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2018 fantasy football draft tiers: Wide receivers

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When I hear the word "tiers," I don't think about fantasy football ... I think about the old '80s Kiss song ""Tears" are Falling. It wasn't even the makeup Kiss, either, it was the hair band version with all the pastel colors. Alright, I get it. Wrong word ... it's "tier" not "tear," but whatever. Anyways let's get back to 2018, and lots of fantasy fans are using tiers to determine the value of their players.

Ultimately, tiers sort players based on their projected level of production and ADP (average draft position). Using tiers assists fantasy owners in knowing where there's a potential decline in value among a position group, thus allowing owners to make a more educated decision on whether or not to draft a position based on who's been picked and who's still on the board. Tiers are useful for all sorts of fantasy drafts, and you can adjust them as needed to suit your league and scoring system.

Here are my own personal wide receiver tiers, which I will be updating (as needed) right up until Week 1:


Tier One - Round 1

Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers

Notes: You might disagree, but Brown belongs in his own tier. Per FantasyPros.com, he's been a WR2 or better in 74 percent of his games since 2013. That stat alone is nothing short of incredible. Brown will be a top-five selection in most drafts, and he'll be a steal if he falls any further in Round 1.

Tier Two - Rounds 1-2

DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans
Odell Beckham Jr., New York Giants
Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons

Notes: Hopkins finished last season with 96 catches, 1,378 yards and 13 touchdowns, but his stats while Deshaun Watson was under center were plain ridiculous. In fact, he averaged 96 yards and 1.2 touchdowns per game in Watson's six starts. While that pace seems unsustainable, Hopkins is a good bet to produce nice totals across the board. He's been a top-three PPR wideout in two of the last three seasons. ... Beckham has averaged 6.6 catches for 94.1 yards and scored a combined 38 touchdowns in his first 47 games at the NFL level. He's a surefire top-12 pick in all re-drafts. ... Jones has posted 80-plus catches and 1,400-plus yards in each of the last three seasons, but he's scored just 17 combined touchdowns in those 46 games. He also had just three top-10 PPR finishes and was 21st or worse among wideouts 11 times last season. That's been the biggest issue with Jones.

Tier Three - Rounds 2-3

Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints
Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers
Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers
A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals

Notes: Thomas might move into the second tier next season if he's able to record another campaign with 90-plus catches and 1,200-plus yards, but he needs an increase in the five touchdowns he had in 2017. ... Allen is coming off a career season that saw him finish third in PPR points among wideouts. He'll see another monster target share with Hunter Henry out for the season. ... Adams, who inked a big extension in the offseason, is now the top option in the Green Bay pass attack for Aaron Rodgers. Giddy up. ... Green has 1,000-plus yards in each of his six NFL seasons where he's played in at least 13 games.

Tier Four - Rounds 3-4

Adam Thielen, Minnesota Vikings
Stefon Diggs, Minnesota Vikings
Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals
T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts
Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs
Doug Baldwin, Seattle Seahawks

Notes: Thielen is coming off a career season with 91 catches, 1,276 yards and four touchdowns, which was good for eighth in PPR points among wideouts. He'll now be catching passes from Kirk Cousins, making him a borderline No. 1 wideout. ... Diggs is one of the biggest breakout candidates among wideouts. He has top-10 upside. ... Evans has posted 1,000-plus yards in each of his four NFL seasons, but he's scored five or fewer times in two of his last three and will be without Jameis Winston for the start of 2018. ... Fitzgerald, who will be entering his age-36 season, has actually seen his target totals increase in each of his last four seasons. He was also in the top 20 among wideouts in hog rate, according to PlayerProfiler.com. ... Hilton could wind up being a draft bargain, though his ADP has started to rise with Andrew Luck looking more like his old self. ... Hill ranked ninth in PPR scoring a season ago, but will he lose a bit of his target share with the addition of Sammy Watkins? He'll also be catching passes from the talented but inexperienced Patrick Mahomes. ... Baldwin could be considered a rebound candidate, but his bum knee has some fantasy owners concerned.

