Fantasy-football fanatics can now breathe easy with the settlement of the NFL lockout.
Third-year receivers like Michael Crabtree will be one trend enthusiasts analyze before draft night.
The emergence of wide receivers in their third year may be a diminishing trend, as receivers have begun to find success before then.
Still, there are a number of situations in which receivers take the next step in their third year, despite proving they are legitimate in their first two campaigns.
Let's take a look at five third-year wideouts ready to emerge in 2011.
Kenny Britt is facing possible suspension and jail time, but if he plays, he will be a high-value pick in fantasy football drafts.
Britt has already had two stellar seasons in his first two years in the NFL.
He has accumulated 84 receptions, 1,476 yards and 12 touchdowns so far in his career.
Britt enters a situation in 2011 that is no better than it was the past two years.
He will have a number of different quarterbacks fighting for the right to throw to him.
If Jake Locker wins the job, he could pan out and form a dynamic duo.
Britt will likely have trouble pushing through his legal problems this year.
If he does, look for him to provide huge bang for your buck in 2011.
Deon Butler, despite a unique quarterback situation in Seattle, could turn out to be the most surprising of the third-year receivers.
Butler flew under the radar last season, quietly becoming a solid player in the NFL.
He caught 36 balls, four of them for touchdowns, and proved to be a game-breaker with a number of long catches, his longest coming in the form of a 63-yard play.
If the Seattle Seahawks figure out their quarterback situation, Butler could turn into one of the best slot receivers in the NFC.
He will likely have low value in fantasy leagues entering drafts. In fact, he may not even be drafted in most leagues.
He may just turn into a steal, if the Seahawks find a viable quarterback option.
Darrius Heyward-Bey needs to prove to the world that the Oakland Raiders were right in selecting him seventh in the 2009 NFL Draft.
Heyward-Bey has the speed to stretch defenses and garner extra attention.
The problem is that he has shown he does not yet have the hands to finish big plays.
He did, however, take a small step toward becoming prevalent in 2010 with 26 catches for 366 yards.
Still, that did not live up to the expectations of fantasy owners.
This year may be boom-or-bust for Heyward-Bey with an owner like Al Davis.
That means it is time for him to prove his talent can turn into production. If he does not, he may be out of a job.
Although the third-year receiver trend may seem to be a myth, Heyward-Bey is a perfect candidate to prove its worth.
The Raiders and fantasy owners will hope that he does, in fact, turn out to be more evidence that this trend is not a myth.
Michael Crabtree has not yet lived up to lofty expectations in San Francisco, but he did improve in his sophomore season, making him a candidate for a breakout year in 2011.
Crabtree was rated far too high going into fantasy drafts in 2010.
He was being selected as a high-end number two receiver, and these expectations were a bit random and unwarranted.
Still, fantasy owners took the bait, and Crabtree disappointed.
He turned out to be a solid third option, accumulating 55 catches, 741 yards, and six touchdowns.
The problem was that Crabtree was not very efficient. Those numbers came as a No. 1 receiver who was targeted often on a weekly basis.
Nonetheless, if Crabtree and his quarterback (whomever it turns out to be), can get along, he is one of the most talented third-year receivers in this crop.
He also plays in a very susceptible division. If Crabtree can be grabbed in the middle rounds of your fantasy draft, you should consider him.
Brandon Gibson of the St. Louis Rams is the third-year receiver that will go from irrelevance to fantasy stardom in 2011.
Gibson is in a growing situation that is going to thrive in 2011.
His quarterback, second-year man Sam Bradford, built a connection with Gibson despite cycling through receivers last season.
Gibson caught 53 balls for 620 yards last season. He only averaged 11.7 yards per catch in an interesting offense that favored short passes.
That is something he needs to improve on.
Nonetheless, most of your fantasy football rivals will not have Gibson on their radar when your draft comes around.
Gibson is a rare breed.
He is a talented young player.
He has a talented young quarterback that is expected to thrive this season and turn his unit into one of the best offenses in the conference.
He has an easy schedule that will be prone to big fantasy numbers.
All signs point to Gibson breaking out in 2011.