fantasy football breakout candidates 2019

Breakout Candidates/Late Round Sleepers for the 2019 NFL Season

June 25, 2019

You know the one thing that people can’t get enough of in the fantasy football community? Sleepers. Late round breakouts. Drafting undervalued players cheaply. Finding one man’s trash as your treasure. Well, call me Captain Romulus Slag (Ratchet & Clank anyone?) because I have a treasure trove for you!

I have a list of 9 of my favorite breakout candidates, along with 19! Honorable mentions. AKA I got the hookups for you fantasy junkies like me. This list contains players that I see are undervalued at their current ADP, or guys that have a shot at becoming top fantasy contributors at their position by the end of 2019. Many of the honorable mentions are geared toward deeper leagues.

Intros aren’t important here. Let’s just dive right into the players!

Kyler Murray

fantasy football sleeper picks 2019 kyler murray

Hyde&Zeke Rank

QB6

ECR 

QB17

Wow. Really Cody? QB6? A rookie on a bad offense?

Heck yeah.

I love Kyler Murray for fantasy this year. He reminds me of an RG3 that can throw.

I’ve been talking up Murray all offseason, and the main argument I keep getting is “A rookie QB? Maybe that high in dynasty, but not Redraft.” And the funny thing is, I feel the exact opposite.

If we look back to 2012, would you rather have drafted RG3 really high on your dynasty team, or Redraft? Redraft of course! He was an absolute baller in 2012, ending the season as QB4 as a rookie.

He never had another season close to that success. Teams figured him out, and he couldn’t stay healthy. You see it often with rushing QB’s, teams have a hard time adjusting to them as rookies. I’m not saying Kyler Murray will be an All-Pro, but he’ll be an awesome fantasy player this year.

He ran for 1001 yards and 12 touchdowns last year at Oklahoma, and he has a great arm. I love uptempo offenses for fantasy quarterbacks because more plays run, means more opportunity. I legitimately see 4000 passing yards, 500 rushing yards, 30 total TD upside with Murray.

Sam Darnold

fantasy football sleeper picks 2019 sam darnold

Hyde&Zeke Rank

QB23

ECR 

QB24

Sam’s rookie season was rocky to say the least. He was playing for an awful Jets team, with no weapons around him. Thrown straight into the fire, it took Darnold some time to adjust. If you just look at his 2018 stats, you’re missing the real picture. Darnold seemed to turn a corner the last 4 starts of the season. In Week 15, Darnold was even the highest rated quarterback in the NFL by Pro Football Focus earning a top grade (90.3) among all NFL Quarterbacks in Week 15.

The Darnold – Robby Anderson connection grew stronger each week, and the game seemed to slow down a little for the young signal caller. One of the youngest players in the league, Darnold is only 22 years old, and the Jets have brought in some new weapons for Sam.

Le’Veon Bell, Jamison Crowder, and a new Guard to name a few. Bell should be a great crutch for Darnold to lean on when needed, and I’ve been on record a thousand times saying Darnold has the best career of any 2018 drafted QB. Time to prove it.

Rashaad Penny 

fantasy nfl breakout candidates 2019 season rashaad penny

Hyde&Zeke Rank

RB29

ECR 

RB33

I think Penny is being properly valued here, but I needed to emphasize a few things about the 1st round running back in Seattle. I don’t think this has to be a Penny vs Chris Carson thing. I think that the Seahawks will run the ball enough for both of them to be fantasy relevant. Mike Davis left a lot of touches up for grabs in Seattle, and Penny looks 100x better than he did this time last year going into camp.

Last year Penny was overweight, and injured. Now he’s slimmed down, had a year in the offense, and Carson is the one that is injured. The Seahawks led the league in rushing yards in 2018, and were second in rushing attempts with 534. This is a run first team, Penny has talent and draft capital, and I think Penny will be sniffing 1000 yards by the end of 2019.

