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19 Consensus Early Breakout Candidates (2024 Fantasy Football)

19 Consensus Early Breakout Candidates (2024 Fantasy Football)

Get ahead of the fantasy football curve by exploring potential breakout stars who could transform your team’s fortunes in 2024. We asked our FeaturedPros contributors to give us their best promising running backs, wide receivers, quarterbacks, and tight ends primed for breakout performances. Whether you’re seeking a dynamic RB, a game-changing WR, or a breakout star at QB or TE, we’ve got you covered.

2024 Dynasty Fantasy Football Guide

2024 Fantasy Football Early Breakout Candidates

What RB has the best shot of having a breakout year this season, and why?

De’Von Achane (RB – MIA)

“I think the obvious choice is Miami’s De’Von Achane. He broke the fantasy community from Weeks 3-5, totaling 454 rushing yards and 7 touchdowns in that span. In Week 5, he got banged up and missed the next four weeks. Achane bulked up this off-season. If healthy for a full season, he can officially have a breakout year. If, and it’s a big if, he averages 151.3 yards per game (what he had rushed in that three-week span), then he could very easily gain over 2,000 rushing yards!”
Miguel ‘SC’ Romero (Fantasy Football Universe)

“I think De’Von Achane has the better chance to break out this season. We saw him last year. The guy has 7.8 yards per carry, the most in the league for RBs with more than 50 carries. Mostert is still in the mix, but we can expect a role decrease.”
Alejandro Orellana (Estadio Fantasy)

“Miami Dolphins running back De’Von Achane showed flashes of a breakout in his rookie campaign, but lingering injuries and the swan song of Raheem Mostert prevented him from achieving stardom. Mostert recently signed an extension to remain with Miami, but with him being both 32 years old and injury-prone, it’s just a matter of time before Mostert is phased out of this elite offense and Achane becomes the explosive stud we saw glimpses of in 2022.”
Aaron St Denis (Fantasy Football Universe)

Josh Jacobs (RB – GB)

“I’m rolling with Josh Jacobs this season at his depressed price in fantasy drafts. Early returns have him as a high-end RB2, being taken in the 6th round. But moving on from the dumpster fire that was the 2023 Las Vegas Raiders, Jacobs now has new life in an offense that will regularly be in scoring range. The TD upside mixed with fewer stacked boxes means Jacobs should firmly be in RB1 territory this season and offer you consistency at the position each week. Enjoy the re-breakout.”
Jeremy Shulman (Fantasy Football Universe)

Zamir White (RB – LV)

Zamir White is the current RB1 in Las Vegas after Josh Jacobs left in free agency. The arrival of Alexander Mattison won’t keep him from having a featured role in 2024. White was the RB8, averaging 14.1 half-point PPR fantasy points per game during the four weeks of the 2023 season with Jacobs injured. According to Fantasy Points Data, he had the eighth-most missed tackles forced during those four weeks, totaling more than Bijan Robinson. Unless the Raiders pick a running back on Day 2 of the NFL Draft, there is no reason to think White won’t be a top-20 running back this upcoming season.”
Mike Fanelli (FantasyPros)

Zamir White is one of the best bets to break out, as he is now the lead back in the Raiders backfield. The only competition the Raiders brought in was Alexander Mattison. This team is going to want to run the football with the lack of a strong passing game. At the end of last season, we saw that he had four straight games over 17 carries. If White can get to 225 carries in 2024, he’ll have a breakout season.”
Steven Pintado (The Fantasy Coaches)

James Cook (RB – BUF)

James Cook is teed up for a monster campaign in 2024. Stefon Diggs is long gone which should further cement Cook as the engine to the Bills offense as he was during the second part of last season once Joe Brady took over as the OC. Over that span, Cook was second in carries (17 per game). He totaled 181 touches from Week 11 onward (20 touches per game), averaging 15.8 expected points per game (9th) and 14.1 points per game (13th). All he needs is more TDs to break out in 2024.”
Andrew Erickson (FantasyPros)

James Cook saw the 10th most touches in the NFL last year with 281, and Cook is still thought of as a scatback. Cook is an efficient running back who ranked 5th in yards per touch, 2nd in yards per reception, and 6th in yards per route run among running backs. With both Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis gone from Buffalo, James Cook has a great opportunity to take on an even bigger role in 2024.”
Jesse Moeller (Fantasy Football Universe)

