7 Deep Fantasy Football Sleepers for Week 6
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.
Kyle Allen, QB, Carolina Panthers
Yahoo Ownership: 11%
Kyle Allen has acquitted himself nicely as a starter for the Carolina Panthers. Including his Week 17 start in 2018, he's up to four starts in his career. As a starter, he's completed 64.96 percent of his passes, thrown seven touchdown passes and zero interceptions, and averaged 225.5 passing yards per game, per Pro-Football-Reference.
This week, he draws a Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense that's not much of a deterrent for using him. Our power rankings have the Buccaneers 18th in pass defense. Also, the Buccaneers have coughed up the sixth-most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks this season, per Pro-Football-Reference, making them not only not a deterrent for using Allen but actually netting him a check in the pros column for streaming him for the NFC South showdown in London.
Our algorithm projects Allen to finish 13th among quarterbacks in scoring this week.
Malcolm Brown, RB, Los Angeles Rams
Yahoo Ownership: 25%
Sean McVay says Todd Gurley's bruised thigh "caught us all off-guard," since the Rams haven't played since last Thursday. McVay refuses to guess whether Gurley will play Sunday vs the Niners.
— Greg Beacham (@gregbeacham) October 9, 2019
Brown is a must-add player with Gurley's playing status in doubt for this week's game. Brown started the season with a bang with 53 rushing yards and a pair of touchdown carries on 11 rushes in the opener, but he's carried the ball only 15 times since. Overall, he's rushed for 114 yards, 4.4 yards per carry, and two touchdowns on 26 attempts this year while chipping in only one reception for 10 yards on three targets.
Brown's standard stats are ho-hum, but his 0.18 Rush Net Expected Points (NEP) per carry this season is significantly higher than Gurley's 0.05 Rush NEP per carry, though Gurley is working with a larger sample, and the former's 46.15 percent Rushing Success Rate is close to Gurley's 46.88 percent mark. It remains to be seen how backfield touches will be distributed if Gurley is out, but Brown should be presumed to get the bulk of the work even if rookie Darrell Henderson is mixed in. To this point, Henderson has touched the ball on offense only one time, and Brown's the only other back other than Henderson and Gurley to touch the ball on offense this year. If Gurley's inactive, Brown's an RB2.
Gus Edwards, RB, Baltimore Ravens
Yahoo Ownership: 7%
Scrounging for a streaming option at running back this week isn't pretty, but Gus Edwards makes sense with a favorable game script and a drool-inducing matchup.
The Baltimore Ravens are commanding 12.0-point favorites against the visiting Cincinnati Bengals this week, according to FanDuel Sportsbook. Edwards has rushed the ball 38 times this year for 165 rushing yards, and he's carried the ball a team-high 15 times when the Ravens have held a two-possession (nine points or more) lead over the opposition this year.
As for the matchup, it's a tasty one. The Bengals have yielded the second-most rushing yards (642) and are tied for the second-most rushing touchdowns (6) allowed to backs this year, per Pro-Football-Reference. If the Ravens steamroll the winless Bengals, as the spread suggests, Edwards should have ample chances to score fantasy points.
Our algorithm projects Edwards to finish as RB53 in point per reception (PPR) formats, and he's certainly hurt by his lack of pass-catching chops in that format. Still, I'm more bullish on his outlook and expect him to finish as a top-50 back in PPR formats and like him even more in standard-scoring leagues.
Auden Tate, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
Yahoo Ownership: 22%
Last week, Auden Tate pushed his streak of games with six targets or more to three and now has three straight games delivering at least 50 receiving yards or reaching paydirt thanks to scoring a touchdown on one of his three receptions for 26 yards. The reception and yardage output were certainly disappointing, but his touchdown salvaged the day. The 6-foot-5 wideout climbed to the team lead in red-zone targets on the year after last week's performance, and he's up to six.
His touchdown was last week was the first of his 11-game NFL career to date, but he was no stranger to paydirt in college, hauling in 16 touchdown grabs in 65 games played for the Florida State Seminoles, according to Sports-Reference. Tate's red-zone presence alone makes him a touchdown-or-bust streaming option, but his steady dose of targets of late and a plus matchup this week make him more than that.
