any WR last season with a high ceiling – the ideal combination for a player. Since 2016, Adams has caught 35 touchdowns – only being bested by Antonio Brown’s 36. One of Adam’s best qualities is his work in the red zone where he has 28 touchdowns in three seasons — the next highest player has 19 in that span! With Rodgers as his QB, Adams has averaged nine targets per game and has double-digit targets in 16 games out of 41 games they have both played. Coming into the 2019 season, reports are coming out of Green Bay saying Rodgers wants to get Davante even more targets because of his ability to create space against coverage. We know Rodgers likes to lean on those players he can trust and last year it was obvious he trusted Adams by targeting him 169 times in 15 games. In Rodgers’ 11 seasons as the starting QB for the Packers, his WR1 has caught double-digit touchdowns seven times. With a more creative offensive-minded head coach in LaFleur, I expect Adam’s production to be similar, if not better. Of all the WRs coming into this year, I want the guy that gets me a lot of fantasy points, and I want him to do it every week. That is why Davante Adams is my no-doubt WR1.
– Kevin O’Connor (@22koconnor)

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