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Fantasy Football 2013: 5 Wide Receivers Who Will Slide On Draft Day

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Fantasy Football 2013: 5 Wide Receivers Who Will Slide On Draft Day

Bruce Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

No other position in fantasy football will have players drop in the draft as often as wide receiver. It's a crowded position with only a select few separating themselves from the pack. The only draft strategy more frequently used than being patient with wide receivers is not being patient with running backs, and the strategies are often used concurrently.

Common or not, it is a good plan. It’s the most repairable position to mess up in the draft. Last season, four of the top 25 receivers went undrafted in most leagues, as did nine of the top 40. If you watch the waiver wire closely, you should be able to grab a serviceable WR2, or at the very least get a decent WR3. As the most replaceable position, people tend to find it easier to let go of them in trades as well.

But being replaceable isn’t the only reason some of them slip. Receivers also have certain qualities that GMs like to avoid, and one of them is old age. Everybody loves upside, and when a player’s best years are behind him, it doesn’t give you the same draft-day rush as the guy with the big potential. High ceilings excite people a lot more than steady production.

My personal favorite reason why a player will slide is personal bias. There are going to be some drafts in Green Bay in which the hardcore fans won’t want to draft Brandon Marshall, and certainly won’t touch Greg Jennings (not that they should). If you’re in a draft full of Oakland Raiders fans, take advantage of it if Dwayne Bowe drops. Draft with your head, not your heart.

Moving to a weaker offense, injury concerns and immaturity can also be factors; but whatever the reason, some wide receivers are just viewed as the ugly puppy in the pet store. Here are five that will likely take a little longer than expected to find a home.

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5. Greg Jennings

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Jennings is projected to go about four rounds later than last season and people still want nothing to do with him. He is injury prone and moving from one of the best quarterback situations in the NFL to one of the worst. I'm not sure if there is a bigger downgrade possible than going from Aaron Rodgers to either Christian Ponder or Matt Cassel.

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4. Roddy White

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White is the highest projected wide receiver who is considered the second-best fantasy option on his team, and nobody wants to spend an early pick on second best. The fact he will be 32 in November also seems to be scaring away GMs. His upside may not be as high as Julio Jones’ but he is as steady as they come. White has finished in the top 10 at his position for five straight years.

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3. Vincent Jackson

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Nobody has more of a boom or bust reputation than Jackson, but complaining about a wide receiver being boom or bust is like complaining about water being wet. You would be hard-pressed to find a receiver who doesn’t have at least a few off games. Jackson is a big-play guy but is also capable of going across the middle. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers plan on taking advantage of all of his abilities this season and if he slides, I’m definitely taking him.

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2. Reggie Wayne

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Wayne has nothing but positives going for him in the upcoming season with the exception of one issue — the fact he will be 35 in November. While it is a cause for concern, he is still a solid WR2. Andrew Luck’s go-to guy had career-highs in both receptions (106) and targets (194) last season, and should get plenty of work in 2013 as well.

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1. Wes Welker

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Welker left the perfect situation for a receiver with his skill set when he ditched the New England Patriots, and most drafters are aware of that. There is a good chance Welker turns out to be the third-best option with the Denver Broncos, which would make him by far the highest projected No. 3 in the draft.

With two talented, 6-foot-3 targets on the outside in Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas, Welker’s end zone looks will likely be few and far between as well. The 32-year-old is full of question marks this season, which makes his slide in the draft understandable.

Aaron Charles is a Kansas City Chiefs writer for Follow him on twitter @aaroncharleskc or add him to your network on Google