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NFL Fantasy: 20 Breakout Candidates To Target Late In Drafts

Finding value late in fantasy drafts is often the key to winning your league. In my primary fantasy league last year, the winner of the league drafted Allen Robinson in the 8th round, Darren McFadden

Finding value late in fantasy drafts is often the key to winning your league. In my primary fantasy league last year, the winner of the league drafted Allen Robinson in the 8th round, Darren McFadden in the 9th round, and Tom Brady in the 10th. The runner-up drafted Devonta Freeman in the 9th round, David Johnson in the 11th, and Danny Woodhead in the 12th. All of these players shattered expectations last year and there was clear reasoning as to how any one of them could have potentially had a breakout season.

It is imperative to find as many potential late-round steals in your draft as possible. Breakout potential is based on factors such as talent, system, opportunity, and previous production. Instead of fighting for unexpected fantasy studs on the waiver wire in weeks 1-5 and most likely coming up short, why not predict which unproven players have reasonable potential to breakout. It is better to take chances at potential superstars late in the draft rather than loading up on average fantasy players that will put up uninspiring numbers. Loading up with 3-5 possible fantasy studs at the end of your draft will almost guarantee you at least one consistent starter by the end of the season. Think of these players as lottery tickets. It is definitely not a guarantee that any one of them breaks out and has a monster season, but the more chances you take, the better odds you have of acquiring a great player at almost no cost.

Thinking ahead is the name of the game. All it takes to win your fantasy league is to always be one step ahead. These players could give you that competitive edge.

20 Josh Doctson, WR, Washington Redskins

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

 

Josh Doctson was selected 22nd overall in this year's NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins. After completing his senior year of college at TCU in which he amassed 78 receptions for 1,326 yards and 14 touchdowns in just 10 games, the 6'4" Doctson grasped the attention of many NFL franchises. The best part for fantasy owners is that Doctson may have landed into the perfect spot for him to put up some big numbers. He'll compete with DeSean Jackson, Pierre Garcon, Jamison Crowder, and Jordan Reed for targets, but Kirk Cousins threw up 543 passes last year (Good for 12th in the league) and Doctson should be able to find his share of those targets.

Expectations should always be tempered when drafting rookie receivers (Even though Keenan Allen, Kelvin Benjamin, Odell Beckham Jr., Mike Evans, and Amari Cooper were all quite productive in their recent inaugural seasons) and Doctson may not put up the sexiest numbers in the first half of the season (Especially with reports of a lingering achilles injury in training camp), but he is exactly the kind of player that you want on your team when fantasy playoffs roll around. Doctson should produce in the same trend that Devin Funchess did last year and could be able to return late-season WR2 value when you need it. I'm expecting a 50-750-6 stat line for Doctson, with most of that production coming in the latter half of the season. Not bad for a 14th Round ADP.

19 Michael Thomas, WR, New Orleans Saints

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Michael Thomas is a prototype NFL WR. He's got size, he's got speed, and he's got great hands. He is a phenomenal redzone target that will excel at handling jump balls at the elite level. The Ohio State standout led the team in receptions, yards, and receiving touchdowns in his final year of collegiate play.  Thomas received high praise from his coaching staff and has had a spectacular training camp.

He is now the 3rd WR on the Saints' depth chart behind Brandin Cooks and Willie Snead and is projected to play in the same slot role that former Saints receiver Marques Colston thrived in for years. Thomas could get his share of targets in an offense with an outstanding QB that likes to spread the ball around. 800 yards and double digit touchdowns are a possibility for the 6'3" wideout, and you can get him in the 13th round of your fantasy draft.

18 Spencer Ware, RB, Kansas City Chiefs

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Spencer Ware should be thought of as more than just a handcuff for Jamaal Charles owners. Ware has the opportunity to contribute in several scenarios and has massive breakout potential. The 24 year old back experienced a mini-breakout last year when he took over the starting RB role in week 11 after Charles and Charcandrick West went down with injuries. Chiefs reporter, Adam Teicher, considers Ware as the immediate backup to Charles, not West. Ware outperformed West last year as he averaged 1.6 YPC more and scored 2 more touchdowns on the ground despite receiving less than half of the carries that West got.

It has been quite valuable in recent years to own the back up RB for the Chiefs in case Jamaal Charles gets injured (Which let's be honest, happens quite often), but owning the Chiefs' 2nd-string back has never been as valuable as it is this year. Jamaal Charles has torn his ACL twice in the past 4 years and at 29, he isn't getting any younger. In order for the Chiefs to preserve one of their best and most important players, they will likely dial back his workload. Charles will certainly still be the lead back, but Ware will have an opportunity to get in the mix while keeping Charles fresh on the sidelines.

