The wide receiver is arguably the deepest position in fantasy football. While there are a handful of players in tier one, there are a plethora of gems that can be found in tiers three, four, and five. That’s right, we’re talking sleepers. For the purpose of this article, a sleeper pick is defined as a player who will exponentially provide more value than their low draft position. When the draft winds down, and the later rounds come along, keep an eye out for these five wideouts. – ADP rankings powered by FantasyPros.com
John Brown (ADP: WR #37)
Heading into his sophomore year, look for John Brown to build off a solid rookie season. In Arians’ offense that rotated quarterbacks such as Ryan Lindley, Drew Stanton, and Logan Thomas, Brown still managed to catch 48 balls for 696 yards and five touchdowns. Although Brown is third on the depth chart behind Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd, he has the potential to be the Cardinals number one receiver by January. Floyd is currently no lock to start week one so look for Brown to take advantage of the added targets. Brown is currently being drafted outside the top 30 but has top 20 upside; grab him while you can.
Eddie Royal (ADP: WR #50)
Finally reunited with his ole friend, Cutler, Eddie Royal settled into Chicago after a career year with the Chargers. So far, the transition doesn’t seem to be too difficult for Royal. Both starting receivers for the Bears are hampered by injuries leading to more opportunities for Royal. While Alshon Jeffery is slated to return at some point this year, Kevin White is rumored to be out all season. Jay Cutler is going to have to throw the ball…and then he’ll throw the ball some more. All those targets are not just going to Jeffery and Bennett. Royal will make the most of his receptions and look to build off a stellar 2014 season.
Markus Wheaton (ADP: WR #53)
Markus Wheaton had a quiet sophomore campaign no thanks to the fantasy explosion of rookie teammate, Martavis Bryant. Recently, Bryant was just suspended four games for a violation of the league’s substance abuse policy. That upticks Wheaton’s value just enough as he’ll now be starting across Antonio Brown in a high-powered offense. “I think Markus Wheaton is our breakout player of the year,” Roethlisberger said in an interview for SiriusXM NFL Radio August 2. “I want that pressure on him because when we’re in two wide sets, he’s our No. 2 guy”. Big Ben certainly knows what’s going on in the locker room better than anyone else. Cheers to year three and that a diamond in the rough is made from all that pressure.
Brian Quick (ADP: WR #58)
This selection has the most potential to blow up in my face. Last season, Quick was a top 20 wide receiver in weeks one through six before suffering a season ending shoulder injury. Fully healthy once again, Quick is back atop the depth chart as the Rams number one wide receiver. However, he may not just be the top receiver for the Rams, but also the top option as Tre Mason and Todd Gurley are both questionable for the season opener. Quick will have the opportunity to resume his breakout season early in 2015 and if he can stay healthy, who knows what his ceiling is?
Stevie Johnson (ADP: WR #60)
Stevie Johnson is the one receiver I tend to have on every one of my rosters at the completion of a draft. Johnson is low enough in the rankings and on the depth chart for everyone to overlook him. Don’t be that guy. After a couple down years in Buffalo and an awful stint in the run-first San Francisco scheme, Johnson has found himself in the best situation since the start of his career. As the third string receiver in San Diego’s offense, Johnson shall be revived. The Bolts utilized three wide sets on 86% of their plays, third highest mark in the league. Initially slated to play the slot position, Johnson will see soft coverage while defenses have their hands full with Keenan Allen and Malcom Floyd. Side note: Eddie Royal accumulated 1,409 yards and 15 touchdowns over the last two seasons as a slot receiver in San Diego.