With plenty of fantasy drafts still to complete, using tiers to guide us through the draft process is a helpful tool to maximizing the value of your rosters when you’re on the clock. These wide receiver tiers reflect my wide receiver rankings but organize them in such a way that I can keep tabs of when to prioritize drafting a certain position based on supply and demand.
Wide Receiver Tiers for 2023 Fantasy Football
Tier 1: Most Likely Overall WR1 Candidates
- Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings
- Ja’Marr Chase, Cincinnati Bengals
- Tyreek Hill, Miami Dolphins
Since 2019, the overall WR1 has seen an average of 177.25 targets per season. Justin Jefferson (184) drew an above-average number of targets on his way to an overall WR1 finish in 2022. Ahead of the 2023 season, he has the talent and target share as the alpha receiver to do it again.
Joining Jefferson in consideration for overall WR1 are Ja’Marr Chase and Tyreek Hill. From his rookie season in 2021 to last season, Chase’s target per game average increased from 7.5 to 10.3. That’s a 175 target pace over a 17-game season. Meanwhile, Tyreek Hill finished third in targets amongst wide receivers last season with 170.
All three of these players in the top wide receiver tier are worthy of being first-round fantasy football picks. If you want a chance at a 20.0+ point per game player to build your team around, select one of them with your top pick.
Tier 2: Overall WR1 Candidates That Can Be Had in Round Two
4. Stefon Diggs, Buffalo Bills
5. CeeDee Lamb, Dallas Cowboys
6. A.J. Brown, Philadelphia Eagles
7. Amon-Ra St. Brown, Detroit Lions
8. Garrett Wilson, New York Jets
9. Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams
10. Davante Adams, Las Vegas Raiders
If you lock up a stud running back in the first round of your fantasy drafts, you should be targeting one of the players in this wide receiver tier in the second round. These six wide receivers all have a path to finishing at the top of the position. At the very least, they’re a solid return on investment finishing the season as a top-10 or so receiver for fantasy football.
Stefon Diggs may be the safest pick in 2023 fantasy football. He’s finished top-five in targets amongst wide receivers in each of the last three seasons. Only Davante Adams shares that same achievement. He’s also in this wide receiver tier. Sandwiched between both players are younger wide receivers with plenty of upside. Choosing between them becomes a preference pick when you’re on the clock.
Cooper Kupp continues to work through a hamstring injury. After missing some time in the middle of training camp, he’s reportedly now dealing with a “setback” and is questionable for Week 1. When he is on the field, he’s a target monster and the clear top target for the Rams. It’s just hard to gauge how many games Kupp will be active for this season. I’m more willing to use my third round pick on him than my second. He’s no longer a first round pick, though.
Tier 3: Wide Receivers To Draft If You Don’t Have One by Round Three
11. Jaylen Waddle, Miami Dolphins
12. Chris Olave, New Orleans Saints
13. DeVonta Smith, Philadelphia Eagles
14. Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers
15. Tee Higgins, Cincinnati Bengals
16. Amari Cooper, Cleveland Browns
17. D.K. Metcalf, Seattle Seahawks
18. DeAndre Hopkins, Tennessee Titans
19. Deebo Samuel, San Francisco 49ers
I’m not a huge fan of “drafting for need” early on. However, in a PPR league, if you start your drafts with two running backs, or Travis Kelce and a running back, then targeting a wide receiver in the third round is the way to go. The players in this wide receiver tier can serve as a WR1 for your fantasy football team this season.
Unfortunately, you will notice a lot of these players are battling other top options at receiver on their same team. If at any point the other options were to miss time, applicable players in this tier would be locked inside the top-10 each week at the wide receiver position.
Chris Olave is my favorite target in drafts from this wide receiver tier. He had a nearly identical season to Offensive Rookie of the Year, Garrett Wilson, last season and gets a quarterback upgrade in Derek Carr in 2023. Last year, with Carr, Raiders receiver, Davante Adams, caught 14 touchdown passes, nine of which totaled distances of more than 30 yards. I predict Olave to comfortably finish the season as a WR1 maybe even cracking into the top-eight.
