2019 Fantasy Football Draft Prep: WR strategy and Tiers 1.0

Positional Tiers 1.0: QB Tiers | RB Tiers | WR Tiers | TE Tiers

Wideouts bounced back in a big way last year. As a whole, receivers scored a record-high 532 touchdowns, leading to an obvious boost in Fantasy production. Their running back counterparts didn't average as many Fantasy points per game in PPR based on top-12 (WR were 0.3 higher), top-24 (1.9 higher) or top-36 averages (1.8 higher). Can't remember the last time that happened.

But maybe the best news of all for Fantasy drafters is this position isn't quite as top-heavy as last year. The first four rounds will decorate draft boards with no-brainer starters, and the next four to five rounds offer appealing breakouts and sleepers.

If there's a position to build your draft strategy around, this is it.

PPR WR Tiers 1.0

MEGA-ELITE

ELITE

EXCELLENT

ROUND 1

ROUND 2

ROUND 3

DeAndre Hopkins

JuJu Smith-Schuster

T.Y. Hilton

Julio Jones

Antonio Brown

Amari Cooper

Davante Adams

Mike Evans

Adam Thielen

Odell Beckham

Keenan Allen

Stefon Diggs

Michael Thomas

A.J. Green

Julian Edelman



Kenny Golladay




VERY GOOD

HIGH-UPSIDE VALUE

MID-VALUE UPSIDE

ROUND 4

ROUND 5

ROUND 6

Robert Woods

Dante Pettis

Will Fuller

Brandin Cooks

Tyler Boyd

Mike Williams

Calvin Ridley

Cooper Kupp

Tyler Lockett

Chris Godwin

Jarvis Landry

Sammy Watkins


D.J. Moore

Christian Kirk



Robby Anderson



Alshon Jeffery




HIGH-POTENTIAL BACKUPS

MID-POTENTIAL BACKUPS

BENCH DEPTH

ROUNDS 7, 8

ROUNDS 9-10

ROUND 11+

Parris Campbell

Keke Coutee

Emmanuel Sanders

Marvin Jones

Corey Davis

John Brown

Dede Westbrook

Courtland Sutton

Kenny Stills

Mecole Hardman

Anthony Miller

Robert Foster

Allen Robinson

DeSean Jackson

Hakeem Butler

Larry Fitzgerald

Marquise Brown

N'Keal Harry

Geronimo Allison

James Washington

Deebo Samuel

Golden Tate

DaeSean Hamilton

D.K. Metcalf


Curtis Samuel

Jamison Crowder


Sterling Shepard


Expect nearly every Fantasy manager to select at least one elite-level receiver before the end of Round 3. That doesn't mean it's a mistake to lock up two stud receivers early if you want to differentiate your lineup. But that is a move that's best saved for PPR formats and smaller leagues (10 or fewer teams).

What if you prefer to go after running backs and an elite tight end with your first three picks? Because of the depth of the receiver position, you can get away with this move. Assume Round 4 is the last time you can draft a respectable No. 1 receiver, then collect wideouts from the fifth tier. That's the grouping with the highest-remaining upside, offering great draft value.

What about punting on receivers and not taking any until after 50th overall? That's the kind of plan you're going to have to follow if you insist on drafting two stud running backs, a stud tight end, and a top-shelf quarterback. It's hard to imagine drafting all of those pieces before taking a receiver, but if we're talking about a smaller non-PPR format, it's doable and it carries a chance at being successful, especially if you pull the lever on the right receivers starting in Round 5.

Non-PPR WR Tiers 1.0

MEGA-ELITE

ELITE

EXCELLENT

ROUND 1

ROUND 2

ROUND 3

DeAndre Hopkins

Odell Beckham

A.J. Green

Julio Jones

JuJu Smith-Schuster

Amari Cooper

Davante Adams

Michael Thomas

Keenan Allen

 

Antonio Brown

Stefon Diggs

 

Mike Evans


 

T.Y. Hilton


 

 

 

VERY GOOD

HIGH-UPSIDE VALUE

MID-VALUE UPSIDE

ROUND 4

ROUND 5

ROUNDS 6, 7

Kenny Golladay

Chris Godwin

Will Fuller

Adam Thielen

Dante Pettis

D.J. Moore

Julian Edelman

Cooper Kupp

Mike Williams

Robert Woods

Tyler Boyd

Jarvis Landry

Brandin Cooks


Tyler Lockett

Calvin Ridley


Sammy Watkins



Robby Anderson



Alshon Jeffery



Marvin Jones



Mecole Hardman




HIGH-POTENTIAL BACKUPS

MID-POTENTIAL BACKUPS

BENCH DEPTH

ROUND 8

ROUNDS 9-10

ROUND 11+

Parris Campbell

Corey Davis

Emmanuel Sanders

Christian Kirk

Courtland Sutton

Sterling Shepard

Dede Westbrook

Marquise Brown

Curtis Samuel

Allen Robinson

Anthony Miller

John Brown

Geronimo Allison

DaeSean Hamilton

Kenny Stills

DeSean Jackson

Golden Tate

Robert Foster


James Washington

Hakeem Butler


Larry Fitzgerald

N'Keal Harry


Keke Coutee

Deebo Samuel



D.K. Metcalf



Devin Funchess

The safest plan on Draft Day is to pick enough receivers from the top-four or five tiers to cover your starting spots, then another two or three for the bench. Receivers who tend to play the best in Fantasy are those who regularly get a sizable piece of the target pie from good quarterbacks. When you're drafting a receiver who doesn't already carry stud status, ask yourself if he has the potential for 120 targets (to yield 70-plus receptions) and/or eight touchdowns. Those are the stats we're shooting for from the non-obvious guys in Round 6 and beyond. The more of those players you get, the more likely you'll compete for a trophy in December.   

Senior Fantasy Writer

Dave Richard has spent nearly his entire career covering the National Football League. Beginning with NFL.com at the boom of the Internet, Richard was that site's first Fantasy Football writer before transitioning... Full Bio

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