It always seems like at least 3-5 WRs come out of nowhere every season, especially in a PPR League. Let’s face it, players get old and lose a step, players get hurt and it’s next man up, players join new teams with new systems, or their current team gets a new QB, a better offensive line, or a new offensive coordinator, you name it, all of these can be the difference maker for a nobody to become a somebody in the fantasy football world.
Here are my sleepers that are expected to be drafted in the 7th round or after in the draft. (These rankings are based on a 16 team league or less)
1. Marquez Callaway
Michael Thomas decided to flip the Saints organization the bird by waiting until June to have a much needed ankle surgery and Tre’Quan Smith has been banged up all offseason. But, that’s great news for Marquez Callaway, because he is now the Saints WR1 and he has taken full advantage. Callaway has become both James Winston and Taysom Hill’s favorite WR all training camp and preseason, and, boy oh boy, has he looked good. If Jameis Winston wins the starting QB job, Callaway could emerge as a top 10 fantasy football WR.
2. DeVante Parker
From the talks around Dolphins training camp, it sounds like Tua Tagovailoa and DeVante Parker are starting to build some good chemistry. I expect a bounce back year from Parker, because newly added Jaylen Waddle is going to help take some pressure off of Parker, plus defenses will have to take notice of up and coming Mike Gesicki.
3. Russell Gage
Russell Gage was already starting to build some great report with Matt Ryan in the slot. Now with Julio Jones gone, Gage is now WR2 on a pass heavy team. Gage is also coming off a season where he saw 109 targets, I expect that number to go up this year. High volume, high reward.
4. Mike Williams
Mike Williams is one healthy season away from possibly being a top 15 fantasy football WR. Could this be the year? I think it could, and he’s worthy of a late round sleeper pick just for the “what if” factor. Also, Justin Herbert has now settled in and is in year two looking to build on their success last season.
5. Tyrell Williams
Somebody has to win the WR1 spot on the Lions’ atrocious WR depth chart, and I pick Tyrell Williams. Williams hasn’t played since 2019, but he’s 6’4 and a freak athlete. He’s also the only WR on the team that has had 1,000 yards receiving in a season.
6. Kadarius Toney
There is always one rookie WR that gets overlooked in fantasy football. The Giants have a lot of WRs on the team, but I think as far as talent goes, Kadarius Toney is the second best WR on the team, if not the best. Also, there is a rumor that Urban Meyer wanted to draft Toney over Travis Etienne, but the Giants drafted Toney at 20 before the Jaguars could with their second selection at 25. I don’t think Urban is the only coach that wanted Toney.
7. AJ Green
AJ Green is coming off his worst season of his career, but he gets a fresh start with the Arizona Cardinals. It seems like when Bengals players leave they have a second wind in their career. Carson Palmer did it with the Cardinals, Corey Dillon did it with the Patriots, Marvin Jones did it with the Lions, Mohamed Sanu did it with the Falcons, shoot even James Harrison made a one year stop in Cincinnati before returning to Pittsburgh to rejuvenate his career. Also AJ Green will line up against every team’s 2nd best corner, because the Cardinals also have that one guy, oh yeah, DeAndre Hopkins.
8. Bryan Edwards
“Edwards has great ability,” Gruden said. “He’s got great ability. I’m excited about him. You see he looks like T.O., he looks like one of the number one wideouts in the league.”
I don’t know about all of that Jon, but Bryan Edwards is set to be a starter and if the coach thinks that highly of you, you’re gonna get opportunities. If Edwards is even half as good as what Gruden claims, then he’s worthy of a late round sleeper pick.
9. Sammy Watkins
Could this be the year that Sammy Watkins lives up to his 4th overall draft selection over guys like Mike Evans, Odell Beckham Jr, Davante Adams, Jarvis Landry, Brandin Cooks, and Allen Robinson? Probably not, but you never know, which makes him a solid sleeper. Watkins has been looking really good this offseason catching balls from Lamar Jackson.
10. TY Hilton
It looks like TY Hilton may miss some considerable time to start this season. So, you may be thinking, why is TY a sleeper? Well, it is because Hilton may be available with your last pick in the draft. And if your league has an IR spot why not draft TY and stash him on the IR until he can play? I originally was projecting a 1,000 yard plus season and at least 5 or 6 for TY. But now he may not play, but if he does come back he may be a nice fill in during a playoff run.