2012 Fantasy Football Sleepers: Wide receiver

by Cory J. Bonini on August 27, 2012 @ 13:58:19 PDT

 

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Each year fantasy football owners gain a leg up on their competition by finding sleepers in their drafts. KFFL.com has identified these candidates for the 2012 season and analyzed why you want them on your team.

Other players fall into the undervalued category: Their fantasy stock isn't as high as it should be, and you often can land them on the cheap to help bolster your lineup. Generally, undervalued players are veterans that are coming off a down year or returning from injury and have slipped below the radar of most fantasy owners. KFFL will help you take advantage of their oversights on your quest to building a championship roster!

Note: All Average Draft Position (ADP) figures are based on standard-scoring, 12-team leagues.

Sleepers

Eric Decker | Denver Broncos | ADP: 9th round

2012 Projected NFL/Fantasy Football Statistics

Rec Rec Yds Rec TD Run Att Run Yds Rush TD Tot TD
Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi
657578693657040190158

Decker has been working closely with Peyton Manning all offseason to build a rapport. We pegged the Minnesota product as a sleeper last year, and he came through until Tim Tebow became entrenched as the full-time starter. Competency at quarterback vaults Decker back into the discussion as a viable sleeper candidate.

He is a big-play threat and has the ability to create yardage after the catch. Decker showed a nose for the end zone, logging a touchdown reception once every 5.5 catches in 2011. He enters the all-important third season in the NFL, one in which wide receivers tend to break out.

At 6-foot-3, 218 pounds, Decker has the size and strength to become a dangerous red zone weapon for Manning. With Demaryius Thomas opposite him, defenses will have to pick their poison when deciding where to roll extra coverage.

Decker may be a little inconsistent in 2012, but he very well could become Manning's go-to target and post fantastic fantasy numbers. Draft him as a third wide receiver, but we have a hard time arguing if you are brazen enough to land him as your second. Cover your bases with quality depth if you opt to be aggressive when selecting Decker.

Greg Little | Cleveland Browns | ADP: 10th round

2012 Projected NFL/Fantasy Football Statistics

Rec Rec Yds Rec TD Run Att Run Yds Rush TD Tot TD
Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi
172717632602030150103

Greg Little, WR, Cleveland Browns
Big things come in Little packages

For as much as we feel Colt McCoy may have been given a raw deal with the selection of Brandon Weeden, the quarterback position in Cleveland is no worse because of the move. It really may be an upgrade and could rally the troops. Weeden will be 29 years old as a rookie and has the maturity as well as intelligence to pick things up quickly.

Weeden has the arm strength to cut through the swirling Cleveland winds, and his size should allow him to take a pounding. On paper, the Browns' rushing attack should be much improved with Trent Richardson carrying the load, so defenses will have to play more honestly.

Little caught 61 balls for 709 yards and two touchdowns in 2011. Those numbers are remarkable for more reasons than Cleveland having little at quarterback. Little was the focus of the passing game ... as a rookie ... without an offseason ... after having not played football in more than a year. Getting the picture yet?

A full offseason to better grasp the system and adapt his style of play to the West Coast offense should do wonders for Little's fantasy prospects. He is a low-end No. 3 receiver in deep leagues but should be drafted as a fourth wideout that you can use as a flex play most weeks.

Robert Meachem | San Diego Chargers | ADP: 9th round

2012 Projected NFL/Fantasy Football Statistics

Rec Rec Yds Rec TD Run Att Run Yds Rush TD Tot TD
Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi
152530545502040160103

Vincent Jackson out, Robert Meachem in. The two players may be a little different in stature and fantasy relevance to this point, but Meachem's new role will be V-Jax's old one.

Meachem will be asked to fill the role of deep threat in this offense, and Philip Rivers looks downfield as much as any quarterback in the league. Norv Turner's vertical passing game thrives off the deep ball, so Meachem should get plenty of work in this area.

The former New Orleans Saint has endured problems with drops throughout his career, and Rivers loves to spread the ball around, so temper your expectations for a huge season. However, he should be given every opportunity to showcase his skills in this high-flying offense.

Draft Meachem as a weak third or awesome No. 4 fantasy receiver. His best value, much like Jackson, can be found in leagues that do not reward for receptions.

There are a couple of young wide receivers ready to make their mark; which ones fall on the fantasy football sleeper list for 2012?

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Fantasy football sleepers: QB | RB | WR | TE | PK | DT

 

About Cory J. Bonini

Cory is KFFL's General Manager. In late 2002, he joined the KFFL staff as a research analyst and has been involved in fantasy sports since 1996. A member of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, as well as Fantasy Sports Writers Association, Bonini has been featured in print, on radio and on scores of websites. Bonini co-hosted Big Lead Sports on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio from 2011 to 2012.

Bonini was recognized with the 2010 Best Article in Print Award from the FSWA and was a finalist for the same award in 2011. In '11, he finished first overall in the FSWA NFL experts challenge that featured 60 of the industry's best competitors.

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