Fantasy Football Potential Breakout Players
A player’s rookie year is usually filled with learning experiences and room for growth. Most rookies spend their time on the bench and see very little playing time. However, after their rookie year, it is time to show their coaches and respective organizations the talent they possess. Here are several second-year players poised for a breakout season.
Quarterback | Falcons
While sitting most of his rookie season, Ridder became the starting quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons in week 14 as a result of the organization’s decision to move on from former starter Marcus Mariota who posted lackluster numbers during his first and only season with the team. Ridder went on to lead the Falcons to a record of 2-2 during his tenure as the starting quarterback. His statistics for 2022 were completed 73/115 passes for 708 passing yards, scored 2 touchdowns, and posted a QBR of 86.4. My 2023 projection for Ridder is that he will throw for over 3,000 yards and at least 15 touchdowns in his second season.
Quarterback | Steelers
Pickett became the starting quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers in week 4 after head coach Mike Tomlin pulled former starter Mitch Trubisky from the lineup in a 24-20 against the New York Jets. Pickett remained the starting quarterback from then on leading the Steelers to a 9-8 record missing the playoffs, but remaining optimistic for the team possibly become a contender next season. Pickett’s statistics for the 2022 season where he completed 245/389 passes for 2,404 passing yards, threw 7 touchdowns compared to 9 interceptions and posted a QBR of 76.7. My 2023 projection for Pickett is that he will have a phenomenal second year throwing for over 3,500 yards and 22 touchdowns in his second season.
Brian Robinson Jr.
Running Back | Commanders
Robinson Jr. debuted for the Commanders in week 5 after suffering a knee injury from an offseason incident. Robinson Jr. went on to play twelve games, rush for 797 yards on 205 attempts, score 2 touchdowns, record 9 receptions for 60 yards, and record 1 receiving reception in a hopeful rookie season. My 2023 projection for Robinson Jr. is that he will rush for over 1,000 yards and score at least 10 rushing touchdowns in his second season.
Running Back | Bills
Cook’s role with the Bills last season was minor as he served as a third down back for the majority of the year. Cook played all sixteen games where he rushed for 507 yards on 89 rushing attempts, scored 2 rushing touchdowns, recorded 21 receptions for 180 receiving yards, and scored 1 receiving touchdown. Current Bills starting running back Devin Singletary is currently a a free agent who I believe the Bills organization will ultimately let go of. This leaves the door open for Cook to become the team’s starting running back. My 2023 projection for Cook is that he will rush for approximately 800 yards and 7 touchdowns in his second season.
Wide Receiver | Lions
Unfortunately, Williams tore his ACL in the 2022 National Championship Game against Georgia resulting in him missing most of his rookie season in the NFL. Williams played 6 games in 2022, but only posted 1 reception for 41 receiving yards which resulted in a touchdown. My 2023 projection for Williams is that he will record over 1,000 receiving yards and score 8 touchdowns in his second season.
Wide Receiver | Steelers
Pickens was the rookie highlight reel of the season after he recorded a few phenomenal receptions which were compared to Odell Beckham Jr.’s 2014 catch against the Dallas Cowboys. Pickens played 17 games where he started 12 of them, recorded 52 receptions for 801 receiving yards, and scored 4 touchdowns. My 2023 projection for Pickens is that he will record at least 1,200 receiving yards and score 12 touchdowns in his second season.
— NFL (@NFL) September 23, 2022
Tight End | Cowboys
Ferguson played in 16 games for the Cowboys, starting 8 of them, recording 19 receptions for 174 receiving yards, and scoring 2 touchdowns in 2022. Current starting tight end Dalton Schultz is currently a free agent whom I believe will be let go by the Cowboys. This allows Ferguson to become the starting tight end for the Cowboys in 2023. My 2023 Projection for Ferguson is that he will record at least 500 receiving yards and score 5 touchdowns in his second season.
Lawrence is a fan of the Green Bay Packers. He is currently a graduate student at William Paterson University pursuing a master’s degree in Financial Planning. His hobbies include all things fantasy football, weightlifting, collecting Yu-Gi-Oh trading cards, and playing Madden. He specializes in dynasty fantasy football having won two championships in the past five years. He is also a college football fan who loves to watch his Buckeyes play on Saturdays while drinking pumpkin-flavored coffee. He is always looking to evolve his game as a fantasy football player and one of his goals is to help other players do the same.