We’re inching closer and closer to the halfway point of the season, which means it is time to start looking for second-half breakout stars. This week’s list isn’t going to provide too many elite finds on the waiver wire, but it does contain a list of players that most certainly deserve your attention. Keep an eye on these guys, especially coming into the second half of the season.
**Note owning percentage is based off of ESPN Fantasy Leagues**
Blake Bortles – Jacksonville Jaguars – Owned in 55.4% of leagues
The Jags have produced a few fantasy gems this year with an above average offense that is flying extremely under the radar. Bortles has now thrown back-to-back 300-plus yard games and has thrown four multiple touchdown games this year. He’s got a tough test versus Buffalo this week and will be on bye the following week, but he’s a quarterback worth picking up as a number two option. In two quarterback leagues he is currently a must have.
Don’t believe the hype on Starks
James Starks – Green Bay Packers – Owned in 38% of leagues
Starks blew up last week, but don’t go buying into the hype train. Lacy is still the main man in Green Bay despite the lackluster start he’s suffering from. In addition, anyone that has played fantasy the last few years understands that Starks is always flex-option at best. He’s a flash-in-the-pan type player, he’ll have a few big games here or there, but predicting them is more trouble than it is worth. Unless Lacy is injured, I’d stay clear of Starks, here’s nothing more than a handcuff at this stage.
Stefon Diggs – Minnesota Vikings – Owned in 24% of leagues
Chemistry. That’s why Diggs is the only surefire pickup on this week’s list. The rookie has developed a serious chemistry with quarterback, Teddy Bridgewater, and has cemented himself as a big-play (possible), go-to WR for the Vikings. He blew up against a stout Denver defense for 6 catches on 87 yards and blew up last week against a legitimate Kansas City secondary for seven catches and 129 yards. He’ll be facing off against the Lions this week in a divisional game poised to turn into a shootout.
Michael Floyd – Arizona Cardinals – Owned in 46.5% of leagues
Floyd is a big-play receiver who thrives on the deep ball. Now that he is hundred percent healthy he’ll be a good flex option the remainder of the season. Even though he’s behind Larry Fitzgerald and John Brown on the depth chart, he is still the team’s best deep threat and we all know head coach Bruce Arians loves to throw the deep ball.
Torrey Smith – San Francisco 49ers – Owned in 56.5% of leagues
The 49ers offense struggled to start the season, but the last two weeks they seem to have found some rhythm. Smith is still a very capable receiver and if quarterback Colin Kaepernick can limit the turnovers, Smith’s value will continue to increase. He’s definitely a player you should have in your watch list going forward.
Brandon LaFell – New England Patriots – Owned in 27% of leagues
LaFell started the season on the IR, but is rumored to be coming back this week. If that’s the case he’s a must-add player. He was a heavily targeted last year by Tom Brady and he has the quarterback’s trust. Next to Gronk, LaFell is one of the most lethal offensive weapons in the Patriots massive arsenal. Even if he doesn’t come back this week, he’s a player worth having on your bench; seeing that he will be making his return much sooner than later.
Benjamin Watson – New Orleans Saints – Owned in 24 % of leagues
Watson is no way near the caliber of player Jimmy Graham was for the Saints offense, but he is the starting tight end for Drew Brees, which means he’ll see a decent amount of weekly production. If you’re in need of a new tight end or need depth at the position, aim to pick up Watson on the cheap. After all he’s scored a touchdown in consecutive games including a 10-catch 127 yard performance last Thursday night.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Owned in 10.6% of leagues
The second-year tight end blew up in Week 1, but has since been shelved by a shoulder injury. It is tough to say if he’ll have the same impact upon his return, but since he is almost fully recovered players in need of better option at TE should keep an eye on Seferian-Jenkins. He clearly has a good amount of chemistry with rookie quarterback, Jameis Winston. Assuming he stays healthy, he has a tremendous amount of upside going into the second half of this season.
Good luck this week folks and remember fantasy leagues are always won via #waiverwirewonders