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2017 fantasy football WR profiles, projections (1-40)

2017 projections coming soon ... stay tuned.

Plenty of things across fantasy football are up for debate. Antonio Brown as the consensus top receiver off the board isn't one of them. Brown has been tops among his peers for the past three seasons, finishing no worse than third at his position. Heading into the 2017 season, not much has changed for Brown. He's still the top target in one of the NFL's most productive offenses and still will be catching passes from Ben Roethlisberger. Pay no attention to the return of Martavis Bryant, Brown remains worthy of a top-five pick in just about every fantasy draft this fall.


2016 stats: 154 tgt | 106 rec | 1,284 yds | 12 TD | 201.30 fantasy points

The Giants have Sterling Shepard, signed Brandon Marshall and drafted Evan Engram. Doesn't matter. This offense still revolves around Odell Beckham Jr. As such, there's no reason to believe that his target share is going to take any significant hit. Beckham has posted 1,300-plus yards and double-digit touchdowns in each of his first three seasons. Signs point to that trend continuing this season.

2016 stats: 169 tgt | 101 rec | 1,367 yds | 10 TD | 195.60 fantasy points

When people break down Julio's 2016 fantasy season, there are the inevitable complaints about his inconsistency with five single-digit fantasy games. If you are one of those people, you should stop that. Jones is still one of the most productive receivers in the game and the top target in one of the league's highest-flying passing attacks. There's no circumstance in which Jones won't be a solid first-round pick.

2016 stats: 129 tgt | 83 rec | 1,409 yds | 6 TD | 176.90 fantasy points

Calling Mike Evans a targets monster, while accurate, is misleading. Evans has never had fewer than 122 targets in his three NFL seasons and saw 173 balls thrown his way in 2016. That number is likely to go down a little this season with DeSean Jackson and rookie tight end O.J. Howard now occupying space in the Tampa atmosphere. But Evans is likely to remain Jameis Winston's favorite target and should once again push toward 1,200 receiving yards and double-digit touchdowns. If he's on the board after the first round, something went wrong.

2016 stats: 173 tgt | 96 rec | 1,321 yds | 12 TD | 208.10 fantasy points

An injury late in the season put Green on the shelf, preventing him from reaching 1,000 receiving yards for the first time in his professional career. Until then, Green was putting up solid numbers with the best yards per game average of his career and was in line to once again be a top 10 fantasy wideout. Now that he's back and healthy, things should once again be status quo for the No. 1 receiver in the Bengals offense.

2016 stats: 100 tgt | 66 rec | 964 yds | 4 TD | 120.40 fantasy points

There were certainly expectations that Nelson could bounce back after missing all of 2015 with a knee injury. There probably weren't many people who expected Nelson to finish second among fantasy receivers in scoring. His 14 touchdowns nearly tied his career high and at times he was the only consistently productive option for Aaron Rodgers. The part about Nelson being Rodgers' favorite target isn't likely to change this season. A top-two finish might not be in the offing, but Nelson is still a strong WR1 until further notice.

2016 stats: 152 tgt | 97 rec | 1,257 yds | 14 TD | 207.70 fantasy points

For a stretch of three seasons, there were few fantasy receivers as good as Dez Bryant. The past two campaigns were less than thrilling. A number of factors (notably injuries) have come together to depress Bryant's output. Now fantasy managers come to a crossroads with the Cowboys receiver. Can he go back to being a 1,200-yard, double-digit touchdown receiver in an offense that relied heavily on Ezekiel Elliott and the running game? Can Bryant continue to find success without a strong WR2 playing across the way from him? The overall talent is reason for optimism, but will the realities of the Dallas offense allow for it? Bryant enters 2017 as a risk/reward WR1.

2016 stats: 96 tgt | 50 rec | 796 yds | 8 TD | 130.00 fantasy points

If you can quietly end up as the WR5 in fantasy, then that's the perfect description of Hilton's 2016 season. The Colts wideout didn't offer a ton in terms of touchdown production ("only" six) but more than made up for it with a league-leading 1,448 yards. In each of the past four seasons, Hilton has seen no fewer than 131 targets with more than 1,000 yards. If Hilton could ever get to double-digit touchdowns, he'd easily be a top-three fantasy receiver. As it stands, he's still in line to be a solid WR1 yet again.

