Top WR Sleepers for 2019 Fantasy Draft

Top WR Sleepers for 2019 Fantasy Draft

Trying to find wide receiver sleepers is one of the more challenging things to do in fantasy football, and it gets even worse when you are looking at these guys in May. That being said, we think we have five guys who are clearly sleeper/bargains at their current ADP. Looking for even deeper sleepers? We identify five other guys that are completely off the radar, but are worth keeping an eye on this summer.

The receiver position is generally the deepest position in PPR formats. There are solid WR3 options available as late as the 10th round in this year’s draft. While our sleeper pick were not perfect last season (John Ross, gross, Cameron Meredith, sorry, DJ Moore, meh) we did recommend targeting Robert Woods in the 9th, Kenny Golladay in the 11th, and Tyler Lockett in the 12th. All three guys in the second group ended up being top 25 receivers last season.

top nfl wr sleepers 2019

The middle round receivers tend to provide much better value than late round darts. Compare last season’s ADP to final receiver rankings… they come much closer to holding true than any other position.

There is a group of guys in rounds 5-12 this season that have a chance to not only be top 25 receivers, but to finish even higher than that. This group includes: Chris Godwin, Mike Williams, D.J. Moore, Alshon Jeffery, Robby Anderson, Will Fuller, Geronimo Allison, Sterling Shepard, and Emmanuel Sanders.

Beyond that there are some familiar names in the late rounds could end up providing good value in a new place: Devin Funchess, Demaryius Thomas, DaSean Jackson and Donte Moncrief all get a massive upgrade at QB that could rejuvenate their careers in a new spot.

Which of these names makes our list this season? Here are the five receivers we feel best about at their current ADP’s:

Top 8 WR Sleepers Guide for 2019 NFL Fantasy Football Season

Top 60 NFL WR Rankings 2019
HR RankWide ReceiverADPSoSAdditional Notes
13Chris Godwin5318There may not be a receiver in the NFL that had more targets come available over the offseason than Chris Godwin. With Adam Humphries (105 targets) moving to Tennessee and DeSean Jackson (74 targets) moving to Philly, Godwin could see WR1 type targets in 2019. Read More…
33Geronimo Allison9727The move to the inside for Geronimo Allison could pay off in a big way for potential fantasy owners. Despite his size and past big play flashes (averaged 5/72 prior to injury in 2018), Allison is a better fit on the inside. He can run the complete route tree and is extremely tricky off the line. Read More…
35Emmanuel Sanders10421It just does not feel right to have Sanders as WR 41. He was WR 15 last season with 17.3 fantasy PPG, and we expect a jump up this year for two reasons: Rich Scangarello and Joe Flacco. According to PFF Sanders was top 15 in deep passing, slot performance, yards per route run, and should get more chances in 2019. Read More…
54Marquise Goodwin16912Like Sanders, Goodwin struggled with injuries in 2018, but flashed his big play ability when healthy. He was a top 10 WR during the Garoppolo stretch of games at the end of 2017, and many expected a breakout season in 2018. However, both he and Jimmy G. were injured early in the season, and the breakout never happened. Read More…
57Terry McLaurinNA1Players over the past four years to take 20% or more of their snaps out of the slot for Jay Gruden during his tenure in Washington: Pierre Garcon, DeSean Jackson, and Jamison Crowder. The first two were top 15 fantasy receivers and Crowder was Washington’s leading fantasy WR each of the last three years. McLaurin looks like the next guy up. Read More…
55Tre’Quan SmithNA16Showed flashes as a rookie, but was way too inconsistent. Looks and sounds like he is still number 2 WR in New Orleans. Averaged over 15 YPC as a rookie so a bump in targets could make him a late round gem.  Read More…
61Willie SneadNA28Unless Hollywood Brown develops into a high-target receiver (highly unlikely) Snead will likely see 120+ targets in 2019. He saw 95 targets last season, and Crabtree and Brown (195 targets) both left this offseason. Read More…
NAScotty MillerNA18Who the f*#@ is Scotty Miller? While he isn’t Adam Humphries… or DeSean Jackson… He is a little bit of both, has turned heads in camp, and could carve out a role on this team that lost 242 targets off of last year’s roster. Read More…

best wr sleeper targets 2019 nfl

#13 WR: Chris Godwin

With Jackson and Humphries leaving in the offseason Godwin, who scored on 12% of his receptions in 2018, is looking like a 110 target guy.

