The 2016 free-agency period and NFL draft are in the books, which means we have a pretty good idea what each team's roster will look like this season. We're still a couple of months away from a majority of fantasy drafts, but the season never ends in dynasty leagues, and it's never too early to start thinking about your keeper picks.
To answer your keeper/dynasty league questions, below are my 2016 rankings for wide receivers. Although a non-PPR scoring system is assumed, keep in mind that a switch to PPR would yield only minor changes since we're looking at each player's long-term contributions.
Ages shown are as of Sept. 8, 2016 (years-months).
1. Odell Beckham Jr. (NYG), Age: 23-10
2. DeAndre Hopkins (HOU), Age: 24-3
3. Antonio Brown (PIT), Age: 28-1
4. Julio Jones (ATL), Age: 27-7
5. Allen Robinson (JAC), Age: 23-0
6. Sammy Watkins (BUF), Age: 23-2
7. Mike Evans (TB), Age: 23-0
The best assets in dynasty are young wide receivers. If you can get your hands on one of these seven receivers, you're sitting pretty. A case could easily be made for Beckham as the top overall pick in season-long drafts; the fact he's only 23 years old makes him the top asset in dynasty. Hopkins broke out last season and is only a few months older than Beckham. An improved supporting cast in Houston may cost Hopkins a few targets, but it will only add to his efficiency. Brown has the highest floor in fantasy, but he's behind OBJ and Hopkins as a result of the four-year difference in age. That logic holds true for Jones, as well, who is a half year younger than Brown, but doesn't have the touchdown upside of many of the other names in this tier.
Robinson, Watkins and Evans join Beckham as products of the 2014 NFL draft. Robinson is a near certainty for touchdown regression, but he's one of the position's top talents and doesn't turn 23 until August. Watkins turns 23 in June and is a bit underrated right now due to durability problems. Don't overlook the fact he was sixth at the position in fantasy points during the weeks he played in full last season. Evans is the youngest player in our top tier (by three days over Robinson), which is enough to boost him into this tier despite the fact he led the NFL in drops and scored only three touchdowns in 2015. He's 6-foot-5, 231 pounds and won't struggle to find the end zone in the future.
8. Amari Cooper (OAK), Age: 22-2
9. Dez Bryant (DAL), Age: 27-10
10. Alshon Jeffery (CHI), Age: 26-6
11. Brandin Cooks (NO), Age: 22-11
12. A.J. Green (CIN), Age: 28-1
13. Keenan Allen (SD), Age: 24-4
14. T.Y. Hilton (IND), Age: 26-9
15. Demaryius Thomas (DEN), Age: 28-8
This group includes receivers who are a step down from the standouts in our first tier, but you can survive if one of these players is your top asset at the position. Cooper struggled with drops and injuries as a rookie, but he's only 22 and figures to move ahead of Michael Crabtree as Derek Carr's top target this season. Cooks is 22 years old, but already has two years of experience. He'll be a fringe WR1 as long as Drew Brees is in town. Allen has struggled with injuries, but he's only 24 and has been a rock-solid WR1 in PPR when healthy.
Bryant is in the conversation as one of the game's top talents at the position, but multiple foot surgeries can't be ignored. Jeffery missed seven games last season, but he was nothing short of exceptional when active. He enters his first contract season at age 26. Green and Thomas will both be 28 years old when Week 1 rolls around. Green is secure as Andy Dalton's top target in Cincinnati, but Thomas is coming off an inefficient season and will need to overcome a poor quarterback situation in a run-first offensive scheme. Of course, high-end talent and target volume keeps him the discussion for 80-plus receptions per season for the next few years.
