7 Deep Fantasy Football Sleepers for Week 5
It's Week 5.
That means we have an idea which low-owned players actually get some chances in the right circumstances and game scripts, but it also means that injuries and bye weeks are piling up.
So, if you're in a deep league or are playing some large-field tournaments on FanDuel this week, you'll probably need some deep sleepers on your squad.
These seven guys could be in position to play well despite low ownership in ESPN.com leagues.
Derek Anderson, Carolina Panthers (Owned in 3.2% of ESPN Leagues | Started in 0.4% of ESPN Leagues)
If you spent an early-round pick on Cam Newton, don't fret too much. There are a handful of deep sleeper options at quarterback this week. Newton didn't practice on Friday, and his status for Monday night's game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is up in the air. If he can't play, just start Derek Anderson.
Anderson led all quarterbacks in our Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) per drop back metric in his extended time in 2014. The Buccaneers rank 24th against the pass according to our schedule-adjusted metrics through Week 4.
Of course, we might not know who will start for the Carolina Panthers by Sunday's kickoff, so also consider Brian Hoyer against a depleted Indianapolis Colts secondary. Hoyer and the Chicago Bears could be without Eddie Royal in addition to Kevin White, but Hoyer and even Ryan Fitzpatrick should provide useful-enough fantasy points in Week 5 given their matchups.
Jalen Richard, Oakland Raiders (12.4% | 6.2%)
With the uncertain status of Latavius Murray, DeAndre Washington is likely going to be the starter against the San Diego Chargers, but the gap between Washington and Jalen Richard probably isn't as big as it might seem. Of course, you want to start Washington if given the chance, but he is owned in 48.6% of ESPN leagues.
Through Week 4, Richard has out-snapped Washington in three of the Oakland Raiders' four games. You only want to target Richard if Murray is ruled out, but Richard could see a similar workload to Washington. Murray has played between 48% and 62% of the team's snaps so far, so this isn't a one-back system by any means.
Jacquizz Rodgers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2.2% | 0.5%)
Running back isn't a great place to find deep sleepers -- not because second-stringers aren't getting action but because a lot of them are rostered. You are never going to feel great about Jacquizz Rodgers, but Charles Sims missed Tampa Bay's practice on Thursday. If Sims sits, the Bucs will have to choose from Rodgers and Peyton Barber for running back touches. Carolina ranks fifth against the rush, per our metrics, but Rodgers has twice topped 50 catches in his career. He could see plenty of check-down work if the Bucs fall behind and makes for a last-ditch option at running back if you aren't fortunate enough to have any other healthy backs rostered.
Sammie Coates, Pittsburgh Steelers (33.2% | 16.6%)
Sammie Coates underwent a sizable influx in adds this week -- 22.2 percentage points -- but that's still not enough. He and the Pittsburgh Steelers get a home matchup against the New York Jets, who rank 30th against the pass, according to our Adjusted Defensive Passing NEP per play metric. Coates leads the league in catches of 40-plus yards, and he's played on 65%, 47%, 67%, and 56% of Pittsburgh's offensive snaps. That's not great, but he's drawn a target on 13% of his snaps, a rate similar to other deep-threats such as DeSean Jackson and Mike Wallace.
If you can get a piece of this Steelers offense in Week 5 as a deep play, you have to do it. Coates is worth consideration even in shallower formats for receiver-needy squads.
Dontrelle Inman, San Diego Chargers (21.2% | 10.6%)
Dontrelle Inman leads the Chargers' receivers in offensive snap rate (88%) -- compared to Travis Benjamin's 73% and Tyrell Williams' 78% -- but is drawing a target on 9% of his snaps. Benjamin is at 14%, and Williams is at 13%. Still, this week, the Chargers and Raiders are squaring off in a game with the highest over/under of the week (50.5 points).
The Chargers lost shut-down corner Jason Verrett to an ACL tear and could also be without cornerback Brandon Flowers, who missed Week 4, as well. If they find themselves giving up points in bunches, Inman -- who should be on the field -- could make good on those snaps in Week 5. He's the most readily available of the trio of receivers, as well.
Will Tye, New York Giants (2.7% | 1.9%)
Larry Donnell has been ruled out for Week 5 with a concussion, and that should mean a big spike in snaps for Will Tye. His New York Giants are 7-point underdogs -- not something we love from our tight ends -- but the game does have an over/under of 48.0, which helps ease the pain there. The Green Bay Packers rank 27th against tight ends and 25th against starting tight ends, per our DFS tools, too.
Tye played on 78% of the team's snaps in Week 4, and you're not finding a starting tight end at this ownership often -- let alone one on a team that can score points and in such a promising matchup.
Chris Hogan, New England Patriots (32.9% | 9.2%)
Based on his relatively tame ownership rate, you can likely get access to one of Tom Brady's top receivers against the Cleveland Browns. You should do that. The Browns rank 18th in pass defense, per our metrics, and the New England Patriots are double-digit favorites. They should put up points.
Chris Hogan's snap share has climbed each week of the season -- 78%, 79%, 89%, and 93%. He makes for a logical play in this matchup, but keep an eye out for Julian Edelman's status. Edelman was limited in practice on both Thursday and Friday. It could just be precautionary, but if he happens to be limited or ruled out, Hogan's stock will skyrocket.