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One Dynasty Breakout Player to Watch for on Each Team- AFC North Edition

Want a breakout player for Dynasty in IDP or Regular? Check out Jake Oliver’s predictions for breakout players from AFC North

It’s Fantasy Football season once more! Though, if you’re in dynasty leagues, that’s year-round for you. For example, right now, you’re trying to make trades/waiver claims and get your team ready for the season. This is the prime trading season to get guys you’re high on for a low price!

So, what guys should you acquire? And for how much? Who should you sell or hold? Well, I’m here to help you with that issue. This is the second article in a series of articles that will cover all 32 teams in the NFL. 

I’ll recommend one main breakout player from each division, along with a player to get from every team. I’ll explain why I chose them, offer my predictions, and discuss what I’d trade them for. This is applicable for any league as well since I’ll be potentially including IDP players too. Let’s look at the AFC North.

Cincinnati Bengals: Logan Wilson

Logan Wilson is one of my favorite IDP sleepers who is about to break out in a huge way. Wilson was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2020 draft from Wyoming. He didn’t play a ton his rookie year, but he impacted the game when he did.

Courtesy of Kirk Irwin/AP Photos

Logan Wilson in 2020

Wilson was only on the field for 32% of snaps last year. He’s set for a second-year breakout after a year of the following stats:

2020 Stats(12 games, 2 games started): 33 tackles (23 solos), 4 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 2 interceptions, 3 passes defended, 2 QB Hits – Pro Football Reference

Wilson is a converted safety who has safety coverage skills but also the power of a linebacker. He’s got great size as well at 6’2 and 241 pounds. I wouldn’t want to get hit by him AT ALL. His skill is advanced enough to where he will work all three downs. The only thing that’ll stop him is his health. 

He ended last year with an injury to his ankle. However, he’s healthy now at camp and running fast. There’s no concern for his health right now. 

Wilson can cover wide receivers, running backs, or tight ends. He had a 66.4 passer rating allowed last year. That’s darn good for a rookie linebacker. His pass coverage and interception skills are showcased below.

Wilson racks up tackles and tackles for losses. He finds the rusher in the backfield and meets them head-on. In 123IDP scoring last year, he averaged 6.9 points per game. Watch below as he gets thru the offensive line. Wilson meets the ball-carrier in the backfield. Terrific play for him.

Why Logan Wilson’s Breaking Out in Dynasty

Wilson is expected to be the middle linebacker. That’s huge when he’s on a defense that’s projected to be on the field a decent amount. Check out Dynasty Nerds’ article on the Bengals defense for more. The Bengals didn’t invest much into the linebacker position during the off-season.

That means Wilson’s about to get a ton of opportunities! More opportunity means more fantasy points in my book. Since more time on the field gives your guy more chances to get that tackle or catch. 

Here’s Paul Dehner Jr. of The Athletic:

“At least once a day, I look down at my notes and see “55TFL.” That’s a tackle for loss by Logan Wilson. He’s hitting the gaps in the run game noticeably faster this year. He has been given the green dot for coach communication, and that confidence in him physically and mentally is spilling over to his playing style. He came in with the reputation as a skilled cover ‘backer and that still remains, but his lines of attack and anticipation in the run game has shown up through 10 practices.”

Logan has been getting tons of training camp news. Every report about him is about his ability to stop the offense. He’s the future of the Bengals’ defense. Additionally, Wilson is only 25 and entering his prime.

He’s perfect for your IDP team. Wilson is set for years to run the Bengals defense from the middle linebacker spot.

Logan’s price for Dynasty

Wilson is insanely cheap in mixed-IDP leagues and IDP-only leagues. If you’re doing a start-up draft in dynasty right now, look for Wilson around the 12-15th rounds. If you’re in IDP-only start-ups, grab him in the seventh-round range.
Or try to trade for him. He’s worth only a FOURTH round pick right now in mixed-IDP leagues. I would gladly give up my 2023 third-round pick for him even. Get him right now. Wilson is at his basement price. After the first week of the season, his price will explode. Wilson is a potential LB1 for dynasty by the end of the year.

