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Sleeper is a funny term in Fantasy Football.
With the information available in this day and age, anyone who's actually unknown won't be for long. So can a top-20 receiver from last year qualify as a sleeper? What about a first round pick from 2017?
In my book they can if they're being drafted late enough. That's because I interpret sleeper as someone the industry is sleeping on. Someone we're not drafting soon enough, no matter what the reason is. And that's definitely the case with these wide receivers.
Robby Anderson was a top-20 receiver in 2017, but you wouldn't know it from his ADP. Anderson is currently outside of the top 40, and he's trending the wrong direction. The only real explanation I can think of is the off-the-field stuff that has been resolved legally but not yet with the league. But it's strange that a potential suspension could affect his ADP like this when Julian Edelman (who actually is suspended already) is being drafted so much earlier.
Yes, Quincy Enunwa is back but I'd anticipate he takes more work from Jemaine Kearse than Anderson. Anderson has always been a fast receiver who can get behind the defense, but he really grew as a receiver in 2017. Whoever the quarterback is, I expect he'll be their favorite target and he'll deliver borderline top-24 production. If you want to wait on your second receiver, Anderson should be your No. 1 target.
Sleeping on Kenny Stills is becoming the favorite past-time of the Fantasy Football community. Entering 2016, he was the No. 69 receiver on Draft Day and finished the season ranked No. 28. A year later we adjusted by drafting Stills 64th at receiver, he responded with a top-24 season. But surely after a pair of top-30 seasons and the departure of Jarvis Landry we've learned our lesson, right? Well, Stills is all the way up to No. 50 in ADP as of early August.
Landry left 161 targets in Miami when he was traded to the Browns, and I can't imagine Danny Amendola and Albert Wilson are going to take all of them. Of course, perpetual-breakout-candidate DeVante Parker could finally blossom into a No. 1 receiver, but the logical conclusion is a small increase in targets for Stills. That could be enormous for a receiver who has averaged 16.1 yards per reception and caught a touchdown once every 15 targets over his five-year career. Give Stills 120 targets at those rates, and you're looking at a receiver threatening 1,000 yards and eight touchdowns. Even if he misses those marks, he's a great value at his current cost.
Don't go looking for John Ross stats from his rookie year. It's depressing. Two targets. One fumble. Zero catches. Negative Fantasy points. It's hard to imagine a more disastrous rookie season, especially for a first-round pick. But Ross still has that pedigree, and more important, he still has that speed. Apparently, he's shown enough this offseason that the Bengals felt comfortable cutting Brandon LaFell loose.
I still don't project Ross to have a big impact in Fantasy, but at his cost you're not drafting on projection, you're drafting on upside. With his speed and the likely game scripts in Cincinnati, Ross could be a champion of garbage time and give you a boom-or-bust flex play as the team's No. 2 receiver. The next step forward is for Ross to prove he's the clear No. 2 behind A.J. Green. No one else on that team has his upside, so that shouldn't be too much to ask.