Ware could absolutely receive 10+ touches a game with Charles healthy, and in the event that Charles endures another major injury (Which, let's be honest, happens quite often), Ware will be the next guy up in one of the most run-heavy offenses in the league. Even if Ware doesn't become the starting RB for even one week (Highly unlikely), he has the talent to put up decent RB3 numbers, but if he ever gets the starting nod, expect RB1 production. A potential RB1 in the last round or two of the draft? Sign me up!

17 Kamar Aiken, WR, Baltimore Ravens

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Raise your hand if you predicted that Kamar Aiken would nearly eclipse the 1,000 yard mark last year. That's what I thought. Aiken came out of nowhere last year in what was a relatively unproductive Baltimore offense. Kamar's ascent into fantasy relevance was sparked by a season-ending injury to number 1 wideout, Steve Smith Sr. With Smith out of the picture, Aiken truly shined. From week 8 on, Aiken caught at least 5 passes every game and had legitimate WR2 value.

Steve Smith Sr. is back for yet another season at age 94 (Okay he's actually 37, but still, how does he do it?), but after suffering a ruptured achilles last season, his chances of being effective in that offense, or even playing a full season are extremely low. The Ravens did also sign 7 year veteran Mike Wallace and it is currently between Aiken and Wallace for the second-string WR spot. I'm betting my money on Aiken to run away with that role. He's young, athletic, and proven, meanwhile Mike Wallace is 30 and hasn't produced a 1,000 yard season since 2011. Aiken is potentially just one Steve Smith Sr. injury away from emerging into a fantasy commodity once again. Aiken can replicate and even improve on his stat line of 75-944-5 from last season. Oh yeah, and he's also being drafted in the last round of fantasy leagues.

16 Kenneth Dixon, RB, Baltimore Ravens

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The second Raven on this list (Spoiler alert: he's also the last one) is actually in a similar position to the first one. He's young, talented, athletic, and somewhat buried on the depth chart by older, more experienced players. Draft Dixon with caution, as he likely won't produce at a high level immediately. He is currently behind injury-prone 30 year old, Justin Forsett (Who underperformed last year) and pass-catching back, Buck Allen on the depth chart. Forsett is likely in the twilight of his career and there are concerns on whether or not Allen can handle lead back duties after averaging a measly 3.8 YPC last year. These factors could potentially open up playing time for Dixon. It could take several weeks for Dixon to gain a role in this offense, but if/when he does, his talent will justify his playing time.

Many NFL scouts believed that Dixon was the most talented back in the 2016 Draft behind Ezekiel Elliot despite being the 6th back taken off the board. The Ravens truly struck gold in the 4th round of the drafted when Dixon fell to them. Dixon is known to have a nose for the end zone with 87 total touchdowns in his 4 years at Louisiana Tech. Dixon also averaged a healthy 5.6 YPC during his successful collegiate career. Dixon has all the tools to succeed and be a starting running back for a team with a solid offensive line. He should be available in the 12th or 13th round and is certainly worth consideration at that spot of the draft.

15 Torrey Smith, WR, San Francisco 49ers

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Torrey Smith has been the epitome of an average fantasy WR for his entire career. This year that might just change. With a head coaching change in San Francisco, Smith is in line for some career highs this season. Chip Kelly's offensive scheme has consistently produced respectable numbers from first-string receivers in each of his 3 seasons coaching in the big leagues.

In 2013, DeSean Jackson put up over 1,300 yards and 9 touchdowns in Kelly's offense. The year after, Jeremy Maclin had a career year with over 1,300 yards and 10 touchdowns. Last year, Jordan Matthews excelled late in the season, with 432 yards and 6 touchdowns in his final 6 games. Torrey Smith could experience similar success in a Chip Kelly offense. Still in his physical prime and just as talented as he was in his Baltimore days, Torrey smith could push for 1,200 yards and 7-9 touchdowns. Torrey Smith is being drafted in the 12th round as a WR4, but you can feel good about having a player with WR2 upside hanging out on your bench.

