Nick Mensio

Going Deep

print article archives RSS

Second-Year Leap WR Candidates

Thursday, July 13, 2017


Targeting third-year receivers has been a trend in fantasy football for the past several years, but there’s evidence that being able to predict second-year success can be even more profitable. The whole goal is to be ahead of our competition and be able to identify the breakouts before they happen; not one year after it has happened and then pounce in Year 3. Over the past five years, there have been a number of wideouts who have seen significant fantasy leaps from Year 1 to 2. Below is a collection of them with their fantasy finishes in PPR formats with Year 1 followed by Year 2 after the (>) symbol.

2015 Draft Class: Amari Cooper WR21 > WR14, DeVante Parker WR78 > WR50, Jamison Crowder WR51 > WR31, Stefon Diggs WR46 > WR30, JJ Nelson WR108 > WR58

2014 Draft Class: Sammy Watkins WR27 > WR20, Odell Beckham WR7 > WR5, Brandin Cooks WR56 > WR13, Jordan Matthews WR25 > WR17, Allen Robinson WR65 > WR6, Jarvis Landry WR31 > WR9, Donte Moncrief WR79 > WR36, John Brown WR53 > WR26, Martavis Bryant WR59 > WR39

2013 Draft Class: DeAndre Hopkins WR50 > WR13, Robert Woods WR60 > WR45, Markus Wheaton WR155 > WR58, Kenny Stills WR56 > WR38

2012 Draft Class: Michael Floyd WR70 > WR25, Kendall Wright WR45 > WR20, Alshon Jeffery WR83 > WR8, Rueben Randle WR87 > WR52, T.Y. Hilton WR31 > WR19, Marvin Jones WR108 > WR29

2011 Draft Class: A.J. Green WR16 > WR3, Julio Jones WR22 > WR11, Randall Cobb WR89 > WR15, Leonard Hankerson WR124 > WR65, Cecil Shorts WR147 > WR25, Denarius Moore WR51 > WR36, Jeremy Kerley WR91 > WR46

Let’s now take a look at a handful of 2017 sophomores who could be in line for significant bumps in production, followed by three deeper dives to monitor over the summer and into the regular season.

Corey Coleman (2016 finish: WR84) -- The first wideout taken in the 2016 draft, Coleman was drawing some Odell Beckham comparisons coming out of Baylor. Coleman’s rookie year got off to a surging start with a 5-102-2 line in Week 2, but he then broke his hand in practice the following week and missed six games. Coleman could never get back on track, failing to top 41 yards in any of the final eight contests, taking a back seat to Terrelle Pryor. Pryor has since left for the Redskins. Cleveland signed Kenny Britt, but it’s clear the organization wants Coleman to take the next step to No. 1 status. Continuing their rebuild, the Browns are missing a whopping 285 targets from last season. Britt will fill a large chunk of that, and so will first-round TE David Njoku, but Coleman has a massive opportunity awaiting him. The one thing standing in his way is health, or lack thereof. Coleman missed time last offseason with a hamstring issue and injured it again this spring. He’s dealt with soft=tissue problems dating back to his early college days. When healthy, Coleman is a terror on the outside, possessing the speed to beat defenders over the top and out-run them after the catch. Just go back and watch his Week 2 tape against Baltimore. Big-armed rookie QB DeShone Kizer winning the quarterback job would be another boost to Coleman’s outlook. Cody Kessler and Brock Osweiler don’t have the arm (Kessler) or accuracy (Osweiler) to consistently get the ball to Coleman down the field. Coleman has the highest ceiling in this group of second-year receivers but also comes with a terrifying floor.

Will Fuller (2016 finish: WR66) -- After the first four weeks of Fuller’s rookie season, he had some wondering if we could see another WR1 finish from a rookie. Fuller exploded onto the scene with 323 yards and two touchdowns in his first four pro games and could have had a couple more touchdowns and couple hundred more yards if not for untimely drops. Fuller then fell off a cliff, totaling just 312 scoreless yards the final 10 games, missing another two with injuries. He was a forgotten man in fantasy land by the time December rolled around. Gone now is Brock Osweiler, who couldn’t throw the deep ball to save his life. Rookie Deshaun Watson doesn’t have the biggest arm, but he showed well on vertical passes at Clemson and is a much better fit for Fuller’s downfield skill set. Either Watson or Tom Savage can’t be any worse than Osweiler, and Fuller remains locked into No. 2 duties opposite DeAndre Hopkins. Fuller said he feels much more comfortable in coach Bill O’Brien’s complex offense heading into Year 2. Currently being drafted as WR71, I’m buying Fuller at his 14th-round ADP all day. No other receiver at that range comes with the monster upside that Fuller brings to the field.

Tyreek Hill (2016 finish: WR25) -- Hill was one of the biggest winners of the spring. The Chiefs surprisingly cut Jeremy Maclin in June, leaving Hill as the favorite to handle No. 1 receiver duties. The passing offense runs through Travis Kelce, but there’s enough to support one more option in Kansas City. Hill should be that guy after setting the world on fire as a rookie. In the four games Maclin missed to injury last season, Hill saw 25.2 percent of the target share and averaged over 72 yards from scrimmage. He led all players in all-purpose yards last year and is as explosive an athlete there is in the league. It’s going to be near impossible for Hill to score at the clip he did as a rookie, but the expected uptick in volume can more than propel Hill to high-end WR2 status. His ADP is getting a bit out of hand at WR22, but the upside is mouth-watering as a do-it-all receiver/runner/returner. Hill can score from anywhere on the field. He just may be coach Any Reid’s latest DeSean Jackson.


continue story »
12
Nick Mensio is a football writer for Rotoworld.com. The 2014 NFL season marks his third with Rotoworld. He can be found on Twitter at @NickMensio.
Email :Nick Mensio



Highest Searched Players over the last 7 days



Video Center

  •  
    Summerlin: Wk 3 Waivers

    Summerlin: Wk 3 Waivers
  •  
    Dose: Lions Roar Past Giants

    Dose: Lions Roar Past Giants
  •  
    Draftsville: Episode 2

    Draftsville: Episode 2
  •  
    NASCAR meets Fantasy Football

    NASCAR meets Fantasy Football
  •  
    Jesse: MLB Power Rankings

    Jesse: MLB Power Rankings
  •  
    Whoops! Silva Can

    Whoops! Silva Can't Find Gronk
  •  
    NFL Must Haves

    NFL Must Haves
  •  
    Fantasy Draft Strategies

    Fantasy Draft Strategies