A fantasy draft is all about obtaining the most value with each selection. There is value available throughout a draft, and grabbing it is one of the most important keys to a successful fantasy team. In an attempt to point out this value, we asked our staff to look through the top 150 players and identify players that should outperform their draft position.
Player with 6 Votes
Anquan Boldin, 49ers
Sigmund Bloom: Boldin went from possible cap cut to #1 receiver on a Super Bowl contender in the matter of a few months, but the fantasy world doesn't seem to be caught up to his newfound role. He hasn't topped 65 catches since 2009, but with a rag-tag group of wide receivers behind him, he should be the clear top target in the pecking order, and we saw that Boldin has lost very little in the playoffs last year. Getting him in the tenth round should be against the law.
Andrew Garda: With Michael Crabtree out, the wide receivers in San Francisco are a problem spot. Boldin isn't the player he once was but clearly still has something left in the tank, and should be a reliable weapon for quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
Andy Hicks: Anquan Boldin is going to be one of, if not the last WR1s for his team taken in fantasy drafts this year and that will be a mistake. Although the San Francisco offense is conservative, it is no more so than the Ravens team that Boldin played on during the last few years. The injury to Michael Crabtree will force the 49ers into using Boldin as its WR1 this year and fantasy owners can't do any better than taking a player who performs better than his draft slot. Just don't expect fantasy WR1 numbers and you'll be fine.
Jeff Pasquino: The San Francisco 49ers need someone to step up to fill the big hole left behind in the wake of the Michael Crabtree injury. Odds are that both Anquan Boldin and Vernon Davis will be the two names at the top of the list, both for need and also for targets this year from QB Colin Kaepernick. Boldin will leverage his veteran skill and savvy with his third NFL franchise to become the top wide receiver for a team in need of leadership and production.
Jeff Tefertiller: Anquan Boldin will easily outplay his current ADP of a tenth round selection. After the Achilles injury of Michael Crabtree, Boldin will be relied upon as the main receiver for quarterback Colin Kaepernick. The veteran receiver should produce fantasy WR3 numbers.
Jason Wood: Anquan Boldin moved from one run heavy offense to another this offseason, and he would have been a complementary weapon in most weeks to Michael Crabtree. That narrative changed as soon as Crabtree tore his Achilles, which vaults Boldin immediately into the WR1 role for QB Colin Kaepernick. There's no reason Boldin can't be as effective as we saw Crabtree a year ago, and that equates to significantly higher fantasy value than Boldin's current ADP suggests.
Player with 5 Votes
Cecil Shorts, Jaguars
James Brimacombe: In his second year with a combination of Gabbert and Henne at QB, Shorts somehow put up a 55/979/7 stat line in just 14 games. He is a WR2 with WR1 upside and is a player that somehow may fall onto your lap in rounds 5-7.
Will Grant: In just 14 games with extremely questionable quarterback play, Cecil Shorts finished with almost 1000 receiving yards and seven TDS. Shorts is entering his third season, and has cemented himself into the starting lineup with the Jaguars. Justin Blackmon is going to miss four games at the start of the season, meaning Shorts is going to be the go-to guy. By the time Blackmon comes back, Shorts may be so integrated into the passing game that it won't matter. He'll easily post WR2 numbers for a fantasy WR, and he's currently going in the 7th round.
Jeff Haseley: What I like about Cecil Shorts is that he is a reliable receiver and he excels after the catch (17.8 yards per catch in 2012). The door is open for him to be the team's primary receiving option while Justin Blackmon serves his four game suspension. If he performs well, his presence in the offense could carry over all season long, with or without Blackmon. He's a good WR3 and even better WR4 to target in drafts.
Bob Magaw: Cecil Shorts was one of the most surprising and successful breakout wide receivers in 2012 in just his second year as a former fourth rounder from tiny Mount Union. Finishing around top 20 (55-979-7) despite playing just 14 games, he produced at closer to a top 10 level once he ascended into the starting lineup. Shorts will be even more involved with the looming four game suspension of 2012 first rounder Justin Blackmon to begin the season. He is a dangerous weapon in the open field with explosive RAC skills, and looks capable of replicating the big play ability he flashed repeatedly last year.
