The big wave of Free Agency is over, as is the 2023 NFL Draft. Now it’s time to look forward. Over the next few articles, I’ll be looking at team’s fantasy units by conference, ranking the groups. Today I’m moving on to the pass catchers, which includes receivers and tight ends. I’m concluding this exercise with the Top 8 from the AFC. As always, squads appear in ascending order. To see the bottom eight, click here!

No. 8: Pittsburgh Steelers

WRs on the Roster: Diontae Johnson, George Pickens, Allen Robinson, Calvin Austin IV, Myles Boykin, Anthony Miller, Gunner Olszewski, JaMarcus Bradley, Cody White, Dez Fitzpatrick, Jordan Byrd, Dan Chisena, Hakeem Butler, and Cody Chrest
TEs on the Roster: Pat Freiermuth, Darnell Washington, Zach Gentry, Connor Heyward, and Rodney Williams

About: The Steelers are here because of their depth and talent. The team added Robinson this off-season and snagged Washington at tight end in the draft. In addition, the Steelers already had a solid Top 3 receivers with Johnson and Pickens outside and Freiermuth at tight end. Johnson is the veteran and the team’s top player. He’s caught 340 passes for 3,646 yards and 20 touchdowns in his four seasons. Pickens caught 52 passes for 801 yards and four touchdowns. Freiermuth is one of the best tight ends in football. Over his two seasons, he’s caught 123 passes for 1,229 yards and nine touchdowns. It’s a solid group that just got deeper this off-season, which was good enough for me to place them in my Top 8.

No. 7: Miami Dolphins

WRs on the Roster: Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle, Cedric Wilson, Chosen Anderson, Braxton Berrios, River Cracraft, Erik Ezukanma, Freddie Swain, Braylon Sanders, Chris Coleman, and Daewood Davis
TEs on the Roster: Durham Smythe, Eric Saubert, Tyler Kroft, Elijah Higgins, Tanner Conner, and Julian Hill

About: Some will argue that I have the Dolphins too low. This isn’t a reflection on Hill and Waddle. I love them both and think both are Top 10 Dynasty options. But that is all the Dolphins have. When I’m looking at groups, a powerhouse duo is great, but the teams I have above them are all deeper. The Dolphins might not need more. In their first year together in 2022, Hill caught 119 passes for 1,710 yards and seven touchdowns. Waddle added 75 receptions for 1,356 yards and eight touchdowns. Again, I love the duo, but they lack depth.

No. 6: Jacksonville Jaguars

WRs on the Roster: Calvin Ridley, Christian Kirk, Zay Jones, Parker Washington, Tim Jones, Jamal Agnew, Kelvin Austin, Seth Williams, Jacob Harris, Elijah Cooks, Kendric Prior, and Jaray Jenkins
TEs on the Roster: Evan Engram, Brenton Strange, Luke Farrell, Gerrit Prince, Leonard Taylor, and Sammis Reyes

About: I like the Jaguars more than some. I think it’s a good offense on an ascending team, so I was comfortable placing them here. Last year, Kirk and Jones were an under-rated duo. Kirk finished as WR12, and Jones finished as WR26. Now, they add Ridley into the mix. Sure, it’s been more than a year since he played, but in his last full season in 2020, Ridley was something special. He caught 90 passes for 1,374 yards and nine touchdowns. He has some rust to shake off, but I think he’s going to return strong. Then, the Jaguars have Engram. The tight end proved to be a great fit coming over from the Giants last season, catching 73 passes for 756 yards and four touchdowns. I like the group, and I like their potential to take another step forward in 2023.

No. 5: Las Vegas Raiders

WRs on the Roster: Davante Adams, Jakobi Myers, Hunter Renfrow, Keelan Cole, Phillip Dorsett, DeAndre Carter, Tre Tucker, Cam Sims, Chris Lacy, D.J. Turner, and Kristian Wilkerson
TEs on the Roster: Austin Hooper, Michael Mayer, O.J. Howard, Jesper Horstead, Cole Fotheringham, and John Samuel Shenkar

About: The Raiders have an impressive array of weapons. It starts with Adams. He caught 100 passes for 1,516 yards and 14 touchdowns in his first year with the team. Then the Raiders added former Patriot Myers, who is familiar with the scheme. He was the Patriots’ best receiver the past few seasons, catching 235 passes for 2,758 yards and eight touchdowns in his four seasons. The team still has a strong slot weapon in Renfrow and some depth pieces. At tight end, after shipping out Darren Waller, the Raiders re-loaded with veterans Hooper and Howard, then drafted one of the top tight end prospects in Mayer. As a Broncos fan, I’m not wishing great success for the Raiders, but this is a top group.

