3 second-year quarterback breakout candidates [2024]

Here are 3 second-year quarterback breakout candidates to help you add value to your 2024 fantasy football teams.

Finding breakout players will give your fantasy team a major boost. It can mean the difference between competing for a championship or being another also-ran.

Discovering just who those players are is another story. It can be difficult, but there are some traits you can look for.

Here are three second-year quarterbacks who are candidates for a breakout season.

SPOILER ALERT: C.J. Stroud, he of the excellent rookie season, is not one of them.

Anthony Richardson, QB/Indianapolis Colts

Richardson set the NFL Combine on fire last year with measurables that were off the charts. He was ranked as one of the most athletically-gifted quarterback prospects of all time. This, of course, had fantasy owners salivating given the amount of points that accumulate in a hurry with quarterbacks that can run the ball. The problem, of course, is that any quarterback who takes off and runs is increasing his injury risk at an exponential clip. As fate would have it, Richardson played in just four games in his rookie year before suffering a season-ending injury. He had a little bit of a fumbling problem and his accuracy wasn’t much to write home about. But, man, those plays with his legs were something to behold. As the Colts have added extra weapons in the offseason, Richardson could be well on his way to a breakout season — if he can just avoid that pesky injury.

Bryce Young, QB/Carolina Panthers

We won’t get into the disaster of a trade the Carolina Panthers made last year with the Chicago Bears, and how Bears GM Ryan Poles is the runaway favorite for Executive of the Year in 2024 because of it. We will also limit our snickering about the Panthers taking the wrong quarterback at first overall last year. Instead, we will mention how poorly the Panthers’ roster was constructed last year and how Young was set up for failure from Day 1. The best offensive weapon the team had in 2023 was an aging Adam Thielen. That has all changed this offseason as the Panthers spent time reconstructing the team around Young. They hired Dave Canales as the new head coach and the man most responsible for turning what looks like an unmitigated disaster of a draft pick into a reclamation project. They beefed up the offensive line. They acquired veteran receiver Diontae Johnson from the Steelers. And they drafted receiver Xavier Legette, running back Jonathan Brooks, and tight end Ja’Tavion Sanders. They also signed running back Rashaad Penny — for whatever that’s worth. All of these moves were designed to help Young succeed and avoid him becoming an all-time bust. With all these tools, and a skilled tactician like Canales calling the shots, this could be a great rebound opportunity for Young.

Will Levis, QB/Tennessee Titans

The NFL world last April sat and watched in anguish — well, not me, I quite enjoy draft day fallers; these athletes get paid millions, they’ll get over it — Will Levis slide into the top of the second round, just days after being a projected Top 10 pick. Levis quickly pushed aside Malik Willis, the Titans’ 2022 rookie quarterback bust, and had some really strong games in relief of veteran Ryan Tannehill. Now headed into his second season as the starting quarterback of the Titans, he has the opportunity to string together some more impressive performances. The Titans signed Calvin Ridley and Tyler Boyd this offseason to pair with DeAndre Hopkins, giving Levis a formidable set of receivers atop the depth chart. There’s still that Treylon Burks guy — yay — and tight end Chig Okonkwo to give him some extra firepower. The team signed Tony Pollard to replace Derrick Henry and Pollard and Tyjae Spears should help keep defenses honest as well as give Levis an extra checkdown option. I would expect the Titans to struggle a little bit this season, but from a fantasy perspective, Levis could be one of those QB2s that has spike weeks in the Top 10.