7 Deep Fantasy Football Sleepers for Week 2
The 2020 NFL season -- like everything about 2020 -- is unique. While turning to the waiver wire or free agent pool for streaming options is a common practice in normal years, the need for deeper options could be even greater this year as the NFL tries to navigate playing through a pandemic.
This is your weekly home for finding deep sleeper options across the board this year with plug-and-play options listed at quarterback, running back, receiver, and tight end. Whether you set out to stream or circumstances have changed for your roster and dictate streaming on the fly, I've got you covered with a full roster's worth of low-rostered options in Yahoo! leagues.
Mitchell Trubisky, QB, Chicago Bears
Yahoo Rostership: 6%
Mitchell Trubisky is a repeat visitor to this space, and he's coming off of a fantasy-friendly showing in Week 1. He passed for 242 yards, 3 touchdowns, took only 1 sack, and added 26 rushing yards on 3 carries. He has another excellent matchup this week against the visiting New York Giants that rank as the sixth-worst pass defense in our power rankings. As the cherry on top, he'll be caching the Giants on a shorter week after they played in the first game of the Monday Night Football doubleheader in Week 1.
The Chicago Bears have a solid-if-unspectacular implied total of 23.75 points this week, according to our Matchup Heat Map. Our projection algorithm is in lockstep with me including Trubisky as a deep sleeper, ranking him as QB13 this week. His projection makes him a fringe starter in 12-team leagues using a single quarterback, and he's a slam-dunk option in super-flex or two-quarterback formats.
Jerick McKinnon, RB, San Francisco 49ers
Yahoo Rostership: 16%
I promise, I'm not simply going to offer the same deep sleeper selections in Week 2 as in Week 1, but Jerick McKinnon is another repeat visitor to this space. After missing two full seasons of action, McKinnon looked electric and touched the ball six times for 44 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown. His 30.65 percent snap percentage in Week 1 bested Tevin Coleman's 9.68 percent snap percentage in Week 1, but it's important to note could be at least partly attributable to Coleman having sick-cell trait and the poor air quality for the San Francisco 49ers' home contest last week. Regardless, McKinnon looked good and commanded a noteworthy five targets in the passing attack.
Head coach Kyle Shanahan is no stranger to mixing and matching backs, and that could leave McKinnon a big enough role to have fantasy value in point-per-reception (PPR) formats in a game in which the game script should be good for San Francisco's rushing attack. The 49ers are seven-point road favorites against a New York Jets team that looked horrendous in Week 1. They were stout against the run last week, but they did yield eight receptions to the Buffalo Bills running backs, including one for a touchdown. Perhaps their ability to stuff the run will encourage Shanahan to use his backs as pass catchers a bit more as opposed to taking the tougher route to moving the football. It's a speculative angle, but it certainly doesn't hurt McKinnon's cause for deep sleeper usage.
Jamaal Williams, RB, Green Bay Packers
Yahoo Rostership: 6%
The pickings are slim for a second deep sleeper at running back, and that results in my tepid inclusion of Jamaal Williams. Head coach Matt LaFleur and the Green Bay Packers continue to be committed to using multiple backs and not simply leaning on their unquestioned top back, Aaron Jones. Jones played only 53.85 percent of the team's snaps last week while Williams was on the field 39.74 percent of the time.
Jones easily led the backfield in carries with 16 to Williams' seen, but the duo were tied with four receptions -- albeit with Jones garnering six targets to Williams' four. Williams' 11 touches and 42 yards from scrimmage last week isn't terribly exciting, but double-digit touches are a noteworthy threshold to hit for a back available in 94 percent of Yahoo! leagues. Further, his usage in the passing attack adds to his fantasy appeal, namely in PPR formats.
The Packers have a big implied total of 27.25 points and are six-point favorites in a plus matchup against a Detroit Lions run defense that ranks as the seventh-worst in our power rankings. That's a good combination for Williams' Week 2 outlook, and he sneaks into the top-50 running backs in our PPR projections as RB48.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling, WR, Green Bay Packers
Yahoo Rostership: 30%
Marquez Valdes-Scantling offers another piece of exposure to Green Bay's tasty implied total this week. The Lions rank in the middle of the pack in pass defense in our power rankings after Week 1, but Aaron Rodgers and the Packers' passing attack were humming like a well-oiled machine in Week 1 and check-in second in our power rankings. Davante Adams stole the show with 17 targets, 14 receptions, 156 receiving yards, and 2 touchdown receptions, but MVS wasn't a slouch with 4 receptions on 6 targets for 96 receiving yards and 1 touchdown grab.
MVS was used as a field-stretching weapon in Week 1. His average depth of target of 20.5 yards downfield was eighth-deepest and he ranked 11th with 123 intended air yards, according to Sports Info Solutions. Our projection model projects Valdes-Scantling to finish as WR62 this week, but I'm a bit more bullish and think he'll finish as a top-55 receiver. The field-stretching receiver's usage makes him even more appealing in standard formats than PPR formats.
Breshad Perriman, WR, New York Jets
Yahoo Rostership: 15%
Breshad Perriman had a forgettable debut in an ugly loss for the Jets, but frequently seeing one of the game's top cornerbacks, Tre'Davious White, in coverage makes for a tough first assignment with his new team. On the plus side, he played 100 percent of the Jets' offensive snaps last week, and PlayerProfiler credits him with 100 percent route participation. Being on the field is a starting point, and Perriman's game-changing speed opens the door for a big play on any given play.
Interestingly, the vaunted defense of the defending NFC champion San Francisco 49ers yielded the seventh-most receiving yards (206) to receivers last week on 21 receptions and 28 targets, per Pro-Football-Reference. The sledding could be even easier for receivers facing the 49ers over the next few weeks, too, with Richard Sherman hitting injured reserve. Perriman ranks inside the top-50 receivers as WR49 in PPR formats in our projections, putting him firmly in flex or streamer WR3 discussion.
Logan Thomas, TE, Washington Football Team
Yahoo Rostership: 13%
I'm piggybacking colleague Brandon Gdula's tight end sleeper pick, Logan Thomas. Gdula noted the potential for an up-tempo pace this week as part of his rationale for touting Thomas, and you should read his full write-up in the linked piece. I'll add that Thomas commanded a whopping 25.8 percent target share of the Washington Football Team targets last week. Additionally, he'll take aim at an Arizona Cardinals defense that was, far and away, the most giving to tight ends in 2019, as you can see here.
Laviska Shenault Jr., WR, Jacksonville Jaguars
Yahoo Rostership: 15%
Laviska Shenault wasted no time showcasing his versatility.
Fun to watch how the @Jaguars utilized Laviska Shenault Jr. on NFL Game Pass this morning.
He lined up all over the formation and was constantly lined up in different spots to get the ball in his hands. Even lined up in the Wildcat like he did frequently at Colorado. pic.twitter.com/Y0BAbGV25G
— Kyle Yates (@KyleYNFL) September 14, 2020
In the season opener, he reeled in 3 of 4 targets for 37 receiving yards and 1 touchdown while adding 2 rushes -- including the Wildcat carry in the tweet above -- for 10 rushing yards. The Jacksonville Jaguars don't have many playmakers on their offense, and that should continue to open the door to creative usage for Shenault. The matchup isn't great, but he'll catch the Tennessee Titans on an extra short week with them playing in the second game of the Monday Night Football doubleheader in Week 1, so that's a plus.
Joshua Shepardson is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Joshua Shepardson also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username bchad50. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his/her personal views, he/she may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his/her personal account. The views expressed in his/her articles are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.