Photo taken at the Tennessee Titans vs Carolina Panthers preseason game at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, TN on August 20, 2016.

Fantasy Football: Wide Receiver Sleepers

Two things are happening this weekend. The all important week 3 dress rehearsal for NFL teams and the most popular weekend for fake football drafts. Where so called experts will either draft the team that launches them into that sought after position of bragging rights, or a team that causes them to have to listen to their buddy rag on them for 8 months about how their buddy’s team just destroyed your team. Well if you want to be on the bragging side of things I just might have some sleeper WR’s here to help reach that all important ship.

Stefon Diggs (43rd WR – 100th overall) – Diggs bust onto the scene in week 4 last season and never went away. I know some will argue that Diggs is not a WR1 because at times last year he was not very productive, but I think that was more because of the Vikings offense more than Diggs inability to produce. To further push the notion that Diggs is not a number 1, the Vikings went out and drafted Laquon Treadwell in the first round last April. Again I argue that the Vikings needed WR help so drafting Treadwell was not a knock on Diggs ability. Right now Diggs is trending right around the 43rd best WR. I think he can easily jump into the WR3 conversation. I think the Vikings are ready to give Teddy Bridgewater more opportunities to throw. Adrian Peterson is no spring chicken and the Vikings need to make sure he lasts, while at the same time seeing what Teddy can do with more freedom within the offense. So we have an offense that is primed to open up more, a rookie WR that is struggling to learn the offense, and a second year WR in Diggs that already has good chemistry with the QB. All of those factors lead me to believe that Diggs is a solid WR3 that could even flirt with WR2 numbers in PPR leagues.

Mohamed Sanu (52nd WR – 130th overall) – Is Sanu better than A.J. Green, Marvin Jones, or Tyler Eifert? No he is not. So to say last year Sanu took a step back from his production in 2014 is kind of misleading. In 2014 Jones missed the entire season, Eifert missed all but 1 half that year, and even A.J. was in and out of the lineup, which left Sanu as the number 2 and sometimes the number 1 receiver in the offense. So with all of those guys back in 2015 of course Sanu’s numbers suffered. There was not enough balls to go around for all of those guys. Fast forward to 2016 Sanu is now on the Flacons and has a pretty clear path to be the number 2 behind Julio Jones, resulting in what I think will be much better numbers than a 54th rank WR. In 2014 Roddy White had a slash of 80/921/7, while those numbers might be a little high for Sanu, a line of 60/800/5 is very possible and those kinds of numbers would have him flirting with the top 40 in WR’s.

Phillip Dorsett (56th WR – 134th overall) – I truly believe the Colts will return to their high-powered offense from 2014 this year. Do I think Dorsett is better than T.Y. Hilton or Dante Moncrief? No, I do not, at least not yet anyway. But I do believe that there will be enough to go around. Even as the number 3 guy I can still see Dorsett pulling in a slash of 65/900/8, and if one of the other 2 get hurt at all that number could go up even more. I know a lot of people like to compare this trio with that great Colts trio of Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne, and Brandon Stokley, but I do not see these guys matching those kinds of number. At least not this year. Either way, getting Dorsett in the 11th or 12th round, in which he will likely be your 4th or even 5th WR, is a safe pick. Especially if he ends up putting WR3 number, then he becomes an absolute steal.

Robert Woods (76th WR – 197th overall) – Woods is the clear cut number 2 WR in Buffalo, and the number 1 has had a hard time staying on the field. Woods is currently trending as the 76th best WR, which to me is crazy for any number 2 on a team. Even teams that are run first usually still have 2 wide receivers that can produce decent numbers. I think Woods has a great shot at breaking into the top 50, which means if you are in a shallow league you most likely won’t need his services, but if you are in one of those really deep leagues Woods could be a decent start for a guy you can draft in the 16th round or later. With Sammy Watkins demanding double teams, and Charles Clay taking up a lot of space in the middle of the field it will likely leave Woods with lots of single coverage on the outside where he can use his speed to either turn a short pass into a long run or get over the top on a team’s second best corner.

Tajae Sharpe (66th WR – 172nd overall) – I normally avoid rookies when I do these sleeper picks, because frankly, it’s pretty hard to predict how a rookie will do, with exceptions going to those top guys from the draft. For some reason, Tajae Sharpe is an exception. I have not super-secret insight on this guy or know him the neighborhood or anything like that. I just flat out love this guy, borderline man crush here. I do not know what it is about him, I just think he is in line for a very good rookie year. He reminds me so much of Marques Colston, another guy I man crushed, tall, lanky, great route running, not the fastest, but catches everything. Colston joined the Saints the same year Drew Brees did and from day 1 they clicked, and they had a great 10-year span together. It feels like the same thing is happening in Tennessee. Marcus Mariota is entering his second year and desperately needed a trustworthy wide out and here comes Sharpe. Are they going to be as good as Brees and Colston were? I don’t know, but he sure looks very promising. I think he could post a slash of 70/1000/8 in his first year and that puts him right around the same spot Amari Cooper was last year, a low-end WR2. The best part is if you already drafted chances are he is on the waiver wire and you can get him for virtually nothing, and if your draft is coming up you can get him near the end of it for now. He has been trending up rapidly, especially since Dorial Green-Beckham got traded.

Article originally posted on Going For 2 on August 25th, 2016.

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