Welcome to the Fantasy Six Pack's 2023 Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Deep Sleepers!
It's no secret that the NFL is becoming an increasingly pass-friendly league. With quarterback protection rules and running back by committee gaining favor, wide receivers are the position that provides roster stability more and more every year. Many fantasy leagues have three wide receivers as their default roster construction. Points-per-reception leagues are becoming the rule rather than the exception.
Our fantasy rosters need more and more wide receivers than ever before. That means we are diving deeper into the vast receiver pool than ever before. To that end, this article will look way down the average draft position (ADP) lists to find the best broad receiver values past WR50 in up-to-date Sleeper ADP.
Whether you are in 14+ team leagues or need waiver wire help this year, these receivers should provide strong value late in drafts.
2023 Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Deep Sleepers
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Donovan Peoples-Jones, Cleveland Browns
I also love Elijah Moore this year, but he checks in at WR49, so he is not quite eligible for this list. With the six games he played last year and an entire training camp this season to shake off the rust, I believe we will see the Kevin Stefanski offense in Cleveland take a step up in 2023.
Peoples-Jones is an elite separator and pass-catcher down the field. He ranked 29th among all wide receivers in target separation and 28th in yards per target last season. We shouldn't forget that DPJ had a 100th percentile burst score from the combine in 2020 and is still just 24 years old.
And one more thing. Positive touchdown regression is coming.
Most explosive receptions (20+ yards) in 2022 with none that went for a TD:
— PJ Moran (@PJonDraft) August 24, 2023
Marvin Mims, Denver Broncos
Marvin Mims - the rookie from the University of Oklahoma - is a simple case of giving a quarterback what he needs to be successful. Mims averaged just a shade under 20 yards per reception last year in college and was top-20 in the nation in that category.
It complements Wilson's strengths to a tee. Wilson threw the most deep ball targets in the league last season (87), but neither Courtland Sutton nor Jerry Jeudy were top-20 receivers in yards per reception. They couldn't get to the Wilson deep ball.
Catching up on some weekend action.
One of my favorite things about Broncos rookie WR Marvin Mims is his ability to track the ball.
He’s a big-play creator because of speed AND ball skills
— Steve Palazzolo (@PFF_Steve) August 28, 2023
Mims and his 95th percentile speed score won't have that problem and is the downfield threat the Broncos need with Tim Patrick out for the year again.
Tank Dell, Houston Texans
Tank Dell went from completely off the radar to everyone's favorite wide receiver sleeper after his first preseason game when he hauled five passes for 65 yards and a score. That follows his last two college seasons, where he had 1,329 yards with 12 touchdowns and 1,398 and 17 scores.
The wideout out of the University of Houston was selected in the third round. Considering the state of the Texans' wide receivers, Dell may have an impact sooner rather than later.
Some of the best data pulls have a mix of news & noise. The top wide receivers in the preseason sorted by targets per route run via @TruMediaSports (min. 10 routes)
— Corbin (@corbin_young21) August 21, 2023
Fellow rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud seems to have already established a rapport with Dell. We all know guys like Robert Woods and Nico Collins are not long for the rebuilding Texans, so Dell may be one of the featured players by the season's end.
Isaiah Hodgins, New York Giants
At 6'4" and 210 pounds, Isaiah Hodgins is a massive physical specimen (the same as Donald Trump, if you believe that), but he doesn't play like the tall, bulky guy that he is. Perhaps more than any other sleeper wide receiver this year, Hodgins knows how to get open.
Despite playing just ten games in 2022 and demanding 47 snaps, Hodgins greatly impacted Daniel Jones and the Giants. His best skill? He knows how to beat his man. According to Player Profiler, Hodgins ranked second in average cushion and was the best wide receiver at winning his routes.
#NFL WR leaders in route win rate last season:
— Ahaan Rungta (@AhaanRungta) August 18, 2023
In half-PPR leagues in 2022, Hodgins ranked 11th in fantasy points per game in Weeks 14-18. In the weeks you might have been desperate for a body in the fantasy playoffs, Hodgins outscored Jaylen Waddle, Chris Godwin, Davante Adams, and countless other receivers.
His target share was a poor 15% last season, but with the uncertainty around Wandale Robinson, Sterling Shephard, and the inconsistency of Parris Campbell, Hodgins's involvement will surely go up. He averaged over six targets per game in his last five contests of 2022. My guess is that's about his floor in 2023.
Ultra Deep Sleeper of the Year: Rashid Shaheed, New Orleans Saints
According to Pro Football Focus, there were just four wide with who had a minimum of 30 targets and finished the year with at least 2.5 yards per route run and at least five yards after the catch per reception. One was Justin Jefferson. Two others were Jaylen Waddle and A.J. Brown. Care to guess who the fourth is? That's right, it's Rashid Shaheed of the New Orleans Saints.
Now, the Saints upgrade (at least slightly) from the Andy Dalton and Jameis Winston experience to Derrek Carr, who was number five in deep ball attempts and number 17 in deep ball catch rate. Shaheed is going to have very little target competition behind Olave. I remember that Michael Thomas is still alive, but that's a "see it to believe it" situation for me now.
Rashid Shaheed and his 183.7 Underdog ADP is back at practice.
I hope you all bought the dip. I feel like he is one of the best WR values out there. He should be in the 140 ADP range with the likes of Gallup, Osborn, Mims, MVS, and Van Jefferson IMO.
— Eaglezzz (@JamesBrimacombe) August 24, 2023
Shaheed has tumbled in ADP somewhat because of an early August groin injury. But he is back to full health and suited up for the last preseason game against the Texans. Shaheed has a straightforward path to being second on the Saints in targets and can easily play the deep ball specialist to complement Chris Olave's middle-of-the-field specialty.
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