7 Deep Fantasy Football Sleepers for Week 15, Presented by Casper
Holes in your fantasy football lineup can be tough to deal with. The often leave you restless and fidgety until your lineups lock. But the right sleepers -- even in deep, 14- and 16-team leagues -- can offer respite.
Check out these seven deep sleepers for Week 15.
Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs (Owned in 25.5% of ESPN Leagues)
Well, the past few weeks have been pretty typical for Alex Smith, as he's posted 9.98, 9.42, 20.44, 15.00, 12.50, and 12.66 fantasy points in his past six games: some "welp," some "nice," and some "Alex Smith" lines. This week, his Kansas City Chiefs host the Tennessee Titans, who are 27th against the pass this year, by our schedule-adjusted Defensive Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) metric. They are also 30th against fantasy quarterbacks this year, according to our DFS tools.
With an implied team total of 24 points and the promising matchup, Smith makes for a fine sleeper in Week 15 with some pass-game weapons stepping up in recent weeks.
Ronnie Hillman, San Diego Chargers (1.1%)
Yes, you might want to prioritize Kenneth Farrow (0.7%), but he's looking to be a prime waiver-wire add this week. We shouldn't overlook Ronnie Hillman completely, though. Once Melvin Gordon exited the San Diego Chargers' Week 14 game after just 8 snaps, Farrow stepped in and played 55 snaps -- 85%.
Hillman has been a healthy scratch since joining the team -- not a great sign for his ability to earn a big workload if Gordon misses time -- but he'll likely get some passing-down snaps if Gordon is ruled out in Week 15. San Diego is a 3-point underdog against the Oakland Raiders, and that could lead to extra work for Hillman. Again, your first option is Farrow, but if you miss out there and Gordon sits, don't rule out Hillman just yet.
Charles Sims, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (12.2%)
In Week 14, Charles Sims saw just 15 snaps for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (23%). That's not what we're banking on, especially when Doug Martin got 67% of the snaps. Sims, though, did see more time than Jacquizz Rodgers (11%). The Buccaneers are 7-point underdogs against the Dallas Cowboys, who are second against fantasy running backs and third against the rush overall, per our metrics.
If they trail, it could be Sims, the receiving back, who gets the boost. There's no guarantee that Rodgers won't out-snap him or that Martin won't dominate the work, but Sims got four carries and four targets last week on just 15 snaps. You could do a lot worse with a low-owned running back in Week 15.
Dontrelle Inman, San Diego Chargers (27.0%)
For three straight weeks, Dontrelle Inman has scored a touchdown, and in four of his past five games, he has at least five catches. That should probably describe someone owned in more than 27% of leagues. We already discussed the Chargers-Raiders game when talking about Hillman and Farrow, but the Raiders deserve some extra attention when we're discussing receivers.
They are 23rd on the year in pass defense, by our metrics, and 19th against fantasy receivers. Inman has played the same number of snaps (53 and 61) as Tyrell Williams has in the past two weeks and leads the Chargers in routes run, per ESPN.com.
Adam Thielen, Minnesota Vikings (19.0%)
Adam Thielen has secured at least 8.8 half-PPR points in six straight games even with only two touchdowns in that stretch. His Minnesota Vikings actually have a useful implied team total of 24.25 points as 4-point favorites over the Indianapolis Colts, who rank 30th on the year in pass defense, per our metrics, and 13th against wide receivers. He'll avoid any weather concerns, too, in an indoor game in Minnesota.
Jermaine Gresham, Arizona Cardinals (12.4%)
Tight end this year has been a mess, so you really have to take what you can get. Jermaine Gresham has five catches in three straight games, and he has managed 7 or more half-PPR points in four straight games. The Arizona Cardinals host the New Orleans Saints, who are really tough against the run, ranking as a top-three rushing defense since Week 7.
They are, however, 28th against the pass this season, by our metrics, and 18th against tight ends. They have a nice 26.25-point implied team total in a game with an over/under of 50. Gresham is a fine play even in shallower leagues in this matchup.
Seth Roberts, Oakland Raiders (1.7%)
We're going back to this Chargers-Raiders game here. Seth Roberts had a terrible game in Week 14, catching 2 of 9 targets for 22 yards. He did, though, play 95% of the team's snaps, more than Michael Crabtree's 84%. Crabtree is dealing with a finger injury, too, and if he happens to be limited in Week 15, Roberts can fill the void.
Roberts has a whopping 18 red zone targets, tied with Crabtree for third-most in the NFL. Amari Cooper has just 11. Roberts' seven targets from inside the 10 are tied for 10th in the NFL, too. The Chargers are tough on receivers, ninth by our metrics, but Oakland could look to Roberts near the goal line with Crabtree's finger issues.