Underdogs give people the opportunity to see the unthinkable happen when a long shot grinds their way to victory, making it easy for the consensus to root for them. It’s very motivating seeing someone work their way from the bottom all the way to the top.
Just about every prospect that comes from a small school can be considered an underdog because the odds are stacked against them. Matt Breida from Georgia Southern is one of the unknown treasures in this draft class, mostly because he comes from a small school and doesn’t receive the publicity that most running backs do. He’s a very talented prospect and can make an impact in fantasy leagues if he goes to the right team and gets an opportunity to play.
DLF currently has him ranked 25th amongst running backs, and he’s not listed in their top-50 rookie rankings. Part of the reason why he’s ranked so low is because this year’s running back class is diluted with exceptional talent, pushing some players farther down the ranks than what they would normally be in previous years. Coming from a small school doesn’t help his draft stock either, considering there’s a limited amount of film and information on him. That’s how the cookie crumbles for some players. Even though they are talented there could be some other external forces that causes their draft stock to drop
Breida was a two-star recruit from Nature Coast Tech which is located in Brooksville, Florida where he rushed for 3,170 yards and 37 touchdowns during his high school career. He was the 165th ranked running back in the 2013 recruiting class. Although he wasn’t a household name coming out of high school, he was heavily recruited by some of the smaller schools around the country. Toledo, Akron, Ball State, Jacksonville State, Massachusetts and Duke sent him offer letters before he decided to sign with Georgia Southern.
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Statistics from sports-reference.com.
He started his collegiate career with a bang by leading the team with 1,485 yards and 17 touchdowns; averaging 8.7 yards per carry during his sophomore season. He managed to own a 27 percent market share of the team’s offensive production and eclipsed the 100-yard mark seven times during the season. His best game came against Georgia State when he rushed for 201 yards and four touchdowns.
His junior season was just as successful, rushing for 1,609 yards and 17 touchdowns while averaging a 7.9 yards per carry. He was a key contributor to the team’s offensive output as he owned a 29.12 percent market share of the team’s offensive production. His best game came during week two against Western Michigan when he rushed for 176 yards and four touchdowns.
Breida experienced an astounding drop in production during his senior season, rushing for 646 yards and three touchdowns while averaging 3.8 yards per carry. He only had one game with over 100 yards rushing and could only muster a 15.34 percent market share of the team’s offensive production. Even with a lackluster senior season, he still finished his collegiate career with 3,754 yards rushing, ranking sixth in school history.
Player Profiler provides everything you need know when it comes to analyzing some of these potential late round gems, with smooth easy to read player profile pages that is loaded with all kinds of metrics and data to help make fantasy football decisions while on the go. Let’s see what they have in store for Matt Breida.
Note: Breida does not have a page on Mock Draftable.
Breida’s 21.8 percent college dominator rating reflects his horrendous senior season, his dominator rating would be much more impressive if he was able to continue his production from his sophomore and junior seasons.
What makes Breida an exciting late round prospect is his speed. He ran a 4.44 40-yard dash which is in the 90th percentile amongst running back prospects. His 138.4 burst score is also tremendous as it ranks in the 100th percentile, which means he has the potential to accelerate into the second level of the defense with ease.
Daryl Richardson is his best comparable player. Both players have similar production scores and burst scores, but Breida grades out a little faster than Richardson. Breida’s collegiate production would be a lot more impress if he didn’t flat line during his senior season.
Below is one of Breida’s best games of his career, when he rushed for 176 yards and four touchdowns against Western Michigan in 2015. This game shows his ability to take over games with his speed and quickness.
Breida is very dangerous in the open field because he has the speed in quickness to blow by the defense. He has the ability to quickly accelerate and get through the hole. Even though he’s a smaller running back, he runs very hard for his size and can utilize his built-up inertia to lower his shoulder and hold his own at the point of contact.
His receiving production is almost nonexistent, since he caught only 11 passes during his three-year collegiate career. Georgia Southern ran the triple option and ran a limited amount of pass plays, making it difficult for Breida to accumulate a large market share of the receptions. Limited opportunities in the passing game presents limited opportunities in pass protection, meaning he didn’t get many chances to work on picking up the blitz, making him a very raw pass protector.
Unless you’re are a sure-fire bullet proof first round prospect, then the odds are highly likely that you’re going to have red flags on your rookie profile. His size is the main issue. At 195-pounds it’s hard to imagine him taking over the role as a team’s fulltime three down back. By playing most of games against lower-level-competition, Breida doesn’t have much experience playing against elite level athletes.
There’s a very good chance that Breida doesn’t get drafted and gets picked up by a team as an undrafted free agent. If he does get drafted it will be in the sixth or seventh round. He currently has an ADP of 41, making him a late third round pick in rookie drafts. His value could possibly jump to the beginning of the third round if he goes to a team that might give him an opportunity to crack the starting lineup early in his career. Breida’s speed and quickness could make him a fantasy asset if he gets the right opportunity. He’s worth targeting in the late rounds of rookie drafts as strictly an upside play.