2013 fantasy football profiles and projections (WRs 17-32)

Statistical projections are provided by EA Sports/NFL.com

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Once considered a No. 1 fantasy wideout across the board, Bowe has seen his value and production decline in each of the last three seasons. Things really went south in 2012, as he missed three games due to injuries and finished 47th in fantasy points at his position. In fact, Bowe ended up being waiver-wire fodder at season's end in countless leagues. At 28 and still in the prime of his career, however, Bowe remains capable of being a useful and productive option - especially in the new pass-laden offense of coach Andy Reid. He'll also have a more consistent quarterback under center in Alex Smith, who doesn't commit nearly the same number of mistakes and turnovers as his predecessor, Matt Cassel. So while a return to his monstrous 2010 totals isn't likely, Bowe should still post improved numbers across the board this season.

Amendola has the skills and abilities to be an absolute fantasy monster in PPR leagues, but his proneness to injuries has hindered his rise to stardom. The Texas Tech product missed most of the 2011 campaign with an injured elbow, and was forced out of five games last season with shoulder and foot ailments. Still, he was on pace for 90-plus catches based on his 2012 totals. Now in New England, Amendola's fantasy appeal has never been higher entering fantasy drafts. With the potential to post 90-plus catches in an offense led by superstar Tom Brady, Amendola is now locked in as a No. 2 fantasy wideout with added value in PPR formats. While there is some risk due to his recent lack of durability, it's going to be tough to pass on a player who will be filling a slot position that has been extremely fruitful in New England.

Smith opened last season on fire, averaging better than 15 fantasy points in his first three games. Unfortunately, the Maryland product was unable to remain productive on a consistent basis. In fact, Smith scored double digits just four times in his final 12 contests. He still has plenty of upside at the age of 24, however, and the fact that he's entering his third NFL season - a year when so many wideouts have broken out in the past - makes Smith an interesting option for fantasy leaguers. With the skills to stretch defenses and the absence of Anquan Boldin, who was traded to the Niners, Smith should be in a good position to put up the first 1,000-yard season of his pro career. Overall, the talented wideout is well worth a roll of the dice in the middle rounds as a No. 3 fantasy receiver with the upside to be a top-20 fantasy wideout.

Smith recorded his second straight season with 70-plus catches and over 1,100 yards in 2012, but he found the end zone just four times and scored almost 40 percent of all his fantasy points in the final four weeks of the fantasy season. Regardless, the veteran out of Utah hasn't shown any serious decline in speed or playmaking skills and will remain one of the two best options in the pass attack for quarterback Cam Newton. While he's no longer among the elite fantasy players at his position at the age of 34, Smith is still clearly capable of putting together a nice season in the stat sheets. An attractive selection in drafts as a high-end No. 3 fantasy wide receiver, Smith should clearly be considered in the middle rounds in all formats - as long as you're not expecting him to re-emerge into a superstar wide receiver once again.

Wallace is coming off a disappointing season in the stat sheets, as he recorded decreased reception, yardage and yards-per-catch totals compared to his more impressive 2011 totals. What's more, he failed to finish among the top 10 wideouts based on fantasy points for the first time since 2010. Is this a statistical sign of things to come for the veteran out of Mississippi? Now a member of the Dolphins, Wallace will continue to be asked to stretch defenses and make plays in the vertical pass attack - this time for Ryan Tannehill and not Ben Roethlisberger. Landing in South Florida isn't going to get fantasy owners too excited about Wallace's prospects for the 2013 campaign, and it isn't going to increase in value. Still, he is a young and talented wideout who will still be hard to pass on as a No. 2 option in the middle rounds.

In the fantasy football dictionary under the term "PPR league," a picture of Welker appears. The veteran out of Texas Tech has been a virtual receptions machine since joining the Patriots, catching no fewer than 111 balls in all but one of his six seasons in New England. The one season he failed to reach the 100-catch mark was 2010, when he was coming off a major knee ailment. His move to the Broncos will cause at least a slight decrease in his fantasy appeal, though, as Welker will now be sharing targets with both Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker. Fortunately, he'll have another future Hall of Famer, this time Peyton Manning, throwing him the football. So while he's no longer a viable No. 1 wideout in most fantasy leagues, Welker is still going to be off the board no later than the fifth or sixth round in most drafts.

Garcon suffered through an injury-plagued 2012 season that saw him play in just 10 games while also being limited in another four due to an injured foot. The veteran was productive when he was on the field, though, as Garcon recorded double-digit fantasy points four times and developed into an explosive option in the pass attack for Robert Griffin III. In fact, he still finished among the top 30 players at his position despite missing an extended period of time. Garcon decided to rest the foot rather than have a surgical procedure performed in the offseason, so he will come with at least some level of risk heading in 2013. Barring any setbacks, the Mount Union product should be targeted in the middle rounds as a high-end No. 3 fantasy wideout with the skills and abilities to emerge into a second starter in standard 10-team leagues.

In 2011, Nelson produced a career season with over 1,200 yards and a personal-high 15 touchdowns - those totals helped him finish fourth in fantasy points among wide receivers. Unfortunately, the Kansas State product was unable to follow up that magical season with another productive campaign in 2012. He missed or was limited in several games with knee and hamstring ailments, and ranked a far less attractive 30th in points at his position. Nelson also required a surgical procedure on his knee during training camp, so he's no lock to be back at 100 percent in time for Week 1. Even in a best-case scenario, it's tough to trust him as much more than a borderline No. 2 or 3 fantasy wideout - despite playing in an offense with Aaron Rodgers.

