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5 Deep: Wide Receivers

Preseason games are finally here. Fantasy football is in full swing. And wide receivers are going deep in 2013. Yeah, that’s right, getting at least three starter-worthy wide receivers will be about as stress-free as Calvin Johnson looks when he goes up for the pigskin deep down the field.

Listed below are five wide receivers who I believe are underdogs according to the round(s) they are being drafted in and the offseasons they have had to-date. Note: All average draft positions are courtesy of
Myfantasyleague.com
, and all statistics are courtesy of Fleaflicker.com.

Golden Tate, Seattle: Tate is bound to have a big year in 2013. With Percy Harvin‘s hip keeping him out to start the season, and no official timetable on Sidney Rice and his knee problem, by default Tate is target numero uno. Furthermore, Tate is in his contract year, which is typically a factor that helps a player boost his motivation.

During training camp Tate looked the best he has ever looked in terms of how crisp his routes were. He was also spotted going up and over cornerbacks like Brandon Browner and Richard Sherman to make plays on balls, which is no small task.

Currently Tate is owned in just 43 percent of all Fleaflicker.com Leagues. He has a current average draft position of 178.81 in all scoring redraft formats, which pegs him as a 15th-round pick in 12-team leagues. This is deceiving, because his real value lies between Rounds 10 and 12. However, the more reps quarterback Russell Wilson records with Tate, the sooner Tate’s value will move in to the single digit rounds.

Chris Givens, St. Louis: Givens has been very impressive during offseason workouts and training camp practices. He has battled and burned second-year playmaker Janoris Jenkins throughout camp and has often been the best player on the practice field. He definitely caught the eye of coach Jeff Fisher, who isn’t surprised with Givens’ strong showing, especially after seeing what he was able to do in the absence of Danny Amendola last season.

“He’s really had a good offseason,” Fisher said. “He was here and he was very, very motivated and focused. You can see he’s much more familiar with our offense now, and he had that stretch where he had a catch of more than 50 yards for five consecutive weeks last year. I think you see much more consistency out of him early in the season, but I’m pleased with his production so far.”

Givens has a current average draft position of 135.04 in all scoring redraft formats, which pegs him as a 12th-round pick in 12-team leagues. The additions of Tavon Austin and Jared Cook will deter most away from Givens, but the uncertainty at running back should help bring most fantasy owners back in. Givens is a true underdog option as a WR4 with WR2 potential.

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