Five wide receivers who could be 2016 breakouts in fantasy
In 2014, as it turns out, Carolina Panthers wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin wasn’t that great. He was only the No. 84 wide receiver in PFF grading among those who played 25 percent of their team’s snaps, right around names like Jason Avant, Derek Hagan and Corey Fuller. He had 11 drops and only caught 51.4 percent of his targets, both near the worst in the league.
Despite all that, Benjamin finished 2014 tied for the 16th-most fantasy points among receivers in standard leagues, with 1,008 yards and nine touchdowns. He wasn’t great, but he was still the best option the Panthers had that season, and the quantity of his looks outweighed the meager quality of his performance. Advanced analysis and in-depth statistics are great, but at a certain point, the fantasy community had to come around to Benjamin’s sheer volume and accept his productivity.
This year, these five wide receivers are primed to outperform their ADP as determined by FantasyFootballCalculator. Although some guys not on this list might be better football players, these guys are in the right situations with time and opportunity on their sides. (Which isn’t to say these guys aren’t talented; they are. It’s just that opportunity matters a lot as well.)
Tyler Lockett, Seattle Seahawks (current ADP: 84, No. 35 WR)
In Tyler Lockett’s first NFL preseason appearance, he logged a 103-yard kick-return touchdown. Four weeks later, in his NFL regular-season debut, Lockett returned a 57-yard punt for a touchdown. At the end of the year, Lockett was one of three rookies named to the Pro Bowl, as a return specialist.