NCAA Football: Michigan State at Ohio State
USATSI

Drake London has been a Fantasy bust for the first two seasons of his career. We can make excuses for the poor quarterback play in Atlanta or potentially bad play-calling from former coach Arthur Smith, but the results don't lie. Thankfully, things are about to change this season.

London should be considered a breakout candidate in 2024, and his third season in the NFL should be his best performance to date. He's worth drafting as early as Round 2 as a top-10 Fantasy receiver.

The reasons to buy into London are obvious, and yes, here come the excuses again. But he's getting an upgrade at quarterback with Kirk Cousins and a better play-caller in offensive coordinator Zac Robinson. That's huge.

London spent the first two seasons of his career catching passes from Desmond Ridder, Taylor Heinicke and Marcus Mariota. As a result, he only has 11 outings with at least 13 PPR points in 33 games and has averaged 10.9 PPR points per game or less in two years. But now London should see better targets from Cousins.

During his time in Minnesota, Cousins helped Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs thrive. Jefferson had four seasons in a row with at least 16.9 PPR points per game, Diggs had two seasons with at least 14.5 PPR points per game and Thielen had one season at 19.2 PPR points per game with Cousins. 

I'm hopeful London will end up in the 16.9 range or better, and I also like that Robinson is the new offensive coordinator. Robinson was just the passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the Rams the past two seasons, and he helped develop Puka Nacua in 2023, as well as working with Cooper Kupp. 

We still have to make sure Cousins, who turns 36 in August, is back to 100 percent from the Achilles injury he suffered last year. And London has to fight for targets with Kyle Pitts, Bijan Robinson, Darnell Mooney and Rondale Moore.

But the runway is clear for London to have a breakout season, and I'm excited to draft him in Round 2. Now, here are other breakout candidates I'm targeting this year.