16. Donte Moncrief (IND), Age: 23-1
17. DeVante Parker (MIA), Age: 23-7
18. Kevin White (CHI), Age: 23-2
19. Breshad Perriman (BAL), Age: 22-11
20. Laquon Treadwell (MIN), Age: 21-2
21. Corey Coleman (CLE), Age: 22-2
22. Josh Doctson (WAS), Age: 23-8
23. Jarvis Landry (MIA), Age: 23-9
24. Sterling Shepard (NYG), Age: 22-6
25. Dorial Green-Beckham (TEN), Age: 23-4
I think this is a good place for a disclaimer: I definitely lean toward youth in dynasty for a variety of reasons. One of the main reasons is that you want to acquire ascending assets (not ones at their max value or on the decline). The other is perceived value. It's much easier to trade an unproven, young player with potential than it is to move a solid veteran. Those two points help explain why I have six players with no NFL experience a tier ahead of players like Jordy Nelson and Brandon Marshall.
Moncrief at 16th might seem aggressive, but he was in the midst of a breakout prior to Andrew Luck's injury woes last season. Moncrief is entering his third year at age 23 and is a name to target in dynasty trades. Parker is a candidate for massive target numbers if, as expected, new coach Adam Gase slots him into the Demaryius Thomas/Alshon Jeffery role in his offense. Parker is an obvious 2016 breakout player. White and Perriman, both first-round picks in last year's draft, missed their entire rookie campaigns due to injury. Both are big, fast, young players with massive fantasy ceilings. Landry has been limited to possession duties thus far in his career, but easily could've had a few more touchdowns last season. Green-Beckham is one of the league's biggest wide receivers and has 10-plus touchdown upside for the next decade.
The stars of the 2016 draft class are also included in our third tier. Treadwell's stock took a hit because of his underwhelming top-end speed and landing spot in Minnesota, but he's a tremendous playmaker and the youngest among our top-100 dynasty receivers. Coleman is fast and versatile, and Cleveland's quarterback woes won't stop him from racking up tons of targets at the pro level. Doctson is only a few days younger than third-year player Landry, but it won't be long before the TCU product takes over as Washington's No. 1 receiver. Shepard is an outstanding route runner and playmaker. He'll be busy opposite Beckham starting Day 1.
26. Randall Cobb (GB), Age: 26-0
27. Kelvin Benjamin (CAR), Age: 25-7
28. Jordy Nelson (GB), Age: 31-3
29. Brandon Marshall (NYJ), Age: 32-5
30. Eric Decker (NYJ), Age: 29-5
31. Michael Floyd (ARI), Age: 26-9
32. John Brown (ARI), Age: 26-5
33. Doug Baldwin (SEA), Age: 27-11
34. Jeremy Maclin (KC), Age: 28-3
Tier 3 is loaded with youth, whereas Tier 4 is mostly seasoned vets. Cobb is a bit of an enigma; he was a fantasy star for several years prior to struggling badly without Nelson in the lineup last season. Speaking of Nelson, he's back and returns to the WR1 conversation, but note that he's now 31 years old. Cobb, who is 25, is a slightly better dynasty asset. Benjamin was a fantasy asset as a rookie in 2014, but he wasn't particularly efficient and is coming off a torn ACL. He's going to score a lot, but he's not quite as talented as many of the players in our top 40. The Marshall-Decker duo was tremendous in fantasy circles last season, but Marshall is now 32 years old and Decker's high floor is somewhat offset by a low ceiling.
Larry Fitzgerald is 33 years old and dropped off considerably after the first month last season. Brown and Floyd picked up the slack; they are Arizona's future at the position. Both will be starting-caliber fantasy assets as long as Carson Palmer sticks around. Baldwin scored 14 touchdowns last season after posting 15 during his first four NFL seasons. He's a lock for regression. Remember when Kansas City wide receivers scored zero touchdowns in 2014? Maclin scored eight on his own last season. The 28-year-old is Alex Smith's top target.
