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Fantasy Football: Wide receiver sleepers, breakouts and league winners

2KCR052 Detroit Lions wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown (14) looks down the field during warmups before an NFL football game between the Detroit Lions and the Cincinnati Bengals in Detroit, Michigan USA, on Sunday, October 17, 2021. (Photo by Amy Lemus/NurPhoto)

Amon-Ra St. Brown can be a more complete receiver: St. Brown has made his name catching short passes and making players miss, but he’s looking to become a deep threat at well.

Drake London started breaking out with Desmond Ridder: London was among the best fantasy wide receivers at the end of last season, and now gets a full year with the former Cincinnati quarterback.

Draft the overlooked first-round wide receivers: The first-round wide receivers who end up breaking out as rookies aren’t always the ones we expect, and Quentin Johnston is getting overlooked.

Estimated reading time: 14 minutes

These league winners, breakout candidates and sleepers are players I believe in relative to ADP. For help on draft strategy, rankings or for more details about other players, check out the rest of my summer content below. For rankings with better filtering along with auction values, check out our draft rankings page.

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Last updated: 7:15 a.m. Wednesday, August 23

League winners

Amon-Ra St. Brown, Detroit Lions (ADP: 20.9, From ESPN)

St. Brown is an underrated receptions machine.

  • St. Brown’s rookie season started slow in 2021 but had an excellent ending. He caught at least eight passes in each of the last six games, leading to a minimum of 70 yards, and a touchdown in five of six games.
  • He scored the second-most fantasy points over that stretch, averaging 25.2 fantasy points per game.
  • He followed that up with an even more impressive 2022 campaign.
  • His 90.4 receiving grade placed third among wide receivers last season.
  • He was targeted on 28.8% of his routes, leading to a catch on 21.9% of his routes — which both ranked second last season.
  • His 0.53 receiving PPR points per route run ranked fourth.
  • The Lions no longer have T.J. Hockenson, D.J. Chark or D’Andre Swift — three of the Lions' top five receivers last season by PFF grade. This should lead to the passing game relying even more on St. Brown.
  • He’s received plenty of praise in camp so far and is looking to expand his route tree this season by becoming more of a deep threat. This would make him a more well-rounded receiver, and allow him to have more huge games rather than just consistent good ones.
  • The only problem is St. Brown ran the 43rd-most routes last season, at 483.
  • The Lions invested a lot at running back this offseason with Jahmyr Gibbs in the draft and David Montgomery in free agency. If anything, Detroit will be getting the ball more to running backs — not less.
  • If the Lions end up increasing how much they pass the ball, St. Brown has a chance at being the overall WR1.

Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers (ADP: 43.4)


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