NFL wide receiver rankings: Find out who the top wide receivers around the NFL are, including a new top target for Derek Carr in Las Vegas. Miami Dolphins wide receiver Tyreek Hill is also off to an historic start to his tenure with the team.
In a list that will be updated weekly throughout the 2022 season, we give you our third NFL wide receiver rankings of the regular season heading into Week 6.
Ranking NFL’s best wide receivers: The young and underrated
15. Marquise Brown, Arizona Cardinals (last week: unranked)
- Marquise Brown stats (2022): 38 receptions, 417 yards, 3 TD, 69% catch rate, 0 drops
Catching passes from his old teammate at Oklahoma Kyler Murray, Brown is turning in what looks to be a career-best season. The former Baltimore Ravens first-round pick has been on absolute fire recently, hauling in 28-of-38 targets for 306 yards and two touchdowns over the past three games.
This has been needed for an otherwise struggling Cardinals team. Their wide receiver situation is not great with DeAndre Hopkins still suspended and A.J. Green sidelined to injury. Brown has stepped up big time, and is looking very much like the part in the desert.
14. Tyler Lockett, Seattle Seahawks (last week: unranked)
- Tyler Lockett stats (2022): 32 receptions, 406 yards, 2 TD, 80% catch rate, 0 drops
Lockett has flown under the radar as one of the most-underrated receivers in the game throughout the years. Some considered him a product of Russell Wilson in Seattle after putting up three consecutive 1,000-yard season. Now with Geno Smith tossing him the rock, this veteran has proven those skeptics wrong.
Lockett, 30, is coming off a Week 5 outing against the New Orleans Saints that saw him catch 5-of-6 targets for 104 yards and two touchdowns. Heading into Week 6, he joins our NFL wide receiver rankings for the first time. The Kansas State product is now on pace to catch 109 passes for 1,380 yards. That seems pretty darn good.
13. CeeDee Lamb, Dallas Cowboys (last week: 14)
- CeeDee Lamb stats (2022): 28 receptions, 341 yards, 2 TD, 56% catch rate, 3 drops (6.0%)
In Dallas’ ugly season-opening loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Lamb was among the most-disappointing players. He caught just two passes for 29 yards, averaging an ugly 2.6 yards per target.
Lamb has since turned it around, ascending our NFL wide receiver rankings in the process. Over the past three games, he’s caught 26-of-39 targets for 322 yards and two touchdowns, including an absurd one-handed grab against the New York Giants in Week 3. Yeah, Lamb is back despite the absence of Dak Prescott under center in Big D.
12. DeVonta Smith, Philadelphia Eagles (last week: unranked)
- DeVonta Smith stats (2022): 28 receptions, 353 yards, 1 TD, 74% catch rate, 1 drop (2.6%)
To an extent, Smith has played second fiddle to A.J. Brown as a sophomore this season. In no way does that change what the former Heisman winner from Alabama has been able to do catching passes from Jalen Hurts.
This past week against Arizona saw Smith catch 10-of-11 passes for 87 yards as he provided a consistent receiving threat en route to helping Philadelphia remain undefeated. Once the Eagles start finding better balance between the newly-acquired Brown and Smith, expect this kid to take off even more.
11. DeAndre Hopkins, Arizona Cardinals (last week: 11)
Suspended for the first six games of the 2022 season, Hopkins has not produced at the same level in Arizona as we saw with the Houston Texans earlier in his career. He put up just 572 yards in 10 games a season ago while dealing with a plethora of injuries. However, this doesn’t discount what he did with the Cardinals in his first season with the team back in 2020 (115 receptions, 1,507 yards, 72% catch rate).
Still locked in with Kyler Murray in the desert, there’s no reason to believe that Hopkins can’t emerge as one of the game’s best playmakers once he does return from suspension. During a six-year span from 2015-20, he averaged 103 receptions or 1,332 yards and nine touchdowns. That’s simply remarkable.
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NFL wide receiver rankings: Rounding out the top 10
10. Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (last week: 10)
- Mike Evans stats (2022): 20 receptions, 316 yards, 3 TD, 69% catch rate, 0 drops
How consistently good has Evans been throughout his eight-year career? He’s put up north of 1,000 yards each season, making him the first player NFL history to reach that plateau in eight consecutive years to open his career. It’s been even better for the 29-year-old Texas A&M product since Tom Brady joined the Bucs back in 2020.
