The NFL Combine is over, and NFL Free Agency doesn’t start for another couple of weeks. We sit, serenely, in this downtime of takes (Mike Florio, as always, excluded). Fortunately for you, we here at Football Absurdity do not believe in downtime. As we patiently wait for NFL Free Agency to begin, it’s time to start taking a look toward 2020 fantasy football sleepers! We’ve already taken a look at quarterbacks and running backs, but let’s move on to wide receivers! I love digging into wide receiver rankings because we always find some gems in there. The wide receiver rank for the pre-agency sleepers is their expert consensus rank on FantasyPros.com.
Curtis Samuel, Carolina Panthers (WR46)
The short of this sleeper pick is air yards. I’ve written about Samuel’s air yards problem previously in the Panthers’ What to Remember article above. Air yards are a measure of how many yards the air flew en route to the receiver on targets, and Samuel had one of the lowest conversion rates in the league last year. That wasn’t on Samuel, either. I’ve hammered Wil Grier and Kyle Allen ceaselessly in the hallowed halls of Football Absurdity, so I’ll let Rotoworld.com’s Ian Hartitz show you what I mean:
If the Panthers can return to merely competent quarterback play in 2020, then Curtis Samuel as the #46 wide receiver off the board turns into an absolute steal. He has the talent, and the opportunity, to break out hard.
N’Keal Harry, New England Patriots (WR54)
We all fell in love with N’Keal Harry in the predraft process last season. The Patriots took him in the first round in the 2019 NFL Draft, and the hype went through the roof. Unfortunately for Harry, injuries derailed his rookie campaign in the preseason and he never really got going. Harry played in one preseason game, hit the IR, then came back to play at NFL speed in mid-season. I still believe in the Dez Bryant comparisons, so take a shot on Harry in your drafts. He should come at an extreme value and could end up being this season’s D.J. Chark or 2018’s Mike Williams: high profile guys who disappointed their rookie years to bounce back in a big way in their sophomore campaigns.
Hunter Renfrow, Las Vegas Raiders (WR64)
I’m a huge fan of Hunter Renfrow, especially in PPR leagues. He showed last season that he has the chops to be the Raiders’ WR1 with Derek Carr. And, let’s just say, he fits the profile of a Tom Brady #1 target. Renfrow entered last season as a relative afterthought—the fifth-round pick sat behind numerous players on the depth chart. He received eight targets in week two, but disappeared back into the depth chart until week nine. Renfrow averaged 5.2 receptions for 67 yards and half a touchdown per contest. He became one of Derek Carr’s favorite weapons, and his 6.8 targets per game starting in week nine led the Raiders in that timeframe and he led all Raiders WRs in targets overall.
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(Header Image: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Curtis_Samuel_(44604418284)_(cropped).jpg, edited under CC-BY SA 4.0)