Fantasy football enthusiasts often encounter terms like “breakout,” “sleeper,” and “bust,” but the true essence of these expressions may remain elusive. Consulting five different fantasy football analysts could yield five distinct interpretations.
For the purpose of this discussion, a “sleeper” signifies a player selected in double-digit draft rounds, yet harbors the potential to become a starter. This potential should be embedded in the player’s existing form, rather than stemming from another player’s injury. Moreover, the player must rank within the top 36 wide receivers.
Within this article, we identify nine wide receiver sleepers viable for drafting as late as the tenth round or possibly available on the waiver wire. These players possess genuine potential to become starters in the forthcoming season. Let’s delve into the specifics. Don’t forget to apply the promo code “BOOM” for a 10% discount on premium purchases.
Jonathan Mingo, a member of the Carolina Panthers, stands out due to his untapped potential in their offensive lineup. A pivotal question emerges: Are newly acquired Panthers like Adam Thielen, D.J. Chark, and Hayden Hurst genuinely impactful players?
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Thielen managed 103 targets in the previous season, ranking 28th in receivers. However, he only garnered 716 yards, a 45th position. Among receivers with at least 75 targets, he secured the ninth-lowest Pro Football Focus (PFF) receiving grade. Notably, Thielen had minimal yards after catch (YAC) and an unsatisfactory average yards per route run (YPRR). Evidently, Thielen’s performance is waning.
Chark, on a parallel trajectory, once displayed promise but has encountered consistency issues. Despite a strong 2019 season, he hasn’t been able to maintain that level of play. In his other 39 games, his stats were significantly lower. While Chark did sign a one-year contract with the Lions, his performance metrics remain underwhelming.
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Mingo’s potential as a top Panthers receiver is challenged by Thielen and Chark. Nonetheless, given the lack of competition for targets, Mingo’s potential for the 2023 season seems promising. His proficiency in breaking tackles and gaining yards after contact could pose challenges for defenses. With his attributes, he could evolve into a top-30 receiver in the latter half of the season.
Skyy Moore and Rashee Rice, part of the Kansas City Chiefs, offer potential as well. The perception that Kadarius Toney was the standout among them is shifting, with Moore and Rice stepping into the spotlight. Toney’s previous performances don’t entirely justify the confidence placed in him.
Moore’s rookie year was more promising than apparent. Learning multiple roles within the Chiefs’ offense impacted his stats. Nonetheless, his success rate versus man and zone defenses was respectable. His potential as the Chiefs’ second-most productive pass-catcher in 2023 remains plausible.
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Rice’s impressive senior season and stature make him a compelling option. The uncertainty in target distribution and roles among these three players implies that dismissing Moore and Rice is premature.
Nico Collins and John Metchie III, part of the Houston Texans, are sleeper candidates with potential. Despite perceptions of the Texans’ limited talent, Collins and Metchie shouldn’t be overlooked. Collins’ numbers are promising, especially considering his catchable target percentage. Metchie’s draft capital and profile make him a strong contender.
Van Jefferson, representing the Los Angeles Rams, is poised for a starting role after Allen Robinson II’s departure. While injuries affected Jefferson’s 2022 performance, his history with Stafford and impressive aDOT position him well.
Rondale Moore of the Arizona Cardinals holds promise after DeAndre Hopkins’ departure. Moore’s 2022 performance went unnoticed, but he has the potential to provide WR3 value.
Isaiah Hodgins and Darius Slayton of the New York Giants offer value despite their positions on the depth chart. The Giants’ offensive upgrades and anticipated passing volume bode well for these sleeper picks.
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