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  • Writer's pictureAaron Clanton


All aboard! The hype train is moving at full speed and we have a few interesting passengers that’ve hopped on along the way to opening night kick-off. Not all of them will make it to their destination as fully realized breakout players, but those that do will be beloved by fantasy managers. These are players that have been standouts during practices, maybe during their games and most importantly, on social media. The biggest aspect to the hype train is the backing of social media and other news outlets, which just continues the hope of a breakout. Without further ado, let’s get started.

Bryan Edwards- Las Vegas Raiders, WR

Bryan Edwards may be the biggest recipient of the preseason hype train this year, with comparisons to Terrell Owens and Randy Moss, among others. While the comparisons are obviously hyperbolic and a little bit ridiculous, the underlying sentiment is that Edwards is a physically gifted wide receiver. The Raiders have no clear-cut #1 wide receiver, which is part of the reason why Edwards has been hyped so much, and fantasy managers are taking the 2nd year wideout late in drafts. He is currently going as the WR 71 in drafts, which in 12-man leagues is at the beginning of the 16th round; that’s well worth his flyer status. He has the potential to become a top 30 wide receiver for a team that isn’t going to be horrible on offense. The only struggle he may find throughout the season is consistent targets, which is a huge part of breakout out as a player. 2020’s 1st round selection, Henry Ruggs, is looking to take a step up after a disappointing rookie year, along with veterans Hunter Renfrow and John Brown, who add to the wide receiver depth. The biggest impeding factor in Edwards’ breakout is Darren Waller, stud tight end and the true #1 pass catcher on the team. Edwards’ upside is as the 2nd best option on the Raiders, which still holds value, but he has his work cut out for him to get there.

Jalen Reagor - Philadelphia Eagles, WR

The rookie year breakout didn’t happen for Jalen Reagor, and that’s perfectly fine. Not all players enter the NFL and fill up the box score immediately, but what doesn’t help is when that is the outcome while other rookies light it up. Jalen Reagor was selected before Justin Jefferson, Brandon Aiyuk, Tee Higgins and Michael Pittman Jr., all of whom showed either star potential or at minimum, starter level production. Yes, Jalen Reagor dealt with injuries and poor quarterback play, but he seems to have left that behind him entering camp this year. All you see over Twitter is Reagor making highlight catches and earning the praise of coaches and players alike. While rookie DeVonta Smith is receiving most of the spotlight, Reagor has been putting together the type of preseason that has me wondering who the #1 wide receiver in Philadelphia will be this year. Add Reagor’s performance to the fact that DeVonta Smith missed a couple weeks of practice and saw his first game time last night against the New England Patriots. Reagor’s ADP currently has him in the 16th round, coming off the board as WR 79 while Smith’s ADP is the middle of the 8th round as the WR 35. The investment in Reagor as a wild card breakout is worth the investment at the end of drafts, especially if he can put up pseudo wide receiver #1 numbers with an Eagles offense likely to be more run heavy.

CeeDee Lamb- Dallas Cowboys, WR

Now, I know what most of you are thinking: Aaron, how can CeeDee Lamb be on the hype train? He finished the 2020 season as the WR 20, with only 4 full games having a legitimate starting quarterback under center. I would agree that we saw glimpses of greatness from Lamb last year, but I think this is the year he truly puts the league on notice. Being on Hard Knocks will only drive up the price you’ll have to pay for Lamb in drafts, but I think he’s worth it. He’s currently being drafted at the end of the 3rd round based on ADP, going off the board as WR 12. This puts him notably ahead of teammate Amari Cooper. The season will finish with them both becoming top 15 wide receivers, but it will see Lamb finishing ahead of Cooper. Cooper’s struggles with his health have bumped up the Lamb value, and I'm all here for it. Lamb is one of the few individuals being drafted outside of the top-5 wide receivers that could finish as the WR 1. The Cowboys defense will stink, again, and the offense will go through the passing game, and that starts with CeeDee Lamb.

Not all of these players will live up to the hype they’re currently receiving. In fact, it’s more likely that none of them will. That’s the risk that comes with fantasy football and the inevitable hype trains coming through to inflate the value of promising players. You can't believe every preseason breakout story and fluff piece, but when another team’s beat reporter goes out of their way to mention an opposing team’s player, that is something that catches my eye. Stay diligent, stay focused and as always, stay dreamin’!

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