Because the preseason continues into its closing two video games, it’s time to focus in your fantasy football draft. After seeing the early preseason outcomes and the way new acquisitions are settling in, we’ve got 5 fantasy football breakouts so that you can goal all through this draft season. Some are starters who’re being undervalued. Others are younger backups on the cusp of breaking via into an even bigger position.
Seeing preseason rotations and utilization has revealed key developments that may have an effect on your fantasy season. Fantasy managers can depend on our 2022 fantasy PPR rankings to assist discover the very best steals.
Let’s dive into our high 5 fantasy soccer breakout candidates who may swing your league this fall.
Michael Thomas, WR, New Orleans Saints
A string of ankle accidents precipitated top-of-the-line total playmakers within the NFL to see his profession derailed for 18 months. New Orleans Saints huge receiver Michael Thomas was off to a Corridor of Fame tempo in his first 70 video games. His peak season got here in 2019 when he caught 149 passes for 1,725 yards and 9 touchdowns, averaging 107.8 yards per sport.
We haven’t seen Thomas since his 2020 season ended simply seven video games in. Since then, Drew Brees retired and Sean Payton resigned. Offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael continues to be answerable for the offense, and Jameis Winston returns because the quarterback after struggling a torn ACL in Week 8 final yr.
Thomas was best-known for dominating on slant routes with Brees because the signal-caller of the unit, however his position will possible change with Winston’s vertical passing prowess. He’s additionally surrounded by a greater group of receivers than what the Saints have had in earlier seasons. Rookie Chris Olave and veteran slot specialist Jarvis Landry give the unit a well-rounded corps however not one that’s overly demanding of the quantity we wish Thomas to obtain.
At his finest, Thomas is a dominating 6’3″, 212-pound presence able to carrying a unit to elite output. If he’s 100% wholesome for 2022, Thomas can regain a kind that noticed top-seven finishes in 4 straight years from 2016-2019. He completed No. 1 total in PPR leagues in 2019.
With a current ADP of WR28 and ranked as WR25 in our personal rankings, Thomas is a sleeping large.
Rhamondre Stevenson, RB, New England Patriots
There was an early swell of pleasure for Rhamondre Stevenson proper after he was drafted in 2021 by the Patriots. It’s comprehensible as to why. The Patriots have continued to churn out productive backs, and Stevenson is the newest big-bodied athlete who fills their mould.
His rookie season was strong, however his manufacturing got here in waves. Of Stevenson’s 606 speeding yards, 69% of it got here in 5 video games. Solely three of these video games featured a landing. He was all however unplayable in 10 of his 12 outings since 4 of his scores got here throughout his finest yardage outputs.
Issues ought to get higher for Stevenson in 2022. Being drafted as RB35 and ninety fifth total, he’s being taken as a low-end starter or high-end backup. With the Patriots pivoting to extra of a niche scheme that favors Stevenson greater than Damien Harris, now could be the time to purchase.
Our rankings have Stevenson as RB32 and 74th total. Whilst New England transitions to life with out Josh McDaniels calling the performs, there shall be loads of alternatives for Stevenson and Harris to carve a task this season. With Harris in a contract yr and a scheme change out of his favor, we’re seeking to land Stevenson as typically as attainable in our drafts.
Brian Robinson, RB, Washington Commanders
At first, I didn’t see why the Commanders would make investments a third-round choose into Brian Robinson. The large again from Alabama was coming off a strong senior season however lacks the flexibility to hit massive performs and be a high-end starter. Whereas I nonetheless have these considerations about his upside, the primary preseason sport revealed Washington’s need to get Robinson fairly a number of touches.
With Antonio Gibson fumbling on his second carry of the sport, he was rapidly changed by Robinson for all the subsequent drive earlier than seeing the sphere once more. Robinson scurried for 26 yards on six carries, exhibiting off decisiveness and power. It grew to become clear Robinson is considered as a main backup already and never combating with Jaret Patterson for a task.
With this extra outlined, we have to increase Robinson’s redraft worth. Head coach Ron Rivera might pull the plug on Gibson rapidly this season after seeing him put the ball on the bottom 5 occasions in his final 10 video games final yr. Gibson dropped weight this offseason, but when he’s not hitting massive performs or fumbling, Robinson will take extra of his touches.
Robinson is going undrafted in most leagues as RB58 and No. 170 total. He must be significantly greater behind a strong offensive line and taking part in with Carson Wentz. The Commanders will typically run the ball, and Wentz likes to throw to his backs. This might equate to Robinson changing into a authentic Flex choice or high backup by the center of the season for an unimaginable worth.
Romeo Doubs, WR, Inexperienced Bay Packers
No rookie receiver in soccer has helped his inventory extra in coaching camp than Packers fourth-rounder Romeo Doubs. Doubs has routinely earned headlines for his coaching camp efficiency and simply turned in a strong outing in his first preseason sport. He caught three passes for 45 yards, together with a 33-yard landing on a slot fade.
It shouldn’t be an excessive amount of of a shock to see the 6’2″, 204-pounder discovering early success. Although he fell on draft day, Doubs was a stellar vertical menace in faculty. Enjoying with a superb deep passer in Carson Sturdy, Doubs produced 3,322 yards and 26 touchdowns on 225 profession receptions.
Expectations had been for second-round choose Christian Watson to win a beginning job, however he’s handled knee points which have stored him out of shape. Doubs has continued to benefit from his alternatives due to his nice go off the road and the flexibility to get separation on defenders.
At the moment being taken at WR64 at 176 total, Doubs may very well be an enormous worth for somebody who must be a beginning receiver in a vertical for Rodgers. I’m not saying Doubs will rival Davante Adams’ numbers at any level in his profession, however he has the chance to step in and shine early on.
Albert Okwuegbunam, TE, Denver Broncos
There’s a sure level yearly in fantasy the place the tight finish place takes an enormous nosedive. In 2022, there’s a transparent drop after Darren Waller (TE5, 47 ADP total, 52nd in our rankings) and one other after T.J. Hockenson (TE7, 66 ADP total, 83rd in our rankings). Whereas we disagree with the order of how the general public is drafting, there’s an enormous alternative for a good finish to emerge as a price.
That participant shall be Albert Okwuegbunam this season. Now out from Noah Fant’s shadow as a backup and taking part in with a star quarterback in Russell Wilson, Okwuegbunam is in line for a giant season. He’s being taken at TE15, or a hundred and fortieth total. The door is open for him to be the TE steal of the draft.
The 24-year-old is an ideal seam menace for Wilson, due to his 6’5″ stature and stunning velocity within the open area. He totaled 330 yards and two scores on 33 catches final yr. The final time we noticed Wilson with a downfield menace on the place, Jimmy Graham ranked fourth amongst tight ends in his closing two years in Seattle.
Think about getting that kind of upside within the eleventh spherical whereas your friends are forcing greater picks on the place. For those who whiff on a top-seven tight finish, make Albert O a precedence.