Five breakout fantasy players

Bernard Pierce among five second-year players who could have big seasons

Originally Published: May 23, 2013
By KC Joyner | ESPN Insider
Giants/RavensAP Photo/Evan VucciBernard Pierce should be in line to get more carries this year, increasing his fantasy value.

The fantasy football world has been blessed with a slew of dominant rookie players over the past two years. Cam Newton, Robert Griffin III, Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson added depth to an already deep quarterback position, A.J. Green and Julio Jones proved first-year wideouts can score big points, and Doug Martin and Alfred Morris shored up the thin fantasy running back corps.

Performances like this tend to make fantasy owners pay an inordinate amount of attention to the NFL's newcomers, but what about those players who take until their second season before they experience a breakout campaign?

Here are five second-year candidates who fit this bill and could be primed for top-notch fantasy football performance in 2013.

Bernard Pierce, RB, Baltimore Ravens

Pierce's value depends on how much of the rushing workload Baltimore is willing to take from Ray Rice.

Moving carries away from Rice might seem like a low-percentage proposition, but consider what history tells us about high-volume workloads.

According to pro-football-reference.com, only 122 players in NFL history have tallied at least 1,500 touches (defined as rushes plus receptions) over the course of their career. Eleven of those players are active, so that leaves us with a list of 111 historical candidates.