14 Wendell Smallwood, RB, Philadelphia Eagles

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I am definitely on the Ryan Mathews hype train this year. He's fast, talented, and has produced very effectively in previous seasons. With the lead back role in a RB-friendly Doug Pederson offense, he is primed to breakout. The only issue is that Mathews has only played a full 16 game season once. Injuries have plagued him for the entirety of his career. This is where Wendell Smallwood comes in. Technically speaking, Smallwood is currently 3rd on the Eagles' depth chart behind Mathews and Darren Sproles. As explosive and fun to watch as Sproles can be, he is simply not built for a feature back role. If Mathews goes down, Smallwood should be next in line for 1st and 2nd down carries.

Smallwood led the Big 12 in total rushing yards at West Virginia last year with 1,519 while averaging an impressive 6.4 YPC and finding the end zone 9 times. The speedy RB is also a capable pass-catcher and has received high praise from Doug Pederson for his soft hands. Smallwood should be on everyone's radar as a potential breakout player, yet he's going undrafted in fantasy leagues.

13 Sammie Coates, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers

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This guy is just oozing with potential. Sammie Coates has the opportunity to play alongside Antonio Brown as the Pittsburgh Steelers' WR2. In the past two seasons, Martavis Bryant has relished that role, racking up over 1,300 yards and 14 touchdowns in just 8 starts. The best part about this entire scenario is that Sammie Coates is a very similar player to Martavis Bryant. Coates' unique combination of size and speed allows him to be a spectacular redzone target as well as being a deep threat.

Any starting skill position player on the Steelers has fantasy value and Sammie Coates could really be the beneficiary of a perfect situation. The Steelers' offense is practically tailored to Coates' skill set. Coates and Markus Wheaton will battle for the WR2 spot on the depth chart, but reports suggest that Coates will start opposite of Antonio Brown while Wheaton will take over the slot position. Coates is the more talented and unique player, and OC Todd Haley has definitely taken note of this, raving about his offseason improvements. Expect Coates to be Big Ben's number 2 target, with a stat line of 65-1,050-9 totally in reach. Grab him as your WR5 in the last round or two, and potentially get WR2 production.

12 Eric Ebron, TE, Detroit Lions

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Fantasy owners have been waiting for Eric Ebron to breakout since the Lions drafted him 10th overall out of UNC in 2014. The good news is that 2016 might actually be the year we see it happen. The Lions lost Calvin Johnson to retirement this offseason and that means that there are 150 extra targets to go around in this Lions offense. Some of them will be transferred to Golden Tate, some to Theo Riddick and Ameer Abdullah, and even some will be distributed to newly-acquired Marvin Jones and Anquan Boldin. However, there are plenty of targets left over for Ebron to eat up in one of the most consistently pass-heavy offenses in the league.

Ebron's talent has never been in question, he can use his massive 6'4", 255 lb frame and unbelievable athleticism to be very effective in the redzone. The problem is that Ebron has always been overshadowed by Detroit's stud receivers and hasn't been given enough opportunity to shine. That pattern ends this season. Ebron's targets increased from his rookie year to his sophomore season, shooting up from 47 to 70. Assuming that he can inherit 25-50 targets from Calvin Johnson, Ebron could be in line for 100+ targets. With that kind of opportunity, Ebron could end up being a weekly TE1 and post a stat line of 70-750-10. If you want to wait on a TE, grab Ebron in the 15th-16th round of your draft and get excited knowing that you just drafted a potential top 5 TE.

11 Paul Perkins, RB, New York Giants

William Hauser-USA TODAY Sports

It's time to start getting excited about Paul Perkins. Remember what C.J. Anderson and Jeremy Hill did in 2014? Remember how much of an impact Alfred Morris made in 2012? I promised myself I'd never mention this name again in my life, but I'll make the exception just to prove my point: remember Zac Stacy? He was a fantasy beast in 2013 (2014 wasn't quite the same story). Those players came out of nowhere! Paul Perkins could be just as effective as any of those RBs in those seasons. You don't want to miss out on him. He is the best RB on the Giants' roster and sooner or later, the coaching staff will realize.

Perkins will likely begin getting touches right out of the gate, but I expect an increase in touches as the season progresses. He is currently behind Rashad Jennings, Shane Vereen, and Andre Williams on the official depth chart, but he can easily surpass all three of them. Rashad Jennings was fairly inconsistent last year and has an extensive injury history that typically doesn't bode well for 31 year old running backs, Shane Vereen is nothing more than an average 3rd down pass-catching back, while Andre Williams has proved that he cannot be a consistent lead back. Perkins could flourish in this Giants offense and add a legitimate running game to their team.