No. 4: Los Angeles Chargers

WRs on the Roster: Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Quentin Johnson, Josh Palmer, Jalen Guyton, Derius Davis, Keelan Doss, John Hightower, Tyrell Bynum, Darius Shepherd, and Pokey Wilson
TEs on the Roster: Gerald Everett, Donald Parham, Jr., Tre McKitty, Stone Smartt, Hunter Kampmoyer, and Michael Ezieke

About: With the exception of the Chiefs, the AFC West is fairly loaded with pass catchers. The Chargers come in just ahead of the Raiders for me, and it’s on the strength of the group. They don’t have a top-end player like Adams, but I like the trio of Allen, Williams, and Johnson. The Chargers also have some strong depth with Palmer and Guyton. In fact, when injuries limited the Chargers’ starters in 2022, Palmer stepped up with 72 receptions for 769 yards and two touchdowns. That’s a luxury at WR4 that most teams can’t match. The Chargers also have a decent tight end room, led by veteran Everett. Overall, Los Angeles has built some nice weapons for Justin Herbert.

No. 3: Denver Broncos

WRs on the Roster: Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy, Tim Patrick, Marvin Mims, Jr., Marquez Callaway, K.J. Hamler, Kendall Hinton, Brandon Johnson, Montrell Washington, Lil’ Jordan Humphrey, Jalen Vigil, and Taylor Grimes
TEs on the Roster: Greg Dulcich, Albert Okwuegbunam, Chris Manhertz, Adam Trautman, Nate Adkins, and Tommy Hudson

About: Maybe this is a homer pick. I’m not overall incredibly high on the Broncos as compared to other teams, but I love the pass-catching unit. For the past three years, fans have wanted to see the trio of Patrick, Sutton, and Jeudy unlocked. Whether due to injuries or inefficient offensive play, we’ve never gotten it. Perhaps this is the year! And behind them, the Broncos added a promising rookie in Mims and have a litany of interesting players like Hamler, Callaway, and Hinton. I like the Broncos’ depth at receiver and tight end. Dulcich looked strong as a rookie, and the Broncos have depth in Okwuegbunam and Trautman. Overall, I love the depth and potential here, particularly in a Sean Payton offense.

No. 2: New York Jets

WRs on the Roster: Garrett Wilson, Allen Lazard, Mecole Hardman, Corey Davis, Randall Cobb, Denzel Mims, Diontae Spencer, Malik Taylor, Charles Irvin, T.J. Luther, Jason Brownlee, Xavier Gipson, and Jerome Kapp
TEs on the Roster: Jeremy Ruckert, C.J. Uzomah, Tyler Conklin, Zack Kuntz, Kenny Yeboah, E.J. Jenkins, and Isaiah Gathings

About: I love the Jets receiving corps. It starts with Wilson. As a rookie, he caught 83 passes for 1,103 yards and four touchdowns. The Jets also added veteran Lazard this off-season. In his five years in Green Bay, he caught 169 passes for 2,236 yards and 20 touchdowns. He’s a great compliment to Wilson. The team also added veteran Hardman from the Chiefs while keeping Davis and Mims, who’s been on the team for a few years. That gives them options, depth, and experience. At the tight end, the Jets have veterans in Conklin and Uzomah and a great second-year player in Ruckert. Overall, the Jets have plenty of firepower for Aaron Rodgers, which could portend big things in the Big Apple.

No. 1: Cincinnati Bengals

WRs on the Roster: Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, Tyler Boyd, Trenton Irwin, Charlie Jones, Andre Iosivas, Stanley Morgan, Trent Taylor, Kwamie Lassiter, Shedrick Jackson, Malachi Carter, and Mac Hippenhammer
TEs on the Roster: Irv Smith, Jr., Devin Asiasi, Drew Sample, Tanner Hudson, Nick Bowers, and Christian Trahan

About: And now we come to my top pick. The Bengals are loaded at receiver, a team with another great duo in Chase and Higgins. In his two years, Chase has 168 receptions for 2,501 yards and 22 touchdowns. Higgins has also been solid, compiling 215 receptions for 3,028 yards and 19 touchdowns. That’s a phenomenal duo. Add to that a great veteran third receiver in Boyd and an interesting tight end room led by veteran Smith, and you have a great pass-catching unit for Joe Burrow. The AFC has a lot of talented rooms, but for me, the Bengals are the top.

Matthew Fox is a die-hard NFL fan and Broncos’ homer. He’s a member of the FSWA. You can find more from him on Twitter @knighthawk7734 or as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast, a part of the Campus2Canton Network.

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