♪ It’s the most, wonderful time, of the year! Mock drafts will be starting, and everyone’s wondering when to draft Patrick Mahomes. Will Melvin Gordon be playing, if not who’s his handcuff, and what about Daniel Jones? ♪
Only a few things in this world give me pure happiness. One of those things is Sundays during football season. My New York Giants have struggled the last few years mightily, unfortunately, so my focus has been almost 100 % on the virtual gridiron that is fantasy football. The faux sport has grown the last few years tremendously, and with that, the number of novice players seeking counsel from experts and TV shows has also risen. I am here today to provide you with the one source you need for winning your respective leagues this year. Here are the top 7 breakout candidates that will help fantasy players win their leagues this year.
1. Josh Jacobs (OAK)
Josh Jacobs is set up to have an amazing NFL career. Typically, Nick Saban and his coaching staff run their tailbacks into the ground while at Alabama. Unfortunately, this has caused some of them to have short NFL careers (Trent Richardson, Eddie Lacy). We’ve also seen some of these guys have an insane inability to read holes in front of them. This can be attributed to Alabama’s offensive lines being WAY too good. For example, in college, a 45 power is designed to open up a hole between the guard and the tackle. The offensive line at Alabama will almost always run this correctly for a significant gain. However, in the NFL, it is so much easier for a defensive lineman to blow up a down block and ultimately disrupt the play. I’m sure you’ve seen memes of Trent Richardson completely missing a hole and running into a brick wall. That is why.
There are two reasons Jacobs is going to go against these standards. First off, he was not a featured back at Bama. He split time throughout his college career, so he is coming into the NFL very fresh. Secondly, he got drafted into the perfect system. John Gruden is still stuck in 1997. His system is wholly run first, and this will allow Jacobs to thrive.
Snag JJ in the late second round.
2. Evan Engram (NYG)
Evan Engram is going to be the exact opposite of what you’d expect out of a typical tight end. The loss of Odell Beckham Jr. is going to open up targets all across the field in the Giants offense. Engram is going to be the primary beneficiary. The two top wideouts on New York are now Sterling Shepard and Golden Tate, who will both spend most of their time running short-intermediate routes in the middle of the field. This will allow plenty of space for Engram to work towards the sidelines down the field. His 4.42 40 time will enable him to be a matchup nightmare for safeties and linebackers, and this is even more prevalent in deep routes.
Expect Engram to have a great season. Take him in the fifth round.
3. Kerryon Johnson (DET)
The former SEC offensive player of the year had an excellent rookie season given the minimal opportunities presented to him. Johnson spent most of his time sharing snaps alongside Legarette Blunt and Theo Riddick. Despite this, he averaged right around 10 PPR points per game. Blount is no longer in the picture for the Lions, and Johnson will become a very productive NFL running back. Right now mock drafts have him going in the late third to the early fourth round. That is an absolute steal for his value.
If you can manage to get Kerryon in the fourth or even fifth, you are on the way to winning your league.
4. DJ Moore (CAR)
DJ Moore’s rookie season did not go quite as planned. He struggled throughout the first half of the season, failing to figure out a good connection with quarterback Cam Newton. However, over his last 7 games, he averaged just over 67 YPG. This is the DJ Moore you should expect in 2019. His inconsistencies will still show in his second season, but his big-play potential along with a healthy Cam Newton will allow him to overcome them.
If Moore is still sitting there come the mid-fifth round, scoop him up and expect some great value.
5. Christian Kirk (ARZ)
Like Moore, Christian Kirk had a very inconsistent rookie season. This can pretty much be blamed entirely on the horrendous QB play he got from Sam Bradford and Josh Rosen. Now Kirk has Kyler Murray throwing to him. Murray’s big-play potential and the fact the Cardinals will be playing from behind in most games will open up some great opportunities for the second-year receiver. If the offensive line can keep Murray on his feet, there is no reason Kirk cannot be a Top 20 fantasy wide receiver this year.
Do whatever you can to pick him up in the late fourth or fifth round.
6. Ronald Jones (TB)
Ronald Jones had a horrendous rookie season. In multiple instances, he was a healthy scratch from the active roster on game day. When he did play, he was not very effective at all. However, Jones has reportedly come into workouts looking much healthier than he did at this time last year. The Buccaneers drafted Jones in last years draft with the idea that he was going to be their work horseback for the foreseeable future. He is the most talented running back on the roster, so if he can put it all together this year expect some great numbers from him.
You should be able to snag Jones in the sixth to the seventh round.
7. David Njoku (CLE)
The Browns passing attack is going to be an absolute firework show this year. With OBJ, Jarvis Landry, Antonio Callaway, and Njoku, Baker Mayfield has a wealth of toys at his disposal. While initially, you might be hesitant to draft any of these guys because of the target disparity, Njoku should have a great year. Beckham and Landry will draw a bunch of attention, which will allow Njoku too to play with some space in the middle of the field. Expect a lot of touchdowns from the Cleveland tight end.
Scoop him up in the seventh round.