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An Unbiased, Totally Correct Ranking of Every NFL Pass-Catching Group

Some teams care more about having a strong receiving corps than others

Getty Images/Ringer illustration

As the NFL increasingly becomes a passing league, the players catching those passes are changing. The running back position has splintered to include passing-down specialists like James White, Duke Johnson, and Tarik Cohen. Three-wide-receiver sets have become standard, making slot receiver a starting position for most teams, turning players like JuJu Smith-Schuster, Adam Thielen, and Julian Edelman into stars, and prolonging the careers of players like Larry Fitzgerald. Tight ends like Zach Ertz, George Kittle, and Travis Kelce are shattering receiving records for their position and serving as their team’s no. 1 option. Yet for all of our obsession over passing, we often focus on the quarterbacks throwing or the players as individuals. We don’t give enough attention to the entire group of pass catchers for each team. Here’s our attempt to change that by ranking each NFL team’s pass catchers for the 2019 season.

Tier 10: Receiving Is Not an Organizational Priority

32. Washington

WR: Paul Richardson
WR: Josh Doctson
WR: Trey Quinn/Terry McLaurin
RB: Chris Thompson
TE: Jordan Reed

Washington’s receiving corps is moribund. Reed is the only player on this list who had more than 45 catches last year, 2016 first-rounder Doctson has been such a disappointment that the team didn’t pick up his fifth-year option, and Richardson is, to paraphrase the NFL’s new best friend Jay-Z, both underrated and overpaid. Worse, these players have a terrible track record of staying on the field. Injuries defined last year for Richardson, the last two years for Thompson, and entire careers for Reed and Doctson. This is a mediocre group when they are on the field together, and they aren’t together often.

31. Buffalo Bills

WR: John Brown
WR: Cole Beasley
WR: Zay Jones/Robert Foster
RB: LeSean McCoy
TE: Tyler Kroft

The Bills have one of the league’s better deep receivers in John Brown and another up-and-coming deep artist in Robert Foster. They filled out the unit with slot maestro and surprisingly not awful rapper Cole Beasley to work underneath them. But these players are window dressing for a nonexistent window. Since trading Sammy Watkins to the Rams two years ago, Buffalo has barely tried to fill the void at the center of its pass-catching game, and rookie quarterback Josh Allen may pay the price. The Bills also don’t get bonus points for McCoy, whose ability in open space is plummeting if his rushing is any indication (48th of 49 qualified rushers in yards per attempt last year).

30. Jacksonville Jaguars

WR: Dede Westbrook
WR: Marqise Lee
WR: D.J. Chark
RB: Leonard Fournette
TE: Geoff Swaim

Jacksonville's offense will be led by Nick Foles and offensive coordinator John DeFilippo, Foles’s quarterbacks coach from the Eagles’ 2017 Super Bowl run, and it will look mighty different from the offenses that catered to mitigating Blake Bortles’s weaknesses. But this pass-catching group is made up almost entirely of unknowns. Swaim is flotsam from the Cowboys’ tight end group. Dede Westbrook, a 2017 fourth-rounder, has the potential to be a breakout star. Lee was the team’s most proven receiver, but missed 2018 with an ACL tear and returned from the physically unable to perform list last week. It will be nice to see what Chark, the 2018 second-rounder out of LSU, can do with a real quarterback, and hopefully DeFilippo involves Chark’s fellow Tiger, running back Leonard Fournette, more in the passing game. The wise move is to reserve judgment until we see them in a non–Blake Bortles offense.

Los Angeles Chargers v Arizona Cardinals
Larry Fitzgerald
Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images

Tier 9: Youngs Led by an Old

29. Arizona Cardinals

WR: Larry Fitzgerald
WR: Christian Kirk
WR: Andy Isabella/Michael Crabtree
RB: David Johnson
TE: Charles Clay

When all of the fruit at a supermarket doesn’t sell, the leftovers are stacked on top of the newest fruit to be sold the next day. That’s the Cardinals’ receiving corp. Larry Fitzgerald, the second-leading receiver by yardage of all time, is entering his 16th year and has become a squishy-to-touch avocado. Ditto Michael Crabtree, whom the team signed this week for veteran depth. Behind them is one player who isn’t ripe yet (second-year receiver Christian Kirk) and a bunch who aren’t even close (rookies Andy Isabella, Hakeem Butler, and KeeSean Johnson). This group will pan out only if you’re willing to wait.

