Fantasy Football Breakout Candidates for 2020 NFL Season
The 2020 NFL offseason has been a wild one, but training camp is upon us, and that means fantasy football draft season is rapidly approaching.
While it's always going to be important to nail your top fantasy football picks, the way to really dominate your draft is by hitting on players with big upside in the later rounds.
With that in mind, here are the top breakout candidates for the 2020 fantasy football season.
2020 Breakout Candidates for Fantasy Football
3. Mecole Hardman, WR, Kansas City Chiefs
Mecole Hardman established himself as one of the most explosive wide receivers in the NFL in his 2019 rookie season. He didn't have enough receptions to qualify for the leaderboards, but his 20.7 yards per reception would have been good for No. 1 in the NFL if he did. What held his fantasy value back was a limited workload, playing fewer than 60 percent of the Kansas City Chiefs' offensive snaps in 10 of 16 regular-season games. With an extra year of experience under his belt, Hardman should be set to play a more significant role in 2020, and that could give him massive upside, especially while he's catching passes from the league's best QB.
2. Matt Breida, RB, Miami Dolphins
The only thing that ever seems to be holding back a Matt Breida breakout is volume. He averaged 5.0 yards per carry as well as 8.4 yards per reception with the San Francisco 49ers in his first three NFL seasons, but he also only ever handled more than 15 carries in a game on three occasions. He'll also be competing for touches with the Miami Dolphins, sharing the backfield with Jordan Howard, but this could be Breida's opportunity to emerge as a No. 1 back. The 'Phins traded for Breida even after signing Howard, suggesting he's a guy they really wanted to bring into the offense. He has also graded out ahead of Howard in Pro Football Focus' overall grade in each of the last two seasons, after tying Howard as a rookie in 2017. The Miami offense isn't the most exciting place to be, but since they'll likely be playing from behind a fair bit, Breida's edge as a receiver (67 receptions to Howard's 53 despite playing 551 fewer snaps) should keep him heavily involved.
1. Diontae Johnson, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
Diontae Johnson all but broke out as a rookie in 2019, with 680 yards on 59 receptions, but he could be set to take a big jump forward in 2020. First, he's going to get a massive upgrade in quarterback play with Ben Roethlisberger returning, which should immediately be a boon to his efficiency. Second, Johnson really seemed to be earning the trust of the Pittsburgh Steelers' coaching staff down the stretch in his rookie year. He played at least 75 percent of the team's offensive snaps in five games, and three of those five came in his final three games of the season. He averaged 7.7 targets, 5.7 receptions and 65.7 yards per game in that stretch, which translates to a 16-game pace of 123 targets, 91 receptions and 1,051 yards. A sophomore breakout certainly looks to be in the cards for the 2019 third-round pick.
Join FanDuel Daily Fantasy to compete for cash in free & paid to play games. New users get a $5 bonus with their first deposit.
Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.