2013 Outlook: Lloyd wasn't a Chad-Ochocinco-level disaster for the Patriots last year, but considering the hype his union with Tom Brady generated, 911 yards and four TDs were a disappointment. More concerning is that the Pats trashed Lloyd's personality before they released him, calling him "erratic" and suggesting he has a clinical problem. At press time, he was still a free agent and considering he's played for six teams in his 10 seasons, we're concerned a good offense might not think he's worth the chemistry risk. But Lloyd has shown he can be an explosive deep threat in the right system.
2013 Outlook: Sometimes we don't get the Titans offense. Wright was 74th among all WRs in average yards at the catch last year, third-to-last among qualified receivers. Isn't this the same kid who racked up 1,663 yards his final season at Baylor, including eight games where he had a gain of at least 36 yards? This is not a player we'd mark for screen and dump-off duty. Wright, Kenny Britt and rookie Justin Hunter would make an intimidating WR trio with open-field chops, though to achieve fantasy glory they'll all require Jake Locker to make a leap forward.
2013 Outlook: During the '12 season, Boldin put up stats you'd expect from a receiver on his career's downside. Then he posted one of the best WR postseasons in history (22 catches, 380 yards, four TDs), convincing the casual fan he's still in his prime. Now Boldin lands in San Francisco, where Jim Harbaugh has raved about him. But this is a player who had seven combined TDs the past two years while failing to eclipse 1,000 yards in either season. Michael Crabtree's torn Achilles is going to put pressure on Boldin to produce, but we're not optimistic that's enough to make Boldin more than a flex option.
2013 Outlook: The Texans have told us they've fixed the hole at their No. 2 WR spot a dozen times over the past decade. This time we might actually believe them. Hopkins is a first-round pick with terrific hands and the toughness to run any route, anywhere. Draftniks compare this kid to Roddy White, which is high praise. It seems unlikely that Lestar Jean or Keshawn Martin would offer much impediment to Hopkins claiming a role in the starting lineup opposite Andre Johnson. Of course, Houston is so run-oriented, the fantasy upside of that role is shaky.
2013 Outlook: Danario Alexander made some folks look foolish last season. While Floyd and Robert Meachem were floundering, DX stepped in and ascended to the Chargers' No. 1 WR job, leaving the others to fight for scraps. That's particularly frustrating for Floyd, who goads fantasy owners every year with his raw talent, then suffers an injury that renders him useless. Nobody looks scarier in a uniform than the 6-foot-5, 225-pound, 4.50-running Floyd, but he's never topped 856 yards or six TDs in a season. And with rookie Keenan Allen joining San Diego's receiving corps, things behind Alexander look more jumbled than ever.
2013 Outlook: Jeffery showed flashes as a rookie. Despite missing six games with a balky knee, he played with more explosiveness (four 30-yard catches) than expected from a guy many had pegged as a possession receiver, plus character concerns didn't rear their head. But beware expecting too much from any Bears receiver not named Brandon Marshall. Chicago's o-line is still a question mark, and Jay Cutler has never made a fantasy star from an ancillary receiver. Still, if you're looking to scratch a lottery ticket late, Jeffery might be your guy. At 6-foot-3 and 216 pounds, he could emerge in the red zone.
2013 Outlook: Roberts was respectable in the first half of '12, but he vanished as the Cardinals' QBs got worse. This year, Carson Palmer gives all Arizona's aerial weapons a better chance, but Roberts has usage concerns. Larry Fitzgerald is the obvious No. 1 WR, and last year's first-round draft choice, Michael Floyd, will see time. Our guess is that to begin the season, Fitzgerald and Roberts play in two-wideout sets, with Roberts bumping to the slot when the Cards go three-wide. Roberts and Floyd may wind up canceling each other out on a game-by-game basis.
