Updated Fantasy Football WR Rankings 2023: Best wide receivers, top sleepers & breakouts in standard fantasy drafts | Sporting News (2024)

Although PPR formats are increasing in popularity every year, there’s still a large contingent of fantasy football leagues with standard scoring formats. For those fantasy owners in non-PPR leagues, our 2023 fantasy WR rankings are here to highlight those wide receivers best positioned for success in standard formats. Our preseason list features this year’s crop of potential sleepers and breakouts alongside the sure-fire, top-tier WR1s and 2s.

Unlike running back, there isn’t as significant of a deviation between standard and PPR scoring at wide receiver, but understanding which wideouts have a higher ceiling in both formats can be crucial in your chances of claiming a fantasy championship. In standard scoring formats, we want to focus our attention on wideouts with big-play ability (we love WRs with high yards per route run and air yards share numbers) and wideouts who see consistent red-zone targets.

For those unfamiliar with advanced stats jargon, yards per route run is simply the total number of receiving yards divided by the number of routes a player runs. A quick glance at the wideouts who ended 2022 atop the league in yards per route run looks pretty similar to our standard WR rankings, as eight of the top 10 WRs in yards per route run also sit in the top 10 of our initial rankings.

DOMINATE YOUR DRAFT: Ultimate 2023 Fantasy Cheat Sheet

Despite moving on from Patrick Mahomes and catching passes from three different QBs in ‘22, Tyreek Hill led all qualifying WRs (minimum 30 snaps per game) in yards per route run (3.38). A.J. Brown posted the second-highest mark (3.01).

2023 STANDARD RANKINGS:
QBs | RBs | TEs | D/STs | Ks | Top 200 | S-Flex | IDP

As we mentioned, eight of the top 10 WRs in yards per route run sit within the top 10 in our standard rankings, but fantasy owners might be surprised to see that 2022 rookies Chris Olave, Drake London, and Christian Watson finished 10th, 11th, and 12th, respectively, in yards per route run.

2023 PPR RANKINGS:
QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs | D/STs | Ks | Top 200 | S-Flex | IDP

With Olave and London potentially seeing an upgrade at QB with Derek Carr in New Orleans and Desmond Ridder hopefully showing improvement as a passer in year two, those two WRs make for solid draft picks in standard formats. While the jury’s still out on Jordan Love, Watson did lead all WRs in fantasy points per target last season, and if Green Bay’s No. 1 wideout continues to draw high usage in the red zone, he could finish as a borderline WR1.

2023 FANTASY SLEEPERS
QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs | D/STs | Each Team

When it comes to air yards share, D.J. Moore ended 2022 accumulating almost 48 percent of his team’s air yards (1,564). If that carries over from Carolina to Chicago, that could be big for Moore’s debut season with Justin Fields. Fields ended last year completing a respectable 60.4 percent of his passes that traveled 20 yards or further, and he’s one of the better deep-ball throwers in the league. A bit lower down the air yards share rankings sits Terry McLaurin, who looks to be in line for a more consistent 2023 now that he doesn’t have to catch passes from Carson Wentz and Taylor Heinicke.

2023 AUCTION VALUES (Standard & PPR):
QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs | D/STs | Ks | Overall

Some other mid-tier WRs who ended last season in the top 25 in air yards share include Brandon Aiyuk (32.5 percent), Marquise Brown (32.3), Diontae Johnson (32.3), Mike Williams (31.1) and Tyler Lockett (30.5). Aiyuk’s flexed within an offensive full of explosive playmakers, but ‘23 could be his most consistent season yet if projected starting QB Brock Purdy produces at a similar level to last season.

2023 POSITION TIERS & DRAFT STRATEGY:
QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs | D/ST

Brown is now the Cardinals’ No. 1 wideout with DeAndre Hopkins out of town, and although Kyler Murray (knee) won’t be ready to start the season, Brown profiles as an intriguing value pick at his ADP. Johnson remains a strong draft pick in both standard and PPR formats despite failing to score a touchdown last season, as Kenny Pickett is likely to take a step forward in his first full season as QB1 in Pittsburgh.

FANTASY DRAFT STRATEGY:
Snake | Auction | Best ball | Dynasty | IDP

With highly touted rookies Quentin Johnston and Jaxon Smith-Njigba joining their respective WR rooms, we’ll see if Williams and Lockett can maintain similar air yards share numbers. For now, we expect both pass-catchers to see slight regressions.

Before we get to our full list, we want to highlight some lower-tiered WRs who ended ‘22 with solid red-zone numbers, making them appealing picks in standard formats due to their TD capabilities. Zay Jones (16), Courtland Sutton (14), Michael Gallup (13), and Donovan Peoples-Jones (13) all ranked within the top 30 of WRs in red-zone targets last season.

The Jaguars look to build off of last season’s AFC South title with another successful season, but Calvin Ridley’s presence could limit Jones’ red-zone targets this season. On the flip side, Sutton profiles as a prime bounce-back candidate if Sean Payton can get the Broncos’ offense running to the level it's capable of.

