It’s time for a TGIF edition of Deep Sleepers and DFS Bargains. I made good on three of my picks last week (Eli Manning – QB4, Will Fuller – WR5 and Charles Clay – TE6). Let’s try to do it again (or better!) 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.
Antonio Gates, TE, Los Angeles Chargers ($13)
Hunter Henry might be the rising star with a Week 4 spike, but Gates continues to exist as Philip Rivers’ preferred target. The veteran TE logged five looks (one in the red area of the field) to Henry’s two last Sunday. Gates also has seven more targets on the season than the second-year tight end. Facing a Giants defense that’s giving up the most fantasy points to opposing tight ends — and allowed both O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate to find the end zone last week — Gates is the better (and cheaper) option in Week 5.
Alex Collins, RB, Baltimore Ravens ($12)
Truthfully, I’d prefer to stash Wayne Gallman (available in 70 percent of Yahoo leagues and $12 in DFS), but with so many RBs banged up and entering byes, Collins is worth a mention. By no means a creative runner, the Seahawks cast-off employs a straightforward, downhill approach. That’s apparently been enough, since he’s surpassed (the woefully inefficient and fumbling) Terrance West on Baltimore’s depth chart.
Rushing for 82 yards on nine attempts in back-to-back efforts, Collins figures to be the Ravens’ go-to option on early downs and near the goal line. The Raiders, his Week 5 opponent, are a middle-of-the-pack unit that has not yet allowed a rushing TD to an RB, but did give up 95 yards on 20 carries to C.J. Anderson last Sunday. If the second-year back can stay focused, there’s a shot he’ll produce low-end RB2 numbers.
Jaron Brown, WR, Arizona Cardinals ($14)
Full disclosure: I like John Brown (available in 62 percent of Yahoo leagues and $14 in DFS) this week. He looked healthy on a reduced snap count in Week 4 and I believe he will have a larger role this Sunday (conservative FF: 5-81-0). That said, he’s been “limited” in practice all week and his injury woes have frustrated not just fantasy owners, but Bruce Arians as well.
The surer bet is Jaron Brown, who I featured (and hit on) in the Week 3 edition of this column. Earning double-digit targets in two of his last three games, and five red-zone looks over the past three weeks, Brown has proven to be the Cardinals’ most consistent pass-catching weapon. Oddly, he’s still available in 56 percent of Yahoo leagues and is $2 cheaper than John Brown in DFS. Facing the Eagles sieve-like secondary, a unit that has allowed four TDs to WRs over the past two weeks, Jaron offers a high floor at a bargain-basement price.
Aldrick Robinson, WR, San Francisco 49ers ($10)
Where Kyle Shanahan goes, so does Robinson. From D.C. to Atlanta to San Francisco, the two have consistently linked up. A gutty player with 4.43 speed, Robinson had, most recently, been working behind Marquise Goodwin. But when Goodwin was knocked out of last Sunday’s contest at Arizona, Robinson stepped in and earned 12 targets. Suffering his fourth concussion in 14 months, Goodwin is questionable for Week 5 at Indianapolis. If he sits, Robinson figures to receive a huge uptick in volume, especially facing a Colts defense that’s allowed the fourth-most receiving yards to opposing WRs (an average of nearly 185 per game).
Austin Seferian-Jenkins, New York Jets ($13)
On my watch list heading into Week 3, Seferian-Jenkins has been ultra-efficient since returning from suspension, catching nine of his 10 targets. He’s also been second in team snaps over the past two weeks, and on the field for nearly 80 percent of the Jets’ offensive calls. With Matt Forte likely to miss another outing, ASJ’s volume should hold steady. Facing a Browns squad that’s leaving the middle of the field more open than a roadside Denny’s (did ya’ll catch Tyler Kroft’s Week 4 at Cleveland?), the Jets TE is this week’s Value Slam.
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