Sleeper Receivers Who Will Finish Top 10

Thursday, Aug 5, 2021 at 4:41 pm ET

Running backs have been going early in fantasy football drafts, so drafting these receivers later will make you look like a genius. The NFL is deeper at the receiver position than the running back position, so taking running backs in the first two rounds is not as farfetched as it seems to be. There are potential WR1's in the middle rounds and some veterans that have slipped due to relocation. You can easily take running backs in the first three rounds. These are the receivers that can solidify your dominance this fantasy season.

Number 5: Robert Woods

Robert WoodsThe best Swiss Army knife in football. One of the most underrated players in today's game is Robert Woods. He finished 13th last season with 90 catches, 936 yards, and 8 total touchdowns (6 through the air). With a great target % the last four seasons with no lower than a 23% target share, Woods is bound to see even more looks with Matthew Stafford there now. Then, Woods can give you key runs in a close game. He has had over 60 carries in the past three seasons. At 29 years old, the value is there with Woods going in the 5th - 7th rounds and is one of the most slept-on receivers.

Number 4: Diontae Johnson

Diontae JohnsonA magnet in terms of the ball always finding a way to him. Diontae Johnson can see upwards of 140 plus targets this season. Ben appears to be in great condition and the Steelers finally have a running game, or so it seems. Last season, the Steelers needed to throw two-yard passes as run plays with a non-existent running attack. Now, with Alabama star Najee Harris, the Steelers should be able to pound the ball down the defense.

For Johnson, that means more open looks with rising star Chase Claypool on the other side and the defense having to worry about the run attack, Johnson is in prime position to deliver fantasy points. Last season, Johnson had over 10 targets in 10 of the 15 games he appeared in. The value is there in the 5th or 6th round to snag Johnson. He is looked at as a WR2 to most, with the potential of leaping into the WR1 conversation. In the 12 games Johnson fully appeared in, he averaged 11.2 targets per game and was the 4th scoring WR in fantasy. In the middle of your draft, you can snag one of the most target-friendly receivers in the NFL.

Number 3: Amari Cooper

Amari CooperA former first-round pick and Alabama product, Amari Cooper (and the whole Cowboys offense) should see a boost in pretty much everything. With Dak Prescott healthy, Cooper was fifth among receivers in Dak's five starts last season. Finishing number 15 last season without Dak speaks for Cooper's talent. Posting a stat line of 92 receptions, 1,130 yards, and five touchdowns. With Dak back in the attack, I figure Cooper to eclipse 100 receptions for the first time in his career. With never eclipsing a 23% target share, the nerves can be there when drafting him, but it should all go away when you remember his quarterback is healthy and a candidate for comeback POY.

Number 2: Ceedee Lamb

CeeDee LambAnother cowboy makes the list and is one of the best young receivers for the next generation. Ceedee Lamb saw over 100 targets, bringing down 74 of them with 935 yards and five touchdowns. As with Cooper, Dak is a major factor as to why two Cowboy receivers made this list. With Dak healthy last season, Lamb was WR11 with 29 receptions, 433 yards, and two touchdowns in those five games. With an 18% target share as a rookie, it is inevitable that it will increase this upcoming season. There is potential for all three Cowboys receivers to eclipse over 1000 yards receiving and have career years all around.

Number 1: Julio Jones

Julio JonesArguably the best receiver of his generation and one of the best in NFL history, Julio Jones is hands down the number one receiver that can catapult your team. Jones is on a new team in the Tennessee Titans and is looked at as the WR2 behind AJ Brown this season. The scary thing is, Julio can easily have the same or even better numbers than Brown this season seeing number two coverage. Grabbing both of the Titans' receivers isn't a bad idea and having Julio going in the 4th - 6th round range is quite disrespectful. Jones says he feels better than ever and there really cannot be any double teams vs the Titans.

Jones is number 20 on the all-time receiving yards list. Being 32, but also being one of the greatest athletes ever, I see Jones climbing into the Top 10 with the current situation he is in. Julio has some of the greatest value in a player this fantasy season similar to Adam Thielen who is playing WR2 behind Justin Jefferson.

Join the Discussion

Wallstreet Skeeter CommentedAug 5, 2021 5:41 pm

I agree with all except Julio. Are you kidding me? It's not like AJ Brown is 1 and Julio is 1A. The guy can't stay on the field.

In 10 seasons, Julio Jones only has 3 seasons in which he's played 16 games.

How can you possibly have a guy finish in the Top 10 if he can't even finish the season?

Jeffrey Paul CommentedAug 7, 2021 10:47 pm

Skeeter- I totally agree. He'll be lucky to play 12 games.

Gavin Christie CommentedAug 7, 2021 2:31 pm

So a missed game here or there is the reason you wouldn't draft him. Your ridiculous.

2014 ATL 15
2015 ATL 16
2016 ATL 14
2017 ATL 16
2018 ATL 16
2019 ATL 15
2020 ATL 9

Wallstreet Skeeter CommentedAug 7, 2021 3:30 pm

OK - I might actually be ridiculous. Perhaps I was jaded by last year's poor performance.

I looked at past years, and Julio finished:

2020 #53
2019 #5
2018 #5
2017 #6
2016 #6

Assuming the author believes that 2020 was an anomaly, maybe he's onto something. Maybe Julio is not a crazy option. We'll find out.

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