Cheap Second-Year Breakout Fantasy Football Wide Receivers To Acquire In Dynasty And Redraft
It is well-treaded territory to discuss second-year breakout fantasy football wide receivers. In fact, I have already posted an article on RotoExperts about some of my favorite second-year breakout players. However, as I enter yet another dynasty startup draft and continue to plug away at the DRAFT Best Ball championship, I have realized that there is a group of players who have actually not gotten enough pub and that is the CHEAP second-year breakout fantasy football wide receiver group. We have mostly discussed D.J Moore’s inevitable breakout, Marquez Valdez-Scantling or Tre’Quan Smith. But, there is a group of extremely cheap, even undrafted, second-year players who have the ability to enter the meaningful fantasy football arena. These following players are dart throws, exceedingly cheap but are on the trajectory to end up mattering in fantasy football.
Second-Year Breakout Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Candidates
Justin Watson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
There is generally a tendency to think of second-year breakout players as guys who showed signs of promise as rookies and while that is a good trend to follow, it is not really a stone-cold rule. Since 2000, players like Eric Decker, Ryan Grant, Antonio Brown, and Riley Cooper all had less than 20 targets as rookies and went on to become fantasy football relevant in the future. Watson has started out training camp fighting for the coveted WR3 job alongside Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. His competition is mostly Baltimore Ravens wash out Breshad Perriman and rookie Scotty Miller. Watson was the best prospect of this group with a college Dominator Rating over 60% at Penn and standing 6’2″, 215 pounds with a 107.2 Speed Score. An 80-target, five-touchdown season from Watson (similar to the role Adam Humphries played last year) would not be surprising from Watson.
Chad Beebe, Minnesota Vikings
Projecting the Minnesota Vikings passing game is difficult. After Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen and Kyle Rudolph, there is almost nothing left. Laquon Treadwell is still on the roster (in a surprise to some), while Aldrick Robinson has departed the team. The third WR job in Minnesota is not necessarily a high volume one, as the Vikings project to have one of the most concentrated offenses in the NFL but there is a possibility that was out of necessity and not design. 302 of the Vikings 592 passes in 2018 went to one of Adam Thielen or Stefon Diggs. While that is great for the value of Diggs and Thielen, it is likely not great for overall offensive performance. Thus far, Beebe seems to be leading the group for the WR3 job in Minnesota and if he does indeed win that job, it could carry some fantasy cache. The WR3 role was spread between Treadwell, Robinson, Beebe and Brandon Zylstra last season. Combining those targets into one player could make the 5’10”, 178 Beebe a pesky slot WR who finds his way into an undue amount of targets. Unlike Watson, it doesn’t appear that Beebe himself is a physical marvel but the child of a former NFL player on a team with a volume vacuum could find some short-term success.
Trey Quinn, Washington
Much like the Miami Dolphins situation, someone has to get targets in Washington. No Washington pass-catcher other than Jordan Reed is drafted in a normal 12-team PPR league. Quinn, Josh Doctson and Paul Richardson are all being drafted after WR80 and in most leagues, will be left to the waiver wire. If the team cared about the results of this season, they likely would have searched for veteran help at the position. Instead, they drafted Kelvin Harmon and Terry Mclaurin. That means that Doctson/Richardson/Quinn are likely the starting trio at the beginning of the season. Quinn is the likely starter as Case Keenum’s slot wide receiver in Week One and actually projects to do pretty well in that role. Quinn had a 24.7% Dominator Rating at SMU and has passable agility and speed for the inside wide receiver position. Trey Quinn is really the quintessential breakout fantasy football wide receivers candidate for a cheap guy; He is almost assured some volume and even if he isn’t a great player or in a good offense, he should be able to provide fantasy relevance for absolutely free. Given how cheap he is, I am buying him as my WR6/7 in both redraft and dynasty formats.
Robert Foster, Buffalo Bills
Foster is the one wide receiver on this list who already has an ADP and goes in most drafts. He is, however, left off of most “trendy” second-year breakout fantasy football wide receivers lists. Despite being undrafted and having only a 5.6% Dominator Rating at Alabama, Foster has proven he can play in the NFL. Sometimes we (and I am one of the worst offenders) get so tied up in who players as prospects that it becomes easy to dismiss what actually happens as rookies. Many players with better pedigrees than Foster have failed in the NFL but Foster had three touchdowns, 20 yards per reception and 44 targets while playing in a low volume offense while better/more pedigreed players underperformed. Zay Jones, John Brown and even Cole Beasley might see more snaps than him to start the year but the ceiling in this high-variance Bills offense is pretty clear with Foster. My point with including Foster on this list is that rookie production should really be valued for wide receivers, especially if they offer an elite skillset (for Foster, it is speed) that is needed in the team they play for.
Dylan Cantrell, Los Angeles Chargers
If you are a loyal reader of RotoExperts, you know that we like Dylan Cantrell. We expect him to beat out Travis Benjamin for the vacated role that Tyrell Williams is leaving in Los Angeles. The former Texas Tech Red Raider is 6’3″, 226 with an 83rd percentile Speed Score (adjusted for his size). ChargersWire noted “Dylan Cantrell, the Chargers’ sixth-round selection, spent the season as a practice squad member for much of the season. A knee injury resulted in him being cut, but he was picked up later. He failed to appear in a game despite being placed on the active roster late in the season. Cantrell is an early fan-favorite. If the former Texas Tech product solidifies one of the spots, he provides Rivers with a big-bodied target who has the speed to beat defenders vertically, is proven with hands and uses his size well to box out defenders and make plays.” That analysis essentially mirrors my own. Cantrell has the inside track to win early playing time due to being on the roster last season. In projecting breakout fantasy football wide receivers, I do tend to side with guys like Cantrell who have the size to play any of the three wide receiver positions and the versatility to do so as well. It is definitely true that Cantrell has an uphill battle to fantasy football relevance (at best fourth in line on the Chargers for targets, UDFA, injury) but fitting the profile of what a breakout looks like with absolutely zero hype is a useful way to buy in dynasty leagues.
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