15 2nd year WRs:
Wow!!! What an amazing wide receiver rookie class the NFL witnessed last season. In what previously was a position that took time for a player to reach his full potential, the wide receiver position took off to new heights and boasts what many of us feel could be the best wide receiver class of all time. This explosion last season can be attributed to the players listed below coupled with the NFL’s pass first mentality and rules favoring the passing game. Without further ado here are the Top 15 fantasy football sophomore receivers:
1. Odell Beckham Jr. NYG – (2014 Stats 91 receptions 1305 yards 12 TDs) Beckham is the Don Dada of the sophomore receivers putting up the monster stat line above in only 12 games. He looked simply un-coverable and fantasy matchup proof week in and week out. I don’t foresee a sophomore slump or Madden curse for ODB.
2. Mike Evans TB – (2014 stats 68 receptions 1051 yards 12 TDs) Evans produced in spite of having the likes of Josh McCown and Mike Glennon at the helm last season. He utilizes his big body and leaping ability that he showed in college at Texas A&M to bring down 12 TD catches last season. Look for Evans to produce at a higher clip with new quarterback Jameis Winston under center and a change in role as Dirk Koetter’s X receiver.
3. Kelvin Benjamin CAR – (2014 stats 73 receptions 1008 yards 9 TDs) Early reports state Benjamin showed up to camp 8-9 pounds overweight, I say “who cares” we are in June. He should shed the weight through training camp and be the monster he is outside for Cam Newton.
4. Sammy Watkins BUF – (2014 stats 65 receptions 982 yards 6 TDs) Would of had Watkins higher on this list if it wasn’t for the putrid quarterback competition that is taking place in Buffalo right now. See here. But Watkins is still an elite talent that should weather the storm and find away to eclipse 1000 yards and increase his TD production from last season.
5. Brandin Cooks NO – (2014 stats 53 receptions 550 yards 3 TDs) Cooks’ season was cut short last year due to season ending thumb surgery. He now enters his second year as Drew Brees’ number 1 target with the departure of Jimmy Graham and Kenny Stills, and the age of veteran WR Marques Colston. Wouldn’t be surprised if he out produces Benjamin and Watkins this season, he should be on your fantasy radar.
6. Jordan Matthews PHI – (2014 stats 67 receptions 872 yards 8 TDs) Matthews came alive in the second half of the season last year with Mark Sanchez playing quarterback catching 6 of his 8 TDs from week 9 on. He gets the privilege of playing slot receiver in Chip Kelly’s wide open offense that allows him to catch the ball in space. Also do not forget Jeremy Maclin is now in Kansas City.
7. Jarvis Landry MIA – (2014 stats 84 receptions 758 yards 5 TDs) Here is another receiver similar to Jordan Matthews as Landry does a lot of his work out of the slot. Also, Landry gets a boost in production with the departure of last year’s number 1 receiver Mike Wallace now a member of the Minnesota Vikings. If you play in PPR leagues Landry is a guy to target as he will be a target monster approaching triple digit receptions.
8. Martavis Bryant PIT – (2014 stats 26 receptions 549 yards 8 TDs) Don’t make last year’s reception and yards totals steer you away from the super athletic Bryant. He missed the first 6 games of the season but once the Steelers inserted Bryant in the lineup there was no turning back. With one year under his belt in the Steelers’ offense, look for Bryant to turn heads this season. Don’t pass him up in your fantasy drafts, reach for this guy.
9. John Brown ARI – (2014 stats 48 receptions 696 yards 5 TDs) Here is a guy you can draft in the later rounds of your fantasy draft and come away with a steal. The speedy Brown gets to play in Bruce Arians’ vertical offense and is the Cardinals’ version of T.Y. Hilton. Read here.
10. Allen Robinson JAX – (2014 stats 48 receptions 548 yards 2 TDs) Early reports from inside of Jacksonville’s camp are rave reviews about second year Robinson. Robinson will look to take that steam into the regular season. The 6’3 210 pound receiver battled injuries his rookie season but appears to have put that behind him as he will try to establish himself as the Jaguars’ number 1 receiver.
11. DaVante Adams GB – (2014 stats 38 receptions 446 yards 3 TDs) If the Packers didn’t retain Randall Cobb in the offseason, Adams would have been in the Top 3. But just like the Packers customarily do they retained their own leaving the talented Adams stuck as the number 3 option. Not all is bad as Adams is the third option in an Aaron Rodgers led offense, not bad at all.
12. Donte Moncrief IND – (2014 stats 32 receptions 444 yards 3 TDs) Moncrief has quite a battle on his hands for targets in a deep receiving corps for the Colts. Read here. But like Adams, it’s not a bad thing to be the third receiver in an elite QB’s offense. In this case, one Andrew Luck.
13. Josh Huff PHI – (2014 stats 8 receptions 98 yards 0 TDs) An after thought in the Eagles’ offense last season Huff will get his opportunity this season to produce with the departure of Jeremy Maclin. The second Eagle to make this list, Huff should receive his fair share of targets within an inexperienced receiving corps.
14. Cody Latimer DEN – (2014 stats 2 receptions 23 yards 0 TDs) I’m sensing a common trend here as Latimer is another elite QB’s third receiver. Latimer struggled to get on the field last season but looks to redeem his poor rookie outing and build a rapport with Peyton Manning. For more on Latimer read here.
15. Marqise Lee JAX – (2014 stats 37 receptions 422 yards 1 TDs) Lee is the second Jaguar to make the list that spent time on the trainer’s table with injuries last season. He will look to shake off his injury prone moniker and start opposite Allen Robinson. Lee was a very productive receiver at the University of SoCal but needs to put together a full slate of games to show his talents in the NFL.