Want to win your fantasy football league? You’re going to need a stable of underrated pass-catchers, so check out our guide to the fantasy WR sleepers via our friends at FanDuel.
Fantasy football drafts this year feature plenty of top-end wide receivers to target in early rounds. Unlike many other positions, though, there’s real potential to find substantial production from later prospects. Just look at the Raiders’ Hunter Renfrow, who started last season as a waiver-wire pickup and ended up finishing as the WR10 in PPR scoring.
Best Sleeper Fantasy WR Picks of 2022
NOTE: Only wide receivers with an average draft position (ADP) of WR35 or higher were considered for this list. All ADP information is from FantasyPros.
3. Tyler Boyd, Cincinnati Bengals (ADP: WR50)
Tyler Boyd is a major value as the 50th wide receiver off of the board after finishing as WR31 last season. He is in an extremely favorable position as one of the top pass-catching options on an offense that just supported two top WRs fantasy finishes by Ja’Marr Chase (WR5) and Tee Higgins (WR24). Boyd was still able to carve out 94 targets despite those two players repping ahead of him, so he’s going to have a role. He also has big potential to seek a workload spike if either Chase (7.5 targets per game in 2021) or Higgins (7.9 targets per game) misses time.
Boyd already averaged 16.0 fantasy points in the three contests Higgins sat out last year, so he would go from solid FLEX play to legit starting WR at any point if that happens again.
2. Rashod Bateman, Baltimore Ravens (ADP: WR38)
Rashod Bateman has the most obvious path to starter-level volume among the later-round wideouts. The Ravens lost two key pass-catchers in Marquise Brown and Sammy Watkins this offseason, vacating a whopping 195 targets. The Ravens didn’t add a notable candidate to absorb those looks, meaning Bateman is the clear successor to the bulk of that load.
Brown finished as PPR’s WR22 last season after garnering 146 targets, which he turned into 91 receptions, 1,008 yards and 6 TDs. Bateman could legitimately see his targets double (if not more) after seeing 68 during an injury-shortened rookie campaign. Though Baltimore will likely revert to its run-heavy offense in 2022, Bateman is still the clear No. 1 wide receiver option alongside tight end Mark Andrews. As long as he stays healthy, the Minnesota product could break out and end up being a league-winner this late in the draft.
1. JuJu Smith-Schuster, Kansas City Chiefs (ADP: WR35)
The departure of Tyreek Hill (159 targets in 2021) opens up the No. 1 wide receiver role on one of the best passing offenses in the league, and Smith-Schuster is the most well-equipped to assume that title from the get-go. He’s just one year removed from a WR17 finish in PPR after hauling in 97 of his 128 targets (75.8% catch rate), and his last healthy season before that saw him finish as WR8 overall. With Smith-Schuster now potentially being the top wideout on an offense that’s ranked sixth or better in both passing yards and TDs over each of the last four seasons, this former Steeler is a player you want as much exposure to as possible.
Isaiah De Los Santos is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Isaiah De Los Santos also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username zayyy05328. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.