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Fueled by insider information and analysis, we present The MMQB fantasy football rankings

By ggramling
August 27, 2014

Writers Peter King, Greg Bedard, Robert Klemko, Jenny Vrentas and Dan Greene, and analyst Andy Benoit, are spending the summer visiting training camps for all 32 teams. Be sure to check out our quarterback, running back, and tight end rankings, as well as Peter King’s weekly Fantasy Check video reports. Note: These rankings will update throughout the preseason as we report on more teams.

1. Calvin Johnson, Lions

2. Dez Bryant, Cowboys

“If you only draft one Cowboy, make it Dez Bryant. Dallas could end up playing from behind a bunch this season, and whether it’s Romo or one of his backups throwing the ball, the main target will always be Bryant. Bonus: He’s in a contract year with something to prove to the organization as it mulls a commitment.” —Robert Klemko, Cowboys Training Camp Report

3. Demaryius Thomas, Broncos

4. Alshon Jeffery, Bears

“Brandon Marshall has been the No. 1 receiver, but that’ll change this season. The 24-year-old Alshon Jeffery is simply the more dangerous target. Long arms and springy, long legs give Jeffery an extraordinary catching radius, both vertically and horizontally.” —Andy Benoit, Bears Training Camp Report

5. A.J. Green, Bengals

“While A.J. Green remains a stellar wideout, all this talk of Jackson ramping up the running game should give you pause that Green’s numbers might take a hit. Don’t pass on him in favor of an unproven player, but know that Andy Dalton likely won’t throw 586 passes again this season.” —Dan Greene, Bengals Training Camp Report

6. Brandon Marshall, Bears

7. Julio Jones, Falcons

“Buy Julio Jones. Don’t be worried about his health as he rebounds from foot surgery. He’s looked good in camp and the Falcons aren’t pushing him too fast.” —Peter King, Falcons Training Camp Report

8. Jordy Nelson, Packers

Keenan Allen is going to catch everything this year. (Donald Miralle/Getty Images) Keenan Allen is going to catch everything this year. (Donald Miralle/Getty Images)

9. Keenan Allen, Chargers

“Keenan Allen, Keenan Allen, Keenan Allen. He’s faster than a year ago and becoming a favorite of his quarterback (I asked Rivers to name the guys who have improved the most since last season. His answer: Pro Bowl center Nick Hardwick and Allen).” —Robert Klemko, Chargers Training Camp Report

10. Antonio Brown, Steelers

11. Vincent Jackson, Buccaneers

“Vincent Jackson is on track for a monster year. Write it down. He was an island last year, and he still had 78 catches for 1,224 yards. Imagine when defenses have to start defending the other side of the field and the tight ends.” —Peter King, Bucs Training Camp Report

12. Michael Crabtree, 49ers

“The Kaepernick-Michael Crabtree connection went on hold last season as the receiver underwent surgery for a torn Achilles. Before the injury, it was becoming one of the best QB-WR relationships in football. Crabtree is back and, according to offensive coordinator Greg Roman, in the best condition of his career.” —Robert Klemko, 49ers Training Camp Report

13. Andre Johnson, Texans

14. Randall Cobb, Packers

“Before missing last season with a broken leg, wide receiver Randall Cobb had shown flashes of greatness despite playing less than half of Green Bay’s offensive snaps in two seasons. Now that James Jones is out, Cobb figures to see a lot more of the field and many more targets.” —Robert Klemko, Packers Training Camp Report

15. Percy Harvin, Seahawks

“Harvin was the fastest man on the field during the first two days of training camp, with rookie wideout Paul Richardson pushing for a close second… After watching him on Friday and Saturday, I believed Harvin when he said he was able to do things now that he hadn’t done since injuring his hip, which required surgery to repair a torn labrum last summer.” —Robert Klemko, Seahawks Training Camp Report

16. Victor Cruz, Giants

17. Michael Floyd, Cardinals

18. Emmanuel Sanders, Broncos

“In the first half of the Denver-Houston game Saturday night, you saw why John Elway went hard after Emmanuel Sanders in free agency: five catches for 128 yards and two long touchdowns. He’s got difference-making speed, and with a supremely accurate quarterback, that’s a pretty good new weapon for the Broncos.” —Peter King, Monday Morning Quarterback, August 25

