Top 10 breakout candidates to draft

Fantasy Football Rankings: The Top 10 Breakout Candidates to be Drafted in 2022 Originally Appeared on NBC Sports Boston

One of the most important parts of building a winning fantasy football team is identifying who will be the pinnacle of stardom.

These players have shown flashes of impressive talent and offensive production over the past few years, but still have a level or two to reach. We call them breakout candidates. Many fantasy owners can identify the man at the top of their league’s draft. , or win an intermediate round betting on a new team.

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Which players are likely to make significant progress and take their talents to the next level in 2022? Read on to see our ranking of fantasy’s top 10 breakout contenders for the season.

10. Nico Collins, WR, Texans (Bye Week: 6)

Collins had a solid rookie season, finishing second for the Texans in receptions (33) and yards (446) along with one touchdown. It has the physical tools to become a good wide receiver. Using that size to create separation in the red zone could result in a significant increase in touchdowns from last season. and to be the second option in the Texans’ passing offense.

Anticipated Draft Rounds: 14th

9. Trey Lance, QB, San Francisco 49ers (Bye Week: 9)

The 49ers, for better or worse, gave Lance the keys to the kingdom and ended San Francisco’s Jimmy Garoppolo era. It was going to happen sooner or later. San Francisco has given up a ton of capital to pick the former North Dakota State star, with him a top three pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Lance wasn’t doing much as a rookie. He only attempted 71 passes in six games. He’s still very raw and largely unknown from a fantasy standpoint. However, Lance has exciting talents, such as the Dual Threat skill set, which requires him to gain many fantasy points on the ground. also has plenty of arsenal, including wide receivers Deebo Samuel and Brandon Ayuk, plus elite tight end Golgi Kittle.

It may be weeks before Lance makes his move, but his potential advantage is immense and it’s worth taking a chance on him late in the league’s draft.

Anticipated Draft Rounds: 10th


8. Joshua Palmer, WR, Chargers (Bye Week: 8)

Palmer has enjoyed a great training camp so far and could well be No. 3 on the Chargers’ wide receiver depth chart by Week 1. An increased role in a high-scoring offense led by elite QB Justin Herbert should improve Palmer’s stats significantly.

Anticipated Draft Rounds: 14th

7. Pat Freiermuth, TE, Pittsburgh Steelers (Bye Week: 10)

Who will be the next star tight end in professional football? Betting on Freiermuth is not a bad gamble.

As a rookie last season, Frei Ermut had 60 receptions for 497 yards and seven touchdowns in 16 games. He’s caught four or more passes in eight of his last 10 games, and the 6-foot-5-inch, 258-pound size makes Red hard to cover in his zone. He also blocks very well, so the Penn State product is pretty out on the field.

Frei Elmousse should play a key role in an amazing Steelers passing offense in 2022. Next season, it wouldn’t be surprising if Frei Elmous hit his 75-plus receptions, 700-plus yards, and 90-or-so targets with 7-plus touchdowns.

Anticipated Draft Rounds: 10th

6. Jerry Judy, WR, Broncos (Bye Week: 9)

Judy was on the breakout list before last season after a decent but not-so-great rookie campaign. The 2021 season has been a tough season for Judy. He missed his seven games due to injury, and his performance (38 receptions, 467 yards, 0 touchdowns) was unimpressive when looking at the field.

The Broncos made a significant upgrade at quarterback during the offseason by acquiring Russell Wilson from the Seahawks in a trade. Wilson is a future Hall of Famer and a current Top 10 player. Judy should see a significant increase in her receiving stats with Wilson leading the offense.

Anticipated Draft Rounds: 6th place


5. Darnell Mooney, WR, Bears (Bye Week: 14)

With the departure of Allen Robinson, Mooney became the number one wide receiver on the Bears’ offense. His fifth-round pick of 2020, in his 16 games last season he scored his career-high for 1,055 yards and four touchdowns on 81 receptions. Better numbers should be in store for Mooney in 2022 with more targets and stronger chemistry with starting quarterback Justin Fields.

