Sleepers and streamers are what catapult people into the playoffs. Hopefully, these Week 1 wide receiver sleepers and streamers make you look like a genius.
Of course, drafting great players at the start of fantasy drafts is a no-brainer. The thing is, most mistake this for being a great fantasy player. A great fantasy player is always on top of their roster, paying attention to NFL news and being aware of who is being dropped and added to the league.
To clarify, sleepers and streamers are not the same. Sleepers are not starters and more so dart throws into the lineup. You start a sleeper when your back is against the wall and need a potential boom to get a win.
Streamers, are players you would not start every week. These players are started depending on matchups, injuries, and what the defense is better or worse at.
Week 1 Wide Receiver Sleepers and Streamers
Wide Receiver Sleepers
Skyy Moore, Kansas City Chiefs – WR53 (@BrandonBlancoFF)
Yes, the WR1 on the Kansas City Chiefs is actually a tight end. The greatest tight end of all time.
Enough of that though, because it is time to reach for the sky. Skyy Moore is WR53 and although the team’s passing offense runs through Travis Kelce, Moore is worth the dart throw. The Chiefs are facing the Detroit Lions to start the NFL season. The Lions were statistically one of the worst pass defenses last year. For fantasy? This is heaven for wide receivers.
The Lions gave up 190.3 yards (2nd most) per game to receivers and the fourth most fantasy ppg (38.1) to receivers in 2022. After the Super Bowl outing for Skyy Moore, a stellar start to 2023 will bring back all the hype and love we had for him in 2022.
The biggest reason Skyy Moore is a part of the sleepers and streamers’ debut is because Juju Smith-Schuster is no longer in his way. A ton of targets are vacated and the slot position is in need of MOORE.
Michael Pittman Jr., Indianapolis Colts – WR29 (@BrandonBlancoFF)
A WR29 might not be a sleeper for most, but for me, it is, especially the circumstances. Michael Pittman Jr. saw a 29% target-share in nine pre-season drives with Anthony Richardson.
The Colts have just FIVE receivers on the roster. Michael Pittman Jr., Alec Pierce, Josh Downs, Ashton Dulin (IR), and Isaiah McKenzie. It is safe to say that Michael Pittman Jr. is a value everywhere and a WR29 ranking is set to be crushed in Week 1. Downs saw a 7% target share and Pierce had a 14%.
Going up against a Jaguars team where Pittman missed Week 2, but then had his best game of 2022 vs. the Jaguars in Week 6. Pittman had a WR5 finish with 16 targets, 13 receptions, and 134 yards.
Pittman has been drafted as a WR3 all season but should see the volume of what a WR1 sees. Rookie Anthony Richardson will look to keep it simple in his debut and find his alpha WR1 quickly and early. Michael Pitman Jr. is my favorite wide receiver sleeper for Week 1.
Allen Lazard, New York Jets – WR50 (@Ray_Kuhn_28)
There is a very clear reason Lazard is wearing the green and white of the New York Jets in 2023. Sure, Lazard is a talented receiver, but it goes beyond that. As Aaron Rodgers joined the Jets, he wanted to make sure he had quality options to throw to.
Yes, Garrett Wilson returns, but Rodgers cannot target him on every throw. Enter Lazard as a quality option across the field, but there is more here. It goes without saying that Wilson will get the attention, but Lazard should not be overlooked. That is especially the case early in the season as Rodgers still works to find comfort with his new teammates. The same can be said of the Jets with their new quarterback, with Lazard, the bond is already formed.
The fact that Corey Davis retired this summer also helps here. Lazard was targeted 100 times last year in Green Bay, and with 14 touchdowns in the last two seasons, he has a knack for finding the end zone. Look for the old teammates to connect again in Week 1 which makes Lazard one of my sleepers and streamers.
Marvin Mims, Denver Broncos – WR98 (@Ray_Kuhn_28)
Rookie wide receivers are often tough, especially in Week 1, but there is opportunity here.