Tier Five - Rounds 4-5

Golden Tate, Detroit Lions
Allen Robinson, Chicago Bears
Demaryius Thomas, Denver Broncos
Amari Cooper, Oakland Raiders
Jarvis Landry, Cleveland Browns
JuJu Smith-Schuster, Pittsburgh Steelers

Notes: Tate has posted 90 or more catches in each of his last four seasons as a member of the Lions. ... Robinson missed most of last season with a torn ACL, but he should be in good shape for Week 1. He's also projected for a big target share in Chicago. ... Landry is unlikely to duplicate the target, catch and touchdown totals he had last season, making him a No. 2 wideout. ... Raiders coach Jon Gruden has said Cooper will be an offensive focal point, making him a potential value. ... Even with Brown and Le'Veon Bell on the roster, Smith-Schuster is still looking a potential 100-target season square in the face. As a rookie, he finished with a modest 79 targets in 14 games.

Tier Six - Rounds 5-6

Josh Gordon, Cleveland Browns
Marvin Jones, Detroit Lions
Michael Crabtree, Baltimore Ravens
Brandin Cooks, Los Angeles Rams
Chris Hogan, New England Patriots
Emmanuel Sanders, Denver Broncos
Randall Cobb, Green Bay Packers

Notes: Based on talent and upside alone, Gordon is capable of jumping one to two tiers this season. ... The Ravens have 336 vacated targets from last season's roster, so there should be no shortage of targets for Crabtree. ... Cooks lands in a Los Angeles offense that spread the ball around, so don't be shocked if he ends up outside of the top-20 PPR wideouts in 2018. ... Hogan could be a draft steal. ... Cobb and Sanders are a pair of veterans who should benefit from more targets (and better targets) this season. The duo could easily push for WR2 value in PPR formats across the board.

Tier Seven - Rounds 7-8

Corey Davis, Tennessee Titans
Robby Anderson, New York Jets
Marquise Goodwin, San Francisco 49ers
Alshon Jeffery, Philadelphia Eagles
Jamison Crowder, Washington Redskins
Robert Woods, Los Angeles Rams
Pierre Garcon, San Francisco 49ers

Notes: Davis, if he can avoid the injuries that bothered him as a rookie, could turn into quite the draft bargain. ... Anderson popped at times last season, as he finished as a top-20 PPR wideout in every game during a five-week stretch before finishing on a down note. Still, he could be a decent value pick. ... Jeffery is expected to miss at least the first two weeks of the regular season as he continues to recover from shoulder surgery, so he's dropped a few tiers. ... Cooks is considered the top fantasy wideout on the Rams roster, but no one would be surprised if Woods leads the team in PPR points. ... Garcon might be picked ahead of Goodwin in drafts, but the latter has developed a great rapport with Jimmy Garoppolo and could turn into one of the year's big breakouts at his position.

Tier Eight - Rounds 9-10

Will Fuller, Houston Texans
Devin Funchess, Carolina Panthers
Sterling Shepard, New York Giants
Kenny Stills, Miami Dolphins
Sammy Watkins, Kansas City Chiefs
Keelan Cole, Jacksonville Jaguars
Nelson Agholor, Philadelphia Eagles

Notes: Fuller has huge upside with Watson under center, but he needs to avoid the nagging injuries that have dogged him as a pro. ... Funchess showed some flashes last season, finishing as a top-20 PPR wideout five times. The addition of rookie D.J. Moore is a cause for concern, however, as he could put a dent into his target share. ... Watkins saw just 70 targets with the Rams last season, and he's now in a crowded Chiefs offense that could limit his statistical potential. ... Cole's value is on the rise with Marqise Lee out for the season.

Tier Nine - Rounds 10-11

Tyler Lockett, Seattle Seahawks
Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams
Julian Edelman, New England Patriots
John Brown, Baltimore Ravens
Jordy Nelson, Oakland Raiders
Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Allen Hurns, Dallas Cowboys
Kelvin Benjamin, Buffalo Bills

Notes: Lockett's stock is on the rise with news of Baldwin's bum knee, but he's still just a later rounder. ... Kupp led the Rams wideouts in targets, catches and receiving yards, but the addition of Cooks will stunt his statistical growth. ... Edelman will miss the first four games due to a suspension, but he'll be valuable upon his return. ... Nelson, 33, is past his prime and will be hard pressed to make a big impact in Oakland. ... Godwin's stock is on the rise, but a crowded Bucs pass attack hurts his ceiling a bit. .. Hurns' potential target share makes him well worth a late-round choice.


Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on NFL.com and NFL Network and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. You can follow Michael on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram for all of the latest fantasy news, notes and analysis!

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