Darrell Henderson 

fantasy football breakout candidates 2019 darrell henderson

Hyde&Zeke Rank

RB33

ECR 

RB47

From my “11 Best Fantasy Football Value Picks of 2019” article:

Hands down the most valuable handcuff in the NFL. Not a coincidence that there’s 32 NFL teams, and Henderson is my RB33. If Gurley’s knees are actually an issue, Henderson has top 8 potential. The Rams will continue to be a top 3 offense and the RB of this team will be a top player in all of fantasy football based on Sean McVay and scheme. This isn’t even to mention anything about Henderson’s skillset, which is electric, to say the least.

I love talent but I also love valuable systems. Is Kenyan Drake a more talented runner than Damien Williams? Most likely. Do I have Damien Williams ranked higher because Andy Reid’s system is awesome for running backs? You’re damn right I do. I love the system, coach, and OL for the Rams, and think Henderson gets playing time even without a Gurley injury.

Tre’Quan Smith 

best fantasy football sleepers 2019 tre'quan smith

Hyde&Zeke Rank

WR51

ECR 

WR69

I’m not usually very high on inconsistent players, but a rookie(last year) WR with the hall of famer Drew Brees can get a small break from me. Tre’Quan had 44 targets, 28 catches for 427 yards and 5 touchdowns as a rookie in 2018. That’s actually really solid numbers, but he had 2 games over 110 yards, which accounted for over half of his yardage. But, the glimpses were there.

Not many players being drafted around Smith’s ADP have the weekly upside of 10 catches on 13 targets for 157 yards and a touchdown, like Tre’Quan had in Week 10 of 2018 as a rookie. I’m looking for Smith to solidify his spot in Drew Brees’ pecking order for targets, and continue gaining the trust of the hall of famer. I’m projecting a huge year for Smith, to almost double his catch and yardage total from last year.

Nelson Agholor 

top fantasy nfl breakout candidates 2019 nelson agholor

Hyde&Zeke Rank

WR56

ECR 

WR80

By far, the best value I’m seeing at WR this draft season is Nelson Agholor. Agholor gets to move back to his favorite role with the addition of Desean Jackson, and that’s the slot! Agholor’s production from the past two seasons: Combined for 126 catches for 1,504 yards and 12 touchdowns on 192 targets. We’ve also seen on multiple occasions (I’m looking at you rookie and sophomore year) that Agholor is much more effective in the slot than split out wide.

I understand that the offense has even more weapons with Goedert as an upcoming TE, and a phenomenal rookie (hold your horses on JJAW, we’ll get to him) but Agholor is consistent, and I think Wentz takes another big step forward this year. This offense will be high powered, and slot targets are my favorite targets. I have 100% exposure to Agholor so far this draft season.

JJ Arcega-Whiteside

best nfl sleeper pics 2019 jj arcega whiteside

Hyde&Zeke Rank

WR82

ECR 

WR98

Didn’t I tell you I would come back to JJ Arcega-Whiteside? Let’s throw it back to March 15, in my Twitter DM’s chatting with a close friend.

best fantasy football breakout candidates 2019

I love JJ’s game. He was my WR6 (tied with Deebo) as far as 2019 NFL draft prospects at wide receiver. My film notes on JJ Arcega-Whiteside:

6’2 225, polished route runner, high points the ball well, great jump ball player, dominant releases vs press, finds openings in zone well, top tier ball skills, great hands, elite body control, a top blocker in the draft

I saw a lot of the traits I look for in wide receivers watching JJ’s tape. Fast forward to June, and Eagles camp is raving about him. In an interview last week, JJ explains that building Carson Wentz’ trust is going to be huge for him, and that he’s already been doing that. Dave Zangaro, who covers the Eagles, said this of Wednesday’s practice “ Rookie wideout JJ Arcega-Whiteside did it again today. Another great grab in the end zone.