2016 stats: 155 tgt | 91 rec | 1,448 yds | 6 TD | 182.80 fantasy points

It didn't take long for Thomas to burst onto the scene. The rookie asserted himself into the Saints wide open passing attack and finished the year with the team lead in targets (121), receptions (92) and receiving scores (9) while finishing second to Brandin Cooks in receiving yards. Now that Cooks has left New Orleans for New England, the door is open for Thomas to claim the WR1 role for Drew Brees ... and all the fantasy riches that come with it.

2016 stats: 121 tgt | 92 rec | 1,137 yds | 9 TD | 163.70 fantasy points

It's hard to imagine that anyone was happier to see Brock Osweiler move along than Hopkins. Last season was Nuk's worst since his rookie campaign with much of the blame being laid at the feet of a quarterback who couldn't accurately deliver the ball. With a change under center, optimism returns to Houston. As long as one of the duo of Tom Savage or Deshaun Watson can get the ball to their main playmaker, Hopkins should rebound to being the top 10 receiver we've come to know.

2016 stats: 151 tgt | 78 rec | 954 yds | 4 TD | 119.40 fantasy points

Is the third year the charm for Cooper? While he's been a quality fantasy WR2 over his first two professional seasons, he's also been outplayed by his teammate Michael Crabtree. But a third year working in an emerging offense with Derek Carr at the helm has plenty of people excited about Cooper finally reaching his potential. A big step toward reaching that potential would be to become a bigger presence in the red zone and start pushing a little closer to double-digit touchdowns. Regardless, Cooper won't lack for targets again this season.

2016 stats: 132 tgt | 83 rec | 1,153 yds | 5 TD | 149.30 fantasy points

Last season was a tough one for Thomas' production. While he topped 1,000 yards for the fifth straight season, he also had his lowest reception and touchdown totals since 2011. The Broncos could have a new man at quarterback with Paxton Lynch expected to make a strong push for the job. That could open things up in what was a pretty conservative offense and hopefully boost Thomas back to strong WR1 status.

2016 stats: 144 tgt | 90 rec | 1,083 yds | 5 TD | 136.30 fantasy points

For the past couple of years we've been doubting Doug Baldwin. For the past couple of years, he's made us pay as the undisputed top target in an offense that has slowly become more pass-heavy. The Seahawks haven't done much to change their lineup of pass-catchers, meaning Baldwin doesn't have too many challengers to take targets away from him this year. Maybe this year, we shouldn't doubt him so much and just believe that he has the capacity to be a WR1.

2016 stats: 125 tgt | 94 rec | 1,128 yds | 7 TD | 159.60 fantasy points

Jeffery was beginning to assert himself as a top-flight fantasy receiver until injuries in 2015 and 2016 derailed his progress. After five seasons in Chicago, Jeffery signed with the Eagles where he could take over as the top target for Carson Wentz. Of course, he'll have to compete with Jordan Matthews and fellow free agent signee Torrey Smith. There is plenty of upside with drafting Jeffery as a WR2, but we'll have to wait and see how the target share will shake out.

2016 stats: 94 tgt | 52 rec | 821 yds | 2 TD | 94.10 fantasy points

Robinson was firmly in the running for the title of "Most Disappointing Fantasy Receiver" in 2016 following his breakout sophomore campaign. Much like DeAndre Hopkins, Robinson was betrayed by a quarterback who struggled to accurately and consistently deliver the football. Unlike Hopkins, Robinson doesn't get to try his luck with a new signal caller. The hope for many will be that new management can help fix what went wrong with Blake Bortles last season. There's optimism that last season was merely a hiccup and that 2017 can bring a return to Robinson being a top 10 fantasy wideout.

2016 stats: 151 tgt | 73 rec | 883 yds | 6 TD | 126.30 fantasy points

When Watkins is on the field, he's been productive in his career. The key word in that previous sentence is "when." Watkins has missed 11 games over the past two seasons and continued to deal with injuries in the offseason, opting for foot surgery in January. It's encouraging that the Bills brought back Tyrod Taylor, with whom Watkins has had on-field success. There is no concern about Watkins' talent or opportunity. The risk comes from his increasingly lengthy injury history. He'll come off the board as a WR2 but it might be in fantasy managers' best interest to draft extra depth at the position.

