Saturday, August 24, 2013

Top Five Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Sleepers

Welcome back to our look at fantasy football sleepers by position. Today, we are going to take a look at five of the top fantasy football sleepers around. A few are deeper thoughts on the subject, while two are about right and the last is gaining a lot of attention; by the time you draft, Hilton might not be around!

So what makes a wide receiver sleeper different from the rest? First, his potential could land him a Flex1 position from the very first game. Most running back sleepers and fantasy quarterback just don't have enough umph to do this at times. Next, fantasy wide receivers usually don't spike out their play when solid from the beginning of the NFL season...they either stay strong, progressively get better, or just fade away until the free agency wire is their team. The last item, years played. Everyone you see here is less than two years in the league, with one exception; so for any keeper league drafters, this list is for you!

Kenbrell Thompkins (WR - New england Patriots)

Why is Kenbrell Thompkins a fantasy sleeper?

While starting quarterback Tom Brady (QB - New England Patriots) never seems to discriminate against his potential receivers year in and year out, this one is starting to show a solidified relationship. Thompkins caught eight passes for 116 yards against Detroit in their last pre-season game; catching 6 passes for 90+ with Brady at QB.

Where do you draft him in your league?

Tompkins is going to go late. With the potential there, Brady healthy, and Thompkins being keyed in on so early, he could finish with 70-80 receptions, 1200+ yards and ten touchdowns...or could drift off into a mist of forgotten dreams - it's too early to tell. I could see myself taking him round 11-13 in a ten team, standard redraft. For keeper leagues, you have a ton of gold with this one...just a heads up.

Deandre Hopkins (WR - Houston Texans)

Why should Hopkins be considered a fantasy football sleeper this year?

Playing opposite Andre Johnson (WR - Houston Texans) has been a sore spot for most receivers and their fantasy football production. Kevin Walter and James Casey combined for over 70 catches last season, and it could've been much more. Deandre Hopkins definitely shows two things fantasy football owners need to know, that these other receivers do not show: 1) a wide receiving radius no matter his location on the field, and 2) his awareness in and around the end-zone. Oh, and Matt Schaub will be looking for targets to deflect from Andre Johnson and his man-zone coverages and double man problems.

Where do you draft Hopkins for your fantasy team?

This is easy, round 12 in a standard, redraft league. I have a problem with him being on the Texans this year, especially if Arian Foster (RB - Houston Texans) cannot stay healthy and any problems at all spring up on Ben Tate (RB - Houston Texans). However, and once again, Matt Schaub is throwing the ball! ESPN is projecting him catching 40+ balls this year; look for that number to be a lot higher!

Andre Roberts (WR - Arizona Cardinals)

Why is Andre Roberts a fantasy sleeper at wide receiver?

A lot has changed in Arizona this off-season...a new offensive coordinator, new starting quarterback and a new mentality. While under the old regime, Roberts was able to play fairly decent in most fantasy football circles at wide receiver. Roberts finished last season with 64 receptions for 759 yards while catching off of Kevin Kolb, John Skelton and Ryan Lindley...ya... Now he has Carson Palmer throwing to him, a passer who has netted 189 career touchdown passes thrown.

Where should you take this fine sleeper of a wide receiver?

Round 10 seems to be the consensus if you reach, with round 12 being the standard. I think my scorecard will see me taking him possibly earlier, if receivers are flying off of the board in my redrafts.

Golden Tate (WR - Seattle Seahawks)

Why Golden Tate looking so Golden as a fantasy football sleeper this season?

Golden Tate was originally thought of as an after-thought in this new fantasy football corps in Seattle, behind receivers Percy Harvin and Sidney Rice. However, Golden Tate has been the most productive and reliable receiver this pre-season, due to injuries and playtime; and hell, I'll say it, skill! Tate came on like lightning last year, and had measurable chemistry with Russell Wilson through the stretch. However, his history of flaking out at wide receiver in ups and downs have led to his undervalued status.

Where does Golden Tate look like fantasy football sleeper gold?

Drafting him earlier than round 9 is a stretch, especially if the health of the rest of the receivers gets ironed out. However, that being said, I could see him as a solid WR3 or a WR2 in deeper leagues.

T.Y. Hilton (WR - Indianapolis Colts)

Why is T.Y. Hilton a wide receiver fantasy sleeper this year?

First of all, he is playing on the Colts. Led by Andrew Luck (QB - Indianapolis Colts), this offense is showing why every member may make the 'Undervalued Fantasy Football Squad' for life soon. Next, his projections by last year's standards and what should come of him being a #2 (he moved past Darrius Heyward-Bey in the depth charts this week) are skewed (Chris Carter of ESPN said it best in a tweet - "Look for @Colts T.Y. Hilton to catch 80 balls this year". If those numbers hold true, his overall fantasy football value would put him at numbers 13-15 of the top wide receivers this season.

Where do you draft T.Y. Hilton?

He's a solid #2 receiver, with a ton of potential and barely any question marks surrounding him. He has 4.3 speed, and managed to rack up 861 yards on 50 catches last season with 7 the way, 11 of those catches were for 25 yards or more (can you say YAC?!?!). I would take him as my number two wide receiver, rounds 6 and back. If he falls in your lap after round 9, you are a genius...anything later, and you are playing against fantasy owners in a coma!

That's it for our look at the top five fantasy football wide receiver sleepers for this year. Next week, we will wrap things up with a look at tight ends. Take it easy everybody and have a great one!

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