28. San Francisco 49ers

WR: Dante Pettis
WR: Marquise Goodwin
WR: Deebo Samuel
RB: Tevin Coleman
TE: George Kittle

The 49ers have a monster in Kittle, who is their true no. 1 receiver, and Coleman is an above-average pass catcher at running back. But their lack of proven receivers entering this year is concerning. Pettis has been expected to take massive strides, but head coach Kyle Shanahan has already publicly questioned his job security. Behind Pettis are rookie receivers Deebo Samuel and Jalen Hurd; shaping them into NFL contributors immediately could be a tall task. Goodwin is their only healthy wide receiver born before 1995.

27. Baltimore Ravens

WR: Willie Snead IV
WR: Marquise Brown
WR: Chris Moore/Miles Boykin
RB: Mark Ingram
TE: Mark Andrews

This group is all potential, but potential is just another way to say someone hasn’t done anything yet. The 26-year-old Snead is underrated bordering on forgotten, but he’s miscast as a no. 1 option. Hollywood Brown, the first receiver taken in the draft this year, has been compared to DeSean Jackon, but a foot injury could limit his effectiveness early in the season. Miles Boykin, the Ravens’ other rookie receiver, performed well at camp. Andrews had the best rapport of anyone with Lamar Jackson last year and has continued that this offseason. We’ll know much more about how this group fits together midseason after head coach John Harbuagh reveals his self-proclaimed revolutionary offense.

26. Denver Broncos

WR: Emmanuel Sanders
WR: Courtland Sutton
WR: DaeSean Hamilton
RB: Phillip Lindsay
TE: Noah Fant

This group has Baltimore’s potential without the pedigree. Sanders is a 32-year-old returning from a December Achilles tear, but he has reportedly looked fully recovered just nine months later. Behind him is 2018 second-round pick Courtland Sutton, who had an up-and-down rookie year. Sanders and Sutton got into a rarely seen intrapositional group fight in training camp earlier this month, perhaps related to competing for the no. 1 role in Denver’s offense. The surprise breakouts last year were fourth-rounder Hamilton and undrafted rookie Tim Patrick, who round out a surprisingly deep receiving corps. Fant did little at Iowa and has more questions about his overall skill set than college teammate T.J. Hockenson, who was drafted higher in the first round. This group should also benefit from Joe Flacco being an upgrade over Case Keenum.

Tier 8: Lots of Line Cooks but Not Many Chefs

25. Seattle Seahawks

WR: Tyler Lockett
WR: David Moore
WR: D.K. Metcalf
RB: Chris Carson
TE: Will Dissly

The Seahawks need this group to be greater than the sum of its parts. Lockett is probably best suited as a great no. 2 but will be pressed to be Russell Wilson’s no. 1, replacing the retired Doug Baldwin. Moore is a solid no. 3 option but will have to fill in at no. 2. Metcalf has a ridiculous combination of speed and size (and abs) but he’ll need to run routes far more complicated than the three he ran at Ole Miss. He underwent knee surgery on Tuesday with minimal findings. Dissly is a blocking tight end who has recently learned to catch. Don’t let Seahawks fans convince you this group is well-situated for 2019.

Jacksonville Jaguars v Miami Dolphins
Kenny Stills
Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

24. Miami Dolphins

WR: Kenny Stills
WR: Albert Wilson
WR: DeVante Parker
RB: Kenyan Drake
TE: Mike Gesicki

The Dolphins roster is the thinnest in the league, but this unit is the most talented part of the team. Unfortunately, little of that talent has translated into production. Parker has the size and speed to be a great wideout, but injuries and a bad relationship with former head coach Adam Gase kept him off the field. Every time Gesicki gets the ball, he’s possessed by a Madden player who mashes the Y button to hurdle defenders. Wilson is one of the best yards-after-the-catch receivers in football and led the league in Pro Football Focus’s yards per route run last year, but a hip injury ended his 2018 season. The most notable thing about this group isn’t even football, but rather Stills’s taking the rare step of publicly criticizing his owner’s politics as he continues his commitment to social justice activism.