19. Pierre Garcon, Washington

20. Mike Wallace, Dolphins

“Mike Wallace and a deeper passing game. What’s not to like in fantasy football? Regardless of the record, Wallace should have a 10-touchdown season.” —Peter King, Dolphins Training Camp Report

21. Julian Edelman, Patriots

“Barring injury, I see no slow down coming from WR Julian Edelman, who had 105 catches for 1,056 yards and six touchdowns last season. He’s still as elusive as ever, and he did all that damage despite being one of the few viable weapons for Tom Brady to use.” —Greg Bedard, Patriots Training Camp Report

22. Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals

“Not buying Larry Fitzgerald is probably the smart thing. Not that he’s going to fall off the face of the earth statistically, but Palmer’s got so many other alternatives that he and Arians like a lot.” —Peter King, Cardinals Training Camp Report

The move to Baltimore has Steve Smith fired up. (Nick Wass/AP) The move to Baltimore has Steve Smith fired up. (Nick Wass/AP)

23. Steve Smith, Ravens

“From the swagger with which Smith plays, his nonstop mouth and his propensity for big plays, he’s a perfect fit with this group… As for his on-field play, I counted four of the standout variety, where he either torched a defender down the sideline (CB Chykie Brown on a 50-yard bomb from Tyrod Taylor), faked a corner out of his shorts after a hitch (Lardarius Webb) or made like Gumby bending for a low pass to keep it off the turf. If Smith is healthy this season, look out.” —Greg Bedard, Ravens Training Camp Report

24. DeSean Jackson, Washington

“It appears that Griffin will need a bit of time to adjust to the speed at which Jackson plays the game—a few balls were thrown behind him. There’s no doubt about how fast Jackson is, and Gruden will find ways to get him the ball.” —Greg Bedard, Washington Training Camp Report

25. Roddy White, Falcons

26. Jeremy Maclin, Eagles

27. Torrey Smith, Ravens

28. Cordarrelle Patterson, Vikings

“Greg Jennings is paid like the No. 1, but Cordarrelle Patterson will be the guy defenses fear most… Expect Turner, like previous play-caller Bill Musgrave, to feature Patterson on quick screens and even some backfield touches in order to get the ball in his hands early on plays. But also expect Turner to focus more on expanding the downfield route running ability that Patterson started to show last December.” —Andy Benoit, Vikings Deep Dive Preview

29. Reggie Wayne, Colts

“It’s hard to tell just how many looks Wayne, Hilton, Nicks, Allen, and Fleener will get. Despite his age and recent injury Wayne, might be the safest bet of the group given his established role and how remarkably well he seems to be recovering. Though all of them will contribute, keep an eye on personnel groupings during the preseason and be sure not to overpay.” —Dan Greene, Colts Training Camp Report

30. Kendall Wright, Titans

31. Marques Colston, Saints

32. Wes Welker, Broncos

“Have to agree with the mob on this one: If I’m Wes Welker, I am seriously considering retiring after having suffered another concussion. You want to have a good life after football. How many more head hits can one man take?” —Peter King, Monday Morning Quarterback, August 25

33. Brandin Cooks, Saints

“Cooks looks to be exactly as advertised: an explosive playmaker. It will just be a matter of getting the playbook down and earning the trust of Drew Brees before he replaces the production of running back Darren Sproles in the passing game.” —Greg Bedard, Saints Training Camp Report

34. Golden Tate, Lions

“Tate should blossom in this offense as the leading candidate to take pressure off Calvin Johnson. The fact that he’s dropped the ball just seven times in four seasons should help build an early rapport with Stafford.” —Robert Klemko, Lions Training Camp Report

35. T.Y. Hilton, Colts

36. Cecil Shorts III, Jaguars

37. Anquan Boldin, 49ers

38. Dwayne Bowe, Chiefs

“Considering Dwayne Bowe is the clear No. 1 wideout in an offense that will score points, it would seem difficult for him to not top last season’s paltry totals (57 catches, 673 yards, five touchdowns) but the odds of him returning to the 1,110-yard range seem low. Draft him with hopes of splitting the difference.” —Dan Greene, Chiefs Training Camp Report

