5 fantasy WR breakout candidates for 2017

Finding breakout players is how fantasy championships are made. Tyler Buecher continues his series with wide receivers

| 2 weeks ago
(Al Diaz/Miami Herald/TNS via Getty Images)

(Al Diaz/Miami Herald/TNS via Getty Images)

5 fantasy WR breakout candidates for 2017

Supplementing proven commodities with young, upside players is a great way to find a winning combination of safety and ceiling. Finding potential breakout players before your leaguemates is one of the most rewarding parts of playing fantasy football. Not only does it help your team become more successful, but these players often come at very affordable prices on draft day.

Earlier this week we took a look at some potential running back breakout candidates. Here are five wide receivers with the potential for breakout campaigns entering 2017:

DeVante Parker, Miami Dolphins

We saw last year that as the season went on, Miami finally realized what it had in RB Jay Ajayi, and they rode him to their first playoff berth since 2008. Ajayi figures to be the focal point of this offense once again in 2017. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing for Parker, who can find his way to a breakout role as both an underneath playmaker and potential field stretcher when HC Adam Gase decides to keep defense honest.

Parker’s a size-speed freak, coming in at 6-foot-3 inches, 209 pounds, while running a 4.45 40-yard dash. He accrued 20 percent of the team’s targets last year and 29 percent of the team’s air yards, per RotoViz’s Josh Hermsmeyer. The problem with Parker last year (where he finished as WR50), was the lack of volume he had with Miami winning 10 games. Vegas currently has the Dolphins projected for 7.5 wins, and even just a 2.5-negative game swing can greatly impact play calling. Miami’s 477 pass attempts last year ranked 31st. If this team plays behind more as expected, we can expect the raw volume of the Dolphins’ pass attempts to increase rather significantly. In the eight games Parker saw at least six targets, he averaged 14.4 PPR points – a pace that would’ve put him on pace for a WR16 finish. An increase in pass attempts isn’t necessarily ideal for the Dolphins to win games, but it should be a huge boon to Parker’s fantasy stock.

(John Grieshop/Getty Images)

Parker is reportedly doing all the right things this offseason. Take that as you will, but the coaching staff has already acknowledged they’d like to get him more involved this year. It wasn’t that long ago that we explored whether receivers break out in their third year. Parker could be in line to follow that case study’s finding with a leap in productivity in Year 3. Parker’s size-speed combination, projected uptick in volume, and draft pedigree make him a perfect breakout candidate heading into 2017.

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Tyler is a graduate from Drexel University who grew up in Central Pennsylvania and is an avid fan of all Philadelphia sports teams. He's heavily involved with DFS, Dynasty, MFL10s, and Redraft fantasy football content. In his free time, Tyler enjoys going to sports games, beerfests, country concerts, and long walks on the beach.

  • DeVante

    You were wrong twice on DeVante. Who will buy it 3rd time?

    • Indian-Homie

      exactly what I was thinking haha

  • Go Deep

    The Dolphins were 9-2 when Ajayi had 15+ carries. This theme will continue into 2017 regardless of whether the Dolphins are playing behind. If you stick to the plan, then you believe if you keep feeding Ajayi, then they will have a chance to win. Also, the idea that Tannehill will turn into a capable, average passer hasn’t happened. So the idea that the Dolphins can win by airing it out more and letting an inaccurate passer throw deep just doesn’t make sense. Their offense is similar to the Ravens, they have iffy QB’s and need to rely on their backfield to win games. I agree with the other commenters and I’m not investing in Parker with that QB throwing to him. Dolphins need to take care of the ball and need a Woodhead-type to complement Ajayi.