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Sleepers and Value Plays: Wide Receivers
David Dorey
UPDATED: August 28, 2013
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Other Sleepers and Value Plays:  Quarterbacks  |  Running Backs  |  Wide Receivers  |  Tight Ends

A sleeper is a player taken as a backup who ends up worthy of being a starter or at least far outplays the draft slot where you selected him. Below are players ranked by the current Average Draft Position (ADP) as found on MyFantasyLeague.com considering all scoring systems as a general basis. I'm assuming a league of 12 teams where most would take six wide receivers and start three of them each week. Therefore, the first 36 are drafted to be starters and the rest are considered roster backups.

Green Players are the values/sleepers I like while Red Players are the ones I do not value high enough to ever draft. If not red or green, the player is slotted pretty close to where I see him.

Average Draft positions taken from MyFantasyLeague.com using only real drafts conducted after August 25th

Starters - Value Plays

ADP Team Player Analysis
1 DET Johnson, Calvin Yeah
2 DAL Bryant, Dez Tier 2 - Bryant has the look of an elite who now finally gets it. Romo doesn't even wait for him to break before throwing it now.
3 CIN Green, A.J. I just like others more than Green this year since I think CIN has other options in place but this pick is probably fine as a WR1 - just not my #3 guy.
4 CHI Marshall, Brandon What to make of Marshall's statement about his hip still not right? He looked great in week 2 of the preseason. He played with a bad hip last year while catching 118 passes. So I would consider him still okay but this early why take a risk? You get nearly the same from Bryant, Jones and Thomas in the worst case. Marshall is probably just fine but why take any risk if you do not need to take one?
5 ATL Jones, Julio Not sure he has the receptions to justify this but he'll have the yards and TDs.
6 DEN Thomas, Demaryius I love Thomas here. I love him a spot or two higher. Manning looks sharp and Thomas already excelled with him.
7 ARI Fitzgerald, Larry I have zero qualms about this pick. Just zero. Great WR gets his best QB since Warner left.
8 HOU Johnson, Andre I never pick him because he rarely scores but yards are always high when healthy.
9 GBP Cobb, Randall #1 in Green Bay is all you really need to know.
10 ATL White, Roddy Always great #2 and even a serviceable #1 for your team.
11 NYG Cruz, Victor Feels about right. He should be about this good and not much worse no matter what.
12 TBB Jackson, Vincent Connected well with Turner in 2012 and back for more.
13 DEN Welker, Wes Maybe no higher than this, but I think dismissing Welker as having a big step back changing teams are just wrong. Swapping Tom Brady for Peyton Manning is like Ryan Reynolds dumping Scarlet Johansson for Blake Lively. Well played Ryan... well played...
14 NEP Amendola, Danny Here is where I put my chips. First month or so you feel really smart because the receptions are going to rack up. You are the guy on Monday morning people avoid. And then one day you say "hey, where'd he go?" and people start talking to you again. Big upside, big risk. I wouldn't do it myself but I understand the gamble here is probably worth it.
15 NOS Colston, Marques Always solid WR2, never really WR1 or WR3.
16 IND Wayne, Reggie Might tail off a but but at least this good with Senor Luck already knowing where to look.
17 KCC Bowe, Dwayne I like the upside here in the new Andy Reid offense and yes, I realize that Alex Smith is pitching but a 6'2" Bowe over the middle is just the target he needs.
18 NYG Nicks, Hakeem What bothers me most is that four years in the NFL and never has lasted all 16 games in any season. Only had one game over 100 yards last year and just three TDs on the season.
19 GBP Nelson, Jordy Assuming knee is really okay, this could be a steal.
20 BAL Smith, Torrey Still contend he is a #2 guy cast as a #1.
21 WAS Garcon, Pierre Was cool on Garcon (who was a #2 guy wanting to be #1) but he has chemistry with RG3 and who else is there to throw the ball to in WAS?
22 DEN Decker, Eric Okay, here is my problem. Name any team that produced THREE top 22 wide receivers? Thomas and Welker are pass sponges. Just think this pick is looking at 2012 and not 2013.
23 PIT Brown, Antonio Love Brown as my cheap WR2.
24 MIA Wallace, Mike Because I do not believe in Tannehill taking a major step up. Who else would a defense cover in MIA?
25 PHI Jackson, DeSean You could argue Jackson is a #2 forced to be a #1. But I am liking him more in the new offense that should take away as much coverage as past years because of the run-first nature. As a WR3 here? Love it. No problemo.
26 CAR Smith, Steve Smith is getting long in tooth but he is clearly the best that Newton has. This is not lost on the defense which is why Smith is only a WR3 now.
27 GBP Jones, James Jones should be no worse than this and could score like a WR2 again this year.
28 IND Hilton, T.Y. I think this pick looks at last year and not 2013 where he will be a #3 slot guy with Heyward-Bey playing the #2. Hilton has value to be sure, just not convinced enough passes to merit this.
29 STL Austin, Tavon Austin is risky - make no mistake. He is small and will play special teams. Even some around STL believe that Chris Givens gets more passes. But he had 100+ catches in his last two seasons in college and I am willing to take the risk at this point.
30 DAL Austin, Miles Not sure why people like Austin this well. Probably flirts with being a WR3 but cannot imagine much more and there is always downside with him.
31 MIN Jennings, Greg Trading Aaron Rodgers for Christian Ponder is not like dumping Scarlet Johansson for Blake Lively. It is like trading Scarlet Johansson for Blake Shelton."Some beach... somewhere... they are throwing actual completions..."
32 BUF Johnson, Stevie I own him in several leagues. Manuel doesn't scare me as much as most but then again maybe starting Jeff Tuel at QB is a reason to maybe walk past. Assuming Manuel is back no later than week 2, I think this is a solid pick.
33 JAC Shorts, Cecil Love this pick. How great for a deep WR3? He was a WR2 last year.
34 SFO Boldin, Anquan And let's not forget that Boldin comes off three straight years of around 880 yards and four TDs. At 33, not a savoir in SF.
35 CLE Gordon, Josh Back after two weeks suspension, could easily perform as a WR2
36 TBB Williams, Mike Rock solid at #36. Could be WR2 like Gordon.

