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Fantasy Football 2023: Sizing Up the Sophomores

Some second-year players are ready for a breakout season while others might take a step back.

I’m a child of the 1980s and ‘90s, so I love listening to the old hair bands. Give me a little Motley Crue, Warrant or Poison over most of today’s music any day! One of my other favorites was Skid Row, who busted out with their big hit “Youth Gone Wild.”

That song title describes what’s been happening in the fantasy football world. More often than ever before, we’re seeing rookies and second-year players step onto the gridiron and go wild in the stat sheets. That was evident again last season, as we saw the likes of Breece HallKenneth WalkerDameon PierceGarrett Wilson and Chris Olave all make a memorable rookie impact for fantasy managers.

Those players, among others, are now heading into their sophomore campaigns and looking to make even more statistical noise. If you can identify the future superstars and draft bargains among them, you’ll obviously have a much better chance to reach your league’s finals. And at the end of the day, that’s where we all want to finish!

In an effort to make you look like a draft genius, help you dominate your competition and not insult your intelligence, I’m not going to go over players like Hall, Wilson, Walker or Olave. You’re smart enough to know they’re already the big breakout candidates among the sophomores heading into the upcoming NFL campaign. In fact, Hall, Wilson and Walker will all be top-30 picks across most 2023 drafts.

Instead, here are the second-year players who might not have made a huge rookie impact but are in a position to step up and be remembered in 2023. It’s all about the bargains after all, and many of these players will fit the bill. Besides the stars and sleepers, I’ll also talk about some sophomores who could either see a decline in their first-year totals or fail to take that Year 2 leap to fantasy stardom.

Kansas City Chiefs running back Isiah Pacheco

Sophomore Stars

Sophomore Sleepers

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver George Pickens (14) makes a one-handed catch on Sept. 22, 2022.

Sophomore Stinkers

Houston Texans rookie running back Dameon Pierce