Sleuthing for Sleepers – Mid-Season

In my first season of fantasy football, I made all of the rookie mistakes and invented some new ones.   I even drafted a backup kicker.  Ouch!

With such a disastrous draft, how did I get into the playoffs?  Miles Austin (DAL WR).  I grabbed him from the waiver wire.  He went crazy during his breakout season, helping my team eek its way into the playoffs.

This season, with at least six weeks of data now, we can conduct an adequate sleeper analysis.  Generally, wide receivers are the most replaceable position.  So, let’s start searching for sleepers among WR’s.

The below scatter chart plots about sixty WR’s.  These WR’s have the most receptions, and are less than 60% owned — potential sleepers.  They are ranked by answering two basic questions:

  1. How many receptions have they gotten? (Opportunity)
  2. What are they doing with those receptions?  (Productivity)

We then divide the WR’s into quadrants (Best, Worst, Risky, meh).

Fantasy Football Sleeper WR Excel Chart spreadsheet

WR Sleepers – Most receptions, less than 60% owned

The Best quadrant provides a short list of available WR’s, who have gotten the most receptions (Opportunity) and produced the most yardage with those receptions (Productivity).  Here are their names in an excel spreadsheet:

Fantasy Football Sleeper WR Excel spreadsheet

WR’s in the Best quadrant

Qualitative analysis must also be done.  Consider injuries, respective QB’s, etc.

Moreover, you’ll want to customize this analysis to your own league, as player availability may be different.  Nate Washington (TEN) was still available in my league, and got me a great amount of points for a free agent pick-up!

Lastly, since we’re attempting to predict the future, we’ll also need a healthy dose of luck in finding the next breakout wide receiver.  So, good luck!  May we make it to the playoffs!


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