Week 7: Deep sleepers and DFS bargains

Liz Loza

It’s time for a TGIF edition of Deep Sleepers and DFS Bargains. Last week wasn’t the best. Only Alvin Karama produced, finishing the week as fantasy’s RB22 overall. Let’s try to improve on that this go-around.

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.

[Join the free NFL Yahoo Cup. Over $100K in total prizes with weekly winners]

Carson Wentz, QB, Philadelphia Eagles ($30)
Forget a sophomore slump, Wentz is putting together a sophomore surge. A QB1 in four of his last six outings, the second overall pick has wowed, extending plays and spreading the ball around to his receivers. For the metrics fans in the crowd, Wentz has the third most air yards and third best QBR in the league.

Riding the bench in just under 50 percent of Yahoo leagues, Wentz needs to be started on Monday night. Facing the division rival Redskins – a squad he dropped over 300 passing yards and 2 TDs on in the season opener – at home, Wentz is expected to get RT Lane Johnson back, which should significantly help his protection. Additionally, Wendell Smallwood should play in this one, gifting the second-year QB with yet another offensive weapon. At just $30 in Yahoo DFS, Wentz is unquestionably the best value play at the position in Week 7.

Dion Lewis, RB, New England Patriots ($17)
The Patriots backfield is always hard to predict. But there’s no denying Lewis’ talent and the oomph he provides to New England’s offense. Dude is extra. In fact, Bill Belichick has gushed (as much as BB gushes) about the shifty back, citing his versatility and vision.

[Week 7: Overall | PPR | QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs | FLEX | DST | Ks]

Scoring in two of this last three contests, Lewis’ role has grown. Yes, Rex Burkhead’s absence and Mike Gillislee’s fumblitis contributed to Lewis’ uptick in touches (11 carries in Week 6, his highest of the season), but his matchup against the Falcons is solid. Allowing over 6 catches and 53 receiving yards per contest to opposing RBs, Atlanta’s linebackers are a mismatch for the dizzying Lewis, who currently boasts the third best juke rate in the league. He’s a high upside flex come Sunday night’s Super Bowl rematch.

Marlon Mack, RB, Indianapolis Colts ($15)
I’ve been slow to jump on this bandwagon, but now I’m all aboard. With Robert Turin, who the Colts love to use near the goal line, out for the season (elbow), Mack is bound to see more high-value touches. He’s demonstrated big-play ability and the coaching staff has talked about getting him more involved. With three goal line carries on the season to Frank Gore’s ZERO, Mack is primed for a breakout. He’s facing a Jaguars unit that has allowed the second most yards per game (145.7) and 5 rushing TDs on the season.

Robert Woods, WR, Los Angeles Rams ($15)
Averaging 7 targets per game over the last month, Woods and Jared Goff have developed a solid rapport. Believe it or not, the (other) former Bill is leading the team in catches (22) and yards (322). While Woods’ number of red zone looks (3) pales in comparison to Cooper Kupp’s (8), he has posted at least 5 grabs and 66 yards in three of his last four outings. The ceiling here is capped, but the matchup makes him worth a mention. Yes, London games can be flukey, but CB Justin Bethel has been a consistent disaster in coverage, allowing 6 TDs on the season and an average of over 16 fantasy points per game.

Bennie Fowler, WR, Denver Broncs ($10)
Fowler’s volume spiked after Emmanuel Sanders was carted off the field (ankle) in Week 6. Drawing his highest number of targets on the season (8), the former Spartan was looked-to in the red area of the field three separate times, another season high. Unfortunately, he, like the rest of the Broncos’ squad, disappointed greatly.

But it’s a new week, and with byes in full effect and injuries mounting, some managers are desperate. Fowler is a volume play. Pure and simple. Demaryius Thomas is banged up, and the Broncos will be forced to feed Fowler. That’s about it. I know he scored twice in Week 1, but he’s going to draw tougher coverage (like a lot of Tevor Williams, who’s allowing just 5 yards per target) this go-around. The hope here is that he either gets lucky in the slot or that the amount of opportunities put him in the black.

Bonus Hail Mary Plays

Zay Jones, WR, Buffalo Bills ($10)
I loved Zay heading into April’s draft and actually projected him to Buffalo. But the Bills of then are hardly the Bills of now. And while I do think a lack of surrounding talent has hurt Jones, he’s been straight-up bad. Sadly, the only metric in which he has excelled is in drops (fourth in the league, with 5 on the season).

Still, Tyrod doesn’t have many other options. Charles Clay is out (knee), Jordan Matthews is banged up (thumb), and Deonte Thompson (formerly of the Bears) has been on the team since Tuesday. Most encouraging, however is the matchup, as the Bills host the Buccaneers, a defensive unit that’s given up the most fantasy point to opposing WRs (and 6 TDs!) over the last month. If ever the rookie is going to break out… this is the week.

Nick O’Leary, TE, Buffalo Bills ($10)
Keep an eye on Bills TE2, Nick O’Leary. His snaps rose over 30 percent and his targets jumped to six (from a high of 2 in Week 1) in Week 5 with Clay sidelined. The Bucs have been staunch over the middle of the field, but Leary’s stock is rising. Coming off of a bye, he figures to be more involved. I’m not sure that this his Sunday, but he’s going to hit pay dirt sooner rather than later (hey, Raiders!).

Dig Deep with Liz on Twitter @LizLoza_FF.