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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.
They gave us 30 names. That's a lot.
If you want all of the players, keep on reading. If you just want the top guys, here are the four players who received the most votes:
- Breshad Perriman - 6 votes
- Steven Sims Jr - 6 votes
- Allen Lazard - 5 votes
- Parris Campbell - 4 votes
NOTE: We know all these different opinions can be a lot. And certainly, not everyone agrees on everything.
If you want to cut straight to the chase and get our "Bottom Line" for where we project every player right down to the last yard, you can see that here. That's our Bottom Line and where we plant the Footballguys Flag for all these players.
If you'd like to see more detail about how the staff sees different players, here is every wide receiver who was mentioned and the reasons why.
Players Receiving 6 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 people believe in Baker Mayfield down the stretch in 2018 and looked like one of the league's better outside 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.
David Dodds: In the five games to close the NFL season, Perriman caught 25 passes for 506 yards and 5 touchdowns. He set career highs in targets, yards, and touchdowns in 2019. Perriman was able to use that late-season success to secure a 1-year free-agent contract with the Jets for $6.5M. He slides into the deep role (recently vacated by Robby Anderson) but will need an explosive 2020 to secure a future multi-year contract.
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
Dan Hindery: Perriman should be considered the favorite to be the Jets' top outside receiver and go-to deep ball option. He is an elite athlete who battled injuries and a lack of confidence early in his career but has started to put it all together in recent years. He was a bona fide fantasy star down the stretch for Tampa Bay last season (the overall WR3 over the final five games). Sam Darnold just turned 23-years old, so there is some added upside for Perriman if Darnold takes a step forward in his progression.
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.
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.
Sigmund Bloom: Sims finished the season with a flurry of fantasy goodness in December that basically equaled fantasy darling Terry McLaurin's numbers over that same stretch. He'll have to secure a spot in the top three receivers for Washington, but that should be no problem with the weak competition. Sims showed great chemistry with Dwayne Haskins in the red zone and was singled out by McLaurin as taking a "big jump" this offseason.
Andrew Davenport: If there was any question about what role Sims might have in 2020, that ended when KJ Hamler went down and Derrius Guice was cut. There is a void of offensive talent behind top receiver Terry McLaurin and it would appear from comments out of Washington that Sims will fill some of that space. He was impressive at the end of 2019 and seemed to come on as a red zone target for Dwayne Haskins as well. In his last four games, he recorded two games with double-digit targets and averaged 9 per game. He also scored over 16 PPR points per game and recorded four touchdowns. If he sees an expanded role as expected, he'll be a free square at the end of the draft that can deliver solid production.
Justin Howe: Beyond Terry McLaurin, no one really wants a piece of the Washington passing game - and folks are even split on him. The Football Team offense doesn't project to be the most prolific, but there are gobs of targets available with Kelvin Harmon shelved, and Sims looks poised to soak up lots of attention in this slimmed-down attack. He closed out 2019 by drawing 36 targets over the last four weeks, averaging 58 yards and finding the end zone four times. Sims is built for the slot, but he showed the ability to beat secondaries with quick feet and strong route-running.
Jeff Tefertiller: With the Kelvin Harmon injury, Sims has little to no competition for targets opposite Terry McLaurin. Making the situation even better is the lack of a tight end option with Vernon Davis (retired) and Jordan Reed (free agent) leaving in the offseason. The Derrius Guice release only removes one more playmaker from the Washington offense. On a team void of viable options, Sims should be a viable fantasy WR3/4 many weeks.
Danny Tuccitto: Sims has the potential to be a PPR maven this season by virtue of his 15th-ranked True Receptions per Route Run, which no doubt is a byproduct of his 117th-ranked True average Depth of Target. But there's also the fact that he ranks 25th in True Touchdowns per Route Run; 19 of the 24 ahead of him on that list are being drafted around 100 spots or more ahead of him.
