It takes around three years for most players to find their role in the NFL. This proves to be particularly true with wide receivers. They come to fruition around their third season, in return, makes them a viable candidate for a breakout season in fantasy. Now, accommodating to the ‘new NFL’ defensive backs and linebackers can’t be as punishable to receivers. Allowing for younger receivers to come into the game and provide immediate impact. Still, there are those players who need a couple years of experience to grasp the handle of the fast-paced NFL. Here I’ll highlight three receivers who are primed to be strong fantasy breakout candidates who’ll be entering their third year in the league.

DeVante Parker – Miami Dolphins: Dolphins’ third year receiver is on many ‘Breakout Candidate’ lists entering the season. Now, rightfully so, Landry will lead his team in targets. However, that doesn’t prevent Parker from seeing his fair share of opportunities and being able to rise through the ranks to be an exemplary starting receiver on your fantasy team. He moved his targets, receptions, yards and touchdowns all upwards from his rookie campaign. Entering his third year we can expect even more looks from quarterback Ryan Tannehill. Dropping one pass in 15 games played, proving to fans, coaches and most importantly his quarterback that he is a trusted target. Defenses will be game planning all week for Landry and running back Jay Ajayi, giving the outside man many holes to sneak through during game time. Adding to Parker’s bright side, the Dolphins play one of the easiest pass effectiveness schedules in the league this year. Which, should allow for Parker to reap many benefits. One downside is that Parker has found himself dancing in the end zone only seven times in his first two seasons. He’ll need to push the bill on passing the goal line, but if accomplished he will find fantasy stardom. Parker is being drafted towards the end of the 7th round or early 8th round. If drafted properly, he could be your WR3 to start the season with high potential to hit WR1 status.

Jamison Crowder – Washington Redskins: Crowder, also, trending upwards in a significant amount of receiving categories. Which is a beautiful sight to see for anyone entering their third season in the league. The Redskins parted ways with their two most targeted players from a year ago, Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson, opening up 216 targets. Washington did go after highly touted free agent Terrelle Pryor and will be getting a healthy, former 1st round pick, Josh Doctson back. So Crowder finds himself in the middle of a dog race for those available targets. Crowder exploded last year catching 67 of his 99 targets (67.7%) for 847 yards and 7 scores. As the #3 guy in Washington he provided great assurance for quarterback Kirk Cousins. Many experts see Pryor taking over the WR1 spot, but that doesn’t mean he’ll take over as Cousin’s most trusted target. That role being set up for Crowder. Showing his ability to move after the catch, Crowder, finished 2016 with 363 YAC (yards after catch) ranking him 19th amongst receivers. Catching 4 out of his 5 contested balls, plus in the red zone catching nine passes and finishing best among the Redskins in successful plays. Entering his third year as maybe the safest receiving option outside of, injury-prone, Jordan Reed on the Redskins. I expect his numbers to increase. Predicting over 1,000 yards and 8 or more touchdowns is not a bold prediction, rather a smart one. Join me on the Crowder train as it keeps chugging along.

Chris Conley – Kansas City Chiefs: My darkhorse of the group, sees the departure of WR1 Jeremy Maclin, opening up many doors for the returning Chiefs. This also leaves Kansas City with no veteran receiver. Chris Conley, 24, is the oldest wide receiver on the team that is guaranteed a spot on the roster. He’s played in all 32 games in his first two seasons, starting in half of them. In 2016, Conley caught 63.7% of the balls thrown his way but was kept out of the end zone all season. The Chiefs are getting younger all around as they spent first round pick on future QB Patrick Mahomes II. Which gives the inclination that, just like fellow veterans Maclin and Jamaal Charles, starting quarterback Alex Smith is on his way out the door. One of the most conservative quarterbacks in the league, may now, have to open up his throwing ability to showcase he has what it takes to win now. Which is music to receivers ears. Conley led the Chiefs in successful play percentage in 2016. However, when narrowed down to just the red zone, found himself dead last on the Chiefs in the same stat. Conley will have to work harder to separate near the end zone. If he can accomplish this, he may find a majority of the targets in 2016. Conley is not being drafted in many mock drafts throughout the summer. If it stays that way, he is an explosive player to take in the last round who will be seeing a lot of daylight with Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce taking most of the attention away from Conley’s side.

About The Author Nick Faber

Nick is an avid fantasy footballer and avid sports follower from Detroit, Michigan. He hosts the Ten in the Head video podcast which can be found at facebook.com/teninthehead.