Welcome to another edition of the Monday Morning Sleeper. Last week, I profiled a wide receiver playing for the Kansas City Chiefs, named Tyreek Hill. I was able to draft Hill in my 16 team start-up dynasty league, at 73rd overall, and am optimistic that he will be one of my top receivers for years to come.
A Fantasy Football Sleeper is a player that is in a position to play beyond their rankings or expectations, and who may provide you with some value at their draft position.
UPDATE ALERT: I recently profiled a wide receiver playing for the Baltimore Ravens, named Breshad Perriman, as one of my 2017 sleeper candidates. As @jrock5158 pointed out on Twitter, Jeremy Maclin has now signed a two year agreement with the Ravens and this provides an interesting change in scenery in Baltimore. In signing a player of Maclin’s pedigree, it is hard to envision a scenario in which Perriman ends up as the No. 1 receiver for the Ravens this season. However, Perriman will still hold some value this season as he looks to improve on last season’s numbers. I still recommend that you draft Perriman, but for now, I’d rank him closer to his pre-Maclin rankings at approximately 40th at wide receiver, and late 70th overall.
This week I will be profiling a wide receiver playing for the Los Angeles Rams, named Robert Woods. I previously named his quarterback, Jared Goff, as a sleeper candidate for 2017, based on his offseason work with a specialist, and the addition of two young receivers in Woods and 2017 draft choice Cooper Kupp.
OUT OF THE WOODS?
Woods was Drafted by Buffalo in the second round, 41st overall, in the 2013 NFL entry draft. In his rookie season with the Bills, he averaged 14.7 yards per catch on 40 receptions, which led to three touchdowns on 587 yards. Since his inaugural season, his numbers have remained pretty consistent, with his receptions increasing slightly, and a dip in his yards per catch. These numbers, while seemingly pedestrian, were accomplished with an inconsistent and unreliable quarterback situation. Over his career in Buffalo, Woods has had six different starting quarterbacks, which can make it difficult for a young wide receiver to establish much-needed chemistry. Woods has also been hidden behind Sammy Watkins on the depth chart, and it can be difficult to find targets in an offense built around LeSean McCoy and the run game. I believe with his new role as an undisputed starting wide receiver, and with a potentially steady and reliable quarterback in Jared Goff, he should be able to put up some impressive numbers in Los Angeles.
SHOW ME THE MONEY
With the Rams signing Woods to a five-year deal worth $39 million, $15 million guaranteed, I have no doubt that he will be Goff’s top option in 2017. Tavon Austin is the only Rams receiver currently making more than Woods, and Rams Coach Sean McVay has indicated that he plans to use Austin as more of a deep threat, but will wait to commit until after he returns from injury. With Austin yet to break out, and it looks like Woods is going to get every opportunity to lead his team in targets.
A STEADY QUARTERBACK
As a previous Monday Morning Sleeper candidate, I profiled Jared Goff and am confident that he will drastically improve behind center from his 2016 performance. The key to a successful season for a receiver, is a successful season for their quarterback. If you haven’t read my article on Goff, you can check it out here. There is every indication that Goff will break out in 2017.
The consensus rankings at FantasyPros have Woods ranked 80th at wide receiver, and 176th overall. I would easily rank him in the top-30 at wide receiver, and top-100 overall. If you can draft him in the ninth or 10th rounds, you are getting excellent value.
Thank you for reading The Monday Morning Sleeper, and follow me on Twitter, @HaehnelJames.
Have an opinion? Let me know in the comments below.