Cam Akers and D’Andre Swift are going to be two popular breakout candidates in 2021. Both have the chance to be special in their sophomore campaigns, and both highlight my Breakouts 1.0 for the upcoming season.
Let’s start with Akers, who closed last year on a tear for the Rams. He was the Rams best offensive player in the postseason, and he’s put himself in position to be a Round 2 pick in most Fantasy leagues in 2021.
Jamey’s 2021 Sleepers 1.0 | Busts 1.0
Against Seattle in the wild-card round he had 28 carries for 131 yards and a touchdown, along with two catches for 45 yards. He followed that up against the Packers with 18 carries for 90 yards and a touchdown, as well as one catch for 6 yards.
Now, Darrell Henderson (ankle) was out for those two games, and he will remain a factor in the Rams backfield next season. But Akers had at least 19 total touches in five of his final six games, including the playoffs, and scored at least 16 PPR points in three of them. I thought he could be a star coming out of Florida State in 2020, and he looks the part heading into his second year.
He should benefit with the addition of Matthew Stafford at quarterback, and the Rams also are expected to lose Malcolm Brown as a free agent. If Akers can increase his role in the passing game — say anything above 35 receptions — he could be a top-10 Fantasy running back this season.
Swift should be a star in the passing game for the Lions, and his 16-game pace as a rookie in 2019 had him at 57 catches for 439 yards and two touchdowns. His receiving work should be locked in, especially if Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones both leave as free agents. But we’ll see what Swift does on the ground for a Detroit team that could be terrible.
The addition of offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn and running backs coach Duce Staley should be great for Swift given their history. And the Lions might not have a choice but to feed Swift as much as possible.
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He showed his upside to close last season with his 16-game pace over his final nine games, which would have been 181 carries for 852 yards and 12 touchdowns, as well as 59 catches for 414 yards and two touchdowns.
Jared Goff is a slight downgrade for Swift, but it’s nothing to run away from. Swift is worth drafting in Round 2 in all leagues, just like Akers.
Those are just two players that I’m excited about for next season. Now, let’s examine the rest of my Breakouts 1.0.