Quarterbacks
Projections powered by Sportsline
IND Indianapolis • #5
Age: 22 • Experience: 2 yrs.
Fantasy Breakdown (PPR)
OVERALL RNK
76th
QB RNK
8th
PROJ PTS
351.7
SOS
24
2023 Stats
PAYDS
577
RUYDS
136
TD
7
INT
1
FPTS/G
19.7
I had Richardson as a breakout candidate as a rookie in 2023, and you saw flashes of brilliance before he suffered a season-ending shoulder injury in Week 5 against Tennessee. He scored 22.9 Fantasy points in Week 1 against Jacksonville and 33.6 Fantasy points in Week 4 against the Rams. Unfortunately, those were his only two healthy games since he left Week 2 at Houston with a concussion, missed Week 3 at Baltimore and then was knocked out against the Titans. The hope is Richardson can stay healthy all season, and if you project his two full games over a 17-game schedule, he was on pace for 3,596 passing yards, 26 touchdowns and nine interceptions, along with 816 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns. That's clearly hard to expect, and it's a small sample size. But he has that type of upside, especially as a rusher. I love that the Colts kept Michael Pittman Jr. and added rookie receiver Adonai Mitchell, and Richardson was a pleasant surprise as a passer. He should be drafted as a top-10 Fantasy quarterback in all leagues, but don't be surprised if he finishes in the top five.
WAS Washington • #5
Age: 23 • Experience: Rookie
Fantasy Breakdown (PPR)
OVERALL RNK
129th
QB RNK
13th
PROJ PTS
339.2
SOS
21
2023 Stats
PAYDS
0
RUYDS
0
TD
0
INT
0
FPTS/G
0
We love quarterbacks who run, and Daniels might be the best running quarterback this season. The rookie from LSU and 2023 Heisman Trophy winner had 135 carries for 1,134 yards and 10 touchdowns in 12 games last season, and he rushed for 2,019 yards and 21 touchdowns in 26 games for the Tigers. That's 77.6 rushing yards per game, which would be amazing if he does something similar for the Commanders. He's also a solid passer, completing 72.2 percent of his throws at LSU last season for 3,812 yards, 40 touchdowns and four interceptions. Kliff Kingsbury, the new offensive coordinator in Washington, should maximize the potential for Daniels after working well with Kyler Murray at the start of his career in Arizona. And Daniels has solid weapons with the Commanders in Terry McLaurin, Jahan Dotson, Luke McCaffrey, Zach Ertz, Ben Sinnott, Austin Ekeler and Brian Robinson Jr. I plan to draft Daniels as a low-end No. 1 quarterback in all leagues, and he could be a surprise top-five Fantasy option by the end of the season.
Running Backs
Projections powered by Sportsline
BUF Buffalo • #4
Age: 24 • Experience: 3 yrs.
Fantasy Breakdown (PPR)
OVERALL RNK
20th
RB RNK
9th
PROJ PTS
239.7
SOS
7
2023 Stats
RUYDS
1122
REC
44
REYDS
445
TD
6
FPTS/G
13.7
One of my bold predictions for the magazine is that Cook will lead all running backs in receptions. We'll see if that becomes a reality, but I like his chances to be a bigger part of the passing game in 2024. In nine games with Joe Brady as the offensive coordinator last season, including the playoffs, Cook was on pace for 53 catches on 66 targets. The Bills have to replace 241 targets and 152 catches with Stefon Diggs and Gabriel Davis gone, and I'm counting on Cook to be more of a weapon for Josh Allen out of the backfield. It also helps that Cook excelled as a rusher for Brady last season as well. In the nine games with Brady, Cook had 153 carries for 647 yards and three touchdowns, which projects to 289 carries for 1,222 yards and six scores. Cook has the chance for 350 total touches, 1,500 total yards and 10 touchdowns (he had four receiving touchdowns and six total scores in 2023). His competition for touches is currently just rookie Ray Davis and journeyman Ty Johnson, and I plan to draft Cook in Round 2 in most leagues.
SEA Seattle • #9
Age: 23 • Experience: 3 yrs.
Fantasy Breakdown (PPR)
OVERALL RNK
46th
RB RNK
17th
PROJ PTS
213.8
SOS
1
2023 Stats
RUYDS
905
REC
29
REYDS
259
TD
9
FPTS/G
13.3
The offense in Seattle is expected to improve this season under new coordinator Ryan Grubb, and everyone should benefit, including Walker. While he will once again share playing time with Zach Charbonnet, who is worth drafting as a sleeper based on his CBS Sports average draft position of 114.3, I'm counting on Walker to flirt with top-10 upside. He's worth drafting toward the end of Round 3 or the beginning of Round 4 in all leagues. Walker should continue to get the majority of playing time in Seattle, and he had 10 games last year with at least 15 total touches. In those games, he averaged 16 PPR points per game. That was also the case for Walker in 2022 when he averaged 17.1 PPR points per game in 10 outings with at least 15 total touches. He's limited as a receiver (56 receptions on 72 targets in two seasons), but hopefully Grubb will give him more chances to catch the ball. And the offensive line should improve for Seattle this year with the addition of free agent guard Laken Tomlinson and third-round rookie guard Christian Haynes joining the roster. I love the upside for Walker this year.
