Dexter McCluster: Versatile WR Will Be Solid Play for Fantasy Owners This Year

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistSeptember 14, 2012

DENVER, CO - JANUARY 01:  Running back Dexter McCluster #22 of the Kansas City Chiefs rushes with the ball against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on January 1, 2012 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Did you know that that Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Dexter McCluster remains available in 17 percent of ESPN fantasy football leagues and in 35 percent of those hosted by Yahoo?

Before you clicked on this article, did you even care?

Well you should, because McCluster is going to be a very good value for fantasy owners this year, and could be a breakout star in points-per-reception leagues.

McCluster had six receptions for 82 yards in Week 1 against the Atlanta Falcons. But more important is this little tidbit from RotoWorld:

McCluster led the team with 10 targets, which should come as no surprise after leading all Chiefs in targets from Matt Cassel during the preseason. Although Todd Haley struggled to find an offensive role for McCluster, it's clear that new OC Brian Daboll intends to use him as a high-volume slot receiver.

A player's yards and touchdowns are generally unpredictable and vary from week to week. But a sure sign that a wide receiver is important to an offense is the number of times he is targeted by a quarterback.

And given the fact that McCluster's first-week performance was a carryover from his preseason work with Cassel, it appears his role on this team will involve him catching plenty of passes out of the slot.

Now, I'm not telling you he is Wes Welker, or that you should start him in standard-scoring leagues just yet. I don't think he's going to be catching many passes down the field this year or see consistent targets in the red zone, not with Dwayne Bowe around.

But I do think he is worth stashing if you have an expendable player on your bench. And I certainly think he's worth adding in PPR leagues, where his fantasy value takes a big bump due to his role in the slot.

Plus, we haven't even talked about his abilities as a runner yet. While he's certainly a dangerous player after the catch, he's also a converted running back who had 114 carries for 516 yards and a touchdown a year ago. Certainly, the Chiefs will look to use him as an occasional runner as well.

Again, temper your expectations. Unless you are in a PPR league, McCluster is a wait-and-see player. But if you are in a PPR league, I would add him now, especially if you need a solid WR3 or WR4.

By the end of the season, he might be a regular start for your team.


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