With the draft behind us and OTA's kicking off this spring. Some of us are dusting off our fantasy tools and starting to read up on what's ahead for 2013. Like I've always said, it's never too early to start getting ready for your fantasy draft. As the summer approaches you will start to go on vacations, attend backyard cookouts and even take care of those house projects. Before you know it, the draft will be here and we will be monitoring preseason games for breakouts, position battles and injury updates.
At this point in the NFL season, we tend to see more updates from the police blotter than we get from teams. In addition, there are still cuts to be made. Traditionally, when we get into June, we will see some of the veterans get let go. This can create some good sleeper opportunities so pay attention to those transactions.
What I like to do when I start my preparation for the new fantasy season is to take a look at how positions are going to shake out for the new season. I start with the wide receiver position. I look at how the third-year wide receivers did in 2012 and then look at the receivers that will be entering their third season for 2013.
For those that don't know, the theory of the third year wide receiver is one method in fantasy football that is used to select players that have the potential to have a breakout season. Unlike running backs, receivers typically take a little more time to learn the offense and develop. The magical third year is when it all clicks for these players and can be a fantasy gold mine. Over the last 10 season, some players that have excelled in year three are Braylon Edwards who had 1,289 receiving yards and 16 touchdowns in 2007, Javon Walker who had 1,382 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns in 2004 and Chad Johnson who had 1,442 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns in 2003.
Last season, Dez Bryant led all third year wide receivers with 1,382 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns, finishing 3rd overall among wide receivers with 297 fantasy points in PPR formats. Behind him at #5 and #9 were fellow third-year wide receivers Demaryius Thomas with 291 fantasy points and Eric Decker with 261 fantasy points. Victor Cruz who had a down year compared to 2011, when he had 1,536 receiving yards, still put up 10 touchdowns and finished 14th overall among wide receivers with 248 fantasy points.
These are the players we hope to draft when we look at third year wide receivers. However, not all receivers make that leap in their third...