- Eric Karabell, ESPN.com Senior Writer
It's true that last summer Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon was on my list of potential breakout performers, along with the Pittsburgh Steelers' Antonio Brown and the Baltimore Ravens' Torrey Smith. (Well, two outta three isn't too bad, though Smith wasn't necessarily bad.) One didn't need to be Nostradamus to realize the talent lurking in Gordon, but his second season provided the critical opportunity he needed to produce major numbers, as he ended up as fantasy's highest-scoring wide receiver. It doesn't appear he'll get the same chance to do that again in 2014, leaving opportunity for someone else on the Browns to step up.
With breakouts for fantasy having been analyzed at quarterback and running back, let's move on to the wide receivers. As with the other positions, we're excluding all rookies for these purposes and dividing the options into two sections. The goal is to identify players perhaps under the radar in terms of value -- regardless of their age and prior failed chances -- who could break out into true or truer fantasy relevance. Some of the choices are going to be selected in all leagues, like the Ravens' Smith was in 2013, for example, the obvious top-40 wide receivers that you might not have considered a team building block. Others are far more off the radar -- like the Chicago Bears' Alshon Jeffery was last summer! -- but perhaps shouldn't be. Time to break out the options, and you can share your thoughts in the comments section!
It's true that last summer Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon was on my list of potential breakout performers, along with the Pittsburgh Steelers' Antonio Brown and the Baltimore Ravens' Torrey Smith.