Fantasy Football Sleepers 2012: Terrell Owens and Late-Round WR Steals
If you're anything like me and like to load up on running backs then odds are you spend the later rounds of your fantasy football draft scouring the list of available wide receivers, searching for value picks that could eventually become weekly starters for your fantasy team.
This becomes doubly important if you play in the ever-increasing number of fantasy football leagues that require three starting wideouts, so here's a look at a trio of pass-catchers that each possess a significant degree of fantasy upside for the upcoming season.
The name is certainly familiar, but it's been a while since he's been mentioned as a fantasy-relevant player, as wide receiver Terrell Owens hasn't caught a pass in the National Football League since 2010.
However, as The Washington Post recently reported, the 38-year-old has signed a one-year deal with the Seattle Seahawks. While Owens is an incredibly speculative pick late in fantasy football drafts, the six-time Pro Bowler is very much worth a look.
Owens, who had 72 catches for 983 yards and nine scores with the Cincinnati Bengals in 2010, reportedly looked impressive in his Monday tryout in Seattle, including running a 4.45-second 40-yard dash.
Granted, given his age, long layoff and the fact that he's, well, Terrell Owens it's not advisable to invest more that late-round flier in the 15-year veteran, but Owens' production in 2010 placed him squarely in WR2 territory.
Expecting Owens to hit the top 20 again may not be realistic, but it's not out of the realm of reason to think he could post WR3 stats, which would make Owens more than worth the modest investment required to obtain his services.
Lance Moore, New Orleans Saints
Although he often gets lost somewhat in the hoopla surrounding wide receiver Marques Colston and tight end Jimmy Graham, eighth-year veteran Lance Moore has been a solid contributor to the New Orleans Saints offense for several seasons and can contribute to your fantasy team as well.
The 28-year-old, who hauled in 52 catches for 627 yards and eight touchdowns in 2011, is presently being drafted as the 45th wide receiver off fantasy draft boards according to MyFantasyLeague.com, but there are a couple of reasons to believe that Moore will outperform his 12th-round asking price.
For starters, Moore has posted at least fantasy WR3 numbers in leagues that award a point for receptions in three of the past four seasons. Factor in the increased targets that Moore could see with Robert Meachem now in San Diego and you're left with a player that has an excellent shot at outperforming his draft slot.
Nate Washington, WR, Tennessee Titans
Coming into this season it appeared rather unlikely that with the return of Kenny Britt and the selection of Baylor wide receiver Kendall Wright in the 2012 NFL draft that Nate Washington would come close to approaching his 1,023 receiving yards from a season ago, but recent events have increased the chances of Washington backing up last year's numbers.
After undergoing his third knee surgery in the past year, Britt racked up his eighth brush with police since entering the NFL in 2009 when he was arrested and charged with DUI in Kentucky last month.
As The Nashville Tennessean recently reported Britt met with NFL officials Monday to discuss this latest incident, and given Britt's uncertain health and the very real possibility that Britt may be facing a league-mandated vacation, Washington could be once again looking at an increased offensive role in 2012.
Sure, even with that increased role Washington may be hard-pressed to match last season's top-15 fantasy finish, but at the very least Washington has decent odds of putting up stats that well outpace his 13th-round price tag.
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