Every year there are a few players who come out of nowhere and they can be the key to a fantasy championship. Here are the guys that I believe could end the year as household names and more importantly, your fantasy teams X-factors.
RB Tevin Coleman: I’ll be the first to admit I was a little too high on Coleman last year, I wasn’t expecting Freeman to be the big time player he was. The second year running back has sub 4.40 speed and great vision. I have a gut feeling that Coleman will leapfrog Freeman and become the feature back half way through the season.
Projected stats: 1030 rush yards, 6 rush TD’s, 35 catches, 210 receiving yards, 1 receiving TD
WR DeVante Parker: A very popular pick this year to be a breakout candidate, the big issue here is whether or not Ryan Tannehill can finally become a reliable quarterback. At 6’3″ Parker has all the physical skills to be a very gifted wide receiver in the NFL for many years to come. When I see him play I see a little bit of A.J. Green in his game. If he can be the type of player that Green has become, Miami is looking at a franchise changing wide receiver.
Projected stats: 77 catches, 1150 yards, 9 TD’s
WR Dorial Green-Beckham: This guy was a top recruit coming out of high school for a rare combination of size, speed and the ability to make any catch. He has his issues with staying out of trouble but he has been kept in check for his short career. Mariota needs a guy that he can let loose and air it out to and DGB is the perfect guy for him. Green-Beckham could rise into the top 15 wideouts this year if the offensive line gives his young quarterback time to throw. Speaking of Mariota, he’s one of the top sleepers at QB heading into the season.
Projected stats: 83 catches, 1025 yards, 9 TD’s
WR Mike Wallace: Just a few years ago Wallace was torching defensive backs every Sunday with his mind blowing speed. This is more of a revival than it is a breakout but I am expecting big things from Mike Wallace this year. Being a burner having a quarterback with a big arm is key to being successful. Playing with Teddy Bridgewater at this point in his career is suicide for wide receivers. His new slinger, Joe Flacco could be the guy to bring Mike back to top form, especially with the Perriman injury news.
Projected stats: 60 catches, 1100 yards, 6 TD’s
TE Eric Ebron: If having huge potential was the main factor for having a breakout year, then Ebron would’ve been on this list since his rookie year. A freak athlete with talent pouring out of him, the guy simply this far in his career just hasn’t been able to catch. Without Megatron in Detroit I expect Stafford to try to evenly spread the ball out this year. Tate will get a lot of targets, but I feel Ebron could be the top threat for the young Lions this year. Eric, if you are reading this, PLEASE, don’t drop the ball.
Projected stats: 72 catches, 1000 yards, 8 TD’s