2020 IDP Breakout Candidates: Brian Burns

Here we are! Just a couple weeks away from one of the best times of the year! Training camp is in full swing around the country. Position battles are beginning to shape up, and depth charts are changing everywhere. Every team around the league is trying to figure out who is worthy enough to see some field time. The Carolina Panthers have a young defense. Brian Burns looks to help lead the Panthers defense for the foreseeable future.

Brian Burn’s 2019 Statistics: 19 Solo, 6 Ast, 5 TFL, 7.5 Sacks, and 1 FF.

The Carolina Panthers have a young defense. Their whole 2020 NFL draft consisted of defensive picks. Last season, with the 16th pick of the 2019 NFL draft, Carolina chose Brian Burns. Out of Florida State, Burns was a highly sought after defensive prospect. He did, however, have a quiet rookie season. Burns didn’t exactly have immediate production for those that drafted him. Week 5, against Jacksonville, was probably his best fantasy IDP performance to the season. So the question is, why didn’t Mr. Burns make more of an impact in his rookie season? One thing sticks out too me, his defensive snap counts.

During the 2019 season, Brian Burns played about 483 snaps for the Panthers defense. That’s about 43% of the defensive snaps that the Panthers played last season. For us IDP maniacs, that is a remarkably low snap count percentage. Even if you drafted him and have him on your IDP squad, there’s a good chance he wasn’t starting for you, especially for those of you in leagues with lower starter requirements. Burns did play through a wrist injury last season. He actually had two minor procedures on it in the middle of the season. Burns still showed his potential on a pretty sad looking Panthers defense. He proved he could play standing up, and with his hands in the dirt.

Carolina has a new coaching staff. Usually when a new coaching staff moves in, new schemes are used. Last season, the Panthers used a 3-4 defense as their base. Now, they will be moving to a 4-3. This means Burns will see more snaps at defensive end instead of outside linebacker. Last season, he was considered small for an NFL defensive end. But, during this off-season, Burns said he has added about 15 pounds. He mentioned that he did a lot of resistance training in a recent interview. That means he should be stronger than he was last season. It also means there’s a good chance that when Burns is on the field, he will be rushing the passer.

Carolina added a couple rookies to their defensive line in the 2020 NFL draft. Defensive tackle Derrick Brown is one such player. The other is Penn State product, and edge rusher, Yetur Gross-Matos. Both of these young players are likely to soak up some attention from opposing offenses. That will make it easier for Burns to do what he does best, get into the back field. He was able to accumulate 16 QB hits in 2019. Not too shabby for a rookie edge rusher. He excelled at getting off blocks. With hopes of him finally being healthy, and adding some muscle, Burns aims to become a more well-rounded player. Which spells good news for Burns drafters.


Burns is 6’5 and about 255lbs currently. He plans to try and remain at this size during the 2020 NFL season. When you look at IDPGuys ADP, he’s currently the 318th player being taken. That has him going around the 26th or 27th rounds. So, if your league has deeper rosters, that’s where you may see him go off the board. If you’re in a league with some IDP veterans, you will see him go a lot sooner than that. Brian Burns is a player who needs to be taken seriously. Hopefully fantasy platforms will recognize his move to defensive end before the season kicks off. If he has duel eligibility at linebacker and defensive end, that’s even better. Burns has tremendous upside to become an IDP breakout candidate in 2020!

Check out my past articles! Keep your eyes peeled as I can continue my IDP Breakout Candidate series! Please follow me on twitter, @ZmagsIDP is the tag! Always enjoy chatting about all types of fantasy football with the twitterverse! With COVID still wearing us all down, we should all consider wearing a mask to keep ourselves and our families safe! Please subscribe to idpguys.org and dynastyfootballdigest.com for all your fantasy needs! Live Long and Prosper!


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