Perkins was wildly effective in college, accumulating over 3,300 yards from scrimmage and 26 total touchdowns. He has quick feet, and is a great all-around back. I see Perkins as a guy who flirts with 1,000 yards from scrimmage and 8 touchdowns by the end of the season. Don't be surprised if Perkins ends up being the type of guy people will be drafting in the 2nd or 3rd round next year. Lock him up in the 13th round of your draft this year (Draft him slightly earlier in dynasty & keeper leagues!) while he's still cheap.

10 Matt Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions

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Matt Stafford has had quite an up and down career so far. After throwing for over 5,000 yards and 41 touchdowns in 2011, he has averaged a hair over 4,500 yards and just 25 touchdowns a season. Combine that with the fact that he has put up a not so spectacular 1.69 touchdown to pick ratio, and Matt Stafford has been nothing more than a QB2 on fantasy teams in recent years. Because of this, Stafford is being overlooked in drafts, but people tend to forget about how incredible he was at the end of last year.

In his final 7 games, Staff averaged over 22 fantasy points per game and had no less than 17 points in any game (Standard scoring). If your QB has a weekly floor of 17 fantasy points, you don't need to worry about rostering a backup (Barring injuries and bye weeks). There is also no reason to believe that Staff can't keep up this production. Yes, he no longer has one of the greatest WRs of all time, but new additions of Marvin Jones and Anquan Boldin should help make this passing offense just as solid as it was in the second half of last year.

We've seen Golden Tate emerge as a fantastic WR1 when Calvin Johnson has been injured in past years, and even Eric Ebron showed flashes of greatness last year. Stafford by no means has a dearth of weapons this year with a trio of capable receivers, a young, athletic tight end, and even a great pass-catching back in Theo Riddick. He may not return to his 2011 numbers, but if we average out his stats in the final 7 weeks of last season and spread them out across an entire season, he would finish with over 4,400 yards, 39 touchdowns, and just 2 picks. A stat line of 4,200 yards, 35 touchdowns, and 10 picks might be more realistic, but hey, that's still QB1 production at a 13th round price.

9 Josh Ferguson, RB, Indianapolis Colts

Mykal McEldowney/Indy Star via USA TODAY NETWORK

I know, I know. I've mentioned 3 rookie running backs already, and trust me, I'll be mentioning more. But seriously, why is it that every year at least a few (Often unheralded) rookie RBs emerge into weekly fantasy starters at some point in the season (2012: Doug Martin, Alfred Morris, Vick Ballard; 2013: Giovani Bernard, Le'Veon Bell, Eddie Lacy, Zac Stacy, Andre Ellington; 2014: Jeremy Hill, Tre Mason, Terrance West, Jerick McKinnon, Andre Williams; 2015: Todd Gurley, T.J. Yeldon, David Johnson, Matt Jones, Jeremy Langford, Karlos Williams, Thomas Rawls)? Rookie RBs are beginning to produce more and more as the years go by in the NFL and there will surely be a crop of first-year backs ready to provide week-to-week value this year.

Josh Ferguson has a fantastic opportunity to make this year's list of undrafted rookie RB fantasy over-performers. The talented pass-catching specialist out of Illinois signed as an undrafted free agent with the Colts this summer. So far in training camp, he is showing his explosiveness and making a serious impression on the Colts' coaching staff. The franchise truly believes in his abilities as Colts owner Jim Irsay stated that Ferguson "has a chance to be special." He is currently behind 33 year old bruiser, Frank Gore, and perennially below average Robert Turbin and Jordan Todman on the depth chart, but he can dig himself out of that rut. Ferguson is easily more talented than Turbin and Todman and Gore has accumulated over 3,000 total touches over the course of his 11 year career. With that kind of wear and tear, Gore is bound to begin to break down this season despite his unique ability to avoid that trend.

Ferguson should be able to start the season as an explosive 3rd down pass-catching back and could move up to take control of the starting spot by the end of the year. Sounds a lot like a certain Cardinals RB that happens to be going in the first round of fantasy drafts this year. 1,000 yards from scrimmage and 9 total touchdowns are in reach for Ferguson, don't pass up on him in the 14th round of your draft.

8 Devontae Booker, RB, Denver Broncos

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C.J. Anderson is a living, breathing question mark. In his last two seasons, he has shown that he can be a capable starting RB at times, but has also shown that he belongs nowhere near the field in other scenarios. There is promise for C.J., who shined at the end of last season and was arguably Denver's offensive MVP in their Super Bowl run, but predicting which C.J. Anderson will show up is quite pointless. If you believe in the Denver backfield, draft Anderson with caution and back him up with Devontae Booker. Even if you don't believe in the Denver backfield, drafting Booker is not a bad idea.

