7 Deep Fantasy Football Sleepers for Week 4
Week 4 can sometimes be panic week in fantasy leagues.
If you're 3-0, you're sitting pretty, and a loss won't be the end of the world. 2-1? Eh, 2-2 isn't a season-ender.
1-2 (like most of my teams are)? You really need a win. 1-3 is a deep hole.
If you're 0-3, well, there's still a chance even if your team looks depleted and you're playing in a deep league. Keep that chin up!
Whatever the case, though, you might need a plug-in player for a Patriot (probably for those owners whose team has a winning record) or a Titan (probably...probably the other case), or maybe you're just looking for a dart throw in the revolving door that is your flex spot.
We got you covered.
Week 4 All-Deep-Sleeper Team
Quarterback: Ryan Mallett (Started in 2.3% of ESPN Leagues | Owned in 4.6% of ESPN Leagues)
Mallett ranks as our 13th-best fantasy quarterback this week. He has posted a Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) score of just -2.36 this year, which means he's lost his team points through three games. 32 quarterbacks own a better Passing NEP this year than Mallett, but that doesn't matter in this matchup.
Atlanta ranks 21st in the league so far in Adjusted Defensive Passing NEP per play. As a reminder, they played against Sam Bradford and Brandon Weeden. As long as Mallett has DeAndre Hopkins to throw to, he's got a solid shot of posting some modest passing numbers. If Desmond Trufant doesn't track Hopkins, then the pair could cash in on a beatable secondary. That alone makes the basically unowned Mallett worth a shot if you need him.
Running Back: Anthony Dixon (Started in 0.2% of ESPN Leagues | Owned in 0.7% of ESPN Leagues)
With news that LeSean McCoy is going to miss the team's Week 4 contest against the New York Giants, all eyes are on Karlos Williams, who leads the NFL in Rushing NEP through three games. That's for good reason. However, the Buffalo Bills have ran the fourth-most rushing plays on the season and are the most run-heavy team in terms of pass-to-run ratio.
Buffalo is a 5.5-point home favorite against a defense that ranks 25th in Adjusted Defensive NEP per play, so that could give them even more reason to run. Dixon has seen a meager eight carries on the season, but four of them have came inside the red zone. He has red zone potential, and his team has the sixth-highest projected score on the weekend. It's not inconceivable that he punches in a touchdown, which is all you can ask for from a guy who's basically available in every league there is.
Running Back: Charles Sims (Started in 3.5% of ESPN Leagues | Owned in 33.7% of ESPN Leagues)
Sims is in a different situation than Dixon. The Buccaneers and Panthers own the lowest total on the weekend (39.5 points), and the Bucs are 3-point underdogs. That's a scary low total (18.25 points). However, Sims' value comes from receptions, of which he has seven on the season.
Sims played 30 snaps in Week 3, one more than Doug Martin. Sims saw a boost while playing from behind, as well. That could happen again this week. As a bonus, Martin is questionable to play in Week 4, so Sims could see the lead back role anyway.
Wide Receiver: Ty Montgomery (Started in 2.0% of ESPN Leagues | Owned in 7.2% of ESPN Leagues)
Similar to the logic with Dixon, Montgomery could be the forgotten man from an injury. Davante Adams will miss some time, and James Jones will probably see a boost in usage, but so can Montgomery. The rookie from Stanford saw just two targets last week but did catch both, one of which was a touchdown.
Three of his six targets on the year have been inside the red zone. While everyone expects Jones to see a red zone boost while playing more snaps, it could be Montgomery, who played 66 of 76 snaps in Week 3, who gets the biggest bump in usage on the team.
Wide Receiver: Allen Hurns (Started in 3.4% of ESPN Leagues | Owned in 9.3% of ESPN Leagues)
Hurns is reaping the reward of playing across from an attention-getting Allen Robinson. No matter the state of the Colts' secondary, it's tough to imagine that they can shut down both Robinson and Hurns. Vontae Davis, though, could spell bad news for Robinson owners. Even if Robinson could win in that matchup, Blake Bortles might not test it when he can look to Hurns against a returning Darius Butler.
Hurns ranks 6th among 85 receivers with at least 10 targets in Reception NEP per target. That efficiency could come through again in this matchup.
Tight End: Larry Donnell (Started in 21.9% of ESPN Leagues | Owned in 44.6% of ESPN Leagues)
Donnell's ownership doesn't exactly suggest he's a deep sleeper, but let's be honest here. He's been under five fantasy points in two of his three games this year, he's yet to top 4 receptions in a game, and he's maxed out at 32 yards in a contest. Now, he and the Giants roll a low 20.25-point projected team total into Buffalo, and his touchdown-dependence will be, well, harder to depend on.
Donnell though has seen 16 targets this season, 5 of which were red zone targets. He's seen two such targets in consecutive games. Daniel Fells has taken 6 catches and 60 yards from Donnell as the team's backup, but Fells is questionable with an ankle injury. Donnell has played on 149 offensive snaps this year, and if there's no Fells, Donnell could cash in on a red zone target. If the Giants can get there, of course.
Flex: Willie Snead (Started in 0.3% of ESPN Leagues | Owned in 1.0% of ESPN Leagues)
Snead has seen 13 targets in the past two games, catching 9 of them for 44 yards in each contest. He's also seen three red zone looks in those two games. His snaps have jumped from 18 in Week 1 to 39 and 43 in Weeks 2 and 3, respectively. Snead doesn't grade out as a great athlete, but whether it's Drew Brees or Luke McCown, he's getting targeted.
With four and five catches in his last two, he might be becoming a deep-league PPR player. And that's how you should value him this week against the Cowboys.