Fantasy Football Sleepers & Values: Wide Receivers

Fantasy Football Sleepers & Values: Wide Receivers

By John Paulsen (Senior Editor), last updated Sep 12, 2016

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John was named the Most Accurate Fantasy Football Expert by FantasyPros for the 2010 and 2014 seasons, finished as runner-up in 2011 and 4th in both 2012 and 2015 for a total of five Top 5 seasons in the last six years. Cumulatively, John was the most accurate expert from 2010-15 while also winning the 2011 Fantasy Sports Trade Association award for the most accurate draft rankings. 

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I’d argue that the receiver position is more affected by scoring system (PPR vs. standard) and roster settings (2 WR vs. 3-plus WR) than any other position. Take a look at the top 20 players in Relative Value (RV) in two different formats. First, click here to see a top 200 list for a 12-team standard scoring league with a 1/2/2/1 roster. Click here for a 12-team PPR league with a 1/2/3/1 roster.

There are six receivers in the top 20 in the two-WR standard league and there are nine that made the top 20 in the three-WR PPR league. Moreover, there are twice as many receivers in the “first round” (top 12) in the PPR league, including the top three overall players: Antonio Brown, Demaryius Thomas and Odell Beckham.

My point? Be sure that you enter your league’s settings in our customizable tools to ensure that have an understanding of how scoring affects positional value in your particular league. It may affect the way you want to approach your draft.

Let’s move on to the discussion about the specific value/sleeper receivers. Below are three sections: Values (6th-10th round), Sleepers (11th-15th round) and Deep Sleepers (16th round or undrafted).



Davante Adams, Packers
Adams had his moments during his rookie season, specifically against the Patriots (6-121 on 11 targets) in Week 13 and in the postseason against the Cowboys (7-117-1 on 11 targets). However, he only saw 66 passes come his way since he played alongside target hogs Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb. Aaron Rodgers has been highly complimentary of Adams this offseason and says he has “humongous upside.” With Nelson out for the year, Adams is slated for WR2 duties, and that means a big jump in targets. He’s now a solid fantasy WR2 and his ADP will climb into the 6th round, maybe higher.

Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals
I’m sure regular readers are tired of me going on and on about Fitzgerald, but here we go one last time: Last year, he averaged 5.3 catches for 81 yards and 0.33 TD in six games with a healthy Carson Palmer. Extrapolate that pace over a full season, and it's about what Mike Evans (PPR) and Golden Tate (standard) scored as last season's #13 WR. His numbers with Palmer over the last two seasons (5.2-65-.55) are just as impressive. Let’s not put ol’ Fitz out to pasture just yet.

Allen Robinson, Jaguars
Robinson averaged 5.2 catches for 61 yards and 0.22 TD from Week 2 to Week 10, which extrapolates to an 84-974-3.6 over the course of a full 16-game season. So he posted fringe WR2-type numbers before suffering a stress fracture in his foot. He has reportedly looked great in offseason activities and should be Blake Bortles’ go-to receiver in 2015.

Roddy White, Falcons
White missed a couple of games due to injury, but when he played, he was a solid WR2 in both PPR (#17 PPG) and standard (#20 PPG) formats. He’s 33, but as long as he stays healthy, he should be a very solid WR2/WR3. When he was healthy (Week 5 to Week 12, not on the injury report), he averaged 6.0-68-.43, or fringe WR1 numbers. He's dealing with an elbow injury, which has caused his ADP to dip a bit.

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Filed Under: Preseason, 2015

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