Fantasy Football WR Report: Deep Gems
Justin Vreeland takes a look at a few wide receivers going late in drafts and breaks down how they can be useful to your fantasy team.
The term “sleeper” is very outdated. This is a topic gets discussed frequently in all fantasy circles. No one is a sleeper anymore, there is so much talk and content out there that everyone has heard about everyone. So, for that reason, I am not going to call these guys sleepers, but rather they are guys that can be had late in drafts. They are guys with upside and the ability to make some noise in fantasy despite their late ADPs. I broke this piece down into three sections, all of which are based on current ADPs. Each players ADP is based on data pulled from NFFC over the last week. Let’s dive in!
ADP - 150-200
Deebo Samuel, SF (162 ADP) – Samuel was taken in the second round of the NFL draft by the 49ers and it was a fantastic landing spot for him. Heading into camp, Dante Pettis was the number one receiver and there wasn’t much competition after him. Samuel has easily been the most impressive receiver on the team; both in training camp and in preseason action (even over Pettis). Samuel had a strong final season at South Carolina, racking up 882 yards on 62 receptions with 11 touchdowns. He has already made a few impressive plays in during preseason game action and that has left the door wide open for him to step in and be the team’s best receiver for fantasy purposes. Why not take a shot on a guy like that with a pick this late? I will go ahead and call my shot now, Samuel will lead the 49ers receiving core in fantasy points this year. There you have it.
Adam Humphries , TEN (163 ADP) – We hate Marcus Mariota . We hate the Titans offense. We hate everything about both. So how can Humphries be a sleeper? Maybe he is Mariota’s type of guy? Humphries is a slot receiver and chain mover (since we know Mariota sucks at any semi-difficult pass). Also, if something were to happen to Mariota and he were to miss action, Humphires is easily the type of guy that Ryan Tannehill would lean on. He had a breakout year last year too, hauling in 76 receptions for 816 yards and five touchdowns, all of which were new career highs. His ceiling isn’t particularly high and I like Deebo Samuel’s upside a lot more than I like Humphries’ but I wouldn’t be surprised if Humphries can produce just enough to be a flex start-able player.
ADP - 201-250
Quincy Enunwa , NYJ (202 ADP) – Enunwa has played well when healthy. He hasn’t had great QBs on his side, but Sam Darnold is improving and should be better this year than last. In 2016, the only season that Enunwa has played 16 games, he hauled in 58 receptions for 857 yards and four touchdowns. That isn’t some big time season, but it’s not terrible, considering Ryan Fitzpatrick was the QB and he only had 2710 passing yards that year. Enunwa is currently listed as the starting outside receiver opposite of Robby Anderson and he can also operate in the slot. Unfortunately, his upside is probably limited in this offense, but he may be able to carve out a deep league viable role.
Trey Quinn , WAS (213 ADP) – The Redskins offense will probably be a dumpster fire this year, especially the passing attack, but that doesn’t mean that Quinn can’t possibly carve out a deep league role in PPR leagues. He didn’t see much action as a rookie last year, but he did haul in 9-of-10 targets for 75 yards and a score. The Redskins really don’t have any great options among their wide receivers and Quinn is the most reliable of the bunch, so I wouldn’t be surprised if Case Keenum (and then Dwayne Haskins, when he takes over the job) develops trust in him. He has already been named the starting slot receiver and it’s a role he should perform well in. Again, he’s really only an option in PPR leagues, as he should a lot of short to intermediate throws and not a lot of touchdowns. If looking for a high ceiling guy, Quinn is not your guy, but if looking for a reliable source of weekly points, he is a fine option.
Rashard Higgins , CLE (239 ADP) – Higgins had the door open to being the number three receiver on the Browns with Antonio Callaway being suspended for four games. Higgins is coming off the best year of his career; he hauled in 39 passes for 572 yards and four touchdowns. Even with the bump up though, he is still behind a pair of target monsters in Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry, so he still may not have a large role in the offense. Then Callaway will come back and his role will likely be cut down even more. He will probably have some good games, but the consistently will really lack, unless an injury were occur to one of the top two guys. The Browns offense should be the best it’s been in a long time, so Higgins makes for an interesting bench flyer in deeper leagues. If you do draft him though, do not hesitate to cut him early for a hot waiver wire name.
ADP - 250+
John Ross , CIN (260 ADP) – We have to start with health. Health is always a huge issue with Ross and he is already injured currently, but he is expected to play in the season opener. The Bengals will be without A.J. Green for a while, which makes Ross the number two receiver behind Tyler Boyd . Boyd did not perform all that great in the number one role last season, which means Ross could be productive as the number two option, if he stays on the field. He only hauled in 21-of-58 targets last year, but he still managed to grab seven touchdowns. That kind of tells us that he has a knack for the end zone, which is always a good thing. He is a burner with talent and is locked into a number two role for the foreseeable future, so why not take a shot on him this late in a draft. If he gets hurt or doesn’t play well, you can cut him without losing any sleep over it.
Gary Jennings, SEA (289 ADP) – Now this is one where we are getting super deep. We are talking 15-team or above deep. That being said, Jennings is a player that I really like and I think there is room for him to be a factor in the Seattle offense. Outside of Tyler Lockett , their receiving core is a mixed bag with playing time up for grabs. While the heavy buzz is around fellow rookie and second round pick D.K. Metcalf (and for good reason), many are forgetting that Jennings was a fourth round pick in this draft himself, so he’s no slouch. Jennings racked up 917 yards and 13 touchdowns in his final season at West Virginia. He hauled in 97 receptions for 1096 yards the year before that. Jennings actually had the second highest passer rating on targets last year at the college level. He could emerge into a starting role for Seattle and he has talent. Would I be surprised if he ends up having a better season than Metcalf and ends up being the Seahawks second leading fantasy scorer at wide receiver? No. Dynasty leaguers also need to keep an eye on him.