Trying to find breakout players going into every fantasy football season is very tough to do. Here, let’s examine my no. 9 potential breakout player for 2014.
Bernard Pierce is in a tough spot playing for the Baltimore Ravens. He sits behind a former Pro Bowl running back in Ray Rice who the Ravens seem very committed to start moving forward. Rice had one of the worst fantasy football seasons of his career this past season. After rushing for 1,000 yards in four straight seasons, he only gained 660 yards on the ground in 2013. This is not what a former Super Bowl team wants to see from their starting running back.
Pierce is the next in line to take the carries in Baltimore. He will be going into his third year playing for the Ravens. Rice has been a workhorse for the Ravens, and it looks like his legs are not what they used to be a few years ago. Being an every-down running back in the NFL takes its tolls on the body.
That is exactly why Pierce needs to get the ball more in 2014. He is an explosive and pounding running back. Neither of these guys were exactly healthy in 2014, but we will see Pierce be the more dominant back when they are.
It is very tough to replace a consistent running back like Rice on anyone’s fantasy football team. All I am saying is you really need to keep an eye on Pierce in the offseason. I think Baltimore knows they need to move on towards younger players next season, and Pierce will be one of the guys they lean on as part of that movement.