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Sleeper WR Candidates for 2022 Fantasy Football

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Every year, wide receiver is one of the deepest positions in fantasy football. Considering most team runs three-wide sets often, there are nearly 100 legitimate WR candidates for your fantasy squad every year.

Hitting big on a later-round pick (see Deebo Samuel last year), or even scooping up an underrated player (like Cooper Kupp) can change everything for your fantasy team.

Let’s take a look at some of the top WR sleepers for 2022.

 

(Check out more: QB Sleepers | QB Busts | RB Sleepers | RB Busts | WR Busts | TE Sleepers | TE Busts)

Michael Gallup, Dallas Cowboys

Flashback to 2019: Michael Gallup posted 66-1,107-6 as a second-year pro. Then he took a backseat to premium, high-draft-capital WRs in Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb (while also battling some injuries).

Now Cooper is gone, and the Cowboys still believe in Gallup enough to sign him to a five-year, $62.5 million contract. He’s locked in as their WR2 and is prime to shoot up draft boards as the offseason progresses.

Elijah Moore, New York Jets

I’m not sure if Elijah Moore counts as a sleeper because the fantasy football analyst community loves him, but he’s still an under-the-radar player for the football world at large. After all, he plays for the lowly Jets and only played in 11 games as a rookie.

But Moore is primed to be New York’s No. 1 this year, and he shredded defenses over his final five healthy games last year, averaging 9 targets, 5.6 receptions, 76 yards, and 1 TD per game in that span.

The Jets also re-signed Braxton Berrios, who emerged as a slot hero for the Jets in the final weeks of the season. The move likely means we’ll see more of Moore on the outside in 2022. 

Gabriel Davis, Buffalo Bills

Gabriel Davis may not be so sleepy after setting an NFL record with 4 TDs in a playoff game last year, but he may still be overlooked if people think it was a one-off fluke.

It wasn’t.

Davis was the only Buffalo receiver during the regular season last year (min. 20 receptions) to score more fantasy points over expectation. His 0.66 RACR (a measurement that tells you how many air yards a player converted into actual yards) was aligned with Stefon Diggs’ 0.67 despite having a significantly deeper average depth of target (when a player has a lower aDOT, his RACR is usually higher). 

Additionally, his 12 end zone targets were second on the team (behind Diggs) despite being fifth on the team in total targets. Those high-value looks will go a long way in making Davis pop in fantasy in 2022.

 

Kadarius Toney, New York Giants

Before an injury derailed his rookie season, Kadarius Toney was on the verge of becoming a weekly staple in fantasy lineups. He was one of five players I highlighted as buy-now candidates in dynasty. Here’s what I wrote about him there:

“Toney went 9-6-78-0 in Week 4, then he went bananas for 13-10-189-0 in Week 5, then he started Week 6 with 3 receptions for 36 yards on the first drive before an injury effectively ended his season. He saw the field again in late November (12 targets) and late December (9 targets), but the lousy quarterbacking and long layoffs rendered him ineffective. Still, his 21 targets in his final two games are impressive. 

“If you’re hunting for diamonds in the rough, it doesn’t get more tantalizing than double-digit target upside and a player with an already-proven high ceiling. 189 yards as a rookie is nothing to scoff at.”

Rashod Bateman, Baltimore Ravens

Rashod Bateman didn’t consistently pop in the fantasy stat sheet as a rookie, but he made numerous acrobatic plays down the stretch and was a far better fantasy player on a per-target basis than teammate Marquise Brown when both were on the field. 

In Weeks 6-17, Bateman saw 67 targets to Brown’s 107 — a huge difference. But Bateman gained 515 yards on those looks while Brown tallied only 557. 

Bateman will go much later in fantasy drafts than Brown, but there’s a legitimate chance Bateman becomes the WR1 in Baltimore as soon as 2022 kicks off (with the added caveat that Mark Andrews is also in the mix for top-target duties). 

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