Mauro Diaz is out for the season. Or maybe he is not.
The FC Dallas playmaker has been a stalwart for a lot of fantasy players. Selected by 24.3 percent and clocking in at a modest $8.5m, Diaz has scored at least four points each week and is tops among midfielders on the Value (season) metric.
Should he indeed be out of the season, it would be a shame for the player himself and for the FC Dallas team. However, injuries to highly-owned players like this can help you make up ground on the other players in your league, provided you move quickly to grab a replacement.
Here are six other players with great potential to shine over the next couple months, all below Diaz's current value of $8.5m.
Shea Salinas, San Jose, $7.9m: I don't think Shea Salinas is a secret anymore. He tops the league's midfielders with 26 crosses and is second in key passes with 23. (Lloyd Sam tops the list at 24.) With San Jose's cross-and-finish approach, Salinas is as safe a bet as you'll find at that price, especially with a DGW coming up in Week 10.
Stefan Ishizaki, Los Angeles, $6.9m: Ishikazi's two goals and two helpers in the past three games speak for themselves and Ishizaki's minutes are slowly going up. Obviously Los Angeles' ability to convert chances with Robbie Keane bode well for any midfield player, but Ishikazi seems to have replaced Juninho as the Galaxy's big-scoring-yet-unheralded midfielder. Baggio Husidic, at $6.5m, is also a good option.
Lee Nguyen, New England, $8.4m: Lee Nguyen is really heating up as the Revs offense shows signs of life. Nguyen has bagged a pair of goals in the last two games and seems to have completely surpassed Diego Fagundez as his team's #1 attacking fantasy option. However, he is relatively unknown -- held by only 2.1 percent of owners. A hot streak by Nguyen could help owners make up a lot of ground on the competition.
Nick DeLeon, D.C. United, $6.8m: Similar to New England, D.C. United's offense has started to click with a four-goal outburst last weekend. DeLeon has posted an assist in each of his past two matches -- as long as Fabian Espindola and Eddie Johnson find the net, the hard-working DeLeon could be a good source of assists.
Wil Trapp, Columbus, $6.1m: Still only owned by 6.8 percent of owners, you could do worse at this price. He's a 90 minutes player for a solid team who posts decent defensive numbers.
Eric Alexander, New York, $6.8m: New York is an interesting team. At times, they can be completely listless. At other times, they explode offensively. Alexander recorded two assists in a win over Philadelphia and went the full 90 in each of NY's two matches last week. Like Trapp, another solid option who will occasionally find the net (5 goals scored in 2013).