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Nigel Eccles, Co-Founder, FanDuel
A fantasy draft is all about obtaining the most value with each selection. There is value available throughout a draft, and grabbing it is one of the most important keys to a successful fantasy team. This article specifically targets deep sleeper value (players that can be found very late in a fantasy draft). In an attempt to point out this value, we asked our staff to look deeper than the Top 150 and identify players that should significantly outperform their late draft position. These players should be your targets after the 12th round of your draft.
Player Receiving 5 Votes
Breshad Perriman, NY Jets
Phil Alexander: Who's to say Perriman hasn't always been this good? His raw athleticism never translated in Baltimore, where injuries caused him to fall out of favor. But he helped make people believe in Baker Mayfield down the stretch in 2018 and looked like one of the league's better perimeter receivers in Tampa Bay after injuries sidelined Mike Evans and Chris Godwin last year. At the very least, Perriman (4.3 speed coming out of college) can approximate Robby Anderson's role as a deep-threat, and he brings more after-the-catch. As long as he can gel with the live-armed Sam Darnold, Perriman will have plenty of opportunities to blow past the value his current ADP implies. There isn't much standing between him and a 20% share of New York's targets.
James Brimacombe: Perriman came on strong for the Buccaneers to close out the 2019 season and as a result was offered a contract by the NY Jets and is now flirting with Jamison Crowder as the top receiver on the depth chart. The current cost on Perriman in drafts is too good to ignore for a player that will see plenty of opportunities to be the guy in New York with Sam Darnold throwing him the ball and the fact that he is coming off a career year with a 36/645/6 stat line. Darnold has his deep threat guy and if the Jets are a good, bad, or middle of the road football team it all seems to equal positives for Perriman to produce some quality numbers.
Jeff Haseley: The Jets and fantasy offense don't exactly go hand in hand, but Breshad Perriman, the former first-round pick had a strong second half to the 2019 season. Only Michael Thomas and DeVante Parker had more fantasy points in a PPR setting than Perriman from Week 13 on last year. Some of that could be due to the Buccaneers' high-volume passing offense, but at some point, we must credit Perriman for executing. Can he do it again in 2020 with the Jets? Did his confidence soar to the point where he knows he can compete with the league's best? If the answer is yes or maybe, he's worth the gamble as a receiver outside of the top 150.
Andy Hicks: It has taken a while for the former first-round pick in 2015 to find his feet in the NFL, but Breshad Perriman was on fire for the last five weeks of the 2019 season. 25 receptions, 506 yards, and five touchdowns. That doesn’t translate to production on his new team, but the opportunity is there for Perriman to become a reliable fantasy producer in 2020. How he clicks with Sam Darnold and the Jets offense will be key, but it’s not like Jets have better depth at the position than the Bucs team he left after 2019. At his current draft price, it’s almost certain he is good value and his upside is as good as his final five games of last season.
Jason Wood: Perriman's career has been forgettable, and his low ADP is entirely logical based on a summative analysis of his 4-year career. He's never finished at a top-40 fantasy receiver and will suit up for his fourth team in five seasons this year after signing a 1-year, $8 million contract with the Jets. He's not guaranteed a significant role, but the loss of Robby Anderson leaves Perriman in the pole position to be Sam Darnold's lead target on the outside. Drafting Perriman at the end of a draft isn't completely aspirational; he was dynamic for Tampa Bay last year after becoming a starter in the final month. Over those four games, Perriman caught 20 passes for 429 yards and 5 touchdowns. That equates to 80 catches, 1,716 yards, and 20 touchdowns of a 16-game schedule.
Player Receiving 4 Votes
DeSean Jackson, Philadelphia
Andrew Davenport: Jackson is the free square in drafts right now. Everyone knows the issues with Jackson and injuries. If that wasn't a problem he wouldn't be buried in the late rounds like he is right now. But when talking about guys going in his neighborhood right now almost none of them have his combination of track record, upside, and offense that will utilize him properly. While the Eagles did try and solve some of their wide receiver issues in the offseason, it's not as if they had any options before the draft that would push Jackson down the depth chart should a rookie earn a role. Alshon Jeffery looks to be completely used up, and if Jalen Reagor earns a big role it's all the better for Jackson to have someone that defenses have to respect when he's on the field. But really, the bottom line is that he is going very late in drafts, and at that point, his 35 PPR points in Week 1 should be intriguing enough to roster him for the upside alone.