Bijan Robinson (RB – ATL)

Bijan Robinson did okay last year, but his fantasy impact was capped by poor QB play and a coaching staff unwilling to fully utilize one of the most talented weapons in the league. A change in the coaching staff, led by head coach Raheem Morris and newly signed QB Kirk Cousins, injects life into an offense seemingly on the verge of taking off. Captain Kirk should supercharge the entire Falcons’ offense into greater fantasy heights- including Bijan. Bijan is one of the few RBs with the talent and potential to dethrone Christian McCaffrey as the top-ranked RB if things break right (aka if he gets a bell cow role). Ringo’s honorable mentions for a breakout year (RBs)- if you’re looking for sleeper RBs/longshots- rookies Trey Benson and Jase McClellan have the talent and receiving chops to be bell cow RBs if given the opportunity, imo. ”
Mark Ringo (Sleepers and Busts)

Chase Brown (RB – CIN)

“Joe Mixon is no longer in Cincinnati, and free-agent acquisition Zack Moss now has the highest ECR among the Bengals’ running backs. I’ll let others pursue Moss; Chase Brown is the Bengal running back I’m (ahem) chasing. Brown looked terrific when called upon last season, with 44-179-0 rushing and 14-156-1 receiving. Brown has 4.43 speed, and he showed his pass-catching prowess last year by averaging 10.4 yards per target. He was a workhorse in college, averaging 27.3 carries a game in his final season at Illinois, suggesting that he’s capable of handling a much bigger workload if he outplays Moss. And in an offense with Joe Burrow at QB and Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins at wide receiver, the Bengals’ RBs are going to be running against some light defensive fronts because respect must be paid to the Cincinnati passing game. A Brown breakout could be at hand.”
Pat Fitzmaurice (FantasyPros)

What WR has the best shot of having a breakout year this season, and why?

Drake London (WR – ATL)

“I don’t understand those who are doubting Drake London in 2024. With a massive upgrade at the QB position, the Falcons’ undisputed No. 1 target is set to blow his previous high in targets (117) and touchdowns (4) out of the water. Kirk Cousins is coming off of an Achilles injury and learning a new offensive system, and I’m still not concerned. Give me all the London if he stays at his current PPR WR23 ADP, and even if he doesn’t. A WR1 season is incoming.”
Jeremy Shulman (Fantasy Football Universe)

“Calling Drake London a breakout candidate is a chalk pick, but it’s almost a guarantee to happen. He has averaged only 8.6 career half-point PPR fantasy points per game because of poor quarterback play. Kirk Cousins isn’t an elite quarterback but has been outstanding for fantasy players, producing multiple WR1s in the same season. Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen were top 12 wide receivers in 2018, while Justin Jefferson and Thielen were top eight in 2020. After catching passes from Marcus Mariota, Desmond Ridder, and Taylor Heinicke, London will finally become a fantasy star.”
Mike Fanelli (FantasyPros)

Drake London has the best shot at having a breakout season among wide receivers. London has had 850 to 900 yards in back-to-back seasons with mediocre quarterback play. The addition of Kirk Cousins is going to help London excel to the next level of his game. London should see a growth in targets from his 115 average to well over 140 targets in 2024. London should have a shot as a WR1 by the end of his season. ”
Steven Pintado (The Fantasy Coaches)

Drake London, with the upgrade from Desmond Ridder to Kirk Cousins, cannot be understated. London is currently drafted as the WR26 in Best Ball. In the last six seasons, Cousins has never had his top pass catcher finish below the WR24 in fantasy points. Here are the yearly finishes: 2023: WR23, 2022: WR1, 2021: WR4, 2020: WR24, and 2018: WR7. Drake London is set for a massive 2024 season.”
Jesse Moeller (Fantasy Football Universe)

Jaxon Smith-Njigba (WR – SEA)

“It’s JSN SZN, everybody. In the last games last year, we saw an increase in Jaxon Smith-Njigba’s role. In Year 2, with Tyler Lockett on his way out, it’s time to unleash JSN.”
Alejandro Orellana (Estadio Fantasy)

George Pickens (WR – PIT)

