11 Wide Receivers Primed to Break Out in 2021

Jul 26, 2021
11 Wide Receivers Primed to Break Out in 2021

Every summer the fantasy industry thirsts for breakout players like a sweaty kid thirsts for lemonade on a humid July afternoon. Writers from all across the web are more than happy to satisfy that thirst with punchy lists populated with promising young players poised to pop off on Sundays this fall. What you’re about to read is my offering of lemonade this summer, and hopefully, I got the recipe just right.


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As I did last year, I provide a deeper look at some of my top picks, add other names to consider, and highlight a few rookies who have a chance to hit the ground running. Before the list though, I highlight some common traits among past breakouts at the position.

Frequent breakout indicators

  • Strong finish to end the year prior. Oftentimes players who end the year on a high statistical note will carry that success into the upcoming season.
  • Lack of an established No. 1 target. When there is no true alpha on a team, that opens the door for a breakout star to step in and claim the throne. Think Terry McLaurin on the Washington Football Team.
  • Vacated or up-for-grabs targets. If a player is on a team with a sudden amount of open opportunities following the departure of a big-name player (i.e. Calvin Ridley after the Falcons traded Julio Jones) their path to a breakout season is much easier.
  • Strong draft/athletic pedigree. The NFL draft is also far from an exact science, but the draft capital a team spends on a player, and that player’s athletic profile, can sometimes indicate future success.

With these ideas in mind, let’s take a look at some breakout candidates for the upcoming season.

2021 Wide Receiver Breakout Candidates

Brandon Aiyuk, San Francisco 49ers

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