Fantasy Corner: Potential 2014 Breakout Wide ReceiversPosted on August 20, 2014 by Phil Gentile
In fantasy football you never chase last year's breakout stars. You do you homework and find the players who will do it the next year. Last season fantasy owners saw the Browns' Josh Gordon and the Bears' Alshon Jeffrey develop into legit top ten fantasy receivers.
The question now is.....who will do it this year? Talent and measurables go a long way but a receiver also needs to be part of a good passing attack and, most importantly, be given an opportunity to shine. Here are five receivers that have what it takes to make the jump to a top ten fantasy receiver this season.
Terrance Williams, Dallas Cowboys
The best thing about Terrance Williams is that, unlike some of the names on this list, he's already been a reliable fantasy option, After positing a 44/736/5 last season I honestly think he could double those numbers in 2014.
Am I crazy? Maybe.....but I want the next Josh Gordon or Alshon Jeffrey so I'm willing to take that gamble.
The Cowboys likely have the worst defense in the NFL again this season so Romo and company will be throwing early and often in games. Their offensive line is one of the best in the league and with teams focusing on shutting down Dez Bryant and Jason Witten I like Williams to go HAM and finish as a potential top ten fantasy receiver.
Pros: Cowboys will score LOTS of points
Cons: Tony Romo's recovery from back surgery could drag into the regular season
Justin Hunter, Tennessee Titans
If you looked up "wide receiver" in the dictionary (don't actually do that) you will see a photo of Justin Hunter. He's 6'4' with 4.4 speed. He's been dubbed "this year's Alshon Jeffery" by Mike Clay of Rotoworld and Pro Football Focus. Only person in the NFL that can stop him is Jake Locker. He averaged 19.7 yards-per-reception average in 2013. Big play ability. Gotta love it.
Pros: You can't teach size!
Cons: Shaky quarterback situation
Rueben Randle, New York Giants
The Loch Ness Monster is a myth. The third-year receiver theory is science. Case in point: Randle, Rueben.
Our buddy Evan Silva at Rotoworld likes Randle as his top breakout WR but I'm not completely sold. Eli Manning loves throwing picks but the absence of Hakeem Nicks and the fact that the Giants will likely be losing late in most games is definitely a plus for Randle. He has the size to be a reliable target and while Victor Cruz will see more targets I think Randle could lead the team in touchdown catches. Especially with a lack of a reliable tight end. Randle should feast on opposing cornerbacks in the NFC East all season long.
Pros: Main red-zone target, named after a delicious sandwich
Cons: Rookie Odell Beckham Jr. could steal targets
Brandin Cooks, New Orleans Saints
Three things you can always rely: Glacier Cherry being the best Gatorade flavor. Shia Laeouf being a douche. The Saints having a high powered passing attack. With the departure of Darren Sproles and Lance Moore there are oodles of targets available in the Big Easy. Look for Brandin Cooks to fill that void with ease. Cooks poses get start-and-stop ability while running routes and the ability to get over the top of the defense. If you've ever owned Marques Coltston on a fantasy team you know he's never a dominant target for Brees. Jimmy Graham and deep threat Kenny Stills are but I wouldn't be surprised if Cooks gets the second most targets in the Saints offense.
Pros: Likely to fill Sproles role in Saints passing attack
Cons: Super inflated ADP at the moment (late 6th round according to Fantasy Football Calculator)
Emmanuel Sanders, Denver Broncos
Eric Decker took his 1,288 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns with him to New York this offseason. Who fills that production? Well some of it goes to Julius Thomas but most of it goes to Sanders, who played his first four seasons with the Steelers before signing with the Broncos back in March. I don't think Emmanuel Sanders is a special talent by any stretch of the imagination, but being part of an offense that set records last season makes him someone worth drafting in the 7th or 8th round of all fantasy leagues.
Pros: Peyton Manning is his quarterback
Cons: Lots of mouths to feed in Denver