Wide receiver may be the deepest position in all of fantasy football. Though there are many many quality options you’ll still want to know who is set up to surprise and who is set up to stun. The four players below are all currently outside the top 30 wide receivers according to average draft position. These four are also talented players who happen to be in situations where their production can take a giant step forward.
Hitting on a rookie wide receiver is extremely difficult. Davis likely found himself on sleeper lists this time last year, but injuries cost him valuable game time, and he never eclipsed 100 yards receiving nor did he find the end zone in 2017.
So what has changed? For starters, the Titans brought in Matt LaFleur to overhaul the offense. If he brings some of that magic that helped the Los Angeles Rams this entire offense could take a giant leap forward. LaFleur has coached under both Kyle Shanahan and Sean McVay. Two current head coaches known for innovation and getting the most out of their quarterbacks. Tennessee also did next to nothing to beef up their receiving corps. Rishard Matthews is a fantasy asset, but Davis is the better talent and should be the Titan’s premiere weapon through the air. Taywan Taylor is an interesting late-round pick, but a risky play. With a fully healthy offseason and an improved situation, look for Davis to breakout and possibly finish in the top 30 at his position.
John Ross is more of a deep sleeper (currently going undrafted). Ross was one of the most hyped rookies last year, but injuries limited him to two games with no receptions. The 2018 season figures to be a much more productive year for the speedster and perhaps one where he becomes a weekly fantasy play.
The Bengals’ passing attack is still pretty much just A.J. Green. Brandon LaFell is a 31 year-old wide-out with talent, but there’s nothing special about his game. Tyler Boyd is entering his third year, scattering 73 receptions and three touchdowns across 28 games. Cincinnati needs a legit threat at receiver opposite of Green. Ross does have elite speed, but his route tree is diverse and he can be used more as an offensive weapon (a la Tyreek Hill). Should Ross take advantage of his opportunities you could have a WR3 with phenomenal upside for the price of the final pick in the draft.
One of the best ways to find a sleeper in fantasy football is to investigate the best offenses (or who we think are the best offenses) and look at changing roles or suddenly available targets. Hunter Henry’s injury not only opens the door for an Antonio Gates revival, but also a Mike Williams breakout.
Williams’ rookie season was easy to miss. Injuries kept him off the field and when he was healthy enough to play he wasn’t effective. The former 1st round pick now has an opportunity to go through a full training camp and his main competition is Tyrell Williams, a solid if unspectacular talent who has struggled with consistency. Mike Williams’ currently going as WR50, but he has the tools and situation to finish in the top 30 at his position if he can put it together on the field this season.
It’s easy to fall in love with speed, but versatility is what keeps you on the field. Goodwin’s speed has never been an issue. Like many speed merchants he is often written off as a one-trick pony, but Goodwin showed some depth in his game last season.
The arrival of Jimmy Garoppolo should raise all boats in the Bay. Pierre Garçon is still around, but he missed Garoppolo’s run due to injury — a time where Goodwin built valuable chemistry with the new starting quarterback, topping 90 receiving yards three times in the final five weeks. Kyle Shanahan now has a QB that can execute his offense and he obviously likes Goodwin’s talent. Goodwin just needs to stay healthy to take advantage of an improved offense.