Wide Receiver Too Early 2021 Fantasy Football Sleepers

Laviska Shenault Sleeper Wide Receiver Jacksonville Jaguars Start or Sit

The best part of every fantasy football season is digging up the sleepers. Now that I’ve finished my team-by-team review of each team’s 2020, and somewhat less importantly, the Super Bowl happened and is now in the rear-view mirror. It’s time to do the best part of every fantasy football season: finding sleepers. Obviously, free agency hasn’t happened, neither has the draft, or training camp. That’s why these are way too early sleepers, after all. The criteria for a sleeper is simple: drafted in the tenth round or later in twelve-team leagues, by fantasyfootballcalculator.com ADP. We already talked quarterback and running back, so let’s keep this sleeper ball rolling with wide receiver! Below you’ll find three wide receiver sleepers for February.

Sleeper Wide Receiver #1:
Marquise Brown, Baltimore Ravens (WR46, Round 10, Pick 8)

In doing this exercise, I literally just looked at the list of players going in double-digit rounds. The Hollywood Brown inclusion makes as little sense to me as it does to you. You can say he isn’t a sleeper since he was a top-36 wide receiver last season. But, here he is, qualifying for the wide receiver sleeper list. Hollywood had three distinct season chunks, but people just remember him bottoming out alongside Lamar Jackson, then rising from the ashes to end the season. That happened mostly because his targets fell apart in the middle of the season. From weeks one through six, he had at least six targets in every game and averaged 7 per contest. He averaged 4.3 catches for 62.7 yards per game in that span.

Then, everything fell apart. In the next four games, he averaged just 4.3 targets for 1.5 receptions and 13.8 yards per game. He bounced back against Pittsburgh in week twelve, totaling eight targets for four catches for 85 yards and a touchdown. From that point to the end of the playoffs, he averaged 4.625 catches and 66.75 yards on 7.125 targets per game. He scored six touchdowns in those eight games. Roll that all up, pro-rate it to 16 games, and you get 114 targets, 74 catches, 1,068 yards, and 12 touchdowns.

Sleeper Wide Receiver #2:
Laviska Shenault, Jacksonville Jaguars (WR50, Round 11, Pick 8)

Laviska Shenault started hot, and I was very excited for a guy I saw as a bedreadlocked (it was in Vice once, it’s a real word) version of Deebo Samuel. The second-round rookie was going to be the next big thing, in my mind. Big, beefy, fast, and a joystick jittery, he was going to be the Jaguars’ dynamic multi-talented threat. As the Jaguars fell apart, so did Laviska Shenault. He ended up finishing the year with just 691 total yards, which isn’t anything exciting.

But adding presumptive first-overall pick Trevor Lawrence to the mix alongside the addition of Darrell Bevell and growth from D.J. Chark, and I’m excited to see what Shenault can do. He could take a big step forward, or fall apart entirely because the Bevell-Lawrence combo meal doesn’t bring good things. Either way, you’ll know early with Shenault.

Sleeper Wide Receiver #3:
Cole Beasley, Buffalo Bills (WR64, Round 14, Pick 2)

Two straight years of over 100 targets, and he’s WR64. One of eighteen players with back-to-back 100+ target seasons the last two years, and he’s WR64. The season’s WR28, with five 100+ yard games under his belt, and he’s WR64. I’m not quite sure why or how this is happening, but it’s something I am going to point out until it gets fixed. Please draft Cole Beasley, he’s is the possession receiver in a pass-first offense with no decent running game outside of Josh Allen slamming himself around the field. If you want more reasons to see why the 76.6% catch rate (#7) wasn’t a fluke: he ranked first in contested catch rate in 2020, catching 81.2% of his contested footballs.

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About Jeff Krisko

You can follow me on twitter, @jeffkrisko for the same lukewarm takes you read here.

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