It’s another TGIF edition of Deep Sleepers and DFS Bargains! For the past two weeks in a row I’ve hit on three of my five picks, tapping Charles Clay, Lance Dunbar, and Rishard Matthews in Week 3. This go around I’ve got one QB and a bunch of receivers for your consideration.
Parameters for this go around… all of the below players are owned in less than fifty percent of Yahoo leagues (one of them is completely un-owned). They’re not the obvious picks, and they’re not without their risks, but that’s why they’re so cheap! 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.
Derek Carr, QB, Oakland Raiders ($37)
The Raiders are currently one game behind the Broncos. Yes, this is real life. While there’s plenty of football ahead of us, it’s worth noting that Oakland’s sophomore signal caller has passed for over 300 yards in back-to-back outings. He’s also scored five touchdowns and only turned the ball over once. A QB1 fantasy play for two weeks in a row, Carr heads into Week 4 with plenty of momentum and a dynamite matchup.
Even before the Bears’ mid-week fire sale, it was clear this team might punt on the season (sorry, I couldn’t resist). Transitioning to a 3-4 scheme under new DC Vic Fangio, Chicago’s defense looks a sad combination of befuddled and wiped. The Bears secondary has given up the second most scores (8) so far this season to three teams whose offenses are all calling a below league average number of passing plays.
Given that rookie stud receiver Amari Cooper has toasted top CBs like Jimmy Smith and Joe Haden, it’s not hard to imagine him clowning Alan Ball. That, of course, helps Carr and buoys the entire receiving corps. A prime streaming option for desperate Tony Romo, Ben Roethlisberger or Andrew Luck owners, Carr is a solid play in Week 4. Just don’t buy in too much, as he’ll turn around to host Denver’s elite D the following week.
Eddie Royal, WR, Chicago Bears ($19)
Part of the reason Derek Carr and Oakland’s passing game have been so prolific is because, like the Bears, they too have a rather inefficient defense. While Charles Woodson – arguably Oakland’s top DB - was the hero of last week’s tilt in Cleveland, he’s still a 38-year-old safety with a sore shoulder. Obviously, the Raiders’ weaknesses in the secondary bode well for TE Martellus Bennett, but I think they’ll also benefit Royal.
Last week I mistakenly thought the Browns’ Andrew Hawkins would be the sneaky play facing Oakland’s sub-par secondary. I was wrong. It was actually Brian Hartline, who grabbed five balls for nearly 100 yards and finished with WR2 numbers in PPR formats.
I think that production is going to transfer over to Royal in Week 4, especially if, as expected, Alshon Jefferey returns. With defenses able to key in on the larger playmaker, Royal should be able to use his speed to command the slot. Of course, much of this is reliant upon Jimmy Clausen actually throwing the ball, but considering the fact that Oakland has given up the third most receiving yards so far this season it’s far from improbable.
Leonard Hankerson, WR, Atlanta Falcons ($16)
Roddy White is listed as the Falcons No. 2 receiver and has played more snaps than any other wideout on the team. But the vet hasn’t caught a ball since Week 1. He wasn’t even targeted by Matt Ryan in Week 3. Instead, it’s Leonard Hankerson who has been playing second fiddle to uber stud Julio Jones.
Reuniting with former OC Kyle Shanahan, Hankerson has accumulated 11 grabs for 183 yards and 1 TD through the first three weeks of the season. Unfortunately, he’s had an issue holding on to the ball, leading the league in drops. While that’s far from awesome, the fact that he continues to see opportunities and outplay White cannot be denied.
At 6-foot-two inches and 211 pounds, HankTime is a largely built slot man. While hosting the Texans this Sunday, he’s likely to see a lot of CB Kareem Jackson. Well under six feet tall and only 188 pounds, Jackson has received consistently negative coverage grades from Pro Football Focus.
With TE Jacob Tamme concussed, and White fading, Hankerson has a chance to produce against a beatable Texans secondary who will have their hands full trying to contain Julio Jones. He should be owned in all formats and could prove to be a matchup dependent value play once bye weeks really ramp up.
Ty Montgomery, WR, Green Bay Packers ($10)
When Davante Adams aggravated an ankle injury this past Monday, it was Montgomery who came in and sparked the offense, scoring the Packers first TD of the evening. The rookie only caught one more ball throughout the contest’s four quarters, but it is interesting that he was next in line behind Adams. Admittedly his sample size is small, but he has been the most efficient of Green Bay’s receivers, catching every pass thrown his way for a 6-51-1 stat line.
Rumored to have Rodgers’ favor, Montgomery could be in line for some real playing time with Adams currently in a walking boot. This weekend the Packers will travel to San Francisco to take on a 49ers defense that is giving up the fifth most fantasy points to the position. With Rodgers playing lights out and throwing 10 TDs (the most of any QB) so far this season, it’s safe to start nearly all of your Packers. Given that Montgomery is expected to handle the No. 3 receiver duties, and taking into account his additional talents on special teams, this former running back could easily put up WR3 numbers in Week 4.
Quincy Enunwa, WR, New York Jets ($10)
A rookie out of Nebraska, Enunwa is a big and strong receiver with lots of physicality and hustle. He was drafted by the Jets in the sixth round and - previous to Week 3 - had been seeing 27-29 snaps per game. This past weekend, when both Eric Decker and Chris Owusu were ruled out due to their respective injuries, however, Enunwa’s snaps nearly doubled.
With both the No. 2 and No. 3 receivers sidelined, Jeremy Kerely was given a larger role, despite totaling just two play counts over the previous two weeks. In the Jets’ Week 3 tilt versus Philly, he was the team’s second most productive receiver, catching six of eleven balls for 33 yards and a score. While Kerely got the TD, it’s worth nothing that Enunwa drew one less target, grabbed one less ball, and racked up 17 more yards than the vet.
Heading into Week 4 neither Decker nor Owusu are expected to suit up. That means more potential opportunities for either Kerley and/or Enunwa. Personally, I’d favor Enunwa’s chances to produce as he has the enthusiasm of the current coaching regime and oodles more playmaking ability. Admittedly, his hands are far from sure, and he’s had a slew of mind numbing drops, but he’s also made some plays that would turn even the most grizzled veteran receivers green with envy.
Additionally, the matchup for the Jets receivers this Sunday is a good one. They’ll be playing a disappointing Dolphins squad that has only recorded one sack so far this season… and even let Chris Hogan sneak into the end zone last week. Enunwa is absolutely a boom or bust play. But booms are more likely to occur when talent and opportunity meet. This is just that for the young receiver.