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Fantasy Football Week 4: 5 Players on the Verge of Breaking Out

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Fantasy Football Week 4: 5 Players on the Verge of Breaking Out

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Watching football week to week, waiting for certain players to eventually have that breakout game can sometimes be agony. You get your hopes up every Sunday, thinking it will finally be the day your guy goes off, only to see the day come and go with another mediocre performance. But when that big game does eventually arrive, it’s so, so sweet.

When you draft a player to your team, you have a certain expectation in mind. It differs from round to round, being that you obviously expect a great deal more from a guy you draft in the first round as opposed to someone who you draft in the middle or later rounds. Either way, you have an idea in mind of what kind of value you’ll be getting from each player. Those who drafted Adrian Peterson this season were hoping he would rush for another 2000 yards, but expecting he would go for at least 1500. People who drafted Calvin Johnson expect that he’ll lead the league in receiving yards.

It can be incredibly frustrating when a player isn’t meeting the standard you set for him. After a few weeks of waiting and not seeing the desired results, owners deal with it differently. Some decide to jump ship and sell low on players, or even drop them if they’re angry enough. Others hang on, not giving up hope that the game they’ve been waiting for is just around the corner.

It doesn’t always work out for those who wait; sometimes the player in question never lives up to the hype. However, sometimes the waiting does pay off. All of a sudden, the player busts off that big run or catch, and then there’s no looking back. Here are five players who are finally set to break out and reward those who have waited patiently for it:

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5. Bilal Powell

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Bilal Powell wasn’t on many draft boards this year, but there were some savvy fantasy minds that saw the potential within him. Most expected that Chris Ivory would assume the lead role in the backfield and that Powell would be an afterthought, but the injury-prone Ivory has lived up to the label. He went down with a hamstring injury last week, leaving Powell to take over. He didn’t disappoint with the expanded role, rushing for 149 yards on 27 carries. Many would say that was the breakout, but one game can always be a fluke. With another big performance this week, Powell will officially break out and take ownership of his backfield. He’s a strong bet to run with the opportunity, pun somewhat intended.

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4. Bernard Pierce

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Bernard Pierce has been on the verge of a massive performance for quite some time now. The presence of Ray Rice has held him back from having it, but Rice is currently injured. He missed last week’s game, handing Pierce the featured role for a week. He gave a mediocre performance, rushing for just 65 yards on 27 carries, but it was also against a very good defense. This week will be a different story as he takes on a battered defense in shambles. Rice could still possibly play, which would obviously kill any chance Pierce has of busting out. If he doesn’t, though, Pierce could put up the monster numbers we’ve been waiting for.

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3. Doug Martin

Muscle Ham
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Doug Martin was a top-5 pick in most drafts this year, but he doesn’t have the numbers to justify it so far. He’s rushed for 297 yards and a touchdown, which isn’t bad, but he hasn’t caught the ball like he did last year. He finished with 49 catches for 472 yards a season ago, but he has just four for 19 yards through the first three games. This week, his fortunes could change in a big way. Quarterback Josh Freeman has been benched and rookie Mike Glennon will be getting the start. What do rookie QBs love to do? Check it down. Already in line for a massive workload, Martin could also be the beneficiary of numerous check-downs by his rookie QB. He has a realistic shot at 30 touches this week and if he gets that many, we might see the Muscle Hamster we grew to love last season.

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2. Torrey Smith

Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Torrey Smith has been good so far, catching 16 passes for 269 yards. He’s on pace for career-highs in receptions and yardage, but he has yet to find the end zone. Owners need TDs and they’re likely to finally get them this week. Smith takes on an injury-plagued secondary that gave up huge numbers last week to receivers Stephen Hill and Santonio Holmes. If the likes of those two could do damage, expect total destruction from Smith. He has a massive performance on the way.

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1. Trent Richardson

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Trent Richardson has the best chance of anyone to break out in the biggest way this week. It was looking like he’d be involved in a timeshare with Ahmad Bradshaw but Bradshaw sustained a neck injury and has been ruled out this week. The door is wide open for Richardson to win the featured role on his new team, and it couldn’t come at a better time as he takes on arguably the worst team and one of the worst defenses in the entire league. He should finally bust out and give his owners the big-boy numbers they’ve been waiting for.