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USA Today

The Denver Broncos' acquisition of Russell Wilson almost certainly means better days are ahead for the Broncos wide receivers and you should expect to see Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton on a lot of breakout lists in the next six months. But when I first updated my projections none of the Broncos wide receivers came out in my top 20. And Tim Patrick is a big part of the reason why. 

In 2021, Patrick led the Broncos (minimum 20 targets) in yards per game (45.9), yards per catch (13.8) and yards per target (8.6). In 2020 he was behind Jeudy on a per-game and per-catch basis but was still the Broncos' most efficient pass-catcher on a per-target basis. Now, that could be explained by the fact that Jeudy and Sutton draw more attention, but that doesn't help those two out any when Patrick is also earning nearly as many targets per game. 

I'll admit this doesn't make a lot of sense. Patrick is a 28-year-old who went undrafted and has never topped 750 yards in a season. Jeudy is a 22-year-old with first-round draft pedigree and Sutton has an 1,100-yard season on his resume. Those two should be dominating targets, and they may be as soon as 2022, that will all depend on who meshes best with Russell Wilson. If you expect Wilson to continue his downfield attacking, that would lend itself towards Sutton. His aDOT was 15.4 last year, significantly higher than Jeudy or Patrick. 

From a rankings perspective, I have Sutton, then Jeudy, then Patrick but the three are only separated by 30 total Fantasy points. Breaking these receivers down as breakout candidates, Jeudy is the obvious first choice due to his pedigree, his youth, and the fact that he hasn't had as much success as Sutton yet. However, I do think Sutton is an excellent breakout candidate as well, his ceiling with Wilson is much higher than his 2019 season. Patrick's ADP will probably place him more in the sleeper category, but he may be the best draft value of the three of them based on the initial reaction for Jeudy and Sutton. All three Broncos receivers could have career years.

Carson Wentz is a Commander -- what does this mean for Terry McLaurin, the rest of the Colts and more? The Fantasy Football Today team tackled that:

Here are five more early breakout candidates for 2022:

Breakouts 1.0
Projections powered by Sportsline
CHI Chicago • #1
Age: 23 • Experience: 2 yrs.
2021 Stats
PAYDS
1870
RUYDS
420
TD
9
INT
10
FPTS/G
11.7
It's not easy to get creative with quarterback breakouts. There's Fields, Trey Lance, maybe Joe Burrow or Trevor Lawrence and that's about it. I actually think Burrow's efficiency regression will likely wipe out any volume gains and I can't get excited about Lawrence until a lot changes around him. I'm choosing Fields over Lance because I'm more hopeful he could be a good passer in 2022. But both have 800-yard upside as rushers and we shouldn't be surprised if either or both give us a Jalen Hurts-like performance this season. That would qualify as a breakout for either.
DET Detroit • #32
Age: 23 • Experience: 3 yrs.
2021 Stats
RUYDS
617
REC
62
REYDS
452
TD
7
FPTS/G
16.1
There are a few formerly injured players coming up, so I want to be clear, I think Swift can be statistically better on a per-game basis than he was last season. I would expect the Lions to add more talent and score more points than they did in 2021 and I expect Dan Campbell to be pretty run-heavy if the team is competitive. This team could also have one of the best offensive lines in the league if they can stay healthy. It will be tough to match the Fantasy production of the first seven games of 2021, but better efficiency and more touchdowns would go a long way over a full season. I'm not sure there are more than a handful of backs who have more upside than Swift this year if everything goes right.
BAL Baltimore • #27
Age: 23 • Experience: 2 yrs.
Despite missing the 2021 season with a torn ACL, there were positive signs in the Ravens passing game. For one thing, their 83 targets to running backs were their most since Lamar Jackson became quarterback. Considering they spent last summer telling us how good Dobbins looked catching the ball, and his backfield mate is Gus Edwards, who has 18 career receptions in three seasons, I expect Dobbins to see the lion's share of those in 2022. I'd also expect him to see 220-plus carries at better than five yards per pop and be the Ravens primary rusher in the red zone. The Ravens offense should bounce back in 2022 and Dobbins will be a big reason why.
PHI Philadelphia • #11
Age: 24 • Experience: 4 yrs.
2021 Stats
REC
63
TAR
105
REYDS
869
TD
5
FPTS/G
15.9
I know, I know, A.J. Brown has already broken out. I won't even argue, maybe he's done it twice. But for a guy who has No. 1 overall wide receiver upside, but has never topped 70 catches or 1,100 yards in a season I think it's fair to hope for more. Like Swift, it would be really nice to see Brown play a full season at his best ability. That would start with earning more than eight targets per game over a full season for the first time.
ATL Atlanta • #8
Age: 21 • Experience: 2 yrs.
2021 Stats
REC
68
TAR
110
REYDS
1026
TD
1
FPTS/G
10.4
Pitts is amongst a handful of tight ends who could finish No. 1 at the position in 2022 and I would not blink. His 1,026 receiving yards as a 21-year-old rookie tight end were astonishing, but his Fantasy production was held back by the fact that he only scored once on 110 targets. For a player of his skillset, I wouldn't be surprised at a 10-touchdown season in 2022, but even half that could make him worth a third-round pick.