Last week it was Kareem Hunt, Austin Hooper and Tarik Cohen headlining some of Week 1’s top breakout players. While some of the breakouts were unexpected, others like Hunt were to be expected following the injury to Spencer Ware during the preseason.
We’re out now to identify potential breakout candidates for week two. We can identify these players thanks to what should be positive game script, statistics from PlayerProfiler, athleticism, and workout metrics. Time to dive in and call these breakouts, and then sit back and bask in bargain glory.
Alvin Kamara – Saints RB (DraftKings: $3,500, FanDuel: $4,700)
No, it wasn’t Mark Ingram, and it wasn’t Adrian Peterson who led the Saints in backfield snaps in Week 1. Instead it was rookie Alvin Kamara. Kamara was on the field for 31 snaps, while Ingram saw action on 26 snaps, and Peterson an unexpected nine snaps. Kamara headlines this list of Week 2 breakout players, as an attractive play in GPP’s and cash games given his low cost and high upside.
Alvin Kamara finished his rookie debut with seven rushes for 18 yards, and caught four of his six targets for 20 yards. The numbers aren’t flashy, but a boost will come when the Saints are sure to find themselves needing to pass often to maintain pace with Tom Brady and the Patriots.
During his days at Tennessee, Alvin Kamara was a perennial pass-catcher, garnering a 14-percent College Target Share (90th-percentile). He totaled 74 receptions for 683 yards and seven touchdowns through the air over two seasons. At 5-foot-10, 214-pounds, Kamara is a compact back that boasts a 132.7 Burst Score (93rd-percentile) and 5.8 College YPC (60th-percentile). In other words, Kamara has all the tools to turn into an effective NFL back with high fantasy upside.
If you need another reason to start Alvin Kamara, consider the struggles the Patriots had with rookie Kareem Hunt, surrendering 148 yards and one score on the ground. Hunt also had five receptions for 98 yards and two touchdowns through the air. Drew Brees loves his satellite backs, time for Kamara to breakout in Week 2.
Chris Carson – Seahawks RB (DraftKings: $3,000, FanDuel: $4,500)
as aforementioned in the article title, game scripts can be an indication of major fantasy production. Another positive game script is on the way, this one coming for rookie running back Chris Carson. Carson has been making noise since training camp started months ago. He had more snaps than backfield teammates C.J. Prosise (15) and Eddy Lacy (7) to the tune of 27 snaps, posting six carries for 39 yards in a Week 1 loss to the Packers. The Seahawks play host to the 49ers in Week 2, and will find themselves in a far more positive game script. As a result, Seattle will be running the ball far more often than the 16 times in Week 1.
Chris Carson‘s biggest threat for early down work is Thomas Rawls, who was inactive due to an injury in Week 1. Even if Rawls is healthy, gamble on Carson given the superior athletic profile he has compared to Rawls.
Everything Rawls lacks, Carson has. With identical 40-yard dash times of 4.58 (49th-percentile), Rawls has a 97.7 Speed Score (49th-percentile) and 118.4 Burst Score (46th-percentile). With a career College YPC of 5.3 (36th-percentile) and SPARQ-x score of 102.9 (20th-percentile), Rawls’ athleticism and college production compared to Chris Carson’s is blatantly inferior.
The Seahawks could find themselves with a double-digit lead at home by halftime, giving Chris Carson a chance to earn the biggest work load of his career in an effort to bleed the clock. The 49ers had one of the worst run defenses in the NFL in 2016, and allowed 116 yards on the ground to Carolina last week. It is no secret that matchups are huge in fantasy football and Carson’s battle with the 49ers will be fruitful for his fantasy owners.
Josh Bellamy – Bears WR (DraftKings: $3,000, FanDuel: $4,600)
Nevermind the fact that Josh Bellamy has an underwhelming 16.9-percent College Dominator Rating (16th-percentile) and a 13.8 College YPR (36th-percentile). He spent two years tethered to a subpar quarterback named Josh Froman, on awful Louisville teams in 2010 and 2011 that focused far more attention on running the ball than passing.
Josh Bellamy has plus athleticism and size, coming in at 6-feet tall and 206-pounds, with a 34 1/2 inch arm length (97th-percentile). Bellamy possesses a 10.90 Agility Score (90th-percentile) and 10.23 Catch Radius (87th-percentile), to go along with a 119.2 SPARQ-x score (87th-percentile). Guys with the type of size and quickness that Bellamy possesses can give cornerbacks a really tough time. Fantasy football owners often lick their lips at the opportunity to get an under the radar athletic breakout candidate like Bellamy.
With the injuries to Bears wide receivers Cameron Meredith and Kevin White, Chicago finds themselves thin at the position and looking for somebody to step up in Week 2 against the Buccaneers. Bellamy filled in for the Bears, posting three receptions on four targets for 27 yards, while also dropping a key pass in the end zone. Don’t be discouraged by his drop as his number of targets are about to go through the roof in the coming weeks.
Furthermore, Tampa Bay is very weak at corner back, a big plus for Josh Bellamy. Their number one corner, Vernon Hargreaves was one of the worst cornerbacks in the league in 2016, surrendering 13.7 fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers. He allowed 86 receptions for 1,218 yards, and had 118 total targets thrown his way. By season’s end, Hargreaves had a -0.36 Coverage Rating (No. 98), a 72.9-percent Catch Rate Allowed (No. 97), and a Passer Rating Allowed of 104.4 (No. 85).
Now Vernon Hargreaves will be tasked with covering Bellamy, who has a chance to utilize his athletic profile against a player who lacked mightily in coverage. With no true no. 1 receiver, Bellamy will turn into fantasy gold with a high snap share while facing a player like Hargreaves.