It is truly a golden age for the wide receiver position in the NFL right now. With more than 15 top-tier receivers to choose from, this was understandably a very difficult list to make. Calvin Johnson, or Megatron, may have finally found his Optimus Prime in Bengal's youngster A.J. Green, while Dez Bryant and a field of other outstanding wide receivers hope to adopt the role of Sam Witwicky in this hollywood-esque competition to be the best.
1. Calvin Johnson, WR, Detroit Lions
Johnson has been injured for portions of the season (1.5 weeks), yet is only eight fantasy points off the pace of the leading wide receiver A.J. Green. That's how good Megatron is. Already with six touchdowns and three games over 100 yards receiving, Calvin Johnson seems to be the Matthew Stafford's only trusted receiver, and should be set up for another fantastic fantasy season.
2. A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
The competition for second place in these rankings was very tight between Green and the Cowboy's Dez Bryant. The only thing that separates Green from Bryant is Green's marginally larger role in his offense. Dalton is entirely reliant on Green, who has the 78 targets so far, good for first in the NFL. More targets will inevitably result in more touchdowns and yards, as has been the case for Green, who is third in the NFL in yards and is tied for fifth in touchdowns.
3. Dez Bryant, WR, Dallas Cowboys
Now, when I said that A.J. Green was more a focal point of his offense than Bryant, I was being very picky, because the Cowboys offense is clearly centered around Bryant, though not to the same extent as the Bengal's is around Green. Dez is fourth in the NFL with 71 targets this year. Additionally, these targets have produced the ninth most yards in the league and the second most touchdowns for the electrifying wide receiver. If Bryant can stay healthy all season, he could surpass Green in these rankings, but fantasy owners have to wish that he was on a team with fewer star playmakers.
4. Wes Welker, WR, Denver Broncos
Welker provides something that no other receiver on this list can truly bring to the table, and that is consistency. Welker has yet to score less than nine fantasy points (ESPN standard) and has gotten into the end zone in all but one game so far. As long as Peyton Manning is your quarterback, good things are going to happen, and that has been the experience for Welker.
5. Demaryius Thomas, WR, Denver Broncos
There are so many options for this fifth spot, but every wideout except for Thomas has significant downfalls. For example, DeSean Jackson, Brandon Marshall, and Vincent Jackson all have tumultuous quarterback situations while Victor Cruz and Eric Decker have been "boom or bust." Meanwhile, Thomas has no such problem and, with Peyton Manning at quarterback, should continue to produce consistent, impressive numbers.