George Pickens will be the true alpha in 2024, with Diontae Johnson traded to the Panthers. During the first five weeks of the 2023 season with DJ sidelined, Pickens was the WR13 in fantasy, averaging 12.8 points per game (19th) with a 43% air yards share and 24% target share. Averaged nearly 80 receiving yards per game. In four games with Mason Rudolph, George Pickens averaged a 24% target share, 44% air yards share, 14.6 fantasy points (backend fantasy WR1 numbers), and nearly 100 receiving yards per game. The guy has flashed WR1 upside with horrible QB play his first two seasons. And both Russell Wilson/Justin Fields offer more upside than Kenny Pickett, given they are viable threats attacking downfield (8th in deep ball rate in 2023) and into the end zone. ”
Andrew Erickson (FantasyPros)

Marvin Harrison Jr. (WR – FA)

“Not all rookies, or even draft classes, are cut from the same cloth. Marvin Harrison Jr. is special. He’s big (6’4″), he’s fast (estimated 40 time- 4.39), he runs good routes, and gosh darn it, fantasy football analysts named Mark Ringo like him ha ha! Marvin will be an impact player on day one, imo. And if he gets paired with a talented QB throwing him the ball- lookout! Ringo’s current ranking- WR 4! Ringo’s comp- Harrison Jr. is bigger and faster than his dad, who was an all-pro for the Colts. He reminds me of Julio Jones in his prime. Honorable mentions for a breakout year (WRs)- Garrett Wilson, George Pickens, and (longshot pick) Jameson Williams.”
Mark Ringo (Sleepers and Busts)

Jayden Reed (WR – GB)

Jayden Reed becomes the man in Green Bay! Down the stretch in his final four games, Reed averaged 7.5 targets per game while catching 80% of those targets! He became Jordan Love‘s favorite target and will continue to be so going into 2024. 80 receptions with over 1,100 yards and 10 touchdowns type of season incoming!”
Miguel ‘SC’ Romero (Fantasy Football Universe)

Demario Douglas (WR – NE)

“New England Patriots sophomore receiver Demario Douglas may be the last receiver standing. The Patriots appear destined to use their first-round pick to bring in a new quarterback, which leaves Douglas as the likely WR1 in this offense. Douglas showed flashes of his potential last season in a terrible offense, and with little to no competition for targets, he could quickly become a PPR machine for fantasy football.”
Aaron St Denis (Fantasy Football Universe)

Khalil Shakir (WR – BUF)

Stefon Diggs‘ departure from Buffalo creates an exciting opportunity for Khalil Shakir, who showed exciting growth last year. Shakir was ruthlessly efficient in 2023, averaging 15.7 yards per catch, 13.6 yards per target, and 1.75 yards per route run. He drew only 45 targets during the regular season but started playing more snaps and drawing more targets down the stretch. Shakir had a touchdown catch in each of the Bills’ two playoff games, and he had a team-high nine targets and seven receptions in the divisional-round loss to the Chiefs. Buffalo will no doubt add receivers in the draft. But with Diggs, a prolific target earner, out of the picture, Shakir could have a breakthrough season.”
Pat Fitzmaurice (FantasyPros)

2024 NFL Draft Guide

What QB or TE has the best shot of having a breakout year this season, and why?

Anthony Richardson (QB – IND)

Anthony Richardson’s breakout is upon us. When he was at 100% last season, he was the guy. With his Konami Code, he would give us a high upside. I see him as a quarterback in the top 8. ”
Alejandro Orellana (Estadio Fantasy)

Anthony Richardson is the only true answer here. With the flashes he showed as a rookie, it’s clear that AR5 is primed to break out. A healthy Jonathan Taylor should do wonders for his rushing floor given the holes both will open up for each other. And his precision passing should continue to add to his fantasy value, especially if they add a high-end receiving option or two in the upcoming draft. With an average defense in Indianapolis, Richardson has top-5 upside this season. Buy in.”
Jeremy Shulman (Fantasy Football Universe)

“An Anthony Richardson breakout is inevitable. The only reason we didn’t get it last year was because injuries limited him to four games, only two of which he was able to finish. In the two games he DID start and finish, Richardson scored 21.9 and 29.6 fantasy points, good for weekly fantasy finishes of QB4 and QB2. Richardson averaged 0.43 fantasy points per snap last season, which is an absurd scoring rate. Richardson didn’t even get to play with RB Jonathan Taylor, who was on IR early last season. Having Taylor around is only going to make Richardson’s job easier. As big and as fast as he is, Richardson is going to pile up some serious rushing numbers, and he’s a more advanced passer than he was given credit for coming out of college. A-Rich is going to do some damage this year, my friends.”
Pat Fitzmaurice (FantasyPros)

