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Best Ball Fantasy Sleeper WRs | $100 Underdog BONUS + FREE Stokastic SUB

Phillip Beneteau

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2022 best ball fantasy football sleeper wide receivers underdog fantasy best ball WRs rankings

Welcome to the best time of the year. With NFL training camp about to get going at the end of the month and fantasy drafts already starting up, there is no better time to start research. Stokastic offers a wide range of advice and services from Daily Fantasy Sports to Best Ball quality content, including Stokastic’s state of the art Draft Guide and Best Ball Rankings for all the major sites.

There are endless amounts of ways to draft teams in Best Ball formats, but a healthy reminder from Stokastic is to draft 2-3 quarterbacks, 4-5 running backs, 7-8 wide receivers and 2-3 tight ends. These are not perfect guidelines and will differ based on the contest and format. There is no doubt you will draft more than two quarterbacks in the Superflex Best Balls, but it’s a good starting point when thinking about the later stages of the draft.

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Top 3 Best Ball Sleeper WRs

Drafting more wide receivers forces three to play each week and may even have a fourth step in for Flex. Underdog is a half-PPR site, so they do reward wide receivers who rack up receptions and not just yardage and scores. The top overall wide receiver in half-PPR scoring in 2021 was Cooper Kupp who racked up 145 receptions for 1947 yards, 18 rushing yards, and a total of 16 touchdowns. This put Kupp on top with a whopping 367 fantasy points. The next top wide receivers were Deebo Samuel who scored 300.46 points and Davante Adams with 282.8 points. That sort of production will not continue in Rounds 10 and beyond in drafts, but the key focus to look for is upside. Those big play receivers who can score a long touchdown or rack up a handful of passes each week.

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This is where the big differences come in between season-long fantasy and Best Ball. In season-long fantasy it may be a struggle figuring out who is the best WR3 for a certain week because of their variance. Meanwhile, in Best Ball, there is an optimal lineup each and every week. Christian Kirk, Will Fuller, and DeSean Jackson all stick out for their upside as a late target. If looking to stack teams with high-upside plays, you’ve come to the right place!

Mecole Hardman, Kansas City Chiefs (Underdog ADP: 149)

Hardman has already been left for dead by many in the fantasy community after a rough three seasons in the NFL. People seem to forget that the Kansas City Chiefs used a second-round pick (their first pick in the 2019 draft) to draft Hardman because Tyreek Hill was facing some legal issues. Yes, Hill has missed time over those three years and Hardman has not even been able to solidify himself as the true number two wide receiver in Kansas City, but the time is now.

The Chiefs traded Hill to the Miami Dolphins this off-season for a boat load of picks and are also without the services of wide receivers Demarcus Robinson and Byron Pringle this season. They did bring in former Steelers’ wide receiver Juju Smith-Schuster, but reports suggest Hardman could explode this year. Smith-Schuster will contend more in the middle of the field and short-medium range while Hardman projects as the go-route player with game-breaking speed.

Hardman has seen his role in this offense grow each year capping off a 2021 season where he had 59 receptions, for 693 yards, 46 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Hardman is being drafted outside of the top 60, and he was the overall WR50 last season on a team that is missing three wide receivers from 2021. Hardman could flirt with WR3 numbers even if they mix in some duds with some massive scores. See where Hardman is ranked compared to other wide receivers in Stokastics Best Ball Draft Guide.

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Jahan Dotson, Washington Commanders (Underdog ADP: 150)

The new-look Washington Commanders chose speedy wide receiver Jahan Dotson from Penn State and the fantasy world seems to think he is a bust. Dotson was drafted as the fifth wide receiver off the board and 16th overall in this year’s NFL Draft, but he is currently being drafted as the 10th best rookie as far as ADP goes on Underdog.

Dotson has a 5-foot-11 frame and ran a 4.43 40 at the combine. He is coming off a 1,182 receiving yard season that included 12 touchdowns. Fellow teammate wide receiver Terry McLaurin sat out the early part of OTAs with a contract dispute which allowed Dotson and the other wide receivers to gain some chemistry with new quarterback Carson Wentz. Beat reports indicate that Dotson has impressed during camp and already shows a good connection with Wentz. He is also entering a team that has not guaranteed WR2 or WR3. Currently projected WR2 on the team, Curtis Samuel, was able to just see the field in five games last season as injuries plagued him. Dotson is a late-round pick with high upside on a team with their best quarterback in years.

Sterling Shepard, New York Giants (Underdog ADP: 201)

Sterling Shepard has been a fantastic wide receiver in the NFL. Does the team have two other capable wide receivers in Kenny Golladay and Kadarius Toney? Yes, but Shepard sticks out for a variety of reasons.

One of Shepard’s biggest issues is health. He missed 10 games in 2021, four games in 2020, and six games in 2019 due to injury. That’s not great and even in Best Ball formats it is unwise don’t want to have players on the bench who are constantly dealing with injuries, but while his downside is obvious, people seem to forget about his upside. He is pretty much free at this point in Best Ball drafts and has been more than serviceable when he is on the field. In his most recent full season in 2018, Shepard racked up 66 receptions for 872 yards and four touchdowns. Shepard appeared in seven games last season, but in three of them he had seven or more receptions and averaged just over 94 yards a game in that time. Plus, TE Evan Engram signed with the Jaguars in the offseason. Shepard is best when he is near the line of scrimmage and over the middle of the field – exactly where Engram did most of his work. The Giants brought in TE Ricky Seals-Jones in the off-season, but he is nowhere near the athletic abilities of Engram. Shepard is not going to cost much but can win a league if he is able to stay on the field and is surrounded in Stokastic’s Best Ball rankings by players going multiple rounds in front of him.

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Free Agent wide receivers to Keep an Eye On (Underdog ADP: 145+)

Julio Jones, 33, showed last year that he still has some gas left in the tank. Jones appeared in 10 games for the Tennessee Titans recording 31 receptions for 434 yards and one touchdown. It was not a great year, but nonetheless, a team will sign Jones once training camp starts.

Will Fuller, 28, was limited to just two games last year for the Miami Dolphins because of his six-game suspension to start the season and because of injuries but is expected to make a full recovery after his successful off-season surgery on his finger. Fuller is a prototypical late-round stash with massive upside. His injuries are no doubt a worry, but his price is hard to refuse. The moment he signs with a team, let alone if he is reunited with his former quarterback Deshaun Watson in Cleveland, his draft price will skyrocket.

Odell Beckham Jr., 29, is in a slightly different spot as he is currently injured and is almost guaranteed to miss the start of the season. Some reports indicate that he may only miss September, while others suggest he could be out until November. He is the ultimate high-end risk pick because he could easily sit out the 2022 season to be healthy for 2023. While that is still a possibility, he will sign with a team by September, even if he starts the season on the PUP list. Beckham has struggled to stay healthy, but there is no denying his production when he is on the field.

All of these receivers all carry high risk, however, because they are still older free agents, but they are definitely worth the stash if there is a solid core of wide receivers on a team already.

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