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3 Breakout Candidates for the 2023 Fantasy Season

Football, NCAAF, CFB, NFL article at Knup Sports

NFL free agency frenzy has gotten underway. Players will certainly have different fantasy outlooks, so here are the biggest breakout candidates.

George Pickens

George Pickens currently has an ADP of 71.6 and WR30 off the board. Pickens sported a respectable stat line last season of 52 receptions for 801 yards and 4 touchdowns on 85 total targets. Pickens had 9.8 fantasy points per game.

A key stat that would support a big season for Pickens would be that his average depth of target (ADOT) was 14.6 yards, which ranks him 3rd overall amongst wide receivers. Further, Pickens ranks 7th overall in deep targets (28) and was 12th among wide receivers in yards per receptions at 15.4 yards/rec.

This is Pickens second year with budding quarterback Kenny Pickett and there is no doubt in my mind that the two will have only progressed in how they connect on the field. I also think it’s clear that Pickens should now be the full-time starter in 2 wide receiver sets. All these reasons make Pickens a player to keep on your radar on draft day.

Jameson Williams

Jameson Williams is another player with exceedingly high potential in the 2023 NFL season. Williams currently has an ADP of 81.4 and is the 35th wide receiver off the board in drafts this year. The Lions offense gained the 4th most yards per game and 8th most in passing yards per game last season, which bodes well for Jameson Williams.

Williams had an injury shortened rookie campaign and with a full year under an NFL roof, he should be fully up to speed on the Lions game plans and the game flow of the NFL. Williams is entering year two and is a projected starter on an offense that likes to get into some high scoring affairs. Williams could be the breakout candidate you’re looking for on draft day.

James Cook

One last fantasy sleeper to keep your eyes on is James Cook. Cook is currently the top back on the Buffalo Bills roster and stands to be the starter if the team doesn’t make a move for outside talent for the position. The Bills have been searching for a run game for years but Cook might just be their guy.

Cook currently has an ADP of 92.4 and is the 31st running back off the board this season. Cook averaged 6.3 fantasy points per game. The real juice lies in cook’s advanced stats, where he has a true yards per carry rate of 5.3 which ranks him #2 overall among running backs. Cook also has a breakaway run rate of 12.4 which ranks him as the best running back in the NFL in that statistic.

Cook also maintained a 6.3 yards per touch rate, which ranked him 3rd overall among running backs. Cook’s yards per touch is likely unsustainable if he is given the starting role, but it’s encouraging to see that when presented with the opportunity, Cook can deliver.

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