Anticipated Draft Rounds: 4th

4. Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Dolphins (Bye Week: 11)

Tagovailoa’s career has been a bit disappointing so far. He showed flashes of elite talent but couldn’t pull it all together in a full season, so don’t be surprised if Tagovailoa shows a huge improvement in his 2022. The main reason for that would be the talent around him.

The Dolphins made a big deal with the Chiefs to acquire elite wide receiver Tyreek Hill, one of the fastest and most difficult pass catchers in the league to cover. Few players can score on every play, but Hill certainly does with his game-breaking ability.

Hill isn’t the only great offensive weapon Tagovailoa has. Jaylen Waddle had a stellar rookie campaign in 16 games where he had 104 receptions for 1,015 yards and four touchdowns. He only gets better in his second year, and Hill’s presence helps keep opponents’ defenses from double-teaming Waddle so often, and he’s one of the league’s most underrated tight ends. Don’t forget the person Mike his Gesitzki.

The Dolphins have done a great job placing top-level talent in skill positions and surrounding Tagovailoa. They also hired an attacking head coach named Mike McDaniel. Tagovailoa has a breakout season and everything is in place to bring Miami back to the playoffs.

Anticipated Draft Rounds: First place


3. Travis Etienne, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars (Bye Week: 11)

Etienne missed his entire rookie season due to a torn anterior cruciate ligament. If healthy, Etienne can be expected to play a large role in the Jaguars’ offense, along with his former college teammate and franchise quarterback Trevor Lawrence.

Etienne is even more valuable in the Half PPR and Full PPR leagues due to his pass-catching ability. He recorded his 85 receptions in his final two seasons at Clemson, plus he tallied 2,518 yards and his 34 touchdowns during that period.

Etienne should get a heavy workload, which will make him a strong RB2 and a top 10 in 2022 if he plays close to the full number of games.

Anticipated Draft Rounds: 3rd place

2. Derek Carr, QB, Raiders (Bye Week: 6)

Is it weird to have Kerr on this list after eight years in the league? Maybe, but let’s consider a few factors. He’s the only time he’s been thrown in his 30+ touchdowns. Only once did he throw for more than 4,150 yards.However, his lack of prolific stats isn’t entirely his fault.The Raiders have made him an elite offensive talent for most of his career. could not be enclosed in They were also one of the most penalized teams in that span.

This season could be Kerr’s best yet. He finally got a bona fide number 1 wide his receiver in Davante Adams. Probably the best player in this position. Kerr and Adams played together at Fresno State, so they already have a strong connection on and off the field. Adams and Hunter Renfrow give Kerr a shot at wide receivers and top-tier tight end Darren Waller with a passing attack.

Let’s also not forget that the Raiders hired an offensive head coach in Josh McDaniels.

All the ingredients are in place for the best season of Kerr’s career.

Anticipated Draft Rounds: 6th place

1. Gabriel Davis, WR, Buffalo Bills (bye week: 7)

With Davis on many of these “breakout star” lists, the Bills’ expectations for wide receivers will run pretty high in Week 1.

Davis’ recent memories drive much of his hype. caught. It was an unbelievable performance.

Davis also had a respectable regular season, recording 35 receptions for 549 yards and 6 touchdowns as the fourth option most weeks. Here’s an interesting stat: His 37.4% of his catches were his 20+ yards, the highest percentage in the league.

With veteran wideouts Emmanuel Sanders and Cole Beasley leaving Buffalo in the offseason, the stage is set for Davis to play a bigger role in the Bills offense led by elite quarterback Josh Allen.

Predicted draft round: 4th place

Editor’s note: Get an edge on draft day with Rotoworld’s 2022 Football Draft Guide. This guide is packed with hundreds of player profiles, expert rankings, projections, mock him drafts, sleepers, busts and more. And don’t forget to use the promo code DRAFTGUIDE to get access to everything for just $5 in your first month. Click here for more information.

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