35. Josh Gordon (CLE), Age: 25-4
36. Michael Thomas (NO), Age: 22-6
37. Tyler Lockett (SEA), Age: 23-11
38. Allen Hurns (JAC), Age: 24-9
39. Will Fuller (HOU), Age: 22-4
40. Leonte Carroo (MIA), Age: 22-7
41. Stefon Diggs (MIN), Age: 22-9
42. Jordan Matthews (PHI), Age: 24-1
43. Nelson Agholor (PHI), Age: 23-3
44. Phillip Dorsett (IND), Age: 23-8
Hey, it's another youth movement. Gordon was fantasy's top-scoring wide receiver in 2013, but can't seem to shake his off-field problems. It's possible he returns this season, so don't forget about him. Thomas figures to step right into Marques Colston's "big slot" role, which means immediate fantasy relevance. Lockett's short-term ceiling will be limited by Seattle's run-first and spread-it-around offense, but the 23-year-old has a bright future. Hurns exploded for 10 touchdowns last season after not even being drafted in 2014. Is Will Fuller the next DeSean Jackson or Ted Ginn Jr.? We don't know just yet, but the upside makes him well worth your investment, especially in non-PPR.
Carroo is an intriguing prospect, but it's hard to expect much short-term production with both Parker and Landry in the fold. Diggs was terrific as a fifth-round rookie last season, but he'll play second fiddle to Treadwell during the next few years. Can Matthews translate his game to the perimeter after two underwhelming seasons running routes against linebackers and safeties? I'm not overly optimistic, which means Agholor, who faced an extremely tough slate of cornerbacks as a rookie, could be Philadelphia's top receiver this season. Like Agholor, Dorsett was selected in the first round of last year's draft. Andre Johnson is out the mix in Indianapolis, which puts the speedster in position for a second-year leap.
45. Golden Tate (DET), Age: 28-1
46. Julian Edelman (NE), Age: 30-3
47. Emmanuel Sanders (DEN), Age: 29-5
48. Michael Crabtree (OAK), Age: 28-11
49. DeSean Jackson (WAS), Age: 29-9
50. Marvin Jones (DET), Age: 26-5
51. Willie Snead (NO), Age: 23-10
52. Torrey Smith (SF), Age: 27-7
53. Travis Benjamin (SD), Age: 26-8
54. Tyler Boyd (CIN), Age: 21-9
55. Devin Funchess (CAR), Age: 22-3
56. Martavis Bryant (PIT), Age: 24-8
57. Rishard Matthews (TEN), Age: 26-10
58. Tavon Austin (LA), Age: 25-5
59. Larry Fitzgerald (ARI), Age: 33-0
60. Kendall Wright (TEN), Age: 26-9
The sixth tier includes aging veterans and intriguing complementary receivers. Calvin Johnson has retired and isn't coming back, which leaves Tate and Jones as Matthew Stafford's primary targets. Give Tate a boost in PPR formats. Edelman is closing in on 30 years old and can't seem to stay on the field. Chris Hogan is a good bet to steal away some targets this season. It's hard to imagine both Sanders and Thomas putting up big numbers in a conservative Denver offense that lacks a good quarterback. That's problematic for Sanders' value considering he turns 30 next offseason. Crabtree was terrific last season, but figures to lose some of his target share to Cooper and Clive Walford.
Jackson barely made it through a full season, and now he's 29 years old and has Doctson biting at his heels for snaps. Snead went undrafted in 2014, but took full advantage of New Orleans' weak wide receiver corps last season. He figures to eventually fall in line behind Cooks, Thomas and Fleener, but there's plenty of short-term appeal and he's only 23 years old. Smith was rarely targeted in his first season in San Francisco, but that figures to change with Chip Kelly in town. Benjamin enjoyed a breakout season in Cleveland last season and now heads to San Diego, where he'll replace Malcom Floyd as the team's primary deep threat.
Boyd may be forced into a major rookie-season workload, but the 21-year-old profiles more like a gadget player (think Mohamed Sanu) than he does a prototypical NFL player. He has the looks of a player who will have more value to Cincinnati than he will to his fantasy owners. Funchess was a 2015 second-round pick, but couldn't leap Corey Brown and Ginn on the depth chart as a rookie, and now Benjamin is back in the fold. On the plus side, Funchess is only 22 and sports a 6-foot-4, 225-pound frame. Bryant is suspended for the entire 2016 season, and it's not out of the realm of possibilities that he has played his final NFL down. There's enough upside here that he should be stashed on dynasty benches.
