Dynasty rookie drafts are among the highlights of the fantasy football season. However, not all of the incoming rookies live up to expectations. For some players, it is the beginning of the end; an NFL career that was never to be. For others, it is part of the learning curve; a step to ascension in year two. This season offers several players with potential for a sophomore breakout season based on the advanced stats, metrics and analytics.
The New England Patriots selected N’Keal Harry with the final pick of the first round in the 2019 NFL Draft. The 6-2, 228-pound product from Arizona State entered the league surrounded by hype, and with good reason. He registered upper-percentile marks in Speed Score, Burst Score and Catch Radius, with an upper-percentile College Dominator and Breakout Age.
Harry didn’t live up to the hype in his rookie campaign, but 2020 brings promise. Young Jarrett Stidham is now the quarterback in New England, and he will need more help than Tom Brady had last year to keep the Patriot machine rolling. Beyond Julian Edelman, who is 34-years old, there is a lack of playmakers at wide receiver. With a year of experience in the offense under his belt, Harry is primed for a big sophomore season.
The hype surrounding Parris Campbell in 2019 was real, but a rash of injuries derailed his rookie campaign. In 2020, there is opportunity for the second-year wideout to bounce back. At 6-0 and 205-pounds, Campbell runs a 4.31 40-yard dash and ranks in the 97th-percentile among qualified wide receivers in both Speed Score and Burst Score. At full health, this is an impact player with fantasy upside.
The addition of Philip Rivers is a boon for the Colts offense, and Campbell in particular. While with the Chargers, one of Rivers’ primary targets was Keenan Allen, who played over 50-percent of his snaps from the slot. According to Colts coach Frank Reich, the slot is exactly where Campbell will play this season, making him a high-upside value proposition.
Another Patriot that looks to make waves after a quiet rookie season is Damien Harris. Buried on the running back depth chart, he was unable to make headway last year, but 2020 provides a different outlook for the former third-round pick. With recent news of Sony Michel’s surgical procedure, there’s reason to believe Harris can open the season as the starter should Michel miss any time.
Check out Damien Harris’ 2020 Projection on PlayerProfiler’s “World Famous” Draft Kit:
At Alabama, Harris averaged an impressive 6.6 (87th-percentile) yards per carry. He boasts an above average 40-yard dash time and Speed Score, with a 123.4 (75th-percentile) Burst Score. Though the depth chart is still loaded, both Rex Burkhead and James White no longer have guaranteed money on their contracts; and the Patriots have little cap space. Harris will be rocketing up draft boards due to the Michel injury, so grab him while you can.
The Arizona Cardinals spent several draft picks on wide receiver in the 2019 NFL Draft. One of those receivers, Andy Isabella, became a late-round darling for fantasy players. The Massachusetts product ranked in the 97th-percentile in both College Dominator Rating and College Target Share. Isabella has speed, evidenced by his 4.31 (100th-percentile) 40-yard dash and 103.0 (77th-percentile) Speed Score.
While its true Isabella didn’t impress in 2019, the first year of the Kliff Kingsbury/Kyler Murray offense as a whole had its ups and downs. Not to mention, Damiere Byrd garnered a 68.6-percent (No. 77) Snap Share playing the role ideal for Isabella, and he has since moved on to New England. Though the addition of DeAndre Hopkins thickens the depth chart in Arizona, year two of this offense will provide ample opportunity. Should an injury occur to the receiver group, even greater opportunity will present itself for Isabella.
A fourth round pick from Oklahoma State in 2019, Justice Hill recorded upper-percentile marks in both Speed Score and Burst Score. His 4.4 40-yard dash ranks in the 97th-percentile. Yet, on a Ravens offense predicated on the run, he was stuck behind Gus Edwards and starter Mark Ingram on the depth chart. In addition, J.K. Dobbins was selected in the second round of this year’s NFL Draft.
There is still reason to be optimistic about Hill’s chances of producing this season. Coach John Harbaugh stated he expects Hill to make a big jump this year and he has plans for all of the running backs on the roster. Dobbins is the clear future at the position; aside from that, the possibilities in appear plenty. Ingram is 30-years old and past his prime, Edwards is a replacement-level talent and Dobbins will be at a disadvantage due to the altered off-season. Even in this crowded backfield, Hill has the potential to make his mark in 2020.