Chris Godwin

WR Sleeper | Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Admittedly, this is low hanging fruit. Targets gained/lost is always a great indicator when looking for sleepers, and this was the case again last year. The Broncos lost a ton of targets and Sanders was WR12 at the time of his injury, same with the Chargers (Mike Williams WR20), and this year the Bucs are that team.

With both Jackson and Humphries gone, over 36% of the team’s targets are up for grabs heading into 2019. Sure, Mike Evans may lead the league in targets, but that is still going to leave 100+ targets available. Hello Chris Godwin and hello OJ Howard.

There was a lot to like from Godwin’s 2019 campaign. He graded out as PFF’s 26th overall wide receiver. He was top 30 in yards per route run, and ended up 12th in drop rate. He was effective as both an inside and outside receiver, and scored on 11.8% of his receptions. He is a swiss army knife receiver… catches everything, can run any route, can line up anywhere, and is a legitimate red zone threat.

We have Godwin projected to get 140 targets in 2019 (he had 95 in 2018), which could result in fantasy gold. 7 of the 9 guys to get that many targets in 2018 finished as top 10 receivers, and given Godwin’s red zone ability, we think he would easily join that group.

So how, when, and where should you target Godwin in your 2019 fantasy draft? He is currently going in the mid-to-late 5th round. If you are a believer in his upside, we recommend targeting him in the 4th. This means taking him over Julian Edelman, Robert Woods, Tyler Lockett, and Jarvis Landry. He is certainly rated higher than that group in our current WR rankings.

#33 WR: Geronimo Allison

It sounds like Matt LaFleur see Geronimo Allison as the Packers slot receiver this season. He has a great release, quick feet, and this just may work.

Geronimo Allison

WR Sleeper | Green Bay Packers
We have always been big fans of G-Mo. He is an extremely smart football player, he’s managed to stick on this roster despite a litany of moves at the position. New guys in, old guys out every year it seems. While that is a credit to his willingness to work, accept his role, and learn, he gives the credit to sharing an offensive room with Aaron Rodgers and Jordy Nelson. Smart guy.

Allison has earned a reputation as a big play guy, but that really isn’t necessarily who he is and Lafleur has already seen that. Despite a double-digit yards/target number, Allison had an impressive 67% catch rate last year. He has a great (borderline elite) release, is a solid route runner and only has 7 drops in his career.

While Adams in undeniably the number one receiver in Green Bay, Allison won’t be too far behind him in fantasy scoring this season if he can hold on to that number 2 role. In his 4 games last season, Allison averaged 5 receptions for 72 yards and scored twice. That’s 15 fantasy PPG, which would have put him at WR22 over the course of the season.

Rogers trusts him, which should be good enough for us. The man has had 2 receivers finish in the top 10 in fantasy scoring twice in the last five seasons. Allison is not a top 10 guy, but we are talking about a guy you can get in the 11th round right now (meaning he’s likely your WR5 or WR6) we will take that value all day, every day.

popular wr sleepers for 2019 nfl season

#35 WR: Emmanuel Sanders

Wait, Sanders was WR17 last year, gets an upgrade at OC and QB and he is WR41? What are we doing here?

Emmanuel Sanders

WR Sleeper | Denver Broncos
Seriously. What are we doing here? I get it, Achilles injuries are terrifying, but this man is back. He was running at just under 20 mph just 4 months out from the injury, and will likely be ready for the start of camp.

Let’s talk 2017: As we mentioned, he was WR17 in fantasy PPG, but if we remove the partial game in which he tore his Achilles, he was actually WR12 through the first 11 weeks of the season, and that was with Case Keenum who had a QBR of 46.9 last season. Elite or not, Flacco is a massive upgrade to Keenum… his career QBR is 10+ point higher and that is despite playing in some of the worst offensive systems in football (thanks Mary Morhinweg).

