Fantasy Football 2022: Sleeper WRs to Target in Updated Flex Rankings

Michelle Bruton@@michelle_nflFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 2, 2022

Fantasy Football 2022: Sleeper WRs to Target in Updated Flex Rankings

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    John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

    We've put out plenty of guides on players you should target near the top of your draft and the best players at each position. But what about when you get into the later rounds of your draft?

    Far from throwaway picks, those players can end up being powerhouses of your team, subbing in when your starters are on bye or get injured and sometimes emerging as stars in their own right.

    Within the latest flex rankings (using points-per-reception, or PPR, scoring and assuming a redraft league), let's take a look at some sleeper wideouts you can target in the final rounds of your draft as you fill out your bench spots.

    For our purposes, we'll define a "sleeper" as any wide receiver who is rostered in less than 45 percent of Yahoo leagues, per FantasyPros.

    Don't sleep (zing!) on adding these pass-catchers to your bench even before you address kicker and defense.

Garrett Wilson, WR, New York Jets

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    Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

    Rostered: 29 percent of leagues

    Projected fantasy points (PPR): 146.1

    Fantasy managers in redraft leagues have varying philosophies on taking a chance on rookies when it gets to the reserve-players portion of their drafts.

    Some managers prefer to go with a "known" veteran, even if that player has an injury history or is looking at a diminished snap share, and wait to see if any of the rookies break out. (This is, it bears repeating, only applicable to redraft leagues, although in keeper leagues, rookies can have even more value as so many top players are off the board when drafts begin.)

    But other managers are keen to take a chance on a rookie who stood out in training camp or the preseason and, by all appearances, stands to command a healthy portion of the snap share. This season, Jets rookie Garrett Wilson could be that player.

    Wilson was an anchor of Ohio State's passing game in 2021, totaling 12 receiving touchdowns to go along with more than 1,000 receiving yards. Per FantasyPros' Andrew Erickson, Wilson enjoyed the 12th-highest passer rating in all of FBS when targeted (141.7). What's more, he did that while competing for targets with Chris Olave and Jaxon Smith-Njigba.

    With the Jets, No. 10 overall selection Wilson once again finds himself in an offense with no shortage of receiving weapons for quarterback Zach Wilson, including Elijah Moore and Corey Davis. But wideout Wilson has proved that he can elbow his way to the top of the snap share. It's not beyond the realm of possibility that he could win favor as Zach Wilson's top target.

    If you're looking for reserves and you have the choice of a third-string (or worse) veteran or an unknown commodity in a rookie, Wilson's potential ceiling should sway you. He's ranked No. 137 overall and WR51 among flex players by FantasyPros.

DeVante Parker, WR, New England Patriots

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    Rostered: 45 percent of leagues

    Projected fantasy points (PPR): 161.1

    There's no question DeVante Parker, whom the Miami Dolphins traded to the New England Patriots in April, is flying under the radar this offseason.

    Now in his eighth season, Parker has a chance for a career resurgence. He topped 1,000 yards for the first time in 2019 but hasn't hit that milestone since. That season also saw him score a career-high nine touchdowns.

    One one hand, Parker now finds himself in a New England offense known for moving the ball around and making it hard for any one skill player to stand out. On the other hand, Parker is the Patriots' clear outside-the-numbers, downfield threat, meaning that even if he isn't racking up extra PPR points with the most receptions in every game, he should be logging plenty of yards and touchdowns to go along with them.

    Though firmly a veteran by now, Parker has shown he has plenty of gas left in the tank. Last season, he had at least seven targets in seven of his nine games played, and he scored double-digit fantasy points five times.

    Parker will be competing with Jakobi Meyers for targets, but second-year quarterback Mac Jones needs a reliable weapon, and it's incredibly likely Parker could become that for him. He should be a solid reserve and, depending on whether he breaks out with New England, could earn a starting spot in your flex role.

Rondale Moore, WR, Arizona Cardinals

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    Emilee Chinn/Getty Images

    Rostered: 30 percent of leagues

    Projected fantasy points (PPR): 137.9

    Rondale Moore is a fantastic example of a player you may not keep in your lineup for the whole season, but who will be a super smart choice to have around for the first six weeks of the year. That, of course, is because top Cardinals weapon DeAndre Hopkins is suspended for that length of time.

    The Cardinals offense is a hard nut to crack. When he's in the lineup, Hopkins is almost certainly WR1, and new acquisition Marquise Brown will be up there as well. Then there's A.J. Green, who has been slowing down in recent years but will still eat up a chunk of targets.

    Even setting aside Hopkins' suspension for a moment, second-year player Moore has an opportunity to carve out a substantial role in Arizona's Air Raid system. With a Hopkins-sized hole in the offense for the first third of the season, it's almost guaranteed he will.

    Moore is expected to be listed as questionable for Week 1, but even if he doesn't see action until Week 2, he'll still be a viable starter for five straight weeks. And if he's serving as a benchwarmer for you...well, aren't you lucky?


    Rankings, projections and rostered percentage via FantasyPros

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