Players Receiving 5 Votes
Allen Lazard, Green Bay
Sigmund Bloom: With the opt-out of Devin Funchess, Lazard becomes an even bigger favorite to be the #2 receiver for Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers lobbied for Lazard to play last year and Lazard was better than the receivers the team had been relying on to be the #2 and #3 options for Rodgers. He should be even better entering his third year in the league and might be the top deep threat for the Packers offense.
Andrew Davenport: The path to fantasy relevance has cleared dramatically for Lazard heading into the season. After many predicted Green Bay acquiring a top wide receiver in the draft they choose not to do so. Their only meaningful pass-catching acquisition was Devin Funchess and then he opted out of the season during the pandemic. Lazard managed to average 4.7 targets per game once he got on the field, and now Geronimo Allison - who received the second-most snaps behind Davante Adams - is gone to Detroit. The final factor in his favor is a big one. His mercurial quarterback has developed a tight relationship with Lazard and the receiver has earned the signal caller's trust on the field. The path to relevance is there, so it is worth a late selection to see if he seizes the opportunity.
Dan Hindery: The mere mention of “Packers WR2” does not get the juices flowing like it did a few years ago but if Aaron Rodgers has a bounce-back season, Lazard would likely be a big beneficiary. Lazard was the favorite to start even before Devin Funchess opted out and he now has even less competition for targets. It takes Rodgers a couple of years to really get comfortable with guys and Lazard seems to have finally entered his circle of trust. He is well worth a late-round pick.
Justin Howe: Lazard isn't merely the "so what?" No. 2 in Green Bay. He's actually an intriguing prospect, one who appears to have slipped through the scouts' cracks in the 2018 NFL Draft. Lazard is a big (6-foot-5, 222 pounds) target who gets downfield effectively, and no Packers wideout - not even Davante Adams - gave Rodgers more adjusted yards per throw last year. The Packers shocked the world by passing on wideouts in April's draft, then watched new signee Devin Funchess opt-out of the season. Recent prospects like Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Equanimeous St. Brown have yet to pan out to any real degree. The team is clearly counting hard on Lazard to nail down the job and produce, and it shouldn't be hard for him to blow past his still-too-low ADP.
Danny Tuccitto: In addition to Lazard being the likely No. 2 wideout in an Aaron Rodgers-led pass offense, there's also this: Among his late-round sleeper cohort, Lazard has the third-highest True Yards per Route Run (behind Hunter Renfrow and Andy Isabella). Furthermore, his other "true" stats suggest he fits the profile of a home-run hitter (33rd-ranked average Depth of Target, but 53rd-ranked Receptions per Route Run), and high variance is what we want to exploit when it comes to identifying deep sleepers.
Player Receiving 4 Votes
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.
Andrew Davenport: Heading into his second season he is being overshadowed by Michael Pittman in fantasy drafts. But in an offseason that rewards continuity, Campbell has a significant leg up on the rookie for who should command targets behind T.Y. Hilton. Campbell certainly looked like he had the ability to be a consistent NFL contributor in his first season, but a brutal string of injuries never let him get any momentum. He suffered an early hamstring injury that hampered his assimilation into the offense, and then he was sidelined by a core muscle injury after Week 4. After coming back and showing a quick flash - 13 PPR points in Week 9 - he went down with another injury, and his season was done after Week 14 with a broken foot that mercifully ended his bad luck. Nevertheless, his quick twitch ability and yards-after-catch profile work well with incoming quarterback Philip Rivers, so he should be the favorite to earn the second-most targets behind Hilton, not Pittman.
Jeff Haseley: There was a buzz last year with Parris Campbell, a second-round pick from Ohio State. He started off with a few decent plays and there was promise in the air for him to blossom into a dynamic weapon for the Colts. Then he injured his hand and later his foot. The injuries put a halt on his rookie season and he was out of sight, out of mind. Now, entering the 2020 season, Campbell is healthy and the Colts have an upgrade at quarterback who is known for throwing for 4,000+ yards. The offensive potential for the Colts has increased as a result and Campbell is among those who should benefit that you can get at a discount in drafts.
