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The new friendly NFL over the last few years has changed the way we look at wide receivers in fantasy. While only 13 running backs rushed over 1,000 yards, 23 wide receivers went over 1,000 yards. As much as running backs help you win fantasy football championships, do not think you can sneak by with mediocre receivers. Here are my top five fantasy wide receivers and sleepers for this season.
1. Antonio Brown (Pittsburgh Steelers/Bye week 11) – The most consistent wide receiver in football. Brown is a lock to get you five or more catches a game. Great hands, breakaway speed, and a great quarterback to throw him the ball. He should be the 1st wide receiver taken in all fantasy drafts.
2. Dez Bryant (Dallas Cowboys/Bye week 6) – A true beast who has great passion for the game. Last season was no fluke (88 catches/1,320 yards 16 touchdowns) and now with DeMarco Murray gone to the Philadelphia Eagles, his stats could get better…which is scary!!
3. Demaryius Thomas (Denver Broncos/Bye week 7) – As long as Peyton Manning is back, Thomas remains a top five wide receiver. Expect another 90 plus catches/1,300 yards and 10-13 touchdowns.
4. Julio Jones (Atlanta Falcons/Bye week 10) – Jones had a big year in 2014 with 1,593 yards and 104 catches. His touchdowns were not great (6), but this is his contract year so expect those touchdowns to double.
5. Calvin Johnson (Detroit Lions/Bye week 9) – It’s hard to believe that some people got Megatron ranked 7th overall in some fantasy leagues, but not me! Yes, Johnson turns 30 next month. Yes, Johnson tends to get hurt often than his fantasy owners would like but he’s still one of the best in the game. This will be his comeback season!
Here are my sleepers:
1. Nelson Agholor (Philadelphia Eagles/Bye week 8) – Should be starting alongside Jordan Matthews and in Chip Kelly’s offense with a healthy Sam Bradford, he should reek the benefits.
2. John Brown (Arizona Cardinals/Bye week 9) – He’s a dangerous big play threat with outstanding speed. With a healthy Carson Palmer, who loves to throw the football, he’ll get plenty of chances to gain nice yardage and take the No. 2 slot over aging veteran Larry Fitzgerald.
3. Devin Funchess (Carolina Panthers/Bye week 5) – Kelvin Benjamin is out with a torn ACL. Other than Greg Olsen, who’s going to get the catches?
4. Nick Toon (New Orleans Saints/Bye week 11) – Yes we know they are high on Brandin Cooks, but let’s not forget the quarterback is Drew Brees(who loves to throw 1st). Marques Coltson will still get a few catches from time to time, but I think Toon will get more looks with Kenny Stills leaving for the Dolphins.
5. Dwayne Bowe (Cleveland Browns/Bye week 11) – Remember this guy? He has zero competition in Cleveland so he’s going in as their No. 1 guy. If Josh McCown starts, I think Bowe can improve his numbers from the past three seasons and is worth a roster spot as a bye week replacement. If Johnny Manziel ends up being the starter, don’t even bother to look at him.