2022 Fantasy Football Wide Receivers Sleepers

by Garrett Ball
2022 Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Sleepers

So you want to find out who are some of the 2022 fantasy football sleeper wide receivers, huh? Congratulations, you're in the right place!

Before we can get into sleeper wideouts, we have to define what a "sleeper" is. For the purposes of this article, I've defined them as wideouts going outside of the top 36 WRs in Fantasy Pros consensus ADP who I think could finish a higher than they're being drafted (in some cases a lot higher!).

Not only am I looking in the middle rounds of drafts, but there are other things to consider. You need to look for opportunities for receivers as well. Does this particular player have a legitimate shot at being the top or number two target on their team? Do they have any history of production? What is their upside?

Each year there are players who were drafted in the middle to late rounds of drafts that finish well above their ADP. Looking at Fantasy Football Calculator historical ADP, last season Deebo Samuel was the WR38 off the board and finished as a top 5 WR. Brandin Cooks was drafted as the WR43 and finished WR20. Jakobi Meyers, Darnell Mooney, Amon-Ra St.Brown, all finished well above their ADP.

So let's find us some sleepers, shall we?

2022 Fantasy Football Sleeper Wide Receivers

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Rashod Bateman: ADP WR38

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Bateman's rookie season was not as bad as people think it was. It was actually fairly comparable to other rookies in his class like Elijah Moore and Kadarius Toney on a per-game basis. His teammate, Hollywood Brown, was traded to the Cardinals during the NFL draft earlier this year. He leaves behind nearly a 25% target share, not to mention Sammy Watkins is also no longer on the team. With both of them gone there's a target vacuum that someone must fill.

Bateman is a highly touted 1st round WR, he has the talent to fill that vacuum. He showed flashes during his rookie season, with three games of 80 yards or more and one game with over 100. One caution I should note is Baltimore's passing volume will come down with the return of their top running backs. They passed at a much higher rate in 2021 than in previous years, so they're due to regress. However, even so, the opportunity is there for Bateman to have a massive sophomore season.

Christian Kirk: ADP WR41

As soon as free agency opened this year, Jacksonville scooped him up. It was a somewhat surprising move, not many see Christian Kirk as a true No.1 target for an NFL offense, a good No.2 guy but not top dog. Kirk had the 13th most slot snaps among wideouts last season and should see primary slot duties in the offense with Marvin Jones and Zay Jones manning the outside.

With the new coaching staff and upgraded personnel in Jacksonville, Trevor Lawrence is due to take a step forward after an abysmal rookie season. And despite the chaos of 2021, he carried Marvin Jones to a WR3 finish. If he takes the step forward many think he can, Kirk has low-end WR2/high-end WR3 upside as Jacksonville's top target.

Russell Gage: ADP WR43

Believe it or not, Russell Gage was the WR13 overall through Weeks 11-17 last season. Rob Gronkowski and Antonio Brown are gone, and Chris Godwin may or may not be out a long time. Tom Brady picked Russell Gage out of the crowd and got him into Tampa. A big reason for that is Gage has shredded the Bucs since Brady arrived, going for an average of 7.5 rec, 79.3 yards, and 0.5 TD in 4 games against them (courtesy of Pro Football Reference). Gage can easily finish well above his ADP thanks to the GOAT throwing him the ball.

Kadarius Toney: ADP WR47

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Kadarius Toney is a very polarizing player. On one hand, we watched a player who couldn't stay healthy during both the off-season and in-season. On the other, we saw a guy who turned heads after his ten-catch, 189-yard explosion against Dallas in week 5. His end-of-season stats don't amount to much, which is why it's important to look a little deeper.

If you look at his target rate (targets per route run), Toney was 7th among wide receivers as a rookie. That's higher than Ja'Marr Chase, Devonta Smith, Jaylen Waddle, Justin Jefferson, and DK Metcalf were last year, to name a few. In addition, the Giants should be much better with former Buffalo OC Brian Daboll as head coach. There is some worry that Wan'Dale Robinson will take Toney's role, but I think Toney is going to get another shot and potentially be the Giants' top receiver.

Jakobi Meyers: ADP WR54

I put out a Twitter thread back on July 8th detailing why I thought Jakobi Meyers is a value at his current draft price.

Meyers had 51 more targets than the next closest Patriot, Hunter Henry. Yes, New England added Devante Parker and Tyquan Thornton this offseason. However, both will likely compete for snaps on the outside with Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne. Meyers played the 11th most slot snaps of any WR last season, so the new additions shouldn't affect him much.

He's not flashy, but he's a solid and steady fantasy contributor who finished as the WR29 in PPR last season with a rookie QB. Assuming Mac Jones takes another step after a great rookie year, Meyers, along with the rest of the Patriots' pass catchers, stand to benefit.

Donovan Peoples-Jones: ADP WR83

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DPJ is one of my favorite deep sleepers this year. A lot hinges on the length of Deshaun Watson's suspension, but if it's  6-8 games, DPJ could easily be a steal. He's a deep play threat with great hands. Hands so good that, in fact, PFF graded him as the second-best contested catch WR last season. Peoples-Jones should become Waton's next big deep threat. We all know how well a guy like Will Fuller did with Watson when healthy. DPJ could have the same upside, and he is essentially free in drafts.

That is going to do it for our 2022 Fantasy Football Sleeper Wide Receivers! Use those middle and late-round picks well, alright?


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1 comment

golfball August 4, 2022 - 9:28 am

i start playing fantasy football 8 years ago now have my whole family playing we have 5 paiding league and the way we interact bring all us together make it so fun and we start our young kid league get them ready to compete in our league fantasy is so fun we all can’t wait each season to compete love it

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