We’re into the fantasy football playoffs, and ideally, we wouldn’t worry about streaming players or looking for sleeper wide receivers. Unfortunately, COVID-19 is tearing through the NFL right now, which means players are falling into the protocol on a moment-to-moment basis. If you’re left without a good wide receiver option because of COVID-19, or DeAndre Hopkins’ injury, or Terry McLaurin’s concussion, then never fear. We have you covered with some sleeper wide receivers for week fifteen. To make this list, two players need to be available in at least 50% of leagues. The third of these three sleeper wide receivers is available in at least 90% of leagues. Without further ado, let’s get to the first round of the fantasy football playoffs and the sleeper wide receivers.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling at Baltimore (47% rostered)
I put MVS down here last week, and he failed to come through. But here’s the thing: all the performance indicators are still there. He had 149 air yards and 46 air yards in the last two games, which he turned into just 70 yards. The deep shots have been there all season long, as MVS leads the league in target depth (17.4 yards per target), he’s also fourteenth in unrealized air yards, at 12.6 unrealized air yards per target. If only there was a team who gets absolutely gashed by the deep ball on the schedule.
The Ravens are, on paper, a difficult matchup for MVS. They give up the thirteenth-fewest fantasy points to wide receivers. But, there are two factors that make this a good matchup, to me. First, they lost Marlon Humphrey in week thirteen. Diontae Johnson went insane on them, going 8/105/2 on 11 targets. Then, last week, Jarvis Landry and Donovan Peoples-Jones combined to go 10/131/1 on 15 targets. So, losing Humphrey has hurt the Ravens.
Second… the Ravens are terrible against the deep ball. No team has allowed more 20+ yard passing plays or 40+ yard passing plays this year. It’s a match made in heaven for MVS to cash in those air yards.
Amon-Ra St. Brown versus Arizona (18% rostered)
If this was week four, the guy with 24 targets, 18 catches, and 159 yards in the last two games would be on rosters in more than 18% of leagues. He might even be on rosters in more than 80% of leagues. But, you can take advantage of complacent managers by snatching up the target monster in Detroit this week. He’s turned it on over the last two games, and is, in fact, productive when the Lions give him targets. Prior to week thirteen, Detroit gave St. Brown over five targets four times. He averaged 54 yards and 6 receptions in those games. He’s a good football player, but the Lions have just been maddeningly inconsistent, so he hasn’t shone through.
The Cardinals rank tenth in fantasy points allowed to wide receivers over the last five weeks, so they’ve been a very beatable defense lately. While the Rams certainly could take advantage of this, only Jakeem Grant and Tyler Lockett could take advantage in weeks eleven and thirteen. The Cardinals can be a tough matchup for opposing #1 wide receivers, as DK Metcalf and Darnell Mooney were mostly non-factors in those games. But, what happens if a team doesn’t have a #1 wide receiver?
Laquon Treadwell versus Houston (1% rostered)
More like Laquon Retread-well. Treadwell is the King of the Swamp after busting out of Minnesota and Atlanta. And much like King of the Hill, Treadwell isn’t the King of the Swamp because he’s good: it’s because he’s the last one standing. Over the last three games, since he became the WR1 there, eh has four catches for 61 yards per game, with 4/53 as his lowest output. He has done this on 19 targets in the last three games. The Seahawks toasted the Texans last week, with Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf combining for nearly 190 receiving yards. The major problem here? This game has an over-under in the thirties. So, I wouldn’t bank on that touchdown. Just go ahead and bank on him getting some targets, to cash in, instead.
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