Late Round Targets
This late round target is more intriguing than most, nobody knows where McCluster will play, where he will line up, but he is explosive and the most dangerous weapon on the Chiefs' offense by far. McCluster began his college career at Ole Miss as the Rebels' starting wide receiver, but ended up as the starting running back by his senior season. McCluster was spectacular running routes at the NFL Combine and was selected by Kansas City in the 2nd round of the NFL Draft to be Matt Cassel's version of Wes Welker. His potential as a slot receiver is incredible, end of story.
The Chief's official website has reported that they wouldn't be surprised to see McCluster play at running back, wide receiver (both in the slot and split wide) and as a kick returner. The report also suggested that McCluster would line up in the Wildcat formation as well. "I'm going to make sure the coaches have confidence that I know what I'm doing," McCluster said. "I don't want them to hesitate in the situations where they use me." McCluster is versatile and exciting, and worth a gamble in the late rounds of fantasy drafts. His big-play touchdown potential is off the charts.
Legendary baseball player Henry (Hank) Aaron said in a radio interview during the MLB All-Star Home Run Derby "good things happen to those who wait." For some reason Darren McFadden was the first thing that came to mind. Its been two seasons, and if not now, then when for Darren McFadden? Sure, I went all in on the Oakland running back banking on a breakout last season and got burned. McFadden is going much later in fantasy drafts this season and for good reason, he has yet to show anything in two injury riddled seasons (and might not even be the best pure runner on the team); Michael Bush might be better, but what McFadden does have is versatility, elite breakaway speed, and most importantly every opportunity to succeed with JaMarcus Russell gone.
Russell's inability to threaten defenses with the passing game doomed McFadden and Bush from the start last season. Jason Campbell is a thousand times better than Russell will ever be, and McFadden's ability to line up at wide receiver is an added dimension that makes him an even more dangerous weapon. This season is McFadden's last chance to make a major fantasy impact, because another season like last year in which he had only one touchdown and one play over twenty yards isn't going to cut it for his frustrated fantasy owners. McFadden has all the talent in the world, but when will it translate into fantasy results? McFadden is worthy of a selection if he falls to the late rounds, because the upside and opportunity are still there for him to become a stud fantasy running back.
Fantasy owners who utilize a point-per-reception format are familiar with Davone Bess -- the Dolphins' secret weapon in the slot last season who hauled in 76 receptions for 758 yards and two touchdowns. Bess averaged over ten yards per reception, and is even more dangerous and elusive after the catch than the average slot receiver. The biggest reason why Bess deserves a late round selection in fantasy drafts this season is the presence of Brandon Marshall. Marshall will draw considerable attention for opposing secondaries, allowing Bess to exploit single coverage by safeties and linebackers out of the slot. The only thing holding Bess back from becoming a fantasy star is the lack of touchdowns, but Chad Henne looks often to Bess and odds are he will surpass one hundred receptions this season. Fantasy owners in point-per-reception leagues need to target and select Bess in the late rounds as a major steal.
Its hard to believe that Indianapolis will bench sophomore standout Austin Collie in the slot in favor of Anthony Gonzalez (who is coming off multiple knee surgeries), mainly because Collie is bigger, produced basically the same results as Gonzalez did in his second season, and is a better red-zone weapon than Gonzalez.
Collie caught 60 passes for 676 yards and seven touchdowns, and got even better late in the year scoring five touchdowns in the Colts' final eight games. Indianapolis throws the ball an awful lot, and there are plenty of targets for Peyton Manning to spread the ball around to, fantasy owners have to believe that Collie will win the slot receiver job and play a significant role in the Colts' offense in 2010. Collie is a nice late round target with upside to become a fantasy starter if injuries occur, and there is virtually no downside when anybody named Manning is throwing you the ball.
Decker, the Broncos' possession receiver of the future, who is coming off Lisfranc foot surgery, missed all of the pre-draft workouts and post draft OTA's but is on schedule to be ready for training camp. Denver selected the University of Minnesota product in the 3rd round of the NFL Draft, and Decker has a chance to make an immediate impact with Brandon Marshall now partying on South Beach with Wade, Bosh, and LeBron. Marshall's replacement, 1st round pick Demaryius Thomas, is expected to start immediately. So with Eddie Royal likely relegated to special teams, the only competition on the roster are journeymen Jabar Gaffney, Brandon Stokley, and Brandon Lloyd; Decker has a chance to earn a starting job, and has potential to put up solid fantasy numbers especially in point-per-reception formats as a rookie this season.
Decker has everything an ideal slot receiver needs to be successful at the next level: he is fast, tall, physical, has great hands, and catches the ball very well in traffic. Decker and Thomas are the future starting wide outs for Josh McDaniels offense, its just a matter of time, and whether or not Eddie Royal is properly utilized in 2010 (back in the slot where he belongs). Someone in Denver is going to have to pick up some of the targets that normally went Brandon Marshall's way. In the late rounds, why not take a chance on Decker; if he performs well in training camp he could turn out to be a major steal for fantasy owners.
Super sleeper alert! Doucet is expected to be the number three wide receiver in Arizona this season behind Larry Fitzgerald and Steve Breaston. Doucet is also entering his third season, which is typically when wide receivers experience a breakout year. Doucet displayed his dynamic talents during the 2009 postseason in which he led the Cardinals in receiving in two playoff games with 14 catches for 145 yards and two touchdowns. Anquan Boldin did not play in the game, and Doucet shined in the number three role in his absence.
Fantasy owners certainly need to keep Doucet on their radar screens and snag the former LSU product in the late rounds of fantasy drafts, because his value will sky rocket if he passes Steve Breaston for a starting job; at worst, Doucet will provide decent fantasy numbers as a slot receiver this year for Arizona.