23. New York Jets

WR: Robby Anderson
WR: Quincy Enunwa
WR: Jamison Crowder
RB: Le’Veon Bell
TE: Chris Herndon

Signing Le’Veon Bell was a loud move, but before that the Jets quietly collected a lot of pass-catching talent around second-year starter Sam Darnold. Robby Anderson is a prime candidate to take a major step forward this year, Enunwa is underrated, and Jamison Crowder is a twitchy jitterbug receiver who can get open underneath or be sprung deep when he’s healthy enough to stay on the field. Crowder has had the best rapport with Darnold this offseason. Herndon would be a fantasy football sleeper if he weren’t suspended for the first four games of the season for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. Bell is famously one of the best pass-catching running backs in the league, though he’s the only player who qualifies as a terrifying matchup individually ( Anderson has the potential). Together these individual pieces could jell if Gase uses them properly.

22. New York Giants

WR: Sterling Shepard
WR: Golden Tate
WR: Cody Latimer
RB: Saquon Barkley
TE: Evan Engram

All the Giants were missing was a true deep threat to put next to Odell Beckham Jr. Instead of adding one, they traded Beckham and signed Tate. It’s a classic rebound after a bad breakup. Tate is similar to Beckham but older, worse, and not part of their long-term plans. While Beckham was considered a distraction by the team and Tate was touted for his professionalism, Tate has been suspended the first four games of the year for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs. Shepard, the de facto no. 1 receiver, broke his thumb in camp but is expected to be ready for Week 1. The Giants failed to find an adequate third receiver and turned to Bills and Browns cast-off (yikes) Corey Coleman, but Coleman tore his ACL. Now the Giants are relying on the little-used Cody Latimer. The result of all of this is that Barkley will have to shoulder perhaps the biggest load in the league this year.

21. Tennessee Titans

WR: Corey Davis
WR: Adam Humphries
WR: A.J. Brown
RB: Dion Lewis
TE: Delanie Walker

This is a strange group to evaluate because Marcus Mariota’s nerve injury hampered Tennessee’s passing game last year and offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur left to become Green Bay’s head coach. Davis was the no. 5 pick in the 2017 draft and has the talent to be a top-10 receiver. Free-agent Humphries was signed after playing in the slot in Tampa last year, while Brown might be better than fellow Ole Miss receiver D.K. Metcalf. Walker is an athletic marvel but recovering from injury and 35 years old. This group will be key in a make-it-or-break-it contract year for Mariota.

Tier 7: Star Receivers with Question Marks Behind Them, Part I

20. Cincinnati Bengals

WR: A.J. Green
WR: Tyler Boyd
WR: John Ross
RB: Joe Mixon
TE: Tyler Eifert

Green is out for at least the first week of the season with an ankle injury. With Green healthy, the Bengals feature an above-average 1-2-3 trio with him, Boyd, and a checkdown option in Mixon. But Green’s timeline has already been pushed back once, and without him, this is one of the thinnest groups in the league. Ross’s speed may never transfer to the NFL as he’s been plagued by hamstring injuries. Eifert’s injury history is even more extensive. Undrafted free agent Stanley Morgan Jr. could see serious playing time this year. Green’s potential for a full recovery is the only reason this group is not ranked lower.

Oakland Raiders v Arizona Cardinals
Antonio Brown
Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

19. Oakland Raiders

WR: Antonio Brown
WR: Tyrell Williams
WR: Hunter Renfrow
RB: Josh Jacobs
TE: Darren Waller

We had to write an FAQ post to explain Brown’s bizarre month, but his helmet mystery hides the fact that behind him are even more question marks. Williams is more of a speedster than receiver. Renfrow is the Grudeniest Grinder there has ever been and would get 200 targets if Gruden could still play quarterback, but the rookie may not be ready to pull the load this year. Waller is talented but has been playing tight end for only a few years and has yet to meaningfully produce in the NFL, let alone produce consistently. And then there is Brown, who is coming off frostbite and reportedly threatened to never suit up again over his helmet squabble. It’s a meh supporting cast that would not fare well if a Brown absence forces them into leading roles.

