7 Deep Fantasy Football Sleepers for Week 2
Bigger is better, don't they say?
Well, sometimes that's not quite the case in fantasy football if you're on the wrong end of a 14- or 16-team league. Overcoming a bad draft or some early injuries can be nearly impossible, but even the most solid teams in your deep leagues will have some holes. And some weeks, even those teams need a deep flier.
As much fun as it is to secure a dominant team in a 10-team league and to be stacked at every position, it's just as fun trying to predict which afterthought receiver will break free for a touchdown or which quarterback will click in the right matchup.
If you're looking for those types of recommendations, then you're in luck.
In case you're wondering, here were my Week 1 suggestions. I'll be recommending plays who are started in fewer than 10% of ESPN leagues, and will always keep an extra eye on players who are very scarcely owned.
Week 1 All-Deep-Sleepers Lineup
Quarterback: Ryan Fitzpatrick (started in 0.4% of ESPN leagues | owned in 2.8%)
I have to foreground this by saying that Jake Locker fits the ownership criteria to be recommended here (as he's owned in just 7.0% of ESPN leagues), but I wrote about his Week 2 sleeper status already. Same with Chad Henne. So, Fitzpatrick is my third choice as a deep sleeper, and I'm not suggesting him for the ceiling.
The Amish Rifle travels to Oakland to play the Raiders, who just allowed Geno Smith to throw for 221 yards and a touchdown. He could have had more if he didn't fumble near the goal line. In Week 1, Fitzpatrick didn't have to do much against Washington, throwing for 206 yards and a touchdown on just 22 attempts.
Fitzpatrick will bring some solid production and won't throw four picks or ruin your week. In fact, he's projected just 0.53 interceptions this week, 30th most in the league. If you're looking for upside, go with Locker. If you want something safe, just rely on Fitzpatrick.
Running back: Ahmad Bradshaw (2.6% | 22.2%)
The Monday night tilt between the Eagles and the Colts has the highest over/under of the entire weekend at 53.5. In a game that high-scoring, even non-starters have potential, but Bradshaw gets a bump because of his potential role in the passing game.
He's projected to catch 2.55 passes and get 4.64 carries, which isn't very many touches, but if the Colts at all find themselves trailing like they did against the Broncos, then Bradshaw will see more playing time. He did catch 5 passes for 70 yards against the Broncos, and got plenty of run when the Colts had to push the pace, which might be something he'll have to do again on Monday night.
Running back: Jeremy Hill (1.8% | 94.0%)
Basically every league has Hill rostered, but almost nobody is planning to start him in Week 2. That's not necessarily a shock because he saw just 10 snaps in the Week 1 game against the Ravens. There are a few reasons, though, to like Hill this week. Cincinnati's offensive coordinator, Hue Jackson, promised Hill more playing time after their Week 1 game. That doesn't in itself mean much, but considering the matchup, it's hard not to notice.
The Bengals face the Falcons, who just surrendered 5.0 yards per carry to the Saints in Week 1. In all, the Saints ran 28 times for 139 yards and 3 touchdowns. The Falcons and the Bengals have an over/under of 48, and the Bengals are favored by 5 points. If this holds, then the Bengals will be working on wearing down the clock, and Hill seems ready for (and promised) more carries.
Big things could be in store for Hill, and while you can't pluck him off the wire in most leagues, you may be able to take him off an owner's hands if the 10-snap day makes him or her jumpy at getting rid of Hill already.
Wide receiver: Rod Streater (0.6% | 4.3%)
I'd recommend Brian Quick like I did last week, but I'll go elsewhere.
In Week 1, Streater led the Raiders in receptions and yards and was second on the team in targets. Streater caught 5 of his 7 targets, including one for a touchdown. Denarius Moore had eight targets but caught just two of them. Streater, on the other hand, accounted for 25.0% of Derek Carr's completions, was targeted on 21.2% of Carr's passes, and tallied 30.6% of his yards.
If this usage continues, Streater will certainly continue to outperform the standards of a player owned in just 4.3% of leagues. The Oakland-Houston game doesn't have much of an over/under (39), but the Texans are favored in Oakland by 3 points. If Carr is throwing, then based on Week 1, he'll be looking Streater's way.
Wide receiver: Andrew Hawkins (0.7% | 9.2%)
Hawkins is best suited for PPR leagues, but if you're really in a bind, he'll do the trick in a standard league. He opened up the season with 8 receptions on 10 targets and racked up 87 yards in the process. Hawkins has only four career touchdowns on 94 receptions, so you won't want to bank on an end zone visit, but like Streater, Hawkins is an underowned guy who is the early candidate to lead his team in receptions, targets, and yards.
The Saints, who are favored by 6.5 in Cleveland, should force the Browns to throw. That's great news for Hawkins, who caught 42.1% of Brian Hoyer's 19 completed passes. He also accounted for 37.8% of Hoyer's yards and was the target of 32.3% of his passes.
Tight end: Jermaine Gresham (0.4% | 1.8%)
Gresham is getting a big boost from the absence of Tyler Eifert in the Bengals-Falcons game, which I discussed while recommending Hill.
Gresham had just two receptions in Week 1, so most people won't really be targeting him even considering the Eifert injury. But Gresham should experience an uptick in targets, and while he may not really emerge as a consistent option, he should provide some stats in a high-scoring game.
Flex: Jared Cook (1.1% | 2.6%)
Both Heath Miller and Cook are about as infrequently owned as Gresham and are projected to outscore him this week, but Gresham just happens to be the deepest sleeper of the trio and is experiencing a noticeable boost in expected production this week.
However, Cook was targeted eight times in Week 1, the second-most targets of Rams receivers (behind only Brian Quick). Cook caught 4 of those passes for 56 yards. Cook's touchdowns have been pretty sparse historically, but it's hard to ignore a tight end with eight-target upside in a given week, especially one with Cook's athletic ability.