Deep Sleepers: Wide Receiver
Some solid values (updated 8/6)
These are deep sleepers at the receiver position. Based on ADP data, these guys are considered longshots by the fantasy football community and some are being ignored almost entirely. Now ... I wanted to call this article “Aldrick Robinson and the Miracles”, but my SEO guy set me straight quick on that idea.
Bloody search engines.
Anyway, all of the receivers listed below are being dissed in mocks for the most part and carry ADPs later than 170. This is a little teaser to our updated receiver rankings that’ll be out tomorrow at some point. These guys are some of the reasons to wait on building your receiver depth in drafts. These days in drafts, I am looking to get a few (2-3) studs early. Then I stock up on extra backs and probably one QB (my starter) and maybe a TE in rounds 6-10. That seems to be a good general way to play the value right now based on what I’ve learned in, oh I don’t know, maybe sixty (places “L” on forehead) mocks since the NFL Draft.
Obviously, there are always exceptions to the rule, but waiting on receiving depth really seems to be the play right now. I like all these guys at or before their current ADPs. Again, I drew the line at 170, about the 15th round in 12-team leagues, which rules out some earlier values like these guys. All ADP in parentheses.
- Cordarelle Patterson, Vikings (160)
- Alshon Jeffery, Bears (130)
- Rueben Randle, Giants (166)
- Michael Floyd, Cardinals (115)
- Mike Williams, Bucs (86)
- Eric Decker, Broncos (59)
Greg Little, Browns (173)
I’m not sure there’s a better deep breakout candidate than Little. In fairness, we are much bigger Brandon Weeden fans than the rest of the planet, but still, Brown’s life has gotten better on a number of fronts. Check out my dynasty update on Little that I wrote back in early June.
Golden Tate, Seahawks, (174)
Ok, maybe this one is too easy with Harvin banged up and Sidney Rice seeking out alternative knee therapies, but Tate gets too little respect in our estimation. As I mentioned a while back, I think Tate, a free agent at year's end, is the receiver that stays in Seattle, and not Rice. Tate really started to find his game last season and we expect more positive growth in 2013. He’s a value even a few rounds before than his ADP.
Riley Cooper, Eagles (no ADP)
The Daniel Simpson Day of ADP. Riley has none. He will soon. He woke up a bit while this article sat on my desktop, but he’s still being undersold by some pretty loud fantasy voices, so his value could be good, especially if you draft early. My only concern, and I mean ONLY concern, is that he stays healthy. Cooper is a highly underrated talent.
***UPDATE*** I think it's safe to say that I have one more concern with Riley Cooper. He's still a good sleeper for fantasy.
Brandon LaFell, Panthers (213)
213? Really? That’s a steal, period. Not only does he have some breakout potential, but LaFell is almost a lock to start with Cam Newton looking to throw the ball even more. Maybe he’s not a weekly starter, but he is theft anywhere after 170. This guy could score ten times if he stays healthy. Turf toe really hurt him last year. He appears to be healthy at this point. Definitely a player to watch right now.
Jacoby Jones, Ravens (192)
What does a guy need to do to get a little respect? Yes, he has a history that screams inconsistency, but he’s clearly broken through to some extent. His current coaching staff trusts him and his team is in dire need at his position. This guy has big upside if he can stay healthy.
Aldrick Robinson (no ADP)
Back in June I posted a dynasty update on Robinson, and my feelings are pretty much the same. He’s a guy to watch in Washington if you think about what Washington wants to do and how RGIII opens up all the routes and the entire field. Robinson has the potential to be a serious downfield threat.
Quinton Patton, 49ers ( 301)
We like Patton a ton. Easily one of our favorite receivers of the last few years in terms of how he plays. It’s a matter of when with “The General”, not if. You can’t count on him at this point, but he’s a great swipe at upside later on in large formats. He absolutely has the talent to steal the open job at receiver in Frisco.
Robert Woods, Bills (244)
Despite being a high pic, Woods is getting no love whatsoever in drafts at this point. Wake up, people. Once E.J. Manuel gets in there, Woods could be a solid fantasy option. He’s a very polished receiver--good enough to avoid the typical rookie curve.
Justin Hunter, Titans, (247)
No way should this guy be going undrafted in 12-team formats with 20 rounds, but he is right now. Correct this, people. Hunter is hit or miss and may even be leaning towards miss in 2013, but his upside is so high that he is absolutely worth rostering as a stash.
Rod Streater, Raiders (238)
Streater is a guy to draft is he actually gets deep into a deep draft. his current ADP is way too high. He should be below 200 in 12-team leagues with 20 roster spots. If he continues to impress, he'll move up even more. This guy played a lot better than some folks realize in 2012.
Deonte Thompson, Ravens (334)
This kid is a player as I mentioned in our rankings. With the loss of Pitta, the Ravens will run more trips and that should give guys like Deonte a better shot at weekly value. This is not just a speed guy, he can play.
Stephen Hill, Jets (196)
My biggest worry with Hill is not his hands, which I think will settle down. My worry is his knee, which has been slow to heal. He’s a long speed guy and a bum knee could be enough to make him just another guy. That said, if he is healthy, he has serious upside, especially if Geno Smith gets in there. The Jets will not be protecting many leads, folks. They'll throw for four quarters often.
Jon Baldwin, Chiefs (271)
Like a drunk sniffing an empty bottle, I just can’t quit Jonathan Baldwin. I know all the reasons, but his athleticism is off the charts and he is finally going to play for a team that runs smoothly on offense and has solid QB play. I’m taking this guy with one of my final picks in 12-team 20-round drafts. At least he’ll be one of the guys I’m targeting at that point. Barely any risk and serious upside. Don’t say I didn’t stick my neck out for you. This player should be drafted in 12-team leagues.
Kenny Stills, Saints (376)
No reports of him playing well in camp and he is young, but this kid brings a lot to the table and could fit in nicely in Payton’s offense. Nick Toon is another sleeper and so is Az-Hakim’s little brother Saalim. Somebody’s gonna bust out on this team. Long term, my guess is Stills, and he’s still a very worthy sleeper in deep leagues in 2013. The bottom line is that the Saints receiving group is one to watch the next few weeks and then early on in the season. There will be some new staples in this offense soon.
Jacoby Ford, Raiders (205)
If people can still list Ryan Williams as a “if he can just stay healthy for the first time ever” sleeper, then I get to tap into my speed fetish and list Ford. That’s a rule. Really though, if he plays sixteen games, he’s rostered in all leagues.
Armani Edwards, Panthers (has no ADP)
Check out my dynasty update on Armanti. The key thing to understand here is the upside. Edwards has the potential to explode. Sure, it's just potenial, and it may end up being more like incremental improvement, but there are signs that he may have level-jumped, and when you consider how talented he is, and how talented Cam Newton is, you have a player to be aware of.
Kenbrell Thompkins, Patriots (has no ADP)
He's been flashing throughout the offseason and we've done some extra film on him. I think we may have undestimated his speed based on his combine time. Thompkins may be one of those guys who is fast in pads. He also seems to have a nice 2nd gear as he gets into his vertcal routes and out of his cuts. There's depth at the receiver postion in New England and we like the other Patriot rookies plenty, but Thompkins is a guy to watch. He can play all the receiver positions (that New England uses) and that increases his odds of making an impast as a rookie. It's not a coincidence that he's turning some heads. And, New England is going to be just fine at receiver.
ADP data from FantasyPros.
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