7 Deep Fantasy Football Sleepers for Week 14
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 choices in Yahoo! leagues.
Andy Dalton, QB, Dallas Cowboys
Yahoo Roster Percentage: 13%
Starting Andy Dalton in a fantasy playoff game probably doesn't sound particularly appealing, but he's been fantasy relevant since the Week 10 bye for the Dallas Cowboys. From Week 11 through Week 13, Dalton checks in as QB13 in fantasy scoring, per FantasyPros. He has a favorable matchup on tap this week to keep cooking.
Dalton will face his former club, the Cincinnati Bengals this week. Completely dismissing the revenge narrative "angle" -- which I use loosely, hence the quotes -- this is simply a juicy matchup. The Bengals rank as the seventh-worst pass defense in the numberFire Power Rankings. In addition to the soft matchup, Dalton benefits from a middle of the road implied team total of 23.00 points and a narrow 3.5-spread favoring the Cowboys, per our Matchup Heat Map, which should keep him involved from start to finish if the game goes according to the betting implications.
Cordarrelle Patterson, RB/WR, Chicago Bears
Yahoo Roster Percentage: 8%
Sifting through the widely available backs on a weekly basis for a defensible deep sleeper isn't enjoyable given the low floors that accompany those options. Having said that, what if I told you there's a "running back" available in more than 90 percent of Yahoo leagues who's reached double-digits in touches in two of his last three games, would that be of interest to you, running-back needy gamer? As you've assuredly deduced, the player teased is Cordarrelle Patterson.
Of note, we're not just talking about a random cherry-picked sample of his three most recent games. Those three games are offensive coordinator Bill Lazor's three games this season in which he's been in charge of play-calling duties since head coach Matt Nagy renounced that task. In Week 10 -- prior to the Chicago Bears' Week 11 bye -- Patterson rushed 12 times for 30 yards, hauled in both of his targets for 19 yards, and took a kickoff return to the house. Last week, he totaled 10 rushes for 59 yards, 1 touchdown, and added a 4-yard reception on one of his 2 targets. Patterson's floor was on full display in the contest between his two double-digit touch efforts with just eight rushing yards on two carries and a bagel in the receiving department.
One reason for optimism of Patterson avoiding his floor this week is a drool-inducing matchup with the soft-as-Charmin run defense of the Houston Texans. They check-in as our sixth-worst ranked run defense, and they've served up a whopping 5.21 yards per carry to backs this year, per Pro-Football-Reference. The numberFire projection algorithm pegs him as RB51 in point-per-reception (PPR) formats this week, but I'm more optimistic and view him as a fringe top-40 option.
Ty Johnson, RB, New York Jets
Yahoo Roster Percentage: 4%
Ranking much higher as RB30 on the heels of a standout performance that should earn him an audition on the still-winless New York Jets is Ty Johnson. In a rare competitive game from the Jets, they were able to lean on the running game heavily, and Johnson parlayed 22 carries into 104 yards and a score while hauling in both of his targets for 13 receiving yards.
Teammate Frank Gore's early exit with a concussion paved the way to his big day, and while Josh Adams was also extremely productive with 74 rushing yards on eight carries, Johnson had a sizable lead in playing time, accounting for 62.9 percent of the snaps compared to 30.65 percent of the snaps for Adams, as you can see on our snap count landing page. I don't expect him to sniff last week's output, but volume is the name of the game, and Johnson should be ticketed for double-digit touches again even if Gore clears the NFL's concussion protocol. Of course, should be and will be treated to double-digit touches are two different things, and Adam Gase's incompetence leaves open the door to Johnson being underutilized. My view of Johnson's outlook is roughly in line with his RB30 PPR projection, though, so give him a look if you need help at the running back position this week.
Breshad Perriman, WR, New York Jets
Yahoo Roster Percentage: 23%
Breshad Perriman is a repeat visitor to this space after a disappointing showing last week following my touting him as a deep sleeper. Last week illustrated the floor of a vertical option like Perriman as he was limited to a single 22-yard reception on his four targets. Having said that, his four targets were second on the team to the seven tallied by Jamison Crowder, Additionally, Perriman's 56 air yards led the team.
Perriman's usage of a field-stretching option makes him a boom-or-bust option, but a matchup with the Seattle Seahawks -- who've admittedly played considerably better of late -- enhances his odds of posting a boom outing. The Seahawks rank as our fifth-worst pass defense, and they've been especially inept defending receivers. The 2,707 receiving yards they've coughed up to wideouts is a staggering 214 yards clear of the second-highest amount of yardage yielded to the position, according to Pro-Football-Reference. Perriman's my favorite of the deep sleeper receiver options.
Tim Patrick, WR, Denver Broncos
Yahoo Roster Percentage: 21%
With an actual NFL quarterback back under center for the Denver Broncos last week, Tim Patrick bounced back with 4 receptions on 4 targets for 44 yards and 2 touchdowns. The week prior to the quarterback-less Broncos' Week 12 contest, Patrick hauled in 5 receptions for 119 yards on 8 targets. Save for the Week 12 fiasco, he's been targeted at least four times in every game this year, bested 100 yards three times, and scored at least a touchdown in four contests.
The volume's been there for Patrick. Further, he's received high-quality, fantasy-friendly looks. Quarterback Drew Lock has attempted 17 passes within 10 yards of scoring this year, and he's directed four of those passes Patrick's way. For Patrick's part, he's done nothing to dissuade his quarterback from throwing his way by reeling in all four of those targets and scoring three touchdowns on them.
It's not just his red-zone looks that are fantasy-friendly targets, though. He's also receiving a boatload of deep balls. Among receivers targeted at least 40 times this year, Patrick's average depth of target of 14.3 yards downfield is tied for the seventh-deepest mark, per Sports Info Solutions.
Dalton Schultz, TE, Dallas Cowboys
Yahoo Roster Percentage: 20%
The deep sleeper option at tight end this week was an easy pick with a stacking partner for the aforementioned Dalton in the form of Dalton Schultz. Schultz has been targeted four or more times in all three games since Dalton returned following the team's Week 10 bye, and he's posted totals of 15 targets, 13 receptions, 93 receiving yards, and 1 touchdown. Those aren't world-beater numbers, but they play at tight end. As an added bonus, the Bengals are tied for the third-most FanDuel points per game coughed up to tight ends this season.
Darnell Mooney, WR, Chicago Bears
Yahoo Roster Percentage: 11%
Darnell Mooney is back again. He's been a regular visitor to this space. He's yet to have a blowup performance, but his steady diet of targets and air yards -- even from the awful quarterback options on the Chicago Bears -- put that in his range of outcomes. Elaborating on his usage, Mooney ranks a respectable 46th in targets (71) and impressively, 21st in air yards this year.
Even though a blowup performance is possible thanks to his usage, the shortcomings of his quarterbacks make it less likely for him than for a receiver with similar usage playing with even an average signal-caller. Regardless, his hefty workload has helped him routinely offer modest help in PPR leagues with three or more receptions in nine games, including six of his last seven. He's also cleared the admittedly-low bar of 30 receiving yards in nine contests, including six of his last seven. Maybe he'll hit a homer for you, figuratively speaking, but even if he doesn't, he's likely to give you at least a single.
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.