There's a Clear Top 6, but 7-10 are Excellent Consolation Prizes
Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions
Megatron stands alone in the top tier of fantasy WR's in 2013. He is right in the middle of the prime of his career and set a new NFL record for receiving yards in 2012 with 1,964. The only thing that was disappointing in 2012 was the only 5 touchdowns he scored. But I counted about 6 times where he was tackled inside the 5 yard line in 2012 and with a guy of Johnson's physical size and strength, that's just not likely to be repeated. He scored 28 TD's between 2010 and 2011 so we know he usually gets into the end zone to go along with the great yardage totals. He's to be the first WR taken in any fantasy draft and usually in the first round.
Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys
Bryant almost singlehandedly won fantasy championships for owners with 224 yards and 2 TD's in week 16 of last season. Bryant finally blossomed over the last 8 games of the 2012 season and turned into the dominant WR he's always had the skills to be but never put it altogether. He put it altogether in that span by catching 50 passes for 878 yards and 10 TD's. If Bryant starts the 2013 season the same way he finished 2012, there's no reason to not expect him to challenge to join Calvin Johnson in Tier 1 as one of the truly elite fantasy WR's.
Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons
While Jones didn't jump into the elite category of fantasy football WR's in 2012, he did take another step in that direction. 79 receptions, 1,198 yards, and 10 TD's improved upon his rookie season and entering his 3rd NFL season, Jones should be primed to take another step up in production. Jones is another impressive physically gifted WR and could challenge for elite WR status himself. But in Atlanta, Roddy White is still there and will get his targets, Tony Gonzalez will get his as well, but Jones is just a superior talent and I expect Matt Ryan is going to look his way plenty too in 2013.
Brandon Marshall, Chicago Bears
The reunion with Jay Cutler couldn't have gone better for Marshall last season. His 118 receptions were tied for second most in the league. His 1,508 yards were 3rd most. And 11 TD's tied for 4th most at the position. And they all were new career bests for Marshall. Jay Cutler has an uncanny knack for throwing Marshall the ball a ton. New head coach Marc Trestman is known for his prolific passing attacks and that bodes well for another great season by Marshall. I won't be surprised at all if Marshall has a better statistical season in 2013 than he did in 2012. There's a little concern about his recovery from off-season hip surgery, but Marshall misses few games because of injuries and I don't expect the hip will be anything to worry about.
A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals
In 2012, Green was on a roll from weeks 2-11. In that span, he caught at least one TD in every game. But from week 12 on, he only caught one more TD pass. Green is a definite stud WR who would have had even better numbers if QB Andy Dalton didn't fade down the final few weeks again. It could also help him out if another WR emerged as a legitimate weapon opposite him. But even with the limitations around him, Green's 97 receptions, 1,350 yards, and 11 TD's show the upside he has to post even better numbers in the future, especially if Dalton can get over his two year track record of fading badly down the stretch.
Demaryius Thomas, Denver Broncos
The arrival of Peyton Manning to Denver paid big dividends for those who had Thomas on their fantasy rosters in 2012. And while he did have 4 games with less than 50 receiving yards, he also had 7 games with over 100 receiving yards and finished with 94 receptions, 1,434 yards, and 10 TD's. Another year with Peyton Manning just makes Thomas have an even greater chance to compete for elite fantasy status. The addition of Wes Welker isn't going to affect him much in my opinion as Thomas is an all-purpose weapon who excels at every aspect of being a WR while Welker is more the master of the slot and more a threat to Eric Decker's production than Thomas's. I don't any reason to think Thomas can't duplicate his 2012 stats this year.
Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals
Fitzgerald is the second best WR in the NFL (behind Megatron) but last season proved that a nightmare QB situation can affect WR. I can't imagine that anybody was happier than Fitz when the Arizona Cardinals acquired Carson Palmer. Fitz might have been happy with Arnold Palmer after the way Cardinals QB's were so horribly off-target in 2012. There are concerns about how well a leaky offensive line will protect Palmer, but he certainly represents an upgrade at the QB position and the fantasy arrow is pointing back up for Fitzgerald. A return to 1,100 yards and close to double digit TD's is certainly reasonable to expect.
Randall Cobb, Green Bay Packers
Although there is a little concern about a preseason biceps injury, the Packers say that Cobb is in no danger of being limited by it so I'm taking that at face value. There's talent galore at WR in Green Bay, but Cobb has proven too valuable a weapon for the Packers to not use him more in their passing attack. And if they do, that should mean a season where he catches 80+ passes with over 1,000 receiving yards and 10 TD's. Add in that he sometimes rushes the ball (132 rushing yards on 10 attempts last season) and he straddles that WR1 line for fantasy purposes.
Andre Johnson, Houston Texans
Johnson again posted huge reception and yardage numbers in 2012 with 112 catches for 1,598 yards, but he also once again failed to score many TD's. Johnson has never reached double digit TD's in any season of his career and age is starting to sap him of his once near elite speed. Johnson is a target monster though and always a threat for huge games so it's hard to leave him out of the top 10. But he's no longer at a point in his career where he's in that group of WR's that challenge to be elite. I think he still has at least one very good season left in him though.
Vincent Jackson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2012 saw Jackson set new career highs in receptions (72) and yards (1,384) in his first season with Tampa Bay. 8 receiving TD's was good, but could have been better as he only had 1 in the last 6 games. That coincided with a fade by QB Josh Freeman down the stretch in which Freeman (who threw for 21 TD's in the first 10 games) only threw 6 TD passes total in the last 6 games. The offensive system is the same this year as it was in 2012 so there shouldn't be any drop off in Jackson's production. I actually think it's very likely Jackson and Freeman will continue to develop chemistry this year and that Jackson's TD numbers will increase.