6 PPR WR Sleepers
The WR position is historically deep.
What’s that mean for fantasy drafting? You can attack RBs earlier in drafts, especially in best-balls where workhorses are extra valuable.
Quite simply: The mid-to-late rounds are ripe with guys able to jump into -- and perhaps beyond -- WR3 range.
Of course, you still need to pinpoint your top targets. So let’s get to it — 6 PPR sleepers boasting rosy combinations of talent, volume and efficiency.
Curtis Samuel, Panthers
Samuel might be the buzziest training camp performer thus far.
He’s dazzled in 1 on 1 drills, dusting DBs and showing contested-catch ability. No shock there, as Samuel owns 4.31 speed and what OC Norv Turner described as “outstanding” route running.
Turner, no doubt, has seen it all. As an OC or HC for 27 years, his evaluation carries extra weight.
We’ve already seen flashes of strong play from this Ohio State product. With help from 6 rushes — and 1 rushing score — Samuel ranked as the PPR WR20 over the final 9 games of last season.
The only holdup here is health. Samuel missed 3 games in 2018 with a heart condition that required minor surgery. Back in 2017, he sat out 6 games following an ankle fracture that also included ligament damage.
Samuel, though, is clearly back to 100%. And there’s a path to 100+ targets with Devin Funchess (and his 79 targets) off the roster. As long as Cam Newton’s right shoulder holds up, Samuel will have a legit shot at popping as at least a mid-range WR3.
Keke Coutee, Texans
Just stay healthy, kid.
Coutee lasted only 6 games as a rookie due to recurring hamstring trouble. When active, he filled a short-range role that produced games of 11, 11 and 6 catches.
Coutee spent the offseason working to overcome the soft tissue woes by practicing something called Graston techniques. So far, the results have been impressive.
“Keke is an excellent young player,” HC Bill O’Brien said in training camp. “[He] had an awesome spring after coming off of a tough year dealing with some injuries and things, but really put the time in.
“He works hard; he's a very dynamic player on the practice field, and the big thing for him will just be really staying healthy, being consistent and keep working the way he's working. I think he's got an excellent future in the league, no doubt about it.”
Playing with one of the game’s top QBs only raises Coutee’s profile. Deshaun Watson completed 68.2% of his passes at 8.2 yards per attempt as an NFL sophomore. And that was behind the league’s worst O-line.
Coutee, in a limited, injury-tainted sample, caught a solid 68.3% of his 41 targets.
He’ll easily double that target count — and then some — if good health wins out this fall. There’s upside beyond that if Will Fuller — who’s coming off an ACL tear -- continues to struggle with durability. He's missed 15 games over the past 2 seasons; 17 over the past 3.
Trey Quinn, Washington
Quinn’s coming off the board at WR80 in recent best balls on PlayDraft.com.
That’s a true sleeper.
You won’t find another WR with a path to 100 targets in Quinn’s range. Just look at Washington’s WR depth:
Terry McLaurin (rookie)
Kelvin Harmon (rookie)
The list includes 2 rookies — 3rd and 6th-rounders — and a trio of pass-catchers with lengthy injury histories. The latter description also applies to TE Jordan Reed.
Quinn’s drawn media praise for his acrobatic catches and route-running ability. WR coach Ike Hilliard shared the following observation, per Redskins.com:
"Trey's a good player, man. I've said it for a couple of months now. It's his job in the slot, he's going to dominate it. The world will see.”
Locked into the slot role, Quinn’s an ideal late-round stash.
Deebo Samuel, 49ers
Injuries impacted Samuel’s time at South Carolina. He saved his best work for 2018, though, tallying 62-882-11. Samuel also recorded 7 rushing TDs on 25 career attempts, plus 4 scores on 42 kick returns.
Watch his tape, and you’ll see a dangerous athlete with the ball in his hands. Expect to see him used by Jimmy Garoppolo as a quick-hit target.
Arriving to San Francisco with the 36th overall pick, targets are ripe for the taking. Dante Pettis projects for the #1 role, and TE George Kittle should easily top 100 targets. But suspect WR depth — and HC Kyle Shanahan’s history — boosts Samuel’s outlook. In 11 years as a HC or OC, Shanahan has ranked top-9 in pass attempts 7 times.
At the tail end of drafts, Samuel’s a no-risk pick with WR3 upside.
Parris Campbell, Colts
Here’s how HC Frank Reich assessed Campbell’s performance after one training camp session, via Colts.com:
“The two plays he made in the red zone today weren’t hybrid, gadget, slot receiver plays. They were legit, NFL, ‘I’m going to be a stud receiver plays.’ He ran two phenomenal routes and made two big plays in the red zone.”
Here’s one of the plays Reich referenced. It’s a jaw-dropper and indeed shows how Campbell’s more than a gadget guy. At 6’0, 205 pounds, he’s stout. And there’s no doubting his athleticism or separation skills. At the Combine, the Ohio State product blazed a 4.31-forty time and jumped (soared) a ridiculous 40 inches.
One note of caution: Campbell has missed the last few practices with a hamstring injury. If he’s able to return soon, though, there’s an outside chance he finishes 2nd in targets on a team that projects as one of the league’s pass-heaviest.
Mohamed Sanu, Falcons
Sanu’s profile is much different than the others on this list. He’s not a flashy, young receiver with untapped potential.
Rather, Sanu brings reliability and a string of impressive durability. Since 2013, the 29-year-old has missed only 2 games. That’s helped him compile finishes of WR31 and WR30 over the last 2 years.
Sanu’s catch rate over that span — 70% — also shows a clear bond with Matt Ryan. The QB’s projected volume (615 attempts, 1st among QBs) also bodes well for the veteran WR.
Take a look at our WR projections: Sanu’s pegged for 67 catches, a figure topped by only 22 WRs. He’s a high-floor target, especially if you chased volatile receivers earlier in your draft.