2014 Outlook: One positive takeaway from Cruz's disappointing 2013 campaign: His fantasy floor is actually quite high. A depleted Giants WR corps, a late-season injury and all those Eli Manning interceptions meant that Mr. Salsa didn't get to do a single TD dance after Week 4. Not surprisingly, he posted only one double-digit fantasy game over that same span. And yet Cruz ranked among the top 25 WRs in yards (998), targets (121) and receptions (73) -- and was only three points from breaking into the top 25 in fantasy points (115, 28th). The Giants' new West Coast scheme is a perfect fit for Cruz's skill set. He'll be dancing again in no time.
2014 Outlook: For years it seemed that White was an indestructible workhorse wideout, but that notion crashed to earth in Weeks 1-12 last year. White was on the field for eight of those contests and posted an abysmal 2.62 fantasy points per game (ranked 104th). Granted, he was battling injuries for most of that stretch, and once White healed up, he got back to his old form, racking up 61 points in Weeks 13-17. That was a top-10 total for that time frame, and it offers hope that he can return to that level. Still, don't count on White's being an iron man for a full season.
2014 Outlook: Want to know why RG3 lobbied D-Jax to come to the nation's capital? Look no further than Jackson's sizzling downfield numbers last season. He finished fifth among WRs with 905 vertical yards and tied for first with eight vertical touchdowns. Those figures led to 132 fantasy points via vertical throws, a mark topped by only one WR: Josh Gordon. It just so happens that Jackson inhabits an offense in desperate need of a deep threat. The Redskins managed only 1,575 vertical passing yards last season, 27th in the NFL. Right now, we have him as a high-end WR2 with the potential to pop as a WR1 if he and RG3 can jell quickly.
2014 Outlook: One point. That was Harvin's fantasy output in his first year in Seattle. After being hampered by a hip injury for most of the regular season, Harvin showed off his versatility in the Super Bowl with a kickoff-return TD and a game-leading 45 rushing yards. It remains to be seen whether he can play with consistency -- or stay on the field -- for 16 games. He's never posted 1,000 yards receiving or played 600 offensive snaps in a season, but there's a reason we have him ranked in our top 20. Harvin can break the game open at any moment; over the past two years, his 8.4 yards after the catch is tops among WRs with 50-plus targets.
2014 Outlook: After missing the first 11 games of 2013 with an Achilles tear, Crabtree showed some rust in the final five games of the regular season, averaging just 6.4 fantasy points. But he put on a show in the playoffs. His 11 catches of 10 or more yards -- and four gains of 20 or more -- prorate to top-10-caliber totals over the course of a 16-game season. It was further proof that when Crabtree is healthy, he's the primary target of QB Colin Kaepernick.
2014 Outlook: Last season Smith averaged 17.4 yards per catch, behind only Josh Gordon (18.9) and Calvin Johnson (17.8) among players who caught 50-plus balls. Not bad company. The only thing that kept Smith from WR1 status? He faced so much double coverage that Joe Flacco targeted him only 130 times, tied for 20th. The addition of Steve Smith and the renewed health of Dennis Pitta should make the double-teams a little less frequent.
2014 Outlook: Floyd has flown mostly under the fantasy radar since being drafted 13th overall in 2012. But consider this: His 14.6 yards per catch the last two seasons is better than that of guys like A.J. Green, Dez Bryant and ' Larry Fitzgerald. In fact, it isn't a huge stretch to think this will be the season Floyd supplants Fitz as the Cards' No. 1 fantasy receiver. Floyd led Arizona in vertical targets (64) and vertical receiving yards (762), and his 34 vertical receptions was tied for eighth most among WRs. Fitzgerald will get drafted first, but Floyd has a very good chance of providing a better fantasy return on investment.
