The term "third-year breakout" is often used when talking about the wide receiver position, as WRs often don't reach their full potential in their first couple NFL seasons.
Young players at any position can be slow to develop at the NFL level, however, so we're going to expand our view beyond just wideouts.
These are the top third-year breakout candidates at every position for the 2020 fantasy football season.
1. Ronald Jones, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Ronald Jones had an incredibly disappointing rookie season in 2018, but he started to show some flashes while sharing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers backfield in 2019, rushing for 724 yards and 6 touchdowns on 172 carries. With Peyton Barber out of the picture, he will have a real shot to claim the No. 1 RB job, only having to hold off rookie Ke'Shawn Vaughn. With Tom Brady giving this offense a huge boost, the Buccaneers' RB1 role should be very valuable in fantasy football.
2. Anthony Miller, WR, Chicago Bears
Anthony Miller started to carve out a larger role for himself in the Chicago Bears' offense last season. His 85 targets were a nice step up from his 54 in 2018, and that number should climb even higher in 2020. He didn't become a full-time starter until the second half of the season, but from Weeks 11 to 17 he averaged 7.9 targets per game (a 16-game pace for 126). That included double-digit targets in three of his final seven games. Even as the team's No. 2 receiving option (behind Allen Robinson), a breakout could certainly be in the cards.
3. Baker Mayfield, QB, Cleveland Browns
Baker Mayfield kind of broke out as a rookie, but with his step back in 2019 this would still be a breakout of sorts. He now has one of the best supporting casts in the league, with Austin Hooper added to an arsenal that already includes Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt, Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham. He should also have an easier time getting the ball to those weapons, as the addition of Jack Conklin goes a long way to shoring up the Cleveland Browns' offensive line. Mayfield averaged 17.2 fantasy points per game as a rookie in 2018, and this offense could help him top that.
4. Hayden Hurst, TE, Atlanta Falcons
Hayden Hurst should benefit in a big way from his change in scenery. No longer sharing time with Mark Andrews and Nick Boyle, he will replace Hooper in the Atlanta Falcons' offense. There's plenty of competition for volume in ATL, with Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley on the outside, but Hooper still commanded 97 targets in just 13 games in 2019. Matt Ryan has thrown 600-plus passes in each of the last two seasons, and there should once again be enough targets to go around to support a top fantasy tight end in that offense.
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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.