Fantasy football rankings: Eric Karabell’s wide receiver tiers
- ESPN contributor on TV, radio, podcasts, blogs, Magazine
- Charter member of FSWA Hall of Fame
- Author of “The Best Philadelphia Sports Arguments”
The wide receiver position rarely seems to give fantasy football managers headaches, certainly not in any true comparison with running backs. There is constant running back churn, with new names introduced seemingly at random and roles changing all the time. This rarely happens at wide receiver. We generally know whom to trust, and while surprises and disappointments — thanks a lot, Antonio Brown — still pop up on occasion, this is a deep, reliable position until the latter rounds of most drafts.
Still, a tiered system makes sense not only at running back, but at other positions as well — and fantasy managers should have this information at their disposal well ahead of drafts, and in a format simple enough to make quick decisions. So many wide receivers produce similar statistics that it might seem disingenuous to separate them into so many sections, but there are degrees of trust too. Receiving numbers often go hand in hand with quarterback play, but each of those positions has a far longer shelf life than running back, and it is not even close.
As noted in my running back tiers article, always prepare well in advance of your drafts. The ultimate reason for a tiered system is so a fantasy manager can make quick decisions about proper value during a draft and when it feels like the value drops off. If three running backs of seemingly similar value remain on the board in Round 6 — well, in theory at least — and only one wide receiver of a certain tier, go with the receiver. In many cases, of course, the running backs are the ones to reach for, since wide receiver depth is so ample, but you only know this if you figure out your own wide receiver tiers as well.
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