Jason Wood: Michael Pittman's ADP has steadily risen and he's now being drafted in most 12-team leagues, whereas Campbell rarely sees his name called. While the Colts clearly expect big things from Pittman, there's no evidence they aren't equally excited by Campbell's long-term value. T.Y. Hilton has earned the right to be the No. 1 while his body allows it, but can we count on Hilton staying healthy at this juncture? If not, Philip Rivers needs more than rookie Pittman out there catching his downfield throws. Campbell looked like a star early in the preseason but his rookie year was derailed by a litany of non-chronic injuries. In the few games he saw played a majority of snaps, he looked like a top-25 player. He's got Olympic-caliber speed, has good size, and can run a full route tree. Don't be surprised if Campbell is Rivers' favorite target outside of Hilton.
Players Receiving 3 Votes
Randall Cobb, Houston
Sigmund Bloom: Cobb was signed to a three-year, 30 million dollar contract by GM Bill O'Brien, so head coach Bill O'Brien is likely to put him in a central role. Deshaun Watson will need to find a new reliable target on third down to replace DeAndre Hopkins, and Cobb was also the healthiest of the current top four Texans receivers last year. He almost had a 1000 yard season as the #3 receiver for the Cowboys last year, and it's not difficult to see getting over 1000 with Watson this year as long as he stays on the field.
Andrew Davenport: Fantasy drafters are understandably concerned with the long term viability of Will Fuller, and to a lesser extent, Brandin Cooks and his concussion issues. So it remains to be seen why Cobb - who signed a fairly rich deal to play for Houston - is being ignored in drafts. Despite playing behind Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup last season Cobb still managed over 800 receiving yards on 55 catches. He now shifts to a team with a defense that is going to be somewhat poor, a quarterback who is a dynamic playmaker, and a wide receiver corps that should allow him to carve out a standalone role. Cobb has the potential for 65/800/5, which would be a strong value as late as he is going.
Jeff Haseley: I have changed my approach with Randall Cobb this year and can see him carving out a role as the team's possession receiver while Will Fuller and Brandin Cooks become more big-play receivers. Cobb has occupied this very role in the past and he showed last year that he is still capable of handling 50-60 catches and being a key piece to an offensive system. The lack of a true tight end in Houston is also a feather in Cobb's cap. He could finish with 55 catches, 670 yards, and 5 touchdowns which would be decent value for where he is going in drafts.
NKeal Harry, New England
Phil Alexander: Harry's ability in contested catch situations fits as well stylistically with Cam Newton as it didn't with Tom Brady. There is a reason Harry was the consensus top wide receiver taken in rookie drafts last year, and playing with Newton, who got the most out of big-bodied receivers like Devin Funchess and Kelvin Benjamin, should get him back on the right career path.
Chad Parsons: Harry had a borderline redshirt rookie season in 2019. However, a Round 1 pedigree and elite metric profile as a prospect are reasons to double down on Harry in 2020 and 2021 for a massive production jump at some point. A mid-30s Julian Edelman is the biggest roadblock to a high-end season opportunity-wise, but the rest of the Patriots passing game is full of ho-hum depth and rookie uncertainty. While Round 1 elite metric receivers have averaged a WR46 PPR PPG finish in Year 1 over the past 20 years, Year 2 results zoom up to WR28 on average with 28% as a WR1 and another 44% as a WR2. Harry is one of the best pedigree-profile best for the cost at wide receiver in 2020.
Jason Wood: The most dominant, predictable franchise in our football lifetimes is anything but entering this season. That was a foregone conclusion after Tom Brady left for Tampa Bay, but it's been exacerbated by the heaviest does of Covid-19 opt-outs in the league. Right now, we have no idea who's going to be under center, whether the team has a featured running back, and who'll get targets beyond Julian Edelman. Harry was a complete bust as a rookie, but let's no lose sight of his draft pedigree. A number of prominent college scouts viewed Harry as one of the two or three best receivers in the class, and in retrospect, we should've expected Harry to red-shirt on a team competing for the Super Bowl with a seasoned roster. But all bets are off this year, and Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels have every reason to test out all their young players to see who's worth building around in 2021 and beyond.
