A major challenge for players new to dynasty leagues is the lack of talented free agents throughout the year. In re-draft leagues an owner can often find players that produced well past their preseason expectations by scouring the free agency wire every week.
Not so in dynasty leagues, the free agency wire is often so bleak that owners scratch their heads as they read names they have never even heard of. To be successful, owners must become adept at finding the breakout players for that season, before they actually have that breakout year.
While some breakout performances are impossible to predict, like those caused by an injury to another player, others can be identified before the season even starts.
One such player that has a chance, not only to be a breakout performer in the upcoming year, but to become a solid fantasy player in years to come is New Orleans Saints’ wide receiver Nick Toon.
With the departure of Kenny Stills, Jimmy Graham, Pierre Thomas and Travaris Cadet, Toon looks to have an increased role, in not only one the league’s best offenses, but one of the most pass heavy offenses as well.
Put it this way; in 2014, Stills, Graham, Thomas and Cadet combined for 231 receptions, 2,496 yards and 15 touchdowns. In fantasy world that’s 570.6 points in PPR leagues and 339.6 points in non PPR leagues. Those points are going to spread around to new players (using standard ESPN scoring).
Many view the upside on Toon as limited. He sits behind Marques Colston and Brandin Cooks on the Saints’ depth chart, but on such a pass heavy offense the team’s third receiver can still have some fantasy relevance.
Last year the Saints top three receivers were Stills, Colston and Graham. Two of those top three are no longer with the team, and all had fantasy relevance in 2014.
Yes Jimmy Graham was a tight end, and the logical thing to think is that the new tight end would garner a lot of those points. But the truth is even though Graham might be labeled as a tight end, he ran 45 percent of his plays from the slot last season, and another 22 percent of his plays from out wide. He only lined up as a tight end 33 percent of the time.
Add in the fact that the new starter is 34 year old Benjamin Watson and I’m not sold on the new tight end being the primary beneficiary of those receptions. The more likely player to pick up those catches is the new slot receiver, Nick Toon.
If he’s not on a team in your league he needs to be, re-draft or dynasty. Toon looks to be poised for a huge breakout year.
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