NFL receivers are becoming bigger, faster, and stronger every year. Names like Antonio Brown, Julio Jones, and Odell Beckham Jr. are dominating the game with acrobatic catches and eye-popping numbers. Some of these big name receivers happen to wear the same jersey and catch passes from the same quarterback. We dig into the top 5 receiving corps in the NFL.
1. Arizona Cardinals
Projected Starters: WR Larry Fitzgerald, WR John Brown, WR Michael Floyd
It’s hard to argue with this group being anything but the best receiving corps in the NFL. Any given week, any of these three receivers can be the leader in production. The anchor, Larry Fitzgerald, has been Mr. Reliable his entire 12-year career, amassing 13,366 yards receiving, 98 TDs, and nine Pro-Bowl appearances. Their depth is what edges them over the remaining receiving corps on this list. In the 2015 season, they finished 7th, 25th, and 38th, respectively, in receiver fantasy points (PPR).
2. New York Jets
Projected Starters: WR Brandon Marshall, WR Eric Decker, WR Devin Smith
My heart wanted to put this corps as the top group, partially because I had Brandon Marshall on my team last year, and partially because fantasy speaking, Marshall and Decker were the best tandem in the NFL finishing 3rd and 13th in receiving fantasy points, not to mention that Marshall may be the best receiver in the game once the ball is in his hands. Their depth is what forced me to put them in the number two spot. Devin Smith is a nice 2nd-year receiver out of Ohio State, and if he can prove himself in the slot, this group should solidify the number one spot next season.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars
Projected Starters: WR Allen Robinson, WR Allen Hurns, WR Marqise Lee
Allen squared burst onto the scene during the 2016 season leaving fantasy owners elated with their late round acquisitions. Both players went over 1,000 yards receiving and both ended with double-digit touchdowns. Robinson’s 14 TDs (tied for the league most) bolstered him to the number 6 spot in receiver fantasy points, while Hurns broke the top 20 finishing at 17th. Marqise Lee is a great talent out of Southern California but hasn’t been able to translate his college production to the NFL in his two-year career thus far. Word from Jags camp is that Lee has had a very strong summer, and his 2016 campaign will be his best yet. For now, his lack of production keeps the Jacksonville Trio in the number 3 spot. Fun Fact: Lee and Robinson were both 2nd Round picks in the 2014 NFL Draft, and Hurns was signed as a 2014 undrafted Free-Agent out of the University of Miami, meaning they could be wreaking havoc on secondaries for many years to come.
4. Denver Broncos
Projected Starters: WR Demaryius Thomas, WR Emmanuel Sanders, WR Bennie Fowler
Thomas and Sanders are another dynamic duo that is missing a strong third fiddle to put them higher on the list. Thomas became one of only three receivers in league history to have four straight seasons of at least 90 receptions, 1,300 yards, and 6 touchdowns. As a fantasy owner, you can’t ask or better consistency. Sanders gives you elite speed and route running with some of the surest hands in the game. He also isn’t afraid to run routes over the middle and take hits. The Broncos quarterback play finished 31st last season in overall rating (76.3) and yet Thomas and Sanders were still able to put up numbers worthy of 11th and 18th respectively, in fantasy receiver ranking. Oh, and they won Super Bowl 50! Bennie Fowler was a rookie last season that showed some flashes of his talented career at Michigan State. He has had a great offseason and should see an increased role in the offense in the 2016 season.
5. Green Bay Packers
Projected Starters: WR Jordy Nelson, WR Randall Cobb, WR Davante Adams
One of the deepest corps in the league, but showed some struggles last season with Jordy Nelson out due to injury. With Cobb and Adams as the 1 and 2, they finished 24th and 66th overall in fantasy receiver ranking. Having Nelson back, a true number one will surely make the corps as a whole better, and will free up Cobb and Adams from facing some of the top corners in the game. Let’s not forget that they have Aaron Rodgers tossing them the rock, making any receiver on the field a better player.