Justin Howe: The Eagles have stockpiled receiver prospects over the past two years, and they even saw fit to trade for Marquise Goodwin along the way. (He doesn't look like a strong candidate to break camp with the team, but still.) And even so, with Alshon Jeffery wildly uncertain (foot) and a gaggle of youngsters behind him, Jackson is drawing early talk as an occasional No. 1 option. "Jackson, when healthy, is expected to be the team’s top receiving threat," wrote NJ.com's Mike Kaye in June - two months after the first-round selection of Jalen Reagor. That's not a particularly wild expectation, even with Jackson at 33 years young. After all, he drew 9 of Carson Wentz's 39 targets in Week 1 of last year, his only extended game action all season. (Final line: 8 catches, 154 yards, 2 touchdowns.) He easily won two deep balls in that one; Jackson's brand of explosiveness is legendary and won't burn out overnight. It appears he'll hold shaky flex value while Jeffery is on the field, and could be a weekly WR2 when he's not.
Jeff Pasquino: The Eagles may have added several young wide receivers, but make no mistake that the starters are set - Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson will be on the field most of the time on offense this season. Jackson returns after missing nearly all of 2019, and he is fully healthy and ready to go for another contract year in Philadelphia. Jackson loves the Eagles and loves the offense, and he would like nothing more to put up strong numbers once again in a pass-happy offense while mentoring the young acquisitions for the Eagles. Look for Jackson to have several long touchdowns once again this season, making Jackson a great fantasy value, especially in Best Ball leagues.
Matt Waldman: Taking a shot on the elder statesman of the Eagles' receiving corps isn't a bad strategy when you consider that he's well outside the scope of starter value at this point in the fantasy preseason. When healthy, Jackson has shown he can deliver over 100 yards receiving and multiple touchdowns during a game. He's one of the few receivers over the past 15 years who has had multiple seasons as a top-12 fantasy receiver. While an aging player who has been susceptible to injury, he's the best deep threat that the Eagles have--including rookie Jalen Reagor. If he stays healthy, he's capable of at least fantasy WR2 production. If not, he's an easy option to drop because of his current value and the likelihood that the injury will require enough rehab to move on quickly.
Players Receiving 3 Votes
Antonio Brown, Free Agent
Phil Alexander: We'll see how long Brown remains sneaky with recent reports teams are beginning to sniff around him, namely Baltimore and Seattle. For the time being, it makes sense to prioritize him as your WR4. Even if Brown is past his prime at age-32, we have every reason to believe he's still one of the ten best wide receivers in the NFL. There isn't a wideout currently being drafted within 40 picks of Brown who can match his upside. And even if his ADP surges with news teams are ready to take a chance on him, questions surrounding his suspension status should keep his price relatively modest. It's as simple as this -- if it looks like there is a strong chance Brown plays ten games for any NFL team this season, you want him for those games for as long as it doesn't cost you a premium pick in drafts.
Jeff Haseley: There are whispers of teams targeting Antonio Brown for the 2020 season. He most likely will need to serve a four-game suspension, and it could be six, but if and when he's eligible to play, he could prove to be a high commodity that you can secure late in your draft.
Jason Wood: Antonio Brown's roller-coaster ride last year is the stuff of legend, and there's a chance he never plays again. On the other hand, he's quietly been settling his outstanding legal issues and was never placed on the Commissioner's Exempt list. Whether he would be placed on the list if a team signed him, as was rumored last year when the Saints were evaluating the move in December, remains a question. However, as we've seen with Josh Gordon and others, the league generally wants to give players chances at redemption. Brown showed in his one game with New England that he neither requires a lot of time to adjust to new surroundings nor has he lost a step. Don't be surprised if Brown surfaces for a receiver-needy team in the coming months.
