Every year Fantasy Football players flock to their favorite football sites to check out their favorite articles. Usually, the big articles are the rankings, busts, and breakout players. In this article, I will be giving you my 2020 Fantasy Football Breakout Players.
But first, let's talk about what constitutes a breakout season, especially in terms of fantasy football. To be honest it all depends on who the author is and what their criteria are for a breakout player. Like for instance, some may say a 1,000-yard season for a wide receiver is a breakout.
For me, that doesn’t work because last year Mike Williams had 1,001 receiving yards. He only ended up being WR38. That is nowhere near a breakout in fantasy football.
With that being said, my criteria for a true breakout player in fantasy football are as follows:
- No rookies
- Max three years in the league
- Can’t have a previous season of being a QB (1-12), RB (1-12), WR (1-12) or TE (1-12)
- Must have the opportunity to finish top 10 at QB or TE (tight end is a wasteland after 10)
- Must finish at least as a WR1 or RB1
2020 Fantasy Football Breakout Players
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Baker Mayfield, QB, Cleveland Browns
Going into 2019 Baker was thought of as an excellent QB pick. With the addition of Odell Beckham, and Kareem Hunt fantasy owners flocked to Baker to get a share of him. He was supposed to be a top-five QB, but he disappointed every fantasy owner tremendously by ending up as QB19. Yikes! He ended up with 22 touchdowns and 21 interceptions. This is sounding worse every sentence, but hear me out first.
This year it almost seems like the same story, fans are hoping new weapons for Baker like Austin Hooper should help him and bring him back into fantasy owner's hearts. The question is will it help?
This time around I think Baker will actually have a bounce-back year, and since he is in his third year I am projecting him to actually be a breakout player.
With an improved offensive line, and all these weapons like Odell, Jarvis Landry, and Hooper, plus a running game that consists of Nick Chubb and Hunt to open up the passing game, I see him easily finishing as a top-12 QB.
Our site currently ranks him as QB17, but I have him ranked slightly higher at QB15. Although I have him ranked there, I still believe he can breakout and jump into the top ten for QBs.
Some people may forget, but he has got some wheels on him too and everyone knows the running QBs are taking over. Don't be afraid to take a shot on Baker Mayfield, you should be able to get him in the later rounds.
Honorable Mentions (QB)
- Daniel Jones, QB, New York Giants (Running QB with too many turnover issues, also don't like his receiving corps other than Evan Engram and Saquon Barkley even though he is a running back)
- Drew Lock, QB, Denver Broncos (Immense talent surrounding him, not proven though)
Miles Sanders, RB, Philadelphia Eagles
For not seeing a full workload until Week 11, only getting 53.7 percent of the snap share percentage, and an opportunity share of only 48.4 percent according to PlayerProfiler.com, Sanders still ended up as RB15.
During that stretch run from Weeks 11-16, he was PPR RB3!
He ended with 818 rushing yards and 50 catches for 509 yards. Sanders only had six total touchdowns. I project touchdowns to go up slightly.
As for this year, Fantasy Six Pack has him at RB10 behind Nick Chubb, Derrick Henry, and Kenyan Drake. I'm projecting Miles Sanders to easily pass them by the end of the year.
Barring injury, Sanders can improve his touches in both the running game and passing game dramatically. If he can go over 300 plus touches there is nothing stopping him from being a top-five running back.
I have him ranked RB5, right behind Christian McCaffrey, Saquon Barkley, Ezekiel Elliott, and Alvin Kamara.
*Side note, if you are wondering why there aren't more running backs, its because I believe most of the rankings are set in stone. There are only a handful of players with the opportunity to become a breakout player. Unfortunately, those teams either drafted another running back, or they signed one in free agency that will stop them from getting their touches.
I believe these players include
- Devin Singletary, RB, Buffalo Bills (Zack Moss can steal some carries, maybe even the job)
- Matt Breida, RB, Miami Dolphins (Jordan Howard is technically the "starter")
- Ronald Jones III, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Ke'Shawn Vaughn is getting a lot of hype, pass-catching back, Brady absolutely loves him some receiving backs)
- David Montgomery, RB, Chicago Bears (not very efficient, not a great pass catcher, Tarik Cohen is still there for those duties)
- Derrius Guice, RB, Washington Redskins (Can't stay healthy)
D.K. Metcalf, WR, Seattle Seahawks
Last year D.K. ended up as the half-PPR WR32, averaging 9.9 points per game.
