In the great sport of fantasy football, the breakout player label (also known as a "sleeper") is given to a player that will excel when least expected. Miami Dolphins quarterback Chad Henne deserves to be given that label, and here's why.
Chad Henne was a good quarterback for the Michigan Wolverines, but he failed to live up to his potential until last season. When starter Chad Pennington was injured in Week Three, Henne took the reins and not only proved he could be a good NFL quarterback, he also showed that he could be a decent option in fantasy by averaging 9.7 Fantasy PPG* in only 13 games as a starter. And one key element that he did not have was a deep threat wide receiver.
The Dolphins not only have Pennington as the backup coming into training camp but they also traded for the Broncos' Brandon Marshall thus giving Henne and Miami the legitimate deep threat that boosts Henne's fantasy value even more.
One essential skill that Henne excels at is not throwing interceptions, as he threw only 14 interceptions last season which is considered good for first-year starters. In a standard scoring ESPN.com fantasy league, for every interception you lose two points. Which means if you have a " gunslinger" that throws 20 INT's (Brett Favre with the Jets) you would lose 40 points on the season compared to Henne's 28 lost points. Those 12 points could help you attain good playoff seeding if your league runs by points for and could help you win many close games throughout the season.
Now that all the stats are explained, it's time to talk about where you should look to draft and play Henne throughout the season. If you are in a regular 16 round draft, look to draft Henne around the early 12th round (picks 111-114 in a ten team league). Chad fell into my lap in Round 14 but he will start to climb up the draft boards as it continues to look like Henne will be the starter come the regular season.
Once your draft is complete assuming you acquired Henne, look to have him as a backup that could fill in as a starter every once in a while. Unless you have a Peyton Manning or Drew Brees type as your starter if you are in a one-year league. But Henne could be a decent option as a starter in a dynasty league because of his skill and his young age (25).
So there you have it. Miami Dolphins quarterback Chad Henne is on Breakout Alert.
*PPG are based on ESPN Fantasy Football's Standard Scoring System.