7 Deep Fantasy Football Sleepers for Week 3
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: 8%
For the third week in a row, Mitchell Trubisky is my top deep sleeper at quarterback. He wasn't a world-beater last week, failing to even eclipse 200 passing yards with only 190. He also threw a pair of interceptions. However, he passed for multiple touchdowns for the second week in a row and added another 16 rushing yards, bringing his season total on the ground to 42 rushing yards on 7 attempts.
Our algorithm isn't crazy about Trubisky this week, ranking him as just QB24, but I'm enamored with a couple of factors working in Trubisky's favor. First, the Chicago Bears have a respectable but unexciting implied total of 22.25 points, per out Matchup Heat Map. Second, Trubisky has a drool-inducing matchup with an Atlanta Falcons defense we rank dead last in pass defense in our power rankings. Trubisky's basically a matchup-driven suggestion for gamers in need of quarterback help this week.
Myles Gaskin, RB, Miami Dolphins
Yahoo Rostership: 29%
Entering the season, I didn't expect Myles Gaskin to have any role in the backfield for the Miami Dolphins. Through two games, he's the top dog in a committee backfield in which he's played 64.73 percent of the snaps, as you can see in our snap count section.
He hasn't been used heavily as a runner, failing to reach double-digit carries in either game. However, he's averaging a robust 5.4 yards per carry en route to 86 rushing yards on 16 carries. Where he's really shined from a fantasy perspective is as a pass-catching option, hauling in 10-of -1 targets for 62 receiving yards. His receiving-back usage reduces the risk of game script hurting his usage. It's possible if the Dolphins end up protecting a lead, Jordan Howard could be leaned on more heavily, but Gaskin's solid rushing numbers thus far make that total speculation and reduce the risk of that being the case.
Getting back to Gaskin's pass-catching prowess, it should be especially helpful this week against the Jacksonville Jaguars in their Thursday Night Football showdown. The Jaguars have yielded the third-most receptions (17) and fourth-most receiving yards (142) to running backs thus far, according to Pro-Football-Reference.
The numberFire projection model projects Gaskin to finish as RB29 in point-per-reception (PPR) formats, making him a fringe RB2 or flex. I'm in agreement with that general tier of ranking.
Jeff Wilson Jr., RB, San Francisco 49ers
Yahoo Rostership: 5%
Running backs for the San Francisco 49ers dropped like flies last week with Raheem Mostert and Tevin Coleman getting banged up. Jerick McKinnon is my favorite of San Francisco's healthy backs, but Jeff Wilson should have a role. Last year, Wilson was quite effective when used near the end zone. He had six carries from five yards or closer to scoring and punched in four touchdowns.
The streaming landscape is ugly this week with so many notable running back injuries last week. At worst, Wilson's a touchdown-or-bust streaming option. He could be better than that, though, with the numberFire projection algorithm projecting nearly 9 carries for roughly 35 rushing yards. If he slightly exceeds the carries projection and finds pay dirt, that's a recipe for a successful stream.
Laviska Shenault Jr., WR, Jacksonville Jaguars
Yahoo Rostership: 20%
Laviska Shenault joins Trubisky as a repeat visitor to this space. He scored a touchdown in Week 1 but was unable to reach pay dirt again last week. Although, he did eclipse 70 yards from scrimmage with 3 receptions for 35 receiving yards and 5 rushes for 37 rushing yards. His heavy and versatile usage in the offense are promising precursors for a big week and help elevate both his floor and ceiling.
The Dolphins rank as our third-worst defense overall in our power rankings. They rank as the second-worst rush defense and 10th-worst pass defense. Shenault's multi-faceted usage gives him a few paths to fantasy success this week. He's under rostered presently and my favorite receiving streaming option with potential roster staying power.
Tre'Quan Smith, WR, New Orleans Saints
Yahoo Rostership: 17%
Tre'Quan Smith was an afterthought in Week 1 for the New Orleans Saints, accounting for just one four-yard reception on his only target. In Week 2 with Michael Thomas out, Smith thrived. He ranked second to Alvin Kamara in targets (7), receptions (5), and receiving yards (86). As a whole, the Saints were unimpressive. However, they're back home this week, where Drew Brees has played significantly better throughout his career.
Smith's value is basically entirely tied to the availability -- or lack thereof -- of Thomas this week. The club opted not to put Thomas on injured reserve, indicating they believe he won't need three missed games. Unfortunately, the Saints don't play until the Sunday Night Football contest. It could result in uncertainty about Thomas' availability, and it's something gamers considering Smith will have to keep in mind.
Our projection model has Thomas posting a zero this week, and with him projected out, Smith checks in as WR48 in PPR formats in the projection model.
Logan Thomas, TE, Washington Football Team
Yahoo Rostership: 30%
Logan Thomas is the third carryover from last week's piece. His four receptions for 26 scoreless yards left a lot to be desired, but his 9 targets were second only to Terry McLaurin's 10 targets for the Washington Football Team. For the year, Thomas boasts an impressive 26.6 percent target share and has the fourth-most intended air yards (134) among tight ends this year, according to Sports Info Solutions.
Thomas' sizable workload should eventually lead to better days ahead, and that could start this week in a favorable fantasy matchup. The Cleveland Browns are tied for the second-most receptions (18), tied for the sixth-most receiving yards (148), and have yielded the second-most receiving touchdowns (3) to tight ends through the first two weeks of the season. He could also get another pace boost with the Football Team ranking second-fastest in situation neutral pace and the Browns ranking ninth in situation neutral pace, per Football Outsiders.
Damiere Byrd, WR, New England Patriots
Yahoo Rostership: 0%
I'd rather roster teammate N'Keal Harry, but he's on 37 percent of Yahoo! rosters, making him less available than I felt comfortable touting in this space. Instead, Damiere Byrd gets the nod with a zero percent rostership number. This year, he's played a whopping 86.76 percent of snaps for the New England Patriots, more than Harry's 82.35 percent of snaps and Julian Edelman's 65.44 percent of snaps.
Being on the field wasn't good enough to get Byrd on the fantasy scoreboard in Week 1 when he was targeted zero times. However, last week, he was third on the team in targets (9) and receptions (6) and tied for the third-most receiving yards (72). James White was notably absent due to a tragic car accident his parents were in. If he's back this week, it could be hard for Byrd to carve out as substantial a role in the passing game. Having said that, Byrd's previously played with Cam Newton and could still have a rapport edge over some of his teammates in the early going of the 2020 season. He's a deep-league speculative option in Week 3 and attached to the fourth-highest implied total of 27.0 points the Patriots have this week.
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.