Fantasy Football Week 5 Cheat Sheet: Deep Sleepers Who Could Emerge

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistOctober 2, 2019

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett (7) throws against the Oakland Raiders during the second half of an NFL football game in Indianapolis, Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)
AJ Mast/Associated Press

The hit rate on Hail Mary long bombs is a bit higher in the fantasy football realm than it is in the real world.

That said, successfully identifying a deep sleeper can feel almost as rewarding as an NFL quarterback connecting on a had-to-have-it pass.

Maybe it's more of an educated guess than an art from, but its rewards are real and can be spectacular. Did anyone have A.J. Brown plugged in for his 94 receiving yards and two scores this past weekend? How about Nelson Agholor in Week 3, when he also found the end zone twice? Or Demarcus Robinson for his 172-yard, two-score breakout the week prior?

There are fantasy points to be found if you know where to look. We'll give you our favorite long shots⁠—⁠owned in fewer than 40 percent of Yahoo leagues, per Fantasy Prosfor Week 5 below.


Deep Sleepers (Percent Owned)

QB: Jacoby Brissett, Indianapolis Colts (36)

QB: Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals (36)

RB: Jaylen Samuels, Pittsburgh Steelers (30)

RB: Nyheim Hines, Indianapolis Colts (19)

WR: Dante Pettis, San Francisco 49ers (21)

WR: Geronimo Allison, Green Bay Packers (24)

WR: Diontae Johnson, Pittsburgh Steelers (6)

TE: Tyler Eifert, Cincinnati Bengals (16)

TE: Jimmy Graham, Green Bay Packers (37)


Jacoby Brissett, QB, Indianapolis Colts at Kansas City Chiefs

Deep sleepers don't usually come with the kind of numbers Jacoby Brissett has already accumulated.

Maybe it was the nature of his rapid, unexpected ascension atop the Andrew Luck-less depth chart. Maybe some are clinging too hard to the memories of his ho-hum run as Indy's game manager during his season-long run of spot duty in 2017.

No matter the reason, let the snooze-fest continue, right? It's easier to make these recommendations when a player can qualify as a deep sleeper despite possessing a 10-to-2 touchdown-to-interception ratio and approaching a possible shootout with the pass-crazed Chiefs.

Brissett can air it out when he needs to. He has thrown it 83 times over the past two weeks and tallied 575 yards with five touchdowns against a single pick in that stretch. Oh, he's usually good for at least a few rushes every week, too, which can get you a couple of extra points or maybe even those sweet six from a rushing score.

He's better than his ownership percentage suggests, especially in a matchup this inviting. Let everyone else's oversight be your gain.


Dante Pettis, WR, San Francisco 49ers vs. Cleveland Browns

Always prepare yourself for the potential of a post-hype sleeper. A month or so ago, the fantasy community loved Dante Pettis as a breakout candidate. But after a preseason injury pushed him down the depth chart, everyone is ready to move on after three games?

That seems...premature, and that might be putting it kindly. The last time we saw him, he was leading all 49ers not named George Kittle in targets, the last of which produced Pettis' game-winning touchdown catch in Week 3.

San Francisco 49ers @49ers

Dimes to Dante! @JimmyG_10 connects with @dmainy_13 at the goal line! #49ers up 24-20. https://t.co/ifiGjJuQkb

"He's gotten better each week, and now I feel he's at where he left off last year," 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said. "I think the ceiling is high for that guy, man. He can get a lot better, and we need him to."

Pettis started building his breakout buzz during last season's stretch run. He was targeted at least five times in his final six outings, and he scored four touchdowns over that span.

While the 23-year-old has been slow to pick up where he left off, it's worth noting no one has run away with the No. 1 receiver job. In fact, his six targets (only one of which came in the first two weeks) are only two fewer than Marquise Goodwin's eight.

Pettis can still make his breakout happen, and that process could start with this possibly high-scoring affair against the Browns.


Tyler Eifert, TE, Cincinnati Bengals vs. Arizona Cardinals

Worried about the Bengals' passing game? So are we. Unimpressed by the 11 receptions for 81 yards and a score Tyler Eifert has to show through the first four weeks? Ditto.

For one week⁠—and maybe one week alone⁠—none of that matters. He is the starting tight end for a team taking on the Cardinals. That makes him a must-start in virtually any format.

Arizona can cure whatever ails an opposing tight end.

You know how rookie tight ends are supposed to transition slowly to the NFL? T.J. Hockenson had six grabs for 131 yards and a score in his NFL debut against these same Cardinals (and has barely been fantasy relevant since). Worried Greg Olsen might be too old to contribute? He looked 34 years young while enjoying a six-catch, two-score game against Arizona in Week 3.

Why can't Eifert keep the good vibes going? He's been a fantasy standout before (18 touchdowns in 21 games between 2015 and 2016), his quarterback throws a ton of passes (Andy Dalton sits fourth with 166 attempts), and this offense is woefully short on weapons (John Ross is joining A.J. Green on the sideline). For a Hail Mary pass, there are myriad reasons to think this one will connect.


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