Links to similar discussions on other positions:
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.
Here are the players who received the most votes:
And here are all of the players mentioned and the reasons why.
Player Receiving 10 Votes
Tim Patrick, Denver
Sigmund Bloom: It's absurd to be able to get a starting wide receiver that plays with Russell Wilson as late as Patrick is going. The current regime made sure to give him a starter-level pay contract last year, and he is better suited to play outside in two-wide sets than Jerry Jeudy. As long as his ADP is this low, write him in your draft plan in pen.
James Brimacombe: Patrick has quietly scored six and five touchdowns the last two seasons while not even having a legitimate quarterback throwing him the ball. With Russell Wilson under center, I want to be betting on Patrick to break out even further in 2022.
Ben Cummins: Tim Patrick played on more offensive snaps than Jerry Jeudy in all nine games both were active after Jeudy returned from his ankle injury. Patrick signed a 3-year, $34,000,000 contract this offseason. Russell Wilson is now the quarterback.
Drew Davenport: Sometimes it takes a little time for an undrafted player to supplant a player with significant draft capital. Patrick has two straight seasons of over 700 yards and has scored 11 total touchdowns all while catching passes from Drew Lock and Teddy Bridgewater. Interestingly though, near the end of the year last year when Jeudy returned from injury, Patrick stayed on the field with Courtland Sutton instead of Jeudy. Now a new coaching staff comes in who didn't draft Jeudy and it is not inconceivable that Patrick plays more than him again this year. Nobody really knows who new quarterback Russell Wilson will favor in Denver, but with a drastic upgrade in talent under center, Patrick is a cheap way to bet on the Broncos' passing offense.
Gary Davenport: This feels a little like piling on, but among wide receivers being drafted outside the top 150 overall, Patrick is a 12-foot neon sign that screams "VALUE!" Cecil Lammey isn't just an excellent fantasy analyst. Or just a snazzy dresser. He's also as plugged into all things Broncos as anyone. So when he says that Patrick could be Denver's No. 2 receiver, the smart course of action is to listen. But most of the fantasy community sees Jerry Jeudy's draft pedigree and just assumes he'll be the guy, despite what they say about assumptions. Two years ago in Seattle, Russell Wilson produced two top-10 fantasy receivers. If Patrick comes within a mile of that at his current ADP, he'd be the kind of pick that wins leagues.
Dan Hindery: Has put together back-to-back 700-yard receiving seasons despite Denver having some of the NFL’s worst quarterback play over that stretch. With the upgrade to Russell Wilson, Patrick could improve on those totals.
Chad Parsons: With the infusion of Russell Wilson, Denver's wide receiver corps is front and center for a potential uptick in 2022. Jerry Jeudy is the assumed breakout player, but through two years has been tepid and, historically speaking, is not in the ideal probability group for a top-12 or even top-24 finish to break out in Year 3. Courtland Sutton has more production under his belt than Jeudy, but just a single season in the top-50 of adjusted points-per-game attaches more risk to Sutton than most would acknowledge. Finally, Patrick has been sneaky productive with back-to-back top-60 adjusted points-per-game finishes in 2020 and 2021, plus his acquisition cost is significantly lower than either Jeudy or Sutton. Cost is key and Patrick offers the biggest return on investment.
Ryan Weisse: A starting wide receiver in a Russell Wilson-led offense should not be free in fantasy football. Reports are that Patrick, not Jerry Jeudy, will be the 2nd wide receiver in two-wide receiver sets. Patrick has been a top-50 fantasy wide receiver in each of the last two seasons without competent quarterback play. Now he's being ignored in fantasy drafts entering a season with the best quarterback we've seen in Denver in years.
Christian Williams: One of the biggest mysteries for fantasy football in 2022 is the Broncos' receiver room. The new offensive philosophy, led by head coach Nathaniel Hackett, should feature more 11-personnel (three-receiver sets), meaning that the answer to who will leave the field in 12-personnel (two receiver sets) may be insignificant. Patrick started 2021 hot, posting double-digit fantasy points in five of the first six weeks. He snagged ten targets in the Week 18 finale against the Chiefs, and it's to be determined who Russell Wilson will favor. Drafting Patrick at WR57 is a low-risk bet that could return a ton of value.
Jason Wood: Courtland Sutton led Broncos receivers with 920 snaps last year, but it was Tim Patrick - not Jerry Jeudy - who ranked second with 849 snaps. Jeudy only played 412 snaps and missed seven games. Even in the games Jeudy played, Patrick still out-snapped Jeudy every game. Every game. Our own Cecil Lammey says Patrick looks better than Jeudy this year, and Russell Wilson is going to trust who plays well, he doesn't care about draft pedigree. This all adds up to Patrick being a screaming value.
Player Receiving 7 Votes
Josh Palmer, LA Chargers
James Brimacombe: Palmer really wasn't supposed to produce at all as a rookie but he still managed to show some flashes with a 33/353/4 line with two strong games to end the season in Week 16 and 18. I want to bet on young players in really strong passing games and Palmer fits that mold.
Kevin Coleman: Josh Palmer is one of fantasy football's most valuable late-round receivers this season. He comes into the year as the Chargers' No. 3 receiver but showed flashes late in the year last season. Palmer averaged just under 11 FPTS/G in PPR formats from week 14 to week 18, earning twenty-eight targets during those weeks. If Keenan Allen or Mike Williams misses anytime next year, Palmer immediately becomes a viable WR2 in fantasy leagues.
Ben Cummins: Josh Palmer is the most valuable wide receiver handcuff in football. Keenan Allen missed one game last season and, in that contest, Palmer played on 87% of the offensive snaps catching five of seven targets for 66 yards and a touchdown. And early reports this offseason already have Palmer as the favorite for the WR3 job in one of the best and most aggressive offenses in football.
Sam Wagman: Down the stretch last season, Palmer unseated Jalen Guyton as the WR3 for the Chargers and was playing more snaps by season’s end. The Chargers frequently run 3 and 4 WR sets and will pass the ball a ton, so Palmer should have some value at the back end of your drafts. If by some chance one of Mike Williams or Keenan Allen gets injured, Palmer would be an automatic WR3 with heavy upside.
Nick Whalen: Chasing WRs with great QBs is a good recipe for a sleeper. Herbert showed the ability last year to support multiple receivers to 1,100+ yards. Palmer flashed the ability to make plays in college and at the end of the 2021 season with three of his last five games with a minimum of four receptions for 43 yards and a touchdown. Palmer has FF starting ability if either Keenan Allen or Mike Williams miss time. If he continues to progress, he might have stand-alone starting potential.
Christian Williams: The transition from Jalen Guyton to Josh Palmer quietly happened over the last five weeks of the 2021 season. During that time, Palmer out-snapped Guyton 66% to 33%, out-targeted him 27 to 16, and out-caught him 18 to 13. The Chargers operated out of 11-personnel (one running back, one tight end, and three wide receivers) 64% of the time last year, and the odds that Palmer has standalone flex value without injury are high. Additionally, factoring in the upside of a Mike Williams or Keenan Allen injury makes Palmer the easiest draft pick at his current ADP of WR75.
Jason Wood: No team uses 3- and 4-WR sets more than the Chargers, and Palmer may have a better all-around game than Mike Williams, despite the massive difference in their contractual status. If Williams or Keenan Allen miss time, don't be surprised if Palmer becomes a trusted Justin Herbert target.
Players Receiving 4 Votes
Continue reading this content with a PRO subscription.
"Footballguys is the best premium
fantasy football only site on the planet."
Matthew Berry, ESPN