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DEEP SLEEPERS: Wide Receiver

Josh Doctson, WR, Washington Redskins

In his second season in the NFL in 2017, Josh Doctson played in all 16 games and showed signs of improvement throughout the season that left optimism for his fantasy outlook heading into 2018. He is poised and ready to break out and become a reliable fantasy option. A few injuries early on in training camp are worrisome and should be monitored, but all that’s going to do is drop his price tag even further down draft boards. From Week 10 to Week 17 of last season, Josh Doctson saw 56 targets and hauled in three touchdowns. He should easily eclipse 100 targets this coming season and Alex Smith will quickly come to realize how capable Doctson can be in the red zone on jump balls. At his current 10th round price tag, Doctson has low-end WR2 upside at the cost of a WR4.

Keelan Cole, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars

In his rookie season in 2017, Keelan Cole was second on the Jacksonville Jaguars with 83 targets and tallied 42 receptions, 748 receiving yards and three touchdowns. Without a true #1 wide receiver on the Jacksonville Jaguars roster, it’s reasonable to expect Cole to build upon the success in his rookie season and take the next step in his second season in 2018. Marqise Lee is not known for his durability, having missed 11 games in his four-year career. Dede Westbrook and rookie D.J. Chark will compete for targets with Cole, but neither of them will command a high-volume target share. Even though Cole’s upside is limited due to the team he plays on, the potential for him hauling in 60+ receptions, 800+ receiving yards and finishing as a WR3 are well within reach.

Anthony Miller, WR, Chicago Bears

Anthony Miller’s ADP is rapidly rising as the preseason rolls on but it’s warranted. He has dazzled in training camp up to this point and is in a position to solidify himself as the #2 wide receiver on the Chicago Bears. While steering clear of most rookie wide receivers, Miller’s ADP is too good to pass up. When it gets to the 13th round of your draft (where Miller is currently being drafted) you’re throwing darts and hoping to hit on a lottery ticket running back or wide receiver. Miller’s situation in Chicago is an ideal one and one that could see him playing a pivotal role in their offense. As a result, I believe Miller could see close to 100 targets in his rookie season and far outperform his current ADP, making him an appealing draft pick in the late rounds of your draft.

Tyler Lockett, WR, Seattle Seahawks

Entering his fourth season in the league, Tyler Lockett has yet to take the next step and become a reliable fantasy wide receiver. That is going to change in 2018. Jimmy Graham, Paul Richardson, and Luke Willson have moved on to new teams, leaving a heap of targets up for grabs in the Seattle offense. Now the de-facto #2 target for Russell Wilson, Lockett is primed to see an uptick in targets and scoring opportunities this season. If Doug Baldwin (who is a bit banged up and scheduled to miss the rest of the preseason) misses any games in the regular season, Lockett would instantly become a must-start fantasy wide receiver. All of these factors add up to potentially career-high numbers in receptions and receiving yards in 2018 for Lockett and a low-end WR2 finish. Do not miss out on drafting Lockett in the late rounds of your draft.

Cameron Meredith, WR, New Orleans Saints

Before tearing his ACL and MCL in the 2017 preseason, Cameron Meredith was a popular sleeper pick at the wide receiver position heading into the 2017 season. After missing the entire 2017 season, Meredith signed a two-year, $10 million contract with the New Orleans Saints this off-season and will look to revitalize his career in the Big Easy. Michael Thomas will indisputably be the top-dog in the Saints passing game, but the competition for the #2 wide receiver spot is wide open. Meredith will be competing for that role with the wily veteran, Ted Ginn Jr., and rookie Tre’Quan Smith. If he plays a full 16-game season, Meredith should easily see 100 targets and have a great shot at getting close to 1,000 receiving yards though his preseason has gotten off to a rough start with some bad drops. That type of upside is rare at his current 11th round price tag though, especially in this high octane offense.

About Evan Reardon

An avid Boston sports fan, Evan has been a Patriots and NFL fan since the 1990's. Fantasy football runs in his family. He grew up in the 90's watching his father and uncles play in a 6-team, Touchdown-only league. He has been playing fantasy football since the early 2000's and has been writing fantasy sports content since 2014.