Scouting Room: Fantasy Football Breakout Performers – Week 9

8 Fantasy Players were watching

Every season new fantasy football heroes arrive on the scene from out of nowhere and the 2018 season will be no different. Pro Football Talk-Line has compiled a list of potential breakout players. Some we have watched breakout and some were watching and waiting on for the breakout. Not all of these players will make the pro bowl or be fantasy MVP candidates, but at some point, they might be a top waiver wire add or a simple addition to your team. Let’s take a look at the list that we have compiled below

6 Players we watched πŸ‘

1. DeAndre Hopkins WR, Houston Texans πŸ‘

Drafted by the Texans in 2013

Measurables/Combine Results
Height: 6’1β€³ Weight: 214 lbs
Hand Size: 10”

40-yard Dash: 4.57 seconds Vertical Jump: 36”

Positives

  • Decent speed
  • Catches everything
  • Will go over the middle
  • Creates separation
  • Good body control
  • Tremendous route runner

Negative

  • Dances around defenders
  • Runs backward after short catches at times

Outlook

Hopkins possesses strong hands and is not afraid of contact. He catches everything regardless of how the defense plays him. The All-Pro wideout has good size for an outside receiver too and has developed into one of the best WR in the league. He’s a very similar player to Larry Fitzgerald in terms of size and abilities. Hopkins and Watson have always had a strong connection on the field dating back to college. Hopkins is averaging 6.6 receptions and 98 yards per contest. He’s the number 1 WR on a high-powered offense that can score at will. The Texans just lost Fuller for the year so Hopkins should be an even bigger focal point for the rest of the year.

2. Deshaun Watson QB, Houston Texans πŸ‘

Drafted by the Texans in 2017

Measurables/Combine Results
Height: 6’2”’ Weight: 221 lbs
Hand Size: 9 ¾”

40-yard Dash: 4.66 seconds Vertical Jump: 32.5”

Positives

  • Smooth Delivery
  • Timing and rhythm passer
  • Tremendous leader
  • Good pocket posture
  • Good arm strength
  • Good Speed

Negative

  • Weak frame slender
  • Inaccurate at times
  • Rushes throws

Outlook

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Watson is a tough-minded QB and a natural-born leader. He has shown flashes of brilliance in his short time with Houston. The Texans franchise QB has a strong work ethic, good intangible, throws with anticipation and touch. He is also a good athlete that gains yards with his feet when the pocket breaks down. Watson has ice water in his veins he never gets nerves and has the uncanny ability to show up big when the lights are on in prime-time. He’s coming off a huge performance in week 8 where he threw for 5 TD. Watson is an elite QB with sky-high potential and is on pace to throw for over 4,000 yards and 30 TD.

3. Christian McCaffrey RB, Carolina PanthersΒ πŸ‘

Drafted by the Panthers in 2017

Measurables/Combine Results
Height: 5’11β€³ Weight: 202 lbs
Hand Size: 9 1/8”
40-yard Dash: 4.48 seconds Vertical Jump: 37.5”

Positives

  • Fast
  • Explosive play-maker
  • Avoid tackles
  • Gets low bends body
  • Patient runner
  • Great route runner
  • Very Versatile
  • Good hands

Negative

  • Slight of build
  • A lot of carries in college

Outlook

Christian McCaffrey has human video games skills electrifying juke moves, sharp cuts and can change direction so fast that it makes a compass confused. He is a second generation talent that has really come into his own this season. McCaffrey has put defender after defender on his highlight reel this year. He is enjoying a great season and is averaging 103 total yards per game and had collected 34 receptions before the week 9 contest. The Panthers use him heavily in the running and passing game he never comes off the field. He is averaging 22.5 touches per game. McCaffrey is the teams most explosive weapon and should continue to post big number if he can hold up to the workload.

4. Wendell Smallwood RB, Philadelphia EaglesΒ πŸ‘

Drafted by the Eagles in 2016
Measurables/Combine Results
Height: 5’11β€³ Weight: 208 lbs
Hand Size: 9 ¼”
40-yard Dash: 4.47 seconds Vertical Jump: 33.5”

Positives

  • Aggressive runner
  • Low center of gravity
  • Good speed
  • Good vision
  • High football IQ

Negative

  • Poor blocking techniques
  • Stops his feet
  • Lacks ideal lateral agility

Outlook
Smallwood is an instinctive runner who finds the hole and hits hit with power. He is an underrated receiver out of the backfield you can line him up in the slot position and he can catch screen passes with the best of them. The Eagles backfield has been decimated by injuries. With Jay Ajayi out for the season, and Sproles banged up Smallwood and Clement are shouldering the load. Philadelphia likes to use a multi-running system and Smallwood has value as a runner and pass catcher. He’s the most aggressive physical runner the Eagles have and Smallwood’s role should increase more every week.

