As the weather heats up and summer festivities are underway, it’s officially Best Ball draft season for fantasy football players. Over the past few seasons, wide receivers have become the hottest commodities in Best Ball drafts, and especially so at sites like Underdog Fantasy.
To help you find success in your drafts, check out these 2023 Best Ball Wide Receiver Rankings which can be used to identify sleepers, starters and scrubs. If you’re playing Best Ball on Underdog Fantasy Football, be sure to take advantage of our Underdog Fantasy promo code to get a $100 deposit bonus when you sign up.
Why Best Ball Fantasy Football?
If you love drafting fantasy football teams but aren’t a fan of season-long management, Best Ball is the perfect format for you. In this format, entrants draft a team of players in a snake format draft. Throughout the season, there are no waivers, substitutions, or trades. Each week your top scorers at each position automatically are moved into your starting lineup.
With the emergence of high-flying passing offenses and running back by committee, wide receivers have been on the rise for the past several seasons and have surpassed running backs as elite point producers. In fact, four of the top five players and 10 of the top 14 in ADP (average draft position) are wide receivers. Getting the right studs and the right sleepers at wide receiver is key to hoisting the trophy and claiming the cash at the end of the season.
From a scoring perspective, it’s important to know that receptions are given 0.5 fantasy points per reception in standard Underdog scoring. Both receiving and rushing yards are 0.1 fantasy points per yard and 6.0 fantasy points per rushing or receiving touchdowns. On a regular roster, there are three wide receivers, two running backs, one tight end and a flex spot. As a result of those roster requirements, you want to be sure to stack up plenty of depth at the position as well as targeting the elite options at the top of the draft.
Below are the top 30 players in my Underdog Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Rankings with some brief analysis at the bottom of the page.
2023 Best Ball WR Rankings
- Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings
- Ja’Marr Chase, Cincinnati Bengals
- Tyreek Hill, Miami Dolphins
- A.J. Brown, Philadelphia Eagles
- Stefon Diggs, Buffalo Bills
- Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams
- Garrett Wilson, New York Jets
- CeeDee Lamb, Dallas Cowboys
- Amon-Ra St. Brown, Detroit Lions
- Jaylen Waddle, Miami Dolphins
- Davante Adams, Las Vegas Raiders
- Chris Olave, New Orleans Saints
- DeVonta Smith, Philadelphia Eagles
- DK Metcalf, Seattle Mariners
- Calvin Ridley, Jacksonville Jaguars
- Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers
- Amari Cooper, Cleveland Browns
- Tee Higgins, Cincinnati Bengals
- Drake London, Atlanta Falcons
- DJ Moore, Chicago Bears
- Terry McLaurin, Washington Commanders
- Deebo Samuel, San Francisco 49ers
- Christian Watson, Green Bay Packers
- Mike Williams, Los Angeles Chargers
- DeAndre Hopkins, Free Agent
- Jerry Jeudy, Denver Broncos
- Diontae Johnson, Pittsburgh Steelers
- Brandon Aiyuk, San Francisco 49ers
- Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Seattle Seahawks
- Treylon Burks, Tennessee Titans
How I’m Drafting Wide Receivers in Beset Ball Drafts
The Big Three
The top three in the wide receiver market all come with high ceilings. Jefferson was the No. 1 WR last season after scoring nine touchdowns and tying for the NFL lead with 26 red-zone targets. Both Ja’Marr Chase and Tyreek Hill have the capacity to take over the top spot if things break their way and they stay healthy, but I still prefer Jefferson as the top pick on the board, especially after the departure of Adam Thielen. Jefferson is a very popular pick as No. 1 overall, and that’s where I have him on my Best Ball draft boards, although I prefer the value more towards the middle of the first round.
Chase was limited to only 12 games last year in the regular season, totaling an impressive 134 targets and racking up 87.1 yards per game. His per-game opportunities were right on the same level with Jefferson, and his quarterback play is slightly more reliable. I would take Jefferson in the top spot, but Chase is barely a downgrade if you’re second and Jefferson is gone.
