A lot of different aspects of fantasy football lead fantasy owners to believe a player will bust out and be a hit. One of the biggest ones is a make or break season.
Every year NFL players are pushed to that edge due to injuries, roles or even a contract situation. If they’re ever going to truly make it in the league, they need to eventually put their money where their mouth is and become that player their franchise drafted or signed them on to be.
The difference is figuring out which of those players will succeed, and which of those success stories will translate positively to fantasy football. Here are six guys facing a make or break season that could work out for fantasy owners in 2014:
Sam Bradford, QB, St. Louis Rams
Sam Bradford heads the list mainly because he’s the most likely make or break player that just might pull off the impossible. In fact, prior to going down with a torn ACL in week seven of last year, he was on a somewhat torrid TD:INT ratio pace. If he had kept that up, he may have ended the year with 30+ passing scores and a career best in passing yardage.
That pace is no lock to magically be back again to get 2014 rolling, but it looked like Bradford was starting to heat up with his weapons. He’ll need some improvement from guys like Jared Cook and Tavon Austin, but solid offensive line changes should go a long way in at least keeping him healthy. As long as he’s on the field, Bradford stands a good chance to shock some people and put up decent fantasy digits.
Jake Locker, QB, Tennessee Titans
The second quarterback facing a big make or break year, Jake Locker enters 2014 in the final year of his rookie deal as a lame duck. New head coach Ken Whisenhunt brings in a new offense too, which could make life difficult on the slow to develop mobile quarterback.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, Locker is going to be asked to operate more out of the pocket than on the run in the new system. All while trying to recover from a painful lisfranc injury. His recovery is nearly complete and word on the streets suggests he’s got the offense down pretty well. Now he needs to go out and crush it in order to save his job. If he can do that, he does possess the size, arm, and natural running ability to turn into a fantasy asset overnight.