- Mike Evans stats (2020-21): 144 receptions, 2,041 yards, 27 TD 65% catch rate
It’s the catch rate that stands out the most. In Jameis Winston’s final season with Tampa Bay, Evans caught just 57% of his targets. In fact, his catch rate stood at 60-plus percent just once in his first six seasons. He’s simply become a more well-rounded receiver in recent years. After Evans was suspended for Week 3, he returned to catch 8-of-10 targets for 103 yards and two touchdowns in a loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
9. Ja’Marr Chase, Cincinnati Bengals (last week: 9)
- Ja’Marr Chase stats (2022): 32 receptions, 343 yards, 2 TD, 60% catch rate, 4 drops (7.5%)
Chase is in the midst of an up-and-down sophomore campaign after putting up a brilliant rookie season. To that point, he’s averaging a mere 5.8 yards per target over the past four games. This past week against Baltimore saw the former LSU standout accumulate 50 yards on 12 targets. That’s just not going to get it done
There’s still no doubting the talent this dude possesses. He’s going to get on the same page with Joe Burrow again. Once that happens, Chase will ascend our NFL wide receiver rankings in a big way. Take that to the bank.
8. Deebo Samuel, San Francisco 49ers (last week: 7)
- Deebo Samuel stats (2022): 20 receptions, 266 yards, 2 TD, 54% catch rate, 2 drops (5.4%), 125 rushing yards, 1 TD
The 26-year-old Samuel is coming off one of the best all-around seasons for a playmaker in modern NFL history. It led to him signing a lucrative extension with San Francisco after initially requesting a trade early in the offseason. For San Francisco, Samuel’s return was seen as a huge thing given the presence of young quarterback Trey Lance under center.
Two things keeping Samuel from being higher in our NFL wide receiver rankings is the fact that he’s done it for just one season and the 10 drops he put up for San Francisco in 2021. After some initial struggles this season, Samuel broke out big time against the defending champion Los Angeles Rams in Week 4, including an absurd touchdown catch. He appears to back big time with Jimmy Garoppolo tossing the rock for the injured Lance.
7. Davante Adams, Las Vegas Raiders (last week: 8)
- Davante Adams stats (2022): 29 receptions, 414 yards, 5 TD, 53.7% catch rate, 1 drop (1.9%)
No, Adams was not a product of Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay. Sure it helps having one of the best quarterbacks of all-time. But Adams is also one of the reasons why Rodgers is coming off his second consecutive MVP season. Simply put, the Fresno State product is among the most dominating receivers of the modern era.
Over the course of the past two seasons, Adams has caught 238 passes for 2,927 yards and 29 touchdowns while hauling in 75% of his targets. That very same span has seen Adams drop just four passes. While the advanced numbers are down with Derek Carr tossing him the rock, Adams is still on pace to put up 1,408 yards and 17 touchdowns. Not too shabby.
6. A.J. Brown, Philadelphia Eagles (last week: 6)
- A.J. Brown stats (2022): 28 receptions, 436 yards, 1 TD, 62% catch rate, 1 drop (2.2%)
Acquired from the Tennessee Titans in a blockbuster NFL Draft deal, Brown now joins DeVonta Smith as another elite-level weapon for Jalen Hurts in Philadelphia. Brown joined his former Mississippi teammate in DK Metcalf in proving skeptics wrong after being selected in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft. What he’s done since is remarkable.
That’s been taken to a whole new level in 2022 after Brown was acquired from the Tennessee Titans in an off-season trade. Brown has put up 69 yards or more in four of five games catching passes from Jalen Hurts. He’s also averaging a robust 9.7 yards per target while dropping just one pass on 45 targets after letting eight balls slip through his hands last season in Nashville.