Devin Funchess, Green Bay
Andy Hicks: Like most of the receivers you are looking at after the first twelve rounds, there is a real downside to taking any of them. The key is finding upside that isn’t unreasonable. That brings us to Devin Funchess. Up until week eight of the 2018 season, his career was on an upward trajectory. On pace for a 1000 yard season until D.J. Moore became the preferred receiver in Carolina. The rest of the 2018 season was forgettable as was his 2019 season with the Colts when injury ruined his time there. Now landing in Green Bay on a prove-it deal, it’s all or nothing. The good news is that Green Bay lacks a quality option opposite Davante Adams and Aaron Rodgers is his quarterback. The bad news is that if he has a lackluster preseason, he could be cut. The upside is massive though so he is well worth a chance late in drafts.
Chad Parsons: Funchess' career year has peaked in the WR25 range of PPR PPG back in Carolina. Last year was a lost season before it got started on a one-year prove-it deal in Indianapolis. Reset to 2020 and Funchess is one of the more underrated signings at wide receiver considering Green Bay notably passed on the position in the NFL Draft and Allen Lazard and Funchess are the favorites, in some order, for the WR2/3 roles behind Davante Adams. A top-36 season with upside from there is possible for Funchess - or any functional WR2 in an Aaron Rodgers-led offense.
Jeff Pasquino: Green Bay struggled at wide receiver depth after Davante Adams last season, which was highlighted during a four-game stretch where Adams was sidelined. Devin Funchess was signed at a major discount ($2.5M) on a one-year deal after missing nearly all of 2019 with a broken collarbone, but his deal is very much aligned with becoming a starter with the Packers with major contract incentives. Funchess can earn up to $3.75M if he gets to 85 catches, 1,000 yards, and 10 touchdowns, but even more modest numbers (45 catches, 700 yards, six scores) will earn him significant bonuses. All three of those minimums were achieved by Funchess back in 2017 with Carolina, so they are all attainable, especially with working now with Aaron Rodgers.
Alshon Jeffery, Philadelphia
Andy Hicks: What we look for late in a wide receiver is that hidden gem that can become a WR1. Alshon Jeffery has reached that peak twice in his career and even in Philadelphia has been a WR2 twice. The upside is obvious. The injury history is as well, which explains why he is available where he is in 2020 fantasy drafts. The will he, won’t he be available by week one is another layer of concern. If we are going to be serious though we just have to look at his production in the last game he finished. 16 targets for nine receptions for 137 yards and a touchdown. Good luck finding someone who can do that late in drafts. If Jeffery is fit, he starts. The Eagles drafting Jalen Reagor in the first round doesn’t affect that. Jeffery has a good connection with Carson Wentz and if he can play, he will produce. If he doesn’t he is an easy and inexpensive cut to your roster.
Jeff Pasquino: The Eagles may have added several young wide receivers, but make no mistake that the starters are set - Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson will be on the field most of the time on offense this season. Jeffery's contract cemented his return, despite the Lisfranc injury to the 30-year old receiver. Jeffery very quietly had solid numbers last year in nine games, and he was on a pace to put up lower WR2 / high WR3 numbers in PPR leagues (projected to 76-871-7). The Eagles love to throw the ball more often than not, and Jeffery has the inside track to post comparable numbers if he shows that he is over the injury. He represents starting fantasy value that can be had in the second half of fantasy drafts.
Jason Wood: Jeffery is an enigma because there's no clear path toward fantasy relevance. His ADP is low because most believe he's in the team's dog house after allegedly criticizing Carson Wentz as an unnamed source last year; something Jeffery denies. And yet his contract is onerous, making it hard to release or trade him. But Jeffery is still in his prime and is far too talented to sit on a bench. Recently, the front office, Wentz, and Jeffery have all made peace publicly and are downplaying last year's rumored tiff. That could be posturing to re-open his trade market, or it could mean he'll have an opportunity to start opposite J. Reagor. Either way, Jeffery is likely going to be playing significant snaps for someone in 2020 as long as his recovery from last year's Lisfranc surgery is on schedule.
