Fantasy Football Sleepers 2012: 5 Wide Receivers to Keep an Eye on
Different NFL receivers emerge as stars out of nowhere every season, so here are 10 guys who have the potential to help any fantasy team in 2012.
The list contains players in many different situations. Some receivers have a quarterback controversy to deal with, and others are in passing offenses. A few players are looking to rebound from disappointing 2011 seasons, so look for them to contribute this season.
Several veterans have to prove they still have the ability to play in this league and have to learn new systems.
Rookies are often the toughest to judge because they are unproven. Not only do young receivers need to win a spot on the team, but they also need to earn playing time.
Who will be the next Victor Cruz?
Once the preseason finishes, depth charts will allow fantasy owners to organize their rosters. Until then, young players will be overlooked as viable fantasy options.
Greg Little, Cleveland Browns
The Browns made an effort to improve their offense, and Greg Little will be the beneficiary.
The team added quarterback Brandon Weeden, running back Trent Richardson and wide receiver Josh Gordon, who are all rookies. The offense will go through growing pains, but Little will see an increase in production.
A season after hauling in 61 catches for just over 700 yards, the second-year receiver needs to get the ball. As Cleveland's biggest offensive weapon, he can be the best deep-threat on the team.
He only had two touchdowns, but the team's offense struggled to put up points. He will emerge as a No. 1 receiver in 2012.
With an improved offense, Little will see more action. The touchdowns will come now that the team will make more trips to the red zone.
Little needs to hang on to the football and avoid dropping passes. In his rookie season, he dropped 14 balls.
Cleveland's quarterback situation is tough on a receiver, but Little will have a breakout season this year.
DeVier Posey, Houston Texans
Had he not been suspended for most of his senior season, DeVier Posey would have had a chance to be a first-round pick. His personal issues cost him a chance to prove himself, but he is a dangerous weapon.
Andre Johnson and Owen Daniels will be the main weapons in Houston, and it will take some time for Matt Schaub to develop chemistry with Posey. Once he adjusts to life in the NFL, he will be a great fit with the Texans.
His speed makes him a dangerous deep threat, and Schaub has the arm to get it to him. The Texans have established stars in the passing game, so Posey will not be the focal point of opponent's game plan.
Before he becomes a good receiver, he needs to earn a spot in the lineup. Houston already has an explosive passing game, but Posey adds another element to the mix.
In his rookie season, Posey will turn into an explosive receiver.
Denarius Moore, Oakland Raiders
Now that Oakland has an established quarterback, Denarius Moore is poised for a breakout 2012.
Before Carson Palmer arrived, Moore only had one productive game in his first seven games. Not counting his big Week 2 performance, he only averaged 11 yards per game. Even with his 146-yard performance, he managed only 30 receiving yards per game before the new quarterback arrived.
Moore more than doubled his production in six games with Palmer and averaged over 67 yards per game. Three of his five touchdowns came from Palmer, and he had at least 90 receiving yards in three games during the stretch.
A full offseason with Palmer will allow the two to get on the same page. Palmer throws a great deep ball, and Moore can make big plays.
Last season, running back Darren McFadden went down with an injury and never played with Palmer. The team will be much improved now that the star players have had a chance to play together.
Palmer and Moore will establish a dynamic relationship, and Moore's numbers will be worth drafting him.
Brandon Stokely, Denver Broncos
In his second stint with the Denver Broncos, Brandon Stokely will have a familiar face throwing to him.
Peyton Manning and Stokley played together for four seasons in Indianapolis, so they should be a great combination. While with the Colts, Stokely surpassed 1,000 yards in a season and had 10 touchdowns in the same season
He is not the most talented receiver on the team, but he already has chemistry with his quarterback.
Stokely will be a good slot receiver, and he will get his fair share of catches. He will need to show he can still play after not playing much last year.
Manning has not formed a bond with any of his new receivers, so look for the veteran quarterback to use Stokely early in the season.
Chad Johnson, Miami Dolphins
After being one of the best receivers in the NFL for years, Chad Ochocinco had a difficult season in New England last year. Doug Farrar of Yahoo! Sports reported Ochocinco was uncomfortable in the team's offense.
The Patriots let him go, so he signed with his hometown team. The veteran receiver will be on an inexperienced team, and he will see familiar faces. He will play the Patriots twice and will travel to Cincinnati to play the Bengals for the first time.
As the Ochocinco News Network tweeted last month, Chad Ochocinco is no more.
Chad Ochocinco is now officially Chad Johnson ocnnreport.com/?p=4576— Ochocinco's OCNN(@ocnnreport) July 23, 2012
Chad Johnson is back, and the production will also return. The Patriots were loaded with offensive weapons, but the Miami Dolphins lack receivers.
Johnson will become the team's No. 1 receiver, but the quarterback position is up for grabs. Whether it is Matt Moore or Ryan Tannehill throwing him the football, the star receiver will get back to putting up big numbers.
After last season, he knows what it takes to win. He was close to adding a Super Bowl ring to his name, but his team fell short.
With the Dolphins, they are not in a position to compete for a Super Bowl. He will now go back to being the best receiver on his team, and he will be a big-time player.
This season will allow Johnson to prove he can still play in the NFL and have some fun.