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5. Jaylen Waddle, Miami Dolphins (last week: 5)
- Jaylen Waddle stats (2022): 24 receptions, 404 yards, 3 TD, 63% catch rate, 2 drops (5.3%)
A first-round pick of the Dolphins back in 2021, Jaylen Waddle was electric in South Beach as a rookie. That included him hauling in an absurd 104 passes for 1,015 yards while catching six touchdowns. The former Alabama star also caught a resounding 74% of the passes thrown in his direction with a 5.7% drop rate.
Waddle has been even better as a sophomore, providing improved quarterback Tua Tagovailoa with another electric target. Unfortunately, Tua’s recent injury issues have impacted him big time. We’re not going to drop Waddle down in our most-recent NFL wide receiver rankings, but it’s something to watch.
4. Tyreek Hill, Miami Dolphins (last week: 3)
- Tyreek Hill stats (2022): 38 receptions, 524 yards, 2 TD, 76% catch rate, 2 drops (4.0%)
Dynamic. Electric. Whatever way we want to describe Hill and what he’s done since entering the NFL back in 2016, the wide receiver is simply “him.” Dude can take it to the house at any given time, is one of the top deep threats in the game and is a transcendent playmaker.
Last season with Patrick Mahomes tossing him th rock in Kansas City, Hill brought in 70% of his targets. He also put up a mere 4.4% drop rate on 159 targets. He’s been even better in South Beach to open the 2022 campaign, including a 190-yard Week 2 performance against the Baltimore Ravens. Hill then nearly topped that with 10 catches for 160 yards in Week 4. As with Waddle, the injury to Tua has to be of concern for those who play this thing called fantasy football.
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3. Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams (last week: 2)
- Cooper Kupp stats (2022): 49 receptions, 527 yards, 4 TD, 76.6% catch rate, 2 drops (3.1%)
The reigning NFL Offensive Player of the Year and Super Bowl MVP, Kupp opens the 2022 season No. 1 in Sportsnaut’s NFL wide receiver rankings. For good reason. The former third-round pick from Eastern Washington led the league in receptions, yards and receiving touchdowns a season ago. He was simply dominating in every possible way.
- Cooper Kupp stats (2021): 145 receptions, 1,947 yards, 16 TD, 76% catch rate
Talk about an epic performance catching passes from Matthew Stafford. There’s also no reason to believe that the 29-year-old Kupp is going to slow down any time soon. Without many other options in the passing game, Stafford has targeted Kupp 64 times in five games with two drops. He put up a career-best 14-catch performance in a loss to the 49ers in Week 4 before breaking loose on a 75-yard touchdown against the Dallas Cowboys last week.
2. Stefon Diggs, Buffalo Bills (last week: 1)
- Stefon Diggs stats (2022): 39 receptions, 508 yards, 5 TD, 75% catch rate, 2 drops (3.8%)
Several years after the fact, and it’s still surprising that Diggs fell to the Minnesota Vikings in the fifth round of the 2015 NFL Draft. Pretty much from the get, he proved to be among the best pass-catchers in the game. That’s been taken to a whole new level in two seasons catching passes from Josh Allen with the Bills after he was surprisingly traded by Minnesota.
Back in 2020 with Buffalo, Diggs led the NFL in receptions (127) and receiving yards (1,535) while hauling in an otherworldly 77% of his targets and dropping a mere five passes. Diggs picked up where he left off with brilliant performances to open the 2022 season, including a three-touchdown outing against the Tennessee Titans in Week 2.
1. Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings (last week: 4)
- Justin Jefferson stats (2022): 40 receptions, 547 yards, 2 TD, 73% catch rate, 1 drop (1.8%)
Some thought that Justin Jefferson was more a product of Joe Burrow during his time with the LSU Tigers. Boy, were those skeptics wrong. In just two seasons with the Vikings, Jefferson is already in the record books. That includes putting up the most receiving yards for a wide receiver in NFL history through his first two seasons.
The 2022 season has been about as good for Mr. Jefferson. After some struggles in September, he’s been on a whole new level recently. Over the course of the past two games, Jefferson has caught 22-of-26 targets for 301 yards. He’s now on pace to catch 136 passes for 1,860 yards. This has Jefferson heading out NFL wide receiver rankings heading into Week 6.
Let us know what you think about Sportsnaut’s NFL wide receiver rankings in the comments below.
This article was originally published on Sportsnaut.com and is republished here with permission.