2013 Outlook: Floyd had a strong finish to his rookie year, with 15 catches for 213 yards and a score against the Bears and Niners in the season's final two weeks. But to that point, it had been a rough go for the first-round pick. In the season's first seven games, Floyd saw three targets or fewer six times. The advent of Carson Palmer and Bruce Arenas to Arizona should help make the Cardinals' downfield passing game more legit. Floyd is 6-foot-3 and runs sub-4.5 so a breakout is possible, but he'll probably have to split targets with Andre Roberts.
2013 Outlook: It seems like a long time ago, but Holmes actually looked strong last September. Through four games, he was on pace for 80 grabs and 1,088 yards, but then he suffered a Lisfranc fracture that required multiple surgeries, at which time the Jets offense drifted away. This is a tough rehab for a wideout; cutting speed and quickness are often slow to return. With this injury potentially lingering well into training camp, and with rookie Geno Smith likely to start at QB, it's hard to imagine that this September will look anything like the last one for Holmes.
2013 Outlook: Last August, Hartline had to overcome a gangrenous appendix and a calf injury just to avoid the PUP list, yet somehow wound up becoming only the eighth man to record a 1,000-yard receiving season in Dolphins history. Given the fact that Mike Wallace got $30 million guaranteed from Miami this winter, Hartline's days as a No. 1 WR are probably done. But he has decent flanker size with good straight-ahead speed. If Ryan Tannehill makes a leap forward in '13, Hartline is positioned nicely as one of his top receivers, especially in the end zone, where he saw 12 targets last year.
2013 Outlook: Tate is a playmaker who doesn't get to make many plays. His game has legit speed and open-field danger to it, but Tate tied for 63rd in WR targets last year and it's hard to imagine he's about to become a focal point of the Seattle offense. After all, the team just traded a first-round draft pick for Percy Harvin and paid him $25.5 million guaranteed. Harvin should mostly play from the slot with Tate and Sidney Rice out wide, but realize that in '12 the Seahawks were 26th in three-WR snaps. Tate will bust big ones, but also be quite inconsistent.
2013 Outlook: Randle is probably a tick too slow to ever be an elite NFL wideout, but Giants coaches like his hands and his ability to fight off press coverage. He flashed a few times in his rookie season, but it was disappointing that Randle could never fully get in the mix with Hakeem Nicks so limited; this year, Domenik Hixon and Ramses Barden are gone, so the No. 3 WR job is Randle's for the taking. With his size and leaping prowess, this kid has Dwayne Bowe upside. This year, however, he'll continue to learn behind Nicks and Victor Cruz.
2013 Outlook: We questioned Blackmon as the No. 5 overall pick last year, and nothing we saw in '12 makes us change that assessment. He did improve, especially when Chad Henne took over under center. But anyone expecting Blackmon to be a burner will be disappointed. He's good after the catch, but he was third in the NFL with 10 drops and more than a quarter of his yards came in one game. Worst of all, he'll be suspended for the first four games of '13 for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy. Cecil Shorts is the Jags WR to own this year.
2013 Outlook: Moss took a pay cut to return to D.C., and the reason is obvious. If RGIII is back healthy, Moss would be a part of the best offensive core he's had in eight seasons with the Redskins. In '12, he posted a respectable top-40 fantasy season among WRs, but those results were skewed by eight touchdowns on just 41 total grabs. History tells us that ratio is unlikely to repeat. Assuming his TD total crashes back to earth and his yardage stays in the sub-600 range, Moss won't belong near many starting fantasy lineups.
2013 Outlook: Last May, the Texans released Jones, a perennial fantasy bust. Within a week, the Ravens had signed him to a two-year, $7 million deal that seemed way above the going rate. Sure enough Jones only caught 30 passes during the regular season. But he was stellar on kickoff returns and made two huge plays in Baltimore's Super Bowl run, and now he looks like the logical inheritor of the departed Anquan Boldin's role. But beware of trusting Jones too much: He's cratered in enticing situations before, and this winter second-year man Tommy Streeter has gotten some pub as a possible contributor.