Gallup played in just 14 regular season games last season returning from injury but was still top-30 in red-zone targets. Even though he’ll be competing with targets alongside CeeDee Lamb and Brandin Cooks, Dallas’ offense is strong enough to support three wides. Peoples-Jones also has a shot to post similar red-zone numbers with more consistency from Deshaun Watson as a passer, but he’ll now have to compete with Elijah Moore on top of Amari Cooper.

Clearly, there’s no shortage of solid WR options at every tier level, so as long as you continue to stack assets and focus on stats like target share, air yards, and red-zone looks, you should be able to field a solid starting WR corps all season long.

We'll be adjusting these standard WR rankings and providing further analysis from now until Week 1, so check back for updates.

Fantasy Football WR Rankings 2023: Best wide receivers, top sleepers in standard leagues

Rankings based on standard, non-PPR scoring

Rank Player
1 Justin Jefferson, Vikings
2 Ja'Marr Chase, Bengals
3 Tyreek Hill, Dolphins
4 Davante Adams, Raiders
5 Cooper Kupp, Rams
6 A.J. Brown, Eagles
7 CeeDee Lamb, Cowboys
8 Stefon Diggs, Bills
9 Amon-Ra St. Brown, Lions
10 Garrett Wilson, Jets
11 Jaylen Waddle, Dolphins
12 Chris Olave, Saints
13 Amari Cooper, Browns
14 Deebo Samuel, 49ers
15 DeAndre Hopkins, Titans
16 DeVonta Smith, Eagles
17 Tee Higgins, Bengals
18 Terry McLaurin, Commanders
19 Calvin Ridley, Jaguars
20 Keenan Allen, Chargers
21 DK Metcalf, Seahawks
22 Mike Williams, Chargers
23 Brandon Aiyuk, 49ers
24 Mike Evans, Buccaneers
25 Tyler Lockett, Seahawks
26 Drake London, Falcons
27 Christian Watson, Packers
28 Christian Kirk, Jaguars
29 George Pickens, Steelers
30 Gabe Davis, Bills
31 D.J. Moore, Bears
32 Chris Godwin, Buccaneers
33 Brandin Cooks, Cowboys
34 Michael Pittman Jr., Colts
35 Diontae Johnson, Steelers
36 Jerry Jeudy, Broncos
37 Marquise Brown, Cardinals
38 Jordan Addison, Vikings
39 Jahan Dotson, Commanders
40 JuJu Smith-Schuster, Patriots
41 Courtland Sutton, Broncos
42 Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Seahawks
43 Rashod Bateman, Ravens
44 Michael Thomas, Saints
45 Kadarius Toney, Chiefs
46 Treylon Burks, Titans
47 Quentin Johnston, Chargers
48 Jakobi Meyers, Raiders
49 Allan Lazard, Jets
50 Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Chiefs
51 Zay Jones, Jaguars
52 Elijah Moore, Browns
53 Rondale Moore, Cardinals
54 Jameson Williams, Lions
55 Odell Beckham Jr., Ravens
56 Nico Collins, Texans
57 Michael Gallup, Cowboys
58 Zay Flowers, Ravens
59 DJ Chark, Panthers
60 Tyler Boyd, Bengals
61 Donovan Peoples-Jones, Browns
62 Skyy Moore, Chiefs
63 Curtis Samuel, Commanders
64 Marvin Mims Jr., Broncos
65 Marvin Jones Jr., Lions
66 Hunter Renfrow, Raiders
67 Adam Thielen, Panthers
68 Joshua Palmer, Chargers
69 Isaiah Hodgins, Giants
70 Khalil Shakir, Bills
71 Van Jefferson, Rams
72 Romeo Doubs, Packers
73 Wan'Dale Robinson, Giants
74 Rashid Shaheed, Saints
75 K.J. Osborn, Vikings
76 Allen Robinson II, Steelers
77 Rashee Rice, Chiefs
78 Tank Dell, Texans
79 John Metchie III, Texans
80 Darnell Mooney, Bears
81 Alec Pierce, Colts
82 Chase Claypool, Bears
83 DeVante Parker, Patriots
84 Robert Woods, Texans
85 Mack Hollins, Falcons
86 Darius Slayton, Giants
87 Josh Downs, Colts
88 Mecole Hardman, Jets
89 Greg Dortch, Cardinals
90 Isaiah McKenzie, Colts
91 Jonathan Mingo, Panthers
92 Tyquan Thornton, Patriots
93 Cedric Tillman, Browns
94 Charlie Jones, Bengals
95 Russell Gage, Buccaneers
96 Puka Nacua, Rams
97 Terrace Marshall Jr., Panthers
98 Trent Sherfield, Bills
99 Jalin Hyatt, Giants
100 Parris Campbell, Giants

Updated Fantasy Football WR Rankings 2023: Best wide receivers, top sleepers & breakouts in standard fantasy drafts | Sporting News (2024)
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