Players Receiving 2 Votes
Miles Boykin, Baltimore
James Brimacombe: The problem with Boykin will be the opportunities that he will see in 2020. If you believe he has a shot as the teams WR2 on the depth chart and will take a leap in season two along with a belief that the Ravens will adopt more passing plays, then Boykin deserves some late-round dart throws. If not, he is clearly a pass as in 2019 as a rookie in 12 games he only saw a total of 22 targets for 13/198/3 stat line.
Justin Howe: While it's fair to project some regression for the Baltimore offense, it still makes sense to buy cheaply on its high-upside pieces. And Boykin certainly fits that bill, just a year removed from reprogramming the 2019 Combine. As a rookie, Boykin drew 436 offensive snaps but just 22 targets while battling the replacement-level Seth Roberts for snaps in a run-dominant attack. Roberts is now gone, and there's little veteran labor blocking Boykin from an opportunity boost. Rookies Devin Duvernay and James Proche are prospects for the slot, which doesn't threaten Boykin's role. The team likes Willie Snead's run blocking, but can't deny the gap in their playmaking abilities. It was especially nice to see Boykin work well near the goal line, catching and scoring on all 3 of his targets from inside the 10. His overall ceiling is capped, of course, by an offense that will again seek to run the ball 600 times. But there's potential here for a 50-catch season that ranks among the league's most efficient.
Randall Cobb, Houston
Andrew Davenport: When the Texans traded DeAndre Hopkins to the Cardinals it opened up a big void in the offense that will be filled by a combination of four guys - Cobb, Brandin Cooks, Will Fuller, and Kenny Stills. It's hardly the healthiest WR corps, but even more interesting for Cobb is that the other three have some similar skills while Cobb can work in a different capacity. He isn't young anymore, but he was still strong last year with 828 yards receiving as the third option in Dallas. He can easily carve out a role in Houston and anyone catching passes from Deshaun Watson in a brittle positional room has sleeper value.
Jordan McNamara: Houston has an intriguing wide receiving corps in 2020. Without DeAndre Hopkins, Houston will feature Will Fuller and Brandin Cooks on the perimeter. Fuller has been very good when healthy but has struggled with injuries throughout his career, and Brandin Cooks is coming off a disappointing 2019 season. While both have a higher upside, Randall Cobb is coming off the better 2019 season. With such an enormous hole in the wide receiver corps left by DeAndre Hopkins, Cobb is the cheapest option in an uncertain situation. At his price, Cobb represents a cheap option to invest in a Deshaun Watson-led offense.
Corey Davis, Tennessee
James Brimacombe: There was plenty of hype surrounding Corey Davis for three straight seasons in Tennessee and he seems to keep disappointing. There were glimpses of success in 2018 when he went for 65/891/4 and finished as WR27 but that all flipped last year with a miserable 43/601/2 line and basically a forgotten man in the offense. Davis has the draft capital as the 5th overall pick in 2017 and now the pressure is off for him to be the WR1 for the Titans as A.J. Brown already claimed that title with ease last season. Davis still remains 2nd on the wide receiver depth chart and is basically going undrafted in fantasy drafts now.
Jordan McNamara: Corey Davis entered the NFL as the all-time leading receiver in D-I history. His career has been slow, with a top 30 finish in 2018 before falling off in 2019. While the Tennessee offense is run-first, there is an opportunity for Davis. A.J. Brown established himself as the WR1 in his rookie season, but there are few established receiving options in the game. Jonnu Smith will look to take over the tight end role vacated by Delanie Walker but is no sure thing and Derrick Henry has not been a high-volume receiving threat to date. With Ryan Tannehill an improvement over Marcus Mariota, there is an opportunity for Davis to outperform his value in drafts.
Devin Duvernay, Baltimore
Chad Parsons: Marquise Brown is a prime touchdown regression (in the negative direction) candidate of wide receivers and Brown is a rare (not in a good way) build with his slight frame, certainly not a prototypical WR1 in NFL terms. Duvernay, conversely, has a thick near-running-back-like build with a quality profile from his collegiate career and Day 2 pedigree. With open access to the WR2 and upside to emerge as the WR1 within the range of outcomes, Duvernay is both a talent and situation sleeper.
