Early in my fantasy football profession, a large receiver’s third season was when he sometimes broke out. In newer years, it’s been a receiver’s second season the place that leap happens. In consequence, third-year large receivers generally get missed. Listed below are a few sleeper large receivers coming into their third NFL season price maintaining a tally of.
It’s a little bit of a problem to seek out third-year WR sleepers. That is largely as a result of this large receiver class was so good.
Of the primary eight large receivers chosen within the 2020 NFL Draft, solely one in every of them may be thought of a sleeper. The nice: Justin Jefferson, CeeDee Lamb, Michael Pittman Jr., and Tee Higgins all go throughout the first three rounds of fantasy soccer drafts. Jerry Jeudy goes too early as nicely and completely nobody is sleeping on fourth-rounder Gabriel Davis this season. Even fifth-rounder Darnell Mooney is just too good to name a sleeper.
The not-so-good: Jalen Reagor goes undrafted, and I don’t wish to even point out the man who wound up being the primary large receiver chosen.
Even with so many gifted receivers not qualifying as sleepers, this class was deep sufficient that we nonetheless have choices.
Brandon Aiyuk, San Francisco 49ers
Brandon Aiyuk is the “least sleeper-y” of the names on this record. He broke out as a rookie in 2020, averaging 15.4 PPR fantasy factors per recreation. His ADP coming into the 2022 season plummeted because of his lackluster 2021 season the place he averaged simply 10 ppg.
With the 49ers transferring to Trey Lance, their passing quantity is prone to lower much more. Fantasy managers are rightly involved about whether or not Lance can run 8-10 instances a recreation and in addition help three fantasy-relevant move catchers. Deebo Samuel and George Kittle usually are not about to see their goal shares lower. Thus, if Lance is throwing lower than Jimmy Garoppolo, it’s going to possible come at Aiyuk’s expense.
With that stated, Aiyuk is nice at soccer. He was capable of command a 24.5% goal share as a rookie. Though that fell to 18.5% final season, Aiyuk wasn’t actually a full-time participant till Week 8 after beginning the season in Kyle Shanahan’s “canine home.”
Aiyuk enters the 2022 season with none baggage and can begin reverse Samuel instantly. He averaged 13.2 ppg over his ultimate 11 video games. If fantasy managers can get these numbers from a man they don’t need to draft prime 36 on the place, that might be a superb worth.
Chase Claypool, Pittsburgh Steelers
I’m together with Chase Claypool right here as a result of he qualifies — not as a result of I essentially agree with drafting him.
After posting a powerful 13.4 ppg as a rookie, Claypool seemingly regressed to 11.1 ppg as a sophomore. He actually didn’t, although. Claypool simply scored seven fewer touchdowns. His output was almost similar, catching three fewer passes for 13 fewer yards.
The issue with Claypool’s consistency from 12 months 1 to 12 months 2 is that’s not what we would like from a younger participant. We wish to see progress, enchancment, development, and many others. As a substitute, we acquired stagnation.
The rationale Claypool continues to be thought of a third-year sleeper on the large receiver place is his ADP. Final 12 months, Claypool was a fifth or sixth-round decide. Whereas, this 12 months, you may get him within the ninth round or later.
When you’re a believer in Claypool’s expertise, maybe the transfer to Mitch Trubisky or Kenny Pickett — each of whom can’t presumably be worse downfield passers than 2021 Ben Roethlisberger — will unlock Claypool’s upside. At a WR4 value, Claypool is all upside.
Devin Duvernay, Baltimore Ravens
Given the Ravens’ gaping gap at WR2, I’ve to incorporate Devin Duvernay. However I’m not glad about it. We sometimes need rookie large receivers to surpass 500 receiving yards as a harbinger of future success. Duvernay nonetheless doesn’t have 500 receiving yards whole.
With that stated, there’s an opportunity he opens the season as Baltimore’s beginning WR2 reverse Rashod Bateman. If that occurs, there’s not less than an opportunity he can command targets from Lamar Jackson. I wouldn’t financial institution on it, although.
Even with an ADP of free (he goes undrafted in standard-sized leagues), there are higher darts to throw at than Duvernay. Nonetheless, his standing as a possible NFL starter in two-receiver units for an elite quarterback renders him a possible third-year large receiver sleeper.
Okay.J. Osborn, Minnesota Vikings
By way of being a real third-year WR sleeper, Okay.J. Osborn matches the standards the very best. He’s additionally my favourite one.
Osborn gained the Vikings’ WR3 job in 2021. He averaged 9.3 PPR fantasy factors per recreation, ending as a fantasy WR4. However he flashed way more upside than that. Osborn recorded seven video games of not less than 14 fantasy factors. After Adam Thielen went down in Week 13, Osborn averaged 13.8 fantasy factors over the rest of the fantasy season.
It’s a coin flip as as to if Osborn will even be drafted in standard-sized leagues. You may have him as the ultimate large receiver in your roster. This a participant that ought to have standalone WR4 worth with reputable WR2 upside ought to one thing occur to Thielen once more (or, and I don’t wish to even put this on the market, Justin Jefferson).
With a brand new head coach in Kevin O’Connell prone to implement a extra pass-heavy assault, Kirk Cousins ought to be capable to help three fantasy-relevant receivers. Osborn is one in every of my favourite last-round sleeper picks at large receiver.
Another third-year large receivers to file away
Laviska Shenault Jr., Jacksonville Jaguars
Like many, I’ve written Laviska Shenault Jr. off, however there’s not less than a puncher’s likelihood a brand new teaching employees can unlock some untapped potential.
Bryan Edwards, Atlanta Falcons
Analytics Twitter’s favourite large receiver couldn’t discover a method to matter on a barren Raiders’ depth chart final season. Bryan Edwards now finds himself on an equally barren Falcons’ depth chart. Possibly? However in all probability not.
Van Jefferson, Los Angeles Rams
Van Jefferson could have moments of fantasy relevance so long as this knee injury isn’t something critical…however it appears like it’s.
Donovan Peoples-Jones, Cleveland Browns
With Deshaun Watson solely lacking six video games, Cleveland’s ancillary receivers are out of the blue extra fascinating. However another person can have DPJ, as I simply don’t see him as something greater than a deep menace.
James Proche, Baltimore Ravens
If not Duvernay, then possibly James Proche?
KJ Hamler, Denver Broncos
Tim Patrick’s harm opens the door for KJ Hamler to begin in three-receiver units.