As opposed to running backs, the wide receiver landscape is bountiful. The number of pass-heavy offenses in the NFL has been steadily increasing, and the position just straight up has a lot of elite talent right now. While there will be plenty of blockbuster names going in the first few rounds of fantasy drafts, there will be more than a few guys who will end up being every-week starters drafted way later in the draft. Here are some fantasy football sleepers wide receivers who can perform at an elite level without costing a high-round draft pick.
1. Tyler Boyd, Cincinnati Bengals (current ADP: 88)
While two Bengals wide receivers are already on everyone’s radar this coming season, Tyler Boyd continues to quietly be one of the best slot receivers in the league. He did a nice job absorbing A.J Green’s targets during his last few injury-ridden seasons with Cincinnati, and even in 2020 posted up some nice numbers even with Green and Tee Higgins on the outside. While Ja’marr Chase’s arrival may concern some, Joe Burrow’s affinity to pass will no doubt be able to feed all three effectively, and Boyd will definitely be getting a lot of looks toward the goal line.
2. Laviska Shenault Jr., Jacksonville Jaguars (current ADP: 113)
The Jacksonville wide receiver room is a bit of a mystery right now and the number one role is still up for grabs. While D.J. Chark seems to be getting most of the pre-draft hype since Trevor Lawrence officially joined the roster, Laviska Shenault Jr. hasn’t been talked about nearly as much due to his slightly disappointing rookie season. Of course, with how sparse the 1-15 Jaguars offense was, it would probably be hard for any rookie not named James Robinson to shine in that environment. Shenault was all over the place taking reps as a wideout, in the slot, as a halfback, and even a wildcat quarterback. Coming into his second year and coaches praising his performance in training camps, Shenault could look to take a huge step forward in a more stabilized offense.
3. Corey Davis, New York Jets (current ADP: 108)
Corey Davis had a breakout during his last year with Tennessee even with A.J Brown lining up opposite of him. He’s coming into a Jets team with a rookie quarterback and plenty of receivers to throw to. While his situation his unstable, Davis will make a nice anchor for Zach Wilson, and may be the number one benefactor of Wilson’s insane throwing power. It may take some time for the Jets offense to find their rhythm, but when they do, Davis will most likely be leading the team in targets.
4. Henry Ruggs III, Las Vegas Raiders ( current ADP: 140)
The first wide receiver taken in the 2020 NFL draft, Henry Ruggs III definitely disappointed compared to other receivers taken after him. He struggled to compete for targets on a middling Raiders offense, but with Nelson Agholor out of the picture, and his replacement, John Brown, struggling to stay healthy, Ruggs could get his chance in 2021. His speed and athleticism are undeniable, and if the Raiders can figure out how to utilize him properly, Ruggs could show the world why he was a first round draft pick.
5. Amon-Ra St. Brown, Detroit Lions (current ADP: 184)
The answer to the offseason’s most asked question, “but who will Jared Goff throw to?”, could very well be Amon-Ra St. Brown. Drafted in the 4th round of the 2021 NFL draft, St. Brown dominated during his time at USC, catching 178 targets for 2,270 yards, ranking 11th in receptions in the school’s history. Likely to line up in the slot, he will synergize well with Goff’s tendency to throw the ball closer to the line of scrimmage, and with the Detroit receiving corps being so young, he has a good path to seeing volume as soon as week one.
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