Booker racked up nearly 3,400 yards from scrimmage and 23 total touchdowns in just two seasons at Utah. During that span, he averaged 5.0 YPC and earned second-team All-Pac-12 honors in his senior season. Booker has greatly impressed in Broncos training camp and has received great reviews from Denver's RB coach, Eric Studesville. Studesville is confident that he could "put him (Booker) in the game right now," and constantly comments on his pass-catching and pass-blocking abilities.

Ronnie Hillman is his only competition for the backup RB spot, and Booker has thus far made a much better impression on the Broncos' coaching staff than Hillman has. He could earn 3rd down reps to start the season off and if C.J. Anderson flops, Booker instantly becomes worthy of starter consideration in fantasy leagues. Look out for Booker this year. If C.J. Anderson doesn't pan out as the Broncos' first-string, Booker can put up high end RB2 numbers as the starter in Denver. Draft him in the 12th or 13th round as an extremely high upside player.

7 DeAndre Washington, RB, Oakland Raiders

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The Raiders are not hiding the fact that they aren't satisfied with Latavius Murray as their starting RB. After averaging just 3.25 YPC in the second half of last season, Murray doesn't look like the answer to Oakland's RB troubles. DeAndre Washington certainly does though.

Numbers don't lie, and DeAndre Washington's college stats definitely reflect that mantra. Washington's 1,877 yards from scrimmage (Led the Big 12) and 16 total touchdowns in his senior season made him an enticing prospect for the Raiders to draft in the 5th round. He even managed to average 6.4 YPC in that very season as well. Washington is a quick, strong, versatile back that will prosper behind one of the league's best o-lines. He will get plenty of early-season work in 3rd down situations and could take over starter duties earlier than some might expect. 1,200 yards from scrimmage and double digit touchdowns could be in Washington's future for this season. I would advise drafting him in the 12th or 13th round and potentially get high end RB2 production.

6 Dwayne Allen, TE, Indianapolis Colts

Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

Just two seasons removed from an 8 touchdown campaign, Dwayne Allen is being heavily slept on. Allen has always been stuck sharing targets with Coby Fleener and it capped his fantasy value. With Fleener now in New Orleans, nobody seems to be talking about Allen's expanded role in this potent offense. All Dwayne Allen needs to produce a double digit touchdown season is 100 targets.

Allen is a well-known red zone threat and converts a high percentage of his opportunities for 6 points. His main competition for targets in the Colts' offense should be T.Y. Hilton, Donte Moncrief, Phillip Dorsett, and Josh Ferguson. Since Andrew Luck should most likely throw the ball between 550 and 650 times this year (Given that he stays healthy), Dwayne Allen could realistically see those 100 targets. Don't worry about last year's underwhelming stat line of 16-109-1 for Allen, Fleener robbed him of many targets. Dwayne Allen could boast a stat line closer to 60-650-10 by season's end if all goes accordingly. I'd say that's solid value in the 14th-15th round of your draft.

5 C.J. Prosise, RB, Seattle Seahawks

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There has been tons of hype revolving around C.J. Prosise this offseason. The 3rd round pick has a wonderful opportunity to shine in a run-heavy Seahawks offense. With injury concerns surrounding expected first-string RB Thomas Rawls, Prosise could get a chance to play as a 3 down back early on in the season. He can even earn himself some playing time in the event that Rawls comes back in 2015-season form. The worst case scenario for Prosise will be getting consistent 3rd down touches, but Prosise can absolutely lock up the starting job for Seattle by the end of the season.

Prosise will enter the league following an impressive senior season at Notre Dame in which he totaled over 1,300 yards from scrimmage and 12 total touchdowns while averaging a remarkable 6.6 YPC. At 6'0" and 220 lbs., he has great size for the position and can certainly handle a starting role. Prosise could get 1,2oo yards from scrimmage and 7 total touchdowns as the lead back for Seattle. Getting him at his ADP in the 12th round is a steal.

4 Sterling Shepard, WR, New York Giants

William Hauser-USA TODAY Sports

Perhaps the most hyped player on this list (Just ahead of Prosise), Sterling Shepard is set to make a bang in his rookie year. The Giants finally have a potential elite playmaker to complement OBJ. Shepard can experience the same type of success that Allen Hurns experienced as the second option in an exciting passing offense.

