[caption id="attachment_17583" align="aligncenter" width="475"] Elsa / Getty Images[/caption] Fantasy football is all about value for your picks. It’s the same premise if you’re looking to purchase an investment house: Buy low, look for high reward. If you’re using high draft picks for any of these players listed you lose all value in the pick, because you expected them to sell for a certain amount to begin with. Picking sleepers is all about predicting who is going to give you the most reward from a low value pick. These are a list of players who have the potential to break out in the 2012 season.
5 Fantasy Breakout Candidates For 2012Torrey Smith WR, Baltimore Ravens. Believe it or not, the Ravens were fifth in the NFL for passes attempted for 21-plus yards. Smith is the deep threat Baltimore have lacked for many years. He showed flashes of brilliance last season including a 3 touchdown, 152 yard game in week 3 against the Rams. He was targeted 96 times last season, 20 of which were 30-plus yards down field. Joe Flacco had a career worst 18 overthrows last season. Look for that number to decrease and with an aging Anquan Boldin, Torrey Smith should develop into Flacco’s #1 target.
Donald Brown RB, Indianapolis Colts. Fantasy football from a players perspective is all about opportunity. Donald Brown has that with the Colts as he doesn’t have a whole lot of competition for the starting job. Plus, how many starting running backs are available past the seventh round in drafts? Not many. Andrew Luck ran a lot of double tight end formations in College. You can expect the Colts to do so as well after they drafted Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen in this year’s NFL draft. How does this affect Donald Brown’s value you ask? When in a double tight end formation, Brown averaged 4.86 yards per carry. Look for Chuck Pagano to play conservatively, handing the ball off to Brown often.
Pierre Garcon WR, Washington Redskins. Early reports from Washington camp indicate RG3 and Garcon have developed a good rapport. If you combined Rex Grossman’s and John Beck’s pass attempts from last season, the Redskins threw the ball the fourth most in the NFL. Aside from his mobility, Griffin was known for his pocket passing ability. You can expect this high pass attempt trend to continue. Garcon will have the opportunity to be the #1 receiver in Washington this season, look for him to capitalize.
David Wilson RB, New York Giants. They didn’t spend a first round pick on this guy for no reason. He has looked very impressive in the opportunities he has received in preseason, showing he can also catch the ball out of the backfield. Tom Coughlin wants to run the ball effectively. If Bradshaw continues to struggle with injury Wilson will be the guy going forward. Wilson could become the next DeMarco Murray.
Peyton Hillis RB, Kansas City Chiefs. If you drafted Peyton Hillis last season last season he frustrated you to no end. Calling in sick with a sore throat wouldn’t fly at any standard office job, so how does that happen in the NFL? He missed multiple games with strep throat and other injuries last season, don’t expect the same this year. He will break-out once again. Jamaal Charles isn’t known for his volume of carries. In 2010 when Jamaal Charles was putting up huge numbers, Thomas Jones still had more carries (Charles 230, Jones 245) than Charles. Hillis will have the opportunity for goal line carries in Kansas City too. The Chiefs hired the services of Brian Daboll from the Miami Dolphins during the off-season. While at Miami last season, the Dolphins ran the ball the sixth most in the NFL. Where was he in the 2010 season? He was in Cleveland and was Peyton Hillis’ offensive coordinator when he had 270 carries, 1654 total yards and 13 total touchdowns. If someone still believes in Hillis after last season, it’s Daboll. What do you think? Who are your breakout candidates this season?