Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Fantasy Football 2014: Receiver tiers - 'Calvin' to 'Jerry Rice'


The crop of fantasy football wide receivers is Calvin Johnson and everyone else. But there are still tiers with a silly names. Who belongs where? Dan Salem and Todd Salem debate in part two of this week’s TD Sports Debate. Two brothers from New York yell, scream and debate the NFL and sports.

[Part one - A tidal wave at Wide Receiver]



As promised, the five wide receiver tiers in fantasy football with a brief explanation of how many guys make the cut. Who goes where is up for debate, but the tiers themselves are not.


1- Calvin Johnson

Rather self explanatory. Only one man in this tier and it bears his namesake. Calvin Johnson.

2- I think I’m Jerry Rice

Five players fall into tier two. They are all big time studs and top wide receiver selections.

3- I’m really more Michael Irvin

Six players make tier three. All fantasy starters, but borderline top choices for your team. You won’t mock anyone for picking them, but I’d secure my starting QB, RB, and TE first.

4- Big stats, little reliability

Eight receivers in tier four make it the most packed of all five, mainly because we know these guys are gamers, but they’re also good for a week or two of nothing.

5- I’m nothing without my quarterback

This tier could be enormous, but I’m limiting it to five players. I don’t trust these men on other teams, but currently they are big time.

Twenty five men across five tiers in a ten team league is not quite everyone who will be chosen at wide receiver. Its two and half players per roster, so perhaps a sixth group is called for? Or perhaps not, since it would have to called “Crap Shoot” and contain twenty to fifty people.


I evidently don’t put as much stock into who a wide receiver plays for or who his quarterback is. Owning Josh Gordon last year completely did away with all those worries in my mind. He was on one of the worst teams in football and had the worst set of quarterbacks throwing to him in the league. Instead of struggling, he was the second best wide receiver in football and would have gone into this season as a top five guy if not for the pending suspension.

However, I am not averse to guessing your tiers! So here we go, with the details you laid out, and since I already described how I don’t have tiers to place WRs in this season, let the guessing commence.

1- Self explanatory

2- This is for the five elite guys after Johnson. I assume those are the next five ESPN had ranked as well:

Demaryius Thomas
A.J. Green
Dez Bryant
Brandon Marshall
Julio Jones.

If I was going to consider breaking receivers into tiers, I suppose the break would have to come after Jones, even though I don’t personally like him all that much more than the guys following him.

3- Is stud fantasy guys who must be started every week, regardless of the matchup, but who aren’t necessarily worth reaching for. Here, the six guys I think you put are:

Andre Johnson
Larry Fitzgerald
Antonio Brown
Pierre Garcon
Victor Cruz
Alshon Jeffrey

4- For tier four, there are a couple of guys who might qualify for tier five, in that they may be nothing without their quarterback. However, I think their production is too good to drop them that far. Here are eight, inconsistent stat guys:

Jordy Nelson
Randall Cobb
Vincent Jackson
Roddy White
Michael Crabtree
DeSean Jackson
Wes Welker
Marques Colston

5- For the guys who are on perfect teams and perform as such:

T.Y. Hilton
Torrey Smith
Julian Edelman
Keenan Allen
Emmanuel Sanders (TBD)

I know I didn’t get these tiers perfect. But, before you reveal the answer to your receiving tier system for 2014, let me just say that there are still a number of guys I like outside this top 25. I don’t agree that all the remaining guys are a craps-shoot. After all, we didn’t even get to upside guys like Cordarrelle Patterson, Percy Harvin or Jeremy Maclin; reliable vets like Reggie Wayne, your new boy Eric Decker or my old boy (who I despise) Hakeem Nicks; up and coming studs like Kendall Wright, Cecil Shorts or Terrance Williams; and there’s also Josh Gordon and a bunch more draftable guys left.



You got me, there are a ton of talented pass catchers outside of this top twenty-five. It’s the tidal wave we embraced in part one. But we aren’t talking bench guys or reaches here, we only want the three men who will be in a starting lineup for your team week after week. What makes this whole debate so much fun is the fact that personal allegiances can come into play. Take Cecil Shorts of the Jaguars for example, I’ve had him on fantasy teams over the last few seasons (not every season) and have grown quite fond of the man. I think his name is cool and his upside heading into 2014 is enormous. He doesn’t fit into tier five, because his production is not quarterback related, but he isn’t big time enough yet for tier four either. I’d draft Shorts ahead of half of your tier five guys.

Your breakdown of tier one and two is spot on, but in three and four we have some issues. One of the Green Bay Packers’ receivers belongs in tier three. I’d put my money on Randall Cobb over Jordy Nelson, but one of those men is in the top ten of fantasy receivers. Aaron Rodgers throws a lot of touchdowns, so I have Cobb over Victor Cruz in tier three.

Victor Cruz also drops for me because of the uncertainty with Eli Manning heading into this season. I also don’t trust the Falcons to rebound and Roddy White’s value should take a hit because of this. I’m vaulting T.Y. Hilton up into tier four in place of White. Now I realize that White is amazing regardless of his quarterback, while Hilton is great because of Andrew Luck. But rules are meant to be broken and I value a receiver on the Colts over that of the Falcons.

Perhaps I’m putting too much stock in a receiver’s team, but when it comes to luck I’m betting on top quarterbacks and winning teams over one star amongst a squad of average NFL talent.


[If you missed Part one - the Wide Receiver tidal wave]

Tags: 2014 Fantasy Football Wide Receivers Atlanta Falcons Fantasy Football Green Bay Packers Indianapolis Colts Jacksonville Jaguars Jerry Rice New York Giants NFL Sports Debate

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