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Now that the season has started, we need to continue to examine potential breakouts for the second half of the season. We have already seen Mark Andrews and Terry McLaurin establish themselves. But who can be those types of players in the second half? That is the goal to find here. We will take a look at the top names to breakout down the line. Follow the fantasy football section for our weekly fantasy football rankings and fantasy football waiver wire grabs throughout the season.
QB – Jacoby Brissett – Indianapolis Colts
The Colts should be in the playoff picture, but had a few disappointing losses and injury troubles along the way. This game doesn’t mean anything, but the Colts should take care of business against the Jaguars. This is a team that has given up, and overall the defense is getting crushed. They have allowed the 5th most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks in the last five weeks. While the Colts passing attack isn’t a huge upside one, Brissett can put together a solid game for a quarterback less than 50% owned in the industry.
RB – Kerryon Johnson – Detroit Lions
Kerryon Johnson obviously isn’t a sleeper name given he was drafted fairly early before the season started. However he is just 40% owned now as the season is now over, and he returned from IR last week with 11 touches. I would expect a few more touches this week, and hopefully he can get within the 15-18 mark. Green Bay should win this game comfortably, they have allowed the 9th most fantasy points to opposing backs, and rank 22nd against the run.
RB – Gus Edwards & Justice Hill – Baltimore Ravens
With Mark Ingram out for Week 17 due to an injury, most other Ravens will join him due to rest. While it isn’t the most appealing matchup for the running backs. Pittsburgh boast a top five defense and have limited fantasy potential for running backs, Hill and Edwards are both going to see some volume. Edwards should be more of the guy in between the tackles, while Hill should see passing down work.
WR – Anthony Miller – Chicago Bears
Anthony Miller had his worst game since Week 10, after positing five straight double-digit fantasy point games, including two games over 20 fantasy points. Miller ranks 11th in targets over the last five weeks, posting a 28-379-2 line. He will get Minnesota in Week 17 who continue to look exposed through the air. They have also allowed the 9th most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this season.
WR – Greg Ward – Philadelphia Eagles
Philadelphia’s receiving core took a major hit over the second half of the season. Greg Ward has taken a bigger leap in the offense, seeing 33 targets over the last five weeks. He has put up a 22-211-1 line in that span. Now if Zach Ertz misses Week 17 with his rib injury, Ward would see a tick up in targets. He already has a prime matchup against the Giants, who rank 31st against the pass, and are allowing the third most fantasy points per game to wide receivers.
WR – Russell Gage – Atlanta Falcons
Russell Gage is averaging seven targets per game over the last five weeks. He has seen a bigger role with Calvin Ridley done for the year. The Week 17 matchup is a great one for Gage. The Buccaneers have allowed the most fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers, and this game projects to be a shootout.
WR – Allen Lazard – Green Bay Packers
The Packers passing game is in a great spot, and Allen Lazard has jumped into a number two role behind Davante Adams. He saw a whopping nine targets last week against the Vikings. Against the Lions, they have allowed the 6th most fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers. Darius Slay should shadow Adams, which would leave Lazard running free.
WR – Justin Watson – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
This is another scenario where injuries have depleted a receiving core, leaving Justin Watson in line to get some more targets. He saw ten targets last week against Houston, putting up a 5-43-1 line. He saw just two targets against the Lions, and then eight in the game prior against Indy, going for 5-59-1. The Falcons is a decent matchup for him to put up some strong numbers.
TE – Noah Fant – Denver Broncos
If we are looking at sleeper tight ends, there is not a lot out there to like. I will play the matchup here with Oakland allowing the 4th most fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season. Fant’s targets have not been encouraging of late, although he was able to put up strong numbers on just four targets against Houston. If you are in need of a waiver wire tight end that is below 30% owned, Fant is the guy.
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