Fantasy Football Sleepers: Top 6 Wide Receivers
With the inconsistency at the RB position (see Adrian Peterson), more and more NFL fantasy football enthusiasts are now choosing wide receivers as their number one pick. Going into this season, there is a lot of hype surrounding many big name WRs; however, there are a few that deserve more credit. Let’s take a look at the top 6 fantasy football sleepers at the WR position for the 2014 NFL season.
Last season, Dobson was known for all the wrong reasons. After an impressive preseason campaign, the rookie wide receiver fell flat when it mattered. On the big stage, he became known for dropping balls, poor route running, and being unable to gain separation from defensive players. This season, you can expect Dobson to perform much better. After working with Tom Brady during the off season, Dobson and TB12 should be on the same page going forward. Several receivers have a hard time in their first pro season, but with Belichick behind the mic and Brady still throwing deep balls, Dobson has a great shot at being a solid fantasy football addition. Expect him to put up over 1100 yards
I know what you’re thinking. Another Patriot on this list? Well, believe it. Amendola had a rough go with the Pats in 2013, but there are several reasons for that. When Amendola came onto to the team, many were expecting him to be a Wes Welker type of player; however, once the season started, it was clear that the Wes Welker roles were given to Julian Edelman and Shane Vereen. Because of this, and a few big injuries, Amendola was left to wonder where he would fit in. Since then, the Patriots have evolved and it is now clear that he should have a place on the team. Look for Amendola to still play WR, but line up in more TE scenarios to compliment the size and skill of Gronk. In this formation, you can expect him to put up an easy 950 yards
I hate to say it, but Larry Fitzgerald’s career has unfortunately peaked. The star veteran wide receiver is possibly the most underrated WR in NFL history; however, he hasn’t had a solid chance at success since Kurt Warner retired. This is where Michael Floyd comes in. Last season, Floyd had over 1000 receiving yards, and was targeted much less than Fitzgerald was. Right now, no one is even contemplating taking Michael Floyd before Larry Fitzgerald, but that might just be a good option. Floyd is entering his third year in the league, and after his most productive season, he is a lock for the Cardinals number two wide receiver slot. Look for him to put up about 1250 yards.
Two years ago, the Patriots offered WR Emmanuel Sanders and offer sheet that would have made him the number one WR in New England, and the first solidified Patriots receiver since Randy Moss. The Steelers knew Sanders had talent, so they matched the Pats’ offer and retained his contract. Though this made sense at the time, the Steelers fell flat in 2013 because of an aging team and poor play, and Sanders was left to suffer. This season, he has been signed by the Denver Broncos, and you can surely expect Sanders to benefit from the play of future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning. Sanders will likely be the number two WR in Denver, very similar to the role that Eric Decker played last season, and will put up well over 1000 yards
In the first three games of last season, WR Tayvon Austin brought down an average of six receptions per game and a total of two touchdowns. Though this was a great start for the rookie, he only caught 22 passes for the rest of the season! From these statistics, it is clear that Austin has talent, but something was missing. No, it wasn’t heart. It was a quarterback. In 2013, as soon as QB Sam Bradford tore his ACL and was declared out for the season, it was obvious that Austin was left helpless. Without Bradford, Austin wasn’t able to run the deep routes he was used to, and ended up being regarded as an average player. Aside from this, he was only used on 50 percent of the plays last season, and he actually led the Rams in receptions without Bradford. This year, Bradford is poised to be healthy and Austin is poised to play on at least 70% of the plays. Get ready for a huge year from the sophomore WR. Expect over 1150 yards.
With James Jones gone to Oakland, the Packers have a number 3 receiver slot open. This is where Jarrett Boykin will be used. With Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson leading the way as the main Packers receivers, Aaron Rodgers needs a solid target in big situations. Rodgers is the kind of quarterback who makes every receiver on the field better, and he will do the same for Boykin. The soon to be third year receiver has very good chemistry with Rodgers so far. When Randall Cobb and James Jones were injured last season, Boykin was able to step up and carry the load for his team, and in eight of the games where he filled in, Boykin was targeted at least six times. That alone says a lot about the trust that Rodgers has in this kid. Aside from this, another huge upside of Boykin is the fact that Cobb is very injury prone. Over the last three seasons, Cobb has been injured several times, and if the always-cautious Packers want him to recover well, you can expect Boykin to have the occasional role of being the number two receiver on the Packers. If this happens, his statistics will explode and he will become a very well-known name. Look for him to put up over 900 yards easily and be a productive player for your fantasy football team.