We’re half way through WR Week and that means it’s time for some wide receiver sleepers! Much like the running back position, receivers this year can feel overwhelming due to the number of viable fantasy names out there. I mean, the Rams legit have three bonafid fantasy studs at receiver and it’s just a matter of picking the right guy between Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp and Brandin Cooks. How does any sane person make that decision? (Hint: you don’t.)
At this point, everyone knows who they want as their WR1 and WR2 this year; it’s when you get into those later rounds that things get chaotic. Here are five receivers who in my mind, offer the most upside for their current draft position and will hopefully give you some peace of mind heading into those turbulent later rounds of your fantasy drafts. (ADP and rankings (non-PPR) via fantasyfootballcalculator.com.)
Current ADP: 8.11 | Current rank: WR37
While most eyes have been on DJ Moore, it’s been Curtis Samuel who’s turned the most heads at Panthers’ camp. The Panthers’ staff has been calling Samuel the player who’s taken the biggest step forward and he seems primed for a breakout season, according to Albert Breer. I’m bullish on both receivers this year, but Samuel comes at almost a three round discount to Moore. Christian McCaffrey will be Cam Newton’s favorite target (I hope that doesn’t change) and I would expect Moore and Samuel to split the load behind him. Getting similar production at a big discount is something you can’t pass. Also this:
New CB covering Curtis Samuel. Same result.— Max Henson (@PanthersMax) August 13, 2019
"He’s good at the line, man," Tre'Davious White said of Samuel. "Really shifty. And he runs good routes." pic.twitter.com/s1DvLhoSVA
Tre’Davious White isn’t a slouch.
Current ADP: 8.12 | Current rank: WR38
I would like you to take a moment and answer this question for me: who is Aaron Rodgers’ number two target? Obviously Davante Adams is going to continue to be Rodgers’ number one receiver and will likely put together another filthy season in which he shatters all our minds and expectations. But who does Rodgers throw to on those rare occasions when Adams is covered? The correct answer is Marquez Valdes-Scantling. I mean, he’s a 6-foot-4 receiver who runs a 4.37 and is playing with possibly the most gifted quarterback in the league. How are we as a fantasy community drafting MVS at the end of the eighth round? Do you really think Jimmy Graham is going to get 89 targets again this season? No. Draft MVS and reap the benefits.
Current ADP: 11.06 | Current rank: WR50
It would be literally impossible for me to write this article without mentioning Devin Funchess, the man whose hypetrain I conduct, whose hill I live on and whose water I carry up said hill. Yes, you should draft Funchess in the 11th round and I have a better reason then “who else are you going to take here”. First off, Funchess has shown us fantasy potential in his time in Carolina and now he’ll be playing in an offense with a better quarterback and more weapons around him to draw defense’s attention. More so than that, last year Andrew Luck had the third most passing attempts inside the 20 and the 10 yard line, meaning the Colts want to throw the football when they get down by the end zone. 33 of Luck’s 39 touchdowns came from 20 yards out. You think Luck will target his new 6-foot-4 wide receiver/tight end/box out king in the red zone? I think so.
Current ADP: 14.02 | Current rank: WR60
Here’s a quote from Connor Hughes, who’s a Jet beat reporter for the Athletic, on Crowder:
It wouldn’t surprise me if Jamison Crowder creeps near or past 100 catches this season. That’s how much Sam Darnold looks to him in practice.
And don’t Allen Iverson this and write it off just because it’s practice. We saw this in the Jets’ first preseason game where Crowder caught two balls for 31 yards and a touchdown. Somehow Crowder is going with the likes of Michael Gallop, Tre’Quan Smith and Jakobi Meyers. None of those guys are going to be their team’s most targeted receiver. I wouldn’t be surprised if Crowder winds up in the top two for the Jets.
Current ADP: 14.11 | Current rank: WR67
Did Marquise Brown tear his ACL? Did he explode in a freak gasoline fight accident? WHAT AM I MISSING HERE!? I understand he has a foot injury that he’s making his way back from but that alone shouldn’t make him the 67th wide receiver off the board. We’re talking about the Ravens here people, a team that doesn’t have a clear number one receiver and just spent their first round pick to get a number one receiver (that’s Brown in case you were confused). Brown is basically free in drafts and yet could be the Ravens’ number one guy. What more do you need to know?