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Fantasy Football: Ranking wide receivers 16-30, WR2s

Our fantasy prediction series continues as we cover the second tier of wide receivers for your team to consider on draft day.

Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports

Snagging the top receivers in your league is a primary concern and could be the driving force to your team's eventual championship in the winter. However, you need depth behind your stars to help further your teams chances and fill-in for those tough bye weeks and injury situations which will inevitably happen at some point. Picking the right depth players also gives you more of a chance to find sleepers that could explode into being stars for your team that you spent only a 4th round pick or even a 9th round pick on.

Today, we evaluate which mid-tier wide receivers you should pick to boost your depth, or be your starters if you invested your early picks in running backs and quarterbacks (or defenses if you're that kind of person).

For those that are new to our fantasy coverage, please note the APDPA stat (Average Playoff Defensive Points Allowed) which takes into account the quality of defenses each player will face in the last five weeks of the regular season. The statistic averages out the points allowed against wide receivers of the teams that respective player will face in the final five weeks of the NFL season.

These weeks are the usual times for fantasy playoffs in most leagues; while some may vary with 4 or 5 weeks that could start and end at different times, week 13 is the earliest that playoffs usually start with bye weeks ending in week 12, and week 17 still does appear in some playoff brackets.

Without further ado, here are the rankings from our Fantasy Football department at BTSC:

Dani Bostick

Players 2014 Points APDPA
16 DeAndre Hopkins 157 18.92
17 Jordan Matthews 135.2 20.34
18 Julian Edelman 130.6 22.76
19 Brandin Cooks 86.3 21.74
20 Martavis Bryant 104.1 19.12
21 Jeremy Maclin 192.9 19.82
22 Amari Cooper Rookie 19.42
23 Golden Tate 160.1 22.28
24 Roddy White 134.1 22.24
25 Sammy Watkins 135 22.9
26 Keenan Allen 102.3 18.46
27 Vincent Jackson 112.2 22.64
28 Jarvis Landry 105.4 19.78
29 Allen Robinson 66.8 21.76
30 Mike Wallace 147.8 19.68


Call me a homer, but I think Martavis Bryant will have a great season, even though he has to compete with Antonio Brown, Le'Veon Bell, and Markus Wheaton for yardage and scoring opportunities. I think Chip Kelly was a fool to give up Brandon Boykin for so little, but on the offensive side of the ball he is much savvier. I'm betting Jordan Matthews will be a frequent target and a big-scorer in fantasy leagues.

I had Brandon Marshall on my original pre-Geno-Smith-broken-jaw top 10 from the other week. Obviously with an even less reliable QB Marshall's productivity will suffer.

Jeff Hartman:

Players 2014 Points APDPA
16 Julian Edelman 130.6 22.76
17 Brandin Cooks 86.3 21.74
18 Mike Evans 177.1 22.64
19 Desean Jackson 153.6 20.66
20 Jordan Matthews 135.22 20.34
21 Amari Cooper Rookie 19.42
22 Andre Johnson 111.6 21.9
23 Jeremy Maclin 192.9 19.82
24 Steve Smtih Sr. 142.5 18.68
25 Allen Robinson 66.8 21.76
26 Markus Wheaton 78.3 19.12
27 Mike Wallace 147.8 19.68
28 Vincent Jackson 112.2 22.64
29 Anquan Boldin 136.6 19.36
30 Jarvis Landry 105.4 19.78


When looking at second tier receivers, there are a number of players to choose from. If you have a injury to a top WR on your fantasy team, looking at the best fit for your weekly matchup might be the best bet. However, picking up a quality back up in your draft will help ease the pain of a major injury, but play your cards correctly and you will have a myriad of options at your disposal, both on your bench and on the waiver wire, to help get you the points you need for victory.

Christopher Carter

Players 2014 Points APDPA
16 Brandin Cooks 86.3 21.74
17 Andre Johnson 111.6 21.9
18 Keenan Allen 102.3 18.46
19 Golden Tate 160.1 22.28
20 Jeremy Maclin 192.9 19.82
21 Martavis Bryant 104.1 19.12
22 Desean Jackson 153.6 20.66
23 Julian Edelman 130.6 22.76
24 Amari Cooper Rookie 19.42
25 Jordan Matthews 135.2 20.34
26 Vincent Jackson 112.2 22.64
27 Steve Smith Sr. 142.5 18.68
28 Mike Wallace 147.8 19.68
29 Roddy White 134.1 22.24
30 Jarvis Landry 105.4 19.78


It should be noted that DeAndre Hopkins does not appear on this list because he has been bumped up into my top 15 wide receivers with the season-ending injury to Kelvin Benjamin.

For those who are on this list, I jumped back and forth with some of these choices and probably will again before the season starts. However Cooks is a standout player for me that I think will explode onto the scene in 2015 with Drew Brees and the lack of Jimmy Graham in the Saints' offense. Keenan Allen and Andre Johnson will see resurging seasons, while Jeremy Maclin will fall back quite a back due to his joining the not-so-friendly-to-wide-receiver offense of the Kansas City Chiefs.

But my oh my, watch out for Martavis Bryant. I see him having a 1,000+ yard season and possibly double digit touchdowns in the Steelers offense. He could be the ultimate sleeper of this year's draft. Recently I participated in my first official fantasy draft for this season and I selected Bryant in the 5th round as my first receiver (drafted Bell/Forte/Forsett/Roethlisberger with my first four picks). Bryant may not be big on fantasy boards that rank players, but he's definitely worth your attention; especially if you're a Steelers fan who missed the boat on Le'Veon Bell, Antonio Brown or Ben Roethlisberger in the early rounds.

Jordan Matthews will be a problem for opposing defenses, but keep an eye on Julian Edelman. He will suffer early without Tom Brady, but opponents in the playoff weeks of your fantasy league could yield a lot of points to him as he had the highest APDPA rating in my list.