Top 10 Wide Receiver Sleepers
My last article about Quarterback and Tight End sleepers received some criticism for having Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski. A “sleeper” is a subjective term. It doesn’t have a true definition. So to clarify, to me a sleeper is a player I see outperforming their ADP. I’ve written about some of these receivers in recent articles as players I like for 2020, so some of this is repeated. This list is of the top 10 I feel are really good values at their current ADP.
Julian Edelman: Edelman's current ADP of WR43 is crazy to me. I get it, Tom Brady is gone. That connection is gone. But WR43 seems a bit extreme. He was the 4th most targeted wideout in 2019. In 2008 when Tom Brady missed the entire season with a torn ACL, Wes Welker finished as the WR10. He did that with Josh McDaniels calling plays for Matt Cassell. Granted, Wes Welker was 27 at the time and Edelman will be 34, but McDaniels is still calling the plays, and Edelman plays in a role where he will still be heavily targeted and exclusively out of the slot. Edelman gets the benefit of playing against, slot corners, linebackers and safeties and on a team that for the first time in forever, will likely be playing in their fair share of negative game scripts. I think Edelman is a lock to be at worst a WR3, but more than likely finishes as a WR2, far outperforming his putrid ADP.
DeVante Parker: When I first wrote about Parker his ADP was the WR35, but as of now it’s showing as WR25, so it appears the market is correcting, but he’s still too low. He finished as the WR11 in 2019, but was the WR3 over the last 13 games of the season once Ryan Fitzpatrick took over as quarterback. If Tua ends up as the starter I think it could still be a good thing for Parker, so to me he’s a value either way.
Robert Woods: 2019 saw Woods start off slow. After 8 weeks and averaging a very pedestrian 12 points per game, nearly 5 points per game less than he averaged the previous season, and he had zero touchdowns. Then things turned around over the final 2 months of the season. The Rams switched to more 12 personnel and Woods was the major benefactor. The Rams final six games saw Woods become the 3rd most targeted wide receiver and on a points per game basis, he tied Julio Jones as the WR2 over that span. Going into 2020, there is no longer Brandin Cooks and Woods should be heavily targeted again giving him high-end WR2 upside and possibly WR1. His current WR21 ADP is too low.
Allen Robinson: A-Rob was the 3rd most targeted wide receiver in 2019. He will likely be one of the most heavily targeted in 2020 as well. His only blemish, and it's a significant one, is his quarterback situation is one of the worst in the NFL. However, the situation in 2019 was as bad as it gets and Robinson still finished Top 10. Mitch Trubisky’s 3.3% touchdown rate was the third worst. No matter who is under center for Chicago, whether it’s Trubisky or Nick Foles, it has to be better and should benefit A-Rob. Players going ahead of him include Amari Cooper, D.J. Moore, Odell Beckham, and JuJu Smith-Schuster, all of whom I think should be drafted after Robinson.
Randall Cobb: The former Packer and Cowboy finds himself in a decent landing spot in Houston for 2020. There is no one on that team who will demand targets like Davante Adams and Amari Copper so he will have a good shot to garner close to 100 targets as Watson's primary slot option. He averaged the 9th most yards per target in 2019, and is a great value at the tail end of your fantasy drafts and should do better than his WR73 ADP.
Jarvis Landry: Aside from his rookie season when he finished as the WR31, Landry has never finished worse than the WR18. So his ADP of the WR29 is puzzling. Landry had the 6th highest target share in 2019. Obviously with the Browns looking to run more under new head coach Kevin Stefanski, it will effect Landry. Adding Austin Hooper also doesn't help the situation. Another WR13 finish is likely off the table. A drop to WR29 however feels like a bit of an overreaction.
John Brown: There are some concerns now with Diggs joining the fray as mentioned about. However, with an ADP of WR51 all the risk is taken away, so he can be drafted with confidence based on his big-play ability and efficiency. Brown is a perfect candidate to crush his ADP.
Sterling Shepard: Most probably wouldn't realize it, but Sterling Shepard was a top 12 wideout in receptions per game in 2019. He was also top 24 with a 23.4% target share as well as a healthy 8.5 targets per game. If he can maintain his volume and stay healthy, Shepard provides top 25 upside that is currently being drafted as the WR50.
Jamison Crowder: Seen as a sort of poor man's Jarvis Landry, Crowder is heavily dependant on volume. He's never going to be a big play or high touchdown threat. His target share and receptions per game however were both top 24 in 2019. The additons of Breshad Perriman and Denzel Mims don't help, but he is Sam Darnold's most trusted receiving option and was on pace for a WR17 finish in games played with Darnold. His WR52 ADP is entirely too low.
Hunter Renfrow: The WR54 from last season, Renfrow finished with 605 receiving yards on 49 receptions his rookie season. One positive stat was that Renfrow ranked 17th in yards per route run, which is a positive sign for his efficiency. Unfortunately for him, the Raiders added a plethora of receiving competition via the draft, including 1st wide receiver taken, Henry Ruggs. However, Renfrow will likely keep his role as the slot safety valve for Derek Carr, and given Carr's affinity for the short area of the field, look for Renfrow to continue to gobble up a lot of those targets and outperform his WR69 ADP.