Sleepers and Busts: Week 4
I want to share with you my Week Four Sleepers and Busts, but first, let’s talk about fantasy. One thing I love (but also hate) about fantasy football is how there is such a wide range of outcomes. The difference between winning and losing could come down to a dropped pass, a blocked kick, or a vulture touchdown at the goal line. This is what makes fantasy so exciting, yet infinitely frustrating. How many times has one play meant the difference between winning and losing your weekly matchup? And how do those plays add up throughout the year?
I was thinking about this as I surveyed the landscape of my fantasy season so far. I started researching and doing mock drafts in July. I prepped for each draft as much as possible. My teams have similar players (yet I own zero players in all five leagues). I stay on top of my weekly managerial decision. Yet I have two teams that are 3-0, two teams that are 2-1, and one team that is 1-2. My 1-2 team is better on paper than either of my 2-1 teams.
This puzzles me every year… how can my range of outcomes be so diverse when I prepped and planned the same for every team? These are the things that keep me up at night. I am sure many of you have the same problem. Maybe the uncertainty is partly why we are all so hooked on fantasy football. It keeps us coming back for more.
And with that – here are my Week Four Sleepers and Busts.
Case Keenum, Denver Quarterback, vs. KC
Case had a bad week in Week Three – less than 200 yards, no TDs, and a pick. But this week, Case will have to turn that around to beat wunderkind Patrick Mahomes on Monday Night. Luckily for Case, the Kansas City defense has given up the second most fantasy points to quarterbacks this year and has allowed the most pass attempts. KC is also one of three teams to allow three QB1 performances so far this season. And with an over/under of 55.5, this game is sure to be a shootout. If your quarterback is on bye this week, fire up Case.
- Bonus Sleeper: Demaryius Thomas. Sanders is the flashy receiver in Denver this year, and for good reason. But DT leads the team in targets and caught all five balls thrown his way last week. In a high-passing game, DT could find the end zone.
Sterling Shepard, New York Giants Wide Receiver, vs. NO
I know everyone is saying, Sterling Shepard, this week. So just add me to the list. This matchup is just too good to pass up. In Week One, the Saints allowed three touchdowns to Desean Jackson; in Week Two they allowed a touchdown to Antonio Callaway; and last week they gave up three touchdowns to my favorite Calvin Ridley (I’m saying he’s my favorite because he won me $1.80 on Draft Kings – who sponsor FFStatistics by the way – thanks guys!). I was high on Shepard coming into the year and I think this will be his breakout game. I’m starting him in every league I own him, even over T.Y. Hilton (too soon?). The graph below compares the points per opportunity of Shepard and Odell. When given the opportunity, Shepard can perform.
Antonio Callaway, Cleveland Wide Receiver, @ OAK
I believe Baker Mayfield rises all boats, and one of those boats will be Antonio Callaway. They had a good rapport in the preseason and we saw a glimpse of that last week. Speaking of last week, Callaway only had a 40% catch rate last week and is sure to see positive regression. He did lead all Browns players in routes run last week, and the Raiders allow the third most fantasy points to wide receivers. Baker already has Landry as a slot threat and needs someone to breakout on the outside. I expect Callaway to see plenty of opportunity on Sunday.
Leonard Fournette, Jacksonville Running Back, vs. NYJ
I just have a bad feeling about this one. The game has the lowest over/under of the week (ok, tied for lowest with three other games) which means there won’t be a lot of scoring opportunities going around. He’s also coming back from an injury, which means the Jaguars might mix in Yeldon to prevent Fournette from going down again. On top of that, the Jets have a pretty decent run defense. This is the kind of game that ends with a score of 9-6, so I’m avoiding it in fantasy altogether.
T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Wide Receiver, vs. HOU
I was all in on the Andrew Luck comeback, but so far it hasn’t materialized. I’m not throwing in the towel, but I am being realistic about the situation. My contingency plan is in place this week. As you know from the Sleepers section, I am starting Sherling Shepard over T.Y. this week. There is something different about the Indy pass game this year. Hilton’s average depth of target is eight – his previous lowest was his first year, when it was 12.10. The Colts have only attempted six deep passes all year. He does have the most targets on the team, but only Marlon Mack has a lower reception percentage. Additionally, the Houston defense is one of the least generous to wide receivers. T.Y. is on my bench this week.
Dallas Goedert, Philadelphia Tight End, @ TEN
Goedert may be a hot topic this week, but I wouldn’t count on him to repeat his Week Three performance. He caught 100% of his passes last week – I can guarantee that won’t happen again. And would you guess that Tennessee has allowed the fewest points to tight ends this year? Only seven fantasy points and seven catches allowed! I don’t see the second tight end on the depth chart going off with this matchup.
Side Note: I will not be able to write my Sleepers and Busts column next week. If you wanna talk fantasy, Follow me on Twitter (@broncobecka).