Fantasy Football: NFL Wide Receiver Sleepers

Whether you are in a season-long fantasy football league, or a weekly one, you need to find out some sleeper picks. Here are our choices for some of the top wide receiver sleepers this season:

Golden Tate, Seattle Seahawks

In his third season, the receiver drafted in the second round out of Notre Dame in 2010 is starting to come into his own.  Going into Week 10, Tate led the Seahawks with five touchdown catches and was second to Sidney Rice in receptions with 24 and receiving yardage with 283. Tate caught two touchdown passes in Week 9 against Minnesota. In the previous week against Detroit, Tate led Seahawks receivers in receptions with 7 and yards with 64 in a loss to Detroit.

Tate has gotten more of a chance to play thanks to the lack of production from Braylon Edwards, who had just eight catches on the season going into week 10 and had missed the previous two games with a knee injury.

The Week 9 game was the second time this season Tate had two touchdowns in one game.  The first time was on September 24 against Green Bay. Tate’s second touchdown in that game may have been the most notorious play of the season.

Tate was credited with a 24-yard touchdown catch on a last-second Hail Mary pass from quarterback Russell Wilson that enabled Seattle to beat Green Bay, 14-12. But most observers believed that the NFL’s replacement referees had blown the call and that either Packers defensive back M.D. Jennings should have gotten credit for an interception since he appeared to have more control of the ball than Tate had or that Tate should have been called for offensive interference after shoving a Packer out of the way to get to the ball.

A few days later, the NFL brought back the regular referees.

Tate broke his hand during the offseason and hurt his knee in the exhibition season, causing him to miss the first game of the regular season, but has played in every Seahawks game since then.

Emmanuel Sanders, Pittsburgh Steelers

Another wide receiver that fantasy football players at are checking out is Emmmanuel Sanders. Sanders is a third-year player who was drafted in the third round of the 2010 draft out of SMU. Through the first nine weeks, Sanders put up uninspiring numbers – 24 receptions, 302 yards and one touchdown (against the Giants in Week 9). Sanders was already closing in on his career highs of 28 receptions and 376 yards, both set in his rookie year. Sanders was also halfway to his career high in touchdowns of 2, which he reached in both 2010 and 2011.

So why is Sanders a sleeper? It’s because Antonio Brown suffered a high ankle sprain in Week 9.  As long as Brown is out, Sanders has an opportunity to get more playing time in Pittsburgh’s potent passing attack. After Week 9, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was tied for fifth in touchdown passes with 16.

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