Matt Waldman: Lamar Jackson excels as a thrower in the middle of the field but struggles when delivering high-velocity targets on timing routes on the perimeter. It's why Marquise Brown and Mark Andrews were a lot more productive than the talented perimeter option, Miles Boykin. Barring massive improvement with arm strength and accuracy from Lamar Jackson, this will remain the case in 2020. Because Jackson displays deep accuracy with targets he can loft such as the post, corner, deep crossers, and the fade, look for the speedy Duvernay to earn targets on the perimeter in this capacity. Duvernay also has the potential not only to overtake Willie Snead in the slot in multiple receiver sets but also earn some of Danny Woodhead's old role from the backfield that could substantially increase his targets as well.
Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona
Jeff Pasquino: Future Hall of Famer Larry Fitzgerald now has a truly elite wide receiver that will line up on the opposite side of the offense with the acquisition of DeAndre Hopkins. Fitzgerald keeps racking up very solid numbers and now will see better chances of beating opposing secondaries that will have to defend both sides of the field equally. Arizona has always loved targeting Fitzgerald in the Red Zone, resulting in solid fantasy numbers even when his target volume is not what it once was. Getting a wide receiver of Fitzgerald’s caliber so late in drafts is the very definition of strong value.
Matt Waldman: It feels bizarre to categorize Fitzgerald as a deep sleeper but many will be writing off Fitzgerald as a washed-up option incapable of delivering fantasy value in a starting lineup. Projecting 600 receiving for Fitzgerald seems like an aggressive stance for even our staff's projection team. Perhaps Hakeem Butler earns significant playing time or Andy Isabella learns how to run efficient routes but neither will usurp Fitzgerald this year--especially as a red-zone option. And if there's an area where Kyler Murray should earn more production it's the red area. While DeAndre Hopkins will easily lead the team in most receiving categories, Fitzgerald still has the skills to thrive as a red-zone option and big slot. He should be closer to Christian Kirk's production than many expect, which should translate to consistent flex value, at least.
Laviska Shenault, Jacksonville
Matt Waldman: The Jaguars intend to move Shenault around the offense to leverage his versatility as a part-time running back, H-back, slot player, and a force on the perimeter. Long-term, Shenault should develop into a star-caliber flanker, but the team's short-term goal to employ Shenault as a gadget should ensure a baseline of touches that lead to no worse than flex value in fantasy leagues. Where Shenault could exceed expectations is his route running. He's a physical player with greater speed and suddenness than his NFL Combine workouts indicate. When healthy Shenault is one of the three most exciting rookie options of this vaunted class. Combine with strong coaching from Keenan McCardell and a promising lead receiver in D.J. Chark, Sheanault should earn enough mismatches for valuable fantasy production this year--and don't discount the upside of strong red-zone production as a gadget.
Jason Wood: The Jaguars are one of the worst teams in football and have systematically jettisoned every veteran with a big contract. Expectations are low and fantasy prospects are equally dim. But grabbing Shenault with a late-round pick could be fruitful as the team will spend the year evaluating all its young talent to establish a new core to build around in 2021 and beyond. Shenault has a questionable injury history, but when he was on the field for the Colorado Buffaloes he dominated. At 6-foot-2, 220 pounds Shenault has the size to win contested balls on the outside; and with Gardner Minshew throwing him the ball that's a very important trait. When Dede Westbrook is the only thing keeping you from 100+ targets, it's a bet worth taking.
Steven Sims Jr, Washington
James Brimacombe: The undrafted rookie played in 13 games in 2019 and scored five total touchdowns. In the last three games on the season, Sims had 29 targets for 16 receptions, 190 yards, and four touchdowns. He has also been receiving high praise all offseason from teammates and coaches and looks to be locked in as the teams WR2. He is the perfect type of dart play to take a chance on at the end of your drafts in 2020.
Jeff Haseley: Steven Sims Jr was one of the best late-season winners last year. Weeks 15, 16, and 17 he was the seventh-best wide receiver in PPR scoring. Sims's 29 targets, 16 receptions, 190 yards, and 4 touchdowns dominated the team in that stretch. The Washington coaching staff is eager and excited to have Sims alongside Terry McLaurin. Look for Sims to see a big increase in everything in 2020.
