It’s time for a TGIF edition of Deep Sleepers and DFS Bargains. Last week Austin Seferian-Jenkins and John Brown scored, while Aldrick Robinson didn’t start and Antonio Gates underwhelmed. Let’s get after it again this go-around.
To review … all of these players are owned in less than 60 percent of Yahoo leagues (at time of writing) and/or are a significant value in our daily game. They’re not the obvious picks, and they’re not without their risks, but that’s why they’re so cheap and available! I’d never advocate taking all of these guys, but rather utilizing them if a manager were in a pinch at a position or aiming to build a “stars and scrubs” sort of DFS lineup.
Kevin Hogan, QB, Cleveland Browns ($20)
It’s official. After subbing in for DeShone Kizer for a total of 67 snaps, Hogan is slated to start on Sunday. With 55 fewer completions for the same number of TDs (three, and two of those to TE David Njoku, who is available in 83 percent of Yahoo leagues and $11 in this week’s daily game), it makes sense that Hue Jackson (who is in full-on job-saving mode) would throw the Stanford product under center.
Providing a spark to the otherwise listless offense each time he’s been called to action, Hogan is averaging 8.7 adjusted yards per attempt, which ranks him fifth among QBs. Facing a Texans offense that’s allowed the ninth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, and which will be without Whitney Mercilus and J.J. Watt on Sunday, Hogan is a widely available back-up plan for Marcus Mariota (hamstring) or Russell Wilson (bye) owners.
Alvin Kamara, RB, New Orleans Saints ($17)
Sean Payton loves shiny new toys, especially in his backfield (remember the C.J. Spiller experiment?). Unfortunately for Adrian Peterson, the luster wore off — if we’re being honest — less than four quarters into the 2017 season. With the vet gone to Arizona, the team’s rookie figures to see an uptick in opportunities.
New Orleans has been on a satellite search since Darren Sproles left for Philly in 2014. The Saints appear to have found their replacement in Kamara, who flashed over the preseason, but broke out big ahead of the team’s bye in Week 4, racking up 96 yards and a score on 15 touches. His matchup against the Lions — a run-stopping unit that’s allowing just 3.3 YPC — looks scary. However, they’ll be without Haloti Ngata and, via the air, which is where Kamara excels, Detroit has given up an average of nearly 60 receiving yards per game to the RB position and let Christian McCaffrey fly into the end zone last week. Bottom line: Payton is excited and creative enough to get Kamara the ball on a consistent basis.
Elijah McGuire, RB, New York Jets ($13)
Drafted by the Jets this past April in large part because of his receiving ability, McGuire figures to see an expanded role on Sunday. With Bilal Powell expected to sit (calf) and 31-year-old Matt Forte returning from a toe injury, the rookie should be heavily targeted in a match-up against the Patriots. Consequently, New England is allowing the second-most fantasy points per game and has given up six TDs to the running back position (three on the ground and three via the air) since the season’s start. Having evaded 10 tackles over the past two weeks, McGuire should dash his way into RB2 territory come Sunday.
Marquise Goodwin, WR, San Francisco 49ers ($10)
After suffering his fourth concussion in 14 months, I expected Goodwin to sit in Week 5, projecting speedster Aldrick Robinson to start in his place. Goodwin, however, passed the league’s protocol and was on the field for the 49ers. Picking on CB Rashaan Melvin, Brian Hoyer targeted Goodwin 11 times. For his part, Goodwin reeled in five balls for 116 yards, finishing the week as fantasy’s WR15. He draws another tempting matchup against a Josh Norman-less Washington defense in Week 6. Third-year man Quinton Dunbar will make his fifth career start for the Redskins … and has a good shot of getting burned by the lightning fast receiver.
A.J. Derby, TE, Denver Broncos ($15)
Drafted by New England in 2015, Derby entered the league with just one year of experience at the tight end position. A natural pass-catcher who previously played quarterback and linebacker, the 6-foot-5 255-pound athlete is more of a slot receiver than a traditional tight end. As the season has progressed, so has Derby’s presence on passing plays, as evidenced by the increase in his number of routes run and times targeted. Converting 4 of 6 balls for 75 yards and a score ahead of the team’s bye, Derby is poised to ride the wave of momentum. Hosting a Giants squad that can’t keep its DBs on the field and that’s allowed six scores to the TE position, the Arkansas product is a TE1 stream come the weekend.
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