Breakout Players

Myles Gaskin– Welp, week one of the preseason was not ideal for Myles Gaskin. Malcom Brown was awarded the start and played first and second down, with Gaskin coming in as the third down back. The good news for Gaskin is, Malcom Brown ran the ball nine times and totaled a very underwhelming eight yards. Gaskin looked fine while he was on the field averaging just below five yards per carry. Not the usage we were all hoping for but I don’t want to read too much into week one of preseason. Last year, Gaskin finished as the RB28 in PPR leagues (depending on league scoring). The impressive part is that he did it in only ten games! Last year Gaskin averaged just over 16 PPG. To put that in perspective, that puts him at RB12 on a points per game basis for RBs who played three or more games. The talent is there and the Dolphins had plenty of opportunity to draft a RB to be the long term solution and they didn’t. Myles Gaskin has the talent to repeat and go beyond what he did in his 2020 season as long as he gets the workload. His current ADP is pretty high in the 4th round right now but I expect that to drop with the usage we saw in week one of preseason.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire– If you go back to last off-season, Clyde Edwards-Helaire shot up rookie drafts after going to the Chiefs in the first round of the NFL draft. His draft stock rose like crazy and everyone was ready for the breakout of Clyde Edwards-Helaire. Well, after week one last year the entire fantasy community about lost their mind after he got 25 carries to start the season and rushed for 138 yards and a touchdown. He was ready to set the fantasy world on fire. But after week one, if you were the Edwards-Helaire owner you felt let down. Don’t get me wrong, he had a fine rookie season but after his week one performance, fantasy managers were left wanting more. Clyde Edwards-Helaire is primed for a full on breakout season in 2021. The Chiefs didn’t add anyone that would be a threat too take snaps or targets away from CEH, and expect him to a more confident runner in year two. It also helps that Clyde Edwards-Helaire is on one the best offenses in the league and has Patrick Mahomes getting him the ball. Edwards-Helaire has the right tools and right situation to finish as a top ten RB this season.

Terry McLaurin– I know, most people love Terry McLaurin this season and is probably an obvious breakout candidate. But I think he goes beyond a typical breakout and steps into the elite category this year. It’s hard not to root for this guy as he came in from day one and stepped into a leadership role. McLaurin had a hard time finding the end zone last year but I feel like part of that could have been the QB play. After Alex Smith retired, Washington went out and got the always interesting Ryan Fitzpatrick. They also added Curtis Samuel to be the Robin to Mclaurin’s Batman. On top of that everyone is calling for a breakout season for Antonio Gibson, which means this offense has potential to be pretty dangerous. This may or may not be bold but I’m expecting a top ten finish for McLaurin at the WR position with the potential of an overall WR1 finish! McLaurin finished as the WR20 in PPR leagues which is a solid season. He had 87 receptions for over 1,100 yards but only found pay dirt four times. In my opinion, we will see McLaurin reach 100 plus receptions and I think he will see closer to 8-10 touchdowns. I’m very excited for Terry McLaurin this year and you should be to. He has been a target in the third round for every mock and real draft I have done.

Brandon Aiyuk– Admittedly, I was not very high on Brandon Aiyuk coming into the NFL. But sometimes I’m more than happy to be wrong, and this is one of those times. Aiyuk did benefit from George Kittle and Deebo Samuel being hurt a good portion of the year. But Aiyuk balled out as a rookie WR which is extremely hard to do. Brandon Aiyuk showed he had that big play ability once he gets the ball in his hands. His draft stock is climbing rapidly but where he is going in the fifth round is a great spot to grab Aiyuk if you can. Aiyuk is another player similar to Terry McLaurin who I can see taking that next step into the elite WR conversation after this season. All the reports coming out of training camp are saying Jimmy Garoppolo has never looked better. With Garoppolo under center Aiyuk will be a safe play. I think when rookie QB Trey Lance gets the bump to starter is when you will see Aiyuk really shine. Aiyuk had four games of double digit targets and scored in three out of four of them. Granite, each of those four games Deebo Samuel, and George Kittle were hurt and did not play. It comes down to whether you believe in the talent for Aiyuk. To me he has shown flashes of his elite traits, and should take a step forward in his second year. Do yourself a favor and make sure to leave your fantasy drafts with him on your roster!

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