2013 Fantasy Football: Top 10 Second-Year Players
2013 Fantasy Football Top 10 Second-Year Players
The 2012 fantasy football season saw some of the more impressive rookie performances in years.
Some were expected, such as Cleveland Browns RB Trent Richardson and Indianapolis Colts QB Andrew Luck, but others were not. While Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Doug Martin was on many fantasy radars and was taken relatively early in drafts, nobody realistically believed he would finish second to only Adrian Peterson in fantasy scoring among running backs.
There were big time rookie performances from the bigger names, but there were also plenty of surprises. When RB Alfred Morris was drafted in the sixth round by the Washington Redskins, a team with a coach notorious for his random running back usage that already had three running backs at the time, nobody batted an eye. So what did he do? Only start every single game for the ‘Skins and finish fifth among running backs in standard scoring leagues…obviously.
When the Seattle Seahawks -- a team that had just thrown a ton of money at Matt Flynn -- drafted the diminutive Russell Wilson in the third round, nobody expected an immediate impact. So of course he won the job before the season and finished the season ranked just outside the top 10 QBs in fantasy points.
To go along with the good, there was also the bad. Rookies like RB David Wilson and WR Justin Blackmon (the No.5 overall pick), came in with plenty of hype but had minimal fantasy impact.
One thing is for certain; the 2013 season is not the 2012 season. Some of these players have better or worse situations with their teams this year, while other players may be dealing with injuries that affect their fantasy draft stock as well. When assessing second-year players, their 2012 performance should be factored in along with what’s ahead for this coming season as well.
The following are the top 10 second-year players (offensive only, no IDP) for standard 2013 fantasy football leagues.
10. RB Vick Ballard, Indianapolis Colts
Ballard came on late last season and looked to be a top running back option this year...but then the team signed Ahmad Bradshaw. Bradshaw will likely start and get the bulk of carries, but Ballard will get his work here and there. Bradshaw is also injury prone, so Ballard still manages to inch his way onto this list.
9. WR T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts
The only wide receiver to make this list for standard leagues, Hilton came from relative obscurity to be the second (and sometimes first) receiving option for Andrew Luck behind Reggie Wayne. Wayne is on the downslope and Hilton is slowly climbing past him. He could be more valuable than Wayne in fantasy leagues this year.
8. RB Lamar Miller, Miami Dolphins
Miller didn't see much work in 2012 because of the presence of Reggie Bush and Daniel Thomas, but when he did the results were impressive as he averaged 4.9 yards per carry. With Bush gone and Thomas sliding into obscurity, Miller is the top option in the backfield for the Dolphins.
7. QB Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins
RGIII burst onto the scene and had a fantastic rookie season. Unfortunately, he injured his knee in the playoffs and had serious surgery this offseason. The physical freak plans to be ready for training camp, and after watching Adrian Peterson return last year it's not out of the question. Nonetheless, the players who come back this quickly and have immediate success after surgery like this are few and far between, so draft with caution here.
6. QB Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
While RGIII and Luck got all the hype heading into the season, Wilson quietly earned the starting job and became a quality QB1 for fantasy owners. He has all the weapons in place this year and a year under his belt with no injury concerns, so look for a solid season.
5. QB Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts
Luck had a great season for fantasy owners and now has experience and an improved running back to help him make better decisions. He could have a breakout year.
4. RB David Wilson, New York Giants
Wilson was in the doghouse early last year and didn't play much, but after injuries he made an impact late in the year and now finds himself as the starter. He still has Andre Brown to worry about, who could take scoring chances away from him, but nonetheless with weak stock of running backs this year he is one of the better backs you can draft for your RB2 slot.
3. RB Alfred Morris, Washington Redskins
From obscurity to a top 10 fantasy player, he's a favorite of Mike Shanahan's, whose running backs unfortunately don't normally have a long shelf life. There's no reason Morris shouldn't start again this year, you just never know what Shanahan has up his sleeve. As long as the head coach doesn't play any games, Morris showed last year he has a nose for the end zone.
2. RB Trent Richardson, Cleveland Browns
T-Rich battled past knee issues to have a very productive season in both standard in PPR leagues. His ability to get the job done even as the only threat in the offense is impressive, and he should once again be a good RB1.
1. RB Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Martin showed he can do it all last year as a great runner and pass-catcher out of the backfield. He gets a boost in PPR leagues, but even in standard leagues he should be a top 3 or 4 pick in all fantasy drafts.
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