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It’s time for a TGIF edition of Deep Sleepers and DFS Bargains. I made good on three of my picks last week (Cole Beasley – WR7, Sammy Watkins – WR14, Vernon Davis – TE9) 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.
Robert Woods, WR, Los Angeles Rams ($14)
Heading into Week 9, I was all-in on Sammy Watkins. While the former Bills WR hit pay dirt, it was his old teammate that really wowed. Posting a 4-70-2 stat line, Woods continued to lead the Rams’ receivers in catches and yards. With Jared Goff increasingly willing to air out the ball in the red area of the field (4.4 deep balls and 5.2 red zone attempts per contest) and averaging over six targets per game, Woods has emerged as a (matchup dependent) WR/Flex. In Week 10, he’ll face a Texans secondary that resurrected T.Y. Hilton’s fantasy standing and is allowing the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing wideouts.
Jordan Matthews, WR, Buffalo Bills ($13)
Before you ask … yes, I did peep Matthews’ Week 9 fumble against the Jets. And I know that his bum thumb has probably contributed to his ball security issues. But folks are desperate, and Matthews is coming off of a game in which he garnered a season-high eight targets and was on the field for 100 percent of the team’s snaps. Of course, Kelvin Benjamin’s absence contributed to Matthews’ volume, but Zay Jones (knee) is unlikely to dress in Week 10, which means more looks for the former Eagle.
And his matchup is solid. Spending upwards of 45 percent of his time in the slot, Matthews is likely to draw Kenny Vaccaro. Except that Vaccaro hurt his groin, and will either be at way less than 100 percent, or will sit, giving way to P.J. Williams. Admittedly, Williams has skills, but he also lost the starting gig due to disciplinary issues, and is just now coming back to the fold. Additionally, he’s allowed 18 receptions on 23 looks. It’s not often the planets align for Matthews owners … so best to either take the shot now or move on.
Chris Godwin, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($10)
An unheralded receiver will break out this weekend. Maybe it’ll be preseason darling Dede Westbrook. Or, perhaps, former Charger-turned-Bear Dontrelle Inman. But my money is on Godwin. Go ahead and watch the Rose Bowl and tell me this kid isn’t special.
With Mike Evans suspended, the metrics darling (who beasted at the Combine) will have an increased role. In fact, this week he’s been taking over Evans’ reps in practice and drawing praise from head coach Dirk Koetter. Admittedly, Godwin’s NFL exposure has been limited, playing primarily on special teams and converting 8 of 12 total targets. However, he has the talent to surprise … especially when facing Juston Burris, who got clowned by Zay Jones (Yes, THAT Zay Jones) in Week 9.
Orleans Darkwa @ SF ($19)
Game flow certainly didn’t help the Giants’ backfield in Week 9, but Darkwa staked his claim as the team’s RB1. Quieting the Wayne Gallman hype-train and rendering Paul Perkins obsolete, the Tulane product notched his second-highest carry total of the year, with 16 totes. Darka remained hyper-efficient against the Rams, averaging 4.4 YPC and converting both of his targets. Finishing the day with 79 total yards, Darkwa delivered low-end RB2 fantasy numbers. He figures to improve on those stats in Week 10, as he’ll face a 49ers run-defense that’s given up 10 scores to the position and is allowing the MOST fantasy points to opposing backs. FF: 84 total yards and 1 TD
Garrett Celek, TE, San Francisco 49ers ($10)
Things are grim for the 49ers. So grim, in fact, that Celek is in a last man standing sort of position. With Pierre Garcon on the IR and George Kittle out (ankle), Celek is poised to work. While 13 looks on the season doesn’t exactly inspire confidence, it is worth noting that Celek notched his highest target total of the year in Week 9 … when Kittle was sidelined. In that same outing, Brent’s little brother also garnered his first red-zone target since Week 3.
It certainly doesn’t hurt that he’ll match up against the Giants on Sunday. Not only are the G-Men giving up the most fantasy points to opposing tight ends, but they have yet to go a week without allowing a score to the position. Celek is owned in just 1 percent of Yahoo leagues.
Dig Deep with Liz on Twitter @LizLoza_FF.