It’s time for a TGIF edition of Deep Sleepers and DFS Bargains. Last week a solid bounce back, as two of my picks paid off. Geronimo Allison closed out Week 3 as fantasy’s WR21 and the Colts’ defense proved to be an under-the-radar unit, finishing the week as FF’s seventh-most productive DST. Let’s see if we can do even better in Week 4.
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.
Ryan Tannehill, QB, Miami Dolphins (Yahoo DFS price $26)
A top-15 QB in Week 2 and a top-seven play in Week 3, Tannehill is currently the 13th-most productive fantasy player at the position. While he’s attempted the fewest passes in the NFL, a matchup at New England figures to boost that stat. In fact, the over/under on the Phins’ tilt against the Pats is set at 48 points.
With a passer rating of 121.8 and completing the fourth-most passes over 40 yards, Tannehill has been getting the job done. Shockingly, he’s averaging 4.8 air yards per attempt (QB6) and has led his team to victory in 10 of his last 11 starts. The return of Trey Flowers and Patrick Chung don’t help his cause, but with Eric Rowe (groin) likely to sit for the second straight week, the Tannehill and Stills connection figures to be strong.
Kyle Juszczyk, RB, San Francisco 49ers ($10)
Yes, he did score in Week 3. No, I’m not chasing TDs. Juszczyk (technically a fullback) has been out-targeting RB Matt Breida in San Francisco’s passing game. Interestingly, he’s third in team targets behind George Kittle and Pierre Garcon.
This shouldn’t be much of a surprise considering that in 2017, the former Raven closed out his first year under Kyle Shanahan with 42 looks (RB30) and 315 receiving yards (RB20). Let’s also not forget that Carlos Hyde averaged five catches per week with C.J. Beathard under center last year. If Breida (knee) can’t go, then Juszczyk figures to see a lot of work via the air. That could prove to be advantageous, as the Chargers have allowed the ninth-most receiving yards (and two TDs) to opposing RBs.
Taylor Gabriel, WR, Chicago Bears ($11)
Yeah, I’m bringing this one back. Last week I noted Gabriel’s growing role in the Bears offense. While the result didn’t go my way, I nailed the process … and I’m doubling down this Sunday. Targeted 10 times in Week 3, Gabriel hauled in six balls. With Anthony Miller (shoulder) out, Gabriel’s volume figures to increase. Additionally, he’ll be facing a Tampa Bay defense that’s given up the most receptions (23) and third-most receiving yards to opposing wideouts. Yeah, Brent Grimes is back, but that’s Allen Robinson’s problem. Get ready for Turbo Time.
Taywan Taylor, WR, Tennessee Titans ($10)
Scott Pianowski always says “every player has his warts.” And he’s right. BUT … all of Taylor’s blemishes have to do with his usage. A shifty slot receiver whose stutter-step can induce a seizure, Taylor is an explosive talent with massive after-the-catch ability. With Rishard Matthews released and Delanie Walker (ankle) on IR, the second-year player’s opportunities should blossom.
In fact, his snaps, routes run and targets have all increased dramatically since the start of the season. He’s also been hyper-efficient, catching four of five balls in Week 3 and converting 70 percent of his looks so far this year. Facing an Eagles defense that’s better up front than in the secondary (Sidney Jones gave up 5 of 5 in Week 2 at Tampa Bay), Taylor could produce flex-worthy numbers for PPR enthusiasts in deeper leagues.
Mark Andrews, TE, Baltimore Ravens ($14)
My pal Rusty Reeves shared his theory about a particular tight end in Baltimore on this week’s X’s & Y’s Podcast. While I think Rusty might be on to something from a dynasty perspective, the TE position remains a wasteland RIGHT NOW. Waiting for Hayden Hurst (foot) to heal up may not be an option, but starting a TE in an offense that leans on the position could work out for a week.
Joe Flacco has targeted his men in the middle 29 times over three weeks. That’s the third-most TE looks behind Philly and Indy. Nick Boyle’s presence puts an obvious cap on Andrews’ appeal, but the rookie out of Oklahoma has been the superior pass catcher, converting 8 of 11 looks for 107 yards and a score. On Sunday night, he’ll square off against a Steelers defense that gifted Cameron Brate with his first score of the season (and has allowed three TDs over three weeks).
Dig Deep with Liz on Twitter @LizLoza_FF.