It's not hard to find new sleepers and busts during training camp and the preseason. But your breakouts shouldn't change much. These are the guys you like - the ones you must have.
With that in mind, my Breakouts 3.0 is an all-star, definitive version of the first two columns. You can see Breakouts 1.0and Breakouts 2.0 for the full lists.
Some things have changed for each guy, especially when we talk about Average Draft Position and whatever has happened at the start of training camp. But these are the guys you will likely see on the majority of my Fantasy teams this year.
I like them, and I'm expecting them to have a big season in 2017. Here's why.
And remember, everything you need can be found on our
Marcus Mariota Tennessee Titans QB
|Mariota hasn't gotten much hype this offseason given his ADP as the No. 11 quarterback off the board at No. 82 overall, but he should be in line for a breakout campaign. The Titans upgraded his receiving corps, with Eric Decker, Corey Davis and Taywan Taylor joining Delanie Walker and Rishard Matthews, and Mariota was solid last season before suffering a broken leg in Week 16. Prior to getting hurt, Mariota was on pace to finish as the No. 7 Fantasy quarterback, and he had at least 21 Fantasy points in a standard league in 10 games. Tennessee will still be a run-heavy offense centered around DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry, but Mariota will have plenty of chances to make plays and use his new weapons. If you like waiting on quarterbacks, Mariota is the perfect player to target in this range.|
Jameis Winston Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB
|Winston's ADP might get out of control because of Tampa Bay's appearance on HBO's Hard Knocks, and he's off to a good start in the preseason. He's currently being drafted as the No. 8 quarterback at No. 74 overall, but don't be surprised if that rises. I'm excited for Winston this season given his new weapons, DeSean Jackson and O.J. Howard, joining Mike Evans and Cameron Brate, and the Buccaneers seem more inclined to let Winston make plays this year. He improved from the No. 14 Fantasy quarterback as a rookie in 2015 to No. 10 last year, and he should break into the top-10 this season. And if he can cut down on the interceptions - 33 over two seasons, a real red flag as Heath Cummings noted - then his production could skyrocket. If Winston's ADP stays in a reasonable range of Round 7 or later then he'll be worth drafting with his breakout potential, but hopefully it doesn't get too high, which would limit his ceiling.|
Isaiah Crowell Cleveland Browns RB
|Crowell had a solid campaign in 2015, when he finished as the No. 15 Fantasy running back in standard leagues, and he has the chance to improve this season thanks to an upgraded offensive line in Cleveland. The Browns added right guard Kevin Zeitler from Cincinnati and center J.C. Tretter from Green Bay to go with left tackle Joe Thomas and left guard Joel Bitonio. That group should help Crowell be the catalyst of the Browns offense, and coach Hue Jackson wants to lean on the run game as much as possible to avoid exposing his quarterbacks too much. Hopefully there will be better play under center in Cleveland this year, but Crowell showed his potential in 2016, with eight games with double digits in Fantasy points. He also was surprisingly productive as a receiver out of the backfield with 40 catches for 319 yards. Cleveland's offensive line has the chance to help make Crowell a star, and he's worth his ADP, as the No. 14 running back at No. 30 overall.|
Joe Mixon Cincinnati Bengals RB
|It might take some time for Mixon to take over as the lead back in Cincinnati's backfield, especially with Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard still getting a ton of work in the preseason. You have to understand he might not dominate touches right away with Hill and Bernard still on the roster, especially as the Bengals offensive line could be a work in progress. But Mixon has the talent to still produce at a high level, and I will draft him at his current ADP, as the No. 16 running back at No. 36 overall. In 2016 at Oklahoma, Mixon was dominant, with 187 carries for 1,274 yards (6.8 yards per carry) and 10 touchdowns along with 37 catches for 538 yards and five touchdowns. The hope would be Mixon gets a significant portion of Hill's touchdown production over the past two years - 21 total over that span - and he should be around 1,200 total yards and at least 40 catches. He should be a difference-maker for Fantasy owners, and I expect his performance on the field to be stellar this season.|
Dalvin Cook Minnesota Vikings RB