Hill can also be right there with those top two options, especially if Tua Tagovailoa can take the next step and stay healthy. The slight uncertainty is why I slid him to No. 3, but these three are really 1a, 1b and 1c and any of them give your team a high ceiling and relatively low risk which is exactly what your’e looking for in the opening rounds of Best Ball.
Top 10 With Tons of Upside
Behind those three superstars, A.J. Brown, Stefon Diggs, Cooper Kupp, Garrett Wilson, CeeDee Lamb, Amon-Ra St. Brown and Jaylen Waddle make up a very strong second tier. Each of them can sparkle on any given week and are strong enough to be an elite WR1 in most standard-sized leagues.
Of the group, Wilson is the riskiest play but brings tons of upside since he’ll be working with Aaron Rodgers after putting up good numbers with the Jets’ mess at QB last season. Amon-Ra St. Brown should be especially busy early in the year while James Williamson serves his suspension.
Veteran Wild Cards
After dropping out of the top 10, there is a section of proven options that each come with question marks. For example, Davante Adams has proven he can be a top option but his QB situation is questionable. Calvin Ridley could be great but hasn’t played for a year. DeAndre Hopkins was solid after his suspension before Kyler Murray’s injury, but he’s still a free agent at this point.
Of the group, DJ Moore is probably the one that I’m highest on compared to his ADP. Moore has shown he can put up big games and top-tier production but has been hampered by sketchy quarterback play in Carolina. He and Justin Fields could be poised to both to take the leap together while working together with the Bears. There are some questions about how much Fields will be allowed to air it out, but when he does, Moore should be there to make him successful.
On the other end of the spectrum, I’m significantly below ADP on Chris Godwin and Mike Evans in Tampa Bay since they’ll be downgrading from Tom Brady to Baker Mayfield or Kyle Trask.
Rookies to stock up on
Rookie wide receivers can be extremely boom-or-bust depending on how quickly they click in their new offense and the workload they are asked to carry. As a result of their high-risk, high-upside, I like targeting them in the 30-to-50 range once I have a few more established plays in place. That way I can have some insurance to protect me from their scary floors but still have access to their high ceiling.
The top rookie receiver I like this year is Jaxson Smith-Njigba, who is expected to jump right in as the Seahwaks’ primary slot receiver. He will have to earn his targets behind DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, but he brings strong upside, especially in the second half of the season.
My second rookie to target is the Vikings Jordan Addison, who is expected to replace Thielen, who departed for Carolina as a free agent. Thielen had over 100 targets last year since the Vikings rank third in the NFL in both pass rate and pass attempts last year.
The rest of the top five rookie wide receivers to consider are Quentin Johnston of the Chargers, Rashee Rice of the Chiefs and Zay Flowers of the Ravens. If you’re looking towards even later rounds, third in both pass rate and pass attempts last year, Jaylin Hyatt has enough big-play potential for the Giants to be a boom-or-bust play and offer some big weeks, although he may be inconsistent. Hyatt’s teammate Cedric Tillman also landed in a good spot with the Browns and could be ready to contribute right away since Cleveland needs receiver playmakers and Tillman posted strong numbers before a high ankle sprain shelved him after two games.
If you are looking for some non-rookie sleepers, don’t over Treylon Burks as my No. 30 wide receiver for this year. He struggled with injuries, but when he and Ryan Tannehill were healthy, he showed WR1 upside. Tennessee lost Robert Woods III and Austin Hooper this offseason, who led the team in targets and red-zone targets, respectively. If healthy, Burks has breakout potential in his sophomore season.
Just ahead of Burks, another intriguing name with a high ceiling is Terry McLaurin, who is going very low due to legitimate concerns with Washington’s quarterback situation. Whether it’s Sam Howell, Jacoby Brissett or a mix of the two, McLaurin brings high-end upside and an elite ceiling as the team’s top go-to option.
Just outside my top 30, some non-rookies that I’m watching closely and liking at their current ADP are Kadarius Toney for the Chiefs, Brandin Cooks for the Cowboys, Gabe Davis of the Bills and Jameson Williams of the Lions, who should be a strong option after serving a six-game suspension to start the season.
Speaking of sleepers…if you’re looking for a new home for your more traditional fantasy football leagues, check out Sleeper Fantasy.