FF Tips

2014's 3rd-Year WRs

By Jared Smola 7:46am EDT 7/9/14

Twitter, advanced tools and fancy algorithms have all changed the way we play fantasy football. But 1 thing will always remain constant: WRs break out in their 3rd seasons.

Sure, some elite receivers explode right out of the gate (Randy Moss, Anquan Boldin). Some break out in Year 2 (Calvin Johnson, Victor Cruz). But the 3rd season is when the light bulb flicks on for the majority of WRs.

This year’s group of 3rd-year WRs features a couple of big names that have already broken out. We expect 1 of those guys to be an elite fantasy option again in 2014, while the other might take a step back. There are a couple of others who posted productive sophomore seasons but have even bigger numbers in store this year. And then there are some less-heralded guys who could come out of nowhere and become fantasy stars.

Here’s a look at the top 20 third-year WRs and their chances to break out in 2014 …

Note: Players are listed according to our 2014 WR Rankings.


Top 20 Third-Year WRs

1. Alshon Jeffery, Bears

Year

Receptions

Yards

TDs

Fantasy Points

2012

24

367

3

55

2013

89

1,421

7

195

2014 (projected)

88

1,292

9

183

Jeffrey pumped out a historically huge 2013 season. His 194.6 non-PPR fantasy points were the 18th-most in NFL history by a 2nd-year WR.

Only 8 WRs scored more fantasy points than Jeffery last year. He ranked 10th with 89 catches and 6th with 1,421 yards. Jeffery finished 9th among WRs in Pro Football Focus’ grades.

There’s no reason to expect a significant step back in 2013. At 6’3, 216 pounds with jump-out-of-the-gym hops, Jeffery is a top-notch talent. And this Bears offense should be even better in its 2nd season under HC Marc Trestman.

It’s worth noting that Jeffery’s numbers weren’t quite as good with QB Jay Cutler under center last year as they were with QB Josh McCown. His 5.1 catches, 82.1 yards and 0.3 TDs per game with Cutler would have left him 18th among WRs in PPR scoring last year. But the 24-year-old is still getting better. And there’s certainly room for him to build on last year’s 7 TDs.

Breakout potential: Already broke out

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