One of the best ways to get a leg up on fellow dynasty managers is to forecast a player’s breakout. It is easy to sit back and say this player is going to break out because they are young and talented. However, not every breakout candidate will break out! Here are the dynasty breakout players you should be targeting and buying low on.
This is where the art comes into play, we have to take the time to figure out if a breakout is even possible. Some questions to ask yourself are: Does the team have other pieces in place? Does the player have an opportunity? I have taken the time to dive in and grind out some of these questions. With that, I have compiled a list of young under-valued players who have a potential breakout in the coming year. Let’s dive in and see who I found for 2021!
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Jerry Jeudy (WR) – Denver Broncos
Jerry Jeudy was one of the top prospects coming into 2020, however, the season did not go as planned for the young star. The pairing with Drew Lock seemed to be too hard to overcome for Jeudy in year one. Lock was 42nd according to player profiler in catchable pass rate at 69.8%, this plus his 6.7 accuracy rating is very telling. Due to this the narrative that Jeudy struggles with drops has appeared driving his value down some. This is completely true, however, as he carried a 62.8% catchable target rate which was 105th according to his player profiler. Even with all of these struggles, he was able to flash on the field due to his great route-running prowess. As a result of this, he was able to produce 856 yards on 52 receptions as a rookie.
With an upgrade in the accuracy department at quarterback in 2021, going from Lock to Bridgewater. I anticipate that Jeudy can capitalize on more opportunities. Jeudy ranked second in unrealized air yards with 965, mostly due to inaccurate throws. Pair all of this with the return of Courtland Sutton who will draw more coverage. All things point up for Jeudy to breakout in 2021!
The longest pass from last season…
Drew Lock to Jerry Jeudy for a 92-yard TD 🔥 pic.twitter.com/Aa5ssiGvjq
— NFL Stats (@NFL_Stats) June 25, 2021
Michael Pittman (WR) – Indianapolis Colts
Michael Pittman is a fellow second-year wide receiver who is on the cusp of a breakout season. The talent is there for Pittman as he showed flashes in his limited opportunities in 2020. Last year the Colts’ favored a heavy run scheme offense, that could not stretch the field due to the arm strength of Philip Rivers. Pittman is the field stretcher, this was part of the reason he was unable to produce at a high-level last year. He did carry a 66.7% catch rate which was 48th according to his player profiler. Along with this quarterbacks had a 91.2 rating when targeting him last season. These are all respectable numbers for a rookie wide receiver who will only improve in year two.
This season the addition of a strong-armed quarterback in Carson Wentz will be music to many managers’ ears this season. Pittman is in line to see his 13.5% target share increase closer to 20% this year. As a result of these two things, I think he will produce wide receiver two numbers. The Colts’ offense will be built through the run game and play-action passing, Pittman will feed off the deep shots in this environment. The breakout is coming in 2021 for Pittman do not be late!
Week 10 Player Highlight: Michael Pittman
Past two weeks:
(led the Colts WRs in all)
– 84% snap share
– 20% target share
– 27% red zone target share
– 35% air yard share
Indy desperately need a playmaker, and they drafted him to be one. Beautiful upcoming schedule. pic.twitter.com/AeMJsRkoes
— Jacob Gibbs (@jagibbs_23) November 17, 2020
Adam Trautman (TE) – New Orleans Saints
Adam Trautman was nothing more than a blip on the radar in 2020. Coming out of Dayton he was profiled as a solid receiving tight end, many expect big things from him. However, he only saw 16 targets last year, of those he caught 15 of those for 171 yards. Although he was not targeted a lot last year the Saints have shown a ton of confidence in him as a led tight end. They let Jared Cook walk this year in favor of Trautman. Last season Cook saw 60 targets, 5 less than the year prior. Now add in the fact the Saints also lost their true number two wide receiver in Emmanuel Sanders as well. The storm is brewing in Louisiana, when we look back most tight end break out occurs when the team lacks receiving options.
This is the case in 2021 for Trautman, we hope to see Jameis Winston under center here. This is a good thing for the fantasy outlook of all the players on the roster. It especially helps Trautman though, he will have the opportunity to become Winston’s second-best target behind Michael Thomas. I believe strongly that we will see this happen, so do not be late to this party in the bayou!
— NFL (@NFL) November 9, 2020
Clyde Edwards-Helaire (RB) – Kansas City Chiefs
Clyde Edwards-Helaire had a lot of high expectations going into 2020, after being selected by the Kansas City Chiefs in round one of the NFL draft. He did not live up to many people’s hopes in year one. Edwards-Helaire did have some injury battles through the year and had some rookie setbacks. As a result, he would finish RB19 on the season. However, he did flash at times and his biggest issue was finding the endzone as he only scored 4 times all season. The Chiefs struggled as an offensive line unit in 2020, however, they graded out as the twelfth best team according to PFF. They upgraded this unit in the offseason heavily adding two new guards in Kyle Long and Joe Thuney, Austin Blythe at center, and last but not least Orlando Brown at tackle. Revamping this offensive line is a huge boost for Edwards-Helaire.