2014 Outlook: After one season, Patterson's special-teams prowess is already legendary in NFL circles. He averaged more than 30 yards per kick return and took two the distance from 100-plus yards. But on offense, Patterson had only seven catches of at least 20 yards and averaged an underwhelming 10.4 yards per reception. The reason? His 1.53 vertical targets per game ranked 92nd in the NFL. That's an inexplicably low number for a guy with Patterson's speed. We're betting that changes in 2014 -- and when it does, watch out.
2014 Outlook: Edelman's first season as Wes Welker's body double had its moments -- both good and bad. As expected, he dominated on short passes, ranking third in fantasy points (95) and sixth in receiving yards (656). His biggest problem was consistency. After compiling 34 catches for 319 yards through Week 4, Edelman had only 18 catches for 181 yards over his next six games. But it's hard to quibble too much with a season that netted 105 catches and 1,056 yards. Edelman will be a strong contributor in standard leagues and a cornerstone player on your PPR roster.
2014 Outlook: An ACL injury caused Maclin to miss the Chip Kelly Express last season. And for all the talk about Philly's prolific run game, the Eagles also showed a willingness to chuck the ball downfield. A lot. Their 70 stretch vertical attempts in 2013 tied for fifth most in the league. With DeSean Jackson now in Washington, many of those targets will go to Maclin, who's more than up to the task. In 2012, he tallied 22 vertical receptions for 540 yards and 5 TDs, which outpaced Jackson's totals (19 for 449 and 2 TDs). As long as his recovery goes as planned, Maclin isn't a bad mid-draft pickup.
2014 Outlook: Here's a fun fact: Hilton had only two games with more than 15 fantasy points last season. Two! Granted, he was absolutely breathtaking in those two games, shredding Seattle and Houston for 12 catches, 261 yards, 5 TDs and 56 fantasy points. The problem? He had only 76 points in the other 14 games combined. So which Hilton will show up this season? More than likely, he will probably be a mixed bag again. That's just the reality for a receiver who's so dependent on big plays to put up double-digit fantasy points.
2014 Outlook: Those looking for some positives in Sanders' metrics can point to his career highs in receptions (67), yards (740), targets (112) and TDs (6) last season. Those fishing for negatives can point to his 11 yards per reception, a mark that ranked him 32nd out of 34 wide receivers with 100 or more targets. Teaming up with Peyton Manning should lead to more of the positives, but competing with Demaryius Thomas, Wes Welker and Julius Thomas for targets could stall some of Sanders' statistical momentum. However, with Welker gone for the first four games as well as his continued concussion issues, Sanders could see a few more targets come his way.
2014 Outlook: Before last season, Wayne hadn't missed a game since his rookie year ' in 2001. That trend continued through Week 7, and he put up decent numbers -- 38 catches for 503 yards and 2 TDs. But a torn ACL cost Wayne the rest of his season and will likely rob him of some of his remaining explosiveness. That, combined with the continued development of T.Y. Hilton, could cap Wayne's fantasy value. But remember: since Andrew Luck arrived in Indy, Wayne has been targeted on 30.6 percent of his routes run, ninth highest in the league.
2014 Outlook: For Colston, 2011 seems like a long time ago. Back then, his younger legs could still burn secondaries with ease. Despite missing two games that year, he scored 4 TDs on throws of 20-plus yards, which was tied for fourth best in the league. In the two seasons since, he's had only one such score, reaffirming that Colston needs to up his red zone game (just 3 TDs inside the 20 last season) before he gets back into the WR2 conversation. With rookie first-rounder Brandin Cooks in town, Colston will face even more competition for targets in 2014.
2014 Outlook: Tate may have been brought in to be a complementary receiver, but he's still one of the league's most dangerous deep threats. Last season he led all WRs in vertical air yards per target (26.2) and ranked second in vertical yards per reception (31). Since he'll play opposite Calvin Johnson, no defense is going to consistently load Tate's side of the field. So what's the bad news? No Lions WR other than Johnson has received more than 90 targets the last two seasons. And without consistent looks, Tate's upside is limited.