Week 8 fantasy deep sleepers and DFS bargains: Five discounted options with upside

Is Bears’ rookie receiver Anthony Miller on the verge of becoming a fantasy star? Yahoo Fanalyst Liz Loza likes his chances of breaking out in Week 8.
Is Bears’ rookie receiver Anthony Miller on the verge of becoming a fantasy star? Yahoo Fanalyst Liz Loza likes his chances of breaking out in Week 8.

It’s time for a weekend edition of Deep Sleepers and DFS Bargains. Last week two of my picks panned out. Marlon Mack galloped his way to 159 total yards and two TDs (RB2). Additionally, C.J. Uzomah was the lone recipient of Andy Dalton’s singular passing score (TE11). Let’s see if we can keep the good mojo going in Week 8.

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.

Raheem Mostert, RB, San Francisco 49ers ($13)
Prior to injuring his ankle in Week 5, Breida out-played and out-produced Alfred Morris, earning starter status. Over the past two weeks, however, he’s been gutting it out and fighting to stay on the field. His only practice time heading into Week 8 was a limited session on Friday. He’s questionable to start on Sunday, but even if he does play he’s likely to be ineffective or, worse, suffer another setback.

In his stead, Mostert has flashed. Undrafted out of Purdue, the 26-year-old is an explosive talent with 4.34 speed. While not the most powerful back in the business, he shines in space and in the passing game (he’s converted 100 percent of his looks so far in 2018). A solid fit for Kyle Shanahan’s scheme, Mostert has a mouth-watering matchup this weekend at Arizona, as the Cardinals are giving up the most fantasy points to opposing running backs. Even if Breida makes his way on to the field, Mostert remains a flex worthy play, especially in PPR friendly formats.

Tre’Quan Smith, WR, New Orleans Saints ($14)
After flashing in the preseason, Smith has established himself as the Saints’ No. 2 WR. Ted Ginn’s knee injury accelerated the rookie’s ascent, as the third-round pick has started ahead of Cam Meredith and been on the field for over 70 percent of the team’s snaps in back-to-back efforts. Despite posting a far-from-gaudy stat line in Week 7 (3-44-0), Smith did battle Ravens top-ranked CB Brandon Carr while also garnering his highest target total (6) of the season.

Matching up against the Vikings at home, this game has ping-pong appeal. In fact, Vegas has set the over/under at 52 points, which makes sense since both passing offenses are ranked within the league’s top-eight. This assumed back-and-forth bodes well for Smith’s opportunities, especially considering Minnesota’s ace CB Xavier Rhodes is questionable with an ankle injury. With four teams on bye, Smith is a high-upside flex play, still available in nearly 75 percent of Yahoo leagues.

Anthony Miller, WR, Chicago Bears ($14)
Anthony Miller is a player on the rise. He may not be a fantasy star yet, but his game is growing nearly as fast as his opportunities and profile. Drawing over a quarter of the Bears’ end zone targets (26.7%), Miller barely missed securing numerous long plays in Week 7. None of them were his fault, as pointed out by his QB and HC.

A physical player who has a knack for finding separation, Miller’s snap share has steadily increased over the season, reaching a high of 68 percent in Week 7. Last Sunday the rookie slot-man additionally garnered his highest target total of the season (7), behind only Tarik Cohen and Trey Burton. With Allen Robinson battling a groin injury, Miller figures to, once again, see an expanded role. He’ll face off against the Jets’ Buster Skrine, who, previous to missing the last two weeks due to a concussion, had given up 21 of 34 targets (62%) to wideouts in his coverage.

Seth Roberts, WR, Oakland Raiders ($10)
As I mentioned on the mid-week episode of the Yahoo Sports Fantasy Podcast (with Dalton Del Don), Roberts could be a sneaky play with Amari Cooper now in Dallas. He may not have Jordy Nelson’s name recognition or Martavis Bryant’s upside, but he does have a nose for the end zone.

In Week 6 – after Cooper was knocked out of the game – Roberts’ snaps jumped 20 percent (from 53 to 73 percent). In that same contest, the West Alabama product also emerged as Derek Carr’s favorite target, drawing six looks just behind Jalen Richard’s eight. Demonstrating solid chemistry with Carr and on the field more frequently than Bryant, Roberts could surprise this Sunday vs. Indianapolis. He’s likely to see a lot of Colts’ CB Kenny Moore, who is giving up the sixteenth most fantasy points per game (7.5).

Chris Herndon, TE, New York Jets ($10)
Greenhorn signal callers often rely on a big body over the middle of the field to keep them afloat. At the start of the Jets’ season, Quincy Enunwa appeared to fill that role for Sam Darnold, drawing 9.25 targets per game throughout the first month of the season. Injuries, however, have kept Enunwa off the field and forced the rookie QB to search for security elsewhere. Enter Herndon.

The Miami product has scored in back-to-back contests and is coming off of a seven-target effort, in which he was second in team looks behind Robby Anderson. With Enunwa (ankle) out, Terrelle Pryor (groin) released, Bilal Powell (neck) on IR, and Anderson (ankle) hobbled, the Jets receiving corps is a mess. Facing a Bears defense that consistently stops the run and brings pressure, Darnold will be forced the put the air in the ball, and do it quickly.

Noting his growing rapport with the rookie tight end and his lack of familiarity with the newly-signed Rishard Matthews, Herndon seems the most likely member of Gang Green to produce. Additionally, Chicago has allowed scores to the TE position in four of their last six games (and, lest we forget, Rob Gronkowski didn’t play in Week 7). Available in over 90 percent of Yahoo leagues, Herndon is a decent dart throw at an ultra-thin position.

Dig Deep with Liz on Twitter @LizLoza_FF.

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