3 Wide Receivers That Could Be Second-Year Breakout Candidates
By Max Staley
Wide receiver is a tricky position, especially in fantasy football. While there have absolutely been exceptions to the rule, wideouts generally don't come into the league as fully-formed versions of themselves.
That transition from intriguing, talented prospect to full-fledged star actually tends to happen in year two. Just look at Courtland Sutton, D.J. Moore and DJ Chark from last year, to name a few.
With that in mind, let's break down three wideouts to target in fantasy drafts that could be second-year breakout candidates in 2020.
Note: All Average Draft Position (ADP) data is via FantasyPros.
3. Hunter Renfrow, Las Vegas Raiders (ADP: 74)
It's June, so overanalyzing ADP probably isn't the best use of time. Still, it's hard to see Hunter Renfrow being the 74th wide receiver off the board and not get excited. Renfrow really started to come on toward the end of the season, tallying 306 receiving yards and 2 scores over his final four games. That's a 1,200-yard, 8-touchdown pace if projected out over a full year. He doesn't have the WR1 upside that the other names on this list do, but he's a perfect fit with Derek Carr. Carr had the third-lowest average depth of target (aDOT) in the NFL last season, and that really suits Renfrow, who thrives on shorter, intermediate routes.
2. DK Metcalf, Seattle Seahawks (ADP: WR17)
There are 91 days until kickoff. During the lead up to the NFL season, you will likely read a lot of glowing articles about DK Metcalf – don't ignore them. The 6-foot-4-inch Metcalf has electric 4.33 speed, and he's catching passes from Russell Wilson, who graded out as Pro Football Focus' best deep-ball passer in 2019. Metcalf had 1,296 air yards last season (No. 25 in the NFL), but he only had a 26 percent market share of his team's air yards. That is likely to increase; 23-of-25 players ahead of Metcalf in terms of air yards had a higher market share than his 26 percent. Assuming Wilson looks his way more often in year two, Metcalf has serious potential.
1. Diontae Johnson, Pittsburgh Steelers (ADP: WR44)
Diontae Johnson was much better than his box score stats would lead you to believe. No wide receiver created more separation on average than Johnson (3.6; per NFL Next Gen Stats). He was, however, held back by poor quarterback play. Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges were among the league's most ineffective passers last season. With Ben Roethlisberger back healthy, Johnson has a chance to massively outperform his ADP of WR44.
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Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.