Dexter McCluster of the Kansas City Chiefs Will Become Next Wes Welker

Jason M. Davis@@JasonDavis223Correspondent IISeptember 12, 2012

Year after year fantasy football owners have been expecting solid production from Wes Welker of the New England Patriots. While he struggled in week 1, I expect him to bounce back and produce another 200-point season.

If you're looking for someone like Wes Welker, especially in a PPR league, Dexter McCluster is your guy.

While McCluster is listed as the Chiefs backup wide receiver, he can be very valuable to your fantasy team. 

Here's why you need to pick him up.

Since the Kansas City Chiefs signed Peyton Hillis, and already have Jamaal Charles, McCluster would rarely see carries in the run game. The Chiefs were smart enough to line him up in the slot as their third receiver this offseason. So far, through the preseason and week one, he is flourishing in that role.

Throughout the preseason, McCluster was targeted a team high 16 times and finished with 13 receptions for 131 yards. If that doesn't entice you, maybe McCluster's week one statistics will force you to pick him up off the waiver wire right away.

In week one against the Atlanta Falcons, McCluster was targeted a game high ten times and hauled in six receptions for 82 yards. 

With quarterback Matt Cassel throwing 33 passes in the game, McCluster received almost one-third of the looks. Dwayne Bowe, the Chiefs number one wide receiver saw only six targets, hauling in only three receptions.

This bodes well for McCluster the rest of the season since he is beating out the Chiefs top wideout, who is ranked highly in most leagues. With the Chiefs offensive line struggling, Cassel is forced to make quick, shorter throws that will allow McCluster to see an increase in targets and be able to use his speed to turn a five yard pass into a first down, or even more.

Throughout the regular season and preseason combined McCluster pulled in 73 percent of the passes thrown his way. With his regular number of high targets, McCluster will rack up yards very quickly. In PPR leagues, he can be a very productive option.

Here's another bonus that can make him even more valuable. As of today, McCluster has received eligibility at RB/WR in ESPN leagues. This way, he can be played in many different positions to provide even more help to your team.

With McCluster available in 89% of ESPN leagues as of today, it would be recommended that you pick him up right away, even if you are already happy with your running back depth.

He is a low-cost, high reward player. With the Chiefs struggling on defense, they will be forced to throw more on offense which will keep McCluster valuable all season long.

While McCluster doesn't have Tom Brady throwing to him like Welker does, he can be just as reliable as the season goes on.

Follow me @RealJasonMDavis

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