We 100% believe in Rich Scangarello. He has 20 years experience coaching QB’s and spent the last two seasons as Kyle Shanahan’s QB coach in San Francisco. This offense is going to move the ball, and Emmanuel Sanders is the most proven offensive weapon they have. Maybe he doesn’t get back to the WR12 pace we saw last season, but he certainly won’t finish anywhere near WR41, which is his current ADP.

Sanders is currently going in the back half of the 9th round, we are targeting him early in the 8th. This simply means moving him ahead of this group of players: N’Keal Harry, Dante Pettis, Mecole Hardman, and D.K. Metcalf. Let someone else worry about a rookie receiver, grab a proven vet that you can be certain is at minimum a solid flex play, with proven WR2 upside as recent as last season.

#54 WR: Marquise Goodwin

We drafted him in the 3rd round last season based off his finish to 2017. Can he and Jimmy G. make the magic again?

Marquise Goodwin

WR Sleeper | San Francisco 49ers
This pick is tougher on us than anyone… Deebo and Hurd were two of our four favorite furure-fantasy-players in this year’s draft. George Kittle was our favorite sleeper this time last season. Dante Pettis was one of our favorite players in last year’s draft. This is arguably the best pass catching backfield ever assembled. So. Many. Mouths.

The problem is we just can’t quit on his upside. And we know Shanahan can’t either.

Listen, this is it. He was being drafted in the 3rd round last year based off that stretch with Jimmy G at the end of 2017. Remember? Jimmy targeted him on deep balls 20 times, they connected on 8 for an average of 35.5 YPC. Goodwin was a top 10 WR over that stretch. Everyone has forgotten already.

Let’s talk about why we have forgotten already… a little thing called 2018. An injury laden season, midseason tragedy, with hints of CJ Beathard and Nick Mullens.

Even after all of that… losing his quarterback, injuring his quad, then hamstring, then losing a child, just to return to a dumpster fire at QB. He gave us one of the most memorable, emotional moments of the season:

Honestly, we are not going to try to convince you that this time will be different, but it is. This time you can get Goodwin on the back half of the 12th round. We also believe that Shanahan will be smarter about how the team uses Goodwin this season. They will monitor the number of routes he runs, and won’t make him catch the four yard hitch that Mullens throws two yards off target, leading him right into the free safety’s shoulder pad.

We are 6 years into Goodwin’s career, so it’s fair to assume we know what he is. That being said, if you value upside in your late round picks, then it’s hard to imagine more upside than a healthy Marquise Goodwin.

#57 WR: Terry McLaurin

Versatile receiver that can line up anywhere will need to step up big for the Redskins in 2019.

Terry McLaurin

WR Sleeper | Washington Redskins
In the intro to McLaurin’s piece we mentioned we think he can play anywhere for the Redskins this year, and we will take it even one step further. Looking for an NFL comparison for McLaurin? I think Pierre Garcon is a really close comparison.

A four year player for the Buckeyes, McLaurin competes. He averaged 20 YPC in 2018, but coaches raved about his blocking… he was a team captain, lined up inside, outside, made contested catches, took shots, and was a guy Haskins looked to on third down. McLaurin measured at 6’0 208′ at the combine, so he has the size to play inside or out, and his 4.35 40 time is more than a tenth faster than Garcon.

If Washington is going to throw the ball consistently in 2018 they are going to need McLaurin to step up and immediately. In fact, this is perhaps the most important factor when it comes to McLaurin’s fantasy value is the spot he landed in. Here is what his competition for targets at WR on this roster did in 2018:

So, where should you target McLaurin in your fantasy draft? This is a bit tricky because while his current ADP is outside of the 18th round, this is one we would call a super-wise-guy pick. Meaning if you have another owner that really knows what he is doing, he is likely going to jump on McLaurin before anyone else gets a chance. We need to assume this is the case, there is no point in picking a defense early, or adding a third tight end when there are still RB/WR you really like available.

Rookie receivers still carry a ton of risk so we don’t want to waste a pick in round 12 or 13, where you can still get some of the guys mentioned earlier, but look to grab McLaurin in rounds 14 or 15. This will likely mean he’s your WR6 and last flex pick of the draft. More years than not this is a guy you end up dropping after week one to pick up whoever the hot waiver is, so there is zero risk and a ton of upside given he may end up being Washington’s WR1 in 2019.

