2013 Fantasy Football Preview: Wide Receivers

Because the wide receiver spot is often an afterthought in fantasy football due to the depth of the position, it's easy to get lost in filling roster holes. If you are one of those people, take your right hand and slap yourself with it because you are doing a grave injustice to one of the most important positions in fantasy — if you are a lefty, use your right hand anyway…just because…

In most traditional leagues, you start three wideouts. That's three slots out of (again, average) nine that you submit each week. When you are talking about one-third of your fantasy points a week, you sure as heck better put some thought into exactly who you are putting in those spots before you hit the submit button.

Nugget of insight planted, here are my top 50 wideouts entering the 2013 season.

2013 Fantasy Football QB Preview

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Hall of Fame Tier

Can't miss studs. Best of the best.

1. Calvin Johnson – Detroit

Chicago Bears v Detroit Lions

122 catches for 1,964 yards in 2012 gets you the top spot in this list. Would like to see more than five touchdowns this season though.

2. A.J. Green – Cincinnati

3. Dez Bryant – Dallas

4. Brandon Marshall – Chicago

In his first season with Chicago, Marshall set career highs with 118 catches, 194 targets and 1,508 yards.

5. Julio Jones – Atlanta

Pro Bowl Tier

Minimal risk. Will consistently produce at top level.

6. Demaryius Thomas – Denver

The main question surrounding Thomas is whether new addition Wes Welker will steal some touches away.

7. Andre Johnson – Houston

Jacksonville Jaguars v Houston Texans

8. Percy Harvin – Seattle

9. Roddy White – Atlanta

10. Larry Fitzgerald – Arizona

Although turning 30, Fitzgerald is looking to bounce back from his worst season as a pro. The addition of quarterback Carson Palmer should help this.

11. Wes Welker – Denver

Going from Tom Brady to Peyton Manning. I can think of worse changes.

12. Randall Cobb – Green Bay

13. Victor Cruz – New York Giants

New contract but still the same old complaints. However, if his fellow receiver Hakeem Nicks can stay healthy, indecision from defenses on who to double team should lead to plenty of big games for both.

14. Vincent Jackson -Tampa Bay

15. Marques Colston – New Orleans

16. Jordy Nelson – Green Bay

Role Player Tier

Minimal Risk/High Reward

17. Dwayne Bowe – Kansas City

18. Eric Decker – Denver

19. James Jones – Green Bay

20. Hakeem Nicks – New York Giants

21. Reggie Wayne – Indianapolis

reggie wayne-colts-oct-2012

The Colts are going with a new playbook this season, which hopefully doesn't translate to early season gaffes by the offense. Entering his 13th NFL season, this is only Wayne's third different playbook.

22. Pierre Garcon – Washington

HR Tier

High Risk/High Reward

23. Cecil Shorts – Jacksonville

24. Steve Smith – Carolina

25. Steve Johnson – Buffalo

26. Danny Amendola – New England

Amendola will have some big shoes to fill in replacing Wes Welker. Good thing he has Tom Brady throwing him the ball. Trust in the Patriots gift for keeping production with different players when it comes to drafting Amendola.

27. Torrey Smith – Baltimore

28. Antonio Brown – Pittsburgh

With Mike Wallace's departure to Miami, the receiving corps is now led by Brown. Until other receivers step up, open looks may be hard to find for this speedster.

29. Mike Williams – Tampa Bay

30. Mike Wallace – Miami

31. Tavon Austin – St. Louis

tavon austin-wvu-rams-july23-icon

Rookie receivers traditionally aren't anywhere near to surefire but considering Austin immediately becomes the number one receiving option for the Rams, consider him a safe pick.

32. T.Y. Hilton – Indianapolis

33. Kenny Britt – Tennessee

34. Miles Austin – Dallas

35. Greg Jennings – Minnesota

Early word out of Vikings camp has quarterback Christian Ponder not turning heads. Lack of a reliable QB could seriously hurt Jennings' production this season.

36. DeSean Jackson – Philadelphia

37. Lance Moore – New Orleans

Fringe Tier

Guys with talent that are borderline starters

38. Josh Gordon – Cleveland

39. Anquan Boldin – San Francisco

40. Mohamed Sanu – Cincinnati

41. Emmanuel Sanders – Pittsburgh

As the number two receiver for the Steelers, Sanders will have both opportunity and the open looks to create some serious numbers this season.

42. DeAndre Hopkins – Houston

43. Ryan Broyles – Detroit

44. Sidney Rice – Seattle

It's put up or shut up time for Rice as he enters the third year of a $41 million, five-year deal. With Golden Tate breathing down his neck and the addition of Percy Harvin, the time is now for Rice.

Spot-Start Tier

Need a start for bye-weeks or injuries then say no more.

45. Alshon Jeffery – Chicago

46. Brandon LaFell – Carolina

47. Kendall Wright – Tennessee

48. Golden Tate – Seattle

49. Chris Givens – St. Louis

50. Santonio Holmes – New York Jets

Because someone has to catch the occasional Sanchez ball in a Jets game other than the other team, Holmes could have some nice numbers at times.

James LeBeau is a contributor for CraveOnline Sports. You can follow him on Twitter @Jlebeau76 or subscribe on Facebook.com/CraveOnlineSports.

Photo Credit: Getty (C. Johnson, A. Johnson), Icon (R. Wayne, T. Austin)

2013 Fantasy Football QB Preview

2013 Fantasy Football RB Preview

2013 Fantasy Football TE Preview