Last month, I predicted five fantasy busts for the 2020 NFL season. In this article, I’m going to highlight five players that I think will be fantasy football breakouts this year. All of these players have failed to reach elite fantasy status yet, but have a legitimate chance of taking the next step this season.
Ridley is arguably the most popular breakout choice among analysts heading into the year. The 25-year-old Falcon is a touchdown machine, racking up 17 scores over his first two years in the league. Ridley spent the last two seasons competing with Austin Hooper and Mohamed Sanu for targets behind Julio Jones. Now, with Hooper and Sanu gone, he finally has the opportunity to be the sole #2 option in Atlanta’s pass-heavy, dynamic offense. Like most, I’m expecting him to take full advantage of that opportunity. Ridley should push for around 80 catches and 1,000+ yards this year. With his touchdown upside, that’s enough to propel him to a top-15 fantasy finish.
Chark emerged as the sole reliable target for Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew last season, and he should only produce more as the two continue to build chemistry. Jacksonville didn’t add a legitimate receiving threat to compete with Chark this offseason, so the third-year receiver should see a healthy dose of targets this year. 85+ catches for 1,200 yards seems like an attainable goal for Chark. Don’t be surprised if he finishes as a top-12 fantasy receiver this season.
Volume is king for fantasy running backs, and that’s exactly what Montgomery will receive this season. Chicago has made their intentions to feature the second-year back as their workhorse clear. While Montgomery is not the most talented back in the league by any means, he’s shown the capability of handling a heavy workload (242 carries as a rookie). You won’t find a running back with more fantasy upside than Montgomery at his current ADP (5th Round), as he’ll likely be the only pure workhorse left on the board at that point. 270+ carries is a reasonable expectation for Montgomery this season, and I’m expecting that to translate into serious production.
Hurst is my favorite breakout candidate heading into this season. People forget how highly-touted he was coming out of college as a first-round pick for Baltimore. Unfortunately, Hurst got stuck behind Mark Andrews and Nick Boyle on the Ravens’ depth chart. After being traded to Atlanta, Hurst has a huge opportunity to flourish. Matt Ryan and the Falcons love utilizing their tight ends in the passing game; just look at Austin Hooper, who racked up back-to-back 70+ catch seasons in 2018/19. Hurst has enormous breakout potential, and is a steal at his current ADP in the 13th round of drafts.
Yes, Josh Allen is a notorious touchdown vulture and the addition of Zack Moss raises some concerns, but Singletary’s talent cannot be denied. The second-year back is one of the most electrifying young players in the league. Singletary rushed for 775 yards on a 5.1 yards per carry average during his rookie campaign, often playing second-fiddle to Frank Gore. Now that Gore has signed with the Jets, the starting job is Singletary’s to lose. He has tremendous upside at his current ADP (Round 4/5) and could easily be one of the biggest fantasy football breakouts this year.
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