by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
We are always on the lookout for the next next breakout player, the one we are going to target off the waiver wire. While it’s not always easy to find, there are definitely a few players that are worth watching this week to see if they can show early signs of an emergence. Who are they? Let’s take a look:
Zay Jones – Wide Receiver – Buffalo Bills
When the Buffalo Bills traded away Sammy Watkins they opened up an opportunity for their rookie wide receiver to emerge as the go to guy. Obviously the offense will still run through LeSean McCoy, but someone needs to catch the football
Sure they acquired Jordan Matthews, but it’s been proven that he’s miscast as a top wide receiver and a better fit as a complimentary piece being used out of the slot. Charles Clay has shown potential, but he is what he is and only once has he surpassed 60 catches (69 back in ’13) or 605 yards (759 in ’13).
That leaves Jones, who gets to get his feet wet against an abysmal Jets’ team and will have Tyrod Taylor at quarterback. It all is pointing in the right direction and the rookie could be one of the bigger surprises of Week 1 (and, in turn, carry the production throughout the season).
Robbie Anderson – Wide Receiver – New York Jets
We all know how bad the Jets’ offense is, so why would one of their wide receivers appear here as a player worth watching? Someone has to catch the football, and Anderson arguably has the highest upside while opponents focus on stopping Bilal Powell. The team also has added quite a few veterans late in the offseason, which will help distract from Anderson and his upside:
- Jermaine Kearse (WR)
- Jeremy Kerley (WR)
- Will Tye (TE)
Of course none of those three are going to be difference makers and Anderson, entering his sophomore season, showed signs last season (42 receptions, 587 yards, 2 TD).
Brandon Coleman – Wide Receiver – New Orleans Saints
Willie Snead is suspended for the first three weeks of the season, and that’s going to mean that there’s an opportunity for someone to step up. While Coleman isn’t going to be the top receiver (Michael Thomas), he could operate as the #2 target ahead of Ted Ginn Jr. and Coby Fleener. With Drew Brees under center, that’s an enviable spot to be in and Coleman could easily entrench himself as a go to target all season long.
At 6’6” and 225 lbs. he could be a force in the red zone and he’s entering the “magical” third year where a breakout is possible. Remember, when coming out of Rutgers NFL.com described him by saying:
Big, tall, talented, West Coast receiver whose sheer size enables him to be effective outside the numbers, on slant routes and in the red zone, though inconsistency has prevented him from reaching his potential.
Having spent time in the NFL and growing comfortable in the offense, now could be the time for him to take a significant step forward.
Sources – ESPN, NFL.com
Make sure to check out all of our Week 1 Rankings: