2014 Outlook: Talk about a year-two bump. A fifth-rounder in 2012, Jones had minimal impact as a rookie, catching 18 balls and scoring only once. Last year he made it into the end zone 10 times, including nine scores inside the red zone. The only player with more? Dez Bryant. For some context, Jones caught 86 percent of targets inside the 20; his Bengals counterpart A.J. Green snagged only 43 percent for 4 TDs. New playcaller Hue Jackson promises a more run-centric attack, so it wouldn't be a huge surprise if Jones' TDs were cut in half this season.
2014 Outlook: Stills is a big reason New Orleans felt comfortable letting Darren Sproles and Lance Moore walk in free agency. As a rookie, he led the league with 20 yards per catch; Josh Gordon was second with 18.9. Of course, a low volume of targets (49) and receptions (32) factored into that, but only two other players since 2009 have caught 30-plus balls and averaged 20 ypc in a season: DeSean Jackson and Mike Wallace. Without Sproles or Moore in the picture, more than 20 percent of the Saints' targets from last season are up for grabs. Stills will have to compete with first-round pick Brandin Cooks, but if he can snag his fair share, he'll vault up the WR rankings.
2014 Outlook: Lee is one of the core elements of the Jaguars' offensive transformation. His overall numbers last year at USC (57 receptions, 791 yards, 4 TDs) fell short of his 2012 Biletnikoff Award'winning figures (118 receptions, 1,721 yards, 14 TDs), but a good portion of that drop-off was due to the MCL injury he suffered last season. Lee has experience learning an NFL-caliber playbook and has the benefit of lining up opposite Cecil Shorts. Still, because the Jacksonville offense is a work in progress, it's likely Lee will take a year or two to break out.
2014 Outlook: Beckham is a throwback triple threat, as Giants GM Jerry Reese noted that the LSU first-rounder can score touchdowns on receptions, kick returns and punt returns. A home run hitter of this caliber doesn't come around often and could go a long way toward improving New York's mediocre vertical passing game (9.6 ypa, ranked 26th). The biggest impediment could be having to make the transition to offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo's West Coast scheme, which is a change in style from the vertical passing system Beckham played in at LSU.
2014 Outlook: For the second consecutive year, Hartline posted more than 70 catches and 1,000 yards. He also bested highly touted teammate Mike Wallace in catches and yards despite being targeted eight fewer times. His 130 targets tied for 19th among WRs and placed him just ahead of Anquan Boldin, DeSean Jackson, Jordy Nelson and Victor Cruz. So why isn't Hartline ranked higher? Since 2012, he's been held under 100 yards in 27 of his 32 games and has only 5 TDs.
2014 Outlook: An argument can be made that Cotchery's value should be higher. After all, he's moving from a No. 3 WR role with the Steelers to a No. 2 WR role for the Panthers and thus could see an increase in targets. But his change in scenery could be a downgrade; the Panthers had one of the worst vertical passing games in the NFL last year (9.1 ypa, ranked 31st). Odds are that Cotchery won't turn that trend around in Carolina: He failed to produce quality totals in that area in three seasons with the Steelers (19.9 yards per vertical reception, 74th among WRs with 25 or more vertical receptions).
2014 Outlook: Williams missed 10 games last season with a hamstring injury, and when he played he was largely ineffective. Bad QB play certainly had something to do with that; the Bucs finished last in the league with 2,820 passing yards. He's now in Buffalo, but the QB situation is still a bit of a wild card, especially in the red zone. In 2013, the Bills had only 98 passing yards inside the 20, which ranked 31st. Williams will be an upgrade in that area; his 2.7 fantasy points per game on red zone passes since 2012 is 15th among WRs.
2014 Outlook: Roberts had his second-worst season as a pro, playing No. 3 receiver behind Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd in Arizona. So of course the Redskins gave him a four-year deal for $8 million guaranteed to be the No. 3 receiver behind DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon. What could possibly go wrong? Barring an injury to one of the starters, Roberts likely will be an afterthought in Jay Gruden's game plans. He shouldn't be owned until he proves he can be an adequate third option.
2014 Outlook: As the Rams give Britt a second chance to live up to the hype, fantasy owners are left wondering why they should do the same. One reason? Downfield production. In his first four NFL seasons, Britt averaged 4.8 vertical fantasy points per game, a mark that ranked 27th among WRs over that span. Working with Jeff Fisher again could help Britt regain his deep-ball prowess, but his durability (he's missed over a quarter of his career games) and his place on St. Louis' crowded WR depth chart should keep him off your roster initially.
2014 Outlook: Simpson showed off his big-play ability early last season, posting 22 of his 32 fantasy points on vertical throws. Things went south after that, as he compiled only 22 such points over the season's final 12 games. Cordarrelle Patterson is partly to blame for the decline; his emergence as a rookie moved Simpson into a backup role, which he still occupies. New O-coordinator Norv Turner is a master at using vertical pass catchers, but keep in mind that Simpson could be facing a suspension after his Nov. 9 arrest on a drunken driving charge.
2014 Outlook: It's hard to adequately evaluate Woods' rookie season after he fielded ground balls from the three-headed QB monstrosity of EJ Manuel, Jeff Tuel and Thad Lewis. Despite the obvious roadblocks, Woods averaged 14.7 yards per catch (26th in the NFL) and had 18 targets on stretch vertical throws (23rd). All told, he tied for the team lead in WR fantasy points (73). Don't get too excited: Woods' value will be capped until the Bills get improved stability at quarterback.
2014 Outlook: At first glance, it might seem difficult for Douglas to replicate last year's career high of 132 targets, 85 receptions and 1,067 yards. Part of that production was due to a total of 14 missed games from Julio Jones and Roddy White, which gifted Douglas 11 starts. Barring injury, he won't get that many starts again, but the departure of Tony Gonzalez should free up more targets. Provided Matt Ryan can stay upright this season, Douglas could have the highest upside of any WR6 candidate.
2014 Outlook: If production against topflight college competition is your thing, it's hard to find someone with a better r'sum' than second-rounder Matthews. He ended his Vanderbilt tenure as the SEC's all-time leader in career receptions (262) and receiving yards (3,759) and set a single-season SEC record in 2013 with 112 catches. Eagles head coach Chip Kelly wants to lean more heavily on sizable skill position players, and that could mean a significant rookie workload for the 6-foot-3, 212-pound Matthews.
2014 Outlook: Remember way back in Week 1 when Thompkins' 14 targets seemed to spell fantasy superstardom? Or back in Week 3, when his 2 red zone TDs seemed to make him a double-digit threat? Or back in Week 4, when his six catches for 127 yards and a touchdown meant Tom Brady had finally found a reliable pass catcher outside of Gronk? Well, yeah, we may have overreacted a bit. Thompkins crashed hard. After being a healthy scratch in Week 9, he scored just 12 fantasy points the rest of the season. It's hard to imagine that Thompkins will re-establish his fantasy relevance in 2014, but if he does, we'll temper our future projections.
2014 Outlook: As of this writing, Holmes had yet to find a suitor on the free agent market. It turns out 30-year-old wideouts who've missed more games than they've played the past two seasons aren't hot commodities. Who knew? Even if Holmes does find a team, steer clear of him as a fantasy option. He's posted only one career season with more than 1,000 yards. He's never eclipsed 80 catches. And touchdowns? He's scored only two in 15 games since 2012. Stay away. Stay far away.