|I was reluctant to trust Cook this season given the expectation he would share touches with Latavius Murray and maybe Jerick McKinnon, along with Minnesota having a mediocre offensive line. But with Murray still slowly coming off ankle surgery and Cook likely dominating touches, especially early in the year, it's hard to overlook his potential. He's similar to Mixon in that he has the talent to produce at a high level in what could be poor circumstances, and I love his ADP as the No. 20 running back off the board at No. 43 overall. At Florida State last year, Cook was a force, with 288 carries for 1,765 yards (6.1 yards per carry) and 19 touchdowns and 33 catches for 488 yards and one touchdown. He had consecutive years of at least 1,900 total yards and 17 touchdowns, and the Vikings got a steal when he fell into the second round of the NFL Draft. He might not be the second coming of Adrian Peterson, but he's good enough to be a standout No. 2 Fantasy running back with top-10 upside.|
Christian McCaffrey Carolina Panthers RB
|McCaffrey will be better in PPR leagues than standard formats, but there's a chance for him to be a Fantasy star. He passes the eyeball test, and he's made some standout plays already in practice and the preseason. His stumbling block, at least early in the year, could be usage, because of Jonathan Stewart, but the Panthers need to get McCaffrey the ball as much as possible. He's an elite-level talent who had consecutive years of at least 1,900 total yards and 13 total touchdowns over the past two seasons at Stanford. He also had at least 37 catches in each of the past seasons in college, and he could be a huge difference maker for the Panthers and Fantasy owners in both the running and passing games. His ADP is No. 15 among running backs - No. 31 overall in standard leagues - and that goes up to No. 29 overall in PPR. I'm all-in on both spots because I expect McCaffrey to be a special talent in his rookie year.|
Ameer Abdullah Detroit Lions RB
|Just stay healthy. That's all we can ask from Abdullah, who was expected to have a breakout campaign in 2016 before a foot injury in Week 2 knocked him out for the season. Thankfully, the Lions are sticking with him, and so should you. One report out of Detroit expects Abdullah to approach 200 carries, which factors in Theo Riddick playing on passing downs and likely Zach Zenner taking some goal-line work. The Lions upgraded their offensive line with the free agent additions of right tackle Rick Wagner and right guard T.J. Lang, which is a plus. The injury to left tackle Taylor Decker (shoulder) will hurt, but the unit should still be good, especially if Decker is back by the middle of the season. Abdullah was inconsistent as a rookie in 2015, but he started last season playing well with 18 carries for 101 yards (5.6 yards per carry) and five catches for 57 yards and a touchdown before his injury. It's a small sample size, but we hope it's a sign of what Abdullah is capable of. He's a great value as the No. 24 running back at No. 67 overall, and I expect him to outperform that draft position this year.|
Terrelle Pryor Washington Redskins WR
|(And Jamison Crowder) The Redskins have a lot of production to replace at receiver with, DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon gone as free agents. That duo accounted for 216 targets, 135 catches, 2,046 yards and seven touchdowns last year, and Kirk Cousins needs Pryor and Crowder to play well to keep this passing attack flying high. Pryor was brought in as a free agent from Cleveland, and he's coming off a solid campaign in his first full season playing receiver, as a former quarterback with 77 catches for 1,007 yards and four touchdowns on 140 targets. And Crowder had 67 catches for 847 yards and seven touchdowns on 98 targets as the No. 3 receiver in Washington. Both have the chance to produce even more this season. For Pryor, he's getting a significant upgrade at quarterback in Cousins compared to anything he had in Cleveland. And Crowder gets an expanded role, which should lead to a big year. Second-year receiver Josh Docston is also in the mix, as well as standout tight end Jordan Reed, obviously. But Pryor has the chance to be a low-end No. 1 receiver this season, and Crowder could also end up as a top-15 receiver if Cousins leans on him as much as he did Jackson and Garcon. I love the current ADP for both (Pryor as the No. 16 receiver at No. 31 overall and Crowder as the No. 31 receiver at No. 64 overall), and these are two of the best breakout candidates this year.|
Martavis Bryant Pittsburgh Steelers WR
