Fantasy Football: Wide Receiver Sleepers, Values & Breakouts
The receiver position continues to be deep thanks to the league’s emphasis on the passing game. Fantasy managers can wait until the fourth round to target the position and still put together a potent receiving corps. I’ll highlight some Values, Breakout Candidates, and Sleepers below.
Note: Since this is a receiver article, I’ll refer to Matt Harmon and his Reception Perception project early and often.
These are players going in the fourth round or later who have the potential to badly beat their respective ADPs.
Terry McLaurin, Commanders
McLaurin has been in the league for three seasons and in that span, he has received the most targets from Taylor Heinicke (123), Dwayne Haskins (98), and Case Keenum (41). Keenum was the best of the bunch, and McLaurin averaged 10.6 yards per target from him, while Keenum had a 142.9 QB rating when targeting McLaurin. I point this out since Carson Wentz is taking over as the starter in Washington and his career numbers are better than Keenum’s. That’s not saying a whole lot, but it underscores just how sketchy McLaurin’s quarterback play has been thus far.
Still, despite this very suspect quarterback play, McLaurin was able to post 87-1118-4 in 2020 and 77-1053-5 last season. It also doesn’t hurt that Wentz had the 12th-highest adjusted completion percentage on deep balls (20+ yards), per PFF. Heinicke was 33rd in that metric last season, so Wentz should be better able to take advantage of McLaurin’s deep speed.
Diontae Johnson, Steelers
Johnson finished WR20 in 2020 and WR8 last year but is going off the board WR23 this year thanks to a new quarterback situation. While Mitch Trubisky, Mason Rudolph, and Kenny Pickett don’t inspire a ton of confidence, it wasn’t like Ben Roethlisberger provided irreplaceable quarterback play last season. (He threw for 3,740 yards and 22 touchdowns with 6.2 yards per attempt.) Johnson regularly charts among the top route-runners in Harmon’s Reception Perception project, and can basically get open at will. Quarterbacks tend to like that.
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