Jason Wood: What more did Shorts need to do last year to earn some respect? In 14 games, playing with one of the worst supporting casts, he caught 55 receptions for 979 yards and 7 touchdowns, finishing as the 22nd best fantasy receiver. The Jaguars did nothing to alter the WR depth chart this offseason, and Justin Blackmon is suspended for four games. Shorts is guaranteed to be oft targeted, and we've seen him produce in spite of being the focal point of opposing defenses. If you're worried about Blaine Gabbert's ineptitude, just remember that Gabbert was the one throwing to Shorts last year.
Player with 4 Votes
Vincent Brown, Chargers
Jeff Haseley: From what little we have seen from Vincent Brown, there is definitely some my ball mentality in his approach to the game. He is a physical presence in tight coverage and now he is healthy enough to be a big contributor for the Chargers. He is someone who could be a big surprise among fantasy receivers and I love his ADP as the 52nd WR off the board.
Ryan Hester: After missing all of 2012 with a broken ankle, Brown should return healthy this season. He entered 2012 with a lot of hype as the team was hinting that they would build their passing game around him. Despite a regime change and new head coach, Brown is receiving similar hype early in this offseason. If he stays healthy, he should lead San Diego in catches in what could be a mini-renaissance year for Philip Rivers and Company under Head Coach Mike McCoy – a great offensive mind who was Denver's Offensive Coordinator last season.
Matt Waldman: If there was a receiver who looked like the next Reggie Wayne in college but then flashed Fitzgerald-like skills at winning jump balls in near-impossibly situations as a pro, Brown was that guy. New head coach Mike McCoy has already stated that Brown is the best route runner on the team and he's slated to rotate with the starters to begin the season. Don't be surprised if that rotation Brown will soon state as “me, myself, and I” by October and it translates to solid WR2 production for fantasy owners.
Jason Wood: Brown stepped into the Chargers last year as a rookie and was a standout each and every day of the preseason. There was little doubt he would play an immediate role and vie for a starting role. Brown's maturity, grasp of complex offensive schemes, and his route running all served him well to reap quick rewards. Then an ankle injury set all that aside. The great news is fantasy owners are forgetting about Brown, in spite of the fact he's 100% healthy and has been dominant in OTAs. He's splitting 1st team reps with Malcom Floyd, and Floyd is the very definition of replacement level.
Players with 3 Votes
Tavon Austin, Rams
Sigmund Bloom: Quite simply, a team doesn't trade up into the top ten for a player that they are going to ease into the offense. Austin should be good for at least 70-80 receptions and a few carries a game, and he has the potential to do a lot more if he is an instant hit on the back of his rare combination of elite speed and quickness. Austin could easily top 100 receptions if the Rams effectively design plays to get him the ball in space, which would make him the steal of the wide receiver position at his current mid-ninth round ADP.
Bob Magaw: The Rams moved up eight spots to take Tavon Austin eighth overall in the 2013 draft, despite his 5'8” and 180 pound stature. The former West Virginia star brings to the table a freakish combination of electrifying sub-4.4 speed, elite quickness and dazzling open field moves. With the hole left in the wake of wide receiver Danny Amendola's departure to the Patriots, Austin will fill a big role immediately. The Rams are expected to be creative in getting the ball in his hands in a variety of ways, not restricted to the slot. Against Oklahoma last November, he had a ridiculous 572 total yards (including an even more absurd 344 rushing yards on 21 carries!!), in one of the most remarkable performances in recent memory. Wide receiver Chris Givens and tight end Jared Cook will make it difficult for defenses to key on Austin. A smaller version of Percy Harvin and Randall Cobb.
Jeff Pasquino: The Rams moved up in the 2013 NFL Draft to get Tavon Austin for a reason - and they will put him to work right away starting in Week 1 this year. Austin will be used in a Percy Harvin and Randall Cobb kind of way, as both a receiver and as a special tailback on occasion in the St. Louis offense. Sam Bradford has not had this caliber of a weapon in his NFL career, and head coach Jeff Fisher will make sure Austin is in the offensive game plan every week. Rookie wide receivers are sometimes tough to gauge, but given how much the NFL is migrating to more collegiate offensive schemes, I think Austin is a fantasy WR2 at worst this year with WR1 upside in 2014 and beyond.
