2015 Fantasy Football: Week 14 Deep Sleepers
Everybody knows to start Adrian Peterson, Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown. In this article we will be covering deep sleepers. Guys that a lot of people may be able to find on their waiver wire. If you’re desperate for an emergency play or a cheap DFS option, this is where you find those guys. Just remember all these guys are longshots. Don’t bench your stars for them!
QB Blaine Gabbert, SF
I have to eat my words a bit here, because in all honesty, Gabbert hasn’t been quite as horrific as I thought he’d be. He hasn’t been great or even good and hasn’t faced overly strong defenses. Nonetheless, I did say that he and Ryan Lindley were the two worst quarterbacks I’ve ever seen get multiple starts in the NFL. I’m not fully taking it back, however I am willing to concede that he has some fantasy value as a deep sleeper. In four games this season, he’s thrown for 963 yards, five TDs and three interceptions. He’s also rushed for 140 yards and a touchdown, including a somewhat shocking 44-yard dash for that touchdown. He’ll face the Browns, Bengals and Lions in the fantasy playoffs. Not an awful lineup, although, you’re best not playing him against Cincy.
RB Bilal Powell, NYJ
Chris Ivory has piled up a myriad of injuries this season. They are mostly nicks, cuts, bumps and bruises, nonetheless, he has a long injury history and these kinds of things add up. The coaching staff likes to limit Ivory’s touches and take him off the field at an obnoxious rate if he’s on your fantasy team. Bilal Powell is clearly the RB2 behind him. Zac Stacy is done for the season after breaking his ankle and Stevan Ridley has never really looked himself coming off ACL surgery. You should pick up Powell if you have room on your bench heading into the playoffs. Not only does he have a ton of value if Ivory goes down, he also has some standalone value as well. Last week he saw just one less touch than Ivory and he racked up eight reception, 108 total yards and a touchdown. He’s particularly valuable in PPR leagues.
RB Tim Hightower, NO
Mark Ingram has landed on season-ending injured reserve with a torn rotator cuff. He underwent surgery on Thursday to repair the injury. This leaves an abundance of fantasy production on the table. Now, we do not believe one player or even a committee of players will produce the amount of points Ingram did, still, Hightower is your best bet. While most owners are unwisely scrambling to pick up the nightmarishly useless C.J. Spiller, you should be scooping up Hightower. I don’t know how many times I have to say this, but I’ll say it again. Spiller is not good and he’s never going to be good. Do not pick him up. The coaches don’t want to utilize him, and even if they did he would get hurt because he can’t handle even an average workload. Look for Hightower to see the majority of the carries. Spiller could see a bit of an increase in targets this week with Brandin Cooks likely out, perhaps not though. The Saints may just decide to throw less and run more. I fully expect Hightower to significantly out-touch and outplay Spiller during the fantasy playoffs.
WR Phillip Dorsett, IND
Dorsett has been out since October with a fractured ankle. The first-round speedster is expected back this week. Andre Johnson has proven to be a non-factor and Dorsett should step in as the third option. His big play ability makes him a true home run threat. In seven games he caught just 11 passes for 167 yards and a TD. However, he did have a reception of over 25 yards in his first three NFL games. It’s also important to note that his best game was with Matt Hasselbeck under center. Clearly the rookie still needs to develop, however, the upside is clear. If you’re desperate, you can plug him in and hope he makes a big play. He had his best game with Hasselbeck and Andrew Luck has the big arm to fully utilize his skillset. Regardless, the potential is there.
TE Blake Bell, SF
Since Gabbert has taken over at quarterback, he has heavily utilized his tight ends, especially Vance McDonald. With Garrett Celek on injured reserve and McDonald in the concussion protocol and unlikely to play this week, that leaves only Bell at TE. It wasn’t long ago that I suggested McDonald and he went off for back-to-back solid weeks. Bell is only one game removed from a three catch, 67-yard game and McDonald had caught 10 passes for 136 yards and two TDs in Weeks 11 and 12. He was injured early Week 13. Bell should slide right into his role.