Top 10 Sleeper Wide Receivers to Target in 2024 Fantasy Football Drafts

Georgia wide receiver Ladd McConkey (84) runs a drill during Georgia football's Pro Day in Athens,
Georgia wide receiver Ladd McConkey (84) runs a drill during Georgia football's Pro Day in Athens, / Joshua L. Jones / USA TODAY NETWORK

Sleepers: Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Tight Ends

The term “sleeper” has different meanings for different people in the world of fantasy football. Some folks believe it’s simply a player who will outperform his draft position. Others think it’s a relatively unknown or once-forgotten player who unexpectedly emerges or re-emerges into a useful fantasy option.

In my opinion both definitions are true, but with a caveat. I don’t see a player as a sleeper if he’s already been a valuable fantasy asset during his career. For example, Terry McLaurin can’t be labeled a “sleeper.” Did he have a mediocre 2023 season? Yes, but that doesn’t make him a sleeper now, even if he isn’t projected to be a top-50 overall selection in most 2024 fantasy drafts.

Could McLaurin be labeled as a bargain? Absolutely. But he’s not a sleeper. I also consider some rookies to be sleepers (as you will see), as these players could outperform their draft position without ever yet producing in the pros.

With that in mind, here are 10 sleeper wide receivers to target in the mid-to-late rounds who could be better than we’re expecting in the stat sheets this season.

1. Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Seattle Seahawks

Smith-Njigba had a modest rookie season, posting 628 yards and just 8.8 fantasy points per game. That had much to do with the offense, plus he was behind DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. While DK and Lockett remain, I expect JSN to surpass the latter and push for fantasy starter value in the pass-laden offense of new OC Ryan Grubb.  I’d grab Smith-Njigba in the middle rounds of re-drafts.

2.    Jameson Williams, Detroit Lions

Williams is on the sleeper/breakout borderline for me as he enters his third NFL season. Injuries and a suspension have limited him to just 18 pro games, but he’s now in line to see more work. With Josh Reynolds off the roster, Williams will be the unquestioned No. 2 wideout in what figures to remain an explosive offense. Grab him in the middle to late rounds as a WR4 with upside.

3. Ladd McConkey, Los Angeles Chargers

McConkey’s fantasy stock rose in the offseason and culminated in him being picked near the top of the second round of the NFL draft. He ultimately landed with the Chargers, who traded Keenan Allen and released Mike Williams in the offseason. That opens almost 20 targets per game, some of which will no doubt be absorbed by McConkey. He could push for flex value as a rookie.

4. Keon Coleman, Buffalo Bills

The Bills traded Stefon Diggs and lost Gabe Davis as a free agent, creating 241 available targets based on last season’s totals. That makes Coleman, who was the first pick in Round 2, a potential sleeper based on volume alone. He will also have the advantage of catching passes from one of the best quarterbacks in the league in Josh Allen, which is also an obvious advantage for the rookie.

5. Brian Thomas Jr., Jacksonville Jaguars

Thomas Jr., the 23rd overall pick in the NFL draft, should have an immediate chance to shine as a rookie. While Christian Kirk and Evan Engram are locked into their roles, I can see Thomas Jr. moving past Gabe Davis and becoming a big part of the Jaguars passing game in Year 1. The rookie also comes out of LSU, which has pumped out strong fantasy wideouts in the last decade.

6. Xavier Worthy, Kansas City Chiefs

Worthy is an absolute speedster who is going to draw plenty of comparisons to Tyreek Hill in Kansas City. Much of his breakout potential will depend on the status of Rashee Rice, who could be suspended for as much as half the year due to his off-field issues. If that happens, Worthy could make some real noise in his rookie campaign. He’ll be a very popular best-ball selection as well.

7. Curtis Samuel, Buffalo Bills

Samuel, for many of the same reasons I like Coleman, is certainly in the sleeper conversation. While he hasn’t put up huge totals on a seasonal basis, the veteran has also never been in such a positive position. With a chance to record career target totals while catching passes from a superstar quarterback in Allen, Samuel has a legitimate shot to make some noise in the stat sheets this season.

8. Rashid Shaheed, New Orleans Saints

Shaheed showed flashes of potential last season, scoring double digits in six games including five where he had more than 15 points. With Michael Thomas out of the mix, Shaheed could push for a career-high in targets as he plays a bigger role in the passing game for Derek Carr. The Saints also have a favorable schedule, for what it's worth, so Shaheed could outpace his draft spot.

9. Ja’Lynn Polk, New England Patriots

The Patriots offense is going to be completely different this season, so Polk will compete with DeMario Douglas, Kendrick Bourne, K.J. Osborn and fellow rookie Javon Baker for a starting role. Polk, a natural pass-catcher who will be utilized prominently in the middle of the field, figures to be a good fit with fellow rookie Drake Maye, who likes to throw the football in that area of the gridiron.

10. Marvin Mims Jr., Denver Broncos

The Broncos traded Jerry Jeudy to the Cleveland Browns in the offseason, so Mims Jr. has a shot to be more prominently used in the pass attack in Year 2. He did show some flashes as a rookie, especially in Week 2 when he had 113 yards and a touchdown, but Mims Jr. didn’t get enough playing time to make a serious impact. That should change this season, making him a nice late-rounder.

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Michael Fabiano


Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on Sports Illustrated and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. Formerly of CBS Sports, NFL Network and SirusXM, Michael was the first fantasy analyst to appear on one of the four major TV networks. His work can now be found on SI, Westwood One Radio and the Bleav Podcast Network.