Kenny Britt, Titans
Jeff Haseley: The word out of Tennessee is that Kenny Britt is focused and determined to return to the top tier of receivers in the league after multiple knee injuries resulted in a decline. More fuel to his fire is that he is entering a contract year, which gives him extra added incentive to perform at a high level. Britt is quickly becoming more sought after in drafts. He is no longer someone you can wait too late on.
Chad Parsons:The middle rounds of a draft are where champions are made. It is not from going with safe, low-ceiling players that may be backend starters or quality bench. The players that win titles fit the mold of Kenny Britt. They are talented, high-ceiling players with some blemish that discounts their purchase price. Britt has off-field concerns to the point where some are in pools to predict when Britt will get arrested. He has dealt with injuries throughout his career on-the-field to the point where he has missed 19 games over the past three seasons. In addition, the Titans passing offense is led Jake Locker, who has struggled with consistency over his time as a starter. Those are a lot of hurdles to clear in order to realize his obvious potential as a WR1 in fantasy terms. If Britt had an ADP in the fifth round, that would be quite a bit of risk tolerance to draft him. Instead, the risk is built in to this year's asking price. As a WR4 in the eighth round, Britt is an ideal risk-reward play. All the reports indicate Britt is well on his way to being right physically to start the season and has his priorities straight, which has not previously been the case. Of the receivers in this range of the draft, few have the potentially explosive impact of Kenny Britt.
Matt Waldman: Since the day at Radio City Music Hall when I unknowingly told Kenny Britt's cousin that I was disappointed with the Titans decision to pick the Rutgers receiver, I have not been a fan. However, all the talk thus far has been how Britt has diligently rehabbed his knees and looks like the pre-injury player on the verge of becoming a reliable primary weapon. I'm feeling optimistic that Britt has gone the path of Dez Bryant and gotten more serious about becoming a dedicated professional and not just a man-child monster talent. Between Jake Locker and Ryan Fitzpatrick, I think a healthy, focused Britt is finally a value I can get with.
Vincent Jackson, Buccaneers
Will Grant: In Jackson's first year in Tampa, he finished with almost 1400 yards receiving and 8 TDS. That was good enough for #6 overall for fantasy WRs. As RB values continue to drop due to more teams using running back by committee, fantasy WRs are creaping into the second round. For a guy with Jackson's upside to be going at the top of the 4th round, he is definitely a value play, especially in PPR leagues.
Adam Harstad: Outside of his holdout-marred 2010 season, Vincent Jackson has four straight WR1 finishes, including a 1300 yard season last year. Only Roddy White can claim a better track record of success. Jackson hasn't lost a step, as his league-leading 19.2 yards per reception last year demonstrated. He's going to be more comfortable in the offense, and should be a reliable fantasy WR1 this year just like he is every year.
Stephen Holloway: Vincent Jackson was effective, but not highly targeted through his career with the Chargers. He had the most targets in his seven year career two years ago and still only managed 114. He had only topped 60 catches twice but had three top twelve finishes. His production is due to excellence down the field and around the goal line. Most expected the Bucs to run the ball early and often last year, but Jackson set career highs in targets with 147, receptions with 72 and yardage with 1,384. I anticipate similar production this season with possibly a career high in TDs, which would be 10 or more.
Jordy Nelson, Packers
Sigmund Bloom: Nelson's 15 touchdown total in 2011 might seem like a fantasy fluke, until you see that he was actually on pace to come close to his 2011 numbers in PPR leagues until he got hurt last year. Nelson is the closest thing the Packers have to a number one receiver, and he should be drafted as a late WR1 in fantasy leagues. Good thing for us that you can get him in the late fourth/early fifth as a very strong WR2 in early drafts.
Will Grant: Two seasons ago, Nelson was the #2 fantasy receiver in the league. Last season, he missed four games and still finished with almost 750 yards receiving and seven receiving TDS. With Greg Jennings in Minnesota, Nelson should return to big numbers again this season. While he may not finish with the 15 TDS that he had in 2011, a 1000 yard, 10 TD season would not be out of the question. Not bad for a late 4th round pick.
Jeff Tefertiller: Jordy Nelson will continue to see a high number of targets in the Green Bay offense. With the loss of Greg Jennings, Nelson should sneak into the top ten of the position, even though he is currently drafted as the seventeenth player selected at the wide receiver position.
