The good thing about sleepers is that they aren’t necessarily just appealing in August. Finding those hidden gems to consider starting each and every week just adds to the allure all season long.
Here are some undervalued players to consider starting in Week 5.
Jacoby Brissett (QB) Miami Dolphins
The Miami offense has looked unimpressive, to say the least under Brissett with Tua Tagovailoa out. There is a strong chance he gets a shot to redeem himself in what will likely be his final start in Week 5. An outstanding matchup and positive game script should make him a solid streaming option this week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. A defense that is allowing the fifth-most fantasy points against opposing quarterbacks. The secondary is subpar top to bottom as they have also allowed the most points to opposing wideouts and are bottom seven when it comes to slowing down tight ends as well.
As bad as that pass defense has been bad, the Bucs offense is good and it’s likely the Dolphins will be playing from well behind all game. This should force Brissett to have to throw early and often to try to keep up with Tom Brady and the high-powered Bucs aerial assault. Brissett also always adds rushing value, especially goal-line potential. Don’t bench a stud for him, but if you’re searching your waivers don’t just disregard him this week.
Damien Williams (RB) Chicago Bears
The Bears lost David Montgomery to a knee injury Week 4 likely for about five weeks. The next man up is expected to be Williams. He also has an ideal matchup against the Detroit Lions, who are allowing the most fantasy points to running backs this season. The concern is that he is also banged up dealing with a quad injury of his own. It is not expected to keep him out, but he’s not exactly a world-beater, to begin with, and it’s worth considering that he’s not 100-percent before plugging him into your lineup. This is why he’s in a “sleeper” article this week and not a “start ’em” article.
Just in case Williams’s thigh is worse than we have been led to believe, keep the name Khalil Herbert in mind. The rookie could end up with a substantial workload if Williams ends up sidelined or limited. Williams is the safer pick assuming he’s active, Herbert could be a sleeper should he be out and is worth monitoring this week if it turns out he has a bigger role than anticipated. Maybe even grab him off waivers Sunday morning just in case.
Samaje Perine (RB) Cincinatti Bengals
Perine is in a similar situation as Williams with Joe Mixon spraining his ankle last week on Thursday Night Football. The difference being that Mixon isn’t a lock to sit out this week so you will have to monitor the situation. As of mid-week, he’s yet to get a practice in since last Thursday. There is a chance that even if Mixon is active he’s limited. I’m not so sure you can plug Perine in though if Mixon is active at all. It might just be too risky.
The Bengals’ rushing attack is already mediocre and their matchup with Green Bay is just average, not great. Rookie Chris Evans could also factor into the backfield should Mixon be sidelined, perhaps siphoning off some receiving work. Perine is a sleeper worth considering, but if you have to follow practice reports this week and inactives on Sunday and make sure Mixon isn’t taking the field.
Kenyan Drake (RB) Las Vegas Raiders
Drake has been one of the more disappointing players this season. After getting a sizeable contract from Vegas the assumption was he would have a solid stand-alone workload and would be a smash play if Josh Jacobs got hurt. Well, Jacobs got hurt and Drake was not the man, Peyton Barber was. Now Jacobs is back, but still banged up and Barber is expected to miss a few weeks with a turf toe injury. Drake should see an increased role and if Jacobs is limited or leaves the game, Drake’s volume could explode.
As frustrating as he’s been I don’t hate plugging him in as a high-upside flex this week and any week as long as Barber is out and Jacobs is banged up. However, if both Jacobs and Barber are sidelined and we see someone like Jalen Richard come in and see the bulk of the carries it’ll be time to drop Drake right off your roster at that point.
Chester Rogers (WR) Tennessee Titans
The Titans WRs corps is a mess. Last week, Julio Jones and A.J. Brown were sidelined with hamstring injuries and Nick Westbrook-Ikhine was the next man up. He was even in this article last week and led the Titans wideouts in targets with eight. Alas, he too now has a hamstring injury and is looking unlikely to play this week. Jones is yet to practice and is trending towards sitting out another game and Brown is still very questionable. The best-case scenario appears to be that Brown is active and that’s not a lock.
The next man up is Rogers. If all those guys are out, he would be the WR1 for the Titans. Even if Brown does play Rogers would still hold value. Brown could be limited, is a re-injury risk, and doesn’t see a high enough volume to make a WR2 irrelevant. He’s a potential flex option this week against the Jags who have struggled against the pass this season. I also like him in DFS and for prop bets this week.
Cedrick Wilson (WR) Dallas Cowboys
With Michael Gallup already sidelined and Amari Cooper dealing with a hamstring injury, Wilson is in line for more looks from Dak Prescott. Wilson caught a touchdown last week and Cooper may go from limited to inactive this week. The Cowboys take on the Giants which lines up well for a WR2 with James Bradberry likely matching up with Ceedee Lamb. Wilson should be added off waivers and if Cooper is out should be started. If Cooper is active, Wilson still should get some consideration. Monitor practice this week to determine the extent of Cooper’s hamstring injury.
Cameron Brate (TE) Tampa Bay Buccaneers
With TE Rob Gronkowski set to miss multiple weeks, the next man up is Brate. He was far and away the most targeted Bucs’ TE last week as he saw six targets to O.J. Howards one. Brate has always been a red zone threat and tends to perform well when given the opportunity. He should be a solid streaming option as long as Gronk is out. His matchup this week with the Dolphins lines up nicely as they are far better at stopping receivers than tight ends.
Ricky Seals-Jones (TE) Washington Football Team
There isn’t a ton to say here. Logan Thomas is on injured reserve and Seals-Jones is the next man up. We saw him targeted four times last week after Thomas went down and he caught a TD. I’d love to give a more lengthy analysis but simply put, Terry McLaurin can’t catch every pass for Washington and Taylor Heinicke seems to like throwing to his tight ends. Seals-Jones is a big target and a red zone threat. If you are streaming tight ends that’s about as much as you can hope to find off the waiver wire.
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