It’s always good to have a list of guys set for potential breakouts in the upcoming fantasy football season. The players who end up saving your season never really end up being the ones you’d initially expect, do they? This year, Alshon Jeffery made my list. The 6-foot-3 receiver out of the University of South Carolina didn’t blow anyone away from a statistical perspective in 2012, but he showed flashes of big-play capability, and the Chicago Bears‘ coaches seem to believe that Jeffery is ready to take a big step forward this year.
The biggest aspect of Jeffery’s fantasy upside is the fact that he will be starting at the No. 2 receiver spot for the Bears. We can expect Brandon Marshall to attract frequent double coverage coming off an incredible 2012 campaign, catching 118 passes on 188 targets for 1,508 yards and 11 touchdowns. Marshall was second-most targeted receiver in the league and proved to be nearly unstoppable in the passing game, but the Bears could use an alternative deep threat to balance things out. That’s where Jeffery comes in.
Jeffery was slowed by knee and hand injuries last year and will be coming into 2013 completely healthy. He’s been working out with Marshall this offseason in Florida and will look to develop some better chemistry with Jay Cutler in training camp. Jeffery is a big target with great hands and is poised for a much better campaign in his second year in the league.
If you’re looking for a sleeper pick in the later rounds of your fantasy draft, grab Jeffery. His numbers should skyrocket from last year if he stays healthy and the Bears’ passing game hits its stride. Don’t expect him to “wow” you with his numbers right off the bat, but certainly look for him to be a viable fantasy player as the season progresses.