By MV August 27th 2015
Every year Wide Receivers hold the deepest list of sleepers. There are so many Wide Receivers to choose from which is why we will start most of our drafts with two Running Backs with our first two picks. As a baseline for identifying what constitutes a sleeper we used our Average Cheat Sheet and excluded the top 36 Wide Receivers listed. The Average Draft Positions are totaled from 5 of the biggest mock draft sites and we filtered by PPR 12 team league formats. We have included the Average Draft Position (ADP) and Average Cheat Sheet position (ACS) with every pick.
We will break the list into three categories:
1. Sleepers (Drafted as a 4-6 WR but could perform as a #3)
2. Deep-Sleepers (has a great chance to be fantasy starter)
3. You’ll feel like a genius (long-shot with the upside to take a flier on)
Eddie Royal – ADP – 11.5 ACS – WR49
The last time Jay Cutler and Eddie Royal played together Eddie had 91 catches. While this offense may have taken a step back with the departure of Marc Trestman, Adam Gase has been developing a reputation as an offensive mind and has an opportunity to make a name for his self. Eddie is dinged up a bit today going on missing his second practice with a hip contusion. No sweat everyone needs a little rest. With Kevin White out that leaves a large vacancy out wide and Royal gets the chance to fill in. He has been named the “camp MVP” and gets an opportunity to completely revive his career with the Bears.
Stevie Johnson – ADP – 12.5 ACS – WR52
Almost filling in for Eddie Royal enters Stevie Johnson. Stevie was a great Wide Receiver for the Buffalo Bills, and somehow managed to disappear in the 49ers limited and confusing offense. Stevie is going to be utilized in the slot and out wide. Philip Rivers has publicly endorsed Stevie as the player he is “most excited about”. Stevie Johnson should crack the 1000 yard mark for the 4th time in his eight year career.
Michael Crabtree – ADP 12.4 ACS – WR55
Crabtree is purely a value-pick sleeper that has an opportunity to outperform his WR 4-5 draft spot. Kaepernick and Crabtree could really never put it together, mostly because Anquan Boldin and him were so similar that it was difficult to get any differentiation. Playing opposite notable Star-Rookie Amare Cooper should help. Derek Carr has two excellent Wide Receivers and they will still be playing from behind in this new hi-tempo offense. Richard Sherman may have been right, but even a sorry WR could out produce a 12th round ADP.
Doug Baldwin – ADP 14.2 ACS – WR57
Doug Baldwin caught 67% of his targets in 2014. That was 10th best out of the top 50 Wide Receivers in terms of targets. Baldwin is the lowest ranked Wide Receiver 1 in the league. He is not the most exciting player in the league. He will surely benefit from the addition of Jimmy Graham. Jimmy is such a mismatch the safety will always have to keep watch, that should clear some space for some man to man opportunities. You good do much worse then Doug in the 14th round.
Brian Quick – ADP 13.1 ACS – WR50
I heard the comparison to T.O. I miss T.O., I love me some me. Better get your popcorn ready. It’s just a matter of time. Quick is a big powerful fast Wide Receiver that showed us flashes of greatness before going down with a season-ending injury. He suffered from very inconsistent Quarterback play as well. Nick Foles provides that bit of consistency needed to give Quick the opportunity. There is a very high ceiling for this young stud. Own him.
Markus Wheaton – ADP – 12.1 ACS – WR64
Well with today’s news of Martavis Bryant missing the first 4 weeks of the season for smoking that ganja his ADP should rise by a couple of rounds. Still, this is one of the most high-powered offenses in the league. Markus is in his 3rd year which is the year that most Wide Receivers take that next step to stardom. Ben Roethlisberger has been talking him up all camp. Markus was slated as the #2 Wide Receiver before the suspension of Bryant, but everyone was drafting Bryant before Wheaton. He will still be a bargain as a #4 WR in the 10th round.
Marvin Jones – ADP – 15.1 ACS – WR75
Did everyone forget this guy’s stat line in his rookie campaign? 15th round? I assume that his ADP is indicative of his slow start this year. Marvin got a kick in the butt from Coach Lewis a few weeks back for having a difficult time returning to the field. He then started working with the 2’s. He’s now lined up with the 1’s alongside AJ Green and receiving praise from Hue Jackson on his play. He is making good cuts and running great routes. His 2013 stat line was 51-712-10. Look for him to improve on all of those numbers with maybe 2-3 less Touchdowns.