Players Receiving 2 Votes
Robby Anderson, Carolina
Jeff Pasquino: Anderson could arguably be considered rather undervalued right now, for two main reasons. First, he reunites with his former coach Matt Rhule, and second is that he signed a starter-type contract ($20M over two years). Anderson averaged over 750 yards and six scores over the past three seasons, putting him in the Top 36 at wide receiver. As long as Anderson sees starter snaps and is a part of the new passing game, he should push again for fantasy WR3 numbers, making him a solid value pickup.
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 and $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.
Antonio Brown, Free Agent
Phil Alexander: We finally have some clarity on Brown's status with the announcement he'll be suspended for the first eight games. It remains to be seen which team will take a chance on him, but assuming Baltimore or Seattle are the front-runners, you'll want Brown on your team for the stretch run once he's activated. It comes down to how long you're willing or able to clog a roster spot, but there isn't a wide receiver being taken within 40 picks of Brown who can have a greater potential impact on your league's championship.
Jeff Pasquino: This one is a gamble pick for sure, but remember that the goal of a late pick in fantasy drafts is to swing for the fences. If you can get a former Pro Bowl wide receiver who has WR1 weekly potential in a double-digit draft round, that’s the definition of a home run swing. Brown may not be available until the second half of the season, but he will come out of the gate fresh and looking to prove to everyone that he still is an elite player. His value is even better if your league has a roster spot afforded to suspended players, as he can be stowed away to see if he has value for November and December.
Corey Davis, Tennessee
Sigmund Bloom: Davis's poor 2019 was puzzling, but we got more insight into why when a toe injury that was mentioned on Titans tackle Taylor Lewan's podcast in February was confirmed to be severe when Davis started camp on the PUP list while he is still healing from offseason surgery. Defenses are going to focus more on taking away A.J. Brown this year and we still haven't gotten to see what the Ryan Tannehill bump can do for a healthy Davis. The price is too cheap to not at least see if Davis can do what DeVante Parker did last year and finally deliver on his first-round promise
David Dodds: Davis' statistics regressed in 2019, but did he actually get worse as a player? His blocking skills are elite and the Titans receiver depth chart is non-existent which will keep him on the field in a run-first pass offense. Before A.J. Brown emerged, Davis saw all the coverage. That situation will likely be flipped in 2020 with Davis seeing fewer double-teams on his routes. The reason I am optimistic this season is Davis saw just 69 targets in 2019. And he turned those limited opportunities into 601 yards and 2 touchdowns.
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: There's a thought out there that Duvernay is a running back playing wide receiver. A more accurate perspective is that Duvernay is a versatile wide receiver who can deliver on the ground or through the air at running back in shotgun or pistol. Don't be surprised if Duvernay earns looks at running back that bears some resemblance to Danny Woodhead's usage when Woodhead was a Raven, but also sees vertical targets because of his track speed. It wasn't until Duvernay's senior year at Texas that he dropped a pass. The Ravens could opt to replace Hayden Hurst's role in the passing game with a receiver who can begin in the backfield and detach to the slot or out wide rather than with the plodding Nick Boyle. The pre-snap effect is the same but the post-snap athletic ability of Duvernay is far more dangerous.
Jalen Hurd, San Francisco
Phil Alexander: If Deebo Samuel misses the start of the season, Hurd will make it harder for Kyle Shanahan to remove him from the field than Brandon Aiyuk. Hurd has been learning the offense since May of last season, while Aiyuk enters training camp after an offseason of Zoom meetings. As a former running back, Hurd is a natural runner after the catch. He should see high-percentage targets from the slot and possibly even a couple of carries per game.
