We’re a month in, Fam! That means 12 more weeks of genius tinkering. Of course, the most dedicated and passionate managers find zeal in exploring the concepts and happenings occurring under the radar. While some weeks your roster may allow for snoozing on sleepers, it’s always beneficial to keep tabs on emerging trends and players. This weekly column is for those who understand the satisfaction of digging deep.
All of the listed players are rostered in under 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 what makes them so intriguing.
There were some misses last week (ahem, Jamison Crowder, Brandon Bolden, and Cameron Brate), but your girl is also keeping you well ahead of the curve. Damien Williams found the end zone, but more impressively, Kadarius Toney AND Ricky Seals-Jones provided fantasy gold ahead of schedule.
On to Week 6!
Carson Wentz, QB, Indianapolis Colts (28% rostered, $25)
Wentz woke up Naptown on Monday night, completing over 71 percent of his passes and averaging a YPA of 11.5 (*head-bow emoji*). His 402 yards and 2 TDs made franchise history, as he joined Peyton Manning, Andrew Luck, and Johnny Unitas as just the fourth Colts’ QB to manage such a passing benchmark. Did I mention that he didn’t throw a single pick? Yeah, it was a good night for Wentz. Some might call it … a vintage performance.
Looking healthier than he has in years, the former Eagle could flirt with top-15 fantasy numbers on Sunday versus Houston. I expect him to come out slinging (he’s already QB3 in deep-ball completion percentage), feeling salty after a crushing loss on primetime.
Admittedly, the Texans have given up significantly more rushing than receiving yards, but the team’s defensive front has only logged 8 sacks on the season. Furthermore, Davis Mills might get loose (again) versus a Colts secondary that could be without CB Xavier Rhodes and S Andrew Sendejo on Sunday.
That potential battle could lead to a surprising number of fantasy points.
Bonus QB: Taylor Heinicke, Washington Football Team (21% rostered, $28)
I’ve been hyping the engineering major since (*checks notes*) he was rostered in nine percent of Yahoo leagues. I love that many of you are listening. For those who haven’t received the memo yet … he’s not giving the job back to Fitzy.
Heinicke is averaging over 25 rushing yards per game (QB8) and is currently the QB14 overall in FF. He deserves top-12 consideration in a matchup versus a flailing Chiefs defense that’s allowed the most fantasy points (and the most rushing yards) to opposing QBs.
Darrel Williams, RB, Kansas City Chiefs ($17)
Undrafted out of LSU, Williams has been with the Chiefs since 2018. He’s strong (22 bench press) and imposing (6-foot-1, 225 pounds) and most frequently utilized in short-yardage situations. A gremlin at the goal line, Williams has 2 TDs and at least one red-zone carry in every game this season. He’s not fast and his game lacks finesse, but he still figures to see an elevated role with Clyde Edwards-Helaire sidelined (knee) on Sunday.
The Football Team’s run defense has surprised in a bad way, allowing the most fantasy points to opposing RBs over the past two weeks (Cordarrelle Patterson and Alvin Kamara). Per BetMGM, the Chiefs are also 7-point favorites on Sunday, which should translate into upwards of 13-15 totes for Williams. Between the matchup, the volume, and the TD upside, Williams projects to be a top-25 fantasy play in Week 6.
Rhamondre Stevenson, RB, New England Patriots (9% rostered, $13)
I’m like Dan Brown out here, trying to Da Vinci Code the Patriots backfield. I know I should quit, but each week the puzzle pieces shift.
Stevenson was hyped throughout the summer, but a Week 1 fumble relegated him to BB’s doghouse. He was back on the gridiron after three weeks of assumedly good behavior. The rookie only managed 23 yards on 11 carries in his effort last week. There could be more work coming his way, though. Damien Harris not only injured his ribs in Week 5 but also coughed up another would-be score (his second of 2021).
The matchup against Dallas doesn’t scream easy production. But Belichick could try to play keep away early, and also decided to use Stevenson (rather than Harris) at the goal line. After all, this is a back that RBs coach Ivan Fears compared to LeGarrette Blount.
Rondale Moore, WR, Arizona Cardinals (43% rostered, $17)
I promise this isn’t wish-casting. I have zero exposure to Moore and have regularly reminded stans that he’s Arizona’s WR4 in terms of snaps logged (131) and routes run (15.8/gm). Sometimes, though, you have to follow the money. And there’s plenty to be won in the Browns versus Cardinals clash that’s carrying an over/under of 50 points.
Between his hands and his speed, Moore could be a difference-maker in this matchup. With a spread of just 3 points, there figures to be a lot of back-and-forth in this game. The Browns defense has routinely given up splash plays, allowing the 10th-most receptions over 20 yards (19). That sets up well for a high-variance player like Moore, particularly for managers chasing points with their flex spot.
Ricky Seals-Jones, TE, Washington Football Team (13% rostered, $11)
With Logan Thomas (hamstring) on IR, Seals-Jones logged a snap share of 100 percent (!) and ran a career-high 36 routes (for context, Davante Adams ran 35 last Sunday in OT). The former college receiver closed out Week 6 inside the top-14 at the position, converting 5-of-8 (3 rz) for 41 yards versus New Orleans.
He'll face a struggling Chiefs defense this week that’s given up TDs to TEs in two consecutive outings. Clearly liked and trusted by Heinicke, RSJ could flirt with double-digit targets in a matchup that boasts the highest over/under of the week (55.5). He’s the Yahoo Consensus TE11 heading into the weekend.
Bonus TE: Donald Parham, Los Angeles Chargers (1% rostered, $10)
I don’t like to chase touchdowns but when Austin Ekeler tips me off about a potential sleeper on his team … I listen.
Jared Cook continues to log more snaps (58.8%) and run more routes (26.4/gm), but Parham’s role is growing. He’s recorded a snap share over 52 percent the last two weeks and he ran a season-high 15 routes (up from 12 the previous week) in Week 5. At 6-foot-8 and 240 pounds, the former XFL-star and converted college receiver possesses high-end length and athleticism. Those traits have shown up in the end zone for two straight outings.
He figures to remain heavily involved in Week 6 when the Chargers travel to Baltimore. The Ravens are getting torched across the middle, allowing the third-most fantasy points to opposing TEs. Cook should draw a good number of targets, but in a high-scoring affair (51.5) Parham will be involved near the red area. JHerb isn’t afraid of big plays, and Parham is a man who plays big.
Dig deep with Liz on social @LizLoza_FF