Wide receiver might be the biggest lotto ticket position in fantasy football. Our WR rankings feature so many players with blazing speed, height and huge vertical leaps. Some of those players are proven commodities, while others might hold the tag of sleeper. Virtually everyone’s draft strategy involves taking some late-round breakout candidates, and this list should help you find the sleeper wideouts who are being undervalued in standard and/or PPR leagues.
Usually, sleeper wide receivers fall into one of two categories: The unproven and the over-the-hill. The unproven players on this list gives us reasons to believe, whether that’s a new quarterback or offensive system, a new team, or simply a bigger role. On the flip side, the over-the-hill players might be on the decline — but not as much as everyone thinks. If you get a consistent veteran late in the draft, you give yourself a safe plug-and-play WR3.
DOMINATE YOUR DRAFT: Ultimate 2019 Fantasy Cheat Sheet
If there’s one thing that might hold true especially for WR sleepers, it’s to load up. Get a handful of these guys on your roster. Not every sleeper pops. But if you have the one that does, your team will be in good shape.
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2019 Fantasy WR Sleepers
James Washington, Steelers
If we’re picking one player to soak up the majority of Antonio Brown’s 2018 targets, it would be Washington. Considering Brown had 168 throws his way, that’s a lot of potential upside for the second-year receiver. Of course they won’t all go to him, but the Steelers picked Washington in the 2018 second round for a reason. Donte Moncrief, Eli Rogers, and Diontae Johnson will also be in the mix, but Washington will get his chances and has the talent to produce.
Courtland Sutton, Broncos
Sutton will be catching passes from an uninspiring QB, whether it’s Joe Flacco or Drew Lock. That will scare some prospective owners away, but Sutton showed promise late in 2018 with strong Weeks 13, 15 and 16. If you’re drafting him, you’re hoping he carries that late-season run over with a new quarterback. And you might not even have to draft him as a starter, so he’s a worthy flier.
Geronimo Allison, Packers
Behind Davante Adams, there are a lot of names without a whole lot of separation in Green Bay’s wide receiver room. Allison, entering his fourth year in the NFL, is the relatively most experienced of those secondary options. In four weeks before suffering a concussion in 2018, Allison averaged 4.8 catches and 72.3 yards per game. He only played one more game before hamstring and core injuries sidelined him the remainder of the season. If he can hold off guys like Marquez Valdes-Scantling for the No. 2 job and extend last year’s production over a full season, he’ll be a worthwhile draft pick.
Anthony Miller, Bears
Miller was a mightily productive receiver in his final two seasons at Memphis, which made him a second-round choice by the Bears two drafts ago. As a rookie, Miller showed flashes, like his Week 7 and 8 stretch of 10 catches for 171 yards. Because he wasn’t consistent beyond that, Miller is still nothing more than a mid-round flier. He’s currently going as the 55th WR off the board per FantasyPros, which is well below where we have him in our WR rankings. He’ll need to increase consistency to deliver a positive return on investment, but he’s in the right situation with a maturing quarterback and no dominant wideouts siphoning away too many potential targets.
DOMINATE YOUR DRAFT: Ultimate 2019 Fantasy Cheat Sheet
DaeSean Hamilton, Broncos
From Weeks 14 through 17 last season, Hamilton averaged 6.3 catches per game. He never topped 50 yards in a contest, but he did grab two touchdowns. That makes him an interesting PPR option, as that final stretch amounted to 13.8 PPR FPPG. Especially with Emmanuel Sanders’s recovery from an Achilles’ injury raising questions, Hamilton could provide early-season value. Sanders has participated in preseason snaps, now, so Hamilton’s likelihood of solid production drops some. That might make him even a better sleeper, though.
Preston Williams, Dolphins
Preston Williams received a first-round grade from some draft analysts coming out of Colorado, but he didn’t even receive an invite to the NFL Combine due to character concerns. The Dolphins have quickly turned him into one of their top WR options in training camp, though. He started and returned punts in their dress rehearsal Week 3 preseason game, and he’s shown a connection with both Ryan Fitzpatrick and Josh Rosen in August.
The Dolphins’ passing attack isn’t really that appealing to be a part of, but if Fitzpatrick and Rosen are one thing, it’s gunslingers. Williams should start come Week 1, and he’s the most talented receiver Miami has. Expect him to have the occasional big week when the Dolphins are playing from behind and lean on him.
Jakobi Meyers, Patriots
The buzz about the undrafted Meyers is through the roof in New England. He’s a former quarterback converted into a slot receiver, the same pedigree that brought Julian Edelman to stardom. Meyers has run with the 1s throughout training camp, earned Tom Brady’s trust, and scored two touchdowns in the Pats’ preseason opener. There’s a chance helium takes him too high in the coming weeks, but there’s also a chance he grows into the next Edelman.
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Trent Taylor, 49ers
Taylor has gotten a lot of buzz early in 49ers camp for a number of reasons. He’s a small slot receiver with Wes Welker as his position coach — a good pairing if there ever was one. Taylor was also good as a rookie before dealing with a back injury last year that limited his production. Taylor could be one of the better values in your draft, as he’s going undrafted in standard leagues. You won’t have to reach (and you could end up with a PPR monster).
Marqise Lee, Jaguars
As long as Lee is fully recovered from a torn ACL, he’s the type of guy who can thrive with Nick Foles at quarterback. Foles may be unable to consistently hit Dede Westbrook down the field, but he’ll be more efficient on the underneath routes Lee runs. The 63 catches for 851 yards that Lee put up in 2016 (10.8 PPR FPPG) could be within reach assuming he’s healthy. If he pulls off that type of stat line, it will be at absurd value. He’s being drafted 80th among WRs, per FantasyPros, behind guys like Albert Wilson and Cole Beasley, neither of whom have ever equaled a season like that.
Willie Snead, Ravens
Being the No. 1 receiver for Lamar Jackson isn’t that appealing, but it’s more interesting than the 90th receiver off the board, the slot FantasyPros has Snead being selected in on average. Maybe rookie Marquise Brown overtakes Snead, but it’s doubtful it will happen right away. Snead had two five-catch games with Jackson as his QB, so perhaps there’s some PPR value here.
Parris Campbell, Colts
Rookie wide receivers are rarely consistent, especially speedsters like Campbell, but his 4.31 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine shows what kind of athleticism he has. When he finally got a chance to play with an NFL-caliber last season at Ohio State, he posted a 90-1,063-12 line. Joining Indianapolis has a chance of producing similar results…eventually. He’s worth watching early to see if he can get any semblence of consistent targets. (Update: Campbell has been battling injuries in camp and has yet to leap Chester Rogers for slot duties. This could be more of a late-season sleeper.)