A player doesn’t necessarily have to be top five at their position in order to be a “breakout player.” If a player significantly outperforms his average draft position, that can be breaking out as well. In this article I’ll give examples of players destined to outperform their ADP, as well as players who can help win you your league with their top five upside.
Kareem Hunt had been a popular pick in the middle of your draft due to the possibility of him taking over the starting running back job at some point in the season. That time is going to be even sooner than expected now that Spencer Ware has been ruled out for the remainder of the 2017 season after tearing his PCL and LCL. The third round rookie Kareem Hunt is now expected to be the Chiefs featured running back, a position that offers tremendous upside. Chiefs head coach Andy Reid has a long history of using a bellcow running back, expect that to be no different for Kareem Hunt who can run between the tackles and is an excellent pass catcher. All Kareem Hunt owners now have a running back who is guaranteed to get a lot of touches, and has the upside to finish top five at the running back position.
Parker has been a player on everyone’s radar since he entered the NFL as a first round pick out of Louisville, but that hasn’t translated to fantasy relevance. We have seen flashes of his talent throughout his first two seasons with the Dolphins, will this be the year he finally breaks out? There was already a good amount of hype around Parker coming into the 2017 season, but it exploded when the Dolphins were forced to bring in Jay Cutler as their starting quarterback. Parker’s ADP went through the roof due to Cutler’s tendency to consistently target one receiver, for better or worse. Cutler recently referred to Parker as “a faster version of Alshon Jeffery”. This is the year Parker finally comes into his own and outscores his teammate Jarvis Landry in all formats.
Montgomery started the 2016 season as a wide receiver for the Green Bay Packers. Due to injuries to the entire backfield, the team decided to convert Montgomery to running back and see if he would be able to hold down the fort until everyone else got healthy. Instead, the Packers found their running back for the future. He averaged 6.7 yards per touch, and was top three in yards after contact. After a full offseason as practicing as a running back, Montgomery is ready to breakout. He is in a great offense with one of the best quarterbacks in Aaron Rodgers, Montgomery will have plenty of scoring opportunities. As a former wide receiver, he has great pass catching skills out of the backfield and has the body and capability of being a three down back. I’m calling for over 1300 total yards and 10 touchdowns in 2017 for Ty Montgomery.
By now, most people know the Kelvin Benjamin story. He burst onto the scene as a rookie with over 1000 yards and 9 touchdowns. People had high hopes for him going into the 2015 season, until a training camp injury sidelined him for the whole year. Since then, we haven’t seen a season as good as his rookie year. Benjamin has struggled with weight issues, causing most people to take him off their draft board completely. With that being said, there is reason to believe he can breakout in 2017. He has put the weight issues behind him, and firmly reestablished himself as the number one receiver in Carolina. Expect to see a much better season from Cam Newton, which would be great for Benjamin. Owning one of the easiest fantasy schedules for a wide receiver, don’t be surprised of Kelvin Benjamin has a career year in 2017.
Ertz is a player that many thought might breakout last season, but after a slow start to the season he left a sour taste in the mouths of his fantasy owners. However, there is even more reason to believe in Ertz as a breakout tight end. In the final five weeks of the 2016 season, Ertz racked up 40 receptions for 443 yards and three touchdowns. After the departure of Jordan Matthews from the Eagles receiving core, look for Ertz to own the middle of the field and be a target in the redzone. After another offseason building chemistry with Carson Wentz, I believe that the talent and opportunity is there for Zach Ertz to breakout in 2017.