Fantasy Football

Boom or Bust: Second-year players to break out or disappoint

Our newest addition to Draft Diamonds is Guru Nation Fantasy Football. Today Aaron Kagan wrote this amazing piece on Fantasy Football’s Sophomores

Boom or Bust: Second-year players to break out or disappoint by Aaron Kagan

When the time comes for fantasy football GMs to research for a redraft or dynasty league, the potential boom and bust players are predicted for the upcoming season by analysts. Here’s a look at second-year players in 2019 that have the potential to be either boom or bust fantasy producers. While there are many other candidates for this list, I have narrowed them down to five in the boom and bust categories.


Calvin Ridley – WR/Atlanta Falcons

Being a part of a system that accentuates the pass, along with having elite caliber teammates to teach and become an example for in practice will only help in the growth and development of this player. We know that Atlanta Falcons star receiver Julio Jones has just gotten a rather large contract, but he isn’t getting any younger and his predecessor appears to be developing behind him nicely. Ridley put up more than 820 receiving yards in his rookie year, despite playing behind Jones and Mohamed Sanu. 

Courtland Sutton – WR/Denver Broncos

While being highly touted as a rookie when he was drafted by the Denver Broncos, his production was not up to this level of expectation simply due to poor quarterback play in 2018. His athleticism and capabilities however, were on display and this is only positive for his future with the organization. With what appears to be an upgrade at QB with Joe Flacco coming in as well as a new coaching staff, we can look for Courtland Sutton to be the WR1 in Denver.

D.J. Moore – WR/Carolina Panthers

As a rookie, most fantasy analysts knew that D.J. Moore would be an integral part of the youth movement in the Carolina Panthers offense. As he more readily becomes “the guy“ for Cam Newton to throw the ball to, his abilities allow him to make spectacular catches, and be a reliable target after producing nearly 800 receiving yards (788) in 2018. 

Kerryon Johnson – RB/Detroit Lions

While his rookie season was greatly hampered by a knee injury, Kerryon Johnson Is expected to be back and better than ever in 2019. In the games that he played in 2018, he showed explosiveness and the traits needed at the running back position. With expectations set at a high-level, Johnson enters his sophomore season as the lead back in a Lions offense more dedicated to the run game with Darrell Bevell as offensive coordinator.

Phillip Lindsay – RB Denver Broncos

Though he came into this league as an undrafted free agent, Lindsay’s abilities and explosiveness were on display in the 2018 season before being deactivated to injured reserve with a wrist injury. There will definitely be competition from the other sophomore running back on the roster, Royce Freeman who holds more draft capital being selected with the seventh pick in the third round. But Lindsay’s 5.4 YPC and nine touchdowns can’t be ignored.


Derrius Guice – RB/Washington Redskins

Coming back from a torn ACL injury is never easy. This is especially true when the injury also incurred multiple infections after surgery. In addition to the extra recovery time needed, the fact that the Washington Redskins re-signed Adrian Peterson along with the fact that they drafted Bryce Love in the 2019 NFL draft are not good signs for Derrius Guice. He must be 100% healthy to compete.

Dante Pettis – WR/San Francisco 49ers

By adding multiple offensive weapons in the 2019 NFL draft, the San Francisco 49ers now do not need to rely on Pettis to be the main offensive factor for Jimmy Garropolo to utilize. This is further exemplified by the utilization of George Kittle on offense, further diminishing the need to look at a receiver to produce yardage. With rookie Deebo Samuel in the fold, Pettis must prove his worth quickly.

Nick Chubb – RB/Cleveland Browns

Chubb finished the 2018 season on an extremely high note, exemplifying his abilities as a runner and pass catcher to the tune of becoming one of Baker Mayfield‘s favorite assets. We have no idea as to what extent or role Kareem Hunt will have in this offense when he returns, but it will most certainly eat into Chubb’s carries. Duke Johnson Jr. is also there to fulfill a pass-catching role. With extremely high expectations, just being up to par will be a disappointment. 

Christian Kirk – WR/Arizona Cardinals

New quarterback and new offensive scheme led by Kliff Kingsbury may not boost Christian Kirk’s production immediately. The fact that Larry Fitzgerald is coming back for his “final” season will definitely take targets away from Kirk. He may still be a weapon but he might not be the main focal point until Fitzgerald retires. The new air-raid offense that will likely spread the ball more which will mean less targets for Kirk.

Hayden Hurst – TE/Baltimore Ravens

After being drafted in the first round of the 2018 NFL draft, it was obvious that the Baltimore Ravens held high expectations for their new tight end. But fellow tight end Mark Andrews showed some value as well. Hurst ended the season on the injured reserve and must prove he’s the lead tight end while fighting for targets as Marquise Brown and Miles Boykin join the receiving corps.

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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