Matthews and Wright will compete with Green-Beckham for snaps in a Tennessee offense that will run a lot and use plenty of "heavy" sets. Matthews and DGB have the early leg up on Wright for the two starting gigs. The good news for Wright is that he'll be 27 years old when he hits the free-agent market next offseason. Austin was terrific in a receiver/rusher/returner hybrid role last season, but it's hard to imagine his 5-foot-8, 176-pound frame allowing another 10-touchdown campaign. As noted earlier, Fitzgerald's production fell off drastically after the first month last season and he's now 33 years old.
61. Sammie Coates (PIT), Age: 23-5
62. Chris Conley (KC), Age: 23-10
63. Jaelen Strong (HOU), Age: 22-7
64. Braxton Miller (HOU), Age: 23-9
65. Ty Montgomery (GB), Age: 23-7
66. Rashard Higgins (CLE), Age: 21-11
67. Pharoh Cooper (LA), Age: 21-6
68. J.J. Nelson (ARI), Age: 24-4
69. DeAndre Smelter (SF), Age: 24-9
Our seventh tier is a good place to look for intriguing prospects to add to the end of your bench. The Steelers have an impressive résumé when it comes to developing wide receivers. Coates, a third-round pick last year, gets a boost with Bryant suspended for the year and with Markus Wheaton headed into a contract season. Conley's ceiling isn't high in Kansas City's offense, but he's 23 years old, stands 6-foot-3 and has 4.35 wheels. Strong and Miller were both third-round selections by the Texans the past two years, but the former will put his 6-foot-2 frame to work on the perimeter, while the latter will use his elite shiftiness to dominate from the slot.
The Packers regularly lead the NFL in three-wide receiver sets, and Montgomery is a candidate for a promotion after Davante Adams' brutal 2015 campaign. Higgins was the last of four wide receivers selected by the Browns in this year's draft, but he's a better receiving prospect than both Ricardo Louis and Jordan Payton. The explosive Cooper is a good bet to step right in as Los Angeles' slot receiver as a rookie. Nelson is one of the league's smallest players (5-10/160), but sports ridiculous 4.28 wheels and is one injury away from a significant role in Arizona's high-scoring offense. Smelter is far from a household name, but the 49ers thought enough of him to take him in the fourth round of last year's draft while he was recovering from a torn ACL. He's a candidate for a big role opposite Torrey Smith.
70. Albert Wilson (KC), Age: 24-1
71. Markus Wheaton (PIT), Age: 25-7
72. Terrance Williams (DAL), Age: 26-11
73. Mohamed Sanu (ATL), Age: 27-0
74. Chris Hogan (NE), Age: 27-10
75. Jeff Janis (GB), Age: 25-2
76. Malcolm Mitchell (NE), Age: 23-1
77. Kamar Aiken (BAL), Age: 27-3
78. Marqise Lee (JAC), Age: 24-9
79. Justin Hardy (ATL), Age: 24-8
80. Devin Smith (NYJ), Age: 24-6
81. Davante Adams (GB), Age: 23-8
82. Kenny Bell (TB), Age: 24-6
83. Rashad Greene (JAC), Age: 23-11
84. Kenny Stills (MIA), Age: 24-4
85. Steve Smith Sr. (BAL), Age: 37-3
86. Vincent Jackson (TB), Age: 33-7
87. Mike Wallace (BAL), Age: 30-1
88. Pierre Garcon (WAS), Age: 30-1
89. Demarcus Robinson (KC), Age: 21-11
90. Tajae Sharpe (TEN), Age: 21-8
91. Chris Moore (BAL), Age: 23-2
92. Ricardo Louis (CLE), Age: 22-6
93. Michael Thomas (LA), Age: 22-1
94. Kolby Listenbee (BUF), Age: 22-7
95. Jordan Payton (CLE), Age: 23-0
96. Moritz Boehringer (MIN), Age: 22-9
97. Jamison Crowder (WAS), Age: 23-2
98. Paul Richardson (SEA), Age: 24-4
99. Aaron Burbridge (SF), Age: 22-8
100. Cody Latimer (DEN), Age: 23-10