Wide receiver is a hit-or-miss position in fantasy football.
Players who are supposed to produce big numbers for fantasy teams don't always live up to those expectations. Whether the culprit ends up being injury, poor quarterback play or a lack of individual focus, receivers are no stranger to the "down" year in the NFL.
As a result, your fantasy prospects can suffer.
Don't let poor results from 2012 fool you—there are receivers who struggled last season who will return to top form in 2013.
Calvin Johnson will be the top receiver selected in 99.9 percent of fantasy leagues this year. Johnson had a monster season for the Detroit Lions in 2012, and there will be someone (maybe you) in your league who decides he's worthy of a first-round pick.
Other receivers who will receive first-round consideration include Cincinnati's A.J. Green, Chicago's Brandon Marshall and Atlanta's Julio Jones.
Beneath those names, there's no clear direction about which other receivers will be taken. Over the next few weeks, names like Dez Bryant, Victor Cruz and Demaryius Thomas will make headlines as up-and-coming talents who are safe bets to bring home large point totals on Sunday.
In case you don't get a chance to draft any of the players mentioned above or are looking to make a major splash by drafting a receiver who is currently getting overlooked, we've got you covered. Here are three wideouts looking to bounce back from poor seasons who should be available at bargain rates.
Danny Amendola, New England Patriots
There are so many reasons to love Danny Amendola as a fantasy receiver in 2013. There's one big reason (injury) interested fantasy teams might pass in favor of other talent.
In parts of four NFL seasons, Amendola has played in 42 games. Thirty of those games came in his first two seasons, and Amendola has played in just 12 games over the past two years.
Although Amendola played in 11 games and had a career-high number of starts in 2012 with eight, the simple fact remains that he's failed to consistently stay on the field after emerging as a true threat during Sam Bradford's rookie season in St. Louis.
With the roster overhaul in New England this offseason, Amendola will have to anchor a hefty portion of Tom Brady's passing attack in Week 1.
The Patriots are replacing Wes Welker and Aaron Hernandez and might be without Rob Gronkowski when the season begins. That makes Amendola, who signed with the Pats as a free agent, a safe bet to earn Brady's attention when New England puts the ball in the air.
Pro Football Talk reported back in June that Brady and Amendola were forming a quick bond, which is another good sign for his fantasy prospects.
New England isn't going to become a power running team, because new players will have to anchor the passing attack this year. Receivers in New England's offense will benefit simply because they have one of the best QBs to ever play the game anchoring the attack.
If healthy, Amendola is a safe bet to catch a lot of passes from Brady and might even be a quality red-zone target for his QB until Gronkowski returns to top form. In the right round (3-5), a healthy Amendola would be a steal for your roster.
Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals
Before the 2012 season began, Fitzgerald was a top-three fantasy wideout.
QB issues in Arizona doomed that preseason ranking.
Between Kevin Kolb, John Skelton and the other fill-ins the Cardinals used under center last season, Fitzgerald managed just 71 receptions for 798 yards and four touchdowns. It was the first time since 2006 Fitzgerald failed to break the 1,000-yard mark, and it was his lowest TD total.
Expect a strong statement from the former Pittsburgh star both on the field and on the fantasy gridiron during the 2013 campaign.
Carson Palmer and Bruce Arians have a collective job to do on offense next year, and that job is simple: The Cardinals must get the ball to their best offensive player more often. Palmer isn't what he used to be as a QB, but Arians' tutelage and a fundamental desire to exploit matchup problems with corners should lend to the idea Fitzgerald is headed for a bounce-back year in 2013.
NFL Network certainly thinks so:
Andre Roberts emerged as a viable No. 2 option in Arizona last season, and if the running back cluster of Rashad Mendenhall, Ryan Williams, Stepfan Taylor and Andre Ellington can produce more than the backs did in 2012, the Cardinals will have options across the board to take pressure off of Fitzgerald.
When that happens, it will only increase production across the board. With consistent QB play, a supporting cast that provides a threat to the defense and motivation to improve upon some of his career-worst numbers from 2012, Fitzgerald should be back in fantasy football's good graces this year.
As some of the sexier names come off the board, don't be afraid to trust his production and situation before making him one of your weekly plays at WR.
Pierre Garcon, Washington Redskins
After Washington's first game in 2012, it looked like Pierre Garcon was going to be a breakout fantasy star.
With four catches, 109 yards and a touchdown against the New Orleans Saints, Garcon burst on the scene as one of Robert Griffin III's favorite targets in Week 1.
But an injury limited Garcon to just 10 regular-season games in 2012, and he finished with his lowest receiving yardage total in the NFL since becoming a regular for Peyton Manning's Indianapolis Colts in 2009.
For both Kirk Cousins and RG3, Garcon should be back in the fantasy money in 2013.
For starters, Garcon still posted the highest per-game receiving yardage average of his career last season. If he would have played in all 16 regular-season games and averaged the same amount of yardage during each contest, Garcon would have broken the 1,000-yard mark.
As Washington's offense continues to evolve, Garcon will continue to be a huge threat. As both a quick hitter and a deep threat, the 26-year-old is just hitting what will be the prime of his career.
He is in a potent offense, is expected to carry a major portion of the offensive workload when Griffin puts the ball in the air and has experience from his time with Manning that can't be overlooked.
Some will sleep on Garcon in fantasy drafts, but you can avoid being one of those guys by keeping an eye on him during the middle rounds of your draft.
Amendola, Fitzgerald and Garcon have potential to have huge years. Hopefully for you, the flashier names get more press in your league and these three players wind up being around when you feel it's the right time to nab an impact wide receiver.
Follow B/R's Ethan Grant (@DowntownEG) on Twitter.
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