This time, it was a perfectly thrown ball from Nate Sudfeld and JJAW simply went up over cornerback Jeremiah McKinnon to make the grab in the back left corner of the end zone. He even got both feet inside the white line and the official at practice signaled touchdown. The kid just has great body control”

A lot of buzz goes around in June, but I trust beat reporters the most, when it comes to these types of comments. Of course, the Eagles have a crowded roster of talent, but I think this offense will be really good. Alshon (29) is getting older, and doesn’t always play a full 16. JJ looks to be the main man to step up on the outside if either Alshon, or D-Jax goes down. I strongly feel that Arcega Whiteside will be a star in this league, and may be a league winner, getting playing time during the fantasy playoffs.

Deebo Samuel 

best nfl breakout candidates 2019 deebo samuel

Hyde&Zeke Rank

WR40

ECR 

WR75

One. That’s the number of rookie WR’s that I would draft ahead of Deebo Samuel in 2019. That’s N’Keal Harry. I love DK Metcalf, AJ Brown, Mecole Hardman, JJ Arcega-Whiteside, but the opportunity that Deebo is walking into, combined with his talent, is more enticing than theirs.

I stat out every single fantasy player, and every offense ahead of the 2019 season. I do this based on coaching tendencies, historical playcalling, recent snaps per game, run-pass split etc. Here’s a sneak peek of what that looks like (this article isn’t to debate/defend my stat projections guys so be easy) Deebo will be highlighted in Blue. You can find all of my stat projections in the Pre-Draft Rankings section of the Menu, or by using this link.

top fantasy football breakout candidates 2019

As crazy as it may sound, I have Deebo seeing the 2nd most targets of any 49er behind George Kittle. I’m a huge Dante Pettis fan, and think he’s a stud. But I’m confident saying that Deebo, will be more of the chain moving, possession receiver that Jimmy G looks to. (I’m still drafting Pettis higher than Deebo so relax) One of the best route runners in the entire draft, Deebo’s skillset transfers well to the NFL and Kyle Shanahan’s offense. Draft this steal wherever you can.

Mark Andrews 

top fantasy football sleeper candidates 2019 mark andrews

Hyde&Zeke Rank

TE15

ECR 

TE20

If you haven’t already, you should check out this article I wrote detailing Is Lamar Jackson a good fantasy player. When watching the Jackson tape, one player popped up way more than others, and that was Mark Andrews. Andrews has all the physical tools to be successful in the NFL, and I’m expecting Andrews to be Lamar’s #1 target in 2019. He will have many TE1 weeks in 2019.

I actually love the TE landscape this year, for the first time in a while. I think there will be huge edges to gain in drafts this year. There should be some major disappointments at the top of the TE landscape, and a lot of old, forgotten (Jimmy Graham, Jordan Howard, Delanie Walker) tight ends have a legitimate chance at being solid fantasy producers. Draft wisely.

Fantasy Breakout Candidates 2019 – Honorable Mentions

Player

ECR

ADP

Cody’s Rank

Donte Moncrief WR58 180 WR59
Curtis Samuel WR42 121 WR41
Antonio Callaway WR72 230 WR57
Jamison Crowder WR57 203 WR49
Michael Gallup WR45 193 WR52
Devante Parker WR65 181 WR53
Derek Carr QB25 168 QB22
Alexander Mattison RB72 162 RB65
Jimmy Graham TE19 154 TE16
Matt Breida RB43 151 RB44
Justice Hill RB66 146 RB63
Damien Harris RB57 142 RB57
Royce Freeman RB36 91 RB32
Anthony Miller WR44 136 WR37
Dede Westbrook WR38 112 WR31
DK Metcalf WR61 109 WR42
Courtland Sutton WR39 93 WR39
Darwin Thompson RB88 217 RB66
Chris Godwin WR20 52 WR17

I have my entire rankings for you guys to check out here so take a look and let me know what you guys like, and disagree with!

I’d love to hear from you guys to hear your thoughts and feedback on the top breakout candidates of 2019.

Leave a comment or message me on Twitter at @hydeandzeke or on Instagram @hyde.n.zeke

Happy Drafting!

BONUS: For anyone interested in playing Best Ball, sign up on Draft.com by following this link to register. Please use the Promo Code “hydeandzeke1” when you sign up! Also, message me on Twitter, and let’s play in some leagues on Draft together.

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