9 second-year wide receiver breakout candidates [2024]

Here are 9 second-year wide receiver 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 nine second-year wide receivers who are candidates for a breakout season.

SPOILER ALERT: Puka Nacua, who already had a breakout rookie season, is not one of them.

Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR/Seattle Seahawks

JSN has all the physical tools he needs to be a breakout player in 2024. He just needs more of an opportunity. As long as they are healthy, though, D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett will be featured receivers in the Seahawks offense. The team will need to run a lot more 11 personnel to get JSN more looks, and that of course depends on Geno Smith looking his way, too.

Zay Flowers, WR/Baltimore Ravens

Flowers had an admirable rookie season in a run-heavy offense in Baltimore. Lamar Jackson put together another MVP season and I think Flowers is on his way to flourishing in this offense moving forward. In his second year in the league, I expect him to take the next step, and it could very well be a big one. (Just hold onto the ball at the goal line, bub).

Jordan Addison, WR/Minnesota Vikings

Addison burst out of the gate in his rookie season and finished the 2023 campaign with 10 receiving touchdowns, which tied for fourth-most in the NFL. But he kind of fell back into the pack midway through the season as I think the grind of the NFL campaign paired with injuries to Kirk Cousins and Justin Jefferson took their toll on him. With an expected decline in quarterback play this coming season, and continued target competition with Jefferson and T.J. Hockenson, Addison has his work cut out for him but could pick up the explosiveness where he left off early last year.

Tank Dell, WR/Houston Texans

Dell had quite the rookie season before suffering a broken left fibula in December. He was also wounded in a shooting this offseason but it was considered minor and he should be fully healthy this coming season. The problem he faces is added target competition with the addition of Stefon Diggs. But with CJ. Stroud tossing the rock, Dell should have plenty of opportunities.

Quentin Johnston, WR/Los Angeles Chargers

What a bust Johnston was in 2023. Of the four receivers taken in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft, Johnston landed in perhaps the best situation in a pass-heavy offense with a great quarterback like Justin Herbert. But Johnston had a problem with drops and other rookie mistakes. I was hesitant to even put him on this list as new head coach Jim Harbaugh brings a run-heavy scheme to the fold and certainly won’t tolerate any of Johnston’s mistakes from last year. But with the Chargers’ receiving corps decimated, he’ll have an opportunity to redeem himself. It’s on him to capitalize.

Jayden Reed, WR/Green Bay Packers

The biggest issue working against Reed in Green Bay is the number of mouths to feed in that offense. Christian Watson has arguably the biggest profile but he has been unable to stay healthy. Romeo Doubs, Bo Melton, a pair of tight ends. And one more — Dontayvion Wicks, who we’ll talk about shortly. But Reed’s explosiveness and versatility to be used in multiple ways offers a high upside for him.

Marvin Mims, WR/Denver Broncos

The Broncos traded up to acquire Mims in last year’s draft, which speaks to how much new head coach Sean Payton liked him. But Mims was used more as a returner than a receiver in his rookie year. Jerry Jeudy was shipped out of town and Payton talked about getting Mims more involved. I’d say he’s more of a sleeper than a breakout candidate at this point, but stay tuned this offseason to further developments.

Michael Wilson, WR/Arizona Cardinals

Wilson is on this list more for the lack of competition around him. The team of course drafted Marvin Harrison Jr., who is the clear No. 1 in the offense, and also brought in Zay Jones. But Jones’ deal is for one year and the team would like to get their own drafted player going. He may not put up monstrous numbers, but he has the opportunity to seize the No. 2 role in that receiving corps and could put up strong FLEX numbers if he takes advantage.

Dontayvion Wicks, WR/Green Bay Packers

Like his aforementioned teammate Reed, Wicks faces a lot of competition for targets in that Packers offense. But it’s a pass happy offense and Wicks flashed some explosive playmaking ability at times. If Watson indeed continues to miss more time, I’d expect Reed and Wicks to be the top target earners and would benefit from Matt LaFleur’s scheme.