According to PlayerProfiler.com Metcalf had a snap percentage of 87.2, an 84.3 route participation, and a 20.3 target share percentage. I expect Metcalf's number to come up in all three of those categories plus many more.
Metcalf, just like last year, should have a very high red zone percentage. This year, I see him finding the endzone more often.
As of right now, D.K. is being ranked as WR24 right here at F6P, with Tyler Lockett only a few spots ahead of him. I believe DK can take over as the number one option and further himself into consideration as a top receiver.
With an increase in target share and an already high red zone percentage, there is nothing stopping him from being a top 24 wideout. With that being said I'm projecting D.K. to end up with over 70 catches and 1000 yards. I also believe he will score at least eight touchdowns.
I have him at WR16 in my rankings currently ahead of Lockett, Kupp, Keenan Allen, and many more. Do not be afraid to draft this budding superstar!
Terry McLaurin, WR, Washington Redskins
Last year McLaurin ended the season with 58 catches for 938 yards ending as the WR27 and that was with rough QB play. If he can have consistent play he can truly breakout.
As I said in my Washington team preview, there is a lot of factors that need to happen for McLaurin to breakout. For one he needs Dwayne Haskins to improve, and he needs to stay the QB. Them two together have a 158.3 passer rating, a 72 percent catch rate for McLaurin, and with Haskins targeting him, he averaged 19.3 yards per reception.
As of right now, he is being ranked as WR26. With consistent QB play, the sky is the limit for McLaurin. I project him going over 1000 yards easily, and ending up as WR20.
Honorable Mentions (WR)
- Courtland Sutton, WR, Denver Broncos (Good year last year, primed for a breakout, but the Broncos drafted multiple receivers including Jerry Jeudy and K.J. Hamler)
- A.J. Brown, WR, Tennessee Titans (Surprise darling wideout for Tannehill last year, run-heavy offense. Hard to replicate YPR & likely to have a slightly worse year)
- Michael Gallup, WR, Dallas Cowboys (Solid year last year, too much talent around him to guarantee a breakout)
Breakout Player of the Year Candidates
Now for my top two breakout players. I believe these two will cement themselves as top-12 receivers by the end of the year, and by the time you are drafting next year, these guys will be on your mind early.
D.J. Moore, WR, Carolina Panthers
Real talk, D.J. Moore balled out last year with Kyle Allen as his QB. He ended up with 87 catches for 1,187 yards and four touchdowns. You may be thinking, "How is that not a breakout year?" Well according to my criteria, he didn't fit the breakout. In terms of Fantasy Football, he was only the WR18.
He now has Teddy Bridgewater as a QB, who is a step up from Kyle Allen. That can only mean good things.
D.J. will have to compete for targets with Christian McCaffrey, but other than that there is no one on the roster threatening his targets.
Going into 2020 Moore is being ranked as WR13 here on Fantasy Six Pack, just outside of WR1 territory. I'm predicting Teddy will use D.J. Moore like he used Michael Thomas last year for the Saints, and that is what is so mouth-watering about Moore this year.
If this is true, D.J. is in for a massive year, I have him as my WR10. He can easily go over 1,200 yards this year. It's entirely possible he reaches 100 catches too, but that is risky.
Right now think of him more as 90-95 catches on the year. The main knock is his lack of touchdown production, so here's to hoping that goes up in this new offense.
Calvin Ridley, WR, Atlanta Falcons
Last year Calvin Ridley was a hot commodity among Fantasy writers pertaining to him breaking out.
His final stat line on the year was 63 catches for 866 yards and seven touchdowns, ending up as WR25. Unfortunately, Ridley got injured and ended up missing the final three games.
There was no doubt in my mind he would have gone over 1,000 yards and double-digit touchdowns. That is exactly what I believe he can do this year.
As of right now, we rank him as WR17. As for me, I have him ranked as WR12. I'm projecting him to end up as a WR1 this year, posting double-digit touchdowns, going over 1000 yards, while also adding 75 plus catches.
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