It’s time for a TGIF edition of Deep Sleepers and DFS Bargains. I made good on two of my picks last week (DeShone Kizer – QB9 and Marquise Goodwin – WR24. 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.
Jay Ajayi, RB, Philadelphia Eagles ($18)
The Carolina Reaper may have gotten me once, but if Doug Pederson doesn’t turn to Ajayi then he’ll be feeling the heat. With Nick Foles starting in the stead of Carson Wentz, Philly figures to run a ball-control offense. Ajayi is, undoubtedly, the best of the Eagles backs, evading four tackles per contest and ripping off breakaway runs (of 15 yards or more) on a weekly basis.
Ajayi’s limited workload has kept his legs fresh, which may work to Philly’s advantage. In fact, on this week’s X’s and Y’s Podcast Mauricio Gutiérrez noted that, since Week 9, the former Dolphin has averaged more fantasy points per touch (0.79) than Le’Veon Bell (0.72) and LeSean McCoy (0.65). Facing a Giants defense that’s allowed 414 scrimmage yards and four scores to the running back position over the past two weeks, Ajayi figures to roll. Start him in your playoffs and flex him at an incredible value in DFS.
Wayne Gallman, RB, New York Giants ($12)
After nearly crossing the century mark in Week 14 vs. Dallas, Gallman has earned a featured role in New York’s backfield. He’s still being out-touched by Orleans Darkwa, but over the past three weeks, Gallman has been more efficient, averaging 4.2 YPC to Darkwa’s 2.6. With the Giants in full-blown evaluation mode, Gallman should continue to receive a solid number of opportunities. His matchup this Sunday vs. the Eagles is admittedly tough, as Philly has allowed the fewest number of fantasy points to opposing RBs in 2017. However, the Eagles did give up over 100 combined yards to Mike Davis (101) and Todd Gurley (135) in back-to-back efforts. It’s a risky flex, but Gallman has some upside in Week 15.
Corey Coleman, WR, Cleveland Browns ($13)
Forgotten in the shadows of Josh Gordon’s impressive return, Coleman was an afterthought heading into Week 14. In a soft matchup against the Packers, however, the second-year receiver saw more action, tying Gordon with six looks on the day. Posting a 5-62-1 line, Coleman continued to show promise. With Gordon looking all sorts of vintage, the Baylor product is likely to draw softer coverage and see a lot of CB Brandon Carr in Week 15. The former Cowboys DB is being targeted over seven time per contest and has allowed an average of nearly 12 fantasy points per game. An ascendant talent with 4.4 speed, Coleman may not be the splashy play, but he is the sneaky one.
Deonte Thompson, WR, Buffalo Bills ($10)
I know, I’ve gone down this road before to no avail. However, Thompson has had his moments, scorching Tampa Bay for 107 yards and blasting the Jets for over 80. Sure those were both advantageous matchups, but the Dolphins have hardly been consistent, allowing 30 receiving scores on the season. Yes, Xavien Howard has been a revelation, but with Kelvin Benjamin (knee) likely to play, Tyrod Taylor figures to work away from Miami’s top CB, which should open things up for Thompson. Perhaps Zay Jones gets the looks, but the rookie has been horribly inefficient, converting 5 of his last 17 targets over the past two weeks. I’ll the give the advantage to Thompson, who’s faster (4.36) and more experienced.
Ben Watson, TE, Baltimore Ravens ($15)
It’s admittedly hard to trust any of the pass catchers in Baltimore. And you’re right to point out that Watson’s opportunities have been far from voluminous. However, he did find the end zone against Detroit in Week 13. His matchup, just two weeks later, is plus once again. The 36-year-old TE will face a Browns squad that’s allowed 9 scores to the position in 2017. And, there’s proof of concept here, since Watson ripped Cleveland for 8 grabs and 90 yards earlier in the year. Live the stream, friends! FF: 4-47-1
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