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Fantasy Football: Top 10 Sophomore Wide Receivers For 2014

2014 Fantasy Football: Top 10 Sophomore Wide Receivers

Keenan Allen, San Diego Chargers
Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Wide receivers often have a big learning curve upon entering the NFL, and it's rare for a rookie wide receiver to be a consistent contributor for fantasy football owners. But second-year wide receivers often see a boost in production, as they get more comfortable and gain the trust of their quarterback.

Here are my top 10 sophomore wide receivers for fantasy owners this year.

10. Aaron Dobson, New England Patriots

Aaron Dobson New England Patriots
Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

10. Aaron Dobson, New England Patriots

Aaron Dobson New England Patriots
Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

The key for Dobson is health, as a lingering foot injury kept him out of training camp practice until this week. As long as he continues to make progress heading toward Week 1, there's some upside in using a late pick on Dobson, since he can at least be viable red zone target for Tom Brady.

9. Robert Woods, Buffalo Bills

Robert Woods, Buffalo Bills
Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

9. Robert Woods, Buffalo Bills

Robert Woods, Buffalo Bills
Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

A dismal catch rate (46.5 percent) held Woods' production down in 2013 (40 catches for 587 yards and three touchdowns). He has been working mostly with the backups so far this preseason, but Woods should have a prominent role once the games start to count.

8. Justin Hunter, Tennessee Titans

Justin Hunter, Tennessee Titans
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

8. Justin Hunter, Tennessee Titans

Justin Hunter, Tennessee Titans
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Hunter only had 18 receptions last year, but four of them went for touchdowns and he averaged 19.7 yards per catch. A more consistent role looks likely this year, and Hunter recently said his goal is to catch 60 passes this year.

7. Kenny Stills, New Orleans Saints

Kenny Stills, New Orleans Saints
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

7. Kenny Stills, New Orleans Saints

Kenny Stills, New Orleans Saints
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Stills led the league in yards per catch in 2013 (20.0), and with Lance Moore and Darren Sproles gone his role should expand this year. Getting more targets from Drew Brees is great news for anyone's fantasy value, which makes Stills draftable even if it will be hard to rely on him as an every week starter.

6. Markus Wheaton, Pittsburgh Steelers

Markus Wheaton Pittsburgh Steelers
Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

6. Markus Wheaton, Pittsburgh Steelers

Markus Wheaton Pittsburgh Steelers
Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

Wheaton only had six catches in 12 games in 2013, and he only saw the field for 161 snaps. He is in line to start with the departures of Emmanuel Sanders and Jerricho Cotchery, and that alone gives him upside in his second season.

5. Tavon Austin, St. Louis Rams

Tavon Austin, St. Louis Rams
Christian Peterson-Getty Images

5. Tavon Austin, St. Louis Rams

Tavon Austin, St. Louis Rams
Christian Peterson-Getty Images

Austin had a disappointing rookie season, with 40 receptions for 418 yards and four touchdowns along with a rushing touchdown in 13 games played. But he also played just over half of St. Louis' offensive snaps, and the promise of a bigger role this year makes him a viable PPR league option.

4. DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans

DeAndre Hopkins Houston Texans
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

4. DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans

DeAndre Hopkins Houston Texans
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Hopkins had an up-and-down rookie season, but still finished with 802 yards on 52 receptions. His overall role, particularly in the red zone (10 targets in 2013), should expand and help make up for any limitations tied to having Ryan Fitzpatrick as his quarterback.

3. Cordarrelle Patterson, Minnesota Vikings

Cordarrelle Patterson Minnesota Vikings
Adam Bettcher-Getty Images

3. Cordarrelle Patterson, Minnesota Vikings

Cordarrelle Patterson Minnesota Vikings
Adam Bettcher-Getty Images

Patterson has gotten a lot of buzz based on a strong finish to his rookie season and the arrival of Norv Turner as Minnesota's offensive coordinator. There's a chance he'll be slightly overvalued in drafts, but fantasy owners that are willing to take a bit of risk could be handsomely rewarded.

2. Terrance Williams, Dallas Cowboys

Terrance Williams Dallas Cowboys
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

2. Terrance Williams, Dallas Cowboys

Terrance Williams Dallas Cowboys
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Williams flashed big-play ability last season, averaging 16.7 yards per catch on his 44 receptions. His path to a starting job is unabated this year with Miles Austin gone, and as long as Tony Romo stays healthy Williams has nice upside.

1. Keenan Allen, San Diego Chargers

Keenan Allen San Diego Chargers
John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

1. Keenan Allen, San Diego Chargers

Keenan Allen San Diego Chargers
John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

After a slow start, Allen had 68 receptions for over 1,000 yards with eight touchdowns over the final 13 games of last year. I'm hesitant to buy into him as a top-10 fantasy wide receiver, but with few other viable options in San Diego's passing game Allen should be a steady and reliable every week starter.