Tier 6: Groups Whose Fans Think They Are Ranked Way Too Low

18. Detroit Lions

WR: Kenny Golladay
WR: Marvin Jones Jr.
WR: Danny Amendola
RB: Kerryon Johnson
TE: T.J. Hockenson

Detroit would be far higher up this list if it had retained Golden Tate, but the team dealt him to Philadelphia midseason. The Lions still have Golladay, affectionately dubbed “Babytron,” and he could be the team’s breakout star. Jones is an underrated second option and capable of making plays downfield and after the catch. Hockenson is an über-talented Iowa tight end drafted eighth overall this year, but even the best of tight ends struggle to make an impact as rookies (and often as second-year players). Amendola is—wait, Danny Amendola is still around? Wow. You learn something new every day.

17. Carolina Panthers

WR: D.J. Moore
WR: Curtis Samuel
WR: Jarius Wright/Chris Hogan
RB: Christian McCaffrey
TE: Greg Olsen

The Panthers have stockpiled some ludicrous talent. McCaffrey is one of the league’s premier receivers out of the backfield and can also line up anywhere along the line of scrimmage. Moore, the first receiver drafted in 2018, is a favorite for a major breakout this year after catching 55 balls for 788 yards as a 21-year-old rookie. Samuel’s speed (4.31 40-yard dash time) is extraordinary, and he posted 370 yards and three touchdowns in his final seven games despite missing time earlier in the season. This trio could become one of the league’s best, but Cam Newton’s health might be their biggest hurdle this year.

16. Chicago Bears

WR: Allen Robinson
WR: Anthony Miller
WR: Taylor Gabriel
RB: Tarik Cohen
TE: Trey Burton

Robinson’s talent was not evident in a year he was recovering from an ACL tear and trying to get on the same page with still-adjusting-to-the-NFL Mitchell Trubisky. Second-year wideout Anthony Miller gutted through injuries to make a serious impact as a rookie, and Gabriel is one of the better third receivers in football. Burton was disappointing after coming over from Philadelphia, but Cohen is one of the best pass-catching running backs—though he may see less playing time in 2019 after head coach Matt Nagy told reporters the team gave Cohen “a little bit too much” last year. This group would earn more respect with a veteran quarterback who could take full advantage of their ability to get open. Alas, they don’t have one.

Indianapolis Colts Training Camp
T.Y. Hilton
Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

15. Indianapolis Colts

WR: T.Y. Hilton
WR: Devin Funchess
WR: Parris Campbell
RB: Marlon Mack/Nyheim Hines
TE: Eric Ebron/Jack Doyle

Hilton is a proven star. Funchess was an underrated signing on a one-year deal who, at 6-foot-4 and 225 pounds, makes this a bulky squad when they trot him out along with two tight ends in Ebron (6-foot-4 and 253 pounds) and Jack Doyle (6-foot-6 and 262 pounds). Balancing out that size is the speed of rookie receiver Parris Campbell, who posted the fastest 40-yard dash time (4.31 seconds) of all receivers at the combine this year. Like Carolina’s, the Colts’ receivers may be held back by their quarterback missing practice (and perhaps games) more than anything else.

Tier 5: The Patriots

14. New England Patriots

WR: Josh Gordon
WR: Julian Edelman
WR: N’Keal Harry
RB: James White
TE: Ben Watson

Death, taxes, and the Patriots pulling receivers out of thin air. This time they’ve materialized Josh Gordon from cryosleep, and, if he plays, this is suddenly a good group. That’s if he plays, and Gordon being on the field is far from a guarantee. Edelman’s Super Bowl MVP performance talks for him, and their ragtag group of potential third receivers, from struggling first-rounder N’Keal Harry to Demaryius Thomas to dark-horse candidate Maurice Harris, will be far more important if Gordon can’t play for any reason. The person who always picks up the slack is receiving back James White, and he’ll be the team’s true no. 2 receiver if Gordon isn’t available. There’s a solid chance the Patriots’ third-leading receiver this year isn’t even on the roster yet. Whatever. When you have Bill Belichick’s track record, you earn the benefit of the doubt.

