The NFL Draft class of 2013 was known as the draft with no elite talent at the top, but one of the best drafts ever for depth. The wide receiver group was one of the strongest of recent years, yet I was somewhat surprised there weren’t more drafted then there were. However, the landing spots of a few of these players should translate into fantasy football gold. Here are my thoughts on a the 2013 wide receiver class and how they will make an impact for fantasy teams.
Tavon Austin: Just the weapon that the Rams and Sam Bradford needed. The most versatile player on the roster, and will be used in many ways. He should be a target for most fantasy owners, as he will be putting up numbers year one.
DeAndre Hopkins: My number one player, and wide receiver for fantasy in this draft class. He isn’t flashy, but is the most reliable pass catcher in the draft. He will immediately become the second option to Andre Johnson. I predict Hopkins to have the longest career of all of these receivers. That said, there are other players that do offer a higher ceiling, but also a much lower floor.
Cordarrelle Patterson: The ultimate upside play. Patterson should step in as the number two for the Vikings and will compete for the number one with Greg Jennings in a few years. The versatility of Hopkins means he will be active early on. He is far from a polished players, but could have a bright future.
Justin Hunter: This is the future Kenny Britt replacement if you ask me. Hunter has the ability to become a big-time number one target for the Titans. There are improvements that need to be made, but he should at least see some playing time this season. At the very least, in a limited role.
Robert Woods: Very smooth route runner that will complement Stevie Johnson. Woods will play underneath while TJ Graham and Marquis Goodwin go deep and Stevie Johnson does everything else. Should see plenty of playing time, although I’m not sure he puts up great fantasy numbers year one.
Aaron Dobson: The Pats need receivers in the worst way. Aaron Dobson fills this void. A big target that runs great routes. Could step into the number one spot on New England’s wide receiver depth chart. The future is bright for Dobson.
Terrance Williams: Williams is still a work in progress. Doesn’t know the full route tree, only the deep nine route. That could, however, mean he sees some playing time this year, working his way into a number three role.
Keenan Allen: Once thought of as a first round pick, he slid to the middle of round three. If he can stay healthy, Allen has a shot to become the instant number one starter for the Chargers. Not a ton of upside, but a good option for PPR leagues.
Marquise Goodwin: SPEED is what Goodwin brings to Buffalo. Still learning the game, but a great player. A similar player to teammate TJ Graham, which makes me wonder if Buffalo isn’t happy with Graham’s development. Goodwin could have marginal fantasy production for 2013.
Markus Wheaton: Wheaton is the Mike Wallace replacement. Almost exactly the same style, size and ability. Instant starter, and could become a great fantasy option this year if Big Ben stays healthy.
Stedman Bailey: To me Bailey and teammate Tavon Austin are very similar in style and what they are able to do. I think this also is a message to Brian Quick and Chris Givens to start producing or they are gone. I’m sure Jeff Fisher will find a way to use him, but i think Bailey may be more of a stash player for the future.
Ace Sanders: Small, fast, and quick return specialist and slot receiver. I don’t see much of a fantasy impact with Sanders. The Jaguars added a prospect that has return experience rather than forcing a player to take on that role.
Josh Boyce: Filling yet another hole. Josh Boyce is a very underrated receiver. Similar to the Pats previous receiver pick Dobson, Boyce is a good player and a big target. Should be a starter. As far as fantasy production goes, I would roll the dice with Tom Brady being his quarterback.
Chris Harper: The Seahawks were in desperate need of a pass catcher, even after bringing in Percy Harvin. Harper is a big, touch, physical receiver that can fill a role that Seattle is lacking. Could work his way into the number two job, and become a red zone threat.
Quinton Patton: Great hands, can play in the slot and return kicks. Should see some playing time this year, and eventually carve out a full time role on offense. Patton is an intense competitor, he’ll do his best to get noticed early on. Project player
Denard Robinson: Not sure what position Robinson will be classified as for fantasy. Could have some upside if he is listed as a running back, but I don’t see much fantasy value for him as anything else.
Kenny Stills: Hints of a downfield threat similar to Devery Henderson, but does a better job finding holes in zone coverage. Most of his routes are running intermediate patterns or going across the middle. The guy made a living running 10-15 yard zone killers. Should stick with the team as a number four or five receiver. More of a dynasty stash at this point.
Tavarres King: Downfield threat with good body control and a great catch radius. It’s a crowded receiving corps in Denver, but I have high hopes for King in the future. A must have dynasty stash.
Corey Fuller: Still learning the game with only a few years of football experience. He could compete for some playing time early on though, as Detroit has Calvin Johnson and not much else.
Ryan Swope: Excellent slot receiver that could replace Andre Roberts at some point. The big issue with Swope is his injury and concussion history along with small hands. A three year starter at Texas A&M who found the endzone 23 times with over 70 catches per year.
Justin Brown: Developmental receiver that may see some action in the future. Brown wins at the catch point, but he’ll have trouble separating at the next level. He’ll compete for a spot at the bottom of the roster and try and contribute on special teams.
Alan Bonner: Similar style to what the Texans already have in Keshawn Martin. Might do some returning. 195th Pick overall, Bonner will compete to make the team. Special teamer, no fantasy value at this point.
Cobi Hamilton: Hamilton made some huge plays at Arkansas but needs to improve to make it in the NFL. It also doesn’t help that he landed in a crowded situation for receivers. Hamilton can play inside and outside receiver positions. He does have upside, just needs to find his role.
Brice Butler: Another Al Davis special right here, big and fast. Could compete for some playing time, as Oakland does need receivers to step up. Keep an eye on him as he could become a nice sleeper.
Charles Johnson: Super sleeper. Developmental player that will see limited action this year, but could replace James Jones if he departs next season. We have seen how good the Packers are at developing their young wideouts, and I expect the same with Charles Johnson.
Kevin Dorsey: Another Al Davis size/speed player that has some injury history. Will need to develop for a year or two and remain healthy to make an impact. Newest Packers WR is very raw, and can be considered a developmental player.
Marquess Wilson: This former Washington State wideout could be a nice addition for the Bears. At 6’4 with decent speed Wilson could become the number three WR but will need to get his head on straight. Wildcard with upside, needs to commit fully to football.
Aaron Mellette: Yet another fantasy sleeper. A big red zone threat that is great at high pointing the ball. This is the kind of player the Ravens need in this offense, and he will compete with Tommy Streeter for the number two and three roles.