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Top 30 wide receivers for 2013

Senior Fantasy Writer
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Editor's note: Dave Richard, Jamey Eisenberg and Nathan Zegura will share a snapshot of their rankings in January to give owners something to ponder. Teams listed indicate franchise the player was with in 2012.

Top 30 running backs | Top 15 quarterbacks

Top 30 wide receivers for 2013
Jamey Eisenberg
Dave Richard
Nathan Zegura
1. Calvin Johnson, DET 1. Calvin Johnson, DET 1. Calvin Johnson, DET
2. A.J. Green, CIN 2. Demaryius Thomas, DEN 2. Brandon Marshall, CHI
3. Demaryius Thomas, DEN 3. A.J. Green, CIN 3. Demaryius Thomas, DEN
4. Julio Jones, ATL 4. Brandon Marshall, CHI 4. A.J. Green, CIN
5. Brandon Marshall, CHI 5. Dez Bryant, DAL 5. Dez Bryant, DAL
6. Dez Bryant, DAL 6. Julio Jones, ATL 6. Julio Jones, ATL
7. Percy Harvin, MIN 7. Roddy White, ATL 7. Vincent Jackson, TB
8. Vincent Jackson, TB 8. Andre Johnson, HOU 8. Percy Harvin, MIN
9. Andre Johnson, HOU 9. Vincent Jackson, TB 9. Roddy White, ATL
10. Roddy White, ATL 10. Percy Harvin, MIN 10. Eric Decker, DEN
11. Michael Crabtree, SF 11. Wes Welker, NE 11. Andre Johnson, HOU
12. Randall Cobb, GB 12. Victor Cruz, NYG 12. Michael Crabtree, SF
13. Eric Decker, DEN 13. Eric Decker, DEN 13. Randall Cobb, GB
14. Wes Welker, NE 14. Larry Fitzgerald, ARI 14. Victor Cruz, NYG
15. Marques Colston, NO 15. Reggie Wayne, IND 15. Jordy Nelson, GB
16. Victor Cruz, NYG 16. Michael Crabtree, SF 16. Marques Colston, NO
17. Reggie Wayne, IND 17. Pierre Garcon, WAS 17. James Jones, GB
18. Larry Fitzgerald, ARI 18. Marques Colston, NO 18. Reggie Wayne, IND
19. Jordy Nelson, GB 19. Cecil Shorts, JAC 19. Pierre Garcon, WAS
20. Pierre Garcon, WAS 20. James Jones, GB 20. Antonio Brown, PIT
21. Steve Smith, CAR 21. Randall Cobb, GB 21. Larry Fitzgerald, ARI
22. Torrey Smith, BAL 22. Danario Alexander, SD 22. Steve Smith, CAR
23. Cecil Shorts, JAC 23. Steve Smith, CAR 23. Wes Welker, NE
24. Antonio Brown, PIT 24. Dwayne Bowe, KC 24. Cecil Shorts, JAC
25. Danario Alexander, SD 25. Jordy Nelson, GB 25.Greg Jennings, GB
26. Hakeem Nicks, NYG 26. Steve Johnson, BUF 26. T.Y. Hilton, IND
27. Mike Wallace, PIT 27. Justin Blackmon, JAC 27. Hakeem Nicks, NYG
28. Greg Jennings, GB 28. Mike Williams, TB 28. Dwayne Bowe, KC
29. Steve Johnson, BUF 29. Greg Jennings, GB 29. Jeremy Maclin, PHI
30. Justin Blackmon, JAC 30. Lance Moore, NO 30. DeSean Jackson, PHI
After Calvin Johnson, the next five receivers listed are all elite and can all challenge for the No. 2 receiver spot. ... Harvin has the chance for a bounce-back year, and he was on pace for 112 catches, 1,300 total yards and seven touchdowns before being lost for the season with an ankle injury in Week 10. ... Crabtree ended the season with at least nine Fantasy points in eight of his past 10 games, including the playoffs through the Divisional Round. ... Where the free agent receivers (Welker, Wallace, Jennings, Danny Amendola and Dwayne Bowe) land will impact this list dramatically. Welker would take a tremendous hit if he left the Patriots, but Bowe's value might improve if he stays in Kansas City with Andy Reid. ... Fitzgerald has the chance to return as a Top 10 receiver if the Cardinals upgrade at quarterback. But getting back Kevin Kolb will help as well. Before Kolb was lost for the season with a rib injury in Week 6, Fitzgerald was actually playing well. He had at least nine Fantasy points in four of his first six games. But after Kolb went down and Fitzgerald was stuck with John Skelton, Ryan Lindley and Brian Hoyer he had just two games with double digits in Fantasy points in his final 10 outings with one touchdown over that span. ... Garcon's value could decline if Robert Griffin III (knee) isn't ready by Week 1. ... Guys who were left off that can be considered Top 30 options as well include James Jones, Bowe, Amendola, Jeremy Maclin, T.Y. Hilton and DeSean Jackson, which shows just how deep receiver will be in 2013. -- Jamey Eisenberg
