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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 (Giovani Bernard, Jaron Brown and Jared Cook). Let’s try to do it again 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.
Eli Manning, QB, New York Giants ($25)
For fear of yacking all over my keyboard, I’m going to make this one quick. While I do believe the #regressionisreal, Manning brought the tempo back up in Week 3 vs. an imposing Eagles pass rush. Completing 35 of 47 attempts, the Giants signal caller threw for over 360 yards and three TDs.
He also avoided taking a single sack, which is particularly impressive given the number of times he’d been knocked to the ground (eight) in tandem with the number of sacks Philly had racked up (eight) over the first two weeks of the season. With Odell Beckham seemingly back to health (9-79-2 in Week 3) and facing a banged-up Tampa Bay defense, Manning is a gutsy stream in Week 4. (And… now I’m off to shower!)
Travis Benjamin, WR, Los Angeles Chargers ($13)
As much as I like Tyrell Williams, Benjamin has the hot hand, closing out Weeks 1 and 3 with double-digit fantasy points. Second in team looks this past Sunday, Benjamin racked up 105 yards on five grabs. In comeback mode, Philip Rivers tried forcing the ball down the field, targeting Benjamin deep on four separate occasions.
It wouldn’t surprise me to see Rivers lock in on Benjamin again this week, as the speedy receiver is likely to see a lot of CB Jalen Mills. The most thrown at corner since the start of the season, Mills is surrendering an average of over eight receptions and 21 fantasy points per contest. With first-round rookie selection Mike Williams unlikely to start until Week 5, Benjamin is worth another dice roll.
Will Fuller, WR, Houston Texans ($10)
Over the first four weeks of 2016, before getting nicked up, Fuller started his rookie campaign hot. Scoring and/or putting up over 100 yards in three of his first four contests, the first-round pick proved to be a capable compliment to DeAndre Hopkins. While the offense eventually stalled out, and the rest of Fuller’s first-year effort was plagued with focus issues and injuries, the skills he flashed make him an enticing prospect this season.
Expected to make his sophomore debut on Sunday vs. the Titans, Fuller is the burner that the Texans desperately need. Defenses will have to account for the second-year man’s 4.3 speed. Something Tennessee CB Adoree Jackson knows all too well, having been torched by Fuller in their college days. Allowing a catch percentage of nearly 62 percent and a passer rating of almost 114 percent, the rookie corner boasts a ton of upside, but is far from scary just yet. Given the matchup, and noting DeShaun Watson’s blossoming effectiveness, Fuller figures to boom in his first outing of the season.
Paul Richardson, WR, Seattle Seahawks ($13)
I’m going back to the well on this one. Headlining my Week 1 edition of this column, I’ve been pounding the table for Richardson since the preseason. He was tied for first in team targets to open the year and has since scored in back-to-back outings. Yet, inexplicably, he’s still available in nearly 80 percent of leagues.
His matchup this Sunday could not be better. Facing a Colts defense that’s allowed nearly 300 receiving yards per game, the most plays over 20 yards, and the ninth-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers, Richardson is the ideal upside flex. Yes, Vontae Davis is expected to be back this week, but he’ll try to erase (a hobbled) Doug Baldwin, leaving Richardson to his thing in the red area of the field. Having racked up four red-zone looks so far this season, another spike is practically guaranteed (which means I just cursed it).
Charles Clay, TE, Buffalo Bills ($15)
Second in team targets only to LeSean McCoy, Clay has been one of this season’s biggest surprises. What’s especially astounding is that nearly a third (five) of the vet’s looks (18) have come in the red area of the field. After scoring in Weeks 1 and 3, Clay is currently fake football’s fifth-most productive player at the position.
He figures to keep things rolling this weekend in Atlanta. While at first glance it appears as though the Falcons have been stingy over the middle, they’ve actually given up over five catches and 50 yards per week to opposing tight ends. Noting that two of Atlanta’s top pass rushers (Vic Beasley and Courtney Upshaw) are likely to sit, and considering how much Tyrod Taylor will have to throw to keep up with Atlanta, Clay figures to receive plenty of opportunities on Sunday. He’s a top-10 play in Week 4.
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Dig Deep with Liz on Twitter @LizLoza_FF.