7 Deep Fantasy Football Sleepers for Week 16, 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 16.
Robert Griffin III, Cleveland Browns (Owned in 3.8% of ESPN Leagues)
Low-owned quarterbacks are best served with a side of shrug emoji this week, but Robert Griffin III makes some sense at least. The Cleveland Browns have a gross implied total of just 18.75 points, but the matchup against the San Diego Chargers is better than it might appear. Based on our Net Expected Points (NEP) metric, the Chargers boast the 8th-best pass defense in football, but they are 24th by that measure since Week 8.
That means you're getting Griffin, who has ran for 37, 31, and 48 yards in his three starts, against a bottom-third pass defense. The rushing production is pretty much an extra passing touchdown for free each week. If you're really pressed at quarterback, you could probably do worse than Griffin's floor.
Justin Forsett, Denver Broncos (19.3%)
In Week 15, Justin Forsett played 55% of the Denver Broncos' snaps in a game that was close for the first half. Devontae Booker played 45% of the snaps. Perhaps even more telling is that Forsett played 42% of snaps in Week 14 to Booker's 43%. Forsett was brought in the Monday before that game because of his familiarity with Gary Kubiak's system. He's likely going to continue his snap rate or build on it this week against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Yes, Denver is a 4-point underdog in a game with a miserable 38-point over/under (so, their implied total is just 17 points), but there aren't many backs out there who can flirt with 60% of a team's workload at this point in the year.
Charles Sims, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (13.4%)
Charles Sims has had a pitiful usage rate since returning from injury in Week 14. He's played 23 and 22% of snaps in those two games, compared to Doug Martin's 67% and 78%. However, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers play the New Orleans Saints this week in a game with a total of 52.5 points.
There are plenty of reasons to assume the Bucs won't be able to run at will in this game.
Since Week 8, the Saints rank 7th against the run but just 28th against the pass. Plus, the Bucs are three-point road underdogs, so they -- again -- might not be in a position to run the ball in the second half at will. And, sure, the spread is small, but our algorithm sees the Saints winning this game 70% of the time.
Sims makes for a solid play in PPR formats despite being off the radar in recent weeks.
Tyler Lockett, Seattle Seahawks (24.3%)
Tyler Lockett has a pretty healthy ownership rate, but owners were understandably afraid to start him, as only 4.6% of ESPN users took advantage of his 7-catch, 130-yard, 1-touchdown game in Week 15. The matchup against the Arizona Cardinals might look tough, but we all know they were torched by the Saints last week. As a team, the Cardinals rank just 22nd against the pass since Week 8, by our metrics.
Lockett, drawing the start in two-receiver sets, played 62% of the team's snaps in Week 15, pretty much in line with his usual rate (and Doug Baldwin played just 71% because of the blowout over the Los Angeles Rams). If you need a big game from a receiver, Lockett with a 25.75-point implied total is certainly someone you can't leave on your bench and worry about his snap rate any longer.
Marqise Lee, Jacksonville Jaguars (11.9%)
In Week 15, Marqise Lee played 94% of the Jacksonville Jaguars' snaps. In the three weeks prior, he played 73%, 95%, and 75%. He didn't grab any of his three targets but did return a kickoff for a touchdown.
The target rate is stressful, but the snap rate is really nice. So is the matchup. In Week 16, the Jags face the Tennessee Titans, who are the worst team against fantasy receivers this season. They're 23rd against the pass by our metrics since Week 8, too. Jacksonville is a 4.5-point underdog and carries a 19.75-point implied total. There are a lot of reasons to worry, but there are just as many to love for Lee in Week 16.
Charles Clay, Buffalo Bills (9.7%)
Finally. Tyrod Taylor must have remembered that Charles Clay plays for the Buffalo Bills. In his past four games, Clay has seen 7, 4, 6, and 7 targets. He's turned those 24 targets into 17 catches and 164 yards with 2 touchdowns, one each in the past two games.
That culminates into a target market share of 25.00%, tied with Delanie Walker for second-highest among all tight ends in their past three games. Clay (21.71%) is top seven in his past five games, too. The Miami Dolphins, his former team, are just 20th against fantasy tight ends, and you won't find such good recent performance and usage from a tight end available in more than 90% of leagues often.
Robby Anderson, New York Jets (5.9%)
The New York Jets are 16.5-point underdogs this week against the New England Patriots. No, not 6.5, 16.5. The over/under is just 43.5 points, meaning the Jets own an implied total of 13.5 points. Eek. But Robby Anderson's snap rate, remains high: 93%, 76%, 81%, 77%, 88%, 95% -- you get the picture.
The Pats are 18th against the pass since Week 8, and while he'll have trouble finding the end zone, Anderson possesses a 24.79% target market share in his past three games -- a top-20 rate among receivers -- and this is a game where his team should be forced to throw from the get-go.