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Third Round Pick Fantasy Values

Brandon LaFell should get playing time with the Panthers to show what he has.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - By the time the NFL Draft had reached the third round, most of the "fantasy-worthy" players had already been picked. But to GM's it was obviously the time to take a shot at the wide receiver position as eight were chosen in this third round alone.

Most if not all of the offensive players picked from here until the end of the draft will have to prove their worth in summer camp and the preseason games to get any playing time. None of the eight receivers, three tight ends and one quarterback drafted between picks No.65 and No.98 will be "given" a starting position - they will have to earn it.

Because they don't have the "name" or the contract which puts them in the starting lineup from Opening Day, none will likely have much fantasy value until at least the halfway point in the season...at best.

Ed Dickson, Baltimore - Dickson has size and athletic ability, though not a lot of speed and he's not a big downfield threat. Barring more injuries to Todd Heap, Dickson will spend much of 2010 on special teams.

Damian Williams, Tennessee - The Titans spent a high draft choice on Kenny Britt in 2009, so it's interesting that they would go back to the position so early in 2010. He was a polished college receiver who will have to fight Justin Gage and Nate Washington for playing time.

Brandon LaFell, Carolina - It seems the Panthers have been looking for a receiver opposite Steve Smith for about a decade, but actually it's only been about eight years. Muhsin Muhammad and Dwayne Jarrett have had varying degrees of "non-success" and LaFell is the next "hope." He's big in the "Dwayne Bowe mold," but a bit slow by NFL standards. Unlike many other receivers in this draft, LaFell should get playing time to show what he has.

Emmanuel Sanders, Pittsburgh - The Steelers traded away Santonio Holmes, a tall and talented end while Sanders is more of a slot receiver. However, if Mike Wallace wins the No.2 spot opposite Hines Ward, Sanders could eventual work his way onto the field as the No.3 guy if he beats out aging Antwaan Randle-El and disappointing Limas Sweed. That won't happen right away, meaning he has little fantasy value this season.

Jordan Shipley, Cincinnati - Shipley was a talented "do-everything guy" at Texas not only catching balls, but returning kicks. He'll likely start out in the role of a return guy unless newly-signed Antonio Bryant continues to have health issues. In the mean time, Shipley would have to beat out Andre Caldwell (51-432-3) and Matt Jones (65-761-2 in 2008 with Jacksonville) to see playing time at receiver.

Colt McCoy, Cleveland - McCoy might have more talent than any other quarterback on the Browns' roster, but he's not going to see the field in 2010...barring multiple injuries. If you are in a keeper league, you could pick him in the final round, but you'll have to wait a long time before the selection pays off.

Eric Decker, Denver - While top pick Demaryius Thomas will get plenty of playing time and touches, Decker is a project behind veterans Jabar Gaffney, Eddie Royal and Brandon Stokely. Decker will have to show he's over his "senior-year-wrecking" foot injury to get a chance to shine. Probably not until 2011.

Andre Roberts, Arizona - The good news is that he was selected by a team which loves to throw the ball. The bad news is that he has three young and talented receivers in front of him - superstar Larry Fitzgerald, Steve Breaston and Early Doucet. Barring injury to the starters, he won't have any fantasy value in 2010.

Armanti Edwards, Carolina - Some in this building though Edwards would play quarterback in the NFL, but the only way he sees the field is as a receiver and/or return specialist. The Panthers need receiving help, but he'll have to beat out Jarrett and LaFell while learning a new position to get the chance. Maybe in 2011.

Taylor Price, New England - Price has speed and good hands, but wasn't well- known until this year's Senior Bowl. He'll learn by watching a pair of talented veteran wideouts this year (Randy Moss and Torry Holt) and Welker in the slot when he returns from injury. In the meantime, if he does get on the field, he has a top quarterback who doesn't mind throwing to unproven talent - see last year's Julian Edelman games No.1 and No.16 as an injury replacement for Welker.

Tony Moeaki, Kansas City - Tight ends haven't gotten much attention in the Chiefs' offense since Tony Gonzalez left town. The first and second string combined had just 29 receptions last season. Moeaki will not have fantasy value this season.

Jimmy Graham, New Orleans - He's in a great offense with a great quarterback, it's just that he's at best the No.9 target. Brees spreads it around, but you have to be on the field to participate and Graham likely won't see the field with Jeremy Shockey and David Thomas in front of him on the depth chart. One NFL coach said, "give him time, he'll be better than Shockey by the start of next year." That won't help you in 2010, however.

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at sschwarz@sportsnetwork.com.

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