Instead of just looking at specific players that can take your fantasy teams to the top of the leaderboard this year, it’s also important to know the ins and outs of the teams those players are playing for or against. In this series, we’ll take a look at some of the top units around the NFL.
Be sure to check out the rest of the series by following the links below:
NFL: Top 5 Wide Receiver Corps
Just missed the cut
Atlanta Falcons: They have a strong one-two punch in Julio Jones and Roddy White, but lack of depth is concerning.
Detroit Lions: Same as the Falcons, but also an injury prone Calvin Johnson makes it even worse.
5. Pittsburgh Steelers
When you think of the Steelers, in most cases, you think of physical football and a defense first mentality. However, that’s no longer the case. This team now has one of the best receiving corps in the league, and it’s led by the deadliest weapon in the game, Antonio Brown. He led the league in reception and yards last season, and now has gone consecutive seasons with over 100 catches. He was tied for second in touchdowns with 13. Behind him are Marcus Wheaton and Martavis Bryant. Wheaton had a solid outing last year as he caught 53 passes for 644 yards. He is entering his third season in the NFL, which is known as the year receivers make strides. Bryant will be entering his sophomore season, but showed the ability to make some big catches and be a red zone threat as he caught eight touchdown passes. They also drafted Sammie Coates, who while is still raw, offers plenty of potential and upside. This stable has a star and a ton of young talented receivers, there’s plenty to like about them.
4. Indianapolis Colts
While this unit doesn’t offer a star-studded lineup, it has plenty of good options and is arguably one of the more balanced groups. The bunch is led by T.Y. Hilton who set a career high in receiving yards last year with 1,345 yards. He also added 82 catches and seven touchdowns, which tied career highs. This young speedster showed the ability to be a reliable No. 1 receiver. The Colts signed Andre Johnson this offseason which adds another element to this offense and a player that defenses will have to key on as well. This would hopefully create some more space and opportunities for Hilton. Johnson had, what I would consider, a solid season in Houston last year considering the quarterback situation. I think he still has a couple of years left, and his addition adds some strength and depth to this unit. They also have two young receivers with plenty of talent in Donte Moncrief and rookie Phillip Dorsett, who is known for his speed and big play ability. This bunch might just be the most underrated simply because it lacks one elite receiver. However, I’m sure Andrew Luck is as excited about this group as much as I am.
3. New York Giants
I’d never thought I’d be writing up a piece where the Giants receivers are close to the top of my rankings, but it’s happening. It is led by second year receiver, Odell Beckham Jr. He had, what I would say, is one of the most impressive, if not the most impressive rookie season I have ever witnessed by a receiver. After missing the first four games, Beckham took the field and completely embarrassed defenses. He finished the season with 91 catches for 1,305 yards and 12 touchdowns. Yes he did that in just twelve games. Assuming Victor Cruz comes back healthy, the top two receivers on this team will be really good. Behind Cruz is Rueben Randle, Dwayne Harris, Corey Washington, and Parker Preston. This is a deep and talented stable of receivers. Even if Cruz doesn’t return to form, they still have some pieces. Randle did quietly finish with 71 catches, 938 yards and three touchdowns. I think he’s in for a significant role in this offense this upcoming season, especially if Cruz struggles early on. I’m buying into this Giants offense.
2. Denver Broncos
The Broncos had the best one-two punch combo for receivers last season. Demaryius Thomas had the second most receiving yards (1,619), while Emmanuel Sanders finished the season with the sixth most receiving yards (1,404). The two combined for the most yards by any two receivers on one team. My concern with this entire unit is the lack of depth. While, I am a believer in Cody Latimer, besides him, it’s hard to be too excited about anyone else. Latimer should see a bigger role in the offense this season with the departure of tight end Julius Thomas. That being said, the Thomas-Sanders combo is tough to pass up on. This bunch may lack depth, but it certainly doesn’t lack talent at the top of it.
1. Green Bay Packers
There were only four teams in the NFL last season with two 1,000+ yards receivers, the Packers were one of them. This bunch is led by Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb, but is relatively deep with young talent. Nelson finished with the fourth most receiving yards (1,519), while Cobb finished eleventh with 1,287 yards. Only the duo in Denver had a better total. As far as depth, Davante Adams, Jared Abbrederis, Ty Montgomery, Jeff Janis are behind the two-headed monster. Adams is becoming a legitimate number three receiving option for this team. Janis has some upside and has been creating some minor buzz this preseason. Montgomery was a good addition in this year’s draft and adds another young talented receiver. This is a talented and deep group of guys.