Tier 4: Star Receivers With Question Marks Behind Them, Part 2

13. Dallas Cowboys

WR: Amari Cooper
WR: Michael Gallup
WR: Randall Cobb
RB: Ezekiel Elliott
TE: Jason Witten

The Cowboys famously had one of the worst pass-catching groups in the NFL for the last few years, but trading a first-rounder for Amari Cooper and reinvigorating Dak Prescott seemingly overnight will change things. This year, they added Randall Cobb, who could be a surprisingly helpful player, and also brought back Witten, who will probably not be so helpful (though he might just keep converting third downs for the next 30 years). The player who could truly elevate this group is Elliott, as long as he shows up to camp and new offensive coordinator Kellen Moore uses him in more creative roles, like the Rams have done with Todd Gurley under Sean McVay.

12. Green Bay Packers

WR: Davante Adams
WR: Geronimo Allison
WR: Marquez Valdes-Scantling
RB: Aaron Jones
TE: Jimmy Graham

Adams is as consistent as it gets, taking the torch from Jordy Nelson as the player who had a mind meld with Aaron Rodgers. He had a touchdown in 11 games last year and, in the four games he didn’t score, he averaged 125 receiving yards. Behind him, things are uncertain. Allison looked like an excellent complement last year, but a variety of injuries ended his season—including tearing his adductor muscles from his pelvis, which he told ESPN, “honestly felt like my testicles twisted.” This year Allison will play in the slot. Second-year receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling has secured the outside job. Those three could be the next trio of Packers receivers who stick around Green Bay for years.

Cincinnati Bengals v Pittsburgh Steelers
JuJu Smith-Schuster
Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

11. Pittsburgh Steelers

WR: JuJu Smith-Schuster
WR: Donte Moncrief
WR: James Washington/Ryan Switzer
RB: James Conner
TE: Vance McDonald

The departure of Antonio Brown leaves a massive opportunity for Smith-Schuster, whose talent on the field is surpassed only by his legitimate talent as a YouTube personality. Smith-Schuster played more than three out of every five snaps in the slot last year and will have to adjust to playing along the boundary—and without one of the best receivers in football taking attention away from him. Rather than Brown, Smith-Schuster will play across from Moncrief, a talented receiver who couldn’t produce in Indianapolis or Jacksonville. 2018 second-round receiver James Washington is progressing but may not win playing time in the first half of this season. The talented but injury-prone McDonald is expected to have a big role in 2019, and a rotation of slot receivers that includes Switzer and Eli Rogers could all make big plays in Brown’s absence. How Pittsburgh adjusts to life without Brown, and to a lesser extent Le’Veon Bell, is one of the biggest questions in the league.

Tier 3: Talented and Deep

10. Philadelphia Eagles

WR: Alshon Jeffery
WR: DeSean Jackson
WR: Nelson Agholor
RB: Miles Sanders/Darren Sproles
TE: Zach Ertz/Dallas Goedert

A team with truly no weak spots. Ertz and Goedert are the best tight end combo in football. Jeffery’s and Jackson’s games have almost nothing in common but work with what Ertz does perfectly. Jackson’s speed adds a vertical element that Torrey Smith couldn’t provide in 2018. Agholor was a disaster in 2017 but redeemed himself last year. Darren Sproles is still kicking, and rookie running back Miles Sanders, the heir to Saquon Barkley at Penn State, could also show capable hands out of the backfield.

9. Los Angeles Chargers

WR: Keenan Allen
WR: Mike Williams
WR: Travis Benjamin
RB: Melvin Gordon/Austin Ekeler
TE: Hunter Henry

The Chargers finally get to see what this group is about. Keenan Allen is one of the members of the always-open club and makes up for not being an elite athlete by having elite technique and route-running ability, though an ankle injury will keep him out for the rest of the preseason. Behind him is the hyped Mike Williams, who feels bigger than his 6-foot-4, 220-pound frame. Late last year he finally made good on the red zone qualities expected of him when he was taken seventh overall in 2017, but his next step in Year 3 is consistency. Henry has been tabbed as the heir to Antonio Gates and was primed for a breakout 2018 until he tore his ACL in May, and now he’ll take the field with even bigger expectations after the long wait. Melvin Gordon’s holdout leaves more playing time for Austin Ekeler, who was third in Pro Football Focus’s yards per route run and tied for third among all running backs in yards per reception.

