5 Fantasy Football Breakout Candidates to Target Ahead of NFL Training Camp

By Leo Abbe-Schneider
Denver Broncos v Los Angeles Chargers
Denver Broncos v Los Angeles Chargers / Harry How

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Now that the combine, draft and more than half of the NFL offseason is in the rearview mirror, rosters are mostly set for the 2019 NFL season. With many teams making big changes, here are some players that could see a boost in their fantasy production this year.

5. Hunter Henry, TE, Los Angeles Chargers

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Getty Images / Harry How

After missing all of last season due to injury, Hunter Henry, enters the year poised to make an impact now that Antonio Gates is no longer with the team. Henry put up 12 touchdowns while seeing limited playing time in 29 games his first two seasons catching passes from Phillip Rivers. With Gates gone, and wide receiver Tyrell Williams now in Oakland, Henry has a chance to dominate in a Chargers' offense that loves to target tight ends.

4. Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, New England Patriots

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Due to his size (6'6", 258 pounds) and athleticism, Austin Serferian-Jenkins has been a titillating name in fantasy sleeper discussions since the Tampa Bay Buccaneers drafted him in 2014. Unfortunately, multiple injuries, team changes and inconsistent quarterback play made it difficult for him to make a lasting impact on any fantasy roster. However, with Rob Gronkowski announcing his retirement and newly signed Patriots' tight end Ben Watson suspended for the first four games of the season, Seferian-Jenkins could have plenty of opportunity for fantasy success catching passes from Tom Brady.

3. Ito Smith, RB, Atlanta Falcons

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Ito Smith had a solid rookie season as the third running back on the Falcons' depth chart a year ago, amassing 467 scrimmage yards on just 117 total touches. Now that Tevin Coleman is moving on to the San Francisco 49ers, Smith should see plenty of opportunities as the number two back on an offense that always seems to feature multiple players at the position.

2. Mike Williams, WR, Los Angeles Chargers

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Mike Williams already had a mini-breakout year in 2018, catching 43 passes for 664 yards with 10 touchdowns. He enters his third season as a pro primed to build on the limited success he experienced as a part-time player in the Chargers' offense last year. With Tyrell Williams moving on in free agency, look for Williams, who averages 14.1 yards per reception for his career, to have an expanded role in the Chargers' deep passing game for 2019.

1. Kerryon Johnson, RB, Detroit Lions

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Kerryon Johnson had the second-highest yards per carry of any rookie running back last year (5.4 YPC), yet was largely overshadowed in the rookie running back conversation by Rookie of the Year winner, Saquon Barkley. Even though newly acquired running back, CJ Anderson, may eat into his carries, look for Johnson to prove that there's a massive talent gap between the two players, and continue to improve in his second season.