Dynasty Breakout Picks for Rest of the AFC North

Baltimore Ravens: Gus Edwards

Courtesy of USA Today

Guess who is set up for starting duties with the Ravens besides J.K. Dobbins? It’s Gus Edwards! He signed a contract extension this past off-season that showcased how much the Ravens want him. In the team’s first depth chart of the year, Edwards is listed on the first team. Yet, Dobbins is worth a first-round pick plus some. Edwards averaged 5.0 ypc last year in his limited role and will be a big part of the Ravens’ rushing attack.

Just as well, he had the second-most carries on the team. Dobbins was third. Dobbins is the lead back; however, Edwards is not going away. He’s an every-week flex player with the upside of being a high-end RB2. Edwards’ worth only a 2nd round pick or the equivalent value. For that price, there’s way more upside than there is downside. Get Gus the Bus.

Cleveland Browns: Donovan Peoples-Jones

This is a long-term breakout player for your dynasty team. Peoples-Jones was drafted in the sixth round of the 2020 draft from Michigan. He was the team’s main returner last year. However, he’s stepped up his receiving skills a lot since last year. Peoples-Jones is doing phenomenal in training camp this year.

His releases and contested catches are turning the heads of the cornerbacks trying to defend him. Day after day, he’s pulling down passes in traffic.

Nate Ulrich

The ex-Wolverine is performing well and pushing to become the WR3 for the Browns. Rashard Higgins isn’t showing well, and the rest of the depth chart is also far behind. Of course, the WR3 role for the Browns isn’t great for fantasy this year. So while he might break out and get that role for himself, this is about 2022. Peoples-Jones will play a ton this preseason, with Odell Beckham Jr. likely to sit while still recovering from the torn ACL.

Courtesy of AP Photo/Ron Schwane

In 2022, the Browns can easily get rid of Beckham or Jarvis Landry. Peoples-Jones is proving right now that he can be the next wide receiver for the Browns. He’s under contract for multiple years at a cheap salary. The Browns are about to extend Baker Mayfield, and I highly doubt they can keep both OBJ and Landry if they don’t restructure.

So, Peoples-Jones now has the inside track to be a leading receiver. Yes, it’s in a year but if you’re rebuilding your dynasty team, then get him! Jones is only worth a late third right now. I’d even try to get him in a larger deal as a toss-in.

If you’re in a start-up draft, you can draft him in the bottom rounds. Unless an injury happens, you won’t see much from him this year, but pay the low price now and enjoy the spoils later. The Browns are set up for extended success, and you’ll want a piece of this offense while he’s cheap.

Pittsburgh Steelers: Pat Freiermuth

Freiermuth is a rookie tight-end from Penn State University, drafted in the second round. He’s a talented tight-end who can block, receive, and gain the tough yards. He’s blocked on the depth chart by Eric Ebron for this year. However, he’s a free agent after the year. That gives Freiermuth a year to study, learn, practice, and play some key backup minutes this year.

Inside the Red Zone, he becomes a bloodhound sniffing for that end-zone after setting the record for TD’s at Penn St. He is an aggressive runner yet has veteran route running despite being young. His biggest issue is blocking. Freiermuth can tap into that aggression a bit too much or misses his blocking assignments. However, he blocked Alex Highsmith earlier this camp, so he’s improving.

Freiermuth is worth a mid-late second in rookie drafts, whether by trade or in your rookie draft. In start-ups, I wouldn’t draft him until the 11th round or later. If you’re in the leagues with tight-end premium scoring, he’s easily worth an early second-round pick. Freiermuth is the TE of the future for the Steelers.

I am always on Twitter at @DarthDbacks and in the largest Fantasy Football Chat on Discord under the same username. I hope this season goes excellent for you, and I’m happy to help on Twitter or Discord anytime! Also, happy to discuss Star Wars, Marvel, Baseball, movies, or writing with you.

As always, May the Force be with You…

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