Players with 2 Votes
Miles Austin, Cowboys
Sigmund Bloom: Without a doubt, Austin has one of the higher injury risks at the wide receiver position, but that is more than reflected in his seventh-round ADP. What that draft position leaves out is that Austin is a borderline WR1 when healthy. Last season, Austin was on pace for an 82-1274-8 line in the first eight games. Even if you have to replace him for a handful of weeks due to injury, he's worth more than an eighth-round pick if he gives you that kind of production for half of the season.
Stephen Holloway: Miles Austin has had durability issues the past two seasons, but still finished as WR28 in 2012 and finished as WR3 and WR12 in 2009 and 2010. He should be roaming a little freer with Dez Bryant finally living up to expectations. Even with missing games and playing through injuries, Austin has scored 31 TDs over the past four seasons and averages 15.3 ypc for his career. He should be more productive than his ADP in 2013.
Marques Colston, Saints
Ryan Hester: Colston is one of many New Orleans players who I expect to perform above expectations. The return of Head Coach Sean Payton (who is arguably the best play-caller in the league) and the motivation to come back from the black eye that was the bounty scandal make New Orleans a dangerous team in 2013. Colston could finish the year as a low-end WR1, making him a bargain at this price. I'd select him over Hakeem Nicks, Reggie Wayne, Wes Welker, and Vincent Jackson – all players who are being drafted ahead of him on average.
Jeff Tefertiller: Marques Colston quietly puts up fantasy WR1 numbers in the pass-happy Saints offense. With Sean Payton back running the show, expect the New Orleans passing game to throw often. Colston is the sixteenth receiver off the draft boards and should finish in the top ten with ease.
DeSean Jackson, Eagles
Jeff Pasquino: Chip Kelly is putting in a brand new offense in Philadelphia, and while everyone is talking about how much the Oregon Ducks loved to run the ball so often, they were also known for getting off a ton of plays every game. Factor that in with operating a fast-paced team with a balanced attack and the Eagles should be throwing at least 40 times a game. That means the top two targets (Jeremy Maclin and DeSean Jackson) could easily see 8-10 chances a week, which should make both receivers fantasy WR2s with big game upside on a weekly basis. Jackson has also been rumored to be used as more of a playmaker, possibly returning punts once again. Jackson will be highly motivated in a virtual contract year, so look for him to have a major uptick in production this season.
Jason Wood: The trend has not been Jackson's friend, as Jackson's numbers have fallen consistently from his stellar 2009 season when he made the Pro Bowl as both a receiver and returner. Yet, he's only 27 years old and has tremendous incentive to perform well in what is essentially a contract year. Had Andy Reid stayed in Philadelphia, I wouldn't view Jackson as favorably but Chip Kelly offers a new lease on life and runs an offense that will seemingly value Jackson's versatility as both a receiver and a runner.
Greg Jennings, Vikings
Stephen Holloway: Greg Jennings has missed 11 games over the past two seasons and averaged a career low 10.2 ypc last year. As a result, he is well down most rankings this year. He will undoubtedly be the number one option for the Vikings' passing game this season, but will quarterback Christian Ponder improve either his completion percentage or his career 6.2 ypa? I anticipate Jennings crisp route running will help Ponder and I look for Jennings to have his most opportunities since he was targeted 140 times in 2008.
Jeff Tefertiller: Greg Jennings is the lone viable receiver in Minnesota with Percy Harvin now in Seattle. Expect the ex-Packer to see most of the down-field targets as he is the lone reliable receiver for the Vikings. With an ADP of WR27 in the middle of the sixth round, Jennings has a shot to sneak into the top ten at the position.
James Jones, Packers
James Brimacombe: With Jennings now in Minnesota, another door just opened up for Jones in the explosive Green Bay passing game. He was a favorite of Rodgers when they Packers were in the Redzone, as he scored a massive 14 receiving TD’s in 2012.
Mark Wimer: James Jones led the NFL with 14 receiving TDs last year - and he was under-utilized with just 108 targets for 68/784/14 receiving last season. There will be an extensive work-sharing arrangement between Jones, Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson this year, sure - but doesn't everyone have Aaron Rodgers as one of the top two fantasy quarterbacks in the league this year? Jones could easily surpass last years' numbers, especially in terms of receptions and yardage - he screams value at 29th wide receiver taken off the board.
