2016 Outlook: Brown was the top-scoring wide receiver in each of the past two years and has made a strong case that he is the most valuable asset in all of fantasy football. He trailed only Julio Jones in both targets (194) and receiving yards (1,834) last season and tied Jones for the league lead in receptions (136). Incredibly, Brown has finished a week among the top 10 WRs in fantasy points in nearly half of his outings over the past two seasons. As long as Ben Roethlisberger stays healthy, Pittsburgh's offense will be pass-heavy and among the best in the league. Brown is in his prime and has the highest floor at the position.
2016 Outlook: Beckham proved his rookie season was no fluke, ranking seventh in the league in targets (157), eighth in receptions (96), fifth in receiving yards (1,450) and tied for fourth in touchdowns (13) last season. That left him fifth in the league in fantasy points, and he might have placed second had it not been for the one-game suspension he earned after his contentious matchup with Josh Norman. Beckham is still only 23, but he is as heavily targeted and as dangerous after the catch as anyone in the league. He should be off the board early in the first round of your draft.
2016 Outlook: The addition of offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan worked wonders for Jones last season. A third of the Falcons' passes went his way, enabling him to lead the NFL with 203 targets and 1,871 receiving yards and tie Antonio Brown with an NFL-high 136 receptions. All that's left is for Jones to find the end zone more often--he scored eight times last season. Durability remains somewhat of a concern for Jones, with 2015 marking only the second time in five seasons that he appeared in all 16 games. But that is a minor issue, as Jones remains a tremendous fantasy asset.
2016 Outlook: Hopkins became a full-fledged fantasy star in 2015, his third season in the league, ranking third in the NFL in targets (190), receptions (111) and receiving yards (1,521). He has excellent hands and is a threat on all levels of the field, but he simply doesn't offer much with the ball in his hands, averaging a position-low 1.8 yards after the catch. Brock Osweiler provides Houston with the quarterback upgrade it badly needed, so as long as Hopkins continues to flirt with a 30 percent target share, he will remain a strong WR1 option.
2016 Outlook: Cincinnati's improvement on offense last season actually meant less work for Green. After averaging at least 30 percent of Cincinnati's targets in games he played over the previous three seasons, Green's share fell to 26.8 percent in 2015. The Bengals simply had more options in an offense that averaged three TDs per game. As a result, he ranked 12th among WRs in receptions, eighth in yards, tied for seventh in TDs and eighth in fantasy points. Green will face a heavier burden this season, as both Mohamed Sanu and Marvin Jones departed as free agents. Regardless, you're sitting pretty if Green is your No. 1 WR.
2016 Outlook: Robinson was a popular breakout candidate in 2015, and boy did he live up to the hype. In just his second season, he tied for the league lead with 14 touchdowns, and his 1,400 receiving yards ranked sixth in the NFL. Blake Bortles looked for him often near the goal line, as Robinson caught an NFL-high 11 end zone targets. But he also proved to be a major deep threat--he posted the seventh-highest average depth of target (15.3 yards) among WRs and the sixth-highest yards per reception (17.5). TD regression should be expected, but Robinson is only 23 and a rising star in Jacksonville's emerging offense.
2016 Outlook: You can pretty much write off Bryant's 2015 season. Injuries limited him to only nine games, and even when he was on the field, it was often as part of a Tony Romo'less offense. Bryant actually averaged 8.1 targets per game--almost as many as he had in 2014, when he caught a league-high 16 TDs and finished tied for third among WRs in fantasy points. In fact, Bryant entered the 2015 season having finished no worse than fourth at the position in TDs after his rookie season. With Romo back to full health, Bryant is a strong bet to regain elite status and is a borderline first-round pick.
2016 Outlook: Nelson missed the entire 2015 season with a torn ACL, and it was no secret that he was sorely missed. After scoring 3.3 TDs per game in 2014, Green Bay's offense posted a pedestrian 2.5 mark last season. Nelson finished among the top six receivers in targets, receptions, yards and TDs in 2014, which led to a third-place finish in fantasy points. Two years later, he carries more risk--he is 31 years old and coming off a serious injury. Still, Nelson is a good bet to handle eight to 10 targets per game in an Aaron Rodgers'led offense, making him a fringe WR1.
