Top breakout players in this NFL season

Top breakout players in this NFL season


Top breakout players in this NFL season


When it comes to the NFL, we all know the headline-grabbing names and star players. People like Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes need no introduction. Players like them have long stood out as ones to watch and that fans can rely on for top performances. That is very useful when placing bets on the outcome of games. For example, Steelers fans have been relying on Ben Roethlisberger’s consistent performances over the years to win money with Pennsylvania online sports betting. Knowing your team has a superstar behind the helm makes it significantly easier to confidently and wisely place NFL related wagers.

What can be just as exciting for fans of football is taking a deeper look into the game. Keeping an eye out for those lesser-known names who are having a season that could help them break into the big time is just as rewarding. But which under the radar NFL players have had this sort of breakout campaign so far? 

Darren Waller – Oakland Raiders

Dec 1, 2019; Kansas City, MO, USA; Oakland Raiders tight end Darren Waller (83) runs the ball during the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

While the Raiders have had a poor season, tight end Darren Waller has stood out for them. Moved to this position from wide receiver by coach Jon Gruden in 2018, he has really taken everyone by surprise this season. He has caught 80 passes to date in this campaign and made three touchdowns along with making over 1,000 receiving yards. This has not only made him one of the top players at Oakland but also puts him on many NFL fan’s radar. His stock will also surely rise now he has gone past the 1,000 receiving yards mark to earn a Pro Bowl selection. Not bad for a player who was at one point relatively unknown and was battling substance abuse issues!

Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Dec 15, 2019; Detroit, MI, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Chris Godwin (12) breaks a tackle against Detroit Lions defensive back Tracy Walker (21) during the second quarter at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Although Michael Thomas is the NFL trailblazer for receiving yards, wide receiver Godwin is not far behind. He has gone well over 1,000 receiving yards already this year and this is the first time he has done so in his career. He also has 9 touchdowns to his name which is a superb return. When you add in the 86 passes he has held onto, then it is easy to see why his stock has risen so much this season. The real kicker is that Godwin is just 23 which means he not only has plenty of room to get better but also age on his side. A fine athlete and a key offensive player for Tampa, Godwin has made his mark in 2019/20.

Za’Darius Smith – Green Bay Packers

Dec 8, 2019; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers linebacker Za’Darius Smith (55) puts pressure on Washington Redskins quarterback Dwayne Haskins (7) in the third quarter at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

The Packers have had a decent season so far and made it into the NFL playoffs. One of their lesser-known names who has played his part is Za’Darius Smith. Smith is a top-class defensive end and he has helped the team to improve its pass-rush game. When he was signed along with Preston Smith during the offseason, many thought Smith would be the one to watch. As the action has unfolded though, the opposite has been true. Riding high in the NFL QB hit standings in 2019/20, Smith has shown real aggression and desire in his game. If he carries on in that way, he will be a player who can see this year as his breakout season.

Quinton Dunbar – Washington Redskins

Nov 24, 2019; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins cornerback Quinton Dunbar (23) reacts after a play against the Detroit Lions during the second half at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports

It may seem strange to include a player from Washington when you consider the season they have had. But when it comes to players who have stood out in 2019/20, Dunbar is here on merit. Playing as a cornerback, he has been a real bright spark. Key to his game is anticipating where passes may go, a skill that many attribute to his former life as a wide receiver. A true playmaking cornerback, Dunbar has 31 solo tackles to his name this year as well as eight passes defended. That is quite some return for a player in the team he finds himself playing for.

The future should be bright for these players

Having a real breakout season can be all it takes for players to make their name and then go on to forge a successful career at the higher levels of football. The above guys certainly are having years to remember and could go onto even greater things during the final few games of the regular season. They will be worth looking out for when the action starts again in 2020/21 to see if they can deliver on what they have shown this year. If they do, we could be looking at the next batch of superstar names in the making.

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