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Fantasy Football: League-winning wide receivers for 2023

2KCT14K Detroit Lions wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown (14) runs the ball during the first half of an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles in Detroit, Michigan USA, on Sunday, October 31, 2021. (Photo by Jorge Lemus/NurPhoto)

  • Amon-Ra St. Brown can be a more complete receiver: St. Brown has made his name catching short passes and making players miss, but he’s looking to become a deep threat at well.
  • Don’t count Keenan Allen out yet: Allen is 31 years old and the Los Angeles Chargers just added a first-round wide receiver, but he was a top-five fantasy wide receiver when healthy last season and could benefit from Kellen Moore as offensive coordinator.
  • Deebo Samuel’s rushing ability helps him stand out: Samuel has been excellent when healthy, and his rushing production gives him a unique edge over all other receivers.
Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

These league winners are players who have an ADP in the first four rounds on ESPN and who I have ranked notably higher than their ADP. For help with sleepers, draft strategy, rankings or for more details about the players, check out the rest of my summer content below. For better filtering of the rankings along with auction values, check out our draft rankings page.

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Last updated: 7:15 a.m. Tuesday, August 1

Amon-Ra St. Brown, Detroit Lions (ADP: 19.8, From ESPN)

St. Brown is an underrated receptions machine.

  • St. Brown’s rookie season started slow in 2021 but had an excellent ending. He caught at least eight passes in each of the last six games, leading to a minimum of 70 yards, and a touchdown in five of six games.
  • He scored the second-most fantasy points over that stretch, averaging 25.2 fantasy points per game.
  • He followed that up with an even more impressive 2022 campaign.
  • His 90.4 receiving grade placed third among wide receivers last season.
  • He was targeted on 28.8% of his routes, leading to a catch on 21.9% of his routes — which both ranked second last season.
  • His 0.53 receiving PPR points per route run ranked fourth.
  • The Lions no longer have T.J. Hockenson, D.J. Chark or D’Andre Swiftthree of the Lions' top five receivers last season by PFF grade. This should lead to the passing game relying even more on St. Brown.
  • He’s received plenty of praise in camp so far and is looking to expand his route tree this season by becoming more of a deep threat. This would make him a more well-rounded receiver, and allow him to have more huge games rather than just consistent good ones.
  • The only problem is St. Brown ran the 43rd-most routes last season, at 483.
  • The Lions invested a lot at running back this offseason with Jahmyr Gibbs in the draft and David Montgomery in free agency. If anything, Detroit will be getting the ball more to running backs — not less.
  • If the Lions end up increasing how much they pass the ball, St. Brown has a chance at being the overall WR1.

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