2017 fantasy sleeper candidates at wide receiver
Spring has sprung. That means we’re more than ready to start claiming our favorite sleepers for the 2017 season.
When you glance at the overall ADP numbers over at Fantasy Football Calculator, it’s clear that the entire fantasy community is back to drafting running backs early and often. Although the wide receivers in the top tier are, like every year, by far the safest players on the board, you may need to grab LeSean McCoy or Jordan Howard instead so you aren’t left high and dry at the position. And if you’re passing up the top tier of wideouts, then you will need to find value.
Here are five early sleepers that I believe will outperform their ADP. I even added a bonus of three wideouts that are perfect boom-or-bust players for all you MFL10 fans.
Jamison Crowder, Washington Redskins (Current overall ADP: 90, 35nd WR)
Crowder wasn’t on this original list because I feel like I’ve heard about him being a sleeper all offseason. I assumed that his ADP had gone through the roof, but when you look at the overall ADP, he’s still a bargain and it needs to be discussed. Washington is a mess. They don’t have a GM. There’s talk that their quarterback, Kirk Cousins, wants the first ticket out of town. There’s a lot of uncertainty surrounding the organization, but one thing that is certain is that Crowder is good at football and you should target him and his consistency in your fantasy drafts.
Crowder caught 67 of his 92 targets for 847 yards and seven touchdowns in 2016. He only posted an 8.2-yard aDOT, but his 5.7 yards after the catch make him an upside kind of player. He controls his destiny with his feet. Washington lost DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon in free agency and the two of them received a combined 199 targets. Those targets will get divided between Crowder, new acquisition Terrelle Pryor, second-year player Josh Doctson and Jordan Reed. That’s a lot of targets and a lot of yards after the catch for a guy going in the seventh or eighth round of drafts.
Willie Snead, New Orleans Saints (ADP: 133, 48th WR)
One of the biggest moves of free agency is when the Saints sent Brandin Cooks to the New England Patriots. Michael Thomas is getting the love that he deserves — he was the only wide receiver in the league who caught at least four passes for at least 40 yards in every single game last season. Thomas may still be undervalued, especially in dynasty leagues, as crazy as that sounds. But no one seems to be talking up Snead, and that’s leaving the door wide open for him to be a value pick in the double-digit rounds of your fantasy draft. Cooks was targeted 113 times in 15 games. He caught 78 of those and tallied 1,175 yards and eight touchdowns. Snead struggled with a toe injury for much of the season. His overall stats were 72 catches for 895 yards and four touchdowns. That’s pretty incredible when you consider he was hurt and he was the WR3.