Tim Patrick is out for the season so that immediately bumped the rookie up in pecking order. The fact that Denver drafted Mims in the second round already tells us what they think of him too. After a disaster last year, Sean Payton represents a fresh start and a do-over for Russell Wilson. While an improved offensive line should help, a lot comes down to Payton and Wilson.
With Jerry Jeudy now looking like he will be out this week, Mims is elevated even higher. The rookie is comfortable either inside or outside, and that should help as well. Mims expected target share for Week 1 puts the rookie in the sleepers and streamers category.
Wide Receiver Streamers for Week 1
Christian Kirk, Jacksonville Jaguars – WR33 (@BrandonBlancoFF)
Listen, I am ALL-IN on Calvin Ridley in 2023 and that is why Christian Kirk will be a perfect streamer practically every single week. Just like the consensus is all in on Ridley, NFL defenses know what the Jaguars have and it is the best-case scenario for Kirk.
Kirk started 2022 off strong with 17-plus fantasy points in the first three weeks. A WR7 finish happened in Week 2 and it was against the Indianapolis Colts. Kirk was the WR18 in ppg and the WR11 in total points. With Calvin Ridley in the picture now, I do not think this is a bad thing for Kirk.
Yes, Ridley is the better player and the player who will be looked at most by defenses. I expect Trevor Lawrence to take an even bigger leap in 2023. This means that his receivers will be weekly starters.
For now, there are those low on Kirk because of Ridley. I think that after the first month of the season, people will realize Ridley and Kirk are both startable every week.
Do not let Calvin Ridley scare you into benching Christian Kirk. At WR33 on the Fantrax weekly rankings, Kirk is the best streamer you can find at the wide receiver position.
Drake London, Atlanta Falcons – WR27 (@BrandonBlancoFF)
Drake London will once again be in one of the heaviest run offenses in the entire NFL. That does not stop him from being a streamer in week 1. The Falcons opponent, the Carolina Panthers gave up the third most fantasy ppg and fourth most yards to receivers in 2022.
London also gets to play a full season with Desmond Ridder as his quarterback. The same Ridder that had London see 36 targets and 25 catches in the last month of the season. As a rookie, London saw the third-highest target share amongst receivers in the NFL. Now, with the quarterback that made sure London got the ball.
To make things even better and get the mind flowing, Ridder is the best thing to happen for Drake London. With those 25 catches in the last month of 2022, London also saw 333 yards. In a full-season pace with Ridder, that would have been 1415 yards.
At WR27, stream London and enjoy the 30% target share he will demand in week 1 of the 2023 NFL season. London is my favorite streamer and will be making a few appearances in sleepers and streamers in the 2023 season.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Kansas City Chiefs – WR68
Let’s be real, everyone wants action for the first game of the season. With JuJu Smith-Schuster now in New England and Kadarius Toney injured (holding the shock), Valdes-Scantling is slated to start on Thursday.
We do need to address a pretty large qualifier though. Travis Kelce is still going to dominate the target share and Jerick McKinnon will be featured, but we can’t forget about the receivers either.
Starting opposite Valdes-Scantling will be Skky Moore who was not exactly impressive in his rookie year. That could work in the veteran’s favor as he should be better aligned with Patrick Mahomes in what is now their second year together. From a tool perspective, Valdes-Scantling has always looked impressive and has deep threat potential. The issue has been putting it together consistently, and all we need here is one big play.
At this price that one big play qualifies MVS as one of my sleepers and streamers.
K.J. Osborn, Minnesota Vikings – WR69
Seeing Osborn average 87.5 receiving yards over his last four games in 2022 will certainly generate attention. Adam Thielen is now in Carolina, but the Vikings drafted Jordan Addison in the first round. Additionally, we now have a full year of T.J. Hockenson and we cannot discount Justin Jefferson.
However, neither are opposing defenses. Jefferson is clearly the focus in the secondary, and Hockenson will garner significant attention as well. As Addison works to adjust to the NFL, Osborn could find himself targeted often by Cousins and ignored by the other team.
The comfort between Cousins and Osborn should count for something here as well.