Fantasy Football

5 Sophomores we expect will have a big year

In the NFL it usually takes until year two for a player to really come out and show what he is capable of.  While some of these guys could have had a decent rookie campaign, we expect these five guys to be light years ahead of what they did last year.  We will start it off in Buffalo with a quarterback, who now has tons of weapons around him. 

E.J. Manuel – QB – Buffalo Bills – The Buffalo Bills made it obvious this year that they wanted E.J. Manuel as their starter. They did not sign a quarterback, and they added tons of talent around him. Last year E.J. was injured and only really played in 6 games, of those six games he won two.  Manuel showed promise, but people forget that he beat Carolina on a 4th quarter comeback.  The guy is a talented QB, but really needed a better supporting cast.  This year the Bills beefed up the line, added two more running backs to the already best combo in the NFL, traded up to land Sammy Watkins a bigger, faster, stronger Stevie Johnson, and gave him Mike Williams a big target.  Buffalo currently has the heaviest offensive line in football and the tallest wide receivers.  Buffalo will be looking to pound the football on people with four solid running backs, and I would expect a monstrous year from Manuel and the Bills.

Dee Milliner – CB – New York Jets – We all know that Dee Milliner the Jets former first rounder struggled badly.  He was called out more in the beginning of the year than any other player in the NFL.  Rex Ryan really gave him a hard time, and it paid off.  By the end of the year Milliner was looking pretty good.  Remember the Jets gave up Darrelle Revis for this kid, and he will need to step up.  Well at the end of the year, Milliner was starting to get it. He understood the NFL, so I expect him to shine in 2014.  This is Milliner’s year, he will be the best player in the Jets secondary, mark my words. 

Manti Te’o – LB – San Diego Chargers – I usually would not put a linebacker on this list, but I have a feeling Te’o is going to erupt on the scene in 2014.  Last year the former Notre Dame standout finished the season with 61 tackles, and proved he can make big time plays at the NFL level when he played the entire game. 10 of his 61 tackles came against the division rival Chiefs near the end of the year.  Te’o looked like a Pro-Bowler on the field, and I feel he will take major strides in 2014. 

Giovani Bernard – RB – Cincinnati Bengals – Last year Gio Bernard finished the year with 695 yards and 5 touchdowns, and this year I expect that number to double.  Running backs usually take a little longer to full bloom, and I feel this kid has some stupid talent waiting to be unveiled.  Bernard has quick speed, and explosiveness. I would not be surprised to see a 10 plus touchdown season and a 1000 yards in 2014. 

Tyrann Mathieu – S – Arizona Cardinals – This is easy, even though this kid had a good year last year, when you add in the fact that the Cards have added Antonio Cromartie, his stats have to get better.  Teams are going to try to avoid the NEW FLOCK IN TOWN, and when they do turnovers will come.  The Cardinals will continue to get a push up front, and when they do the batted passes in the secondary will end up in the Magnet Mathieu’s hands.  I think he finishes with a Pro Bowl like season in 2014. 

A few guys that just fell short of the list, Ace Sanders – Jacksonville, Alec Ogletree – St. Louis, Bjoern Werner – Indy and Zach Ertz – Philadelphia. 

Damond Talbot

NFL Draft Diamonds was created to assist the underdogs playing the sport. We call them diamonds in the rough. My name is Damond Talbot, I have worked extremely hard to help hundreds of small school players over the past several years, and will continue my mission. We have several contributors on this site, and if they contribute their name and contact will be in the piece above. You can email me at

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