Which Players Will Breakout in Fantasy Football This Year?

Players are going later in the draft every year and turning into stars on your fantasy football team. Which players will those be in 2022?

Last year, we were treated to a performance for the ages from the likes of Cooper Kupp and Jonathan Taylor, but there are some players you can find a bit later in drafts that have the potential to break out as fantasy superstars this season. 

Below, let’s look at some of those candidates and discuss why there are high hopes for them. 

Travis Etienne, RB (Jaguars)

After missing the entirety of his rookie campaign, Travis Etienne should shine alongside his former Clemson teammate in the Jacksonville Jaguars offense. Trevor Lawrence and Etienne showed their chemistry in college, which should carry over in the NFL with the dynamic duo’s familiarity. You can make a case that both of their fantasy success is tied together, knowing how involved Etienne should be in the passing game.

The rookie running back profiles as a weapon and playmaker, meaning if you can get him the ball, he can find ways to create space for himself as one of the more explosive playmakers entering the league. Even with James Robinson likely still getting carries, a lot of Etienne’s production should come from the volume he will get on passing downs, especially in PPR formats. 

Kyle Pitts, TE (Falcons)

Of course, you can make the case that Kyle Pitts broke out last season, recording a 1000-yard season in his rookie campaign. However, touchdown luck certainly wasn’t on his side. That has the potential to change this time around and pay off his high price tag in drafts. Pitts profiles as a wide receiver but lines up as a tight end, which will cause mismatches for the next decade on Sundays.

It’s not hard to envision a world where Pitts sees a big bump in his targets this season, which saw him finish 2021 with a 20.3% target share. Don’t be surprised if his target share goes up to 25% and potentially higher while also having a big bump in touchdowns from his lone score in his rookie campaign. A more reasonable expectation is somewhere in the range of five-to-seven touchdowns while improving his receiving totals from last year. 

Chase Edmonds, RB (Dolphins)

After the Miami Dolphins signed Chase Edmonds to a two-year contract this offseason, there was an expectation the team wanted to shake up their running back room, and they did exactly that. Edmonds will likely split carries with former San Francisco 49ers running back Raheem Mostert, but his presence in the passing game is where he’ll get the bulk of his fantasy points.

It’s undetermined which back will reach the goal line work, which could change on a drive-to-drive basis, but Edmonds will give Tua Tagovailoa a weapon out of the backfield and one that can provide significant production. You likely could take Edmonds in the seventh or eighth round in your fantasy leagues, depending on the settings, which has the potential to be a big steal considering the type of production he could bring in 2022. 

Honorable Mention

Kadarius Toney, WR (Giants)

If it weren’t for injury concerns, Kadarius Toney likely would have gone much higher in drafts than he did. The speedy wideout had an outstanding 30% target share when he was on the field in 2021. The issue was that he just wasn’t on the field much; if he can stay healthy in 2022, Toney profiles as someone with Tyreek Hill-like upside. 

Trey Lance, QB (49ers)

San Francisco 49ers first-year starter Trey Lance is the only quarterback on this list. It will be interesting to see how long the leash is for Lance, but there’s unquestionably a ton of upside for this player with the rushing floor he presents at the position. If Lance can at least become a semi-competent passer, this quarterback has fantasy superstar written all over him in 2022.

In addition, you likely could have found him available later in drafts depending on the size of your leagues. If you’re in a ten-team league and he’s still somehow on waivers, don’t be shy to scoop him up and leave him on your bench, potentially reaping the benefits if he delivers.