Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Donnie Avery generally doesn't get much love in fantasy football circles. There's a reason for that: The six-year veteran has never eclipsed more than 781 yards or five touchdowns in a single season.
Last year with Kansas City, he showed more of the same average production despite his role as the team's No. 2 receiver. Avery accumulated 40 receptions for 596 yards and two touchdowns in his first season under head coach Andy Reid and quarterback Alex Smith.
So, what's different with his fantasy value this season?
Honestly, not much. However, since the team announced that Dwayne Bowe would be serving a one-game suspension Friday, via Adam Teicher of ESPN.com, savvy fantasy owners could consider taking a late-round stab at Avery in hopes of Week 1 production that will solidify him as trade bait.
We know Avery's speed and shiftiness allow him to come away with a big performance every so often—last season against the Philadelphia Eagles, he caught seven passes for 141 yards—and due to Bowe's absence in Week 1 against the Tennessee Titans, Avery could catch lightning in a bottle.
After all, we all remember what he did against the Indianapolis Colts in the playoffs, right? If not, here's a look back in time, courtesy of NFL on ESPN:
Alex Smith finds a WIDE OPEN Donnie Avery for a 79 yd TD! The @KCChiefs lead 17-7— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) January 4, 2014
Sure, the 30-year-old veteran may not seem like a sexy option—for fantasy owners or for the Chiefs—but considering the lack of experience in Kansas City's wide receiver corps, Avery becomes a viable option for Smith in the team's opener.
Adam Levitan of Rotoworld tweeted about Smith's lack of options in Week 1:
Chiefs WRs for Week 1 vs. TEN with Bowe suspended: Donnie Avery, AJ Jenkins, Kyle Williams, Junior Hemingway, Albert Wilson.— Adam Levitan (@adamlevitan) August 16, 2014
Currently, Avery is very low on most fantasy analysts' rankings. He's ranked between No. 58 and No. 109 among wide receivers, according to FantasyPros.com. That's fine considering he isn't being selected in most 12-team fantasy drafts, giving him a perfect average draft position for this situation.
Generally, we're looking for some sleepers with nice upside through the final rounds of drafts anyway. So this year, why not take a gamble on Avery in hopes that he'll provide one nice performance in Week 1?
Worst-case scenario is simply that you send him back to the waiver wire if he doesn't produce. However, the possibility to take advantage of a competing fantasy owner via trade after a potential big performance is certainly an intriguing venture.
Fantasy football decisions come down to weighing risk against reward. In this scenario, the possible reward of a lucrative trade does seem to warrant the risk of using a very late-round pick on the wide receiver.