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If you’re a wide receiver, you catch passes. It’s what you do.
And if you’re a wide receiver who catches a lot passes and I’m in a points per reception league, you’re on my team. No questions asked.
PPR formats are a variation of the standard scoring fantasy football football leagues that offer points for every reception made. So obviously, you want wide receivers who not only catch passes, but see a ton of targets. The more targets you see, the more balls you’re likely to catch, the more valuable you are.
So who will stand out in PPR leagues in 2015? Keep reading to see our Top 10 rankings.
Bookmark our fantasy football rankings 2015 page to keep up-to-date on the latest projections and rankings heading into the season.
1. Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers
2014 Stats: 129 receptions (182 targets), 1,698 yards, 13 touchdowns
Brown has been a PPR gold mine the past 2 seasons and he’s just hitting his prime. Ben Roethlisberger will look his way a dozen times a game after the duo connected on a ridiculous 71 percent of their chances. That might drop a tick, but still, good enough to get the No. 1 spot here. And now with news of fellow wideout Martavis Bryant getting a 4-game ban, Brown should get a pass or two more his way each game.
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2. Demaryius Thomas, Denver Broncos
2014 Stats: 111 receptions (184 targets), 1,619 yards, 11 touchdowns
Thomas led the league in targets a season ago and could very well do so again. Peyton Manning’s time is winding down and he knows the best chance to win is through the passing game. And now that premium end zone target Julius Thomas has moved on, Demaryius should get more looks down there. Shaping up to be another stellar season for Thomas.
3. Odell Beckham Jr., New York Giants
2014 Stats: 91 receptions (132 targets), 1,305 yards, 12 touchdowns
That’s was an awesome season Beckham had in 2014. Oh, and by the way, those numbers came in just 12 games. 12! 25 percent less than everyone else. So you can understand my giddiness for this year. Beckham ended the season on an absolute tear. While Victor Cruz is coming back from injury, Eli Manning is looking for a new contract and he knows the best way to the big bucks — through the sticky fingers of Beckham. ODB is a PPR MVP.
4. Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons
2014 Stats: 104 receptions (164 targets), 1,593 yards, 6 touchdowns
If you watch football, I don’t need to tell you Julio Jones is basically unstoppable. Unless he’s dinged up and on the sideline, which is the knock on him. But the shoe sort of fits; Jones has only played 16 games in a season once in his 4 years. He’s actually missed 15 regular season games (11 in 2013). But, back to the good. Expect Jones to see double-digit targets once again and pull in 6-7 per game. But, Julio, is it too much to ask to get into the end zone a few more times? Thanks, bud.
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5. Randall Cobb, Green Bay Packers
2014 Stats: 91 receptions (126 targets), 1,287 yards, 12 touchdowns
With Jordy Nelson in the lineup, Cobb saw 126 targets. Now Nelson is out for the year with a torn ACL, expect Cobb to see an uptick in that department. 155 is not out of the question. Cobb and Aaron Rodgers connected on 72 percent of their chances and if Cobb catches 65% of 155 that’s 100 receptions. That could be turn into 1,400 yards and a couple more TDs. I’m just speculating, but there are a lot more targets to go around now that Nelson is out and the Packers don’t have anyone of his caliber waiting in the wings. Advantage: Cobb.
6. Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys
2014 Stats: 88 receptions (138 targets), 1,320 yards, 16 touchdowns
Bryant is as consistent as they come. Over the past 3 years his numbers have been nearly identical. Hey, if Dez and Tony Romo can do it again, I’m all for it. As long as Romo stays upright, which he should behind that stud offensive line, you can pencil Bryant in for a 90-1,275-13 season.
7. Alshon Jeffery, Chicago Bears
2014 Stats: 85 receptions (145 targets), 1,133 yards, 10 touchdowns
Jeffery is the clear-cut No. 1 now that Brandon Marshall has gone to “The Place Wide Receivers Go To Die” — the Jets. Jeffery’s 145 targets from a season ago should easily become 165 in 2015. Kevin White was drafted to replace Marshall, but he’s on the PUP list and Eddie Royal is, well, Eddie Royal. Jay Cutler and Jeffery connected on less than 60 percent of their attempts, so a little improvement there could go a long way.
8. Emmanuel Sanders, Denver Broncos
2014 Stats: 101 receptions (141 targets), 1,404 yards, 9 touchdowns
Yes, a second Broncos receiver makes the top 10. Because when you’re on the same page as Peyton Manning, you produce. And judging by last year, Sanders and Manning are absolutely on the same page. They’re on the same paragraph on said page. Seeing 150 targets in 2015 should yield even better numbers for the 6th-year pro, who was one of only 5 players to record at least 100 receptions last season. I see it happening again this season.
9. Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions
2014 Stats: 71 receptions (128 targets), 1,077 yards, 8 touchdowns
Calvin Johnson at No. 9? What am I thinking? I’ll tell you what I’m thinking. I’m thinking Matthew Stafford is regressing and Johnson is beginning to break down. Since 2012, when he saw an amazing 205 targets, he’s been banged up and Stafford has dropped off the face of the earth. Johnson will have one of his 200-yard, 2-TD games at some point, but the consistency will not be there. Megatron is going to make me regret this, isn’t he?
10. A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals
2014 Stats: 69 receptions (116 targets), 1,041 yards, 6 touchdowns
Injuries and Andy Dalton’s mediocrity took a toll on Green in 2014. Hence, the sub-par numbers. With Green seemingly healthy, expect him to bounceback. Green’s best season came in 2013 when he was lined up opposite Marvin Jones, who missed all of last year. Jones, and TE Tyler Eifert, are back and that should take some pressure off of Green as defenses can’t put all of their attention on him now. Their returns will help Dalton, too. And an effective QB equals a productive No. 1 receiver.
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