Golden Tate, NY Giants
Andrew Davenport: The trio of Tate, Sterling Shepard, and Darius Slayton only played 6 games together in 2019 as injuries hit both starters and allowed Slayton to get a foothold in the offensive pecking order. Still, when all three played Shepard was the leader in targets, followed by Tate, not Slayton. The snap counts reflected the same, and Tate averaged almost 11 PPR PPG when all three receivers played. Overall he averaged 13.8 PPR PPG and that was good enough for a WR29 finish. Taking Tate isn't necessarily a home run pick, but Shepard has a checkered injury history and this offense should be playing from behind for most of the year. He's being pushed way down past where there is much risk in taking him and he's a great value in what should be a high volume offense.
Jordan McNamara: Golden Tate finished as WR44 in 2019 in only 11 games. That was his worst seasonal finish since 2011. Tate’s injury-shortened 2019 season is creating value in 2020. The Giants have young stars in Evan Engram and Saquon Barkley but wide receivers Sterling Shephard and Darius Slayton are far from WR1 options. Tate is the most established wide receiver on the depth chart which showed up in his 7.7 targets per game in 2019. Tate offers Daniel Jones a dependable option at the wide receiver position and the target volume to far outproduce his ADP.
Players Receiving 1 Vote
Robby Anderson, Carolina
Jason Wood: Robby Anderson has a top-15 fantasy finish on his resume (2017) and has been a top-40 player in each of the last two years in spite of a moribund offensive setting and questionable play-calling. His inability to make the leap to No. 1 productivity in spite of limited competition in New York is a concern, but if a change-of-scenery was necessary, he chose well to sign in Carolina for 2-years, $20 million. Anderson wouldn't be in the NFL without Matt Rhule fighting for him when they were both at Temple. Rhule kept Anderson from being kicked off the team permanently, and Anderson has often cited Rhule as a key figure in his life. If there's anyone Anderson will play hard for, it's Rhule and the new-look Panthers.
Parris Campbell, Indianapolis
James Brimacombe: Campbell battled injuries in his rookie season and never could get on track and compete in the offense at his full health. Entering a full offseason and a clean bill of health, Campbell has the potential to be a key player for Philip Rivers in the passing game, and because of the injury-filled rookie season, he is coming at a huge discount in drafts. In the two games where Campbell saw over 40 snaps last season, he had five receptions in each of those games and 13 total targets. Projecting Campbell to play a full 16 game season and his increased role in the offense could lead to a very productive season at a very low cost in your fantasy drafts.
Chase Claypool, Pittsburgh
Andy Hicks: For the fourth year in a row the Pittsburgh Steelers take a wide receiver in roughly the same area of the draft and this time it was the highest pick of the lot. Chase Claypool was the 49th overall pick for a franchise that has an incredibly strong record of drafting receivers. He has a huge upside and should at least be a strong red-zone threat in his rookie season. The Steelers didn’t need to take a receiver, a strength on their team, but they did. I will take on trust that they know what they are doing and have a plan for his usage this year. Maybe he transitions to Tight End but given his speed that shouldn't happen anytime soon. At the very least he should be taken in touchdown only leagues, but if he adapts quickly could be so much more.
Russell Gage, Atlanta
James Brimacombe: Gage might not have the touchdown upside as he has a total of just one touchdown in 29 career games but he does give you value in the other areas of his game as he hauled in 49 of 74 targets in 14 games in 2019 for 446 yards and a touchdown. He will be a forgotten man in drafts as he is well behind Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley in talent and touchdown potential but he is the next man up at the position after those two superstars.
Jalen Hurd, San Francisco
Jeff Haseley: Last preseason, the combination of Deebo Samuel and Jalen Hurd took center stage. The rookie duo looked like they could be the 49ers 1-2 punch at wide receiver before Hurd injured his back and was placed in IR. The word out of San Francisco is that the 6'5, 228-pound Hurd will be utilized all over the field in 2020. The news of Deebo Samuel's Jones fracture may escalate Hurd's ascension up the ranks in Kyle Shanahan's offense.
