Megatron. The receiving beast made it look easy last year, playing the game like a man among boys. He'll likely be gone by the end of the first round (maybe even top five) in fantasy football drafts. While he's the best WR available, the WR market is ridiculously deep this year, and not getting him won't kill your chances of winning.
There are five WRs going in later rounds who you can wait for and still win your league. Plus, it will allow you to double-down on the other positions in early draft rounds.
These aren't exactly "sleepers," a word that's lost all of its aura as fantasy football has become more prevalent with mainstream audiences. These are just players who could have big years and will give you enough points from the WR position to win it all.
If Brian Quick reminds you of that guy you probably won't get, it's probably with good reason.
Both Quick and Megatron are 6'5", with the former weighing in at 220 and the latter weighing in at 236. Quick was drafted for his size, and if Megatron can kill defenses with his, why can't Quick do the same?
The Appalachian State product saw increases in yards and TDs in three years in college, finishing with 31 TDs and a 16.9 YPC average. In the preseason, he's starting to show what the Rams saw in him, using his size to block out defenders and then shake them off for extra yardage.
Sure, he's been playing mostly with the second team, but it won't be long before he's thrown into the mix.
Sam Bradford looks to rebound from last year's disastrous campaign, and with Brandon Lloyd gone, Quick could be in line for some passes. Danario Alexander and Danny Amendola can't seem to stay healthy, giving Quick another path to stardom.
Quick should be available in the 13th round.
When he's not getting into fights, Jonathan Baldwin is actually a decent receiver.
The Pittsburgh product didn't really have much of an impact on the field last year, amassing a scant 254 YDs and one TD. That could change this year with a couple things working in his favor.
While the Chiefs will be a running team with Jamaal Charles and Peyton Hillis, defenses will likely key on it. That should leave the wide receivers a bit more room to roam the secondary and exploit holes for big plays.
Matt Cassel looks to regain his top form, which will have him slinging it all around the field. Dwayne Bowe and Tony Moeaki both look to be big targets, but don't be surprised to see Baldwin racking up yardage. In his sophomore season at Pittsburgh, Baldwin finished with 1,111 YDs and eight TDs on 53 receptions.
Baldwin should be there in the 11th or 12th round.
In 2010, Donovan McNabb became the starting QB for the Washington Redskins. He was the latest in a string of QBs who came with the responsibility of saving face for the Redskins. Unfortunately, Mike Shanahan's gamble didn't quite pay off.
But Santana Moss had a great year.
Moss finished that season with 1,115 YDs and six TDs, both respectable totals for any WR. He managed half the yardage in 2011 but still came up with four TDs.
Pierre Garcon may be the new No. 1 in town and Fred Davis is rapidly ascending the TE ranks, but Moss still stands to benefit from the arrival of RG III, a QB who will likely play a style similar to McNabb's.
What's more? Last year, Steve Smith flourished with Cam Newton. Sometimes the stalwart players need an infusion of young blood to get them going again.
Moss will be there in the 13th or 14th round.
Cam Newton has given hope back to the Carolina Panthers. He made Steve Smith relevant again, affording him 1,374 YDs and seven TDs last year. He'll likely do the same for Brandon LaFell this year.
LaFell finished 2011 with 613 YDs and three TDs, both totals which stand to increase in 2012.
Defenses have a better handle on Newton this year, so he likely won't go as ballistic throwing and running. He will be encouraged to throw more though, thanks to having a full offseason under his belt and a better understanding of the passing game.
The addition of Mike Tolbert to a backfield already featuring DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart shows a commitment to running, which will take the ball out of Newton's hands even more. With teams focused on stopping Smith, LaFell will likely get a lot of looks downfield.
LaFell is going undrafted in a lot of leagues, but look to snag him in the 13th or 14th round.
Megatron rules the roost in Detroit, but it may end up being Titus Young who has an equally monster year.
The second-year receiver is coming into 2012 with Matthew Stafford throwing, Megatron drawing triple (quadruple?) coverage at times and an impressive rookie season stat line.
In 48 receptions last year, Young amassed 647 YDs and six TDs. It's completely feasible he finishes 2012 with close to 1,000 YDs and 10 TDs. Young could quickly make a claim for being one of the year's best WRs.
Young should be available in the ninth or 10th round.