Alex Michael (@DynastyGuruNFL) is back with his series looking at some of the best rookie sleepers at each position that can help you dominate your fantasy leagues for years to come.
To continue on from the previous article outlining some of the potential running backs you may find available later in your dynasty drafts or as sleepers for your redraft leagues, here is the segment concentrating on Wide Receivers. In your second-round dynasty draft (or mid-round redraft leagues), you can anticipate the likes of Brandon Aiyuk, Levishka Shenault Jr. and Tee Higgins leaving the board in dynasty drafts and at the later stages of your redraft leagues. Thankfully, because of the depth in the 2020WRclassthere are several potential sleepers are very likely to be available in the deeper rounds purely which will hopefully give you some value and contribute to your seasons.
1.K.J. Hamler(WR, Denver Broncos)
Where to start! The 20-year-old will almost definitely be available in this stage of your draft. The 46thpick of the 2020 draft whilst at Penn State was used in a multitude of formations which includes, but is not limited to a kick-off returner on special teams and also as a “gadget guy“ in his only full college season, last year. The reason Hamler makes it this far in your draft is because the Denver Broncos also drafted WR Jerry Jeudy in the first round. Whilst Jeudy is attracting all of the press coverage, this will pave the way for Hamler to take on his role, most likely as a slot receiver and under less pressure. Whilst he is also a good deep threat, his incredible speed matched with his great ability on the run after the catch, it is likely we will see Hamler turn up in multiple positions this season and beyond. Now, it would be remiss not to mention the competition in this Denver offense. Jeudy as previously alluded to is a big-time resource for Drew Lock and both he and the Broncos OC will be looking to make sure Jeudy is afforded every possible opportunity, which may be at the expense of Hamler in some cases. In addition to this, the Broncos already have Pro Bowl 2019 all-star Courtland Sutton in the ranks. Sutton caught for 1,112 yards last season but enjoyed being the star receiver, once Sanders was traded to the 49ers. Furthermore, Tight End, Noah Fant is entering his second season and the Broncos drafted another solid TE prospect, Albert Okwuegbunam. It promises to be an explosive offense this season for the Broncos, one which Hamler will almost definitely be playing a role.
2.Chase Claypool(WR, Pittsburgh Steelers)
Chase Claypool if available should be top of your list. Chase Claypool is maybe one of the lesser-discussed players going into your draft but is one of the most versatile in this class, position-wise because of what he can offer an offense. Claypool has demonstrated that he is capable playing in the slot, and as a “Z” receiver and is a strong team player so we may also see him being used as a blocker in some formations. The Notre Dame prospect is 6ft 4 and weighs 238lbs which means that when he gets going he can dominate cornerbacks and above all, he loves to find the end-zone. In his Senior year, the wide-outscored 13 TDs in 13 games, which testifies to the production we can expect. Claypool is already drawing comparisons with some future hall-of-famers such as Brandon Marshall and Calvin Johnson. Whilst it is very early to draw to these conclusions, he does show an incredible amount of promise. With Big Ben back in the frame and pressure on Juju Smith-Schuster, Chase
Claypool may see a lot of opportunities, especially on 3rd and goal because of the physical presence he has, paired with his catching ability and intelligence to lose his opponent in tight situations. He does have some competition in the position with both Diontae Johnson and Juju who are both smart and young receivers and with the introduction of Eric Ebron into the offense, it could mean that his chances are sparse, particularly at the beginning of the season, but what we can anticipate is that he will take them.
3.Devin Duvernay(WR, Baltimore Ravens)
Here is another solid player that maybe available in the deeper rounds. The Texas product wowed us all at the NFL Combine this February after recording a 4.39 in the 40yd dash. One thing you cannot do here though, is label Duvernay as just a speedster, he is a tough player too and is great with the ball after the catch so will offer a lot more to the Ravens offense than just his ability to get downfield. Whilst he might not match up to Chase Claypool in his physicality, he will likely turn out to be a fantastic weapon for Lamar Jackson this season, and beyond. In his senior year for the Longhorns, Duvernay accumulated 1,386 receiving yards and 9 touchdowns in an offense which also comprised of the Jacksonville Jaguars draftee, Collin Johnson. Having been drafted in the 3rd round, it is clear that Duvernay is going to be a part of some plans this season and will most likely be included in an offense which consists of three receivers whilst the Ravens bring J.K. Dobbins into the frame. This promises to be an even more explosive offense this season, so this means however, there will be a lot of competition for Duvernay, with Hollywood Brown and a second WR draftee James Proche. Drafting two WRs this year shows intent from the Ravens that both Willie Snead IV and Miles Boykin will be phased out this season. Worth also mentioning that J.K. Dobbins is great in the pass-catching role and Mark Andrews is coming off of a 10 TD season. Nonetheless, Duvernay is sure to have a role, in the future of this Ravens team, and would be a good pick-up, especially in dynasty formats.
4.Tyler Johnson (WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
Did someone say touchdown machine? Then you must be talking about Tyler Johnson. Johnson proved that his junior year, in which he recorded 12 TDs wasn’t a fluke. In his senior year, the Minnesota native was named the MVP in the 2020 Outback Bowl against Auburn after a display which saw him tally-up204 yards and 2 touchdowns. This ultimately capped off a great senior year for Johnson, who recorded1,318 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns, breaking multiple school records for the University of Minnesota. The 5thround draft pick can play strong both in the slot receiver role and out wide and has shown that he is a fantastic route runner. Similar to the above receivers, Johnson is going to be joining an offense with a lot of options. The Bucs already have both2019 Pro Bowlers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, Scotty Miller and OJ Howard in their ranks and added “The Gronk” in the off season to be another target for Tom Brady. Adding Tom Brady to the mix, really improves the value of Johnson, in that we know Brady likes to throw to people he knows will deliver consistently and Johnson ticks all the boxes for that. It is worth noting that the Buccaneers also added RB Ke’Shawn Vaughn to the roster whilst he will be an option on occasion as a pass-catcher he is more likely that he will be focused on the running role, and so we can expect opportunities to fall to Johnson throughout the season. It should be an exciting season for both Johnson and the Buccaneers.
5.Antonio Gandy-Golden (WR, Washington Redskins)
Antonio Gandy-Golden is by far the most interesting player in this entire 2020 draft. As well as having the ability to solve a Rubik’s cube in under a minute, the 142ndoverall pick is the only person to record post three connective thousand yard receiving seasons in Liberty University history. This means that he will likely be making himself a constantly available option for Dwayne Haskins Jr. who is looking to breakout this season. Competition in the Redskins WR corps is fairly thin in comparison to the previously mentioned draftees. Whilst Terry McLaurin stands to assume the WR1 role he occupied last season, the WR2 spot is wide-open and Steven Sims Jr. could see his receptions cut by the presence of Gandy-Golden. The other challengers for receptions are 2018’s Mr. Irrelevant, Trey Quinn and 2019 draftee Kelvin Harmon. It is likely that fellow draft buddy Antonio Gibson will be challenging Sims Jr.’s slot role, and so it is more likely that we see Gandy-Golden usurping Harmon’s role in the offense. The main risk here is that the Redskins offense haven’t yet clicked with Haskins Jr. at quarterback and if Haskins Jr.’s stats don’t improve on last season, it could see Gandy-Goldin’s opportunities wane the Redskins end up relying on the running game, as indicated by the 7 running backs on their roster. Ultimately, Gandy-Golden is an a really good position to claim the role as his own and just like the perfect game he plays in bowling, the 4throunder could turn out to be a strike for anyone who drafts him.