Will Levis (QB – TEN)

“Whatever happens in Round 1 of the 2024 NFL Draft – WR, OT, TE – the Titans are giving second-year QB Will Levis everything he needs to succeed under a new coaching staff. He might be the late-round quarterback du jour in 2024 with all the additional weapons at his disposal between DeAndre Hopkins and Calvin Ridley. The OL should be superior to past versions, and Levis’s big arm lends itself to some high-end fantasy performances. ”
Andrew Erickson (FantasyPros)

“We saw the good and the bad from Will Levis last season. What we did not see is a full season of Will Levis. They brought in another WR, Calvin Ridley (1,000-yard season last season), to play opposite of DeAndre Hopkins since Burks seems to be heading towards being a first-round flop. Derrick Henry is now gone meaning there is a new era brewing in Tennessee. The hope is they beef up their offensive line with the arguably best offensive lineman in the draft. Anyway, all signs point to Levis officially making this his team this year! It is possible we see a 3,500-yard season with 20+ touchdowns in 2024. Hopefully, he does not take his 2:1 TD:INT ratio with him next year though.”
Miguel ‘SC’ Romero (Fantasy Football Universe)

Pat Freiermuth (TE – PIT)

Pat Freiermuth had a promising rookie season in Ben Roethlisberger’s final year in the NFL, scoring seven receiving touchdowns. Unfortunately, his production has fallen off a cliff the past two seasons, totaling only four receiving touchdowns while catching passes from Kenny Pickett, Mitch Trubisky, and Mason Rudolph. However, he could have a breakout season in the final year of his contract. Last year, the Atlanta Falcons tight ends averaged a 31.7% overall target share and a 29.3% red zone target share, with Arthur Smith calling the plays. Whether Russell Wilson or Justin Fields is under center for Pittsburgh, it’s a massive upgrade for Freiermuth.”
Mike Fanelli (FantasyPros)

Kyle Pitts (TE – ATL)

“The Falcons ponied up for the best QB in free agency when they went out and signed veteran Kirk Cousins to a huge deal. Captain Kirk will be the best QB that Kyle Pitts has ever played with, and the upgrade should help the Falcons’ offense boldly go where no man has gone before: The end zone ha ha! Atlanta also changed the coaching staff (new head coach Raheem Morris and new offensive coordinator Zac Robinson), which should lead to a more pass-oriented offense. Pitts was unstoppable in college, and as long as he and Cousins can stay healthy, it’s logical to think that Pitts will not only dominate this season but for many years to come. “Helm, lock phasers on Kyle Pitts (one of Ringo’s favorite draft targets in 2024)…..Fire Mr. Sulu!” Ringo’s honorable mentions for a breakout year (QBs/TEs)- Caleb Williams, Anthony Richardson. Dalton Kincaid, and Brock Bowers.”
Mark Ringo (Sleepers and Busts)

Dalton Kincaid (TE – BUF)

“Buffalo Bills tight end Dalton Kincaid has the opportunity to be a breakout in his sophomore season. After losing both Gabe Davis and Stefon Diggs this offseason, the Bills lack a pass catcher of any proven level; even if they use a first-round pick on a receiver, Kincaid would project to be the second target on this high-flying offense, and typically translates to elite levels of fantasy production.”
Aaron St Denis (Fantasy Football Universe)

Dalton Kincaid has a fantastic shot to break out in his second season. The Bills are without a star receiver with the recent trade of Stefon Diggs. Kincaid averaged 5.5 targets last season and should see an increase closer to ten in 2024. I expect the Bills to run more than 13 personnel with Kincaid and Dawson Knox. Kincaid should be a target to everyone looking to take advantage of the position in 2024.”
Steven Pintado (The Fantasy Coaches)

Trey McBride (TE – ARI)

“From Week 8 to the end of last year, Trey McBride put together a 26.7% Target Share, 2.24 YPRR, and 14.95 PPR PPG. Those marks would have ranked Trey McBride as the TE1 in each category, and in another season paired with Kyler Murray, we could see McBride finish as the overall TE1 in fantasy football.”
Jesse Moeller (Fantasy Football Universe)

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