This article will cover the deepest of the deep fantasy football sleepers. It features only wide receivers that do not have a current ADP (Average Draft Position), because they are going undrafted. These players can help you win a close game when you’re dealing with bye weeks and injuries. These would-be waiver wire gems can help put your team over the top when you’re desperate for a viable player. Keep an eye on these receivers when your scowling your waiver wire for talent, as they might just win you a game or two when you need it most:
1. Marlon Brown (Baltimore Ravens)
After the Ravens signed longtime Panther veteran Steve Smith, fantasy owners have completely overlooked sophomore WR Marlon Brown. As a rookie, Brown caught 49 passes for 524 yards and seven TDs in 2013. He is a big, strong guy with excellent body control and can get the ball at its highest point. It should not be a shock to anybody if Brown emerges as the Ravens WR2. Torrey Smith will be Baltimore’s top WR, but Brown could beat out Steve Smith and Jacoby Jones. Steve Smith will be 35-years-old this season and is coming off a subpar 2013. The feisty receiver caught 64 passes for 745 yards and four TDs last year, continuing a steady decline in his production. Jones will get his shots down field, but lets not fool ourselves, he’s always been a better return man than receiver. If Brown continues to progress, he may become a legitimate Flex option and a very strong bench stash in fantasy leagues.
2. Ace Sanders (Jacksonville Jaguars)
Sanders quietly put together a solid rookie campaign in Jacksonville last year. Aside from a four week stretch when he struggled with injury and had very little production, he managed to catch 51 passes for 484 yards and a TD, get involved in the running game, and even throw a 21 yard TD pass. These are strong numbers for a rookie playing in an ananemic offense that ranked 31st in the league in yards per game, and dead last in points.
Sanders is a versatile player who can line up and make an impact anywhere on the field. He can carry the ball on reverses or pitches, catch screens, go deep, or wreak havoc in the middle of the field from the slot. Many fantasy owners are worried about Sanders due to the Jags drafting Allen Robinson and Marquise Lee in the second round. Its not very likely both rookies will play a major role this season, however.
Expect Allen Robinson to become an immediate WR2 opposite Cecil Shorts III and Sanders to man the slot. Lee will take some time to get better. He has great athleticism and upside, nevertheless he is a raw talent that needs time to develop. If the Jags use third-overall pick Blake Bortles in a similar manner to how he was used at UCF, Sanders will be a perfect target for him. Bubble screens, slants, and the ability to take a shot now and then is a game plan that Sanders can thrive in. While he will more than likely go undrafted in your league, keep a close eye on his production. He may be a nice waiver wire pickup once bye weeks start.
3. Jeremy Kerley (New York Jets)
Kerley is a very underrated option on the New York Jets. He is quite arguably the second best wide receiver on the team. If you are not an Eric Decker believer, Kerley’s value only increases. He is surrounded by a WR corps full of subpar talent and will likely emerge as the Jets second option. It has become apparent that Stephen Hill is a bust and he flat out cannot catch.
The best thing that could happen for Kerley is the benching of Geno Smith. Mike Vick is a much better player and would help everyone on the Jets offense fantasy value if he becomes the starter. Rex Ryan tends to stay loyal to his QBs, so that may not happen. If Kerley had a decent QB to get him the ball, he could be a very solid slot receiver. In 2013, he caught 43 passes and 3 TDs in just 12 games. If his numbers continue on this pace or even increase, he will be a viable flex if your starter gets injured or is on a bye.
4. Vincent Brown (San Diego Chargers)
Vincent Brown was a breakout candidate in 2012. He suffered an injury prior to the start of the regular season and never managed to make it on the field. Despite a less than stellar showing in 2013 he has once again been a standout in camp and may emerge as the Chargers WR2 behind Keenan Allen. Last season was a transitional year for the Chargers passing game, as then rookie Keenan Allen emerged as the top option. This season Brown will emerge as the second option. Last year he caught 41 passes for 472 yards. Expect his numbers to go up significantly in new offensive coordinator Mike McCoy‘s up-tempo system. His fourth season will be his breakout campaign. Brown could emerge as a flex option in all formats.
5. Denarius Moore (Oakland Raiders)
You usually want to stay away from Oakland Raiders fantasy options at all costs, however Denarius Moore has been a solid bench stash throughout his three-year career. Due to the fact he plays for the Raiders, Moore has not reached his full potential. With those QBs throwing to you, who would? Despite being stuck in a black hole, Moore has managed to score at least five TDs in all three seasons, while averaging just under 700 yards. He has frustrated owners in recent years with his inconsistency, though. This may be the year he puts it all together and has that breakout year fantasy owners have been waiting on. Moore should be drafted and stashed on your bench in deep leagues. Otherwise, keep an eye on him when bye weeks start, as he may be a nice pickup.
*Photo Credit – Paul Gardner via Flickr.