Top 10 wide receivers in the NFL

With the NFL currently a passing league, wide receivers have become a premium position. Teams have spent this offseason shelling out big money to sign high-profile wide receivers, indeed five of the top six in terms of average annual value (AAV) were signed in 2022.

A true WR1 can be a difference maker for any team, and highly ranked pass-catchers can be the spark to spur a franchise to a Super Bowl-winning season. Below we attempt to identify the best players right now for 2022; this is not a projection for the next five seasons but who are the best players as of today?

The landscape for receivers has exploded and the growth of the position makes any list contentious. Most NFL teams have at least one impact pass-catcher. Catching 100 passes is less of an anomaly than ever, and is more an expectation in the modern NFL. If you want to find the best in spread betting on the NFL you can find that here.

Davante Adams, Las Vegas Raiders

Adams has been at the top, or near-top, for wide receiver rankings over the past six years. Some evaluators might wonder if his production will dip as he moves from the Green Bay Packers to Las Vegas, reuniting however with college teammate Derek Carr and joining a talented pass-catching duo of Hunter Renfrow and Darren Waller should keep defenses honest. Last season, he was top five in all major receiving categories: 123 receptions, 1,533 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams

Kupp achieved the triple crown for receivers, leading the league in catches (145), receiving yards (1,947) and touchdowns (16). It would be prudent to anticipate a certain level of regression coming off scoring the second-most points per game (25.9) for a wide receiver in league history, despite this he is in a strong position to continue being a top-end wide receiver. Cooper Kupp was born to be a wide receiver and after the arrival of Matthew Stafford in LA was targeted whenever the Rams needed a big score.

JaMarr Chase, Cincinnati Bengals

With an electric first year in the NFL, Chase burst onto the scene with 81 catches, 1,455 yards and 13 touchdowns. He started his rookie season dependent on making big catches on low-percentage targets downfield, posting 11.5 yards per target and 13 catches for 30+ yards with both ranking second in the NFL. Chase unlocked his full arsenal later in the season showing an ability to work underneath and torching defenses. Considering his chemistry with Bengals QB Joe Burrow, Chase is poised to contend for the top spot next year.

Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings didn’t hide their intentions to force-feed Jefferson the ball, no matter the coverage. A big concern coming out of LSU in 2020 was his ability to defeat press-man coverage on the outside, but after two years in the league that concern can be put to bed. His steady improvement from his rookie to sophomore campaign saw him record elite numbers recording 108 catches, 1,616 yards and 10 touchdowns. New Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell has the potential to bring an improved offensive scheme and expectations are that he will get a significant amount of targets in the new-look offense.

Tyreek Hill, Miami Dolphins

Hill is the type of talent that elevates the performance of every quarterback he has played with. The Dolphins signed him to a huge four-year, $120 million deal after making the trade with the Kansas City Chiefs. Over the past three seasons, Hill has averaged 95 catches, 1,331 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns. Known for his big splash plays and insane top speed – since 2020 he has 15 catches in which he hit at least 20mph, more than double any other receiver – he has adapted his game to show how underrated a route runner he is. He will keep the Dolphin’s opponents honest and scared next season. 

Stefon Diggs, Buffalo Bills

Diggs’ numbers dipped slightly in 2021, but his 103 catches for 1,225 yards were still in the top eight for wide receivers. An underrated aspect of his game that fits perfectly with Bills QB Josh Allen is his ability to find a way to get open and give Allen an opportunity to make a play. Since 2020 Diggs 26 receptions on plays outside the structure of the offense are six more than any other pass-catcher in the NFL. His ability to break down coverage and beat a corner is elite. With the Bills expected to be one of the best teams in the NFL, look for Diggs to have a big year.

Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

After eight seasons, Evans hasn’t shown any signs of regression. Despite playing through several injuries over the last couple of years his 83.3% contested catch rate in regular season play was 10% higher than anyone else. Since Tom Brady became the quarterback of the Bucs, Evans has scored 27 touchdowns during that span, scoring on every 8.3 targets. He is the go-to red-zone threat for Brady and with WR Chris Godwin recovering from his ACL injury he will be the focal point early on for the Bucs pass-catch offense.

Deebo Samuel, San Francisco 49ers

The self-dubbed “wide-back,” Samuel makes plays both as a receiver and a runner, averaging a league leading 10.8 yards per reception after the catch, shedding 27 tackles. As a running back Deebo made 14 runs of 10-plus yards, breaking 28 tackles on 86 carries. Which is to say that Samuel is among the game’s best with the ball in his hands, a unique offensive talent that the 49ers will create schemes to get him the ball and let him work. If healthy, he will produce.

Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers

The knock on Keenan Allen is he doesn’t make many big splash plays and isn’t a big touchdown scorer. However he is still automatic for 100 catches and 1,000 receiving yards every year. Allen is a technician, an excellent route runner that makes cornerbacks look foolish. Allen was Justin Herbert’s primary target when he needed a first down, expect him to play a key role on the super-charged LA offense as the Bolts look to cement their status as playoff contenders.

CeeDee Lamb, Dallas Cowboys

With Amari Cooper now with Cleveland and Michael Gallup recovering from a torn ACL, Lamb is poised to be the focal point of Dallas’ offense. 32 receptions for 376 yards and zero touchdowns over the final seven games however will give Cowboys fans pause. Now is the time for Lamb to show he can be a No.1 wide receiver and he should dominate targets from Dak Prescott in his third season.

About Marcelo Villa

Marcelo is an associate editor at The Sports Daily, and has covered the San Diego Chargers for Bleacher Report. He also writes for Sportsdirect Inc.