2013 Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Rankings by Tier: Level Three

Aug 7, 2013

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We broke down the elite quartet and the second wave of fantasy football wide receiver options. We are now on to the third level. These guys are either low-end WR1s or high-end WR2s. They are fantasy starters, but they have a few more warts than the top 10 options.
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Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City Chiefs
Bowe was limited to 13 games last year and finished with 801 yards and three touchdowns.  He didn’t score a touchdown or reach 80 yards in a game after September. After scoring 15 touchdowns in 2010 he has combined for just eight scores over the past two seasons. The Chiefs have lacked competence from the quarterback position in the past few years. The arrival of Alex Smith and Andy Reid should benefit Bowe. Let’s just hope he doesn’t rest on his laurels after signing his big contract.
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Randall Cobb, Green Bay Packers
Cobb finished with 1,086 total yards and nine touchdowns. Greg Jennings’ departure to the Minnesota Vikings and Donald Driver’s retirement opens things up for the Packers receivers. He’s entering his third season and the Packers have just scratched the surface on his potential. He has athleticism to spare, the best quarterback in the league and a coach that knows how to use him to create mismatches. Cobb will generally operate out of the slot and be Aaron Rodgers’ go-to-guy.
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Marques Colston, New Orleans Saints
Colston finished with 1,154 yards with 10 touchdowns. He has had at least 1,000 yards and seven touchdowns in six of his seven seasons. He’s never had the monster season, with career highs of 1,202 yards and 11 touchdowns, but he routinely finishes in the top 15 of fantasy wide receivers.
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Eric Decker, Denver Broncos
Decker had 85 receptions for 1,064 yard and 13 touchdowns last year. That gives him 21 touchdowns in the past two seasons. If things were the status quo in Denver I would have him in WR2 territory. Wes Welker will eat into Decker’s production, but there he should remain productive.
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Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals
OK, I’ll bite. With Carson Palmer on board, Fitz could return to form. He was limited to 798 yards and four touchdowns last year, but averaged 1,296 yards in the prior five seasons. My only concern is Palmer’s ability to remain upright behind their offensive line. They allowed at least 50 sacks in each of the past three years. Eric Winston should help bolster that line. Fitz is an elite talent, but he is at the mercy of the talent around him.
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Jordy Nelson, Green Bay Packers
Nelson dealt with numerous injuries last year causing him to miss four games. He will miss the preseason following knee surgery, but he shouldn’t miss much, if any, regular season action. He finished with 745 yards and seven touchdowns. That’s gives him 22 touchdowns in the past 28 games. Aaron Rodgers is as good as they come, but Nelson is sharing with Cobb, James Jones and Jermichael Finley. The Packers drafted a pair of running backs this year so look for them to try to employ a more balanced attack. That won’t stop Nelson and the rest of the gang from getting their numbers.
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Torrey Smith, Baltimore Ravens
Anquan Boldin is gone. Dennis Pitta is out. Smith, who had 855 yards and eight touchdowns last year, is ready to take the next step in his third season. He had nine games without a touchdown and fewer than 60 receiving yards last year. As the clear cut number one option, he should be much more consistent
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Mike Wallace, Miami Dolphins
Wallace cashed in big time to take his talents to South Beach. He had just 836 yards last year, but Ben Roethlisberger missed three games. Wallace has scored 26 touchdowns over the past three seasons. I expect Ryan Tannehill to be much-improved this year, and Wallace will be one of the main reasons.
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Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis Colts
Wayne finished with 1,355 and five touchdowns on 106 receptions. He showed great chemistry with Andrew Luck. Wayne has averaged just five touchdowns per season over the last three years. He’ll also turn 35 in November. He should still be a solid starting fantasy option.
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Also check out the fourth tier and fifth tier of fantasy football wide receiver options.
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