With training camp in full gear, 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.
Brandon LaFell: Carolina Panthers
With Cam Newton only expected to grow in his sophomore season, he’s bound to throw more often this season and one of the main beneficiaries could be LaFell.
While no doubt, Steve Smith will still be Newton’s #1 target, LaFell has the chance to get his share of targets as the Panthers’ offense looks to be a unit on the upswing.
LaFell, who is entering his third year in the NFL, has all the prerequisite skills to be a great NFL wide receiver. With the way he finished last season, expect LaFell to take his game to the next level this season.
Greg Little: Cleveland Browns
Although the Browns’ offense is-to put it kindly-a work in progress, Little has the chance to carve out a niche for himself and help fantasy owners in the process.
Little will be Brandon Weeden’s main man and the rookie quarterback looked good connecting with Little in Thursday’s night’s game against the Packers. On the night, Little had four catches for 45 yards.
Little has excellent size and speed and it’s only a matter of time before he breaks out and realizes his full potential. Just entering his second year in the league, expect Little to make the next step in his game and blossom into a dependable fantasy force.
The only thing holding Little back is the pathetic offense he has to be a part of of. However, with Trent Richardson opening things up in the running game, Little could get things going in the receiving game.
Jonathan Baldwin: Kansas City Chiefs
Baldwin is another second-year receiver who has the makeup to be a great receiver and late-round steal.
Baldwin’s rookie season was filled with inconsistencies but that could largely be blamed on the fact that the Chiefs lacked any continuity at the quarterback as Matt Cassel, Kyle Orton and Tyler Palko all started games at some point last year.
With that kind of uncertainty, Baldwin looked lost on most occasions and his 2011 season for all intents and purposes was a lost season
The former-first round pick has a great NFL-body and it’s all about his maturation this year. As long as Cassel is healthy, Baldwin has the opportunity to do some damage.
Follow me on Twitter @Stacdemon