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2016 Fantasy Football: NFL breakout candidates

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Allen Robinson

A breakout star in 2015, Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Allen Robinson is once again primed for a tremendous season. Though his 14-touchdown accomplishment last year will be tough to match, his reception total should experience a spike with an improving Blake Bortles at the helm. Robinson’s 6-foot-3, 220-pound frame renders him a dominant red-zone threat; he is sure to see many targets inside the opponent’s 20-yard line. He should be viewed as a mid-to-late first-round pick in PPR leagues.

Lamar Miller

Fresh off signing a four-year, $26 million pact with the Houston Texans, Lamar Miller looks poised to be the team’s clear-cut feature back. In his four prior seasons with the Dolphins, Miller’s talents were severely underutilized, as he registered over 200 carries in a year only once. However, his yards-per-carry over the past two seasons have been a lofty 4.81 and both his passing and blocking skills have blossomed. Now, on a team that has ranked both first and fifth in the league in rushing attempts under Head Coach Bill O’Brien the past two seasons, Miller is a high-upside pick who may cement himself as a top-tier rusher in 2016.

Jordan Reed

Washington Redskins tight end Jordan Reed is a force to be reckoned with, having posted just under 1,000 yards and 11 touchdowns in 14 games last season. Unfortunately, he has a long history of nagging ailments and concussions. The Redskins are nevertheless intent on making Reed a go-to target and the red-zone threat for quarterback Kirk Cousins. In a world of ever-thinning tight end depth, Reed is a difference maker at the position and a top-three option if he can stay healthy.

Duke Johnson

Heading into his sophomore season, Cleveland Browns running back Duke Johnson is being touted by coaches as the “ultimate weapon.” A timeshare with colleague Isaiah Crowell stunted Johnson’s performance last season, but fans still got a glimpse of his quick feet and pass-catching abilities. With the Browns likely to find themselves trailing in most games, Johnson should be leaned on heavily in the passing game, making him a PPR dynamo. Prospective owners must, however, consider the risk of Crowell cutting into Johnson’s workload and goal-line attempts.

Golden Tate

The retirement of superstar Calvin Johnson has opened the door for Detroit Lions wide receiver Golden Tate to break out. During games in which Johnson was out with an injury or caught fewer than two passes, Tate either registered 100-plus yards or a touchdown in all but one affair. The addition of Marvin Jones will cap Tate’s potential slightly, but he remains a surefire candidate for more than 100 receptions this season. A fourth-round flier is warranted for the seventh-year player, who may shape up to be a top-12 fantasy wide receiver.

  • Elie Waitzer

    Tate’s a bum, but Johnson is going to be a straight up BEAST!

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