2016 Outlook: Marshall consistently has been one of the league's top targets near the goal line. He either led the NFL or tied for the lead in end zone targets in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2015, and he was fourth in 2014. Last season all those looks paid off: His 14 touchdowns tied Allen Robinson and Doug Baldwin for most in the league. Marshall also proved to be extremely reliable in his first season as a Jet. He finished no worse than 24th among WRs in fantasy points in all but two of his 16 outings last season. Marshall is now 32, but he has shown no signs of slowing down.
2016 Outlook: Jeffery missed seven games due to injury last season, but he was one of the most dominant WRs when active. He handled just under a third of the team's targets in games he played en route to 54 receptions for 807 yards and four TDs. Jeffery's size (6-3) makes him effective in the red zone: Only Calvin Johnson and Brandon Marshall had more end zone targets over the past three seasons. Jeffery has missed a hefty chunk of time during two of his four professional seasons, but he posted top-12 finishes during the other two campaigns. Consider him a borderline WR1 with top-five upside.
2016 Outlook: Evans' first two seasons serve as further evidence that scoring touchdowns is more related to opportunity and good fortune than skill. He caught only two of 15 end zone targets in his second year compared with 10 of 19 as a rookie--research shows that those rates are almost entirely luck-based. In all, he was limited to three TDs, while he led the league with 11 drops. Evans is only 23, he is heavily targeted (especially deep down the field) and his 6-foot-5, 231-pound frame guarantees a ton of work near the goal line. Add in Jameis Winston's expected improvement and Evans is a solid WR2 with a huge ceiling.
2016 Outlook: Watkins was a fantasy star in 2015, but it might not seem like it because he missed nearly a quarter of the season due to injuries. During the 12 full games he played, Watkins handled 27.8 percent of Buffalo's targets and ranked sixth among WRs in fantasy points. He also posted the highest average depth of target (16.8 yards) in the NFL among players targeted at least 70 times. He should be back by training camp from a broken foot that required surgery in April. And with the emerging Tyrod Taylor under center in an offense that quietly was tied for eighth in TDs last season, Watkins is a borderline WR1 with an extremely high ceiling.
2016 Outlook: After entering last season with expectations for a breakthrough campaign, Cooks looked like a bust early on. Through Week 4, he had 20 catches for just 215 yards and no touchdowns, leaving him tied for 50th among WRs in fantasy points. From that point forward, though, the 2014 first-round pick was a revelation. Cooks scored a TD on nine of his next 64 receptions, and only 13 players ended up topping his total of 1,138 receiving yards. Cooks is only 22 years old, and his star is still on the rise. He's an explosive playmaker in Drew Brees' high-octane attack, making him a strong option as a WR2.
2016 Outlook: Cooper had quite the volatile rookie campaign after being the first receiver taken in the 2015 draft. He started strong and faded late (partially because of a foot injury), but he ended up among the top 25 receivers in targets, receptions, yardage, touchdowns and fantasy points. On the negative side, Cooper dropped 10 passes, which trailed only Mike Evans for most in the league. Still, Cooper is only 22 and already a proven every-down contributor. With his high talent level and a role in a quality offense, Cooper is a strong candidate for a big step forward in 2016, making him a solid WR2 with massive upside.
2016 Outlook: Thomas ranked among the top nine WRs in receptions and yardage in each of the past four seasons and joined Julio Jones and Antonio Brown as the only players to catch 100 passes in both 2014 and 2015. But last season, he dropped nine passes (third most in the NFL) and posted his worst fantasy finish (13th) since 2011. At age 28, thomas remains in his prime, but Denver's shaky QB situation--combined with Gary Kubiak's run-first scheme--means his efficiency and volume could very well take another step back. He is now more of a middle-of-the-pack WR2 than the solid WR1 he was during the Peyton Manning era.