LV Las Vegas • #3
Age: 24 • Experience: 3 yrs.
Fantasy Breakdown (PPR)
OVERALL RNK
56th
RB RNK
18th
PROJ PTS
203.5
SOS
5
2023 Stats
RUYDS
451
REC
15
REYDS
98
TD
1
FPTS/G
4.4
White hopefully made the most of his audition last season to remain the lead running back for the Raiders this year, and I'm expecting him to be a No. 2 Fantasy running back in all leagues. I would draft White as early as Round 5 in most formats. His main competition for playing time is Alexander Mattison, Dylan Laube and Ameer Abdullah, and that bodes well for White remaining in a workhorse role. In the final four games last year with Josh Jacobs sidelined, White averaged 21 carries and 24.3 total touches. That included 20-plus carries in each of the final three games, and he had two outings with at least three catches over that span. White averaged 15.2 PPR points in those final four games, and hopefully that kind of production carries over to this season, especially since coach Antonio Pierce wants to have a run-heavy offense. There's a chance White could finish top five in carries this season if he stays healthy, and if that happens, he would be a standout Fantasy option in all leagues.
WAS Washington • #8
Age: 25 • Experience: 3 yrs.
Fantasy Breakdown (PPR)
OVERALL RNK
97th
RB RNK
35th
PROJ PTS
184.3
SOS
18
2023 Stats
RUYDS
733
REC
36
REYDS
368
TD
9
FPTS/G
13.2
Robinson got significant competition for playing time this offseason with the addition of Austin Ekeler, but that should make Robinson a bargain on Draft Day. His early CBS Sports ADP is 92.8, but I'm excited about his outlook for 2024. And I won't be surprised if he's the best running back in Washington this season. Ekeler, 29, might be washed up after what we saw in 2023 with the Chargers, although he was dealing with a high-ankle sprain after getting injured in Week 1. Still, Robinson should prove to be the better rusher (178 carries for 733 yards and five touchdowns in 2023), and he averaged 13.2 PPR points per game. He also did well as a receiver with 36 catches for 368 yards and four touchdowns on 43 targets. Kingsbury and running backs coach Anthony Lynn should be beneficial for Robinson, and Daniels' ability to escape the pocket should open up more rushing lanes. It's not a bad idea to pass on Ekeler (CBS Sports ADP of 88.5) and wait for Robinson in your Fantasy drafts this year. He can be a top-20 running back in all leagues.
Wide Receivers
Projections powered by Sportsline
NYJ N.Y. Jets • #5
Age: 24 • Experience: 3 yrs.
Fantasy Breakdown (PPR)
OVERALL RNK
11th
WR RNK
7th
PROJ PTS
263
SOS
8
2023 Stats
REC
95
TAR
168
REYDS
1042
TD
3
FPTS/G
12.6
Wilson is one of my favorite breakout candidates this year. We just have to hope that Aaron Rodgers (Achilles) is healthy for Week 1 and stays upright all season so we can finally see Wilson with competent quarterback play. He's dealt with a lot of bad quarterbacks through the first two seasons of his career -- mostly Zach Wilson -- but we got a glimpse of Garrett Wilson's upside as a rookie in 2022 when he averaged 17.6 PPR points per game in seven outings with Joe Flacco or Mike White, including three games with at least 24 PPR points over that span. Last season, Wilson scored at least 15 PPR points just eight times and scored only three touchdowns, but he averaged 9.9 targets per game, which was good for seventh in the NFL. I have Wilson ranked as a late first-round pick in all leagues, but he should be drafted no later than in the top 15 overall.
NO New Orleans • #12
Age: 24 • Experience: 3 yrs.
Fantasy Breakdown (PPR)
OVERALL RNK
18th
WR RNK
10th
PROJ PTS
250
SOS
13
2023 Stats
REC
87
TAR
138
REYDS
1123
TD
5
FPTS/G
14.5
Olave was a breakout candidate in 2023, but he failed to deliver on the hype when he averaged just 14.5 PPR points per game. It was a solid campaign but more was expected, which will hopefully happen in 2024. Entering his third season in the NFL, Olave is the clear-cut leader of the Saints' receiving corps. He averaged 8.6 targets per game in 2023, and that number might increase this season. I'm also excited to see what Olave can do in new coordinator Klint Kubiak's system, and he joins the Saints after spending the past season as the passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach in San Francisco. That should lead to more presnap motion and creative route concepts, and Olave should benefit by making more plays after the catch. Kubiak also was the offensive coordinator in Minnesota in 2021 when Jefferson had 108 catches for 1,616 yards and 10 touchdowns on 167 targets. I'm once again drafting Olave in Round 2 in all leagues, and this should be his breakout campaign.
