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Michael Clayton

Michael Clayton has been a forgotten man in fantasy football.   His 2004 season was one of the best seasons a rookie wide receiver has had in the last ten years; it doesn't get much better than drafting a rookie who rolls up 1193 receiving yards and seven touchdowns.  

His sophomore season was full of expectations and fantasy owners jumped on the Clayton bandwagon but were crushed when nagging injuries limited him to 32 catches for 372 yards.  

In 2006 he showed up in every "3rd year WR" article predicting a return to greatness.  Nope, once again disappointment for fantasy owners as he finished with 33 catches for 356 yards and a touchdown.

So now Clayton is forgotten.  He's not the #1 fantasy WR on the Bucs, there is talk he might not be the #2 fantasy WR on the Bucs, he's not even the #1 fantasy WR named Clayton.   Sigh.

Uh, hold on.  Here's a young wide receiver that has had to put up with the likes of Brian Griese, Chris Simms, Tim Rattay and Bruce Gradkowski as his quarterbacks the past two years.  That would be tough for any receiver to deal with, let alone a young guy like Clayton.  Now he has a solid #1 WR in front of him and an experienced QB in Jeff Garcia throwing the ball.  Maybe people can't get past the 4-12 record, but I think the addition of Garcia changes the Tampa passing offense considerably - for the better.

I like Michael Clayton as a nice #3 WR sleeper.  I expect the Bucs will be behind in a lot of games and will be forced to throw the ball far more than they'd like.  With Garcia running the offense, Clayton is certainly capable of putting up 800-900 receiving yards and 5-6 touchdowns.