After the Starters are taken, look for sleepers and avoid bad values for your backup

ADP Team Player Analysis
37 TEN Britt, Kenny This is Michael Westbrook 15 years later. I strongly contend you need knees to play WR.
38 NOS Moore, Lance Super solid WR4. Great WR depth.
39 NEP Thompkins, Kenbrell Of course he is riding the hype but the upside is so immense why not take a gamble on him? Not like any of these next guys will deliver your team to the promised land anyway.
40 SEA Tate, Golden Tate has been melding well with Russell Wilson and SEA may be really short of quality receivers. Nice upside here.
41 HOU Hopkins, DeAndre Cannot imagine enough passes in HOU can get him to here. Long term is very bright. 2013 not so much.
42 STL Givens, Chris Should end up the #1 receiver in STL. Great value this deep and he is taking the next step up.
43 JAC Blackmon, Justin Once he gets back from suspension he still has Gabbert there so kinda still suspended.
44 ARI Floyd, Michael I like him here and he could be better now that Palmer is there. Definitely like him here.
45 SDC Brown, Vincent Would gladly take Brown here or earlier on the premise that Philip Rivers will have a #1 wideout with fantasy relevance. Brown has the most upside.
46 PIT Sanders, Emmanuel Solid pick here though I have cooled a little because between Sanders, Antonio Brown and Markus Wheaton there may not be enough balls to let Sanders rise too much higher. If Wheaton flops, then Sanders is a good bet.
47 SEA Rice, Sidney Bad knee and really just a flop outside of 2009. It is no longer 2009.
48 CHI Jeffery, Alshon Like him even more with Brandon Marshall either hurting or pouting.
49 OAK Moore, Denarius I have sworn off all Raiders this year other than maybe Rashad Jennings which is really pretty sad if you think about it.
50 MIN Patterson, Cordarrelle Super talent but Ponder limits him. Definite keeper league grab here.
51 TEN Wright, Kendall Did not tear ACL but sprained knee last week. Limited by Locker more than anything else.
52 DET Broyles, Ryan He was rising this summer and then his knees were a problem and we all remembered -oh year, two blown knees in two years.
53 NYG Randle, Rueben Hakeem Nicks never stays healthy and Randle looks great. All over this pick. You should be too.
54 MIA Hartline, Brian Yeah, Miami wideouts are going to save your fantasy season... in a league of 500 teams maybe.
55 IND Heyward-Bey, Darrius This deep - heck yes. Was falling this summer but is named the #2 and looked improved in week three. Love DHB here much more than Hilton 27 wideouts earlier.
56 NEP Dobson, Aaron If I played for the Patriots, that doesn't make me fantasy relevant ( or the Patriots sane for that matter). Dobson probably a 2014 factor.
57 SDC Floyd, Malcom Wideout depth for bye weeks.
58 CIN Sanu, Mohamed Long as he stays healthy, he'll be much better than this as the #2 in CIN.
59 CLE Little, Greg Wideout depth for bye weeks.
60 CAR LaFell, Brandon Wideout depth for bye weeks.
61 NOS Stills, Kenny Too inconsistent to matter short of injury to other WR in NO.
62 WAS Moss, Santana Wideout depth for bye weeks.
63 PIT Wheaton, Markus Wheaton looks very good in preseason games and the early returns are all favorable. Maybe not that much this year but this late? I am all over the pick and probably earlier.
64 BUF Woods, Robert The #2 in BUF and another rookie that looks good. Have no problem with this upside play made so late in drafts.
65 BAL Jones, Jacoby Could be better, might be worse. Just don't see Jones dancing his way up the standings much.
66 ARI Roberts, Andre #3 in ARI with much less value than 2012.
67 NEP Edelman, Julian Apparently will make the team but may not be seen
68 NYJ Holmes, Santonio Not convinced he has the heart or the foot to matter again.
69 SDC Allen, Keenan He looks better lately but doesn't look relevant this year
70 TEN Hunter, Justin Not enough passes for this talented rookie - maybe 2014
71 PHI Cooper, Riley If he remains the #2 in PHI, he will end up far better than this so long as he thinks before he speaks.
72 TEN Washington, Nate Wideout depth for bye weeks.

Undrafted - Best Value

Team Player Analysis
DAL Terrence Williams #3 in Dallas has impressed and the running effort looks no better than last year. Probably too early to expect another Laurent Robinson but he could be the #2 in DAL next year. At least keep an eye on.
DET Patrick Edwards Undrafted wideout from Houston may end up the #2 in the heaviest passing offense. Led nation with 20 TD catches last year in college. Everyone else watches Megatron.
KCC Avery, Donnie Jon Baldwin is gone and Avery named the #2. Great WR5 or WR6 to have and see what happens.
CLE Bess, Davone #2 for CLE while Josh Gordon suspended, #3 otherwise. Might spawn a fantasy start at some point. Easy to throw away.

Other Sleepers and Value Plays:  Quarterbacks  |  Running Backs  |  Wide Receivers  |  Tight Ends


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