Jeff Ratcliffe's Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Tiers
Fantasy football draft season is here, so it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get ready for those drafts. One of the most useful weapons to have in your draft day arsenal is fantasy football tiers. With a tier-based approach, you can see how each player stacks up at his respective position. Tiers are slightly different from fantasy football rankings because it’s not just a straight list of players. These groupings allow for a more flexible approach to drafting that you can ultimately build into your draft board.
Wide receiver tiers are an important weapon in your fantasy football arsenal. Instead of the rigid approach of fantasy football rankings, tiers allow you more flexibility on draft day, which is key to dominating your opponents. With a tier-based approach, you can see how each player stacks up at his respective position.
Let’s take a look at my 2023 fantasy football wide receiver tiers. You can use these as they are or move them around to create your own set of tiers. We have you covered here at FTN with our Draft Kit content. With a Fantasy+ subscription, you get access to the 2023 Game Plan Draft Guide, our fantasy football draft cheat sheets, our rankings tool and fantasy football projections, and much more. Use promo code “Ratpack” for a discount on your subscription.
2023 Fantasy Football Tiers: Wide Receiver
This group of elite options are all likely to come off the board quickly in the first round of your 2023 drafts, and for good reason. Not only are these guys among the most skilled players in the league, but they also possess absolutely enormous weekly ceilings. Simply put, they’re studs in every sense of the word. A strong case could be made for Justin Jefferson and Ja'Marr Chase to go No. 1 and No. 2 in all formats, so don’t be surprised to see that happen in your leagues. However, Cooper Kupp may scare some away in the early part of the first round. Yes, his 2022 campaign was cut short due to injury, but he still managed elite-level production through the first nine weeks of the season, ranking second among wideouts in fantasy scoring. Tyreek Hill is also coming off a monstrous season in his first year with Miami.
We have only the slightest dropoff from the top tier to this group. Stefon Diggs has topped 100 catches in each of the last three seasons. A.J. Brown is coming off a double-digit touchdown season and we still haven’t seen his ceiling in the Philly offense. Lamb embraced his role as the Cowboys’ true No. 1 with Amari Cooper out of the mix and posted a triple-digit catch season of his own.
This group comes with slightly more question markers than Tier 2, but there’s arguably just as much fantasy upside. Amon-Ra St. Brown showed in 2022 that he can put numbers on the board with Jared Goff under center. In a lot of ways, he profiles similarly to Kupp for fantasy purposes. He isn’t quite at Kupp’s level yet, but his fantasy production isn’t far off. Davante Adams took a bit of a hit at quarterback with Jimmy Garoppolo. in place, so his stock slipped a bit from where he was last year. As for Jaylen Waddle, the Dolphins were able to sustain both him and Tyreek Hill last season. Of course, his status is tied to Tua Tagovailoa’s health. Both Wilson and Olave step into 2023 coming off strong rookie seasons with improved quarterback situations.
We have to divide things up as we work our way down into Tier 4. This group has several players who offer massive weekly ceilings. Some, like Tee Higgins, aren’t the No. 1 options on their respective teams. But they play in some of the most explosive offenses in the league. Others (like DK Metcalf, Christian Watson and DJ Moore) may not play in top shelf offenses but are the top targets on their teams.
We also have classic high-floor options in this group. Players like Keenan Allen, Amari Cooper, Diontae Johnson and even DeVonta Smith don’t offer elite ceilings, but they’re going to be consistent options who figure to finish in the WR2-plus range. At the same time, we also have a few players in this range who come with some question marks. These guys could pay dividends, but also could end up being overvalued. Terry McLaurin and Drake London have questionable quarterback situations. As for DeAndre Hopkins, he figures to be the No. 1 in Tennessee, but his outlook isn’t clear given the Titans’ run-heavy ways along with Ryan Tannehill’s descending play.
Fantasy drafts keep giving wide receiver value this year, as a number of high-upside wideouts will be on the board in the middle rounds of your drafts. Some of these players are established veterans (Brandon Aiyuk, Tyler Lockett, Mike Williams), others have post-hype sleeper appeal (Courtland Sutton, Michael Pittman) while others are viable breakout candidates (George Pickens, Jordan Addison).
At the same time, you have several question marks in this range. A lot of these options are fantasy mainstays who are past their prime or who simply offer no upside whatsoever. While their name-brand recognition will get them drafted ahead of some of the upside options in Tier 5a, their low fantasy ceiling or high volatility make them less-than-desirable fantasy options. This isn’t the group to go after if you’re swinging for the fences.
Christian Kirk and Calvin Ridley could cannibalize each other in the suddenly talent-rich Jaguars offense. Ridley certainly has upside, but fantasy drafters seem to be drafting him at his ceiling as we enter the heart of fantasy draft season. Mike Evans has been one of the best of his generation, but his age plus losing Tom Brady will almost certainly hurt his fantasy bottom line. Ditto for Chris Godwin. Marquise Brown enters the season on arguably the league’s worst team with the possibility of Clayton Tune or Joshua Dobbs as his quarterback. Likewise, Jahan Dotson has major question marks at quarterback. While Gabe Davis does offer upside, question abound as to whether he can take that next step to become a more complete receiver.
All the receivers in Tier 6A are positioned to seize the opportunity available to them heading into this season. Some (Zay Flowers, Skyy Moore, Treylon Burks, Nico Collins, Romeo Doubs, Quentin Johnston, Alec Pierce) offer breakout potential, while others (Allen Lazard, Darnell Mooney) fit the bill of post-hype sleepers who you can get on the cheap. However, the group on the right in Tier 6B don’t offer the same appeal as late-round targets. In most instances they either have a low fantasy ceiling or could be limited by low target shares.
At this point, these players aren’t draftable in regular-sized leagues. However, it’s worth monitoring them as we move through fantasy draft season and into the NFL regular season. Keeping watch lists is a great way of staying on top of deeper names who have the potential to emerge as fantasy assets in the future.