Shepard is a natural athlete with great hands and off-the-charts route running ability. His competitive attitude and work ethic make him an NFL-ready receiver. Shepard posted a phenomenal stat line of 86-1288-11 in his senior season at Oklahoma and is poised to do some serious damage as the number two option in New York. He has already surpassed Victor Cruz on the depth chart and figures to be a weekly starter and great target for Eli Manning. Don't be shocked to see Shepard explode for 70 receptions, 1,000 or so yards, and 7-9 touchdowns. He can be a legitimate WR2 for owners, but he can be your 3rd or 4th WR at his 9th round ADP.

3 Jameis Winston, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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Jameis Winston could be one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in the NFL, and he's only played a year in the league. Jameis had his fair share of rookie mistakes last year (Just like most if not all starting rookie QBs), but all in all, he handled the pressure and expectations fairly well.

The Florida State standout had 22 touchdowns and 15 picks in his rookie season, but also rushed for 213 yards and 6 touchdowns. From week 11 on, he averaged over 19 fantasy points per game and proved to be a consistent QB1. Jameis has a very realistic chance to be a top 10 fantasy quarterback week in and week out but he is being selected as the 16th QB off the board in fantasy drafts. Winston is another "draft a QB late" target for fantasy owners living by that philosophy.

Jameis has all of the tools to throw for 4,500 yards, 28 touchdowns, 12 picks, and rush for 300 yards and 5 touchdowns. He can make an impact with his arm just as easily as he can with his legs and has a plethora of great weapons to throw to in Mike Evans, Vincent Jackson, Austin Seferian-Jenkins (If he can work out those off-field issues), and...

2 Charles Sims, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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...Charles Sims. Don't ask me how Charles Sims' 1,090 yards from scrimmage as a backup to a star RB are being completely overlooked. He doesn't even need Doug Martin to get injured or benched for performance reasons to be a productive flex play. Yeah, he's that good. Sims averaged the same 4.9 YPC that Doug Martin did, but also caught 51 receptions for 561 yards and 4 touchdowns and was an extremely effective 3rd down back for Tampa Bay. He is a uniquely talented runner and an elite pass-catcher. Charles Sims could even be the league's next Matt Forte.

Reports suggest that Sims could get even more touches this year even with Doug Martin healthy. If that's true, Sims essentially has a floor of 1,000 yards from scrimmage for next season. However, if Doug Martin goes down with an injury or underperforms (Both have happened in the past), Sims instantly becomes an RB1. In that case, Sims could get 1,500+ yards from scrimmage and double digit touchdowns. An automatic flex and potential RB1 is going between the 10th and 12th round in drafts. Highlight, underline, circle, and box Sims' name. He could be the biggest steal of the draft this year.

1 Tevin Coleman, RB, Atlanta Falcons

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There is A LOT to love about Tevin Coleman. As a junior at Indiana in 2014, Tevin Coleman eclipsed the 2,000 yard rushing mark for the first time in school history. He also ran for 15 touchdowns in one of the greatest seasons ever put up by a collegiate running back. After being selected in the 3rd round of the 2015 NFL Draft, Coleman was the projected starter in Atlanta. He even had a decent showing in his first career game against the Eagles, with 20 carries for 80 yards. Unfortunately, he suffered a rib injury in the first half of his second career game against the Giants. Ouch.

Of course football fans know the rest of the story. Devonta Freeman took over the starting job and became fantasy football's number 1 running back. Although Freeman had an incredible 6 game stretch for the Falcons in Coleman's absence, he averaged an abysmal 3.07 YPC in the final 7 games of the season. He was very effective catching the ball out of the backfield as well, but his performance in the second half of the season proved that he is nothing more than a pass-catching specialist.

This is where Tevin Coleman can become one of fantasy football's biggest steals this year. Coleman is an extremely explosive, skilled runner that can break off any run for a 20+ yard touchdown. With Freeman's inconsistencies, the Falcons will eventually realize that Coleman is the better 1st and 2nd down back and he could take over the starting role. If Freeman gets injured, Coleman becomes even more valuable. Regardless, Coleman has the potential to put up RB1 numbers this year in a very good Atlanta offense. 1,200 rushing yards and 8-10 touchdowns could be the production you receive if you draft Coleman in the 10th or 11th round. Sounds like quite a deal to me.

 

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NFL Fantasy: 20 Breakout Candidates To Target Late In Drafts