PIT Pittsburgh • #14
Age: 23 • Experience: 3 yrs.
Fantasy Breakdown (PPR)
OVERALL RNK
45th
WR RNK
23rd
PROJ PTS
199.6
SOS
17
2023 Stats
REC
63
TAR
106
REYDS
1140
TD
5
FPTS/G
12.3
Pickens is easily the No. 1 receiver for the Steelers after they traded Diontae Johnson to Carolina, and now Pickens gets a quarterback upgrade in Russell Wilson. In four games last year when Johnson was hurt, Pickens had two outings with at least 22.7 PPR points. He also scored at least 20.1 PPR points in two of three games with Mason Rudolph, who was an upgrade over Kenny Pickett. Say what you want about Wilson, but he threw 10 touchdowns to Courtland Sutton in Denver in 2023. And Wilson has six seasons on his resume where a receiver has scored double digits in touchdowns (DK Metcalf twice, Tyler Lockett twice, Doug Baldwin and Sutton), with Baldwin leading the NFL in touchdown catches for Seattle in 2015 with 14. Wilson should help make Pickens a solid No. 2 Fantasy receiver in all leagues with the chance to be a top-10 option, and I plan to draft him as early as Round 4. As stated in the bold predictions in this magazine, Pickens has the chance to lead all receivers in touchdown catches this year.
GB Green Bay • #9
Age: 25 • Experience: 3 yrs.
Fantasy Breakdown (PPR)
OVERALL RNK
84th
WR RNK
39th
PROJ PTS
191.4
SOS
24
2023 Stats
REC
28
TAR
53
REYDS
422
TD
5
FPTS/G
11.3
Watson was a breakout candidate going into last year but flopped, mostly due to repeated hamstring injuries as he missed eight games. In the nine games he played, Watson only had three with more than 11 PPR points. Jayden Reed looked the part of the No. 1 receiver in Green Bay, but this is a deep receiving corps that also includes Romeo Doubs and Dontayvion Wicks. I still believe Watson has the most upside of the group (including Reed) if he can stay healthy, and Watson is someone to target as early as Round 7 in all leagues. Before Watson's final stint on the injury report last year, he had 12 catches for 165 yards and three touchdowns on 16 targets in two outings against Detroit and Kansas City, and he scored at least 20.4 PPR points in each game. He may never become an elite Fantasy option because of all the weapons in Green Bay (don't forget about Josh Jacobs and Luke Musgrave/Tyler Kroft), but he could become a No. 2 receiver if he can stay on the field. I'm hopeful his hamstring woes are behind him and this is the season that Watson finally breaks out.
Tight End
Projections powered by Sportsline
BUF Buffalo • #86
Age: 24 • Experience: 2 yrs.
Fantasy Breakdown (PPR)
OVERALL RNK
57th
TE RNK
5th
PROJ PTS
200.6
SOS
5
2023 Stats
REC
73
TAR
91
REYDS
673
TD
2
FPTS/G
9.4
I love the setup for Kincaid this season, and he's one of my favorite breakout candidates. The Bills' receiving corps will look entirely different with Diggs and Davis gone, and that bodes well for Kincaid's outlook. He did well as a rookie in 2023 when he was featured by Allen, which happened mostly when Dawson Knox was out with an injury. Kincaid had 10 games with at least six targets, and he scored at least 12.7 PPR points in six of them. He should continue to be featured by Allen in 2024, and Kincaid should be drafted as a top-five tight end in all leagues. I plan to draft Kincaid as early as Round 5 right after Sam LaPorta, Travis Kelce, Mark Andrews and Trey McBride come off the board. I wouldn't be surprised if Kincaid finishes as the No. 1 overall Fantasy tight end in all leagues this year.
ATL Atlanta • #8
Age: 23 • Experience: 4 yrs.
Fantasy Breakdown (PPR)
OVERALL RNK
80th
TE RNK
8th
PROJ PTS
180.7
SOS
20
2023 Stats
REC
53
TAR
90
REYDS
667
TD
3
FPTS/G
8.1
We've been burned by Pitts in each of the past two seasons, but I'm hopeful this year will be different because of Cousins and the new coaching staff in Atlanta. As a rookie in 2021, Pitts looked the part of a standout tight end with 68 catches for 1,026 yards and one touchdown on 110 targets, and he was a go-to guy for Matt Ryan while averaging 10.4 PPR points per game. But he struggled in 2022 before dealing with a knee injury, and he averaged just 7.6 PPR points per game. He bounced back slightly in 2023 at 8.1 PPR points per game, but more has been expected from him over the past two years. Now comes Cousins, who should be a huge upgrade for Pitts over the quarterbacks he played with the past two years. Cousins just helped T.J. Hockenson average 14.1 PPR points per game in 2023 in Minnesota, and hopefully, Cousins can do something similar for Pitts. He still has top-five upside in all Fantasy leagues, and I'm looking to draft Pitts as early as Round 7.