2 wide receiver sleepers to draft and 2 receiver busts to avoid in fantasy football

These four wide receivers are gifted athletes, but two of them are viable sleeper targets in fantasy football while it is best to avoid the other two.
Tennessee Titans Training Camp
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We are now roughly two weeks away from the start of the NFL regular season. On Thursday, Sept. 7 the reigning Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs will host the Detroit Lions in the 2023 season’s inaugural matchup. With that said, we are also in the heart of the fantasy football draft season.

The wide receiver position can be a tricky one to nail in fantasy football. Receiver can be one of the more high-variance positions in fantasy football due to the reliance receivers have on factors beyond their control. For example, if a receiver plays on a team with a below-average quarterback, it can hurt their statistical production. Alternatively, a talented receiver can also be held back by a team’s offensive scheme.

These four receivers are gifted athletes, but two of them are viable sleeper targets in fantasy football while it is best to avoid the other two.

Diontae Johnson
Pittsburgh Steelers v Baltimore Ravens / Michael Owens/GettyImages

Sleeper: Diontae Johnson, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers

There aren’t many other NFL analysts who dedicate as much time to analyzing the wide receiver position as Yahoo Sports’ fantasy football expert, Matt Harmon. Harmon’s comments were certainly scattered, as he combined some constructive criticism with eye-opening compliments.

Harmon illustrated that Johnson is one of the NFL’s best route runners to support his claim that Johnson is a true No. 1 wide receiver. Johnson’s ability to create separation with his elite route-running skills has turned him into a target hog. He currently ranks fifth among the entire NFL in targets earned since 2020 with 460, slightly ahead of household names such as Travis Kelce and Cooper Kupp.

Johnson’s issue hasn’t been about getting open, it has been about silly mistakes and drops. Pro Football Focus credited him with eight dropped passes last season, which ranks amongst the highest in the league. Despite the noteworthy drop issues, the Steelers have continued to pepper him with targets.

Things couldn’t have gone much worse for Johnson last season and he still finished as a top-40 wide receiver in fantasy points per game. He set an NFL record for most targets in a season without a touchdown, having a 41-target lead on the next-closest player while also ranking in the top 10 amongst receivers in red zone targets last year. Positive touchdown regression is certainly coming Johnson’s way in 2023, especially if quarterback Kenny Pickett can take the second-year leap that analysts expect him to make.

Johnson’s consistent high-volume role in the Steelers offense has made him a PPR cheat code. He has caught at least 86 passes in three straight seasons. Currently being drafted as the WR27 according to FantasyPros’ consensus receiver rankings, there aren’t many players ranked around Johnson who possess his upside. Finishing as a top-15 fantasy receiver is within his range of outcomes.