Digging Deeper… Deep Sleepers for 2019

#55 WR: Tre’Quan Smith

Is Smith ready to live up to all of the hype after an up and down rookie season?

Tre’Quan Smith

WR Sleeper | New Orleans Saints
He may not be way off of fantasy owner’s radars, but Tre’Quan Smith’s current ADP is 190. That essentially means he isn’t being drafted in the majority of leagues.

We get it… he was up and down his rookie season, but honestly his 28/427/5 stat line was better than the rookie stat lines of 6 of the top 20 fantasy WR’s last season. He wasn’t even just forced to play in a complicated Saints system as a rookie, he had to change positions in week 4 when Ted Ginn went down with his injury.

With Ginn back, the Saints have the ability to use Tre’Quan wherever and however they see fit. Sean Payton has already said he expects Smith to take a major step forward this season, and early reports out of camp are have him spending a lot more time in the slot.

At 6’2″ Smith wouldn’t be the first tall(er) player to find success in the slot for the Saints (Colston, Graham, Thomas all have seen plenty of snaps in the slot). However he may be the most explosive… his 40 time is nearly a full tenth of a second faster than anyone in that group, and his 20 YPC and 13 touchdowns his last season at UCF show just how explosive he can be.

The Saints need someone other than Thomas and Kamara to step up, and of the group at Payton’s disposal Smith is the guy that really stands out to us. If he makes a jump forward in his second season he may be one of the better late round steals in this year’s draft.

trequan smith sleeper fantasy pick 2019

#61 WR: Willie Snead

Snead is the number one receiver on this Ravens roster, lost a bunch of weight this offseason, and looks ready for a career high in targets.

Willie Snead

WR Sleeper | Baltimore Ravens
Who wouldn’t want a share of that dangerous Lamar Jackson – Willie Snead combination? Ok, well maybe it isn’t the most attractive sleeper pick ever, but it will be effective.

The issue here is that Baltimore lost almost 200 targets between Michael Crabtree and John Brown this offseason, and they have to go somewhere. I do think Hollywood gets around 90 targets, and Hurst and Andrews both see another bump in targets, but the rest are going to Snead.

Snead is going to be the guy that goes over the middle, the guy that makes the contested catches on third down and in the red zone. He has to be… they don’t have another receiver that fits that mold on this roster.

While most are likely less than excited by the Greg Roman hire at OC, I think he’s a perfect fit here. While he is not innovative, he is creative within a traditional pro style offense. He will find a way to throw the ball efficiently while running a run-heavy offense with a QB that has legitimate issues throwing the ball.

If Jackson is able to take a step forward under Roman, Snead will likely be the biggest beneficiary of that improvement. Snead’s current ADP is outside of the range of most fantasy leagues, he would be going somewhere in the 20th round in a 12 man league. This means he fits the mold of a deep sleeper, someone you can make your last flex-eligible pick of the draft.

#~70 WR: Scotty Miller

While he doesn’t have the size or pedigree of a NFL WR, Miller certainly has the speed and has displayed the grit early on in Bucs camp.

Scotty Miller

WR Sleeper | Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Godwin is the man for the Bucs… we are all in on him. However, as we mentioned earlier, a total of 242 targets are gone from last season’s team. Most of those targets come from Adam Humphries (now with Titans) and DeSean Jackson (now with Eagles). Obviously no one man can replace those two, or can they? Jason Licht found himself a white receiver that plays like DeSean Jackson…

Scotty is fast… like… fast. He didn’t get an invite to the combine, and actually only got interest from a few teams. That is flat out astonishing to us, because one glance at the PFF Draft Guide puts this guy on your radar. He was 12th in YPRR among draft eligible players, was the 18th rated draft receiver in the country, and put up just under 40 yards per reception and 4 touchdowns on 8 deep throws in 2018.

On the year Miller averaged over 100 receiving yards per game and scored 9 touchdowns in 11 games. This included a 13/166/2 game against Jim Leavitt’s Oregon defense in week one.

Those stats would have been impressive if he was playing on Matt Johnson’s Bowling Green offense that shredded the MAC. He did that for a 3 win Bowling Green team. Early reports from Bucs camp were all positive. Get this man on your radar immediately.

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