It’s Sweet Home Chicago for Jimmy G in his first start as a 49er. Yahoo Fanalyst Liz Loza likes his chances of producing against a banged up Bears defense.
It’s time for a TGIF edition of Deep Sleepers and DFS Bargains. I made good on one of my picks last week. Just Tyler Kroft found the end zone in Week 12. Let’s try to improve on that this go-around.
To review … all of these players are owned in less than 60 percent of Yahoo leagues (at time of writing) and/or are a significant value in our daily game. They’re not the obvious picks, and they’re not without their risks, but that’s why they’re so cheap and available! I’d never advocate taking all of these guys, but rather utilizing them if a manager were in a pinch at a position or aiming to build a “stars and scrubs” sort of DFS lineup.
Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, San Francisco 49ers ($22)
After a gutty performance at Pittsburgh in Week 12, Brett Hundley is the industry’s favorite value play. And while I agree, I’d prefer to spotlight a lesser touted commodity. Garoppolo may only have two starts under his belt, but he’s shown well the times he’s been on the field, managing a career completion percentage of 67.7 and a YPA of 7.4. More impressive than stats over an admittedly small sample size, however, is the program from which he’s graduated. Hand-picked by Bill Belichick, and having learned at the knee of Tom Brady, Jimmy G hails from the Ivy League of the NFL.
The weapons may be limited (though Marquise Goodwin has rolled up over 65 yards in three straight games) and the playbook is thicker than a Cheesecake Factory menu, but Garoppolo’s debut figures to be met with fanfare. After all, before he was a Patriot or a Panther … he was a Mustang (stand up NW burbs). And while the Bears defense has been underrated for most of the season, they’ve failed to snag an INT over the last four weeks and will also be without stud linebacker Leonard Floyd. Welcome home, Jimmy.
Travaris Cadet, RB, Buffalo Bills ($10)
I wouldn’t trust Cadet in the last week of fake football’s regular season, but this is a deep sleepers article and readers need to be aware of his increased involvement. Signed at the start of November, the former Jet has filled in for Mike Tolbert (hamstring) since Week 11. His carries doubled in Week 13, as he touched the ball nine times for 49 total yards. Used frequently on passing downs, it’s additionally worth noting that Cadet has converted each of his targets (9 of 9) since joining the Bills. He’s also evaded a total of nine tackles.
Facing the Patriots in Week 13, Buffalo is likely to be playing from behind. With Kelvin Benjamin still sidelined and the team’s other receiving options far from stellar, Cadet could easily haul in five balls, making him interesting in PPR formats. He’s available in nearly 100 percent of Yahoo leagues and should, at least, be stashed by Shady owners.
Dede Westbrook, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars ($15)
I’d like to think I was ahead of the curve on Westbrook, alerting owners to his potential back in Week 11. Since then the speedster’s role has grown, coming off a 10-target game in which he was on the field for over 76 percent of the team’s snaps (up nearly 30 percent). With Allen Hurns (ankle) likely to miss his third straight game, Westbrook has an opportunity to shine in a plus matchup. Facing a Colts defense that’s allowing the third-most receiving yards (278) per game and will additionally be without CB Rashaan Melvin, Westbrook has flex appeal come Sunday. Prepare for a breakout.
Seth Roberts, WR, Oakland Raiders ($10)
While Cordarrelle Patterson has the industry swooning, I’m opting for the less sexy but more stable Oakland fill-in. With Michael Crabtree suspended and Amari Cooper banged up, Roberts should see an expanded role. Scoring five touchdowns in each of his previous seasons, the West Alabama product is currently fourth in team targets behind Cooper, Crabtree and Jared Cook. Sunday, he’ll face a Giants secondary that’s not only allowed the eighth-most fantasy points and six scores to opposing wide receivers over the last four weeks, but will also be without stud CB Janoris Jenkins.
Adam Shaheen, TE, Chicago Bears ($10)
With Zach Miller out for the season, Shaheen’s role has grown. On the field for over 70 percent of the team’s snaps in two of his last three games, the second-round pick has impressed, demonstrating chemistry with fellow rookie Mitch Trubisky and scoring in Week 10. The return of Dion Sims diminishes Shaheen’s appeal, but with the postseason out of reach, the Bears need to see what they’re working with, which should keep Shaheen on the field. OC Dowell Loggains admitted as much a week ago, saying that he didn’t want to “slow” the rookie’s progress. Furthermore, the matchup is advantageous, as the 49ers have allowed four TDs to the position over the last four weeks.
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Dig Deep with Liz on Twitter @LizLoza_FF.