This was a tough task this year, particularly because of the lack of perceived high-quality talent at the position. Kind of emphasizes the idea to take stud receivers early and not worry about them later. ... Demaryius Thomas was among the most consistent Fantasy receivers last year, posting 10-plus Fantasy points in 10 games, tied for second behind only Calvin Johnson. Though he had few monster games, he delivered more 13-plus-point games than anyone else. His role in the offense, his youth and his quarterback basically help seal him as one of the brighest young receivers in football. ... Had a hard time after 10th overall and suspect I'll make some changes here as the offseason moves on. I do think Harvin's versatility gives him an edge over Welker, who may or may not be in a contract year again in 2013 -- or a Patriot. ... I think there are some good potential values in 2012 breakouts like Cecil Shorts, James Jones, Danario Alexander and even Lance Moore. Don't be surprised to see these guys slip and become nice pickups on Draft Day. ... Not taking a chance on Hakeem Nicks (too injury prone), Mike Wallace (too boom-or-bust) or DeSean Jackson (see Wallace) unless they fall into my lap in Round 7 or so. ... I like Jamey's bold call on Michael Crabtree, who had one 10-plus-point game with Alex Smith and five with Colin Kaepernick during the regular season. And I assume Nathan's ranking on Welker is based on him moving on from New England, in which case I understand the surprising tumble. -- Dave Richard
The wide receiver position is extremely deep headed into 2013 and there are at least 10 other receivers that I really wanted to get into my Top 30. ... This list will change a ton depending on some offseason movements, but guys like Justin Blackmon, Kenny Britt, Steve Johnson, Mike Wallace, Miles Austin, Torrey Smith, Malcom Floyd, Anquan Boldin, Denarius Moore, Brandon Lloyd, Danario Alexander, Josh Gordon, Danny Amendola, Lance Moore and Mike Williams all legitimately could be in the Top 30 today and may very well end up there come the summer. ... Hilton is my one surprise inclusion in the Top 30 and I really believe that he will become a star as soon as he takes over the starting job from Donnie Avery, which should happen in 2013. Hilton ended the year seeing six or more targets in nine games and in those nine games he produced 45 catches for 742 yards and six touchdowns. Over 16 games, that would be a season of 80 catches, 1,319 yards and 11 touchdowns, which would be pretty darn good. ... Don't sleep on Harvin in 2013, as he was on pace for a season of 110 receptions, 1,203 yards and five touchdowns receiving plus 171 rushing yards and two scores on the ground. ... In the eight games he has played with Colin Kaepernick, Crabtree has been targeted 77 times and has caught 50 passes for 714 yards and seven touchdowns. Those are clear No. 1 receiver numbers and he is someone with a lot of upside headed into 2013. ... With the news that Chip Kelly is going to Philadelphia, I bumped Justin Blackmon and Kenny Britt and included the two Eagles receivers at the bottom of my Top 30 since I am expecting a high-octane offense. ... There are so many receivers to be excited about heading into 2013 that I really think you could make a Top 50 at this position and be excited (to varying degrees obviously) about every player on that list. My key takeaway from going through this exercise is that you can load up on running back early, still snag a good quarterback from that extremely deep position and you will have no problem grabbing a very solid group of wide receivers in the middle rounds because the position is so loaded. -- Nathan Zegura

