Fantasy Football Sleepers 2012: Underrated Receivers Ready for a Breakout Season
If you're the kind of owner that doesn't like to spend early draft picks on wide receivers, there are plenty of underrated receivers that can be drafted in the mid-to-late rounds that have serious breakout potential.
The receiver position can be tough to gauge.
So much of a receiver's production depends upon the quarterback that's getting him the ball, and the scheme and the depth of the position all play key factors in a receiver's value to your fantasy team.
Keeping these factors in mind, there are a few receivers that may be getting overlooked that could make you look extremely smart when your draft rolls around. These are the receivers that you must target if you miss out on the studs in the early rounds.
What is Torrey Smith's ceiling this season?
Torrey Smith showed some great potential in 2011 as a rookie. Smith caught 50 passes for 841 yards and seven touchdowns in a productive season that saw him score 130 points in a standard scoring league.
Smith wasn't the most reliable option last season. He was a hit-or-miss play, but he did have five games with double-digit points, including a 34- and 22-point game, so the potential for massive points is definitely there.
Entering his second season, Smith should be able to produce more consistently. His blazing speed makes him a threat to score every week, but with more experience he should improve as a route runner, which will equate to more looks for him to pile up consistent yardage.
Given Anquan Boldin's age (entering his 11th season), drop in production (only 887 yards in 2011) and lack of red zone prowess (3 TDs) Smith is in a great position to take over as the primary target in Baltimore which could lead to a huge second season for Smith.
Regardless of what becomes of Mike Wallace's holdout situation, Antonio Brown has huge sleeper potential in 2012.
Wallace gets way more pub and fantasy love, but it's Brown who saw more targets from Ben Roethlisberger last season. With the Steelers leaning more and more on the pass, there will be plenty of targets to go around, and Brown showed last season that he can capitalize on his opportunities.
The lack of touchdowns (only four last season) may be troublesome, but as anyone that plays fantasy can tell you touchdowns for receivers can be hard to predict, and one season of poor touchdown production doesn't necessarily mean that those numbers will be repeated the next year.
Even if he doesn't find the endzone again in 2012, Brown has the potential to be a Wes Welker-type player and a dependable starter on a weekly basis. Not bad for a receiver that can be found much later than Wallace.
Banking on an Oakland receiver to break out may not be the best idea—it seems like they have a promising receiver every year that underwhelms—but Moore could be the real deal.
As a rookie, Moore was an electric receiver capable of putting up huge numbers when healthy and on the field.
Despite battling injuries, Moore showed the potential to be a stud receiver as he progresses. Much like Torrey Smith, Moore was boom-or-bust. The Raider speedster had five games with double-digit points, including two games over 20 points.
If Moore is able to add some consistency from his experience in his second season, he could be one of 2012's biggest breakouts.
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