It’s time for a weekend edition of Deep Sleepers and DFS Bargains. The injury imp ran rampant in Week 5, knocking two of my five picks (Corey Grant and Paul Richardson) out before either of their respective contests ended. Of the three remaining players, Keke Coutee made the biggest impact. Catching six of seven balls for 51 yards and a score the Texans’ rookie WR finished the week inside the top-twenty fantasy producers at the position. The options heading into Week 6 are less than bountiful, but hopefully we can, at least, stay healthy.
To review… all of these players are owned in less than sixty 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.
Chester Rogers, WR, Indianapolis Colts ($12)
Manning the slot in the stead of T.Y. Hilton (chest, hamstring), Rogers has converted 8 of 11 looks in back-to-back outings. He was second in team targets in both of those games, and appears to have earned Andrew Luck’s trust. With Hilton expected to sit another week, Rogers’ volume should hold steady.
He’ll face a Jets secondary that figures to be without Buster Skrine (concussion) and Trumaine Johnson (quad). Rookie Parry Nickerson – who has allowed 15 of 18 targets for a total of 218 yards over his last two efforts – is likely to fill in for Skrine. Rogers could easily flirt with double-digit catches in Week 6, which gives him top-thirty-five appeal in PPR friendly formats.
Mohamed Sanu, WR, Atlanta Falcons ($18)
While Calvin Ridley has basked in the glow of fantasy stardom, Sanu has quietly put up solid FF numbers. Managing either a score or 100 yards in each contest since Week 3, the seven-year vet has proven that he’s still the team’s No. 2 wideout. Over his last three efforts, Sanu has averaged 57 snaps (90 percent), 33 routes, and 7.6 targets per game. In comparison, Ridley has averaged just 43 snaps (67 percent), 25 routes, and 6.3 targets per game.
Admittedly, Ridley’s red zone opportunities have outnumbered Sanu’s, but this week’s matchup figures to be so high-flying that you’ll want to start all of your Falcons. Facing the Bucs’ thirty-second ranked receiving defense – a unit that has allowed 10 TDs to opposing WRs (in FOUR games) – there should be plenty of points to go around. In fact, the over/under for this matchup is currently set at 57 points. Started in just a quarter of Yahoo leagues, Sanu enters Week 6 as a high-floor play with top-thirty potential.
Bilal Powell, RB, New York Jets ($14)
Isaiah Crowell rumbled his way to 219 rushing yards (and a score) on 15 totes in Week 5, breaking the Jets’ franchise record and earning himself AFC Offensive Player of the Week honors. He must have also jammed his ankle in the process, because the former Brown has been sidelined for much of the week and is a game-time decision for this Sunday.
Were Crowell to sit, Powell would receive a massive boost in volume. While the Crow and Billy P have mostly shared New York’s backfield equally, Powell has logged more snaps (53.8 percent) and targets (3.2 per game). Facing a below-average Colts defense, Powell is in a good spot. His ability in the passing game, in tandem with the fact that Indy has allowed the fourth most receptions to opposing RBs, places Brad Evans’ perennial man crush squarely on the RB2/RB3 bubble heading into Week 6.
Ronald Jones, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($14)
I AM HERE FOR IT! For months I’ve been jawing about Jones’ upside. Yes, he was horrible during the preseason, but Peyton Barber has never been the answer in Tampa Bay. It was just a matter of time until RoJo worked his way up the team’s depth chart. The ascent officially began in Week 4 when the rookie out-touched his veteran teammate (whose snaps and touches have steadily decreased on a weekly basis). No, he wasn’t particularly efficient (2.9 YPC), but he was facing the Bears’ stout run defense (fewest fantasy points allowed to RBs) in a negative game script.
Coming out of a bye, which the Bucs have assumedly used to reboot, Jones figures to be in an equal time share with Barber… at the very least. Facing a Falcons defense that’s allowing 4.9 rushing yards per game and the fourth most fantasy points to opposing running backs, the rookie RB is a high-ceiling flex. He’s also one of the few running backs with workhorse potential that’s still widely available, as he’s owned in just 30 percent of Yahoo leagues.
Nick Vannett, TE, Seattle Seahawks ($10)
For the first three weeks of the season, Will Dissly provided a rare bright spot at the tight end position. Now on IR after tearing his patella tendon early in Week 4’s contest at Arizona, fantasy owners are left to – once again – stream and scream. With Ed Dickson expected out until Week 8, Vannett is the team’s starting tight end.
While his targets have been far from voluminous, he has been on the field for close to 85 percent of Seattle’s snaps in back-to-back weeks. He’s also a solid pass-catcher who was deployed outside and in the slot while at Ohio State, managing an impressive five scores during his junior year. Given his massive size (6-foot-6 and 261 pounds) and above average athleticism, Vannett is a big target with red zone appeal… which is something Russell Wilson could certainly use. Facing a porous Oakland defense that’s allowed a score to the position for two straight weeks, Vannett is a best worst case scenario play for desperate managers.
Dig Deep with Liz on Twitter @LizLoza_FF.