39. Mike Evans, Buccaneers

40. Terrance Williams, Cowboys

41. Sammy Watkins, Bills

“I wouldn’t take any Buffalo receiver very high. Just not sure E.J. Manuel’s going to take enough chances downfield.” —Peter King, Bills Training Camp Report

Can the Jets' passing game lift Eric Decker's numbers to new heights? Nope. (Bill Kostroun/AP) Can the Jets' passing game lift Eric Decker's numbers to new heights? Nope. (Bill Kostroun/AP)

42. Eric Decker, Jets

“Don’t count on Eric Decker matching last season’s 1,288-yard, 11-touchdown performance in Denver. A run-first offense led by a second-year quarterback doesn’t lend itself to gaudy receiver stats, but as the team’s primary target, he should be a mid-round pick.” —Jenny Vrentas, Jets Training Camp Report

43. Riley Cooper, Eagles

44. Greg Jennings, Vikings

“Everybody’s excited about Cordarrelle Patterson, but do not forget the slot receiver, Greg Jennings. He’s healthy, he’s had a very good training camp, and I think he’s going to emerge as a co-No. 1 in terms of numbers.” —Peter King, The MMQB Fantasy Check, August 14

45. Hakeem Nicks, Colts 

46. Danny Amendola, Patriots

47. John Brown, Cardinals

“John Brown will be over-hyped and some wise guy in your league could take him too high. But he’s really fast (second to Dri Archer at the combine this year), and Arians is going to call his name a lot. Taking him in the 10th round would probably be a good risk.” —Peter King, Cardinals Training Camp Report

48. Andre Holmes, Raiders

49. Rueben Randle, Giants

“After a slow start to his career Rueben Randle flashed playmaking ability last season, though there were still far, far too many cases where he and Manning weren’t on the same page. In McAdoo’s system, Randle has a chance to become the Jordy Nelson.” —Andy Benoit, Giants Deep Dive Preview

50. Kenny Britt, Rams

“Kenny Britt has been running with the first team so far—a surprise to anyone who has seen the ex-Titan hobble around a balky knee for most of the past two years. The Rams will likely spread the ball around; Britt is just one of six viable receivers to choose from. But chances are good you’ll be able to draft the soon-to-be 26-year-old in the later rounds. He could be a steal.” —Peter King, Rams Training Camp Report

51. DeAndre Hopkins, Texans

“DeAndre Hopkins has a tremendous feel for making the sensational, contested catch—particularly along the sideline. But he must become more fundamentally polished if he’s to fulfill his first-round promise. Too often, Hopkins has looked sluggish coming off the line.” —Andy Benoit, Texans Deep Dive Preview

52. Brian Hartline, Dolphins

53. James Jones, Raiders

“Free agent pickup James Jones looks like an early favorite of Schaub.” —Robert Klemko, Raiders Training Camp Report

54. Jordan Matthews, Eagles

“Former Jets and Bills receiver Brad Smith was running as the slot receiver on the first day of camp, but it’s only a matter of time before it’s the job of second-round pick Jordan Matthews. The Eagles love him.” —Greg Bedard, Eagles Training Camp Report

55. Nate Washington, Titans

56. Kelvin Benjamin, Panthers

“Before banging his knee here in camp, Benjamin was sure-handed and fearless downfield. “You can’t coach 6-foot-5 and 240,” GM Dave Gettleman told me. Benjamin’s great catch radius could make him late-round gold.” —Peter King, Panthers Training Camp Report

57. Andre Roberts, Washington

“It looked like Andre Roberts has some nice camaraderie with Griffin. Both Roberts and DeSean Jackson will get looks on pre-packaged bubble screens; they look like they were lifted right out of the Eagles’ playbook.” —Greg Bedard, Washington Training Camp Report

58. Tavon Austin, Rams

59. Aaron Dobson, Patriots

“There has to be a lot of frustration that Aaron Dobson, a second-round pick in 2013, is still working his way back from a foot injury that happened last season.” —Greg Bedard, Patriots Training Camp Report

