By Des Boodam
I don’t believe in sleepers anymore, and haven’t for about a decade. Sleepers used to be players you thought would be great that no one else was thinking about. You could draft these players late in drafts after all the better players were gone, and then a few weeks into the season, they would perform like a 2nd or 3rd round pick or better. Everyone recognizes your pick as lucky, even though your pick was planned and clearly thought out. This never happens any more. There is too much exposure now to teams and players with social media, and so now everyone sees every fringe player as a potential “SLEEPER”. Because everyone knows about a sleeper, they cease to become a sleeper and are now simply a value pick. The challenge is getting them as late as possible so as to extract as much value as possible. The main question fantasy owners’s need to ask themselves is “how do the other managers in your league value the same players you value”? This will determine whether or not you can get your player when you want them. Wide Receivers are great, because there’s so many of them and a lot of value to go around. Your WR4 could end up being a WR2 which is huge value for you. If you had four WR2s that’s a good line up – so there’s not a huge gap between tiers and if you simply put forth a good effort towards the back end of the draft, you can likely eek out some value. Here are three WRs you shouldn’t sleep on.
COOPER KUPP – Los Angeles Rams
Kupp is far from a sleeper after leading the team in receptions and receiving yards last season. He did so quietly though, and with the addition of Brandin Cooks the temptation is write off all three Rams wide outs. My advice however, is don’t ignore any of them, as all three will have a specific roll. Woods, is a big target downfield, and Kupp works in the slot. Cooks can do both giving the Rams a bunch of versatility. TDs won’t be as easy to come by, but catches, and yardage he should rack up. I believe he will be better than last season.
CAMERON MEREDITH – New Orleans Saints
If Meredith was above average in Chicago, he’ll be great in New Orleans with Drew Brees throwing him the ball. Michael Thomas will command a lot attention in that offense, and Alvin Kamara will get the rest… this leaves Meredith to roam around in the slot with plenty of opportunity to make big plays. His route running, speed and hands will be a huge asset in this offense.
MARTAVIS BRYANT – Oakland Raiders
I believe that Bryant does better as the #3 wide out, and can’t handle the #2 role. There are not very many safeties that can roll with him on crossing patterns, and David Carr has never had a receiver with this combination of speed and size. Bryant’s biggest issue is himself, so if he can get over his lack a maturity and actually show some leadership – he’ll be unstoppable in that offense. Bryant is the only one that has proven to be able to stop Bryant, and it’s frustrating to see that type of talent go to waste. I think Carr can reach this guy, and if he can stay away from the bales of Marijuana that fall into his lap – he should give you some amazing value.
There are so many more as well, but I’m watching how these three are used in summer camp. Brice Butler with the Cardinals is another one that I’ll be watching as well.