2011 Fantasy Football: Top 5 Sleepers at Wide Receiver

Jake WinieckiCorrespondent IIIJuly 25, 2011

2011 Fantasy Football: Top 5 Sleepers at Wide Receiver

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    It looks like football is finally back with the players set to approve the new CBA today. 

    With football back that means fantasy football as well.  One of the big arguments year to year in the fantasy football world is who will be the big "sleepers".  Those are the players who don't get talked about too much and seemingly come out of nowhere to put up big seasons. 

    At the wide receiver position we have seen players like Miles Austin and Brandon Lloyd take the league by storm and put up huge years.

    Who will it be this year?  That is what I am attempting to shed some light on.

    Please feel free to comment and give me your opinions on this years top sleepers at wide receiver.

5. Mike Williams (TB)

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    I know what you're thinking.  How can Mike Williams be a sleeper when he caught 65 passes for 964 yards and 11 TD's last year?  Despite that and the fact that he is the No. 1 target for a young and improving Josh Freeman, he is still only ranked as the 23rd Wide Receiver on NFL.com.  Players who post numbers like those in their rookie season, especially that kind of red zone production, usually don't turn out to be flukes.  I think he is in store for at least 1,000 yards and another 10+ TD season, which could potentially put him even top five by the end of the year, so at 23rd I'd say he's a sleeper ready to shine.

4. Jacoby Ford (OAK)

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    Despite only catching 25 passes, Jacoby Ford had 470 yards and 2 scores.  Doesn't sound like much and that's because it really isn't.  The big thing here with Ford is that he has the opportunity to take over as the number one target for Jason Campbell, which could put him at a potential 1,000 yard or at least a big improvement form last year.  The Raider leading receiver in 2010 (Zach Miller) only had 685 yards.  Someone is bound to take over and dominate this receiving corps and I think that will be the blazing fast Jacoby Ford.

3. James Jones (FA)

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    Despite having a bad case of the drops this year, James Jones managed to catch 50 passes for 679 yards and 5 TD's while only starting in three games for the Packers.  He is set to be a free agent once that period begins and will mostly likely not be re-signed by Green Bay.  That means that he will finally get his chance to be a starting Wide Receiver.  I think as a number 2 or even No. 1 guy depending on where he goes he has a good chance at putting up big numbers.  A 1,000 yard 10 TD season is not all that unlikely.  We still don't know what QB will be throwing to him though, or if he will be able to stop dropping the ball so much.  That's the main reason he isn't No. 1 on this list.

2. Jordy Nelson (GB)

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    Jordy Nelson is normally a pretty sure-handed receiver, but had it not been for a few drops in Super Bowl 45 he would have had a game for the ages.  Despite that he still had 9 catches for 140 yards and a TD.  He is also set to be the Superbowl champs No. 2 receiver behind Greg Jennings and with Aaron Rodgers at QB that is a pretty good situation to be in.  He should be able to produce stats like Donald Driver did before his decline last year.

1. Mike Thomas (JAX)

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    Opportunity is the No. 1 thing I look for in a sleeper and with Mike Sims-Walker almost certainly leaving in free agency, Mike Thomas will become the number one receiver for David Garrard in Jacksonville.  He managed to catch 66 passes for 820 yards and 4 TD's.  He should top 1,000 yards this year along with at least 6 or 7 TD's.  He is currently ranked as the No. 1 the 27th best Wide Receiver for fantasy this year by NFL.com.  Every year there are guys who jump up from that area into the top 10 or 15.  Thomas should be that guy this year.