June is here. That means summer is here. What happens in the summer? In addition to MLB heating up and the NBA Finals taking place, summer is the time when NFL Fantasy Football fans start the hard work for the upcoming season. The hard work starts with putting together lists of the top QBs, RBs, and WRs heading into training camps.
Below, is a list of the Top 10 wide receivers heading into 2018 NFL Training Camps. A great wide receiver can anchor any fantasy team because they're often good for double-digits in touchdowns and around 1,200 receiving yards.
Check out my current Top 10. As always, I reserve the right to switch it up!
NFL Fantasy: Top 10 Wide Receivers Heading into the Summer
1. Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers
Once again, Antonio Brown was unbelievable. Brown, the best overall fantasy football player in at least the past four seasons, caught 101 passes for 1,533 yards. He caught 9 TD passes. Antonio also missed the final 2 regular season games. If he hadn't, he might have caught close to 120 passes while scoring 11 or possibly 12 TDs.
Brown could have a better season in 2018 than he had in 2017. He showed some frustration at how the Steelers appeared intent on getting the ball to Le'Veon Bell. Once again, Pittsburgh and Bell are in some sort of contract dispute. How much longer can all this last?
I believe Pitt tries to move Bell before the season starts. That means Brown becomes the undisputed top dog in the offense.
2. DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans
DeAndre and then rookie QB Deshaun Watson had developed an awesome rapport before Watson's season-ending knee injury. Hopkins ended up catching 96 passes for 1,378 yards. He also caught 13 TD passes.
Deshaun got hurt after Week 8. That means Hopkins kept producing after Watson got hurt. Hopkins' caught 6 TD passes. He also caught 6 passes or more in 5 of the 8 games after Watson's injury. He recorded 80 yards or more in 6 of the 8 games.
The fact that Hopkins can produce no matter who Houston starts at quarterback means that he's one of the most reliable fantasy football players in the NFL. If Deshaun Watson is healthy this season, and has an entire training camp to develop his game with Hopkins, DeAndre could be the best wide receiver, heck, maybe the best overall fantasy football player in 2018.
3. Odell Beckham Jr., New York Giants
I've got my doubts about Odell Beckham Jr. producing the numbers he did in his first couple of seasons in the NFL. He suffered a devastating injury last season that kept him away from football for the entire season. The Giants also drafted an awesome running back in Saquon Barkley.
But, Odell remains one of the absolute best skill players in the NFL. If he bounces back from the injury, he could have a monster year because the Giants, finally, have a rushing attack. A rushing attack takes pressure off QB Eli Manning and Beckham Jr.
He's hard to endorse. He's also hard not to put in my Top 3…for now. I'll move him down my list if he doesn't have a sterling training camp.
4. Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons
Jones only caught 88 passes last season. He did rack up some yards. He produced 1,444 yards. That makes him one of the more reliable daily fantasy football players because he catches passes and racks up yards. However, Julio only caught 3 TD passes last season.
That's not good. It's not good at all. Can Julio Jones bounce back this season? There's a huge likelihood he does. One of the reasons the Falcons drafted former Alabama WR Calvin Ridley this past April in Round 1 is to take some pressure off Matt Ryan to the great Julio Jones.
Ridley is a capable wide receiver. He's the most capable wide receiver outside of Julio that Atlanta's had since Roddy White. Ridley's presence almost assuredly means that Julio is open more than he has been the past 4 or 5 seasons.
That's good news if you draft Jones. He's still one of the very best wide receivers in the NFL. We'll know more after training camp, but, for now, I've got high hopes that Julio bounces back with close to 10 TDs in 2018 after a sub par 2017.
5. Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers
The Green Bay Packers allowed WR Jordy Nelson, quarterback Aaron Rodgers' favorite target, to head to the Oakland Raiders. That's a signal that Green Bay is set on throwing the football to Davante Adams. Can Rodgers and Adams develop a rapport akin to what Aaron had with Jordy?
Maybe. On one hand, Adams' stats don't say that he can be a Top 5 fantasy wide receiver. Davante only caught 74 passes last season. He only acquired 885 yards. On the other hand, though, Davante caught 10 TD passes. That's pretty great because Rodgers got hurt early on in the season. If Rodgers had been healthy, Adams' stats might have exploded.
There's another reason Davante is at 5 on my list. After the Top 4, it's difficult to separate the rest of the Top 10. There are positives and negatives, fantasy wise, for all of them. Why not start out the summer with Davante Adams at 5?
6. A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals
All A.J. does is produce. He caught 75 passes for 1,078 yards and scored 8 TDs in 2017. Those numbers aren't bad for a late Round 1 fantasy football pick. The only issue I really have with A.J. is that his QB, Andy Dalton, appears headed elsewhere.
Dalton went backward as a QB last season. His rating ended up at 86.6. He threw 25 TD passes to 12 picks. What's worse is that he completed 59.9% of his passes. If you complete less than 60% of your passes in the NFL, you had better be a player like Cam Newton who can win a game in other ways.
Green will post decent numbers. He'd post great numbers if his QB was up to par.
7. T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts
How big of a shot are you taking if you drat T.Y. Hilton? A big shot. I'm thinking the glass is half full by putting T.Y. into my Top 10. I'm thinking the glass is full by putting T.Y. 7th on my list. Can Hilton have a bounce back season with the Colts?
I believe he can if QB Andrew Luck returns and plays as well as he did before the injury. Because I've got Hilton at 7 on my list heading into the summer, you can probably guess what I think about Luck's chances of returning to prominence.
8. Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tampa's top player is probably WR Mike Evans. Evans didn't have the breakout season everyone thought he might. He only caught 71 passes for 1,001 yards. He scored only 5 TDs. That doesn't put him in elite status.
The problem Evans has is that his QB hasn't developed the way that the Buccaneers believed he would. Jameis Winston's QB rating last season was 92.2. He threw 11 interceptions. He only threw 19 TD passes. Winston might not be the savior at QB that so many believed he would be when the Bucs drafted him #1 overall.
9. Keenan Allen, L.A. Chargers
QB Phillip Rivers showed how much he loves to throw the football to Keenan Allen. In 2017, Allen caught 102 passes for 1,393 yards. He only caught 5 TDs. That still makes him one of the more reliable wide receivers in the NFL. If Rivers' skills don't diminish this season, eventually they will, Allen could have another monster year.
10. Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints
Save for only scoring 5 TDs, Michael Thomas' production was fantastic last season. He caught 104 passes for 1,245 yards. The Saints did sign Cameron Meredith away from the Chicago Bears. That could work against Thomas in the TD department. Still, he's a Top 10 WR because his QB, Drew Brees, remains one of the absolute best to ever step onto a football field.