RAGE—Goddess, sing the rage of Gridiron’s son Achilles (and ACLs),
murderous, doomed, that cost the NFL countless losses,
hurling down to the House of IR so many sturdy souls,
great fighters’ souls, but made their bodies carrion,
feasts for the Dawg Pound and Bird Teams,
and the will of Roj was moving toward its end.
Begin, Muse, when the two first broke and clashed,
Football, lord of men and brilliant Achilles (and ACLs).
Well, it’s not quite as dire as the Trojan War, but the first two weeks of the NFL season have left our fantasy football squads obliterated. Luckily, we can help you out with some wide receiver sleepers this week to fill out your team. We promise no Greeks will come out of any of these wide receiver sleepers… okay, maybe Greeks will come pouring out of Nick Mullens. I’m not Cassandra. We have two wide receiver sleepers rostered in fewer than 50% of Yahoo! leagues. For those of you in deep, deep leagues, we always offer a player available in at least 90% of Yahoo! leagues.
Wide Receiver Sleepers Option #1: Corey Davis @ Minnesota (43% rostered)
The Minnesota Vikings are extremely happy the Seattle Seahawks secondary exists, or else everyone would point and laugh at how terrible the Vikings are against wide receivers. Through two games, they have given up five WR touchdowns and at least 4/63 o four different wide receivers. Granted, three of these were Packers, but the Vikings still decided, collectively, that pass defense isn’t important. They also decided that a top-ten wide receiver in the league isn’t necessary, either. Maybe winning isn’t so necessary to Minnesota.
Corey Davis provides a nice sleeper appeal this week against a defense that doesn’t do… anything. The A.J. Brown bone bruise appears to be a multi-week injury, so he’s unlikely to play this weekend. That means fire up your Coreys Davis. Corey Davis went just 3-for-5 for 36 yards and a touchdown last week after kicking the door down week one for 7 catches and 101 yards. Still, with no A.J. Brown against this secondary, even Corey Davis should play well in this one.
Wide Receiver Sleepers Option #2: Russell Gage vs Chicago (40% rostered)
Through two weeks, a clear usage pattern has emerged among the Falcons wide receivers. Julio Jones is the deep threat guy, with an average depth of target (aDOT) just under 16.5 on 16 targets. Calvin Ridley is the stud guy getting everything everywhere (leads the three with 22 targets with an aDOT at about 9.6). Then, there’s Russell Gage. Call him the Cooper Kupp to Julio’s Brandin Cooks and Ridley’s Robert Woods. He has 21 targets for 160 yards, but his depth of target is just about seven yards downfield. He’s the possession receiver and is eighth in the NFL in targets.
The Bears are a bad matchup; I’m not going to mince words. Or are they? Through two weeks, they’ve yielded the sixth-fewest fantasy points to wide receivers, but no WR touchdowns came against them. They also played the Kenny Golladay-less Detroit Lions (a mess) and the just regular New York Giants (also a mess). This could eb a situation where the opponent has dictated the rank more than the Bears. They don’t generate QB pressure (second-lowest QB pressure rate in the league) and have hurried quarterbacks once. On the flip side, the Steelers lead the league in QB hurries with 20. The Steelers average more QB hurries per quarter than the Bears have all year.
Wide Receiver Sleepers Deep League Option: Chase Claypool vs Houston (10% rostered)
Chase Claypool was my predraft wide receiver crush, so when the Steelers took him on day two, I was over the moon. The Steelers have an eye for WR talent, so I felt vindicated. If you want the four-word scouting report on him, here it is: Mike Evans with shorter arms. Now, he has just five targets in two games, but he’s a big play guy waiting to happen. He has caught all five passes and averages 25.4 yards per target so far in his young career.
There’s a big chance that Claypool goose eggs, so go to him only in the direst of scenarios, but if you’re a huge underdog, take a swing from your heels with him against a Houston team that has the second-fewest QB pressures this season. Big Ben will have time to uncork to Claypool, and it could save your week.
Wide Receiver Sleepers Honorable Mention: N’Keal Harry versus Las Vegas (37% rostered), Kendrick Bourne @ New York Giants (6% rostered), Adam Humphries @ Minnesota (3% rostered)
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