2016 stats: 52 tgt | 28 rec | 430 yds | 2 TD | 55.00 fantasy points

Pryor's first season as a full-time receiver was an unqualified success. The converted quarterback was far and away the Browns leading pass-catcher last season and now he heads to join a pass-happy offense in Washington. With both DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon now in new cities, Pryor slides into plenty of opportunity. It's not crazy to believe that Pryor could top 150 targets and end up potentially as a fringe WR1.

2016 stats: 140 tgt | 77 rec | 1,007 yds | 4 TD | 136.44 fantasy points

Landry has been pummeled with targets and racked up plenty of catches in his first three NFL seasons. The one thing Landry hasn't really done in his career is score a lot of touchdowns with just 13 in three seasons (the same amount his former LSU teammate Odell Beckham scored in 2015 alone). Very little has changed in the Dolphins offense, which means very little should change with Landry's role within it. But can we request a few more trips to the painted area? That would be nice.

2016 stats: 131 tgt | 94 rec | 1,136 yds | 4 TD | 137.30 fantasy points

  Amari Cooper is the headliner among 
  Raiders pass-catchers but Crabtree has been the choice among savvy fantasy managers. In two seasons with the club, Crabtree has snagged 17 touchdowns (compared to just 11 for Cooper) with more receptions than Cooper. There are certainly plenty who believe that a third-year breakout is coming for Cooper -- it's certainly possible. Nonetheless, Crabtree has established himself as a reliable go-to option for 
  Derek Carr. Nothing about that should change and Crabtree could once again be a solid WR2 in most leagues. 

2016 stats: 145 tgt | 89 rec | 1,003 yds | 8 TD | 150.30 fantasy points

Like his teammate, Demaryius Thomas, Sanders saw his production diminished last year as the offense went though a transition with Trevor Siemian at the helm. This year could offer another QB change with Paxton Lynch expected to challenge for the starting job. Lynch's mobility and downfield approach could open up the passing game and allow both Sanders and Thomas to rebound this season. At the very least, Denver's WR2 should continue to see in the area of 135 targets and 80 receptions.

2016 stats: 137 tgt | 79 rec | 1,032 yds | 5 TD | 133.60 fantasy points

The preseason has held so much promise for Allen in each of the past two seasons. Sadly, each of the past two seasons has ended in injury -- notably an ACL tear that struck in the first half of the 2016 season opener. Even in a crowded wide receiver group, Allen is expected to reprise his role as Philip Rivers' top target. When all is well, Allen is capable of posting WR1 numbers but he is likely to fall in many drafts because of injury concerns.

2016 stats: 7 tgt | 6 rec | 63 yds | 0 TD | 6.30 fantasy points

For the last several years, fantasy enthusiasts have tried to write Fitzgerald's fantasy eulogy and have repeatedly ended up with egg on their faces. Last year was a prime example when Fitzgerald led or tied for the Cardinals lead in just about every receiving category. The early talk this season is that John Brown is ready for a rebound while the Redbirds also look for J.J. Nelson to have an increased role. Nevertheless, Fitzgerald persists. There will eventually come a day when the future Hall of Famer stands face-to-face with Father Time but we're done trying to predict it.

2016 stats: 150 tgt | 107 rec | 1,023 yds | 6 TD | 136.80 fantasy points

Tate had a slow start to the season as newcomer Marvin Jones made a big splash with the team. But things changed beginning in Week 6 and Tate resumed his place at the top of the pecking order in the Lions passing game. The upside for Tate is that he'll be highly-targeted by Matthew Stafford. The downside is that with the emphasis on short, accurate passing, Tate will need to continue to be a YAC monster to provide more than middling WR2 production.

2016 stats: 135 tgt | 91 rec | 1,077 yds | 4 TD | 132.10 fantasy points

In three seasons, the hype around Brandin Cooks has never quite matched up to the production. Even with back-to-back 1,100-yard seasons with eight-plus touchdowns, Cooks' production came in bunches with more than 48 percent of his fantasy scoring coming in three games. Now he's in an offense that is crowded with playmakers and a quarterback who spreads the ball around. In so many ways, this feels like a lateral move for Cooks with similar outcomes to what we've already seen in recent seasons.

