First of all, thanks so much to everyone who tuned in to the Draft-A-Thon last night. We raised over $55,000 and counting for our friends at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, and our donation link will stay open until Friday, so you still have time to give. And if you missed the show, the whole thing is still available to watch on our YouTube channel right here.

We had an awesome time answering all of your questions all night, but obviously, we aren't done -- there's still a week left until the games start to count, which means a week of draft questions left. And lineup questions! If you've got any questions, send them my way at with the subject line "#AskFFT" for a mailbag tomorrow. 

As for today: Breakouts! I went over 15 of my favorite sleeper targets for the late rounds, and tomorrow I'll have my bust picks, but today it's all about those players I'm picking to take their game to the next level. Heath Cummings and Jamey Eisenberg recently refreshed their bust picks, with Heath standing by D'Andre Swift while Jamey is keeping the faith with Jalen Hurts and Myles Gaskin

That's what breakouts are all about. These are players with star potential -- some of them even have superstar potential. And that's what you're looking for, ultimately. You want difference makers, and finding next year's first-round studs is how you bring home a championship. Hopefully, this list can be of some assistance in that regard. If you've already drafted and you're looking for some players to target on the waiver-wire, I wrote about that earlier in the week, and for all of your drafting needs otherwise, our Draft Day Cheat Sheet has absolutely everything you need from Jamey Eisenberg, Dave Richard, Heath Cummings, and the rest of the FFT team from this preseason. 

Now, here are tomorrow's stars, today.

My All-Breakouts Team

  • QB: Tua Tagovailoa -- I'm planting a flag on Tagovailoa, because I really believe in his talent and the situation in Miami. Don't forget, he was neck-and-neck with Joe Burrow as a prospect and still went No. 5 overall as the second QB taken despite a devastating hip injury. He's another year removed from that injury and we've seen rave reviews about him in camp, and he showed his improvement in the preseason, completing 24 of 34 attempts for 273 yards and a touchdown while playing without most of his top weapons. About those weapons: With Will Fuller, Jaylen Waddle, DeVante Parker, and Mike Gesicki, Tagovailoa has four guys who can make big plays down the field, and Fuller and Waddle also have the ability to turn any short target into a long touchdown. It is, low-key, one of the most exciting groups of pass catchers in the league, and it puts Tagovailoa in position to take a huge step forward. I'm counting on it. 
  • RB: Joe Mixon -- One of the worst things you can do as a Fantasy player is think, "I'm never drafting that player again!" I've talked a lot about it in this newsletter, but Mixon is one of my favorite players to target this season. He's a top-six running back and a top-eight pick for me overall, but the funny thing is, I've been lower on Mixon than consensus every other year of his career. The difference is, with Giovani Bernard out of the picture, Mixon is finally in line for the kind of role that can help him live up to his considerable potential. Mixon could get 250-plus carries and 75 targets this season, and that might be closer to the floor than the ceiling. Whether Mixon has disappointed you in the past or not is irrelevant, because he's in a better spot than ever before.
  • RB: A.J. Dillon -- Dillon showed us flashes of his potential last season, most notably when he ran for 124 yards and a pair of touchdowns in Week 16. Aaron Jones is going to remain the starter and primary back for the Packers, but Dillon should have more than a few of those kinds of games this season now that Jamaal Williams is out of the way. Don't be surprised if Dillon eats into Jones' goal-line role, too, but the real upside comes if something happens to Jones. Dillon would feast in that scenario, and while Kylin Hill figures to see a larger role as a pass-catcher if that happens, Dillon is probably underrated in that aspect of his game, so he may not be a total zero in that regard. You know how Gus Edwards' value spiked last week? Dillon would be even better if he got the opportunity. 
  • WR: Jerry Jeudy -- The FFT team has been fighting over who gets to be the Jerry Jeudy guy lately, and it looks like Dave won -- he has him ranked 52nd overall and 21st at wide receiver. I'm not quite that high, but Jeudy is 24th for me, and my bold prediction back early in the summer when we published our magazine was that Jeudy will be a top-12 WR. He's got the skills for it, for sure, showing the ability to make plays with the ball in his hands while also receiving plenty of deep targets. Typically, deep targets tend to lead to pretty poor yards after catch numbers, but Jeudy averaged 5.5 YAC per catch with a 13.5 yard average depth of target. That type of skill set is what tends to separate the elite wide receivers, and Jeudy showed it. Teddy Bridgewater should bring a steadier, more accurate hand at quarterback, and Jeudy should benefit from that. I wouldn't be surprised if we were drafting him over CeeDee Lamb this time next year. 
  • WR: Curtis Samuel -- I'm going to be writing about our bold predictions next week, but I'll give you a sneak peek at my boldest take: Samuel will outscore his teammate Terry McLaurin. Now, I'm not saying that's what I expect, but I will point out a few details to consider before you throw this email in the metaphorical trash. First, Samuel was actually only 13 points behind McLaurin in the same number of games last season. Second, we've seen Samuel on the same offense as McLaurin back in college, and Samuel was far more productive -- he had 1,636 total yards and 15 touchdowns, while McLaurin had just 114 and two. Now, that's going all the way back to 2016 at Ohio State, but that also brings up another point: Despite having been in the NFL for an extra season, Samuel is actually nearly a year younger than McLaurin. But the biggest reason I like Samuel is because the last time he played in Ron Rivera's offense, he had a very valuable downfield role, finishing fifth in the NFL in air yards in 2019. He only had 627 receiving yards of course, but I'll put that on Kyle Allen and Will Grier's shoulders more than Samuel's. If we're expecting McLaurin to take a step forward with Ryan Fitzpatrick at QB, we probably need to expect Samuel to benefit too. Add in his expected rushing rushing role -- a bonus 20-30 points he usually doesn't get credit for -- and Samuel is a seriously underrated Fantasy option.
  • WR: Diontae Johnson -- I've got reservations about the Steelers offense, but not about Diontae. Johnson is Ben Roethlisberger's favorite target, and it seems like he goes through a stretch every game where he just peppers Johnson with targets for the full length of a drive. Some may point to Johnson's issues with drops as a reason to fade him, but if the Steelers don't care, why should I -- he earned 27 targets in the two games after he was benched for drops. He's not a big-play guy, but at this point, Ben Roethlisberger might not be either, so Johnson should continue to remain his QB's security blanket. He's a decent candidate to lead the league in catches. 
  • TE: Jonnu Smith -- I started out the draft process with Hunter Henry ranked higher than Smith, but I think there's room for both to thrive in this offense, and Henry's shoulder injury has pushed Smith to the top of the depth chart for me. Smith is a tremendous playmaker with the ball in his hands, and Mac Jones and the Patriots would be smart to lean on him as much as they can with quick-hitting targets in space. Playing in what should be a higher-volume passing game than the one he had in Tennessee will also help. In an offseason where the Patriots revamped their pass catching options, Smith got the biggest deal of them all, so I wouldn't be surprised if he ended up being the No. 1 option in this passing game. I've got Smith projected for a slightly smaller role than Jakobi Meyers, but Smith still comes in as a top-10 tight end for me.
  • FLEX: D.J. Moore -- If you're looking for this year's Stefon Diggs, maybe Moore can be your candidate. No, I don't think Sam Darnold is going to play like Josh Allen did in his breakout 2020, but I think he could be passable enough to fuel a breakout for Moore, who has Diggs'-like skills. When I compare Moore to Diggs, it's not just because of their shared background as University of Maryland alums, but because we've seen Moore thrive in all kinds of different roles, just like Diggs. In his first season, it was as more of a short-area target; in 2019, it was as a move-the-chains type; in 2020, it was as a downfield-focused playmaker. Moore can do it all, and with Terrace Marshall bringing a new element to the offense, Moore may be asked to do it all rather than being shoe-horned into one role or the other. This is a case where I'm betting on a talent I believe in; the breakout is coming sooner or later. 
  • FLEX: Jakobi Meyers -- Speaking of Meyers, he's also ready to take a step forward. He was the Patriots most consistent receiver in the second half of last season and he continued that in training camp and the preseason. In the final 11 games of 2020, he put together an 84-catch, 1,050-yard pace, which eent sort of under the radar because he somehow managed to catch zero touchdowns. I feel pretty confident in saying the Patriots are going to have more than 12 passing touchdowns this season, and Meyers will get his share as the team's best wide receiver. My expectations aren't super high for Mac Jones, but he probably won't be worse for the passing game than what they had last season while throwing quite a bit more, so Meyers' arrow is definitely pointing up. 
  • FLEX: Raheem Mostert -- When the only case against a player is health, there's a pretty good chance I'm going to be in on that player for Fantasy. We're just not as good at predicting injuries as we think we are, so if people are fading a productive player based on health concerns, there's a good chance that player is just being underrated. All Mostert has done since joining the 49ers is produce at a high level, averaging 5.6 yards per carry and 10.0 per reception. Mostert has played 40% or more of the snaps in 14 games with the 49ers, averaging 50.8% of the snaps in those games, and he's put up 923 yards on 177 carries to go along with 292 receiving yards on 25 catches, with 10 total touchdowns. If he puts up just those numbers over the course of a 17-game season, he's probably worth where he's going. If he did it over 17 games, he might be a top-12 RB. So, no, I'm not that worried about Trey Sermon hurting his value. 

