By Eighty Six @86ThePoet on July 11, 2014
Drafting rookies to your fantasy football squad is always risky. College players have much to learn before they flourish in the NFL. Big talent does not always create big numbers in year one, but give a guy a year to learn from the veterans and he may explode in his sophomore year. Which second-year players will make you look brilliant? I'm not talking about Montee Ball or Le'Veon Bell. Who will jump from small time to big time this year?
Michael only had 18 carries in three blowout appearances in 2013, but he looked strong and fast. He is a 5-foot-10, 221-pound Marshawn Lynch clone. He's more explosive than incumbent backup Robert Turbin. Pete Carroll wants to get him the ball since he is the back of the future for the Seahawks. If Lynch gets hurt, Michael will see a lot of work. Even with Beast Mode healthy, he stands to break a few long touchdowns.
Lattimore destroyed his knee his last year at South Carolina and missed his entire rookie year. Knowing this would happen, the 49ers still drafted him to eventually replace Frank Gore. Lattimore has been rehabbing diligently and is ready to play this year. Like Michael, if the starter goes down he will see a big role. Kendall Hunter and LaMichael James may not keep him from the starting job.
While Andre Johnson holds out and fishes for trades, Hopkins benefits. He posted a solid 52 catches for 802 yards and two scores last year, and he can double that number of grabs if he becomes the No. 1 guy. The quarterback situation is a mess in Houston, but the Texans will be playing from behind often. Hopkins will get plenty of targets down the field, making double-digit touchdowns very possible.
With Stevie Johnson gone, Woods can step into a starring role and build on his 40-catch rookie season. The addition of Sammy Watkins and the development of EJ Manuel will help Woods plenty. Like the Texans, the Bills may be playing from behind and airing it out a lot. This is good for fantasy pass-catchers. No points are awarded for wins, but meaningless touchdowns are still worth six points.
Glennon was thrust into the starting role after the Josh Freeman mess. The Greg Schiano days are over, and the Lovie Smith era has begun. The Buccaneers did their best for Glennon by using all six draft picks on offensive players, including Texas A&M WR Mike Evans, and they still have Vincent Jackson. With a full offseason to prepare, Glennon should blossom into a fantasy starter.
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