Jeff Haseley: At 6'5, 220 pounds, Jalen Hurd has the size to make a difference in the league. He has a background as a rusher (6th all-time rusher in Tennessee Vols history) and as a receiver (136-1438-10 in college). His combination of size, power, route-running, elusiveness, and speed is exactly the kind of weapon that Kyle Shanahan can fit into his offense. A back injury stunted his path in the league to this point, but he is ready to take the next step and his teammates have nothing but praise for him. He has two catches in the NFL, albeit preseason, but both were touchdowns.
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. Putting him on preseason PUP means nothing in terms of his availability for week one. Even if he is regular-season PUP, I would rather take 10 weeks of Jeffrey than most of the others in his current draft slot. 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.
Jeff Tefertiller: Since we are seeking to identify players with upside who may be found at a discount, Jeffery fits the bill. Yes, he is expected to miss the first six games of the season, but Jeffrey is proven and in a prolific offense. He is well worth the late-round pick.
James Washington, Pittsburgh
Andrew Davenport: Any buzz about the Pittsburgh offense seems to be centered around Diontae Johnson to this point. And while Washington struggled to get it going early in the season, he finished with a flurry and showed the promise he was drafted for down the stretch. From Weeks 9 to 16 he went on a tear, scoring almost 14 PPR points per game, and averaging 6.3 targets, 4.3 receptions, and 71.8 yards per game. That was good enough to be a top 20 wide receiver. Entering his third season and getting a very good deep ball thrower back in the huddle, Washington is the much cheaper alternative than Johnson and has arguably more upside.
Justin Howe: Washington may not be a true contender for Pittsburgh's No. 2 job, as Diontae Johnson likely cemented it down the 2019 stretch. Still, he's coming nearly free in fantasy drafts, and there's way too much potential here for that. Washington is the Steelers' primary deep threat, dominating the team's air yards last year with a 15.2 aDOT. Over the second half of the season, he posted 5 games of 80+ yards despite some of the worst quarterbacking 2019 has to offer. He's definitely boom-or-bust, but that's the kind of potential drafters should be chasing in the final rounds of a draft. Assuming a healthy Ben Roethlisberger return, it's hard to find a more tantalizing stab at this point.
Players Receiving 1 Vote
Miles Boykin, Baltimore
Matt Waldman: While my earlier recommendation of Duvernay is more of a long shot this year dependent on scheme developments that seem logical but not discussed in the media about the Ravens, Boykin is a player that offensive coordinator Greg Roman pegged after the NFL Draft as a receiver the team will be relying on much more in 2020. Last year, Boykin and Lamar Jackson had some rapport issues in the middle of the field and Jackson didn't target the intermediate and deep perimeter with great frequency because it has been the weakest part of Jackson's game. This year, the Ravens are asking Jackson to do more in the regions of the field that were in Boykin's wheelhouse while at Notre Dame. If the plan comes to fruition, Boykin will at least approach fantasy-starter production.
Quintez Cephus, Detroit
Matt Waldman: With Geronimo Allison opting out, Cephus earns a shot to be the 3rd or 4th receiver on the depth chart and potentially ascend to the No.2 role if one of the starters gets hurt--and Marvin Jones has been dinged up for significant periods of time for the past two years. Cephus is a physical receiver with excellent catch-point prowess and strength as a ballcarrier. He's an underrated rookie worth monitoring during camp whom two first-round cornerbacks this year cited as the toughest receiver they faced in their college careers. One of those players is new teammate Jeffery Okudah, considered the top cornerback in this class.
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. At the very least he should be taken in touchdown only leagues, but if he adapts quickly could be so much more.
Bryan Edwards, Las Vegas
Dan Hindery: Every year we have a rookie who was drafted in the late-second round or third round who becomes a major factor by the midway point in the season. Guys like Keenan Allen, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Terry McLaurin, and Cooper Kupp are just some of the recent examples. Edwards has a good chance of being that guy this year. He slid further in the draft than he should have due to an injury that kept him out of the combine. The early reviews from Raiders veterans on Edwards have been extremely positive and we could see him work his way into the starting lineup sooner than later.
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.
