Fantasy Football 2013: Possession Receivers Who Are PPR Diamonds in the Rough

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Fantasy Football 2013: Possession Receivers Who Are PPR Diamonds in the Rough
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The 2013 NFL regular season is approaching, fantasy football drafts are transpiring, and the world is left asking but one question: Where are the diamonds in the rough?

That's a question we hope to answer with every passing season, as banking on the stars is as risky as it is rewarding. After all, star power diminishes once a fantasy football owner gets deep enough, and soon enough, they're left wondering who to target.

In point-per-reception leagues, that becomes an even more valuable question.

Possession receivers may not be flashy, but they rack up the catches while others go for the big play downfield. This approach has made fantasy football stars out of players such as wide receiver Wes Welker and tight end Jason Witten.

Unfortunately, those players aren't always available when you need them.

As you move down your draft board and enter the late rounds, finding quality players is key. Injuries can strike at any moment, and it's imperative that you create depth to sustain a blow to any position, specifically wide receiver.

Here are the diamonds in the rough that could change your reason.

 

Brian Hartline, Miami Dolphins

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ADP: 144.5

Position: Wide Receiver

Age: 26

Experience: 5th Season

2012 Season Statistics

74 REC, 1,083 YDS, 1 TD

 

Ryan Tannehill was a pleasant surprise during the 2012 NFL regular season, throwing for 3,294 yards and 12 touchdowns as a rookie. During that time, Brian Hartline emerged as his favorite target.

For some reason, fantasy football owners are looking at the acquisition of Mike Wallace as the burial of Hartline.

Wallace, Dustin Keller and Brandon Gibson will all get their fair share of touches, but Hartline is still the most reliable receiver on Miami's roster. Wallace is a big play waiting to happen, but he's topped 65 receptions in only one of his four seasons.

Hartline, meanwhile, is your quintessential possession receiver.

Hartline's average draft position is currently 144.5, which makes him available for teams selecting their third or fourth receiver. If that's the case, and Hartline is still on the board, it'd be beyond wise to take him while you still can.

In point per receptions leagues, you won't be able to find better value than Hartline at that stage of the draft.

 

Brandon Myers, New York Giants

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

ADP: 110.5

Position: Tight End

Age: 27

Experience: 5th Season

2012 Season Statistics

79 REC, 806 YDS, 4 TD

 

During the 2012 NFL regular season, only four tight ends finished with at least 75 receptions. Those players were Jason Witten, Tony Gonzalez, Jimmy Graham and Brandon Myers.

Brandon Myers?!

Despite playing on an Oakland Raiders team that struggled to produce a consistent passing game, Myers tallied 79 receptions for 806 yards and four touchdowns. Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks will command more attention than Denarius Moore and Darrius Heyward-Bey, but let's look at the facts.

The Giants are relying on Ramses Barden, Louis Murphy or Rueben Randle to become a reliable third receiver. Something tells us that Eli Manning will learn early just how much more reliable Myers is than the third receiver options.

Expect Myers to have a huge season in New York.

Myers is all but guaranteed something in the range of 65 receptions with the Giants, especially after Martellus Bennett, a significantly less established player, had 55 in 2012. With an unpredictable running game, the value of a checkdown option will likely elevate Myers' value.

With an average draft position of 110.5, Myers is a diamond in the rough who can provide similar value to Vernon Davis, whose ADP is 56.7 in PPR leagues.

 

Kendall Wright, Tennessee Titans

Harry How/Getty Images

ADP: 136.9

Position: Wide Receiver

Experience: 2nd Season

2012 Season Statistics

64 REC, 626 YDS, 4 TD

 

As a rookie, Tennessee Titans wide receiver Kendall Wright caught 64 passes for 626 yards and four touchdowns in 15 games. This comes in spite of a virtual split of the quarterback duties between Matt Hasselbeck and Jake Locker.

Expect Wright to build upon that success in 2013.

With Locker under center full-time, barring yet another injury, Wright should continue to develop into one of the league's better possession receivers. Tennessee's offensive line is improved, and Chris Johnson should return to form, which will thus open up the middle of the field for Wright to run through.

Keep in mind, Wright tied Justin Blackmon for the rookie lead in total receptions.

Wright's current average draft position is 136.9, which is deep enough into a draft where you should already have at least two receivers. That makes him a candidate for the steal of the draft, as he should be in the range of 80 receptions this season.

It's a lofty expectation, but few players had as underrated a rookie season as Wright.

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