This is the ninth installment of the NFL Breakout Balelrs, a 10 part series spotlighting players that will make a significant leap in the 2015 NFL season. If you haven’t checked out our feature on the Detroit Lions Ziggy Ansah, I suggest giving it a read. Each player featured in this series are prime prospects to target in season long formats, as well as early season IDP lineups before their prices rise. Let’s get into it!
Why We Believe
For NFL fantasy enthusiasts: Kiko Alonso already broke out two years ago in his rookie season with the Bills. Before suffering a season long knee injury last season, Alonso was expected to be a serious candidate for Defensive Player of the Year. Alonso nearly beat out New York Jets defensive tackle Shledon Richardson for the Defensive Rookie of the Year during the 2013 season. Now, headed into his third season in the NFL, Alonso was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles for All-Pro running back Lesean McCoy. His former college coach Chip Kelly was in need of a playmaker at the linebacker position, and chose to trade away a key player for Alonso. This must mean that Kelly has some plans for Alonso, and he believes in his ability. Alonso looks to be fully healthy and ready to go for training camp in just a couple of weeks.
Now let’s take a look at why Kiko Alonso’s numbers from 2013 will only vault him back into a position to be a top 10 fantasy linebacker. Alonso’s rookie season, we saw him produce 159 total tackles, 11 tackles for loss and 4 interceptions. With those numbers Alonso was the 7th rated fantasy linebacker during the 2013 season, and the 9th overall fantasy defender in IDP leagues.
Now, headed into his third season, Alonso is fully healthy and ready to prove that his rookie season was no fluke. On a now revamped Eagles defense, Alonso will have an opportunity to play all over the field and be the turnover machine he was in Buffalo. Alonso will be expected to produce well over 100 tackles and create some turnovers in his first season in Philly.
The numbers Alonso has the chance to produce this season are unlimited with his combination of speed, tackling ability and ball hawking skills. With the new opportunities to play IDP (Individual Defensive Players) fantasy leagues, Alonso should be a feature defensive player to look for on draft day. Ranked as the 7th overall linebacker in 2013, Alonso will be expected to produce numbers that should put him in the top 5 in fantasy this season.
The Eagles brought in some key players to help bolster a struggling defense. With the additions of Byron Maxwell, Jordan Hicks and a few key rookie defenders who should come in and help early on. With those additions, Alonso will have the opportunity to be the favorite for Comeback Player of the Year.
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