A preseason sleeper on NFL.com in 2012, Decker more than met statistical expectations in his third pro season. The Minnesota product posted career bests in receptions, yards and touchdowns - in fact, Decker scored the second-most times among wide receivers. A big part of the reason for Decker's success was the presence of Peyton Manning, who has made a career of helping wideouts put up monstrous numbers - just ask Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne and Brandon Stokley. There is some cause for concern for owners expecting Decker to repeat his top-seven finish at his position based on fantasy points, as the addition of Wes Welker is going to take away targets and opportunities from Decker. That moves him out of the discussion as a true No. 1 fantasy wideout for 2013 and makes him more of a No. 2 option in both standard and PPR leagues.

Jackson has long been one of the most overrated wide receivers in fantasy football. His yardage and touchdown totals have both dropped in each of his last three seasons, culminating in a 2012 campaign that saw him miss a total of five games due to injuries. On a positive note, Jackson is going to see a different role in new coach Chip Kelly's offense. In fact, he'll be asked to become a more dynamic all-purpose player who can handle the football in several capacities. He will also no longer be seen as just a deep threat, as the California product will see more opportunities on screens and possibly even out of the backfield. It's those kind of changes in offensive philosophies, not to mention the loss of Jeremy Maclin, that make Jackson at least somewhat more attractive in fantasy drafts. Consider him in the middle to late rounds as a No. 3 or 4 wide receiver.

Hilton wasn't on the fantasy football radar in most 2012 drafts, but he turned into one of the better waiver-wire pickups of the season. He posted 861 yards and seven touchdowns, while finishing 24th in fantasy points (131.00) among wide receivers. He also had a solid second half of the season, recording four 100-yard contests. A burner who can stretch the field, Hilton also has the advantage of catching passes from a great young quarterback in Andrew Luck. As long as he can hold off Darrius Heyward-Bey for the second spot on the depth chart, he'll be drafted as a No. 4 fantasy wideout in 2013.

Jennings is coming off a pretty forgettable 2012 campaign that saw him miss eight games due to injuries, which also resulted in one of his worst statistical seasons at the NFL level. The veteran out of Western Michigan has now missed a combined 11 games over the last two years, so his level of production and value has started on a downward spiral. That's the exact opposite of what he had accomplished in the previous three seasons, as he averaged 1,223 yards and found the end zone a combined 25 during that span. Now the top option in Minnesota's pass attack, Jennings loses some of his luster solely based on the downgrade at quarterback from Aaron Rodgers to Christian Ponder. Consider him a high-end No. 3 fantasy wideout at some point in the middle rounds, but don't expect him to record huge fantasy numbers as a member of the Vikings.

Shorts wasn't even on the fantasy football radar heading into last season, but he finished as one of the best waiver-wire pickups of the 2012 campaign. The Mount Union product posted just under 1,000 yards with seven touchdowns in 14 games - he also scored double-digit fantasy points in six of seven contests down the stretch before a pair of concussions landed him on injured reserve. Therein lies one of the risks with Shorts, as multiple head injuries are enough to make any player at least somewhat more of a gamble. The Jaguars also have question marks at quarterback, as Blaine Gabbert has been a disappointment at the pro level and could drag his value down. There is upside here, especially with Justin Blackmon suspended for the first four games, but Shorts is no lock to repeat his 2012 success. Consider him in the middle rounds.

Johnson, a veteran wideout out of Kentucky, is coming off his third straight season with 70-plus receptions and 1,000-plus yards. He has seen a decline in touchdowns in each of those campaigns, though, and was far less consistent than in his breakout season of 2010. On a positive note, new coach Doug Marrone will move Johnson into the slot position and will allow him more chances to produce at least the same totals he's had in recent campaigns. The question about Johnson is whether or not he's already reached his statistical ceiling. Since 2010, he's finished with between 76-82 catches and between 1,000 and 1,100 yards - so while his numbers aren't very difficult to predict for 2013, Johnson isn't getting any better from a fantasy standpoint. Overall, he should be considered in the middle rounds as a viable No. 3 fantasy wide receiver.

The first wide receiver selected in the 2013 NFL Draft, Austin might be the lone rookie at his position worth drafting in seasonal leagues. Compared to Percy Harvin for his versatile skill set, the West Virginia product will no doubt see plenty of opportunities to produce for coach Jeff Fisher. In fact, Austin could emerge as the top option in the pass attack for quarterback Sam Bradford, who has been devoid of playmakers in the pass attack for much of his NFL career. Austin shouldn't be drafted as more than a No. 4 fantasy wideout in most 10-team leagues, but he has the upside to be much more.

Jones is coming off the best fantasy football season of his career, posting 64 receptions for 784 yards with 14 touchdowns - that was the most touchdowns of any player at his position. Whether or not Jones can duplicate that same number of touchdowns in consecutive years is a major question, but the veteran out of San Jose State does have a lot of positives for the upcoming fantasy campaign. First is the presence of Aaron Rodgers, who is one of the top quarterbacks in the entire league and can make almost any receiver into a star in the stat sheets. Second, Jones should be in line to see more opportunities in the pass attack with Greg Jennings no longer in the mix. A durable player who will also be motivated to produce big totals in a contract year, Jones has middle-value as a borderline No. 3 or 4 wide receiver in most fantasy drafts.

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