With full-roster training camps already ramping up towards Week 1, fantasy football draft nights are also looming around the corner. The wide receiver position was already a stacked commodity before but has gotten even better due to a plethora of fantasy football wide receiver sleepers.
While fans may easily note which wideouts they’ll go with first, pass-catchers selected in the late rounds also turn out to have a significant effect on the success of a draft roster. This list composes of an underrated rookie, several promising sophomores, and struggling veterans all aiming to make noise in the upcoming NFL season.
Here are the top fantasy football wide receiver sleepers who are capable of giving major dividends to draft rosters.
Fantasy Football Sleepers
10. DeSean Jackson
Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson sits at the bottom of the fantasy football wide receiver sleepers list because he is still a risk to take in for his drafters. However, he is capable of dealing damage once healthy. Last season, he underwent core-muscle surgery and was subsequently placed on injured reserve. The three-time Pro Bowler only appeared in 3 games and caught 9 passes for 159 yards and scored 2 touchdowns in 2019.
With veteran wideout Alshon Jeffery being out indefinitely and rookie Jalen Reagor still finding his place on the Eagles’ offense, Jackson can be taken in on a flier. His advancing age at 33 years old also factored in his low place in this list. Jackson’s drafters can only hope for a healthy season to get the most out of him in 2020.
9. Hunter Renfrow
Rookie pass-catcher Hunter Renfrow was one of the bright spots in a dismal Las Vegas Raiders offense last season. Despite having a broken rib midway through the season, he still managed to return in Week 16. His comeback was no fluke as he had back-to-back 100-yard games with a pair of touchdowns in Weeks 16 and 17.
Overall, the former Clemson Tiger accounted for 49 receptions for 605 receiving yards and four receiving touchdowns last season. His numbers should only go up as he establishes his spot in the Raiders offense in the upcoming season.
8. Justin Jefferson
In a draft class headlined by collegiate studs Jerry Jeudy, CeeDee Lamb, and Henry Ruggs III, it is easy for many to overlook the remaining talent deep down. Jefferson was a marked man in a stacked offense of national champion LSU last season. He put up impressive tallies of 1,540 yards on 111 catches and 18 TDs.
With star wide receiver Stefon Diggs now out of the picture for the Minnesota Vikings, Jefferson could easily slot in the starting wide receiver role. He would only share touches with two-time Pro Bowler Adam Thielen on the wings which would further help his cause.
7. Preston Williams
Despite being undrafted in the 2019 NFL Draft, Williams managed to make it to the final 53-man roster of the Miami Dolphins last season. He immediately saw regular action until he sustained a season-ending torn ACL injury in a Week 9 game against the New York Jets. He finished his first pro campaign with 32 catches for 428 yards and three touchdowns as the team’s leading receiver at the time of his injury.
Despite being sidelined, the rookie was able to show his upside and a ton of promise for the upcoming seasons. After a long lay-off, Williams is ready to re-insert himself in the Fins’ offensive rotation in the upcoming season. Expect huge tallies from the sophomore wideout who is looking to have a comeback season in 2020.
6. Darius Slayton
The New York Giants have a multitude of capable performers in their offense which includes Slayton, veteran wideout Golden Tate, tight end Evan Engram, fifth-year wide receiver Sterling Shepard, and star running back Saquon Barkley. However, most of the said players missed a ton of time last season which gave rookie Darius Slayton an opportunity to get his fair share of touches.
Slayton finished his rookie campaign with 48 receptions for 740 receiving yards and eight receiving touchdowns. He led the Giants in receiving yards for the 2019 season, which is indicative of how limited the team was last season. Even with full seasons from Tate, Engram, Shepard, and Barkley, Slayton should still be able to get his piece of the pie – all thanks to quarterback Daniel Jones.
5. T.Y. Hilton
Despite having an impressive performance during the 2018 NFL season, Indianapolis Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton’s numbers took a hit in 2019. The abrupt quarterback change that saw Pro Bowler Andrew Luck turn into backup Jacoby Brissett could have played a part in the regression. Hilton concluded last season with 45 receptions for 501 receiving yards and five receiving touchdowns in 10 games played.
Brissett wasn’t anything near bad and could even start as QB1 for another team. However, the two teammates could have needed more time to mesh and familiarize themselves with one another. Good news for Hilton, veteran Philip Rivers will be playing under center next season. Having a steady gunslinger who had over 4,000 passing yards in 11 of the last 12 seasons will always bring excitement to a team. Hilton is still capable of bouncing back from a subpar campaign; in fact, he’s a four-time Pro Bowler for a reason.
4. Allen Lazard
The Green Bay Packers’ wide receiver room evidently lacks talent aside from three-time Pro Bowler Davante Adams. However, the team still insisted on addressing the gaping holes in their offensive rotation. Undrafted third-year wideout Allen Lazard probably benefited from this the most, which makes him one of the fantasy football wide receiver sleepers to keep your eye on.
After six-year veteran Devin Funchess’ recent opt-out, Lazard will be easing in on the starting wide receiver role along with Adams and fellow third-year player Marquez Valdez-Scantling. His numbers of 35 receptions for 477 receiving yards and three receiving touchdowns from last season should see an upward trend in the upcoming season if he manages to stay healthy.
3. N’Keal Harry
New England Patriots wide receiver N’Keal Harry underwhelmed in his rookie season considering that he was a 2019 first-round pick. He was limited last season due to an ankle injury sustained in the team’s 2019 training camp. It continued to bother him throughout the season as he only amassed 12 receptions for 105 receiving yards and two receiving touchdowns through 7 appearances.
Having recovered from his injury and being in better playing shape, the former Arizona State Sun Devil should be able to position himself as a usual target for the Patriots’ starting quarterback. The team was also hit with 8 player opt-outs – the most in the league, which should only give Harry more opportunities to shine next season.
2. Mecole Hardman
Speedy wide receiver Tyreek Hill may easily come into mind whenever one thinks of the Kansas City Chiefs offense. However, rookie Mecole Hardman shone in more ways than one during his first campaign in the pro ranks. Despite only starting 5 games out of 16 games played, he was able to record 538 yards on 26 receptions and 6 scored touchdowns.
His level of contribution for such a limited role led him to a PFWA All-Rookie Team selection, a Pro Bowl appearance, and a second-team All-Pro inclusion on top of a Super Bowl LIV title. He already bested seven-year veteran Sammy Watkins in terms of production as the season went on. Hardman would definitely be a steal for anyone who would take a chance on him.
1. Breshad Perriman
Six-year veteran Breshad Perriman is at the forefront of this list because of the change in scenery that awaits him next season. In 2019, he found himself on a loaded Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive rotation and shared touches with Pro Bowl wide receivers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. Despite not being a regular starter, the former UCF Knight still finished the 2019 season with 36 receptions for 645 receiving yards and six receiving touchdowns.
His recent relocation to the New York Jets during the offseason was a good move for his improvement. He will now have an increased role and will presumably start in a lackluster offense. A shallow wide receiver room without former Jet Robby Anderson will hopefully help Perriman exceed 1,000 receiving yards for the first time in his career. Despite not being a big name wideout, Perriman is capable of giving a ton of value to anyone who will draft him in the later rounds as a true wide receiver sleeper.