60. Kenny Stills, Saints

61. Stevie Johnson, 49ers

62. Jarrett Boykin, Packers

Justin Hunter's size plus speed equals big upside. (Frederick Breedon/Getty Images) Justin Hunter's size plus speed equals big upside. (Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)

63. Justin Hunter, Titans

“If you’re looking for a late flier at receiver, keep an eye on Justin Hunter. The 34th overall pick out of Tennessee in ’13, Hunter has height (6-4) and speed (4.4 40-yard dash) and has added some strength, bulking up from 193 pounds to 206 thanks in part to his girlfriend’s copious chicken dinners. Primarily a deep threat as a rookie, Hunter is now being asked to run a wider array of routes and will be a much more regular part of Whisenhunt’s offense.” —Dan Greene, Titans Training Camp Report

64. Markus Wheaton, Steelers

“Markus Wheaton isn’t a sure thing as the Steelers’ No. 2 receiver, but the second-year player could get plenty of chances. Antonio Brown figures to draw double-teams coming off his 1,499-yard season, and the Steelers’ promised use of the no-huddle should translate to more plays and more passes.” —Jenny Vrentas, Steelers Training Camp Report

65. Mohamed Sanu, Bengals

66. Robert Woods, Bills

“Don’t sleep on Robert Woods while you’re all gaga over Sammy Watkins.” —Peter King, Bills Training Camp Report

67. Marqise Lee, Jaguars

“Marqise Lee looked very, very good so far in training camp. He’s going to be an impact player no later than Year 2.” —Peter King, 5 Things I Think I Think about the Jaguars

68. Marlon Brown, Ravens

“Look for Marlon Brown, a ’13 college free agent, to build upon his 49-catch rookie campaign and get more opportunities than Jacoby Jones. The Ravens like what they have in Brown.” —Greg Bedard, Ravens Training Camp Report

69. Doug Baldwin, Seahawks

70. Odell Beckham, Giants

71. Marvin Jones, Bengals

72. Jerricho Cotchery, Panthers

73. Miles Austin, Browns

“Other than tight end Jordan Cameron, steer clear of Browns pass-catchers.” —Jenny Vrentas, Browns Training Camp Report

74. Mike Williams, Bills

75. Andrew Hawkins, Browns

76. Jarvis Landry, Dolphins

“After a couple of practices, backup quarterback Matt Moore approached GM Dennis Hickey and told him: “This guy’s got the best hands I’ve seen.” Landry, from LSU, is challenging touchdown-maker Brandon Gibson for playing time in the slot, but he can also play outside. Look for offensive coordinator Bill Lazor to find a role for Landry both inside and outside.” —Peter King, Dolphins Training Camp Report

77. Rod Streater, Raiders

78. Jeremy Kerley, Jets

79. Andre Caldwell, Broncos

80. Harry Douglas, Falcons

81. Brandon LaFell, Patriots

82. Eddie Royal, Chargers

Devin Hester could be eyeing a bigger offensive role in Atlanta. (Scott Cunningham/Getty Images) Devin Hester could be eyeing a bigger offensive role in Atlanta. (Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

83. Devin Hester, Falcons

“The Falcons, particularly Matt Ryan, have been taken by the speed that they believe Hester still has. He’s going to score some touchdowns in the return game, but I think he’s going to score some touchdowns from the line of scrimmage.” —Peter King, The MMQB Fantasy Check, July 30

84. Stedman Bailey, Rams

“Sad thing for fantasians, the four-game suspension to Stedman Bailey. Sam Bradford loves him, and there was a real chance he’d have been draftable as a deep threat opposite Tavon Austin. Now you can wait till Week 5 to take a flyer on him if you’re desperate for a wideout.” —Peter King, Rams Training Camp Report

85. Santonio Holmes, Bears

86. Donte Moncrief, Colts

“Rookie receiver Donte Moncrief should intrigue keeper and dynasty leaguers. Even with all the talent ahead of him on the depth chart, the 6-2 third-rounder from Ole Miss may force his way onto the field this season. And given Wayne’s age and Nicks’s one-year contract, he could be in line for bigger things down the line.” —Dan Greene, Colts Training Camp Report

87. Chris Givens, Rams

88. Cody Latimer, Broncos

89. Kenbrell Thompkins, Patriots

90. Jason Avant, Panthers

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