Our power rankings have the Ravens as the fourth-worst pass defense. Baltimore's ceded the third-most receiving yards (1,004) to receivers this year, and they should face plenty of pass attempts with the Bengals serving as 12.0-point underdogs. We project Tate to finish as a top-50 receiver in PPR formats as WR49. I'm in agreement with the projection of a top-50 finish in scoring at the position for the second-year pro this week.
Preston Williams, WR, Miami Dolphins
Yahoo Ownership: 15%
A couple spots higher as WR47 in our PPR projections this week is Preston Williams. The defeated Miami Dolphins have one of their best opportunities of the year to earn a win and look like at least a semi-competent team when they do battle against Washington. The visitors are 3.5-point favorites, but Washington is a mess and just replaced their head coach. They also feature a leaky pass defense that we rank as the fifth worst.
Williams has been highly inefficient, but he's been the favorite target of Josh Rosen. Rosen's directed 20 of his 84 passes Williams' way, good for a 23.8 percent target share. As I said, though, Williams has been inefficient, reeling in only eight of those targets for 106 receiving yards. Having said that, volume is king, and he's parlayed his target share into exactly four receptions in each of his last three games while surpassing 60 receiving yards in two of those three.
In addition to being targeted frequently, Williams is also an air-yards darling. His 411 intended air yards this year are the 26th most, per Sports Info Solutions. Among receivers or tight ends targeted a minimum of 15 times, Williams' average depth of target of 13.7 yards is tied (with Will Fuller) for 17th deepest. It seems fitting Fuller's name comes up when discussing air yards, as his outburst in Week 5 illustrates the potential of a blowup for receivers who are frequently targeted deep.
Rosen's not Deshaun Watson and Williams isn't Fuller, but the point remains the same. Williams is a solid streaming option this week, and, like our projections, I prefer Williams to Tate if picking between both as a streaming option.
Jordan Akins, TE, Houston Texans
Yahoo Ownership: 7%
Jordan Akins was one of the three tight ends I touted earlier in the week as part of my 3 Fantasy Football Tight End Streaming Options for Week 6 piece. Since penning that article, Gerald Everett's ownership rate has exploded from 9 percent to 68 percent in Yahoo! leagues. Thus, he's no longer widely available and a consideration as a deep sleeper streaming option.
Chris Herndon was also included in that piece, having just completed his four-game suspension, but he's no longer an option as he seems unlikely to play with what head coach Adam Gase describes as a "legit" hamstring injury.
Jets HC Adam Gase:
TE Chris Herndon (hamstring) won't practice. He injured his hamstring running routes last Friday.
"It's a legit hamstring."#DALvsNYJ
— Eric Allen (@eallenjets) October 9, 2019
That leaves Akins as the last man standing from my suggested streaming options from earlier in the week. No other low-owned option at the position has passed him in the streaming pecking order, and my reasons -- covered in the above piece -- for suggesting using him this week remain the same.
Paul Richardson, WR, Washington
Yahoo Ownership: 11%
Bill Callahan has been named the interim head coach in the wake of Jay Gruden's firing. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports Callahan is expected to start Case Keenum at quarterback.
From NFL Now: The #Redskins are expected to start QB Case Keenum, meaning interim coach Bill Callahan's first move is to take a step away from former coach Jay Gruden's choice at QB. pic.twitter.com/kKKnp6Cgxh
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 9, 2019
While receiver Paul Richardson has fallen under 20 receiving yards in three of five games, he caught a touchdown in one of those contests, and he corralled 8 of 9 targets for 83 receiving yards and 1 touchdown in Week 3 with Keenum starting. Keenum has attempted 135 passes this year, and he's targeted Richardson 20 times, good for his fourth-most targeted option on the team. Richardson secured 16 of his 20 targets from Keenum for 137 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns.
Richardson's 0.50 Target NEP per target on passes from Keenum is the third-highest mark, and it's second best to Terry McLaurin's 1.04 Target NEP per target out of five players who Keenum's targeted a minimum of 10 times this season.
The matchup is ideal for Richardson getting right. The Dolphins are ranked as the second-worst pass defense, per our metrics. Washington's implied team total of 22.25 points is at least palatable, if not tasty. The sixth-year pro checks in a little lower in our projections than the previously highlighted receivers of Tate and Williams, but P-Rich's WR57 projection in PPR formats puts him in the flex streamer mix.