In Super Bowl XLVIII, Doug Baldwin secured a team-high five catches for 66 yards and a touchdown; the Seattle Seahawks wide receiver made Denver Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey look like he was in slow motion throughout the entire game.
Baldwin appeared to be at the top of his game towards the end of the season and throughout the playoffs. However, it took him a little while to put out steady production in fantasy football in the 2013 NFL season. Baldwin gained little attention on the waiver wire in the first two months of this past regular season, and during those two months, he only grabbed one touchdown. However, in the second half of the year, Baldwin came to life and hauled in four touchdowns over the final eight games.
Five touchdowns may not seem like enough production from a receiver to be considered to be a fantasy football starter, but fantasy general managers should look at Baldwin as a receiver on the rise. Even though Seattle employs a run first offense, he looked more comfortable in the second half of the season and he started to gain more looks from quarterback Russell Wilson.
Due to his second half surge, Baldwin became waiver wire gold and a WR-3 option that fantasy owners could trust. Heading into 2014, Baldwin will certainly flirt with WR-3 status again. In 2013, he averaged 15.6 yards per catch, along with his five touchdowns; if he puts up numbers similar to that in 2014, fantasy general managers would be happy to take Baldwin with a late-round pick. The opportunity for advancement would increase for Baldwin if impending free agent Golden Tate decides to sign somewhere other than Seattle.
Baldwin’s performance in the Super Bowl has definitely put some extra attention on his fantasy stock heading into next season, but he could definitely be a sneaky late-round pick that could add necessary depth to forward thinking fantasy owners in 2014.