Updated: Aug 24, 2020
Fantasy football owners are always searching for potential breakout candidates to add to their team each season. I have 3 candidates for you who I believe are going to have breakout seasons in 2020 (provided we actually have one). There are quite a few things to consider when looking for players to target who may be in for more production in 2020. A quarterback change, improved offensive line, added weapons, and a player of the same position moved/upgraded to allow for more targets are all things you need to consider. Here are 3 candidates who I believe are going to have a breakout season in 2020.
(Image via Broncos Wire / USA Today)
1. Drew Lock, QB, Denver Broncos:
You can call me a homer here (avid Broncos fan), but if there is any young quarterback not named Drew Lock who had more pieces added in the offseason, I’d like you to point them out. In just 5 games last season, Lock compiled a 4-1 record, threw 7 touchdowns against 3 interceptions, and had a completion percentage of 64.1%. I know that is a very small sample size, but he did all of this with a 25th ranked pass protecting offensive line and 1 quality pass catcher in Courtland Sutton (#2 Receiver Emmanuel Sanders was traded to the 49ers). John Elway made it clear in the offseason that provided his young quarterback with offensive weapons was his number one priority. Perhaps the biggest addition to the Broncos comes in the form of a 2019 free agent signing: OT, Ja’Wuan James. People forget about him because he missed the entire season last year. James will slide in as the right tackle in 2020 and should provide better protection for Lock. The additions of two interior offensive lineman Graham Glasgow (Free Agency) and Lloyd Cushenberry (3rd Round Selection) were massive pickups. Denver got my highest rated receiver in Jerry Jeudy in the 2020 NFL Draft, as he slid to #15. Jeudy and Sutton have the potential to be a top 5 duo at the receiver position. Combine that with adding WR KJ Hamler (2nd Round Selection) and RB Melvin Gordon and you have a complete transformation of an offense that has really struggled in the past few years. Add in second year tight end Noah Fant to the mix as well who has emerged as a downfield threat. Drew Lock is set up for success in 2020.
(Image via Sun Sentinel)
2. Mike Gesicki, TE, Miami Dolphins:
Big things were expected from Mike Gesicki after being drafted in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft. His rookie season was a major disappointment to many fantasy owners. Gesicki compiled only 32 targets, 22 receptions, 202 receiving yards, and 0 touchdowns. In 2019, Gesicki took a step up with Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. Gesicki ranked 11th in standard leagues in fantasy points for a tight end. He saw a huge increase in targets (89), receptions (51), receiving yards (570), and touchdowns (5). His catch percentage was only 57.3% in 2019 and I would expect that to rise in 2020. Gesicki saw 17 targets inside the red zone as well, so clearly he is a top red zone option for the Dolphins going forward. I’m looking for Gesicki to take another step up this season and perhaps into the top 5 in fantasy points for tight ends. Assuming Tua Tagovailoa is healthy and starts immediately for Miami, this should boost Gesicki’s performance in 2020. Worst case scenario is Fitzpatrick starts the majority of the games and can build on the season he had last year, which was Gesicki’s best season as a pro. One major change to the Dolphins offense comes in the form of new offensive coordinator Chan Gailey. The change to a spread offense could see Gesicki slide into the slot receiver position at times, which would drastically elevate his opportunities down the field in the receiving game.
(Image via numberFire)
3. Kenyan Drake, RB, Arizona Cardinals:
It’s hard to believe that Kenyan Drake is entering into his fifth NFL Season already. You may be asking yourself, how is a guy who has played for 4 years a breakout candidate? A change of scenery, that’s how. Since being acquired by the Arizona Cardinals in October of 2019, he performed as the #4 RB in many fantasy leagues. In just 8 games with the Cardinals last season, he averaged 5.2 yards per attempt, scored 8 rushing touchdowns, and had 814 yards rushing/receiving combined. It was clear to many fantasy owners that Drake was highly valued in Kliff Kingsbury’s offense from the get-go. With Kyler Murray set to take a big step this season, I expect Drake to be highly involved in both the passing and running games. With 35 receiving targets in just half a season in 2019, the impact he has in the passing game separates him from more run heavy backs. The trade of RB David Johnson submits Drake as the clear #1 RB. Acquiring WR DeAndre Hopkins in that trade as well makes the running game even more dangerous. The addition of Hopkins, to go along with Fitzgerald and Kirk, allows Drake more freedom on offense. The focus will be taken away from the running game because of the deep threat that Hopkins is. In PPR leagues, I would target Kenyan Drake in the second or early third round if he slides that far.
I hope you enjoyed this article and as always, you can follow me on Twitter @ bsweet2020.