Tier 4: Solid WR2s and Rock Star WR3s
20. Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
21. Drake London, Atlanta Falcons
22. Terry McLaurin, Washington Commanders
23. D.J. Moore, Chicago Bears
24. Calvin Ridley, Jacksonville Jaguars
25. Diontae Johnson, Pittsburgh Steelers
26. Tyler Lockett, Seattle Seahawks
27. Christian Kirk, Jacksonville Jaguars
28. Michael Pittman, Indianapolis Colts
29. Brandon Aiyuk, San Francisc0 49ers
30. Marquise Brown, Arizona Cardinals
31. Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
32. Mike Williams, Los Angeles Chargers
33. Christian Watson, Green Bay Packers
34. Jerry Jeudy, Denver Broncos
You’re going to see the players in this wide receiver tier come off of the board at the end of the third round, mostly in the fourth round, and, if you’re lucky, into the fifth round. They are the core group of wide receivers that will make up a competitive 2023 fantasy football team.
For the most part, we know what each of these guys brings to the table. Drake London and Christian Watson are in their second season, but have both shown flashes of excellence as rookies that’s worth investing in ahead of their second season.
As you build your roster, most of these wide receivers will act as a WR2 for your team. If you happen to take a “Zero RB” approach, however, then you may be drafting one of these wide receivers as your WR3. With the risk of waiting to draft a running back in that case, you’re going to want to make sure your WR3 from this tier is a player you can trust to make up for the lack of production at running back. The players I trust the most to do so here are D.J. Moore, Calvin Ridley, Diontae Johnson, and Tyler Lockett.
Tier 5: Season-Long Flex Plays with Room for More
35. Jordan Addison, Minnesota Vikings
36. Jahan Dotson, Washington Commanders
37. Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Seattle Seahawks
38. Zay Flowers, Baltimore Ravens
39. Treylon Burks, Tennessee Titans
40. Elijah Moore, Cleveland Browns
41. Brandin Cooks, Dallas Cowboys
42. George Pickens, Pittsburgh Steelers
43. Courtland Sutton, Denver Broncos
44. Juju Smith-Schuster, New England Patriots
45. Quentin Johnston, Los Angeles Chargers
46. Jakobi Meyers, Las Vegas Raiders
47. Darnell Mooney, Chicago Bears
48. Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints
49. Tyler Boyd, Cincinnati Bengals
50. Rondale Moore, Arizona Cardinals
51. Skyy Moore, Kansas City Chiefs
I’m grabbing as many of the players in this wide receiver tier as I can from Round Seven or so onward. The upside amongst these wide receivers far outweighs the cost it takes to get them. Three of the first four players in this tier are rookies I expect to put up start-worthy fantasy numbers by the start of October, if not sooner. With the veterans in mind, they all find themselves on teams where carving out a sizeable role shouldn’t be difficult. I’m hoping one of the handful of these receivers that I draft emerges as a steady every-week starter. Until then, I’m watching with excitement as they’re stashed on my bench.
Tier 6: Bench Depth with Flex Appeal
52. Donovan Peoples-Jones, Cleveland Browns
53. Robert Woods, Houston Texans
54. Adam Thielen, Carolina Panthers
55. Gabriel Davis, Buffalo Bills
56. Nico Collins, Houston Texans
57. Jameson Williams, Detroit Lions
58. Rashee Rice, Kansas City Chiefs
59. Justyn Ross, Kansas City Chiefs
60. Michael Gallup, Dallas Cowboys
61. Rashod Bateman, Baltimore Ravens
62. Allen Lazard, New York Jets
63. Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Kansas City Chiefs
64. D.J. Chark, Carolina Panthers
65. Zay Jones, Jacksonville Jaguars
66. Alec Pierce, Indianapolis Colts
67. Jayden Reed, Green Bay Packers
68. Tank Dell, Houston Texans
69. Odell Beckham Jr., Baltimore Ravens
70. Marvin Mims, Denver Broncos
I like all of the players in this wide receiver tier for one reason or another, but wouldn’t feel confident plugging any of them into my Week 1 fantasy football lineups. In fact, if I’m starting any of them at any point this year, it’s likely during a starter’s bye week or to fill in for those with injuries. There’s a lot of talent here that can outperform my tier grouping, but I’m expecting more boom/bust performances from these players.
For more great rankings and analysis, make sure to check out our 2023 Fantasy Football Draft Kit!
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