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Player News
Arian Foster eager for season opener
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(2:02 pm ET) Texans running back Arian Foster told reporters Tuesday he felt, "Wonderful, physically," after being held out of preseason action for precautionary reasons. Foster underwent season-ending back surgery in 2013.

"I’m excited about that (Sunday’s regular-season opener against Washington). I can’t wait to play football," he said, per the Houston Chronicle.


Vikings adjust practice squad
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(1:44 pm ET) The Vikings signed guard Austin Wentworth to their practice squad and waived cornerback Kendall James from the squad.

T.Y. Hilton a divisive figure Week 1
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(1:40 pm ET) T.Y. Hilton is the Colts' most explosive receiver and he opens the season with a projected shootout in Denver. Indy will throw plenty to keep up with Peyton Manning, making Hilton an easy start, right?

Senior Fantasy Writer Dave Richard thinks so, ranking Hilton 13th among wideouts. Colleague Jamey Eisenberg isn't on board.

Eisenberg buries Hilton at 41st in his rankings, noting Hilton's struggles when playing outdoors. Hilton averages 79.9 receiving yards in indoor games, 48.6 yards outside. Hilton averages 7.3 yards after the catch indoors, 4.5 yards outdoors. But he's scored the same number of touchdowns, six, in each setting.

Hilton ranked 16th in the NFL last year with 138 targets; that will be tough to duplicate this season with a healthy Reggie Wayne and Dwayne Allen and Hakeem Nicks' arrival.

But in this game, with Andrew Luck expected to throw 40 times, consider Hilton a high-end WR3 with the potential to go off.


Steven Jackson ready to go for Week 1
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(1:38 pm ET) Falcons running back Steven Jackson, who missed most of training camp nursing a hamstring problem, says he's amped up to face the Saints on Sunday.

"I'm extremely excited for Week 1," he told the team's website. "It's been a training camp that I missed the majority of the time, but I've been working hard physically and mentally to prepare for this coming Sunday. I feel good about it."


Julio Jones looking to make up for lost touchdowns
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(1:26 pm ET) Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones, who missed the final 11 weeks last year with a fractured foot, will be taking on the division rival Saints for the first time in nearly a full calendar year when they come to town in Week 1. He scored a touchdown in that last meeting, catching seven passes for 76 yards, and seems eager to do so again.

"That's a big emphasis this year," wide receiver Julio Jones told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "We have to score in the red zone. We have too many weapons to get [stopped] in the red zone."

Jones was referring to last year's season opener -- a game the Falcons lost 23-17 after stalling twice inside the 10-yard line. Given the Jones' size and physicality, the Falcons will obviously look to him in those situations, especially with tight Tony Gonzalez now out of the picture.

Jones has expressed concern recently that he's not quite ready for a full workload yet, but even if the Falcons rest him a little more than usual, you can bet they'll take advantage of his time on the field. Even though the Saints technically ranked second against the pass last year, allowing 194.1 yards per game, you shouldn't hesitate to start Jones in Fantasy. Jamey Eisenberg and Dave Richard both rank him fifth among wide receivers for the week.


Bill Belichick: No decision on Gronk's status yet
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(1:15 pm ET) While Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (knee) said he'll definitely play Sunday at Miami, coach Bill Belichick said no final decision has been made, reports CSNNE.com.

"I'm glad that Rob's optimistic about this situation," Belichick said. "We'll go through the week of practice and take a look at everything, everybody, and see where everybody's at and try to do what we like is best for the team. With all due respect to Rob -- I'm glad he feels the way he does -- but in the end, we'll have to make the decision we feel like is best for the team and we'll do that as we go through the week."


Antonio Brown to return punts
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(1:02 pm ET) Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said receiver Antonio Brown will return punts along with rookie Dri Archer. "He's a Pro Bowl-caliber return man, so that's how you play him," Tomlin said of Brown.

Matt Ryan begins with familiar foe
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(12:58 pm ET) Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan made the most of his opening-week matchup against the Saints last season, completing 25 for 38 passes for 304 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. The hope is he can do something similar with the Saints coming to town in Week 1.

While last year's opener was at New Orleans, this one is at home, where Ryan went without a touchdown against the Saints in Week 12 last year. But he was without star wide receiver Julio Jones in that game. The Saints did rank second against the pass last year, allowing 194.1 yards per game, but against the Falcons, coming off a year in which they threw the ball more often than any other team, that probably won't impact a Ryan's numbers too much. It certainly didn't limit his yardage last year. Even in that Week 12 meeting, he threw for 292.

Bottom line: Based on where you drafted Ryan, you'd need an awfully good reason to consider sitting him in Fantasy, and this matchup against the Saints isn't it. Jamey Eisenberg ranks him ninth among quarterbacks for the week, and Dave Richard is even more optimistic, ranking him sixth.


Real test for Reggie Wayne comes Week 1
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(12:56 pm ET) Colts receiver Reggie Wayne, 35, looked sharp in training camp in his return from a torn ACL. The comeback continued in the third preseason game, when Wayne suited up for the first time and caught two passes for 11 yards and was targeted a third time. (Both receptions were negated by penalties).

"It felt good," Wayne told reporters. "Everything felt normal and that's what I expected. Coach tells you you've got about 8-10 plays and you feel like that's the perfect number, but once you go out there and start playing and getting involved, you feel like that's not enough.

"It was good to get a real live game under my belt," Wayne added. "There is no way you can simulate that."

Wayne didn't play much, however, and it will be interesting to see if he plays a full complement of snaps in Sunday night's anticipated shootout in Denver. Wayne caught five of eight targets for 50 yards against the Broncos in Week 7 last year before reaching for an underthrown pass midway through the fourth quarter and ripping up his right knee.

Wayne appears ready to reclaim his spot as Andrew Luck's chain mover, but watch his usage closely. Keep expectations in check and start him as a WR3.

Le'Veon Bell, LeGarrette Blount will play Week 1 as expected
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(12:50 pm ET) Steelers coach Mike Tomlin confirmed running backs Le'Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount will play Sunday against the Browns despite their recent arrests on marijuana possession charges, reports NFL.com.

 
 
 
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