Hakeem Nicks, Giants
James Brimacombe: People are being scared by Nicks injury invested numbers from 2012, and now his contract battles are also a worry. He is a fantasy WR1 when he is healthy and plays on a strong offense with a strong QB in Eli Manning. Lots of value with 80 catches, 1000+ yards, and 8-10 TD’s a real possibility.
Stephen Holloway: Hakeem Nicks finished as WR8 and WR12 in 2010 and 2011, despite missing four games over the two seasons. In 2012, he struggled most of the year with injuries missing three games and playing at less than full speed in many others. He regressed from averaging 77 catches per year to only 53 and had a career low 692 receiving yards, 3 TDs, and only 13.1 ypc. His ADP has dropped considerably and Coach Coughlin has expressed disappointment. For his part, Nicks has said he would not mind waiting till after the season to discuss his contract. Meanwhile others, particularly Reuben Randle are impressing in workouts, driving Nicks ADP even lower. Nicks will likely join the team when practices resume and should see improved production with better health.
Steve Smith, Panthers
Andy Hicks: Steve Smith may be closer to the end of his career than the beginning, but given that he will be taken as a WR3 this year and Carolina have posed no threats to his status as the undisputed target leader for the Panthers, he should be a safe bet to exceed his draft slot. He has only once in 10 years finished outside the top 20 fantasy receivers in a non injured year and that was the year the Panthers imploded and started Jimmy Clausen. Smith has a great on field rapport with Cam Newton and was unlucky not to post better stats last year.
Mark Wimer: Smith has finished as the sixth-best and 19th-best fantasy wide receiver since Cam Newton arrived in Carolina, while notching the second (17.6) and third-best (16.1) average yards per catch in his career over the past two seasons. He's a legitimate threat to land among the top-12 fantasy wide receivers this year (especially as he gets to face the Falcons (23rd-ranked pass D), the Saints (31st) and the Buccaneers (32nd-ranked pass D) twice during 2013). Smith screams value at his current ADP of 26th fantasy wide receiver selected.
Torrey Smith, Ravens
Chad Parsons: It is difficult to understand why Torrey Smith is not getting more love heading into this season. Anquan Boldin and his 111 targets from 2012 are gone. That leaves Dennis Pitta and Ray Rice as the only other established options in the passing game. In addition to that trio, Jacoby Jones is the only receiver with any real NFL experience under his belt. Jones has been anything but consistent and it is doubtful that changes in any significant way in 2013. Smith enters his third season and will have plenty of opportunities to expand his game to the short and intermediate areas of the field as defensive backs have to respect his deep speed. Smith has the makeup of a receiver poised to take the next step after two seasons that have been more sizzle than substance.
Mark Wimer: Smith is expected to become Joe Flacco's go-to guy now that Anquan Boldin hangs his cleats in San Francisco. With two solid tight ends - Dennis Pitta and Ed Dickson - along with Ray Rice to menace teams in the short-to-intermediate pass ranges, Smith should pop plenty of long-gainers during 2013. Smith is #12 on my wide receiver board, way above his current ADP of 25th wide receiver selected.
Mike Williams, Buccaneers
Heath Cummings: I can only guess that people are still scared off by Williams' sophomore slump because this ADP is nowhere close to what he's produced in his other two seasons in the league. In 2012 Williams was a mid-level WR2 and actually outperformed Vincent Jackson over the second half of the season. It also doesn't hurt a thing that the 4th year receiver is entering a contract year.
Chad Parsons: In general, the secondary receiver on a team has limited fantasy value. That is not the case in Tampa Bay. Mike Williams was the lead receiver before Vincent Jackson came to town and they formed one of the best duos in the league in 2012. In fact, Williams nearly returned to his breakout rookie year production without much fanfare. With few other weapons in the passing game, Jackson and Williams will be very active, especially in the red zone, yet again in 2013. Williams' price tag as a cheap WR3 or flex play is very easy on the eyes and one that can put any fantasy team ahead of the competition.
Players with 1 Vote
Danario Alexander, Chargers
Adam Harstad: Alexander was a top-6 receiver over the last 8 weeks of the season last year, despite joining San Diego in midseason and picking up the offense on the fly. I understand that his knee is a major risk- he's already had five surgeries on it, and at this point it might be more a question of when it gets injured than if it gets injured. Still, Alexander gives you so much value in every game he plays that even if he misses extended time, he can easily justify a selection as the 34th WR off the board.
