It’s fantasy football week one! Welcome, we’ve made it through the long, dark offseason and we are ready to set our lineups for week one. Not every team is perfect in every roster spot, so maybe you need a little help. Or maybe you just want to overthink things? Either way, we are here with our sleeper wide receivers for week one of the NFL season. If this is your first time here, welcome! Each week we take a look at each position to find sleepers available in more than 50% of leagues. For those of you in deeper leagues, we also get you some sleeper wide receivers available in at least 90% of leagues. These roster figures come from Yahoo!’s standard fantasy football game.
Sleeper Wide Receiver #1:
Rondale Moore @ Tennessee (23%)
The Arizona Cardinals took Rondale Moore with their second-round pick in 2021. That should be a straight line to them using Rondale Moore, but Andy Isabella (2019 second-round pick) tells us that that isn’t necessarily true. But, Rondale Moore is the type of wide receiver we love now, now that Deebo Samuel taught us that it’s okay to love. Moore has upside as a sort of jack-of-all-trades like Deebo Samuel, but think a little bit smaller. At 5’7”, 181 pounds, Rondale Moore probably can’t take the beating that Deebo can take… and Deebo can barely take that beating. Enjoy him while you can, because I fear for his long-term usefulness as big hits cause injuries to mount.
Moore kicks off his NFL career with an extremely primo matchup against the Tennessee Titans. The Titans ended 2020 getting absolutely obliterated by Brandin Cooks, Davante Adams, and DJ Chark, after Rashard Higgins, Jarvis Landry and Donovan Peoples-Jones had their way with this secondary. There is no shame in Davante Adams cooking you, but DPJ, DJ Chark, and Rashard Higgins? Come on! In the last five weeks of 2020, the Titans allowed 46.5 fantasy points per game to wide receivers, with the league average in that time as 29.6 fantasy points to WRs. There will be lots of fantasy points available against the Titans, and Rondale Moore will likely get a good chunk of them.
Sleeper Wide Receiver #2:
Gabriel Davis vs. Pittsburgh (9%)
This guy technically isn’t my deep dive wide receiver, but I want to highlight Gabriel Davis nonetheless. The Pittsburgh Steelers were one of the best defenses in the NFL last year, but they started to get wobbly down the stretch. Stack in the J.J. Watt scenario and a partially rebuilt defense and you have question marks for the Steelers’ defense that the Bills could turn into interrobangs (you know, those weird exclamation point question mark things? Those).
Part of the Steelers’ wobbly stretch included the Buffalo Bills in week fourteen. Stefon Diggs went off in that game, and Gabe Davis ended with eight targets. He struggled in that matchup, turning them into just 3 catches for 19 yards, but he did score a touchdown. That became a trend down the stretch in 2020, with Gabriel Davis scoring in four-of-six games and averaging 54 yards per game in the last six games of the season (on over five targets per game).
I’m a big Gabriel Davis believer, and we saw his highs in the Colts’ playoff game last year, where he ended with four catches for 85 yards on four targets. This could be the beginning of a big season for the sophomore wide receiver.
Deep Dive Sleeper Wide Receiver:
Amon-Ra St. Brown vs. San Francisco (8%)
The 49ers’ defense was one of the best in the NFL in 2019. Since then, things have gotten a bit messy. They no longer have All-Pro Richard Sherman, and they swapped out DeForest Buckner for Javon Kinlaw. The defense also hasn’t been with Dee Ford & Nick Bosa seemingly in five years. So, there are a lot of question marks there.
The Lions also have a lot of question marks on offense. They have T.J. Hockenson, D’Andre Swift, and then what? Jamaal Williams, a career backup? The WR corps is an absolute mess in Detroit. But, like Gaea, Tartarus, Eros, Erberus, and Nyx, someone has to emerge from the Chaos. My money is on Amon-Ra St. Brown, or “Sun God” as the folks in the know call him. Yes, I just mixed Greek and Egyptian mythologies; sue me.
Sun God is a fun player, who I liked coming out of USC. His day three draft capital scares me a bit (day three draftees hit about 2% of the time), but the other guys there are oft-injured Tyrell Williams, ocean liner-agile Quintez Cephus, and Tennessee Titans Legend Kalif Raymond. That is to say, the situation is bleak. ARSB should emerge from this morass to have a strong PPR rookie season.
Either that or D’Andre Swift and T.J. Hockenson eat all the targets.
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[Image Source: Gabriel Davis on Twitter]