7 Deep Fantasy Football Sleepers for Week 10
Regardless of the motivation for turning to the waiver wire/free agent pool, this is the place to find streaming options -- even for gamers in leagues as large as 14- or 16-team formats. Every week in this space, you'll find a quarterback, two running backs, two wide receivers, a tight end, and a flex who are low-owned options in Yahoo! leagues and offer plug-and-play appeal.
Daniel Jones, QB, New York Giants
Yahoo Ownership: 30%
Daniel Jones has been a turnover machine with eight interceptions and two fumbles lost in eight games played. Of course, that doesn't disqualify him from being fantasy relevant, just look at the likes of Jameis Winston and Ryan Fitzpatrick as examples of guys who can help fantasy teams even while making real-life blunders. The Giants aren't babying their rookie quarterback, and that's a plus for his fantasy potential.
Jones has attempted more than 40 passes in back-to-back games, he's tossed 35 passes or more in five of seven starts, and he's attempted at least 31 passes in all of his starts. Additionally, he's thrown a touchdown pass in each of his starts. He's no slouch with his legs, either, rushing for more than 25 yards in four of seven starts.
Jones has a soft matchup this week. The Jets are ranked as our seventh-worst pass defense this year. The rookie signal-caller shouldn't face much pressure, as Pro-Football-Reference has the Jets tied for the eighth-lowest pressure percentage (defined by Pro-Football-Reference as the sum of hurries, knockdowns, and sacks divided by dropbacks). The New York Giants have a rock-solid implied total of 23.0 points, and our algorithm projects Jones to finish as QB9 in scoring this week.
J.D. McKissic, RB, Detroit Lions
Yahoo Ownership: 15%
Last week, I touted Tra Carson as a streamer while bellyaching about how weak the streaming options were. Shortly after last week's piece was published, Carson was placed on Injured Reserve. Yikes. Well, on the plus side from a fantasy perspective, it removed one person from the running back by committee deployed by the Detroit Lions.
Three running backs touched the ball for the Lions last week, led by Ty Johnson with nine carries and three receptions. He didn't do much with his work, totaling only 36 yards from scrimmage. J.D. McKissic was the most productive back in Detroit's pass-heavy approach, turning 4 carries into 32 rushing yards and hauling in 3 of 4 targets for 40 receiving yards and 1 touchdown reception. McKissic's receiving prowess fits well with Matthew Stafford's resurgent play slinging the ball all over the field, and it's a better fit for this week's matchup in Chicago against the Bears.
We rank the Bears as the sixth-best run defense. Chicago's held backs to a paltry 3.71 yards per carry, per Pro-Football-Reference. They are giving to backs through the air, though. The Bears have yielded the fourth-most receptions (54) and eighth-most receiving yards (405) to running backs this season. Our rankings project McKissic to finish as RB38 in point-per-reception (PPR) formats, and I'm more bullish on his outlook.
Gus Edwards, RB, Baltimore Ravens
Yahoo Ownership: 6%
The Baltimore Ravens are the third-biggest favorites this week, favored by 9.5 points against the winless Cincinnati Bengals. In Week 6, the Ravens beat the Bengals by only six points, and that illustrates the risk of banking on Gus Edwards for garbage time usage in a blowout. In that game, Edwards played 42 percent of the team's offensive snaps, but he carried the ball only six times for 34 rushing yards while adding a goose egg through the air.
The NFL is always changing, though, and the Bengals are using a rookie quarterback, Ryan Finley, in his first NFL start this week. Furthermore, Baltimore's defense is settling into a groove after struggling early. They're healthier as a unit, and the addition of corner Marcus Peters has paid off, too. The game script and score margin are of the utmost importance to Edwards' streaming value this week.
Edwards has carried the ball only 14 times when the Ravens have trailed this year. He's logged 30 of his 59 rushes this year when Baltimore's led by seven points or more. Comparatively, Mark Ingram has carried the ball 41 times when the Ravens have been ahead by seven points or more.
I'm a believer in the Ravens blowing out their division foe, setting up Edwards with a chance to push double-digit carries against a Bengals defense that's allowed the sixth-most rushing yards (986) at a hearty 4.86 yards per carry. Cincinnati's also tied for the fifth-most rushing touchdowns (eight) allowed to backs. Edwards reached the end zone for the first time this year last week to help push Baltimore's lead from 10 points to 16 points against the visiting Patriots, so Cincinnati's proclivity for yielding rushing touchdowns to backs awards Edwards another path rewarding streamers if he snakes a goal-line score (his touchdown run was 12 yards) from Ingram. The floor's low for streaming Edwards, and his ceiling isn't sexy, but that's the state of streaming running backs.
