Wideouts to Keep an Eye On

By Vidur Malik

Around the league, talented wide receivers seem to keep on sprouting up year after year. Every team has multiple receivers who can have breakout games any given week. Because there are so many productive wide outs, there are bound to be players that can help your fantasy team who won’t be picked on draft day. If one of your players isn’t getting it done, you should be able to drop him for another receiver who can help your team. Picking up one of these players during the season off of waivers can boost your point totals, and gives you the opportunity to make a more educated decision, because you can make your choice based on how the player has performed during the season, which you can’t do in the off-season. Rookies who you want to keep an eye on before adding them to your team, number two or three wide outs who aren’t enough of a lock to use a draft pick on, or veterans who need to show that they have enough left in the tank are examples of receivers who are great for mid-season pickups. Here are five guys to look out for if you want to switch up your roster during the season:

Terrell Owens- Until T.O. signs with a team, picking him up off waivers is the only way you can have him on your squad. If he does participate in a training camp and settles down somewhere, he is still worth keeping an eye on. Last year was a down year for Owens, who had 829 receiving yards and five touchdowns, and even though he might not be a number one receiver anymore, there is nothing to suggest that he can’t get it done anymore. If he lands on a team and isn’t drafted in your league, he could be a valuable addition.

Brian Hartline, Miami Dolphins- The addition of Brandon Marshall should open things up for other Dolphins receivers. Hartline should benefit from more looks with Marshall occupying defenses. Davone Bess had a solid year for the Dolphins last year, and he should see an improvement from his two touchdown catches last year. Bess is worth a late draft pick, so Hartline is a guy to look at during the season. He caught 31 passes last year for just over 500 yards and three touchdowns, and if he can take advantage of the opportunities he will get, he will be a smart addition to your team.

Mark Clayton, Baltimore Ravens- Anquan Boldin and Derrick Mason will be reliable targets for quarterback Joe Flacco, and if Clayton can become another option, the Ravens offense will take off. Clayton caught 34 balls last year for 480 yards and two touchdowns, which were dips in production for him compared to previous seasons. With the addition of an All-pro wideout in Boldin, and expectations of a big year from Flacco, Clayton could be a guy who gets overlooked, but ends up having a good year.

Demaryius Thomas, Denver Broncos- The Broncos used their first-round draft pick on Thomas, a big receiver out of Georgia Tech. At 6’3” and 229 lbs., Thomas can get rough with defenders, and seems to have the physical ability to be a productive receiver. Because Brandon Marshall is gone and the quarterback situation in Denver isn’t wrapped up, it would be wise to keep Thomas on your radar early in the season. If he puts up good numbers consistently, he could be a great acquisition.

James Jones, Green Bay Packers- Jones had a solid rookie season in 2007, but had a down year in 2008 after suffering an injury. He came back with a productive 2009, with 440 receiving yards and five touchdowns on 32 catches, and is a player who can see a big jump in numbers this year. Greg Jennings and Donald Driver are locks to have good seasons, and quarterback Aaron Rodgers is a surefire elite NFL quarterback. Jones should get plenty of opportunities to become a consistent contributor to the Packers offense. If he isn’t drafted, he should be a very productive receiver for the owner who has the smarts to get him.


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