Allen Hurns – ADP – 23.1 ACS – WR65
Allen Hurns and Allen Robinson have been in competition all camp for who has been the best. I love it, healthy internal competition. There is a lot to like about this young offense which is why we have Blake Bortles listed as a deep-sleeper. Hurns is a big guy with wheels and will see just about every offensive play and get a whole bunch of targets. With an ADP of round 23, well he’s basically not getting drafted in a lot of leagues. The addition of TJ Yeldon and Julius Thomas is huge for this offense. If Blake takes the next step forward like we expect him to then Allen Hurns is in for a great year.
Cole Beasley – ADP – 22.7 ACS – WR 67
I am still not sure what the heck is going on with this running game. I cannot believe that they did not make a bigger move than Darren McFadden in free agency. They will throw a lot more than they have had to in years past. I am thinking it will look a lot like Tom Brady-esque high percentage passes to replace the run game. As Terrance Williams runs the deep routes and the world watching Dez look for Cole to get a lot of looks underneath out of the slot. I expect Cole to have about 80+catches this year with at least 6 scores. Not bad for Wide Receiver #67.
YOU’LL FEEL LIKE A GENIUS
Corey Brown – ADP – N/A ACS – WR78
“Philly” Brown changed his name to Corey in the off season. Corey will be the starting Wide Receiver opposite Devin Funchess to start the season. Fantasy Football is all about opportunity and Brown has the best opportunity he may ever get in the NFL. He has been relatively quiet in camp since Kelvin Benjamin’s season ending injury including a dropped pass in last week’s exhibition game. Cam Newton will be creating stuff all season and Corey Brown may prove to be the lucky recipient.
Kamar Aiken – ADP – N/A ACS – WR81
Back in June there was talk of Kamar Aiken pushing Breshad Perriman for the #2 job and at least beating out Marlon Brown for the 3rd WR spot. Someone said Steve Smith is done and nobody has the guts to tell him yet. Funny. Now with Breshad Perriman’s status in total jeopardy with a strained PCL we like the opportunity Kamar Aiken has. We still like Breshad if and when he comes back, but there is room for Kamar to do well as a #3 Wideout in a Marc Trestman offense that does not really have a Tite End ready to catch a full workload.
Brandon Coleman – ADP – N/A ACS – WR87
This guy is 6’6 225 pounds and runs a 4.45 forty. Brandon Coleman will serve as the #3 Wide Receiver behind Marques Colston and Brandin Cooks. Coleman is being touted as the replacement red-zone target for Jimmy Graham. With Colston on the decline this opens the door for Coleman to kick the door open. Sean Payton named him “camp MVP”. With that speed and size, let’s hope he can catch in game action. This is the kind of opportunity and raw physical talent that has WR #1 upside potential.
Jeff Janis – ADP – N/A ACS – WR76
It is still unclear who will take the third spot in this high powered offense which is why both Jeff Janis and Ty Montgomery both made this list. Don’t draft them both, rather take a flier on one and hope you guessed correctly. Janis is 6’3 219 pounds and has been given praise by Aaron Rodgers as the guy that can take over the vertical game. We are not as high on Janis as Ty Montgomery but when Aaron Rodgers speaks we listen.
Ty Montgomery – ADP N/A ACS – WR N/A
The Green Bay beat writers believe Ty Montgomery will win the #3 job, but again, Rodgers is leaving the door open for Janis to gain the spot. We believe that Ty will end up with the job and if I was drafting today I would pick Ty first. A lot will be figured out in the final two preseason games, especially this weekend’s dress rehearsal. Green Bay ran in three Wide Receiver sets for 70% of their offensive plays last season. That makes this a great low risk gamble for the end of your draft.
Leonard Hankerson – ADP – N/A ACS – WR N/A
What a great landing spot for the fifth year 26 year old wideout. Leonard has great speed and should lock up the third Wide Receiver spot in this offense that likes to push the ball down field. If Roddy White’s elbow or any other issues keep him out for very long Hankerson could be lights out. Remember Harry Douglas, he proved that it is all about opportunity and there were a lot of looks to go his way. Leonard has a chance to solidify his role as a replacement to Roddy White and to work alongside Julio Jones. This could be big.
Tyler Lockett – ADP – N/A ACS – WR N/A
This one is a total flier. Tyler has big play ability and has a chance to be the man for a long time in Seattle. He is currently buried on the depth chart behind Doug Baldwin, Jermaine Kearse and Super Bowl sensation Chris Matthews. Lockett looks to be the most talented out of the entire group. Matthews is sidelined with injury and Tyler will get some work with the ones. Dynasty leaguers take note, and deep leaguers he is worth a shot. Everyone else, just remember the name and watch that wire.