8. Los Angeles Rams

WR: Brandin Cooks
WR: Robert Woods
WR: Cooper Kupp
RB: Todd Gurley
TE: Gerald Everett

Part of the reason Sean McVay is so respected is he turned a good but not great receiving group into one of the league’s best offenses (second in Football Outsiders’ DVOA and fifth in passing DVOA). Cooks is the best of the bunch, though he rarely shows the ability to take over a game. Woods was pulled off of the scrap heap in Buffalo and became a dynamic contributor in L.A., while Kupp—who is returning from a torn ACL—led all players who ran more than half of their routes in the slot in yards per route run, according to Pro Football Focus. Gurley has 10 receiving touchdowns over the past two years. This group is the best example of one that’s more than the sum of its parts (non-Patriots division) in recent years.

Tier 2: Elite but Top Heavy

7. Atlanta Falcons

WR: Julio Jones
WR: Calvin Ridley
WR: Mohamed Sanu
RB: Devonta Freeman
TE: Austin Hooper

Jones has been top three in receiving yards and receiving yards per game every year since 2014, and he’s led the league in PFF’s yards per route run in each of the past four years. Adding 2018 first-rounder and fellow Crimson Tide product Calvin Ridley to be the Robin to Jones’s Batman breathed life into the Falcons offense. Ridley had a touchdown bonanza to start the year that established he could beat one-on-one coverage, and he drew enough attention that Jones ended his infamous touchdown drought and led the league in touchdowns in the second half of the season. Sanu is one of the better third options in the league and big for a slot receiver (6-foot-2 and 215 pounds), which helps him in run blocking (he’s also good to quarterback a trick-play touchdown). Hooper could be in line for a larger role under offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter, who has prioritized the tight end position since he was the offensive coordinator for Boston College in the 1990s.

6. Minnesota Vikings

WR: Adam Thielen
WR: Stefon Diggs
WR: Chad Beebe
RB: Dalvin Cook
TE: Kyle Rudolph

The Vikings have two gems in receivers Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs. The issue is who is behind them. 2016 first-round pick Laquon Treadwell never learned to separate at the NFL level, has been unable to win the third receiver job despite getting every opportunity, and may not be in the league in a few years. Their third receiver this year will be somebody named Chad Beebe, an undrafted free agent who had four catches as a rookie last year. Rudolph is a mainstay even though the team nearly got rid of him this offseason, and he’s a contested-catch receiver, not a separator. Cook is a solid but not exceptional receiver out of the backfield. This group could fall back to earth this season.

Minnesota Vikings v New Orleans Saints
Michael Thomas
Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

5. New Orleans Saints

WR: Michael Thomas
WR: Ted Ginn Jr.
WR: Tre’Quan Smith
RB: Alvin Kamara
TE: Jared Cook

Thomas has vaulted himself into the conversation as one of the best receivers in football after just three years, a stretch in which he set the all-time mark for catch percentage. Alvin Kamara is one of the rare running backs who is a truly elite receiver. In each of his first two seasons, he eclipsed 700 rushing yards and 700 receiving yards, becoming just the third player to pull that off in back-to-back years along with Marshall Faulk and Herschel Walker. Cook is coming off a season leading the Raiders in receiving and is New Orleans’s best tight end since the team traded Jimmy Graham to Seattle. Ginn is a solid but unremarkable vertical threat, while Smith is an up-and-coming receiver who may be a year away from making his mark. New Orleans was the third-best passing offense by DVOA last year and this group could be even better with Cook involved.

4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

WR: Mike Evans
WR: Chris Godwin
WR: Breshad Perriman
RB: Peyton Barber
TE: O.J. Howard/Cameron Brate

Evans is a contested-catch monster who often looks like a man among boys going up for jump balls (Evans suffered an undisclosed injury Sunday and has not practiced since). Godwin is the favorite son of fantasy football experts in 2019 as one of the most consensus breakout candidates in recent memory. Howard is talented enough to join Travis Kelce, George Kittle, and Zach Ertz on the current tight end Mt. Rushmore by the end of the season. But it gets ugly after them. Their running backs are likely the worst pass-catching backfield in the league with Peyton Barber and last year’s second-round pick Ronald Jones. The depth behind Evans and Godwin is almost nonexistent, with Baltimore bust Breshad Perriman, 2018 fifth-round pick Justin Watson, and rookie sixth-rounder Scott Miller leading the way. That would be a serious problem if Evans’s injury is serious. The Evans-Godwin-Howard combo could be the best 1-2-3 in the league by midseason, but their fourth and fifth options could be the league’s worst.

