Take reception scoring out of the equation, and the rest of the WRs get a little closer to reception king Antonio Brown. As you'll see below, though, they still don't quite catch him.
DeAndre Hopkins sits a TD's worth of points behind Brown in our non-PPR projections, with another 7 points separating Hopkins from #3 Julio Jones.
Tier separation doesn't necessarily come down to the specific point gaps, though, as we must consider situation, history and other factors in assessing the fantasy assets we're sorting through.
Use these WR groupings to help you determine when it's time to pounce at the position and when you can afford to wait another round. (You can find the PPR tiers here.)
Brown lost time to injury in 2017 for the 1st time in 5 years. And he still wound up 2nd among wideouts in total points across fantasy formats and 1st in the league in receiving yards.
Odell Beckham Jr.
All 3 of these guys dominate their offenses in target share and serve as the clear leading end-zone target.
Green's durability and the volatility of Cincinnati's offense -- coming off its worst year in a while -- keeps him from joining the tier above. Allen could prove that he belongs with the previous 3 but also might need to share a few more targets with fellow WRs if 2nd-year man Mike Williams is ready to deliver. Thomas looks terrific but hasn't proved quite the red-zone weapon that those above him are. Adams and Evans each looks capable of double-digit TDs. Adams is simply in his 1st year as Aaron Rodgers' top target, while Evans will open the year without his starting QB.
Thielen brings TD upside into 2018 after leading the Vikings in red-zone targets last year -- but checking in just 3rd in red-zone TDs. Diggs, however, belongs in the same tier and could battle his teammate for the target lead overall and in the end zone.
This tier brings a mix of #1 wideouts in lackluster offenses and upside #2 wideouts for intriguing (K.C.) to strong (New England) offenses. There are varying flavors in this range, so you can choose among high floor (Fitzgerald or Thomas) and mouth-watering talent (Robinson and Watkins).
This range finds mostly proven targets, plus potential lead dog Davis. Sanders sits well behind most of this group in ADP and can present an opportunity to wait.
There's no other wideout like Gordon. We're now 5 years past the monster year that has made fantasy nation his hostage ever since, but the magic of that year remains enticing. Gordon led the league in receiving yards and finished 2nd among fantasy wideouts while playing just 14 games in an offense that ranked 27th in scoring and started Jason Campbell, Brandon Weeden and Brian Hoyer at QB. Gordon's not yet back on the field, but he's back with the team. Whether to take a chance on him where you'll need to make the leap is much more personal decision than statistical evaluation.
There's attractive upside in this range, including 4 wideouts who could lead their teams in targets. (That excludes Fuller and Cobb.)
Edelman's 4-game PED suspension to open the year puts him in his own tier. Will he go back to being the same fantasy asset when he returns? Will Hogan take over as the Patriots' top wideout and hold that distinction the rest of the way? Edelman's 5.6% TD rate over 4 starting years with the Pats doesn't present any special non-PPR upside. So it's up to you how you want to treat him at ADP.
Everyone but Anderson and Benjamin in this range looks likely to finish no higher than 2nd on his team in targets -- but a few have a path to leading teams if things break right.
Here's a group with plenty of upside and question marks. How to treat each player comes down to what you've built to this point, which situations you'd like to attack (or avoid) and exactly what you're looking for. In this range -- and beyond -- checking the "ceiling" projections on your MVP Board can help reveal upside candidates ... as well as "floor" plays that you just don't need at the bottom of your roster.
Matthews belongs with Taylor now that he has returned from the camp PUP list. For whatever reason, Tennessee limited Taylor's 1st-team snaps over the past 2 preseason games after a buzzy camp that had him working regularly with the starters. Matthews figures to be the better target bet at least early. But Taylor remains an exciting prospect.