My first 2013 fantasy draft kit will be sent out in a few weeks, but I have a good idea of which players I'll have rated higher than their ADP. At RotoWire, I broke down some of my top breakout candidates. Here are the quarterbacks and running backs:
Using some of my recent research, I'll identify three potential breakout players at each position in 2013. You don't have to agree with each selection, but read my justification so you can decide on your own whether or not you concur with my conclusion. Even if you don't think the players are worthy of your consideration, the process of critiquing my predictions alone should aid you creating in your own 2013 rankings.
Click on the headers below to see which traits I believe make up the "prototypical" players at each position.
• Colin Kaepernick, 49ers
Although he'll be entering his first full year as a starting quarterback, Kaepernick will be 25 when the season begins - right around the age when quarterback play starts to peak. The mobile passer, who threw for two touchdowns or ran for 50 yards in seven of his 10 starts last year, can score big-time fantasy points even if he doesn't light up defenses with his arm. He's a safer week-to-week option than most believe.
• Sam Bradford, Rams
Bradford doesn't have mobility on his side, but he does have a bunch of new weapons on the outside - including Tavon Austin and Jared Cook. Bradford's YPA has increased all three years he's been in the league, and there's a good chance that he'll throw the ball 600 times in 2013.
• E.J. Manuel, Bills
Manuel can't be counted on for points right out of the gate, but assuming he wins the starting job in Buffalo, keep an eye out for him in the late rounds. Manuel figures to run more in the NFL than he did at Florida State, and each of his rushing attempts should equate to about two passes. If he throws 500 passes as a rookie, Manuel's workload could be one of the heavier ones in the league. Plus, the cost of obtaining him will be minimal.
• Ben Tate, Texans
There's absolutely no substitute for opportunities when it comes to running backs. Since the deviation in running backs' YPC is so low, the best way to generate fantasy points at the position is through bulk attempts. Tate doesn't have that, but his lack of opportunity is factored into his ADP. You can grab the running back in the late rounds or off of the waiver wire, and he'll automatically become a RB1 if Arian Foster goes down. And at 220 pounds with 4.43 speed, Tate is one of the league's most underrated players.
• Bryce Brown, Eagles
Chip Kelly is going to have multiple backs on the field quite a bit, so I actually think Brown - a player very similar to Tate - could live up to his draft position even if LeSean McCoydoesn't get injured. We saw what Brown can do for you last year when he filled in for McCoy, and he's the perfect high-upside late-round pick.
• David Wilson, Giants
Notice a trend here with running backs? Speed, speed and speed.
Wilson is a speedy back coming off of a relatively quiet rookie year with outstanding efficiency. Even as he's rising up boards, Wilson is still an undervalued commodity.