As training camp begins in earnest, it will once again be time for fantasy football drafts. AKA: the most wonderful time of the year.
You can never be too early in preparation for your draft.
In this column, I will look into three key, impactful wide receivers to keep your eyes on this year. Mind you, this is not the three best wide receivers options; hence you won’t see Calvin Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald listed here. No, the following three receivers are ones poised to break out and make a significant impact in 2012.
Julio Jones: Atlanta Falcons
Playing alongside Roddy White, Jones’ rookie season seemed like a breeze as he pounced on the opportunities given to him, as he received many single-coverage looks and capitalized on them.
While Jones had a solid rookie campaign (54 receptions for 959 yards and eight touchdowns), expect him to post even better numbers this year, as the Falcons have fully morphed into a passing juggernaut.
Learning from White will continue to do wonders for Jones and he’ll benefit from teams double-teaming White once again.
Jones is no doubt worthy of being drafted as a No. 2 receiver, with the upside for a lot more.
Eric Decker: Denver Broncos
Just as I pointed out in last week’s column in regards to Demaryius Thomas, now that Decker has Peyton Manning as his quarterback, expect his numbers to increase dramatically too.
Even with the enigmatic Tim Tebow as his quarterback Decker still put up solid numbers (44 receptions for 612 yards and eight touchdowns), so the chance for an across-the-board production increase for Decker seems inevitable.
Entering his third-year in the NFL, Decker still has not reached his full potential and Manning will make sure he reaches that promise.
Doug Baldwin: Seattle Seahawks
There is a lot of upside to Baldwin’s game and he’s under-the-radar receiver to keep your eye on this year.
Baldwin showed a lot of promise in his rookie year although his stats didn’t reflect it (51 receptions for 788 yards and four touchdowns). Now that Baldwin has Matt Flynn as his quarterback, expect the two of them to develop a nice rapport in Seattle.
There is a lot of room for growth with Baldwin and it all starts this year.
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