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Fantasy Sports Fantasy Football

2013 Fantasy Football: Ted Ginn Jr. A Dark Horse Sleeper

Mitch Stringer USA TODAY Sports

Known more as a kick return specialist than a wide receiver, Ted Ginn Jr. is looking to prove himself this year with the Carolina Panthers. Ginn was original drafted by the Miami Dolphins with the 9th overall pick in the first round of the 2007 NFL Draft. As a former college track athlete who ran a 4.28 time in the 40 yard dash, Ginn was lauded for his lightning fast speed. The biggest knock on Ginn has always been his questionable hands and concerns over sloppy route running.

In Miami his flipper like hands never managed to catch on for more than a special teams role where he his speed was an asset in kickoff and punt returns. In the Spring of 2010 the Dolphins traded Ginn to the San Francisco 49ers for a 5th round pick in the 2010 NFL Draft.

Ginn never was able to play into the role of a starting wide receiver in San Francisco.  Some could argue that poor quarterback play was also a factor in his lack of offensive production. Ginn, however, continued to have success in the return game.

At the end of last season Ginn decided to leave the 49ers in hopes of finding a team that would give him the chance to demonstrate improved hands and route running ability. He signed on with the Panthers to specialize in the return game and compete for the No. 3 receiver spot against free agent Domenik Hixon.

Hixon has been nursing a hamstring injury through the preseason and showed poor chemistry with Cam Newton. Meanwhile, Ginn has been dynamic in the return game, including a 74-yard punt return for a touchdown. Playing most of his snaps with the second team, through four preseason games Ginn has caught nine passes for 214 yards and two touchdowns, including an 87-yarder.

Brandon LaFell has struggled through most of his career to live up to expectations. So far through four preseason games playing with the first string offense he has only managed four receptions for 42 yards and one touchdown. If LaFell continues to struggle to find chemistry with Cam Newton in Mike Shula’s offense, we just might see Ted Ginn Jr. promoted to the role of the No. 2 receiver.

If you haven’t drafted yet, I would suggest Ginn as a late round flier, especially if your league awards points for returned kicks. If you have drafted already, he’s worth dropping a backup defense or second tight end to make room for a waiver wire pick up.

Eric Beuning is a Fantasy Football writer for RantSports.com.

Follow him on Twitter @ericbeuning or add him to your network on Google.