Danny Amendola, Patriots
Jeff Haseley: Exit Wes Welker, enter Danny Amendola. Both receivers have a similar skill set, but I would argue that Amendola has more toughness to him, which will impress the Patriots coaching staff as well as Tom Brady. I see Amendola taking over where Welker left off as the team's primary possession receiver. One of Amendola's strengths is his success in the red zone, where he dominated as the receiver of choice for the Rams. He has always been a high possession receiver, but now he's adding more scoring opportunities to his game.
Antonio Brown, Steelers
Andy Hicks: Antonio Brown is clearly the number one receiver in the Steelers offense following the departure of Mike Wallace to Miami and a perfect fit for a Todd Haley offense. The other receivers are either rookies or not good enough, so Brown should be in a position to justify his huge payday in 2012 with a career year. He finished the year with a touchdown in each of his last 4 games and given that he averaged over 8 targets a game before Wallace left, he should easily achieve WR2 status and be pushing for even better.
Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals
Matt Waldman: The Cardinals receiver is already a projected WR1, but I think there's a great shot for him to return to an elite WR1. New Cardinals coach Bruce Arians is going to use Fitzgerald at all three receiver spots like the former Colts offensive coordinator did with Reggie Wayne. Unlike Wayne, who had rookie Andrew Luck throwing him the ball, Fitzgerald has an established veteran with a reputation for targeting receivers in tight coverage and this means more shots in the red zone than we'll ever see with Wayne. This also has to do with Fitzgerald's unparalleled skill in tight coverage that few even come close to having. Top fantasy receivers often have viable complements opposite them. I think between Michael Floyd's emergence and the presence of the versatile Andre Roberts, Fitzgerald should rebound in a big way.
Michael Floyd, Cardinals
Bob Magaw: Michael Floyd's stock has dropped after he got off to a slow start in his rookie season, and because the Cardinals had one of the most inept passing offenses in the league. Since that time, the Cardinals have added new head coach Bruce Arians, a new quarterback in Carson Palmer, and Floyd is running with the first team opposite Larry Fitzgerald. One of the greatest wide receivers in Notre Dame history, he has impressive measurables (nearly ran a sub-4.4 at 6'3” and 220 pounds during his Combine). Floyd has the size to play the ball in the air like his mentor Fitzgerald, as well as be a dangerous open field runner after the catch. Promisingly, he finished a personally disappointing year on a high note, flashing the talent that made him the 13th overall pick in the 2012 draft, with 8 catches for 166 yards and a touchdown week 17.
Chris Givens, Rams
Bob Magaw: Chris Givens was the first player taken on day three of the 2012 draft, leading off the fourth round. He has the suddenness, burst and deep speed to rocket past unfortunate defensive backs tasked with slowing him down. In a promising rookie campaign, Givens defined explosiveness, breaking an NFL rookie record set by Willie Gault in 1983, with a 50+ yard reception in five straight games. He has added about five pounds of muscle in the off-season, and is looking to diversify his role as more than just a deep threat. After the departure of Danny Amendola to New England and Brandon Gibson to Miami, Givens is the top incumbent starting WR. With defenses distracted by rookie receiver Tavon Austin and top free agent TE Jared Cook, it will be difficult to double team him. The Rams appear to be building a more wide open, spread passing attack, and with an uptick in opportunity, Givens could nudge his nearly 700 receiving yards (on just 42 catches) in the direction of the 1,000 yard club. He has some attributes and traits reminiscent of Mike Wallace.
Percy Harvin, Seahawks
Adam Harstad: In his last 16 games, Percy Harvin has 112 receptions, 1,492 offensive yards, 11 offensive touchdowns, and another kickoff return for a score. Those are top-3 receiver numbers. Percy is falling in drafts because some fear Seattle might use him more sparingly, but as far as I can tell, that's not because of anything Seattle has been saying; if anything, the chatter out of Seattle is that they worry they can't possibly use Harvin enough.
T.Y. Hilton, Colts
Mark Wimer: T.Y. Hilton averaged 17.2 yards per catch last season (103 targets for 50/861/7 receiving) as a rookie. Now that he has a year of experience (and a year's worth of chemistry with Andrew Luck), he should easily eclipse all of those numbers. I think he's a lock for fantasy wide receiver #2 numbers with elite (wide receiver #1) production as his upside. I'd love to get him at 21st wide receiver off the board (where I have him ranked) and he's certainly a stupendous value at 31st wide receiver selected (his current ADP).
