Fantasy Football 2012: 6 Late-Round WRs Who Will Exceed Expectations
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Fresh-cut grass, painted lines, replacement referees and position battles means it must be time for fantasy football season. With less than two weeks until the NFL season opener, the fantasy football draft rush is underway.
Most teams have played three preseason games. Player roles are being established and fantasy drafting strategies are being designed.
Regardless of drafting strategy, the wide receiver position can be crucial to the late-season run. Maybe you want to load up your team with a quality quarterback and running backs early, but still need some receivers late in the draft.
Just in case you forgot about receivers while drafting Aaron Rodgers, Ray Rice and Arian Foster, here is a list of late-round receivers who will exceed expectations.
Golden Tate, Seattle Seahawks
Tate steps into the No. 1 role in Seattle, despite being drafted behind Sidney Rice in most leagues.
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Golden Tate, the Notre Dame product, enters his third season in the NFL with the Seahawks.
In his first two years, he has just 609 yards and three touchdowns, but has shown he has the ability to make plays.
Of Tate’s 35 receptions last season, nearly half of them (16) went for first downs.
Tate took over for Sidney Rice last season and did well. He currently sits atop the Seahawks depth chart and should see an increased amount of targets this season.
The quarterback situation with Tavaris Jackson, Russell Wilson and Matt Flynn doesn’t scream huge numbers. However, Tate should be the featured receiver in an offense that finished 22nd in the NFL in passing last season.
Tate is a late-round risk that could reap some great reward.
Donnie Avery, Indianapolis Colts
Another concussion for Austin Collie thrusts Avery into a bigger role in Indianapolis.
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If someone is willing to take the risk on drafting Andrew Luck, consider drafting Donnie Avery.
With the Colts offense expected to struggle, Avery could be a late, late sleeper pick.
Another guy to pick up if you forgot wide receivers were a part of fantasy football.
Davone Bess, Miami Dolphins
Davone Bess and Ryan Tannehill could be the connection to watch in Miami.
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The connection between quarterback production and receiver connection is obvious.
Davone Bess hasn’t had a strong quarterback since he joined the Dolphins, yet he has still managed to put up some strong numbers.
Rated as the No. 57 receiver by Yahoo!, Bess is a great pickup in later rounds.
Quarterback Ryan Tannehill will take some lumps this season, but he should be looking at Bess for a significant amount of targets.
Bess is the No. 1 receiver on the Dolphins depth chart. As Tannehill looks to establish himself as one of the better rookie QBs, Bess should reap rewards.
He has 11 touchdowns and nearly 3,000 yards in his first three NFL seasons.
Don’t overspend on him, but don’t let your boss beat you in Week 14 because you didn’t pick him up.
Devery Henderson, New Orleans Saints
An increased role in New Orleans for Henderson should up his fantasy numbers.
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Brees is one of the best quarterbacks in the league and loves to spread the ball around.
Devery Henderson will line up across from Marques Colston, who will draw a significant amount of attention from defenses.
Henderson hasn’t missed a game since 2006-07 and has great chemistry with Brees.
An increased role this season could get Henderson to the 1,000-yard mark for the first time in his eight-year career.
Another one you don’t want to overspend on but should produce solid fantasy numbers in the high-flying Saints offense.
Michael Floyd, Arizona Cardinals
If the QB situation in Arizona ever finds an answer, Floyd and Larry Fitzgerald should compliment each other nicely.
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If Arizona ever gets a quarterback or an offensive line, they have some weapons.
Larry Fitzgerald is the top receiver in Arizona. Beanie Wells is the top running back.
Michael Floyd is no slouch as the No. 2 receiver.
Fitzgerald draws a lot of targets and a lot of defensive attention. Floyd will be a great second option if Fitzgerald isn’t open.
If John Skelton or Kevin Kolb can decide who wants the starting QB job, the offense can finally get into a rhythm and develop some chemistry.
Floyd has great hands coming out of Notre Dame as the 13th overall pick in this year’s draft. He is highly touted, but overlooked in drafts.
Floyd is being drafted in the 13th and 14th round of most Yahoo! leagues.
He’s another late-round pick that could produce quality numbers.
Danny Amendola, St. Louis Rams
That's the injury that knocked Amendola out last season.
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Danny Amendola played in just one game last season after breaking his arm in a gruesome injury.
The Rams, and quarterback Sam Bradford, have missed him.
Amendola is back and appears to be healthy. This preseason, he has four catches for 64 yards and a touchdown.
A quality receiver and good special teams guy, fantasy owners are steering clear of him. Only six percent of Yahoo! leagues even drafted Amendola, even though he is Bradford’s favorite target.
Running back Steven Jackson should balance out the Rams offensive attack and allow for Amendola to get more looks, especially on third down.