It’s time for a TGIF edition of Deep Sleepers and DFS Bargains. I made good on one of my picks last week. Dede Westbrook finished the week a top-30 play in Week 13. Let’s try to improve on that 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.
DeShone Kizer, QB, Cleveland Browns ($20)
The last time I touted a Browns QB things didn’t work out too well, but there’s no denying Kizer has progressed since returning from a bye. Over the past four weeks, the rookie has averaged a YPA of 6.8 and nearly 265 total yards (41 rushing yards per week!) per game. Those numbers are far from stellar, but they are an improvement … and they were good enough to earn top-10 fantasy finishes in Weeks 10 and 12.
Given Josh Gordon’s triumphant return and the development of Corey Coleman, Kizer’s receiving corps have additionally undergone a dramatic upgrade. Plus, he’s facing the Packers’ bottom-10-ranked pass defense, which has allowed the seventh-most fantasy points (18.56) and second-most passing yards (1,101) over the last four weeks. The Browns’ greenhorn QB is a top-20 play in Week 14.
Byron Marshall, RB, Washington Redskins ($10)
A former wide receiver who excels on passing downs and can work in the slot, Marshall’s role has grown since Chris Thompson was lost for the season in Week 11. While he’s only carried the ball four times in back-to-back outings, Marshall has received a good number of looks via the air. Third in team targets while the Redskins were playing from behind in Week 13, Marshall converted 5 of 6 balls for 24 yards.
He’s not an upside play, but he has a solid floor in PPR formats. In fact, this Sunday he’ll take on a Chargers squad that has allowed an average of 5.5 catches to the running back position over the last four weeks. With Washington’s line a mess and the Chargers’ pass rush coming in hot, I expect Kirk Cousins to check down quite a bit. That could mean a surprise showing from the second-year man out of Oregon.
Marquise Goodwin, WR, San Francisco 49ers ($19)
I’ve been pounding the table for Goodwin since Week 6, but he’s still available in over 60 percent of Yahoo leagues. San Francisco’s defacto WR1 after Pierre Garcon was placed on IR, the former Olympian has averaged over 80 yards per contest since early November. He’s also gone over 65 yards in four straight games, managing a minimum WR3 fantasy finish in three of those outings.
Ultra-efficient with Jimmy Garoppolo under center in Week 13, Goodwin converted all eight of his targets for 99 yards. This Sunday, he’ll face a banged-up Texans defense that’s allowed the third-most receiving scores (23) and the seventh-most fantasy points to WRs on the season. Goodwin is inside my top-25 players at the position in Week 14.
Trent Taylor, WR, San Francisco 49ers ($13)
If Marquise Goodwin is out of reach then maybe take a look at his teammate. It was only one game, but the slot man was hyper-efficient, reeling in all six of grabs and dazzling after the catch. Reportedly battling a 102-degree fever, the La. Tech product had his version of a #flugame, racking up 92 yards and looking like the real deal with Jimmy G under center.
With a massive improvement under center, Taylor has the potential to turn into a go-to player in PPR formats. This Sunday he’ll face off against the Texans’ Kareem Jackson, who is getting picked on nearly six times per game and allowing an average of 13.7 yards per reception. Even if you don’t roll with him in Week 14, Taylor should be on fantasy owners’ 2018 watch list.
Stephen Anderson, TE, Houston Texans ($13)
I’m getting lots of tweets from disgruntled Gronk owners looking for a readily available replacement. Have I got the guy for you! Owned in just 12 percent of Yahoo leagues, Anderson has a massive opportunity in Week 14. With Ryan Griffin done for the year and CJ Fiedorowicz suffering another concussion, Anderson is the Texans’ TE1.
In Week 13, he was on the field for over 81 percent of the team’s snaps and targeted a whopping 12 times (with four of those looks taking place in the red area of the field). Catching five balls for 79 yards and a score, the Cal product closed out the week as fantasy’s fifth-most productive player at the position. Facing a beatable 49ers defense that’s allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends over the last four weeks, Anderson has top-12 appeal. Additionally boosting his stock will be Bruce Ellington’s absence (hamstring) and Will Fuller’s constant rib issue. Get him while you can!
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