|Bryant still hasn't been officially reinstated from his suspension last year, but that's expected to happen by the time most Fantasy drafts take place at the end of August or early September. And we can't wait to get him back on the field. Prior to missing last season, Bryant was a Fantasy star, with 14 touchdowns in 21 career games. He averaged a touchdown every six targets in 2014, and one every 15 targets in 2015, and Ben Roethlisberger should continue to give him chances to succeed. We've never seen him play 16 games, but he has a chance to hit 75 catches, 1,100 yards and 10 touchdowns if he's on the field all year. And he's currently a great price at his ADP, the No. 27 receiver off the board at No. 53 overall. That might seem steep for a player who didn't play in 2016, but this still technically qualifies as his third-year breakout season. It would not be a surprise if Bryant is a top-15 Fantasy receiver in 2017.|
Willie Snead New Orleans Saints WR
|What if I told you that you can get a receiver expected to get about 120 targets in a high-powered offense from a quarterback who has passed for 5,000 yards in four of the past six years in Round 6? You would probably take that everyday, and that's where Snead's ADP is as he is coming off the board as the No. 32 receiver at No. 65 overall. He has the chance to shatter that value if things go his way, and there are several things working in Snead's favor this year that make him an attractive Fantasy option. He has a tremendous opportunity in front of him with Brandin Cooks gone to New England, which should leave Snead in a primary role as one of Drew Brees' main weapons opposite Michael Thomas. It's also a potential contract year for Snead, and he definitely wants to be paid after two productive seasons with the Saints, totaling 141 catches for 1,879 yards and seven touchdowns. And this is his third year in the NFL, which is a time when receivers tend to make a leap in their production, which is something Snead seems ready to do. He had a big third year in college at Ball State with 106 catches for 1,516 yards and 15 touchdowns, and we'd love to see a repeat performance this year. Last year, Snead got off to a hot start in his first two games with 14 catches for 226 yards and two touchdowns on 17 targets before hurting his toe, an injury that lingered all year. If he's healthy all season then the production could be exceptional, and you're stealing Snead in Round 6.|
Stefon Diggs Minnesota Vikings WR
|I was hesitant to buy in on Diggs this season, but he has his own chance to be a third-year breakout candidate. He has to stay healthy after missing six games over the past two years, but he was on pace to be a quality Fantasy option last year, especially in PPR. If you project Diggs' stats from 13 games last season over a full season, he would have finished with 138 targets for 103 catches, 1,111 yards and four touchdowns. That compares favorably to Jarvis Landry, who had 132 targets for 94 catches, 1,136 yards and four touchdowns, and he finished as the No. 15 receiver in standard leagues. The difference is Landry is being drafted as the No. 20 receiver at No. 40 overall, while Diggs is the No. 28 receiver at No. 56 overall. I don't expect Diggs to make a huge leap with his touchdown production, especially in an offense led by Sam Bradford, but he should be a candidate for 100 catches and 1,100 yards, which makes him a solid commodity in PPR. He's a low-end No. 2 Fantasy receiver in standard leagues and a top-20 receiver in PPR this year.|
Zach Ertz Philadelphia Eagles TE
|I was fond of Ertz before the Eagles traded away Jordan Matthews, and now he has the chance to do even better with one less mouth to feed in the passing game, especially in the middle of the field. While Alshon Jeffery, Torrey Smith and potentially Nelson Agholor could be productive for Carson Wentz, it wouldn't be a surprise if the best receiving option ends up being Ertz. He's shown flashes of brilliance in each of the past two seasons, and this year he should have his most productive campaign. In 2015, Ertz had at least nine Fantasy points in a standard league in each of his final four games. And in his final nine games last year, Ertz scored at least eight Fantasy points in a standard league in six, including three games with at least 11 points. He finished as the No. 9 Fantasy tight end in standard leagues in 2016 and has been a top-12 option each of the past three years. But he has top-five upside, and this could be the year he reaches that goal. He's an excellent option at his current ADP, which is as the No. 10 tight end at No. 87 overall. I love that value since I can wait for him on Draft Day, and he should deliver in a big way.|