Week 15 fantasy deep sleepers and DFS bargains: Five overlooked options with upside

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It’s time for a weekend edition of Deep Sleepers and DFS Bargains. Last week Stevan Ridley and DaeSean Hamilton both found the end zone, but Dan Arnold was a surprise inactive. Keep an eye on Arnold’s Week 15 status. If he’s activated the Saints will use him in a plus matchup at Carolina. If not, there are a few other TEs available to stream this Sunday.

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.

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Kenneth Dixon, RB, Baltimore Ravens
A fourth-round pick in 2016, Dixon has never fulfilled his potential, struggling to both get to and stay on the field. He has, however, flashed in his last two outings since being activated from IR. Managing eight rushing attempts and one catch in back-to-back games, Dixon has been more electric than Gus Edwards. In Week 14, he was also more productive than Edwards, racking up 80 total yards and a score. In fact, John Harbaugh praised Dixon’s performance and added that the Louisiana Tech product had earned a larger role moving forward.

While Ty Montgomery’s presence takes away from Dixon’s appeal, it’s worth noting that the former Packer’s opportunities have declined since Dixon’s return. In fact, Dixon out-snapped Ty Mont in Week 14, a trend that figures to continue in Week 15 versus Tampa Bay. Considered by many to be the best pass-catcher in his rookie class, Dixon should be heavily targeted as the Ravens’ Lamar Jackson-led offense attempts to keep pace with a Bucs team that’s generated the most passing yards per game. From a defensive standpoint, Tampa Bay has allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing RBs and the fifth-most catches to opposing backs over the last four games.

Can Kenneth Dixon finally become the asset fantasy enthusiasts projected him to be three years ago? (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Can Kenneth Dixon finally become the asset fantasy enthusiasts projected him to be three years ago? (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Ito Smith, RB, Atlanta Falcons
It’s been a minute since Smith flashed earlier in the season, scoring four times over his five games between Weeks 4-9. Since then the rookie’s numbers have steadily declined, but so has the entirety of the Falcons’ offense. In fact, the team has dropped a game each week since Smith last found the end zone. While Atlanta’s playoff hopes are over, there remains some optimism for Smith from a fantasy POV.

In Week 14, the Southern Mississippi product led the Falcons backfield, out-touching Tevin Coleman by a ratio of 14:11. Averaging 5.5 YPC on 11 attempts, and converting three of four looks for 14 yards, Smith put up top-31 fantasy stats. In Week 15, he’ll face the Cardinals’ 13th-ranked run defense, a unit that’s giving up nearly 140 rushing yards per contest. Assuming he’s healthy, Smith will be a flex-worthy option on Sunday.

Robby Anderson, WR, New York Jets
Relying on the Jets offense in the second round of the fantasy playoffs is not something I would advise. If, however, you’re desperate for a flex or looking for a tournament play, then take a look at Anderson. With Quincy Enunwa (ankle) and Isaiah Crowell (foot) out, approximately eight targets per game have been opened up. That means more opportunities for Anderson, who has drawn seven looks in back-to-back efforts.

The recipient of Sam Darnold’s lone touchdown pass in Week 14, Anderson has endured as the Jets’ best red-zone threat, as evidenced by an average target distance of 17.3 yards (WR4). He’ll face off against a solid Texans squad on Saturday, but could get lucky as Houston is playing on a short week and coming off a game in which they allowed 399 receiving yards to Indy. Anderson is a boom-or-bust flex for Week 15.

Vernon Davis, TE, Washington Redskins
Washington’s fourth QB of the season, Josh Johnson hasn’t started a game since 2011. So it’s reasonable to believe that he may need a big bodied target over the middle to whom he can check down. With Jordan Reed (foot) sidelined, Davis will start at the tight end position. In Week 14, the 13-year vet converted all four of his looks for 31 yards. While his matchup against the mercurial Jags defense is far from a gimme, it is worth noting that Jacksonville has allowed a conversion rate of 66 percent and seven scores to opposing tight ends. Davis is currently available in over 90 percent of Yahoo leagues.  

Anthony Firkser, TE, Tennessee Titans
Over the past four weeks, Firkser’s snaps have steadily increased as he’s begun to emerge, scoring in Week 13 versus the Jets. A solid route runner and natural receiver that can be deployed via the slot and relied upon in the short passing game, the rookie has converted 100 percent of his looks this season. With Jonnu Smith (knee) on IR, the Harvard product figures to see an expanded role moving forward, as outlined by Mike Vrable earlier in the week. This Sunday, he’ll face off against a Giants squad that’s allowed the 10thmost fantasy points to opposing tight ends. A worthy streaming candidate in deeper leagues, Fisker is a top-20 play in Week 15.

Dig Deep with Liz on Twitter @LizLoza_FF.

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