There are plenty of exceptions to the rule, particularly in recent years, but there is a history of wide receivers breaking out in their third season. Here’s a look at the ones that should be on your fantasy radar.
Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers: Made the jump a year early with 69 catches for 1,108 yards and seven scores. Look for even more for this WR2.
Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys: Has the potential of a top-five fantasy wideout. Unfortunately he has issues staying healthy on the field and requires babysitters off the field. Talent is too hard to ignore though.
Victor Cruz, New York Giants: Salsa danced his way into the hearts of fantasy owners last year. Regression is likely, but that’s simply because he set the bar so high with 1,536 yards. He should be a bona fide WR1.
Brandon LaFell, Carolina Panthers: Has 38 and 36 receptions in two years. He could be a breakout candidate with a cheap price tag toward the end of drafts. He could flourish with Cam Newton opposite of Steve Smith.
David Nelson, Buffalo Bills: Went from 31 to 61 receptions. At 6’5″ he is a good red-zone target.
Andre Roberts, Arizona Cardinals: Caught 51 passes last year, but Arizona's QB play is a joke. Plus, Michael Floyd will likely become the second option at some point.
Emmanuel Sanders, Pittsburgh Steelers: Remains another one to keep an eye on if Mike Wallace or Brown go down.
Demaryius Thomas, Denver Broncos: Not as good at route running as Decker, but his athleticism is off the charts. Peyton will find a way to utilize him—WR2 potential.
Damien Williams, Tennessee Titans: Caught 45 passes last year, but I don’t expect a huge increase with Kenny Britt, Nate Washington and Kendall Wright to contend with.
Mike Williams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Took a huge step back from his 964-yard, 11-TD rookie season. He’s somewhere in between that and the 771-yard, three-TD performance last year.
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