As a result of all this Edwards-Helaire will be given better rushing lanes and allow him to really get into space where he is best. The Chiefs also let Le’veon Bell walk, and did not bring anyone else in. This is a big vote of confidence in Edwards-Helaire in my opinion. All of this in a nutshell leads me to the belief that Edwards-Helaire will have a huge role in 2021 and should see the leap we were hoping for in 2020. There are plenty of players who could breakout this year in all formats, but CEH could be a dynasty stud for years.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire Week 1 Highlights pic.twitter.com/nZMGwU0xQc
— CHIEFS HIGHLIGHTS (@ChiefsHighlight) September 11, 2020
Zack Moss (RB) – Buffalo Bills
Last season Zack Moss suffered a toe injury partway through the season. It ended up really hindering his ability to constantly get on the field. This season the Bills made it known that they will roll with their current backfield by adding no real competition. Moss brings an edge to the run game that fellow back Singletary does not. This allows Moss to see most of the red zone and short-yardage work, this could be huge as touchdowns are king in fantasy production. Last season Moss averaged 4.3 yards per carry behind a very average run-blocking offensive line. However, his pass blocking is far superior to Singletary’s and this is a route to more playing time for Moss. We all know how much Buffalo likes to pass!
With an added push to get the run game going more this season, both Moss and Singletary should see increased workloads. However, with Moss’s size and receiving ability, I could see him take over the backfield and see a larger workload. Along with his usage in the red zone, I see Moss producing solid flex numbers if not low-end RB2 numbers in 2021. Right now he is fairly cheap due to a down year in 2020, so buy him up well the price remains low!
Not sure when Zack Moss became a buy for me but here we are. Moss is an under the radar draft winner who might be one of the better zero RB targets. Currently going off at DLF as RB35 in May startups. pic.twitter.com/blf2shrd6u
— Joe O’Leary (@TheHQNerd) May 18, 2021
Joe Burrow (QB) – Cincinnati Bengals
Now I am not saying Joe Burrow is not highly regarded already after being the first pick in the NFL draft just last year. However, his rookie season was a tease, as we saw him produce at a fairly good level until his season-ending injury. Currently, most people can agree that he is ranked near the end of the QB1 spectrum. This is too low in my opinion and could be a steal in dynasty startups at the moment. Last season pre-injury Burrow was the QB16 as a rookie averaging over 17 FPG. He did this all with a rookie wide receiver and aging AJ Green. As well as a slew of injuries and poor offensive line play.
The addition of Ja’Marr Chase to the offense will do wonders for Burrow and the Bengals. Burrow now has three healthy and effective wide receivers. As well as a healthy Joe Mixon in the backfield. As a result of all these playmakers being healthy and a lack of addressing the defense by the Bengals, I believe that Burrow will be throwing a lot. Zac Taylor has proven they want to throw the ball a ton as they average close to a 60% passing ratio over the past two years. Burrow may top 600 attempts in 2021 and this cloud lead to top-eight fantasy numbers! Burrow will quickly move from being a dynasty breakout to the ranks of the elite players.
Joe Burrow doing some cool stuff pic.twitter.com/j57tIXEiyB
— Ian Hartitz (@Ihartitz) July 2, 2021
Cole Kmet (TE) – Chicago Bears
Cole Kmet was the top tight-end prospect coming out of college last year. Landing in Chicago allowed him a clear path to a starting role sooner than later. That time is now! In 2020 Kmet saw limited usage, as he only saw 44 targets and produced 243 yards in 16 games. This is not terrible for a rookie tight end though. It is rare to see any rookie tight ends burst onto the scene. However, he looked very good in this limited action. The only player standing in his way is the aging Jimmy Graham. Kmet is much better than Graham at this moment in time and will force the hand of Nagy and the Bears staff.
Add all this into the addition of Justin Fields or even Andy Dalton and this screams break out. These are the keys to look for when predicting a tight end break out, no true established second wide receiver option, opportunity, and red zone scheme. The Bears have them all, they favor the tight end in the red zone and the big-bodied Kmet could be a huge target for these quarterbacks in 2021. Kmet landing as a top12 tight end in 2021 will not shock me, this is why you need to invest now! Sometimes the thing holding dynasty breakout players is coaching and Kmet is one of those guys.
COLE KMET, THE ROOKIE💪
— PFF College (@PFF_College) October 27, 2020
Denzel Mims (WR) – New York Jets
Last season Denzel Mims struggled to gain any traction as he had to battle a poor supporting cast, along with an injury bug. Coming out of Baylor Mims carried a 42.3% college dominator rating and a 19 year out breakout age. These are two great signs for NFL success. To go with that he landed in the 90th or higher percentile in all workout metrics. This earned him the comp to Chris Godwin. Last season he battled two hamstring injuries which are tough to overcome as a wide receiver let alone a rookie learning a new system. He was only able to produce 357 yards on 23 receptions.
This season with a better coaching staff and a risker quarterback I think Mims can take that step forward. He will have this full offseason to learn the system, along with returning to full health. Along with all of that, there is a true lack of an “alpha” wide receiver in New York. As a result why cant the 6-3 207-pound wide receiver take over this role? I think now is the time to buy into Mims as his value is dropping drastically and it will only rise come September! Mims is the biggest value among all the dynasty breakout players on this list.
We need to run the offense through Denzel Mims
WHAT A GRAB pic.twitter.com/sFHVmGjWjZ
— 𝙅𝙀𝙏𝙎 𝙈𝙀𝘿𝙄𝘼🛫 (@NYJets_Media) November 22, 2020