5. Travis Kelce TE, Kansas City Chiefs πŸ‘

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Drafted by the Chiefs in 2013

Measurables/Combine Results
Height: 6’5” Weight: 255 lbs
Hand Size: 9 ⅝”

40-yard Dash: 4.61 seconds Vertical Jump: 35”

Positives

  • Strong
  • Physical
  • Light feet
  • Wide catch radius
  • Tough to bring down

Negative

  • Not explosive
  • Not overly fast
  • Doesn’t come out of breaks well

Outlook

Kelce is built in the mold of Gronkowski. He is a gifted pass-catching tight end. The 5th year pro is not overly fast but can catch the ball well and stretch the field vertically. Kelce is a load to bring down when the balls in his hands. He comes to play and constantly puts defenders on there back with his bruising style of play. He’s a dependable beast at the weak TE position and is one of Mahomes favorite targets. He consistently piles up receptions and yards and produces similar stats to a number 1 WR. Kelce is on pace to tie a career high in TD receptions this year.

6. Joe Mixon RB, Cincinnati Bengals πŸ‘

Drafted by the Bengals in 2017

Measurables/Combine Results
Height: 6’″ Weight: 226 lbs
Hand Size: 10”

40-yard Dash: 4.52 seconds Vertical Jump: 36”

Positives

  • Explosive
  • Good open-field moves
  • Huge catch radius
  • Smart football IQ
  • Soft hands
  • Excellent vision
  • Good patients

Negative

  • Not elite speed
  • Character issues
  • Runs upright

Outlook

Mixon is a special running back with an elite set of skills. He’s an offensive weapon that can carry a team on his back. Mixon has good burst and runs with balance and patients. He waits for his blocks to develop and explodes through the hole. He’s a key piece to the Bengals offense. The second-year back has transformed his game in his sophomore season. He rushed for 123 yards and 2 TD Sunday vs the Bucs. Mixon is on a bye next week but he should finish the season strong because the last 4 games are all against defenses that can be run on.Β 

Β 2. We’re WatchingΒ πŸ‘€

7. Kenyan Drake RB, Miami Dolphins πŸ‘€

Drafted by the Dolphins in 2016

Measurables/Combine Results
Height: 6’1β€³ Weight: 210 lbs
Hand Size: 9 ¾”

40-yard Dash: 4.45 seconds Vertical Jump: 34.5”

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Positives

  • Very strong
  • Good speed
  • Soft hands
  • Excellent straight-line speed
  • Good burst

Negative

  • Lacks lateral moment
  • Bounces run outside too often
  • Trips himself up

Outlook

Drake is a more of a straight line runner than a juker or slashing type running back. He does force missed tackles and can be elusive at times though. Drake does possess good speed and can be a dominant runner out of the backfield. The former Alabama product is the best play-maker on the Dolphins team and it’s only a matter of time before the coaching staff realizes it. With all the injuries mounting on the offensive side the Dolphins have no choice but to give him the ball. Over the last 4 weeks, he averaged 19.3 PPG. He should see 12 to 15 touches per game moving forward.

8. Martavius Bryant WR, Oakland Raiders πŸ‘€

Drafted by the Steelers in 2014

Measurables/Combine Results
Height: 6’4β€³ Weight: 211 lbs
Hand Size: 9 ½”

40-yard Dash: 4.42 seconds Vertical Jump: 38.5”

Positives

  • Tall
  • Good acceleration
  • Very fast
  • Good concentration

Negative

  • Drops open passes
  • Limited route tree
  • Character issues

Outlook

Bryant is an underrated freak athlete if it wasn’t for is off-field trouble he would be a household name by now. He has blazing fast speed in combination with a tall lanky body he uses to high point the ball. He can take the top off the defense and has flashed superstar potential at times. With the Raiders trading, Cooper to the Cowboys and Nelson being on the wrong side of 30, Bryant should get his fair share of looks on an offense dying for a play-maker to step up.

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Matthew Lotshaw
I was born and raised in St.Louis Missouri, I have been playing fantasy sports since high schoolΒ I write weekly previews and strategy articles to help the fantasy community