Fantasy football team owners know that the key to any successful draft is getting good value with each pick. Championships are not usually won in the first few rounds. Those titles are secured with solid selections in the middle and late rounds.
Even the novice fantasy football player knows who the top 20 players are. That's easy. The key to winning your league and having bragging rights is finding sleepers who will exceed everyone's expectations.
With that in mind, here are four sleeper wide receivers to keep a close eye on and to target in the latter stages of your draft. These players could be true diamonds in the rough.
Chris Givens, St. Louis Rams
The Wake Forest product had an impressive rookie campaign for the Rams and dazzled the NFL with his blazing speed last season.
Givens became quarterback Sam Bradford's favorite deep target and became the first rookie in league history with a catch of at least 50 yards in five straight games.
Givens wound up leading St. Louis with 698 yards receiving and three touchdowns last year. The 2013 Rams are far removed from the "Greatest Show on Turf" teams of Kurt Warner and Marshall Faulk, so Givens is flying under the radar with Bradford.
If he is available in the middle or late rounds, draft Givens with confidence.
Andre Roberts, Arizona Cardinals
The Red Birds have a new sheriff in town in offensive guru Bruce Arians and a new gunslinger at quarterback in veteran Carson Palmer. Both men should help the offensive prospects of Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd and the easily forgotten Andre Roberts.
Don't sleep on Roberts though. The four-year veteran had a fine season in 2012 despite some of the worst quarterback play in recent memory. Roberts had 64 receptions for 759 yards and five touchdowns with the likes of Kevin Kolb, John Skelton and Ryan Lindley throwing to him.
Just imagine how much better he could be this season with a head coach like Arians, who likes to throw the ball down the field, and a signal-caller like Palmer, who has 189 career touchdown passes.
Roberts is primed for a nice season in the desert.
Alshon Jeffery, Chicago Bears
Brandon Marshall gets all the headlines in the Windy City—and rightly so. He is a stud and should be one of the top five wide receivers chosen in any draft.
A player that caught the attention of quarterback Jay Cutler in 2012, though, was rookie Alshon Jeffery. The University of South Carolina product is currently the No. 2 wide receiver on Chicago's depth chart and averaged 15.3 yards a catch last season. He also tallied three touchdowns.
Marshall will probably be double-teamed by opposing defensive backs, which can open up more opportunities for Jeffery. Don't let him slip away in the last few rounds of your draft if he's still available.
Rueben Randle, New York Giants
The rookie from LSU filled in very nicely when No. 1 wide receiver Hakeem Nicks was sidelined with knee issues last season.
Randle had 19 catches for 298 yards and three touchdowns, including a superb performance of four receptions, 58 yards and two touchdowns against the Eagles in New York's season finale.
With Victor Cruz currently in a walking boot with a bruised heel, Randle may be seeing a lot of action early in the season. He is a real talent and should be grabbed by owners in the middle and late stages of any draft, especially if those owners have Nicks or Cruz already on their roster.
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