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So we’ve already released our top breakout players in our Preseason Pro features. In my article, I nominated a certain rookie running back in Kansas City to break out in 2020.
However, there’s more than just one breakout player on my list--in fact, there are five others who fit the description of a player who could rise into the elite at his position.
Here are the players who could make that big leap in 2020:
QB Kyler Murray, Cardinals
Murray finished as the No. 8 fantasy quarterback a year ago, but he didn’t “break out” as far as I’m concerned--Why you might ask?--Well, Murray ranked just 11th among quarterbacks in points per game average (17.8) and failed to hit the 18-point mark in 10 of his 16 starts. He failed to score 16 points in four of his last five games. However, Murray should be much more consistent in 2020 as he will now have DeAndre Hopkins in his arsenal of weapons in the passing game. I have the second-year signal-caller ranked fourth among quarterbacks ahead of this season, and I fully expect him to average more than 20 fantasy points per game for fantasy fans.
RB Miles Sanders, Eagles
I am absolutely all-in on Sanders. Consider my flag planted, like Neil Armstrong during the Apollo 11 mission! He proved he had fantasy star power late in his rookie season when he ranked fourth in points among running backs in Weeks 12-16. He averaged more than 21 touches per game too, so Sanders proved that he has what it takes to be a true featured back at the next level. The Eagles didn’t add a running back in the draft or through free agency, at least at this point, so there are no real roadblocks in Sanders leap to fantasy stardom. Keep tabs on his health (he’s dealing with a hamstring injury), but Sanders is in a perfect spot to bust out in 2020.
WR Terry McLaurin, Washington
McLaurin had moments of true greatness during his rookie season. He opened the year on absolute fire, ranking 14th in fantasy points among wide receivers with a pair of 100-yard games over his first six games. He slowed in the middle of the season with Dwayne Haskins under center, but McLaurin picked things back up during the fantasy playoffs (sixth in WR scoring, averaged 17 ypc). While I’m not sold on Haskins as an NFL starter, I think he'll be throwing McLaurin a ton next season. I like the former Buckeye to push for top-15 value among wideouts as an absolute target machine in Washington.
WR Deebo Samuel, 49ers
Samuel emerged as a legitimate fantasy starter in the second half of his rookie season. He ranked ninth in fantasy points among wide receivers while averaging nearly 16 yards per catch over the final eight weeks. He also ranked tied for third among wideouts in broken tackles while averaging 2.8 yards after contact. Samuel is dealing with an injured foot, but reports suggest he could be back sometime in September. I’ll gladly take the discount (WR40 based on FFWC ADP) and the high production level he'll accomplish once he's back out on the NFL gridiron.
TE Hayden Hurst, Falcons
Hurst, a former first-round pick of the Ravens in 2018, but he never made the impact many expected from him. He’ll get a second chance with the Falcons, though, as the team looks to replace the 97 targets vacated when Austin Hooper signed with the Browns. Atlanta likes to use its tight ends, as we’ve seen in Hooper and Tony Gonzalez, so Hurst is in a great spot to finally find success in the stat sheets. He certainly could push for 60-plus receptions and 650-750 yards in the offense, and the folks at FFWC see it in their recent drafts. Hurst is coming off the board as the No. 8 tight end, ahead of the likes of Hunter Henry and Rob Gronkowski.
Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on Sports Illustrated and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. You can follow Michael on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram for the latest fantasy football news and analysis!
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