Remember a few years ago when the idea of taking a receiver in the first round was laughable? Those are the good old days when you might think about getting a QB in the middle of the 2nd round, and a receiver was a reach at the bottom of the 2nd. Nowadays you might see three of them in the first round, and there are some fantasy owners that ponder the idea of taking three straight receivers in a draft. 

And it makes some sense. With the evolution of the 5,000-yard quarterback comes a much more consistent receiver. When Peyton threw for a league leading 4,200 yards in 2003 it made sense that his leading receiver had about 30% of his yardage. That only translates to 75-yards per game! So for every 100-yard game that Marvin Harrison had in 2003, there was 50-yard stinker. 

So ten years later when we had ten different players that topped 1,350 yards receiving, it is mostly due to the fact that 8-players threw more than 4,200 yards. More yards per game means a better overall average. This also means that a 5 point fail in 2003 made receivers risky, while it is closer to 8 points nowadays. Here are your receiver rankings for 2013:


1) Calvin Johnson

Your gut might say that you like someone else, but you would be dumb to not take him. He was hands down the best receiver last year with a QB that sucked in the redzone.

2) Dez Bryant

I am very torn between Bryant and A.J Green, but I'm going to give a slight not to Bryant because of overall potential. Bryant is a little more injury prone, but he has a much better quarterback, he's on a team that will often be coming from behind, and the second best redzone target is rookie Gavin Escobar.

3) AJ Green

Green is the safer bet, and he has the best draw for a Bye week, but the Bengals might be resting him for the playoffs if the Ravens and Steelers are both in transition years.

4) Larry Fitzgerald

Let me start by saying that you had better not draft him where I am ranking him. But Fitzgerald had arguably the three worst quarterbacks for him last year. He will grab ahold of Carson Palmer and have the potential to have a career season. His floor is a lot lower than a few other guys, but I think he has 1,500 yard 15 touchdown potential.

5) Brandon Marshall

This could be a huge year for Marshall, but it could also be a let down. He has a ton of potential, especially given the fact that the defense won't be as good. Some think that he is due for even more targets this year with his new coach, but I think that the team might be a lot more efficient, which does not mean more catches (etc.)

6) Julio Jones

Jones was my sleeper pick last year, and boy did he wake up. His health worries me a little bit, as does the fact that he plays on a team that isn't going to run up the score. It's hard to not like him though.

7) Victor Cruz

Cruz is the perfect example of a guy to grab on your team. He is one a talent team that isn't that talented. There are going to be a lot of games where the Giants will be playing from behind, and there is good (but not great) talent around him. Sure Hakeem Nicks will steal some carries in the three games that he is healthy.

8) Demaryius Thomas

I was a huge fan of Bey Bey Thomas coming out of college, but now that everyone knows about him I am a little less in love in the fantasy realm. He is on a team with two other guys that easily could combine for 250 catches. He also has three capable running backs that will be used a ton when the team is blowing out teams like Oakland. He also might be rested come playoff time too.

9) Percy Harvin

10) Vincent Jackson

11) Andre Johnson

12) Roddy White

13) Wes Welker

14) Randall Cobb

15) Marques Colston

16) Danny Almendola

17) Reggie Wayne

18) Steve Smith

19) Denario Alexander, Chargers


If you averaged Alexander's final 8-games of the season... 1,300 yards and 14 touchdowns. He is the perfect sleeper pick, because Phillip Rivers can't be as sucky as he was last year, and he won't be high on many guys boards because he only played half of last year. He right now is averaging the middle of the 7th round, which is surprising low for a guy that has WR1 potential. 

20) T.J. Hilton

21) James Jones


I don't think he will be the TD machine that he was last year, but it is silly that he is going two rounds later than the other two Packer receivers.

22) Jordy Nelson

23) Dwayne Bowe

24) Jeremy Maclin

25) Miles Austin

26) Cecil Shorts

27) DeSean Jackson

28) Pierre Garcon

29) Eric Decker

30) Torrey Smith

31) Hakeem Nicks

32) Mike Wallace

33) Brian Hartline


Hartline is a sleeper of mine at 32, and some would say I'm reaching on a guy that had 1,100 yards last year.

34) Stevie Johnson

35) Tavon Austin

36) Josh Gordon


Sleepers

1) Michael Floyd

Floyd could end up as a top-10 receiver this year, and you can get him in the 10th round.

2) Robert Woods

If he can find a niche with his quarterbacks then he could easily have 80 catches.

3) Michael Crabtree

Don't pay anything for him, but you have to wonder if he could get some huge pre-playoff minutes

4) Patriots receivers

It's going to be funny if Donald Jones becomes a 1,000 yard receiver.