Hunter Renfrow, Las Vegas
Andy Hicks: When we are assessing players and their performance from the previous season, especially a rookie, we need to see more than their final totals. An example of that is Hunter Renfrow. Last season the buzz in camp and preseason was highly effusive but didn’t translate to production for the first half of the season. When it did though, we saw 35 receptions for 488 yards and four touchdowns in his last seven games. He will get better. The receivers the Raiders drafted will not affect his production they will only enhance it. His upside this year is five to seven receptions a game, which makes him very valuable, but lacking the upside of a WR1. He will be a reliable and efficient producer, which means he will be overlooked by too many fantasy managers. He will outproduce his draft slot significantly this year and be an anchor of consistency on your roster.
Josh Reynolds, LA Rams
Jeff Pasquino: Josh Reynolds has long been one of those later round pickups in fantasy drafts that had immense upside because he backed up three fantasy-starter caliber wide receivers in Brandin Cooks, Robert Woods, and Cooper Kupp. One injury to any of them and Reynolds would become a starter on a team that loves to use three-wide receiver formations as a base package. Reynolds will compete with rookie Van Jefferson to start, making him a solid sleeper (or a savvy pick with Jefferson) in the latter stages of any draft.
Henry Ruggs, Las Vegas
Phil Alexander: People are confusing Ruggs with one-dimensional track stars like John Ross and Marquise Goodwin. He's a better prospect than any receiver to run a sub-4.3 40-yard dash at the scouting combine and landed on a depth chart in Las Vegas without much competition for targets in year-one. Citing Derek Carr's unwillingness to throw downfield as a chink in Ruggs' armor is short-sighted. Sure, his speed allows Ruggs to win on deep routes, but he's even more dangerous on slants, digs, and other shorter routes where he can use his speed after the catch. It's possible Mike Mayock knew what he was doing when he made Ruggs the first wide receiver taken in this year's draft. If Carr isn't willing to take more chances downfield, why not get him a wide receiver who can do the heavy-lifting on his own? Don't be shocked when Ruggs ends up this year's top rookie receiver and a borderline top-30 fantasy option.
James Washington, Pittsburgh
Justin Howe: Washington has been anything but consistent over his 29 NFL games, and he was pretty much leapfrogged by Diontae Johnson early last year. He didn't exactly fade away, though, averaging 58 yards on 6.8 targets a game from Week 8 on. Along the way, he posted 65+ yards in 5 of those 10 games as a clear-out threat on the boundary. Washington doesn't project to a very steady target share behind Johnson and JuJu Smith-Schuster, but a Ben Roethlisberger-led attack will be pass-first and inflate whatever opportunity he's given. With the efficiency he showed at points throughout 2019, Washington looks poised to turn a ho-hum role into huge plays and fantasy flex appeal. Besides, who's to say the competition with Johnson is over? After all, there's about to be a sea change from the Steelers' miserable 2019 quarterback play. Perhaps Roethlisberger, a deep-ball artist several levels above Mason Rudolph, will incorporate the explosive Washington even further.
Dede Westbrook, Jacksonville
James Brimacombe: Dede Westbrook didn't quite have the breakout that people were hoping for but still managed a 66/660/3 line in 2020. He looks to be locked in for a starting role beside D.J. Chark and Chris Conley and still has the potential to break out as the team's top wide receiver because of his speed and big-play ability. The price for Westbrook is too low right now for a player that finished as WR32 just two seasons ago and even with a WR51 season last year there is good potential for a rebound year.
Tyrell Williams, Las Vegas
Andrew Davenport: Williams is the forgotten man this year for the Raiders. The acquisition of Henry Ruggs, Lynn Bowden Jr Jr., and Bryan Edwards has overshadowed the role Williams should still play in the offense. His potential was on display early in 2019 when he started the first four games averaging 15 PPG as the WR18 and scoring in each game. Even after missing time with his foot injury, he came back and immediately logged another touchdown. After that, the wheels fell off and Williams struggled for much of the rest of the year, partially due to the foot problems. The addition of some good pass catchers shouldn't be seen as a negative for Williams. Instead, he'll get the offseason to heal and he'll have some help to make the offense more dynamic. Williams is being completely forgotten in drafts and is a solid bet to lead the Las Vegas wide receiver corps in targets.