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Five Wide Receiver Sleepers - 2017 Fantasy Football ADP Values


Legend has it that only true love's kiss can wake a sleeping beauty. I present to you five wide receivers that are in a deep comatose state buried on your draft board. Whether it was because of injuries, lack-luster offenses, or incapable quarterbacks, these five players are presenting you with the opportunity to be the hero of your league.

Don't be afraid of the dragon in the shape of a bogus "Pre-Rank" next to their names on the screen. Scroll down that list and take these studs with confidence because when awaken, they will be beautiful.

Okay Prince Charming, do your thing.

Editor's Note: Get any rest-of-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off. Our exclusive DFS Tools, Lineup Optimizer and Premium DFS Research through the Super Bowl. Sign Up Now!

 

2017 Wide Receiver Sleepers

Pierre Garcon, SF (ADP: WR36 Standard, WR34 PPR)

In 2013, Garcon played his first full season in Kyle Shanahan's offense with the Redskins. He finished that year with a career high 113 Receptions and 1,346 Yards. Fast forward to 2017 and the two are reunited out in the Bay. Still 31 years young, Garcon is coming off his only other career 1,000 yard season, but was only able to score three TD in the crowded Redskins aerial attack. In fact, he only caught five passes in the red zone all year.

But I don't see this being an issue in 2017, as the 49ers don't have another viable threat to compete with Garcon for those red zone targets, especially after trading TE Vance McDonald to the Steelers this week. Marquise Goodwin is a fantastic vertical threat, and Jeremy Kerley was just released. Brian Hoyer will lock on to Garcon with all his might from the get-go, and Kyle Shanahan is capable of making sure his #1 WR doesn't get negated by the defense. Remember the 2015 campaign DeAndre Hopkins had himself with Brian Hoyer targeting him a hundred times a game? Okay, not really 100, but he did get 22 in one game and 192 on the season.

I don't understand what is keeping Garcon on the board so long on draft day. In PPR leagues especially, with the target share that he is going to be fed, he could easily be sitting in the top 20 WR range by season's end. If its the 49ers projected record that is scaring you, then I will tell you that in 2013 when Garcon had his most successful season, the Redskins went 3-13. Bottom line: Kyle Shanahan + Brian Hoyer + terrible WR depth = all the Garcon shares I can handle.

 

John Brown, ARI (ADP: WR45 Standard, WR50 PPR)

Before he went out and lit up the Falcons for two touchdowns last week, John "Smokey" Brown was flying WAY under the radar in 2017.  Due to difficulty recovering from injuries due to the sickle-cell trait, Brown missed most of 2016. But if you think back to 2015, Smokey hauled in seven TD along with over 1,000 yards as he proved to be just too fast for defenses to cover when healthy. He claims to be at "90 percent" right now, which for Smokey is plenty healthy enough to duplicate those 2015 numbers again this season, especially with Michael Floyd no longer posing a threat to his deep-zone air space. The 207 FP (PPR) he earned in 2015 would have ranked inside the top 25 WR last year, and that's the kind of ceiling you should be targeting with your WR3/4 spot. The floor is a bit Smokey, but the sky is the limit in that Bruce Arians offense.

 

Adam Thielen, MIN (ADP: WR46 Standard, WR41 PPR)

Every day this guy's ADP is slowly creeping up. This is mostly due to the fact that he has now taken over the slot position for the Vikings, as Stefon Diggs moves to the outside, and people are realizing what this could mean in terms of PPR points. But Adam Thielen is still ripe with value even at his present ADP. Fantasy football doesn't always portray just how good some guys are at this game, and Thielen is one of the cases. Only five WR in the entire league ranked in the top 10 of both DYAR (Defense Adjusted- Yards Above Replacement) and DVOA (Defense-Adjusted Value over Average) during the 2016 season. Yes, these are just Football Outsiders attempt at making a WAR-like statistic for football, but back to the point. Adam Thielen was one of the heralded five. He boasted a 75% catch rate, which was only bested by four other wide-outs, one of which being his teammate Diggs.

Fantasy-wise, Thielen was the sneakiest top 30 WR of the year in 2016. He became Sam Bradford's go-to man to move the sticks, and the connection-and targets grew with every month. Now add a full off-season into the chemistry maker, and we'll get even more volume. 62% of Bradford's passes last year were of the "short" variety, which is why Thielen will at least repeat his 2016 Top 30 WR performance again in PPR leagues in 2017.

 

Jordan Matthews, BUF (ADP: WR50 Standard, WR47 PPR)

With the departures of Sammy Watkins, Robert Woods, and Marquise Goodwin, there are currently around 250 targets up for grabs in the Bills passing game. As of right now, based on the fantasy football community and social media, one would be led to believe rookie Zay Jones is going to fill every bit of that void by himself. But let's pump the breaks. Yes Zay Jones was amazing at East Carolina, but we all remember how dominant Jordan Matthews was at Vandy, right? Matthews scored eight TD in both of his first two seasons in the NFL, and has reached 800 Rec Yds in all three seasons. So we have two rare specimen of human beings fighting for targets and you expect me to believe the one with zero NFL experience is going to box out the guy with three seasons under his belt because of some success in preseason? Get out of here.

Tyrod Taylor was fantastic in the red zone last season, boasting a 11:0 TD:INT ratio. But... only four of those TD were to a player still on the roster. Enter Matthews, who has hauled in 14 red zone TD already in his short career. Just two years ago, he owned the sixth highest target percentage among WR inside the 10 yard line. This is where Matthews will make his mark. Matthews will be all healed up from his chest injury by week 1, and if Tyrod stays healthy, the often-trailing Bills should be able to force feed Matthews enough volume to finish as a top 35 WR. I have been landing Matthews in the tenth round in my 2017 drafts, and I feel like a thief looking at him in my WR4 slot. The fact that the new #1 on the team is being drafted behind the likes of Donte Moncrief, Randall Cobb, and Corey Coleman is just absurd.

 

Robby Anderson, NYJ (ADP: WR56 Standard, WR56 PPR)

Plain and simple, I don't care how ugly the team is, or who is throwing the ball. The clear #1 WR on any offense, especially one that will be playing from behind so much, has to be drafted before this! Kenny Britt and Corey Coleman are being drafted 4-5 rounds prior to Robby and they're playing in Cleveland with a rookie QB, while stealing targets from each other. Stop the hate people. Yes, the butt fumble will always be funny, but good fantasy numbers can come out of awful football. Anderson was targeted over 10 times just twice last season. He scored 33 FP (PPR) between the two, and that's what we have to look forward to when the Jets are losing by 30 and the garbage-time force feeding begins.

As I am writing this of course, the Jets trade for Jermaine Kearse. The addition of Jermaine Kearse doesn't scare me away from Robby Anderson, it actually makes me feel safer about drafting him. Now the Jets have a competent WR that can provide some respite for Robby from the defenses' focus. Neither of the two will be anything close to studs this year, but things would have to go historically bad for Robby to not provide value at his current ADP.

 

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