Fantasy Sleepers at WR: Young athletic pass-catchers who deserve more attention

Andy Behrens

“Sleeper” is a complicated and often misused word in fantasy. Everyone has their own preconceived notions and explanations for what a sleeper is and who qualifies as a sleeper. For this exercise, we’re focused on UNDERVALUED options available outside the wide receiver position’s top-75, according to Yahoo ADP.

Keke Coutee, Houston Texans

Andy: Did everyone catch Keke Coutee’s 11-reception, 110-yard performance in the postseason last January? Hope so. He’s gonna have a few more of those in 2019. Coutee’s rookie year was compromised by hamstring issues, but he was outstanding when healthy. It won’t be long before we recognize him as one of the game’s best slot receivers.

Josh Gordon, New England Patriots

Brad: "Never again!" "Are you crazy?!" "Full stop ..." These are the cries from fantasy investors previously burned by Gordon's unforeseen suspensions and self-induced sabbaticals. But with an ADP in the 180s, the wideout is worth the minimal risk. He recently filed for reinstatement, and though it's all a guessing game whether or not he returns, he's worth the small gamble. Recall last year, he was WR23 in nine games in which he logged 79-plus percent of the snaps. With Julian Edelman already dinged, Gronk retired and N'Keal Harry struggling, he has a clear path to targets — and a WR2 output — if rewarded yet another chance.

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Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Green Bay Packers

Dalton: Marquez Valdes-Scantling looks like the clear favorite to act as the Packers’ No. 2 wide receiver, which should be mighty beneficial with Aaron Rodgers throwing to him in an ostensibly more modern offense with a new coaching staff in Green Bay. MVS posted the third-best separation rate as a rookie last season, and at 6-foot-4 he also has the size to be a threat in the red zone (and he certainly has good speed). Plus, if Davante Adams were to go down, MVS could be a league-winner. He’s a top-35 WR on my board but is going well after that in drafts.

Fantasy Football Draft Kit
Fantasy Football Draft Kit

Dede Westbrook, Jacksonville Jaguars

Scott: Listen, forget 2014 ever happened. All I realistically expect from rookie- and second-year wideouts is that they show some grasp of the pro game, show some plausible upside for the future. Dede Westbrook was limited by injury in his rookie year — after an explosive training camp — but he took impressive steps last season, posting a 66-717-5 line despite the wreckage all around him in Jacksonville (looking at you, Blake Bortles).

No, Nick Foles is not a Pro Bowl-level quarterback. But the Jaguars have finally solidified the position. And opportunity is still king in fantasy, and Westbrook should get plenty of it. He’s currently the mere WR38 in Yahoo ADP, but the timing is right for him to smash that draft-day cost.

Donte Moncrief, Pittsburgh Steelers

Liz: The Steelers need a big body who can high-point and work as a legit red zone threat. That is exactly what Moncrief does best. Heck, it may be all he does. Throw away 2018 in Jacksonville. Throw away his last year with the Colts (but without Andrew Luck). Remember the seven-TD season he had in 2016 when T.Y. Hilton was doing the dirty work in the slot?

Earning praise from Big Ben and looking like a “slam-dunk No. 2 receiver,” the buzz surrounding Moncrief has been mounting for months. As such, he’s been climbing up draft boards, especially since it’s been reported that he’s opened training camp as the starting wide receiver opposite JuJu Smith-Schuster. Likely to draw plenty of high-value targets, he remains a solid value in the double-digit rounds of 12-team exercises (WR48, 10.09).

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