Fantasy Football Sleepers: Wide Receivers to Grab Late in Drafts

Andrew GouldFeatured ColumnistAugust 10, 2012

GREEN BAY, WI - DECEMBER 11:  Randall Cobb #18 of the Green Bay Packers moves past Lito Sheppard #21 of the Oakland Raiders at Lambeau Field on December 11, 2011 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers defeated the Raiders 46-16.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The wide receiver position is deeper than ever this year, and that is not just limited to the studs.

While snatching running backs early and often is no longer the norm in fantasy football leagues this season, it still might make sense to focus on the more shallow position with all the talent at wideout. 

Last season, Victor Cruz and Jordy Nelson—who went undrafted in most leagues—rewarded owners with No. 1 wide receiver value. Instead of paying a premium price for those players following a breakout campaign, go bargain hunting for the next big thing.

These guys are not sure bets to deliver for your fantasy team, but they can pay major dividends if all goes well. You don't have to worry about a hefty cost either since these receivers can be acquired for next to nothing.


Santana Moss

A sleeper is usually viewed as a young, raw talent waiting for his chance to break through. In this case, an established veteran is getting no respect in fantasy drafts.

At 33 years of age, Santana Moss knows what it feels like to fall through the cracks in fantasy leagues as the young guns steal the spotlight. Usually, owners prudent enough to pick him late are awarded with a highly-productive receiver.

Sure, Moss fared poorly last season, catching 46 passes for 584 yards and four touchdowns. He did, however, play in only 12 games last year, which is his lowest total in the past decade.

Since Moss played a full 16 games in each of the prior three seasons, owners should not consider him an injury risk. He averaged 80 receptions and 1,020 receiving yards during that stretch. 

And for the first time in a while, he has a competent quarterback throwing him the football with another capable wideout in Pierre Garcon to alleviate some of the pressure. Moss is worth a bench pick.


Danny Amendola

Let's try this one more time.

Every working fantasy expert tabbed Danny Amendola as a sleeper last season. After reeling in 85 passes in the 2010-11 season, many thought he could catch 100 balls with Josh McDaniels running the St. Louis Rams' offense.

He caught five. To be fair, he only played in one game before dislocating his elbow. Now he is looking to regain his role as Sam Bradford's preferred target.

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Jeff Gordon, that shouldn't be a problem.

Danny Amendola remains as the clear No. 1 receiving target. He is a great fit for the [Brian] Schottenheimer offense, which features some of the West Coast principles the Rams deployed two years ago when Danny broke out.

Amendola can inflict plenty of damage in the slot this year, especially benefiting owners in points per receptions leagues. 


Randall Cobb

Could this be the second straight year that a Green Bay Packers' wide receiver enters the national limelight?

Randall Cobb could certainly make it happen by carving out a bigger role in Green Bay's prolific passing attack. Considering the obstacles ahead of him, I like his odds.

Donald Driver has been a dependable target for years, but he doesn't have much left in the tank. His receptions have dipped from 70 to 51 to 37 over the past three years. If that trend continues, he will soon become irrelevant.

James Jones is often the culprit of dropping a perfect spiral by Aaron Rodgers. How much longer will they put up with it?

In his rookie season, Cobb showed major playmaking ability. The 21-year-old averaged 15.0 yards per reception and 7.8 yards after the catch. He also returns kicks, which may be an added benefit in some formats.

Cobb is an especially appealing option in dynasty leagues. In re-draft formats, owners may even be able to let him go undrafted and track his progress during the season. Don't wait too long though.