Tier 1: Elite and Deep

3. Houston Texans

WR: DeAndre Hopkins
WR: Will Fuller V
WR: Keke Coutee
RB: Duke Johnson Jr.
TE: Jordan Thomas

Hopkins went through the NFL version of quarterback hell, cycling through 20 quarterbacks in his first six seasons, including Brock Osweiler, Brian Hoyer, Ryan Fitzpatrick, T.J. Yates, Matt Schaub and that pick-six streak, and even Brandon Weeden. ThenHopkins was united with Deshaun Watson and almost instantaneously became the league’s best receiver. Hopkins is not the biggest (6-foot-1 and 212 pounds) or fastest receiver (4.57-second 40-yard dash), but his NFL skill is turning 50-50 balls into 90-10 balls. Houston’s one-two-three punch of Hopkins, Will Fuller V, and Keke Coutee is probably the best in the league when all three are healthy. Unfortunately Fuller and Coutee haven’t been healthy, with Fuller playing 17 games the past two years and Coutee injuring both hamstrings last year and injuring his ankle in what he called a “minor setback” this preseason. Coutee’s injury and Fuller’s injury history are the main reasons for concern in Houston. They did bolster their depth by adding Cleveland receiving back Duke Johnson, one of the better receiving backs in the league (74 catches for 693 yards in 2017), who can also excel out of the slot and provide a versatility Houston simply doesn’t have with starter Lamar Miller. The Texans’ main weakness is tight end. Their top two options this year, Jordan Thomas and Jordan Akins, combined for 37 catches and 440 yards last year, and unless rookie third-rounder Kahale Warring contributes, it will be more (less?) of the same from the Texans tight ends. Luckily no matter how bad the Texans tight ends are, Hopkins has seen worse.

Washington Redskins v Cleveland Browns
Odell Beckham Jr.
Photo by: 2019 Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images

2. Cleveland Browns

WR: Odell Beckham Jr.
WR: Jarvis Landry
WR: Rashard Higgins
RB: Nick Chubb
TE: David Njoku

Beckham puts everything into place for the Browns. His legend needs little padding, but there is room for him to be even better with Baker Mayfield in 2019. With Beckham in town, Landry can slide to the no. 2 role, where his skill set is better suited as a possession receiver (Landry has the most receptions in the first four years of a career for any receiver ever). Higgins has outplayed and outworked Antonio Callaway for the no. 3 job and could flourish there. Tight end David Njoku has had rocks for hands the past few years but went from leading tight ends in drops to among the least-drop-prone tight ends after Hue Jackson was fired. Running back Nick Chubb is not the most natural route runner but is a devil to tackle in open space. Last year Mayfield was feeling dangerous, but now the whole offense feels that way.

1. Kansas City Chiefs

WR: Tyreek Hill
WR: Sammy Watkins
WR: Mecole Hardman/Demarcus Robinson
RB: Damien Williams
TE: Travis Kelce

Hill led the league in yards per touch last year (15.0) and his 1,479 receiving yards and 12 receiving touchdowns made him the highest-scoring receiver in fantasy football. Kelce set the all-time mark for receiving yards by a tight end last year (1,336), but it was broken three hours later by San Francisco’s George Kittle. Watkins is talented enough to be the top wideout on a few teams but he’s Kansas City’s third option at a cool $16 million per year. He hasn’t had more than 593 receiving yards since 2015. Kansas City’s fourth option will either be Demarcus Robinson or second-rounder Mecole Hardman, the speedster drafted to fill Hill’s role when the Chiefs were unsure whether Hill would be arrested or suspended as a result of a child abuse investigation into injuries sustained by his 4-year-old son. (The league ultimately decided not to punish Hill.) The Chiefs have a faster receiving corps than last year’s group that was part of one of the best offenses in NFL history.