Fantasy Sports Fix: Receivers, running backs with potential |

Fantasy Sports Fix: Receivers, running backs with potential

Chris Gingrich/For the Craig Daily Press
Chris Gingrich

Year two can be an important year in a professional football player’s career. The game opens up for them, and things that seemed complicated the first year become second nature. Here are a few players that should break out in their second year given their opportunity at hand and their talent.

Brandin Cooks, wide receiver, New Orleans Saints — He missed six games last year with a thumb injury, but once he came back, he had an immediate impact. With no Jimmy Graham and no Kenny Stills, there will be a ton of targets and receptions up for grabs. New Orleans always airs it as the Saints completed the most passes in the NFL last season with 456. He is a possible Top 15 wide receiver because there is a huge opportunity with a regressing Marques Colston and just the large chunk of 1,800 yards left over from Stills and Graham.

Martavis Bryant, wide receiver, Pittsburgh Steelers — In the Todd Haley system they love to throw the ball and at 6 foot 5 inches with a ton of speed he should be one of the favorite targets in this offense. He was a Top 15 WR from week seven on last year. Through a four-game stretch last season, starting in week seven, he averaged 77.5 receiving yards per game and scored six touchdowns. Bryant and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will likely connect on some huge plays as Big Ben ranked seventh in deep-ball percentage last year. He could easily be a Top 25 wide receiver, maybe even Top 15.

Carlos Hyde, running back, San Francisco 49ers — San Francisco wants to go to the power running game, and Hyde will be front and center. He ranked in the top five of yards after contact with 2.8 yards per carry after contact last season and he ranked in the top five with Marshawn Lynch, Eddie Lacy and Arian Foster. Despite losing passing plays work to Reggie Bush, he is mostly an unproven commodity and plays in a division that is tough defensively. Hyde will most likely be the workhorse for a team that has reached the NFC Championship round three of the last four years. Hyde should garner 12 to 15 touches per game, including the all-important goal line carries. He has the potential to score eight to 10 touchdowns in an offense that really wants to run the ball even more.

I’ll be back next week with a little more football news, notes and maybe even some value draft picks and some sleepers for your upcoming drafts.

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