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2nd-year players poised for a breakout

The fantasy football drafting season is getting underway, and everybody is looking for that next breakout player. While the focus is usually on rookie players this time of year, we shouldn’t overlook last year’s rookies. Whether they had promising starts or got new coaches over the offseason, a year of NFL experience goes a long way in projecting a player’s fantasy value going forward.

We take a look at 12 players who could have breakout fantasy campaigns in their second season.

Quarterbacks

Teddy Bridgewater, Minnesota Vikings

Bridgewater’s rookie year had a bit of a rough start — he was thrown into the starting job midseason, and his inexperience led to some shaky performances in those first few games. However, he quickly learned the ropes and guided the Vikings to a respectable finish to the season.

Bridgewater was knocked for his arm strength in the lead-up to the 2014 NFL Draft, and it showed even in his better games. But he also showed the same strengths scouts were raving about — pocket poise, pinpoint accuracy and a sense of leadership that teammates could rally behind. Entering his second year in Norv Turner’s offense — and getting new weapons in Mike Wallace and a returning Adrian Peterson — Bridgewater has a ceiling in the low-end QB1 level.

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Ferretti-ends-stint-as-Mexico-boss-768x403

Ferretti ends stint as Mexico boss with gritty win over Panama

An experimental Mexico side was forced to work hard for a 1-0 victory against a defensively organized Panama in Toluca.

Mexico entered the game on the back of a 3-2 extra-time victory over the United States in a 2017 Confederations Cup playoff, while its opponent arrived winless in normal time in its previous 12 fixtures. Real Sociedad attacker Carlos Vela’s goal in first-half stoppage time was the difference in the international friendly Tuesday, with neither side capable of creating obvious openings.

Panama goalkeeper Jaime Penedo had an early scare after missing Adolfo Machado’s backpass, forcing him to scramble back and clear under pressure from Raul Jimenez. But the visitors soon produced the first real chance of the game as Armando Cooper’s low drive was touched around the post with a one-handed stop by Alfredo Talavera.

Mexico appeared the more threatening in the early stages, with Jimenez’s energetic running causing panic among the Panama back five. After collecting a deep pass towards the end line line, the Benfica striker did well to turn Luis Henriquez — but Jonathon dos Santos was unable to reach his raking cross.

Panama began to settle into the contest midway through the first half, with the tight, narrow pitch in Toluca favoring Hernan Gomez’s side. Predominantly defensive minded, Panama — 65th in the FIFA world rankings — enjoyed a confidence-building period of possession before the interval.

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Trevone Boykin

Boykin leads No. 5 TCU to a 40-10 win over West Virginia

FORT WORTH, Texas — Trevone Boykin leaped over defenders and threw from the hip for touchdowns. The TCU quarterback even slapped hands with West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen after going out of bounds on one of his nifty scrambles.

“It’s probably the most respect that you can give someone in that time and moment,” Boykin said after the fifth-ranked Horned Frogs won 40-10 on Thursday night for their 16th consecutive victory.

In their last game before the first weekly College Football Playoff rankings this season, TCU (8-0, 5-0 Big 12) made quite an impression. As did Boykin (472 total yards, four touchdowns) and Josh Doctson (11 catches, 183 yards and two touchdowns) on Heisman Trophy voters tuning into the midweek game.

“I keep telling you just appreciate Trevone Boykin and Josh Doctson,” coach Gary Patterson said. “They’re pretty special people.”

Boykin was 32 of 47 for 388 yards and three touchdowns and ran 11 times for 84 yards, with a 2-yard keeper for a score when he hurdled a defender at the goal line.

He broke TCU’s record for total offense at 12,041 yards, breaking the previous record 11,925 held by Andy Dalton, the Cincinnati Bengals quarterback who led TCU to an undefeated season and Rose Bowl victory during the 2010 season.

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