7 Fantasy Football Sleepers for Week 5
Week 5 is here. Let's get right into it.
Sleeper is an ambiguous term. For the purpose of this article, we'll define anyone on fewer than half of Yahoo! rosters as a sleeper. Typically, I'll actually aim to feature players on fewer than 40 percent of rosters.
Don't worry, deep-league gamers, this article is intended to help folks in leagues of all shapes and sizes. With that in mind, I'm following my predecessor's lead, including honorable mentions. If the featured players are already rostered in your league, the honorable mentions should provide you with players to consider filling in for an injured starter or a player on a bye -- or for whatever other reason you're diving into the free-agent pool.
While this article is primarily written through a season-long lens, sleepers are certainly viable as daily fantasy punts in certain builds, too. Keep that in mind when you're looking for cash-game savings or trying to gain cheap leverage in tournaments. That's why you'll see every player's FanDuel price listed next to their Yahoo! roster percentage this year.
We got some solid results in Week 4's column, highlighted by Jared Goff (QB1), Geno Smithn (QB2), Josh Reynolds (WR11) and Robert Tonyan (TE12). Because this is typically written on Wednesdays, four of the players written up didn't end up playing in Week 4's games. With a later publication this week, we can use the injury reports to our advantage.
Let's aim for more strong results in Week 5.
Teddy Bridgewater (14% | $6,400) - With Tua Tagovailoa mercifully ruled out, Bridgewater is the confirmed starter for the Miami Dolphins this week. There's a lot working in Teddy's favor as a streaming option in Week 5 and beyond.
We know he has an elite weapon set with Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle soaking up a monstrous 57% of the team's targets so far this season (per Pro Football Reference). The matchup sets up as a favorable pass funnel: the New York Jets' run defense ranks 8th per numberFire's schedule-adjusted rankings but is just 28th against the pass. Miami's offense is also a pass funnel itself: the Dolphins are 21st in our schedule-adjusted run offense ranks but first in passing.
Miami has a strong 24.25-point total and enters as 3.0-point favorites. Considering Miami's pass defense ranks 22nd in our schedule-adjusted metrics, this game has sneaky shootout potential. Regardless, Teddy's competence, weapons and matchup render him a likely top-15 option this week, making him a solid streamer and also a salary-saving option in DFS lineups. Teddy is tied as our second-best point-per-dollar value play, per numberFire's DFS projections.
Just note that Tyreek Hill didn't practice Thursday, so we'll need to monitor his injury status. If Hill can't go, it lowers Bridgewater's ceiling, making him more of a two-quarterback-league starter than a surefire streamer.
Carson Wentz (46% | $6,800) - Hear me out. Week 2 feels like a lifetime ago, but at that point, Carson Wentz was the QB4, behind just Josh Allen, Lamar Jackson and Jalen Hurts. He went off in an easy matchup against the Detroit Lions awful defense in Week 2, and his big Week 1 performance against the Jacksonville Jaguars looks more impressive now considering how strong Jacksonville's defense has performed since (6th-best defense by our schedule-adjusted metrics).
Then over the last two weeks, Wentz faltered against the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys, both of which rank top six in our schedule-adjusted pass defense rankings. Unsurprisingly, both defenses also rank in the bottom six in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks, per Pro Football Reference. Both defenses are also top three in pressure rate, per Pro Football Reference. It's a long-winded way of saying that Wentz justifiably struggled in two tough, pressure-ridden matchups.
This week's matchup isn't remotely as scary. The Tennessee Titans are a classic pass-funnel defense. Tennessee's run defense ranks 12th in our schedule-adjusted rankings but they are 30th against the pass.
Per Pro Football Reference, Tennessee also ranks outside the top 10 in pressure rate, quarterback knockdown rate, hurry rate and blitz rate. Wentz's pocket should be clean, and the matchup is appealing. This is another sneaky shootout game, with Washington's defense also grading poorly against the pass this year (19th).
Rachaad White (33% | $5,800) - If you're new here, we're mostly throwing probabilistic darts at running back sleepers. White checks some favorable boxes this week and beyond; it's criminal he's rostered in just one-third of Yahoo! leagues.
Per Dwain McFarland's excellent Utilization Report, in Week 4, White posted season-highs in snaps (41%), rushing attempts (43%), route participation (37%) and targets (10%). While it's certainly possible negative game script played a part in White's expanded role, we should note this came directly after Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich said a bigger role was coming. The Bucs invested a third-round pick into White and likely don't want Fournette to get run down too early in the season, so a decent role for the backup makes sense.
Atlanta's defense is nothing to fear, notably ranking 27th in our schedule-adjusted run defense rankings. Tampa Bay is massive 10.0-point home favorites with the third-highest team total (28.25). There are paths to White helping build that lead and/or helping to salt away the clock late. He's a viable flex option in deep leagues and a sneaky way to get in on the action of this solid game total (46.5) in DFS.
Corey Davis (48% | $5,900) - Davis is rostered in fewer than half of leagues, yet he is quietly the WR25 so far this season. Per John Daigle of 4for4 Football, Davis has earned a 20.7% target share in six full games with Zach Wilson at quarterback between this year and last.
As mentioned above, this game has sneaky shootout potential. The Jets' poor pass defense keeps their own pass volume up, while Miami is also a pass-funnel defense, ranking 22nd against the pass by our schedule-adjusted metrics but 7th-best against the run. Subsequently, they've hemorrhaged the fifth-most fantasy points to wide receivers this year. Davis leads the Jets with a 16.4-yard aDOT, providing a path to higher upside targets down the field. He's a solid WR3 until we see otherwise.
Marquez Callaway (0% | $5,100) - Checking in with 0% rostership, Callaway likely qualifies as my deepest sleeper recommendation of the season thus far. Last year's preseason darling, Callaway put up a solid stat line with Michael Thomas sidelined in Week 4. His three catches for 53 yards don't jump off the page, but he notably had a 21% target share and 97% snap rate. With Jarvis Landry stuck in the slot, it's clear Callaway is a full-time player when Thomas is out. Thomas is still yet to practice since Week 3's game due to a toe injury, putting him on the wrong side of questionable for this week.
The matchup couldn't get much better than the Seattle Seahawks, who rank dead last both in overall D and against the pass by our numbers. The Saints quietly have the fifth-highest team total this week (26.00). Assuming Thomas is out, Callaway is legitimately on the flex radar this week and is a viable low-salary dart in DFS.
Juwan Johnson (1% | $4,700) - The former receiver-turned-tight end's routes are down to around 60% over the last two weeks, but he's still been targeted on 16% of his routes this year, a strong rate at tight end (all per Dwain McFarland's Utilization Report).
Similar to the Callaway recommendation above, this is another way to attack a pristine matchup and strong Saints team total. No team has allowed more fantasy points to tight ends this year than the Seattle Seahawks have. Johnson is a justifiable desperation streamer.
Logan Thomas (22% | $5,200) - Going along with the Wentz recommendation above, Thomas is in a sneaky-solid spot this week. He is fresh off setting season highs in route participation (72%) and target share (16%), and now we have confirmation Jahan Dotson will miss Week 5 (hamstring).
This year's TE15, Thomas should also benefit from Tennessee's pass-funnel defense. It's notable that Tennessee has allowed the ninth-most points to tight ends despite having already faced the uninspiring tight end groups of the New York Giants, Buffalo Bills and Indianapolis Colts. With Dotson out, Thomas' role growing and a solid matchup, Thomas is easily on the TE1 radar this week.
Eli Weiner is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Eli Weiner also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Eweiner2. 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.