Cole Beasley, WR, Buffalo Bills
Yahoo Ownership: 30%
Cole Beasley is a key cog in the passing attack for the Buffalo Bills. He's second on the team in targets (55), receptions (35) and receiving yards (337). Beasley leads the team with 3 touchdown receptions (all scored in the red zone), 4 receptions in the red zone, and is tied for the team lead with 4 targets in the red zone. Beasley's touchdowns have come as part of a three-game streak for scoring over the last three weeks.
The touchdowns have salvaged Beasley's value of late, as he's fallen short of 20 receiving yards in two of the last three games. In Week 5, he caught all three of his targets for only 21 receiving yards. Week 5 represents Beasley's floor, but his usage in the red zone of late alleviates some of the concerns about his dip in targets, receptions, and receiving yards over the last four games. Of note for gamers in PPR leagues, Beasley's caught multiple passes in every game this year and hauled in three or more passes in seven of eight contests. He's not the most exciting streamer, but he's a defensible one who we project to finish as WR45 in PPR formats in Week 10.
Darius Slayton, WR, New York Giants
Yahoo Ownership: 8%
Rookie receiver Darius Slayton is the anti-Beasley. Buffalo's slot wideout's average depth of target of 6.8 yards is tied for the 24th shortest among receivers and tight ends who've been targeted a minimum of 20 times this year, according to Sports Info Solutions. Slayton, on the other hand, ranks tied with Kenny Golladay for the deepest average depth of target among the same group of tight ends and receivers at 16.4 yards.
Slayton's a speedster with some interesting measurables, as you can see on his PlayerProfiler page. He's averaging a robust 16.1 yards per reception, but he's not a high-volume option with only one game with more than five targets and just three games of three or more catches in seven games played. His usage makes him a volatile option, but his matchup is right for rolling the dice on his field-stretching skill-set.
This year, the Jets have faced 49 long passes (which we define as 16-plus yard passed) and ceded 22 completions for 586 receiving yards, 3 touchdowns, and have intercepted only 1 of those long balls. Moving beyond just deep passes, as I noted above in Jones' write-up, we rank the Jets as the seventh-worst pass defense this year. Gamers in need of streaming help at receiver or flex can embrace some volatility with Big Blue's deep threat. Also, if you're in a tough matchup where you'll need some big performances to topple a loaded opponent's lineup, stacking Jones and Slayton together is a viable strategy to boost your team's scoring ceiling with the potential for the ol' double-dip on a touchdown pass from your fantasy quarterback to one of your fantasy receivers.
Mike Gesicki, TE, Miami Dolphins
Yahoo Ownership: 18%
Michael Gesicki was one of the options I suggested in the 3 Fantasy Football Tight End Streaming Options for Week 10 piece I penned earlier in the week. He remains rostered on under 20 percent of Yahoo! teams, though, that rate is up significantly from four percent when I discussed him previously. We project him for a top-10 finish at tight end in PPR formats this week as TE10. Check out the link to my previous touting of the second-year pro to read more about why I advise streaming him this week.
Ted Ginn Jr., WR, New Orleans Saints
Yahoo Ownership: 8%
Ted Ginn Jr. is my favorite streaming option this week among those highlighted in this piece. The New Orleans Saints have the highest implied total of the week at 32.0 points. They should have little trouble shredding an Atlanta Falcons defense we rank as the second-worst pass defense.
Drew Brees returned from injury prior to the team's Week 9 bye, and he carved up the Cardinals for 373 passing yards, 3 touchdowns, and 1 interception on 43 pass attempts at home. Brees has a storied track record of performing markedly better in New Orleans than on the road. With that in mind, Ginn has played at a solid level in 12 home games with Brees since joining the Saints before the 2017 season.
In those 12 home games with Brees quarterbacking for the Saints, Ginn has been targeted 64 times and compiled 48 receptions, 747 receiving yards, and 4 touchdown receptions. Those totals break down to per-game averages of 5.33 targets, 4.0 receptions, and 62.25 receiving yards. In the team's home opener with Brees starting this year, Ginn successfully corralled all seven of his targets for 101 receiving yards.
Interestingly, Ginn's usage as a vertical threat hasn't resulted in big spike weeks and duds during that 12-game stretch. He's caught three or more passes in nine of those games and amassed at least 55 receiving yards in nine, too. The consistency's a welcome sight, but a big week is possible even on low volume behind Michael Thomas and a likely returning Alvin Kamara in the pecking order for targets and touches. We project Ginn to finish as WR57 in PPR formats this week, but I'm far more bullish on his outlook and think Ginn exploits his Charmin-soft matchup for a top-35 finish at the position.