Relatively speaking, wide receiver can be one of the deepest positions in fantasy football. However, there also is a ton of turnover so while you may be comfortable with your wide receivers on draft day, come Week 5 your big name receivers have been laying a dud. I’ve been there. You’ve been there. You think you draft some stud wideouts who only flake on you and you’re left picking through the scrap heap, especially in a deep league.
It’s not an enviable position to be in so here are a few sleeper wide receiver names you may want to consider in your draft.
- Seattle Seahawks – Golden Tate: From all reports, Golden Tate has looked, well, golden. Originally slated to be behind both Percy Harvin and Sidney Rice on the depth chart, Tate has moved up with injuries and has been one of the most (if not the most) impressive talents during Seahawks camp. No, the Seahawks aren’t going to pass a ton and yes, Tate does have a bit of history for flaking but Tate came on strong last season and seemed to have solid chemistry with Russell Wilson. By no stretch do I reach for Tate, but if he’s floating around with fellow middle of the pack receivers, I’m biting.
- Chicago Bears - Alshon Jeffery: In years gone by, the Chicago Bears have been nothing more than a fantasy wasteland for receivers, sans Brandon Marshall who had a solid season last year. Outside of that though, it’s been rough. That should change with the Bears’ offense. Chicago should pass quite often this season and even though Jay Cutler is a horrible decision maker, he’s also a gun slinger and will need to find other targets beyond Marshall who will draw defenses. Enter Jeffery who is being drafted well into the 140′s and 150′s in most mock drafts. He’s not much more than a lottery ticket but somebody else has to catch balls in Chicago and there aren’t a lot of other alternatives. Combine his solid size and respectable CFL history – I’m taking a chance.
- New England Patriots – Kenbrell Thompkins: The New England Patriots are always an offensive powerhouse and that shouldn’t change this season, despite a sub-par receiving core. One name I’d expect to emerge in the coming weeks is Kenbrell Thompkins who is likely slated to play the very productive ‘X’ slot in the Pat’s offense. Quarterback Tom Brady doesn’t discriminate – if you’re open, you’re getting a target. Thompkins might emerge as one of the best sleepers of the season no matter the position.
- St. Louis Rams - Chris Givens: While I’m not a fan of the St. Louis Rams in real life, I am a fan of their fantasy projections. Playing half of your games on turf is a wonderful thing for speedsters like wideout Chris Givens. Givens, despite a very impressive rookie season hasn’t exactly been shooting off draft boards with ESPN saying he’s the 40th receiver drafted on average. That’s a pretty nice snag for anybody who can get him with the 120th pick or later. Granted, he’s not a guy you’d want to target in PPR leagues as he’s more of a burner than a possession receiver, but if touchdowns are your game, you could do a lot worse.
- Arizona Cardinals – Michael Floyd: With defenses ready to zero in on Larry Fitzgerald, Carson Palmer is going to need to use a lot of alternate receivers. While he figures to use his tight end relatively often, there are still going to be catches available for Cardinal wide receivers, but who? Nobody really sticks out sans Floyd who really came on during the Cardinals last two games of the season, putting up 14 catches on 20 targets. In a tough NFC West catches will be at a premium but Floyd could certainly be a difference maker as name wide receivers fall off the board.