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Fantasy Football: 2021 Wide Receiver Sleepers

Tee Higgins is the ultimate fantasy sleeper

By Jesse Moeller (Twitter: @JMoeller05)

What makes a “Sleeper” in fantasy football? Is it someone who you think is undervalued compared to the ADP? How about a young player who will take off in 2021? There are numerous terms we all use to describe them in fantasy football circles. Breakout candidates usually go hand in hand with the term sleeper. They both serve the purpose of illuminating a player who we view as a steal at the current ADP.

I will list players in different categories who will give you production that exceeds the ADP.

The Supreme Being

(A Player Drafted WR20 or later will finish as a top 12 WR)

Kenny Golladay (ADP: WR20)

Golladay could not have asked for a better situation to walk into in 2021. The Giants’ offense was in desperate need of an Alpha wide receiver. Golladay is more than capable of filling that role. As you can see from the tweet above, Golladay specializes in winning contested catches. He is the best wide receiver in the NFL at this. He gets paired up with a DGAF quarterback (Think of Brett Favre if you are unsure what it means) in Daniel Jones, who has never been afraid to throw it up to this playmaker.

Even with the Giants linked to drafting a rookie wide receiver in the upcoming NFL draft, I do not see it having much impact on Golladay’s role and workload for the upcoming season. Look at the current roster. There is no competition for the X receiver role in that offense. The Giants have desperately been missing this type of talent the last few seasons.

Golladay battled injuries that cut the season short, as he only finished five games. He was one pace for another 60 reception 1,000 yards season. Where Golladay can genuinely be a boom for fantasy managers is his ability to generate touchdowns. He led the league in receiving touchdowns in 2019 with 11 and will be amongst the leaders in 2021.

Draft Golladay with confidence, as he will produce some of the best numbers in the league in 2021.

Boy Wonder

(1st or 2nd Year Player Going as WR 30 or Later)

Tee Higgins (ADP: WR31)

A player who fell to the second round of the NFL draft and rookie drafts last year due to his poor measurables immediately paid dividends for those fantasy managers who selected Higgins. He pushed A.J. Green aside and took ahold of the Bengals’ alpha role in the second half of the season. Higgins was 28th in the NFL in targets, and amongst rookies, he was 5th. That number will only go up in his second season.

Countless rumors are floating around that the Bengals draft Ja’Marr Chase as the 5th pick in the upcoming NFL draft. (it’s bananas, right?) which can seem like a worry for Higgins moving forward. It is not something that should worry managers. There are still plenty of vacated targets available (195 available, to be exact) in that offense for 2021. Say Chase comes in and puts up a Jeffersonesque 125 targets; there is still room for him to expand on his role in the offense.

Even after Burrow’s injury in week 11, Higgins still received a minimum of 5 targets each game while averaging 7.2 targets per game. He managed to produce with Brandon Allen as his quarterback. You better believe he will put up spectacular numbers with Burrow in 2021. Use the discounted ADP to your advantage this season. Grab Higgins in the 6th or 7th round of your drafts, and enjoy the elite wide receiver production.

Triumphant Return

(Player coming off of injured season will finish as a top 24 WR)

Courtland Sutton (ADP: WR 34)

It was a lost season for Sutton in 2020. He tore his ACL and was out for the season in week 2, which was incredibly disappointing for a player coming off of 1,112 yards, 72 receptions on 126 targets with a massive 26.1% target share.

With how much talent the Denver offense has, it is a pick your poison for defenders. Who do you try and take away? The Alpha X receiver in Sutton, the route running savant in Jeudy, or the explosive athletic tight end in Fant? No matter what defenses do, they will be in trouble against this high-powered attack. Each player has a distinctive role in this offense for the 2021 season.

Getting Sutton back healthy will help the team move the other wide receivers back to more comfortable positions. Sutton is a matchup problem that should thrive even with the less than ideal quarterbacks on the Broncos roster. Sutton put up the massive statistics while having a Catchable Target Cate and Target Quality Rating ranked 65th or below in 2019.

Sutton can be top 24 W.R. this upcoming season, and getting the alpha of a receiving game in the 8th round is the value that I will not be able to pass on. Take it and run to the bank!

Mr. Irrelevant

(Player going in the 14th Round or Later will finish as a Top 36 WR)

Nelson Agholor (ADP: WR 80)

Before last season, Agholor considered a first-round bust due to his inconsistent play in Philadelphia the previous five seasons. In 2020 it all came together for Agholor. He led the Las Vegas wide receivers in targets, yards, and touchdowns to the tune of 48 receptions for 896 yards and eight touchdowns.

This team drafted both Henry Ruggs and Braylon Edwards in the first three rounds of the NFL draft, and those two combined for a worse season than Agholor. It was one of the more surprising things of the 2020 season, as Agholor and Waller were a fantastic 1-2 punch down the Raiders stretch.

Nelson Agholor was the best big-play wide receiver in the league last year. The tweet above shows how much of a problem he was on deep vertical passes the previous year. Agholor finished second in the league in yards per reception at 18.7 along 4.64 yards after contact on each reception. Every time he touched the ball, it was a big play for the offense.

His production led to a two-year 22 million dollar contract with the Patriots. He is locked into the number one receiver in New England for this upcoming season, as he should give you some boom weeks in 2021 with his signature ability. Considering he is free in redraft, grab him with one of your last picks and enjoy the flex production he will provide for your team.

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