Leonard Hankerson's 2013 Fantasy Outlook Following Breakout Week 1 Performance

Tim Keeney@@t_keenContributor ISeptember 10, 2013

Welcome to the fantasy radar, Leonard Hankerson.

The former third-round pick out of Miami garnered very little attention during a shaky preseason, but after a five-catch, 80-yard, two-touchdown performance in Week 1 against the Philadelphia Eagles, it's safe to say he's going to be a popular waiver add this week. 

There are reasons to be cautious here. 

First, Hankerson recorded just 38 catches for 543 yards and three touchdowns—with two coming in Week 14 against the Cleveland Browns—in 16 games last season.

Second, the Redskins' pass-catching corps is muddled. After Pierre Garcon, who will presumably be Robert Griffin III's No. 1 target most weeks, any of Hankerson, Josh Morgan, Aldrick Robinson, Santana Moss, Fred Davis and rookie Jordan Reed could have a productive day on any given week, while the other five could be quiet.

On Monday, the targets were spread out as follows: Garcon (11), Moss (9), Hankerson (7), Reed (6), Morgan (5), Davis (4) and Robinson (2).

RGIII is going to spread the ball out in this offense, and he's not always going to throw 49 times like he did during Monday's comeback effort, so somewhere around seven targets is probably the most you should expect to ever see out of Hankerson. That limits his value immensely. 

Still, there is undoubtedly upside. 

Entering his third year—the one pundits tend to equate with breakout years for wide receivers—Hankerson has two intriguing qualities for the fantasy game. 

One, he is a deep threat. Not only did he average 16.0 yards per reception on Monday, but the rusty Griffin missed him on another deep chance early in the fourth quarter.

Two, he is clearly someone who Griffin is going to look for in the red zone, as he showcased with his two scores on Monday:

Put it all together, I'm not going to spend much waiver money or use a high waiver pick on Hankerson unless I'm in a deep league or in desperate need of a wide receiver. There's going to be too much inconsistency with a crowded pass-catching corps and a normally run-oriented offense.

But this is a young player with plenty of talent, and games like Monday's will happen on occasion.

If you have a deep bench or an open roster spot, it wouldn't hurt to add him and play the wait-and-see game.

The potential reward makes him someone you want to keep you a very close eye on. 

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