- Eric Karabell, ESPN.com Senior Writer
While the running back position caused quite the stir in fantasy football 2013 due to its lack of depth and underwhelming success, this was hardly the case at wide receiver, where consensus first-rounder Calvin Johnson had plenty of help aiding fantasy owners. Consider that 23 wide receivers topped 1,000 receiving yards, and 10 reached double digits in touchdowns. Ten wide receivers scored at least 180 fantasy points in standard formats, one more than at running back. And several franchises provided multiple high-end options as weekly starters. With two positions in our rearview mirror, let's continue to recap the 2013 season and look ahead to 2014 at the wide receiver position.
Wide receiver MVP: Even had Johnson, the star of the Detroit Lions, not ultimately succumbed to knee woes that destroyed his December, he wasn't likely to end up as the position's MVP. After all, Megatron was a top-10 choice in most leagues. He should have led the position in scoring, but a combined 18 standard fantasy points the final four weeks (inactive in Week 17) paved the way for the Cleveland Browns' Josh Gordon and Denver Broncos' Demaryius Thomas to slip by him. Thomas was the fifth wide receiver off the draft board in ESPN ADP while Gordon was 42nd. Yep, quite the difference! Gordon's fantasy draft stock surely fell after the summer announcement that he would miss the first two weeks of the season with a drug-related suspension, but he still ended up topping the position in season scoring. And for the record, the quarterbacks he played with were Brandon Weeden, Brian Hoyer and Jason Campbell. OK, so the Browns could use an upgrade. And if it happens, watch out! Then again, how can Gordon improve? He was very good in the first half of the season then exploded in Weeks 11-14 for an average of 27 points per game, the best stretch for a wide receiver ever. It included, for the first time, consecutive 200-yard receiving performances. So Gordon is good. Real good. He does have potential off-field issues to be aware of, reminding some of enigmatic Dallas Cowboys star Dez Bryant, but no wide receiver was featured on more ESPN league championship squads.
While the running back position caused quite the stir in fantasy football 2013 due to its lack of depth and underwhelming success, this was hardly the case at wide receiver, where consensus first-rounder Calvin Johnson had plenty of help aiding fantasy owners.