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5 Wide Receivers Ready for a Second-Half Breakout

These wide receivers have yet to reach their full potential, and are trending up from great depth pieces to potential starters.

After Week 5, fantasy managers are brutally reminded of the importance of roster depth. While replacing injured assets week-to-week is essential, so is planning for the future. There are several fantastic stash opportunities for wide receivers who are trending towards more relevance and could easily become start-worthy over the second half of the season.

With unforeseen injuries happening every week, adding depth to your roster is one of the most important aspects of fantasy football. These are some widely available wide receivers who are trending in the right direction.

Amon-Ra St. Brown – Detroit Lions

Rostered in 7.6% of leagues

With the injury to Quintez Cephus, Amon-Ra St. Brown should see an uptick in targets. After averaging just 2 receptions on 3.3 targets per game over the first three weeks, St. Brown jumped up to 6.5 receptions on 8 targets per game in weeks 4 and 5. On a team with limited options, he could easily be the Lion’s number one wide receiver from here on out.

While not a prolific offense, the Lions still have the 5th most passes in the NFL this season. This allows their 4th round rookie to showcase what he can do, presenting an opportunity for St. Brown to become fantasy relevant over the second half of the season. He is not a weekly starter just yet, but St. Brown is an enticing stash opportunity as a potential breakout candidate.

Rashod Bateman – Baltimore Ravens

Rostered in 13.0% of leagues

Bateman has yet to play this season but should make an immediate difference in the offense. He was drafted in the first round because Mark Andrews and Hollywood Brown were not getting the job done through the air last year. Bateman is one of the more polished prospects in the 2021 draft class.

The Ravens have done a complete 180 from last year and currently have the most air yards per pass attempt and the third most total air yards behind only Tampa Bay and Buffalo. There is plenty of volume to go around, and Bateman should eat into Brown’s market share when he arrives. With an opportunity to become the first read on a high-scoring offense with a plethora of air yards, Bateman is easily a late-season breakout candidate.

Randall Cobb – Green Bay Packers

Rostered in 18.5% of leagues

Cobb has been receiving mostly deep targets, averaging 12.1 yards-before-reception per reception. His snap percentage has risen from 26% over the first three weeks to 46% in Week 4 and 55% in Week 5.

Rodgers has been comfortable slinging the ball downfield with the 3rd most deep passes on the season, 2nd most air yards per pass attempt, and the 8th most total air yards. Cobb should see an uptick in deep targets as he becomes more acclimated with this offense and should put up some big games over the second half of the season.

Kadarius Toney – New York Giants

Rostered in 55.2% of leagues

The breakout is real. Watch him play, and you can see for yourself. The Giants now have Toney lining up on the outside in the absence of everyone else, and fully showcased his abilities in Week 5.

The Giants have the 4th most air yards on the season, meaning that Toney should get the opportunity for massive games moving forward. His market share will be astronomical with Golladay injured and already had 13 targets on just 23 routes run in Week 5, leading to 10 receptions for 189 yards.

His yards-after-catch ability has never been in question coming out of college. The primary concerns were drops and separation at the next level. If he can prove that he is the total package, then the Giants will not stray away from their first-round pick just because the other receivers are healthy.

Henry Ruggs – Las Vegas Raiders

Rostered in 74.4% of leagues

Most likely, Ruggs rostered in your league. If you are in the 25.6% of leagues with him on the waiver wire, pick him up immediately. Ruggs only averaged a snap percentage of 63.3% over the first three weeks but jumped up to 82.5% between weeks 4 and 5.

Las Vegas has the 4th most deep passes and the 5th most air yards on the season. Ruggs has only really had one boom game so far, and people are dropping him after consecutive down weeks. He will almost certainly be dropped in more leagues during his Week 8 bye, so continue to keep an eye out for him.

His schedule has following the bye is incredibly enticing:

Week 9New York Giants
Week 10Kansas City Chiefs
Week 11Cincinnati Bengals
Week 12Dallas Cowboys
Week 13Washington Football Team
Week 14Kansas City Chiefs

If the deep targets keep coming his way through these great matchups, Ruggs could end up becoming a league-winning wide receiver.

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