Russell Gage, Atlanta
Jeff Tefertiller: Gage was second on the Falcons in redzone targets, only behind Austin Hooper. After going undrafted out of LSU, Gage has become a solid receiver for Atlanta and will continue to get better.
Tee Higgins, Cincinnati
Dan Hindery: There is a better chance that Joe Burrow becomes an instant star than most are assuming. At LSU, his accuracy on downfield passes to his bigger receivers was impeccable. Burrow was unafraid to throw it up and trust his receiver to come down with it. His game meshes perfectly with that of Higgins, who has been somewhat of a forgotten man when it comes to the top rookie wide receivers. He has some upside even as the WR3 if the passing offense is better than expected. If A.J. Green or Tyler Boyd go down, you could really have something with Higgins.
Andy Isabella, Arizona
Danny Tuccitto: Isabella is situated as a late-round flier in fantasy drafts, but he ranks 27th in True Yards per Route Run, which is one of the most predictive stats we have for wide receivers. (In fact, only Hunter Renfrow ranks higher among deep sleepers, 24th.) Isabella's other "true" stat rankings aren't too shabby either considering his ADP: 57th in both True Receptions per Route Run and True Touchdowns per Route Run. Acquiring a potential short-area reception hog with both yardage and touchdown scoring ability sounds like a great late-round opportunity in PPR to me.
Justin Jefferson, Minnesota
Justin Howe: The Vikings' offensive pecking order is a simple and streamlined one. Last year, over the seven games Adam Thielen was fully healthy, he and Stefon Diggs accounted for 84% of the team's wide receiver targets. Diggs is gone, of course, which leaves a huge (but projectable) hole in the passing game. And Jefferson looks poised to take it over; he was the only notable addition the team made in the offseason. The rookie is fresh off a 111-catch, 18-touchdown season at LSU as a steady slot man with great after-catch ability. He profiles to a seamless transition to the NFL, starting opposite Thielen on the outside and kicking into the slot when needed. It wouldn't be a surprise to see him threaten 60 receptions right off the bat.
Denzel Mims, NY Jets
Matt Waldman: Mims has the size, speed, focus, toughness, and technique to develop into a primary receiver. He has shown steady improvement throughout his career against press coverage when at Baylor. If he can gel with Sam Darnold early and remain consistent at the catch point--his college tape is filled with extreme highs and lows--he could deliver this year what Darius Slayton did across town for the Jets last year.
Byron Pringle, Kansas City
Matt Waldman: I could name a lot of players you'll probably be drafting in the late rounds instead of Pringle, who I probably won't draft in most leagues unless there's an injury to one of the Chiefs' starters. However, if you're seeking starter- upside from a waiver-wire candidate, place Pringle near the top of your list. Pringle has deep speed, strength, and vision. Despite impressing as a rookie during the preseason in 2018, Pringle had some minor issues with his routes and hands techniques as a rookie. In 2019, Pringle cleaned these things up and when Sammy Watkins missed time, he showed an immediate on-field rapport with Patrick Mahomes II during the Colts game. If Watkins gets hurt again, Pringle could deliver big-time and more consistently than the likes of Mecole Hardman.
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.
Laviska Shenault, Jacksonville
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.
Mohamed Sanu, New England
David Dodds: Sanu played through a hobbled ankle in 2019 and never delivered for the Patriots. But sometimes adversity is the thing that actually motivates a player to excel the year after. Sanu had surgery on his ankle in March and hired a coach to live with him during this offseason. His ankle is healed and it's being reported that Sanu is leaner and faster than ever. The fact that the Patriots haven't made strides to improve their receivers this offseason is quite telling.
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 some good potential for a rebound year.
Tyrell Williams, Las Vegas
Sigmund Bloom: It's hard to believe a player who scored touchdowns in his first four games last year is a deep sleeper, but that's just how deep wide receiver is this year. Williams missed time with plantar fasciitis in both feet last year and played through the pain in a subpar pass offense. An offseason of rest plus the Raiders endorsing him as a starter by keeping him on at an 11 million dollar price tag is more than enough to justify taking him late in drafts.