May 20, 2021

3 Under-the-Radar Wide Receivers You Should Draft in Fantasy Football

Thanks to the major decrease in the salary cap, the 2021 NFL offseason saw superstars swap teams like we've rarely experienced.

Our fantasy football teams will adjust after seeing some of the fallout. Either quality players landed in more advantageous situations, or playing time was cleared out for more production. Others saw a better surrounding cast grow around them.

We've identified three such wide receivers who are now clear sleepers and offer great value for drafters. These receivers are each available in the 10th round or later currently and should see similar stock throughout the offseason.

Make sure you nab at least one of these future fantasy football stars in all of your leagues.

Darnell Mooney, Chicago Bears

An unheralded rookie in 2020 as a fifth-round pick out of Tulane, the 5-foot-10, 176-pound Mooney had to love the Chicago Bears' offseason. Adding Andy Dalton and Justin Fields is a massive boost to his potential production. It also helps the Bears failed to ink Kenny Golladay or another impact receiver.

Instead he returns with Allen Robinson as a top target. With 61 catches for 631 yards and four scores, Mooney showed reliability in the nine starts he earned. The explosive athlete will benefit greatly from an accurate quarterback who can do more than just throw slants.

With 4.38 speed and no clear competition for the second receiver on the roster sans an Anthony Miller breakout, Mooney is a relative unknown to the casual players. He could hit 1,000 yards in 2021 despite his 14th-round price.

John Brown, Las Vegas Raiders

I loved the signing of John Brown for the Raiders. An underrated receiver despite his speed, Brown is well-rounded and dangerous at all times. He's a solid route-runner and tough as nails at the catch point.

Nelson Agholor showed what his archetype can be in the Raiders' offense. Brown must stay healthy, but he has surer-hands than Agholor and offers similar separation ability. Derek Carr will favor him often.

The health question isn't an insignificant one, though. Brown has started more than eight games just three times, and has received more than 73 targets just four times. The 31-year-old has competition from Bryan Edwards and Henry Ruggs as well. 

But he's forever been a favorite of mine due to his play style and explosive ability. The other receivers on the roster are raw and inexperienced, whereas Brown can thrive in two-receiver sets and win on isolated routes. I'm buying him with a 10th-round price tag.

Mike Williams, Los Angeles Chargers

With an average draft spot just two spots ahead of Brown, the Chargers' massive deep threat is just 26 and entering his second season with Justin Herbert. He has "buy" written all over him.

Few receivers win like he does in the current NFL. He's a sideline nightmare and willing to soar above defenders to bring down jump balls. He's never had more than 49 receptions but averages a whopping 16.7 yards per catch over his career. 

Hopefully, he returns to his 2019 levels of success. Williams is likely to miss some games due to his play style and risk associated with it but his upside is huge as a third or fourth receiver. Herbert will have more time to throw with a revamped offensive line and that'll have a trickle-down effect.

There'll be more time to throw the ball downfield. The running backs will have better holes to run through. Los Angeles will be in the red zone more. This is the perfect recipe for Williams to reach a career-high in catches and match his high with 10 touchdowns.

There are not many impactful receivers being drafted after Williams. I like him more than nearly any rotational play for bye weeks or long-shot matchups. 

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