Free Agent Sleepers Week 7
It’s time for the great fantasy football players to separate themselves from the good ones. Those who covet their fantasy championship trophies and dream of having it resting on their mantel at night. The key to staying in the race is to stay vigilant in finding those sleepers in free agency that could pay off dividends. There are definitely still guys out there with value going forward. Your team is never out if you keep churning that roster! So let’s take a look at the free agent sleepers week 7, and find that diamond in the rough!
(All ownership values are based on ESPN leagues)
Low % Owned Free Agent Sleepers (<10% owned)
JuJu Smith-Schuster WR PIT (7.7% owned)
How is this guy under 10% owned? Martavis Bryant has been anemic in that offense so far and has lacked some of the big play potential that he’s come to be known for. Big Ben has also yet to truly find his stride this season, so you might be hesitant to grab JuJu. There has also been some drama in that locker room so far this season. Rumors have been flying that Martavis wants a trade, but then he claims he never said that. It’s been a strange situation.
JuJu has been a model of consistency for the Steelers in these down times. Over the last 5 weeks, he’s averaged 4.6 targets, 3 receptions and 38.4 yards per game. This might not sound like much, but if you consider it a base for him to grow, it’s very promising. If Martavis were to be traded before the NFL trade deadline, JuJu will be fantasy gold for the remainder of the season.
Vernon Davis TE WSH (6.7% owned)
Yeah, that’s right, the TE2 on the Redskins. The TE situation this year has been nothing more than gross. There are still many teams out there streaming guys until they find an every week starter. I don’t think Davis is an every week starter, but playing him on matchups could be a strong strategy the rest of the season. Davis trending up is inversely related to Jordan Reed trending down. In the past three weeks, Davis has narrowed the target gap (16-12 in Reed’s favor).
Davis has been making money on busting the defense for big gains, putting up at least 58 yards in each of those last three games. This week the Redskins tilt against the Eagles, who have a subpar secondary, and next week they take on the decimated Cowboys. Davis could continue his yardage streak these next two weeks. Next week there are lots of teams on bye, so grab your replacement TE this week for free!
Medium % Free Agent Sleepers (10-50% owned)
Josh McCown QB NYJ (12.4% owned)
McCown is another guy that could be a great bye week fill-in. And guess what? The Jets are winning games. As I talked about it briefly on the TFA podcast this week, the AFC East is within 1 game from top to bottom. McCown has thrown for at least 224 yards in 3 of his last 4 games and has 4 TDs in the last two weeks. It would have been 5 TDs if the rules of what a catch is were clearer. He’s developing a bond with ASJ (A guy I told you to grab a few weeks ago!) and is starting to get this offense rolling. Additionally, the Jets will have both Matt Forte and Bilal Powell back in the lineup this weekend and moving forward.
This week he draws the Dolphins, who have actually been fairly stout against QBs so far this season, allowing just 14.1 points per game to the position. However, in week 8 he gets the Falcons and in week 10 the Bucs. Both are pretty good matchups in which should be high scoring games. McCown can be a serviceable replacement QB if you’re only rostering one at the moment.
Wendell Smallwood RB PHI (39.1% owned)
Smallwood has finally been removed from the injury report and expects to play on Monday night against the Redskins. Blount has actually been fairly decent as a starting RB in the Eagles’ backfield, but there is definitely one portion of the game in which he lacks. Pass-catching. Smallwood will provide a third-down and two-minute role for the Eagles offense, which has been stellar under young captain QB Carson Wentz. He’s been dropped in many leagues due to his injury but has now logged a full practice on Friday. With an additional rest day before his bout with the ‘Skins, he should be 100% ready to play.
If you are in any kind of PPR format, Smallwood should be able to provide a reception floor without Sproles in the picture. And as we’ve seen lately, anyone on the Eagles offense has TD upside right now.
Drop Watch Alert: Rob Kelley RB WSH (60.2% owned)
Look, I know. I told you guys to get Perine and that he was going to have an opportunity to steal this backfield. Well, he really didn’t make much of a case for himself. Racking up just 166 rushing yards in four games with a lousy 3.02 YPC, he utterly unimpressed. Rob Kelley has received the support of his coaches several times since he’s been out with injury. The Redskins have made it clear: Rob Kelley is the lead RB in Washington. Some fantasy teams have grown impatient and tossed him aside for other bye week fillers or generally creating a healthy starting squad. If he is somehow a free agent in your league, scoop this guy up and enjoy having a starting RB for the rest of the season. That’s something that’s hard to come by.
He will still be spelled by pass-catching back Chris Thompson, but the two should be able to provide a nice rounded rushing attack, while Perine will be relegated to only a few touches per game.
So that was free agent sleepers week 5! These are guys that I’m grabbing now that the waivers have settled. Keep The Fantasy Authority on your favorites bar, as we have tons of awesome weekly content this season! I’ll be back next week with a new batch of free agent sleepers for you to scoop up. You can follow me on Twitter: @CCNP_Kent. Impress your league-mates by grabbing a sleeper a week before he goes off!