Injuries, News, and Notes

Irv Smith is likely to miss the entire season following meniscus surgery. The recovery is expected to take 4-5 months, which almost certainly puts him out for the full season, though maybe he could get back in time for the playoffs. Either way, his Fantasy season is likely over before it even begins. The Vikings traded for Chris Herndon to help replace Smith, and Tyler Conklin figures to see a larger role, but I wouldn't draft either until we see how their roles shake out … Tarik Cohen (knee) was placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list. He'll miss the first six weeks, and I'm not expecting much from him this season given his fitful recovery from ACL surgery ... T.Y. Hilton had neck surgery and was placed on IR. The hope is he won't be out long, but he'll miss three games at the very least … N'Keal Harry (shoulder) was placed on IR … Anthony McFarland was placed on IR. Benny Snell figures to be the primary handcuff to Najee Harris … The Panthers released David Moore … The Broncos released Royce Freeman. He could end up catching on somewhere and finding a pretty healthy role, so let's keep an eye on that … The Giants claimed Collin Johnson on waivers. He could work his way into the rotation for them … The Jaguars are expected to claim Tyron Johnson from the Chargers. Johnson was a solid big-play receiver for the Chargers last season in a limited role, and he could play a similar role here. It would be interesting to see if he could get a chance for more if D.J. Chark's hand injury lingers. 

So which sleepers, breakouts and busts should you target and fade? And which QB shocks the NFL with a top-five performance? Visit SportsLine now to get Fantasy cheat sheets for every single position, all from the model that called Josh Allen's huge season, and find out.