Over the last few weeks, we’ve been looking at the rookie comparables for the top-11 PPR wide receivers from the 2018 class, and to ice this cake, I wanted to rank and tier the group heading into 2019.
For the most part, these rankings are a reflection of the quality of the player comps, not necessarily of a player’s current situation. Things change fast, and it’s likely that the circumstances will change drastically for several of these players over the next ten months.
With that said, here’s how I rank the 2018 rookie class of WRs. And we start with the easiest placing of the bunch.
1. D.J. Moore
It’s crazy to me that there are people who are still sleeping on Moore. He comps to one Hall of Fame lock and another who is on his way.
Moore is No. 1 with a bullet, and there is a big gap to No. 2 on this list. He commanded volume and efficiency at a tender age, and now he’s the No. 1 WR on a team that just freed up 116 targets and 1,386 air yards.
There is risk here, as his polarized comps bear out, but the upside is immense and it’s likely that he emerges as the best WR in this class.
Kirk missed a quarter of the season and still ended up with the sixth-most points among rookie WRs.
This is an admittedly aggressive ranking, but I’m giving him the nod at No. 2 (just barely) for two reasons:
- Youth. He’s nearly two full years younger than the next guy on our list (21.1 years to 23.0)
- While his closest comps aren’t spectacular, the group just on the cusp is quite strong
Brandin Cooks, Stefon Diggs, and Braylon Edwards all just barely missed this cut.
Kirk’s market share should only grow when Larry Fitzgerald rides off, and these overall comps give him a safe floor and a WR1 ceiling.
The Screener doesn’t like that Ridley is small and old, despite the fact that his crazy efficiency numbers do bode well for PPR scoring in years two and three.
Still, he’ll turn 25 this calendar year, and it’s possible that his 208.8 fantasy points in 2018 may be something close to his ceiling.
4. Antonio Callaway
Odell Beckham became a Brown a few days after this Callaway piece was published, and had it not been for that acquisition, Callaway very likely would’ve been No. 2 on this list.
His comps are incredible, especially considering the lack of heat he’s had since day one.
I promised I wouldn’t punish players for their current situation, but he’s now clearly the No. 3 option behind two target hogs in Beckham and Jarvis Landry.
It may be tough to trust him in redraft this year, but I’m absolutely buying at his depressed price in dynasty leagues — his upside is too great to ignore.
I’d listen to any and all arguments regarding the ranking in this tier. No one really stands out — they all have about one solid comp and then some pretty unspectacular names to follow.
I’ll give Smith the edge because he’s attached to Drew Brees.
His cohorts aren’t amazing, but the bad ones aren’t as bad as some of the others in this tier.
With a depth chart of Ted Ginn, Keith Kirkwood, Cameron Meredith and, Tommylee Lewis, Smith could well be the WR2 in New Orleans this season.
The rankings for Sutton and the two players below him are surely to cause the most controversy here, but other than the potential for volume on a bad Broncos offense, there’s not much to like about Sutton’s profile.
He’s probably not the next Michael Crabtree, and other than that, it’s an extremely disappointing group for a guy with so much dynasty hype.
7. Michael Gallup
Gallup gets an optimistic ranking based on the inclusion of Davante Adams alone, a comp which demonstrates more upside than either of the next two guys.
8. Dante Pettis
Pettis seems to be a popular breakout candidate, with many penciling him in as the WR1 on the 49ers depth chart.
But there is nothing in his profile or rookie production which suggests a fantasy star in the making.
9. Anthony Miller
I expected more from Miller’s comps, and perhaps this ranking is unfair considering he played through a shoulder injury for parts of his rookie season.
But, like Ridley, he’s inescapably old, leading to what could be the lowest floor of anyone.
Valdes-Scantling shares a best-case comparison of Roddy White with Miller. And like Miller, there’s not much else to get excited about.
11. Robert Foster
Foster flashed for parts of 2018, and he actually ended up seventh in rookie receiving yards. I thought his comps would be better due to a decent amount of opportunity — not only are they poor, but the Bills also signed John Brown in free agency and are likely to add another WR in the draft.