2016 stats: 117 tgt | 78 rec | 1,173 yds | 8 TD | 168.30 fantasy points

What a difference a year makes. After being roundly reviled by fantasy managers during a miserable 2015 season, Adams rebounded in 2016 to finish as the WR7. The real Davante Adams probably grades out somewhere between those two extremes. He's not likely to take over for Jordy Nelson as the top target in the Packers offense but there still should be 100-plus targets headed his way this year. It might be hard for Adams to duplicate his 12 touchdowns from a season ago, but there is little reason to think that there won't be plenty of opportunities for him to succeed.

2016 stats: 121 tgt | 75 rec | 997 yds | 12 TD | 171.10 fantasy points

In many respects, Diggs saw a progression in production from his rookie campaign even if his lack of touchdowns (three) left many underwhelmed. Part of the problem stemmed from being asked to do a little bit of everything (maybe too much) in the Minnesota passing game. The emergence of Adam Thielen and the addition of Michael Floyd should give Diggs some help this season while he retains his role as the Vikings' most talented receiver. Hopefully, 2017 is the breakout season for Diggs to push solidly into the WR2 realm.

2016 stats: 112 tgt | 84 rec | 903 yds | 3 TD | 109.30 fantasy points

Either you're an Eric Decker truther or you're not. Decker has been very productive during his stay with the team, scoring 14 touchdowns in his last 18 games. The good news for Decker is that Brandon Marshall is gone, leaving the role of Jets' WR1 open. The bad news is that the team's quarterback situation is ... less than good. Also with Quincy Enunwa and a slew of young receivers (including rookie ArDarius Stewart) looking to make an impact, Decker's influence in the offense could be waning. If you're drafting Decker this season, set your expectations lower than you have in past seasons.

2016 stats: 21 tgt | 9 rec | 194 yds | 2 TD | 31.40 fantasy points

Moncrief didn't see a lot of action last season (missed seven games) but he was ultra-efficient when he was on the field. Moncrief tallied seven touchdowns on just 30 receptions last season. Now that he's healthy and ready for another full season, Moncrief has the makings of a sleeper WR2 in an offense that will rely on Andrew Luck and the passing game in order to be successful.

2016 stats: 56 tgt | 30 rec | 307 yds | 7 TD | 72.60 fantasy points

Hill truly became a household fantasy name midway through the season as he earned an increasingly larger target share within the Chiefs offense. Hill's ability to create big plays as a runner, receiver and kick returner made him a tasty waiver-wire pick. Through it all, however, it's worth noting that Hill had fewer than 90 touches and 900 scrimmage yards. Hopefully his role in the offense continues to expand (especially after the team released Jeremy Maclin), otherwise, he could have a hard time rising above the level of a high-end WR2.

2016 stats: 83 tgt | 61 rec | 593 yds | 6 TD | 138.00 fantasy points

Crowder was a relative unknown at the start of the season but by the end had found his way onto plenty of successful fantasy rosters. Now that DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon are gone, it's up to Crowder, Terrelle Pryor, Josh Doctson and Jordan Reed to split the majority of the targets in Washington's pass-heavy offense. Crowder might not be an every-week starter, but as a flex option, he should have plenty of mid-round value.

2016 stats: 99 tgt | 67 rec | 847 yds | 7 TD | 124.50 fantasy points

Jackson has defined fantasy boom-or-bust during his career. Now he takes that act to Tampa where he joins a suddenly crowded offense with Mike Evans, Cameron Brate and rookie tight end O.J. Howard. The speedy Jackson is most known as a deep threat but he can offer other things to this offense. Plus, with Jameis Winston's propensity to throw the long ball, DJax could have more upside than in years past.

2016 stats: 100 tgt | 56 rec | 1,005 yds | 4 TD | 124.50 fantasy points

After being suspended for all of 2016, Bryant is back with the Steelers and stirring plenty of fantasy excitement. His speed and big play ability already made him a favorite of fantasy managers and he's expected to resume his role as the No. 2 wide receiver option behind Antonio Brown. While he was a boom-or-bust option in plenty of games in his young career, his highs make it hard to keep him out of a fantasy lineup.