Alshon Jeffery, Bears
Andrew Garda: Last year the Bears' offense seemed on the verge of breaking out but poor offensive line play and injuries held it back, but not this year. Jeffery has tremendous ability and will take a big step forward in 2013, as he'll take advantage of the attention Brandon Marshall receives and is a much more dynamic threat than Earl Bennett.
Jeremy Maclin, Eagles
Heath Cummings: Everyone in Philadelphia gets a slight bump simply because they're going to be running more plays per game than they ever have before. Maclin's style should lend itself better to Kelly's system than DeSean Jackson's. Maclin has a great rapport with Michael Vick and if the two stay healthy we could see a career year for Maclin.
Lance Moore, Saints
Adam Harstad: Lance Moore is perpetually underrated. In the last five years, he's finished 13th, 20th, 27th, and 34th (in 14 games). This year, he's being drafted as the 39th WR off the board. He's one of the favorite targets in the league's most prolific passing offense, and should prove once again to be a very strong WR3 or passable WR2 who can be had for WR4 prices.
Cordarrelle Patterson, Vikings
Ryan Hester: As one of the team's first-round draft picks in the 2013 NFL Draft, Patterson should get a chance to get on the field and prove what he can do. The only players above him on Minnesota's depth chart are veteran Greg Jennings and Jerome Simpson. Jennings will likely keep the job as long as he's healthy, but that's been an unsure bet in recent years. Simpson, however, is exactly the type of player (good skills but not a no-brainer starter) who could be leapfrogged by a promising rookie talent when the team decides they need to see what their first-round investment can do. Patterson is 6'2” and 216 pounds and possesses great speed (he ran a 4.42 at the NFL Combine). The only limiting factor for him is the play of his quarterbacks. Between Christian Ponder and Matt Cassell, Minnesota doesn't have an elite passer who can maximize Patterson's skill. That immense skill, though, makes Patterson worth a flyer pick well before his current ADP. He has a much higher ceiling than his ADP would indicate.
Sidney Rice, Seahawks
Andy Hicks: Sidney Rice will benefit by the arrival of Percy Harvin and despite Rice finishing as a high end fantasy WR2 last year, he is nothing more than an afterthought this year. Rice is still only 27 years of age and coming back to the form he displayed in his break out season with Minnesota in 2009. Harvin, Marshawn Lynch and Russell Wilson will keep defences more than honest allowing Rice more space than he's had in years.
Emmanuel Sanders, Steelers
Jeff Pasquino: Just a few seasons ago, the debate in Pittsburgh was whether Antonio Brown or Emmanuel Sanders would be the second starter for the Steelers opposite of Mike Wallace. Now both Brown and Sanders are slated to start with Wallace signing in Miami. Sanders will have to hold off rookie Markus Wheaton this year and maintain starter status, and if he does then he is a definite bargain wide receiver this year considering the upside of a solid fantasy WR3 that he represents.
Mike Wallace, Dolphins
Heath Cummings: Last year was the first time in three years that Wallace didn't finish as a top ten receiver. Why? Could be because of the nastiness of his contract situation, but I'd say it's more likely because he played only 10 full games with Ben Roethlisberger. He is going to be a target monster in Miami with second-year quarterback Ryan Tannehill leaning hard on him. I'm not sure we'll see top-ten production but Wallace will be a borderline WR1.
Kendall Wright, Titans
Jeff Haseley: As a rookie, Wright caught a lot of balls close to the line of scrimmage, averaging just 9.8 yards per catch. I believe we will see him branch out into a more complete receiver in 2013, thus increasing his yards per catch and production. He has excellent separation skills, which is why he led the team in targets, despite mostly seeing the field in three WR sets in 2012. He's a great later round selection that should outperform his ADP if his development continues.
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Faceoff: Top Players to Avoid - July 2
Faceoff: Discussing the 1.02 Pick - July 2
Value Plays: Quarterbacks - June 20
Value Plays: Running Backs - June 20
Value Plays: Wide Receivers - June 20
Value Plays: Tight Ends - June 20
Overvalued Players: Quarterbacks - June 20
Overvalued Players: Running Backs - June 20