With the draft behind us and OTA’s kicking off this spring. Some of us are dusting off our fantasy tools and starting to read up on what’s ahead for 2013. Like I’ve always said, it’s never too early to start getting ready for your fantasy draft. As the summer approaches you will start to go on vacations, attend backyard cookouts and even take care of those house projects. Before you know it, the draft will be here and we will be monitoring preseason games for breakouts, position battles and injury updates.
At this point in the NFL season, we tend to see more updates from the police blotter than we get from teams. In addition, there are still cuts to be made. Traditionally, when we get into June, we will see some of the veterans get let go. This can create some good sleeper opportunities so pay attention to those transactions.
What I like to do when I start my preparation for the new fantasy season is to take a look at how positions are going to shake out for the new season. I start with the wide receiver position. I look at how the third-year wide receivers did in 2012 and then look at the receivers that will be entering their third season for 2013.
For those that don’t know, the theory of the third year wide receiver is one method in fantasy football that is used to select players that have the potential to have a breakout season. Unlike running backs, receivers typically take a little more time to learn the offense and develop. The magical third year is when it all clicks for these players and can be a fantasy gold mine. Over the last 10 season, some players that have excelled in year three are Braylon Edwards who had 1,289 receiving yards and 16 touchdowns in 2007, Javon Walker who had 1,382 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns in 2004 and Chad Johnson who had 1,442 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns in 2003.
Last season, Dez Bryant led all third year wide receivers with 1,382 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns, finishing 3rd overall among wide receivers with 297 fantasy points in PPR formats. Behind him at #5 and #9 were fellow third-year wide receivers Demaryius Thomas with 291 fantasy points and Eric Decker with 261 fantasy points. Victor Cruz who had a down year compared to 2011, when he had 1,536 receiving yards, still put up 10 touchdowns and finished 14th overall among wide receivers with 248 fantasy points.
These are the players we hope to draft when we look at third year wide receivers. However, not all receivers make that leap in their third season. Vincent Jackson in 2007 posted just 623 receiving yards and three touchdowns. Andre Johnson in 2005 had just 688 yards and two scores. Eddie Royal hasn’t had the success he had his rookie season. In 2010, his 3rd year, he produced 627 receiving yards and three touchdowns despite seeing 105 targets.
For 2013, we have a number of receivers we are hoping have a breakout season. Topping the list is A.J. Green, who lead all year two wide receivers with 1,350 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns. Green finished the season as the 4th best wide receiver in fantasy with 293 fantasy points. Right behind him is Julio Jones, who finished with 1,198 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns. Jones, like last season, will get more hype leading up to the draft and will get taken ahead of Green in most leagues.
Some of the other receivers that you need to keep your eye on are Randall Cobb, Torrey Smith and Denarius Moore. I owned Smith and Moore in every league I had as they came late in the draft but provided good but inconsistent production. They will most likely cost a little more this season. Though I think Moore may still be a bargain due to the quarterback situation in Oakland. The next group of third year wideouts include Cecil Shorts, who I feel will be undervalued in drafts. Jeremy Kerley and Andrew Hawkins who could be waiver gems if they make the leap. Keep an eye on Jerrel Jernigan as the Giants have had issues with healthy receivers the past few seasons and Jernigan could step in and play more.
Greg Little sticks out among all these players. I’m not a fan of Little and I avoided him last season. He finished 8th among third year wide receivers but only had 647 receiving yards and four touchdowns. Titus Young has got to be the biggest disappointment on the list as he finished with just 383 yards and four touchdowns. Week 7 last year he posted 81 receiving yards on six catches and those that picked him up off waivers and started him enjoyed nine receptions for 100 yards and two scores against a good Seahawks defense. Off the field issues and knucklehead decisions have him out of the league and spiraling out of control with three arrests in a span of eight days.
Here is the complete list of wide receivers entering year three for 2013.
|2013 THIRD YEAR WIDE RECEIVERS|
|* Not playing this season||
Hope you enjoy your summer and look forward to another great fantasy season.