2016 stats: -- tgt | -- rec | -- yds | -- TD | -- fantasy points

Edelman can never seem to escape his lot in life as a fantasy WR2. In the years when Edelman is gobbling up targets, he's failed to produce many touchdowns. The seasons with his larger touchdown totals have seen a depression in yards -- though his 2015 season was admittedly marred by injury. Edelman will always have slightly greater value in PPR formats but he will have to battle for looks in a pass-catching group that has gotten more crowded with the addition of Brandin Cooks. Edelman's ceiling is a WR2 but his floor could fall if Cooks eats into his opportunity.

2016 stats: 159 tgt | 98 rec | 1,106 yds | 3 TD | 132.30 fantasy points

Davis slides into a Titans offense in need of added playmakers on the outside. He'll immediately compete with Rishard Matthews for targets in the Tennessee offense but Davis' speed and ability after the catch should make him a popular target for both Marcus Mariota and fantasy drafters. The rookie will start with a floor as a WR3 with the chance for bigger things.

2016 stats: -- tgt | -- rec | -- yds | -- TD | -- fantasy points

After a breakout rookie season, we're still waiting to see who Kelvin Benjamin really is. His 2016 campaign didn't offer a great answer as he struggled to be a difference maker in the Panthers offense. Now that Christian McCaffrey and Curtis Samuel are on the roster, there is some thought that it signals a change in Carolina's offensive philosophy -- a change that might not heavily involve Benjamin. Drafting him as anything more than a third or fourth receiver isn't advisable.

2016 stats: 118 tgt | 63 rec | 941 yds | 7 TD | 134.10 fantasy points

Garcon's move to the 49ers will likely have plenty of fantasy enthusiasts downgrading him but this could be a more fortuitous situation that it appears upon first glance. The Niners are without anyone resembling a WR1, which means targets should abound for Garcon. He's also reuniting with Kyle Shanahan, the man who coached the veteran receiver during some of his most productive seasons. The 49ers offense won't be quite as productive as the Washington attack Garcon just left but he could likely find himself with far more opportunity.

2016 stats: 114 tgt | 79 rec | 1,041 yds | 3 TD | 122.10 fantasy points

Much of the talk surrounding Brandin Cooks' departure has focused on what it will do for Michael Thomas' prospects. But it would be wrong to overlook what it means for Willie Snead. Snead was third on the team in targets, yards and receptions last year -- numbers that could go up this year. Snead has the potential to significantly outperform his draft value if he can assume a larger role in one of the NFL's most-efficient passing offenses.

2016 stats: 104 tgt | 72 rec | 895 yds | 4 TD | 119.50 fantasy points

There has been lots of talk about Wallace and his role in the Ravens offense in 2017. With Steve Smith Sr. (retirement) and Kamar Aiken (free agent) now out of the mix in Baltimore, Wallace is the de facto No. 1 wideout on the roster. He might not have been at his statistical best last season but Wallace arguably played some of the best football we've seen from him in recent years. If he can continue to play at that level while seeing more opportunity, the veteran is likely to outperform his draft value.

2016 stats: 116 tgt | 72 rec | 1,017 yds | 4 TD | 130.80 fantasy points

Matthews has been downgraded on a lot of fantasy draft boards because of the team drafting rookie Corey Davis. However, it's not impossible to believe that Matthews could have a larger impact on the offense than anticipated. After all, he was the team leader in targets, yards and receiving touchdowns last year. That rapport with Marcus Mariota should serve him well -- especially early in the season as Davis works his way into the offense.

2016 stats: 108 tgt | 65 rec | 945 yds | 9 TD | 146.50 fantasy points

Now that Alshon Jeffery is in Philadelphia, the door appears open for Meredith to become the top target in Chicago. There are, of course, some things to consider. Kevin White, Kendall Wright and Markus Wheaton are now in the mix vying for targets. They'll also be catching passes from Mike Glennon. That's worth keeping in mind, though there should be plenty of chances for Meredith to be a nice WR3/4 option this year.

2016 stats: 97 tgt | 66 rec | 888 yds | 4 TD | 113.48 fantasy points

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