Just like a deep sleeper, I have woken from hibernation to revive this column. There is not better guy in the business to go 50/50 (more like 30/70) on getting deep sleepers right. This season has been full of surprises and old-man revivals. Surely, this week will be no different. Surely, nothing will make sense. Don't think too much about it and enjoy it.
Sam Bradford, Philadelphia Eagles (@NE)
Not a "deep sleeper" by any means, but there aren't any "deep sleepers" at the quarterback position at this point in the season. More of a contrarian play on DFS sites and a desparate QB streamer in season long leagues, Bradford is coming back from injury this week. He's been incredibly inconsistent all season, but this matchup is intriguing. The Eagles secondary is probably going to get blown to bits, meaning the Eagles will have to throw a lot. Though Bradford has shown that volume doesn't always equate to fantasy production, Brock Osweiler had a pretty good fantasy game last week against this Patriots defense that is middle of the pack against the pass.
Jay Ajayi, Miami Dolphins (BAL)
Ajayi has been getting a good amount of burn since coming off the IR-return list. Much of that can be attributed to the Dolphins falling behind or being unable to run the ball. Ajayi hasn't gotten more than six touches in any game he's appeared, but he has gone over 4.1 fantasy points in each game. He's coming off his best game, and he may be used even more this week because the Dolphins are going to have a tough go of running the football against a stout Baltimore Ravens run defense. The staff could look to turn to Ajayi to give them a spark in the run game, or keep using him more often in the pass game where has has excelled in limited time.
Mike Tolbert, Carolina Panthers (NO)
Tolbert's usage is game-dependent, and you're really just hoping for a one-yard touchdown vulture if you're playing him. But if you're ever going to play him, this may be the week. The New Orleans Saints look like an awful football team right now, while the Panthers look like a top-two team. This game could get out of hand quickly, and when the game is out of hand Tolbert's number is called on to close the door. Consider that along with the reasoning that the Panthers could have plenty of goal-line scoring opportunities.
DeVante Parker, Miami Dolphins (BAL)
I know what you're thinking: two Dolphins player in your article, are you crazy? Yes, I am. You have to be a little crazy to hit on these deep sleeper picks. I'll attest that the Ajayi pick is a bit more unlikely, with Parker in line to start with Rishard Matthews out. Parker posted four catches for 80 yards and a touchdown last week, mostly in garbage time. This week he gets a terrible Ravens secondary that gets burned by just about everyone. With Jarvis Landry occupying the short and intermediate area, Parker should have plenty of chances to roam free in the defensive backfield.
Cole Beasley, Dallas Cowboys (@WAS)
With Tony Romo done for the year, the Cowboys season can be considered done for. That doesn't mean they won't still be throwing the ball, though, and Matt Cassel may be the best thing for Beasley. Beasley scored a garbage time touchdown last week on his way to a six catch, 44 yard performance, with Cassel at quarterback. With Cassel behind center in Week 9, Beasley racked up nine catches, 112 yards, and two touchdowns. Cassel isn't a good deep thrower, leaving Beasley with a lot of those short catches. Facing a weak Washington Redskins pass defense, Beasley is set up for a good game.
Cameron Brate, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (ATL)
Austin Seferian-Jenkins is looking unlikely for yet another week. Brate has been the clear-cut replacement at tight end, and he has taken full advantage of the opportunity. He's scored three touchdown in the last five weeks with a couple of one-catch clunkers sprinkled in. Over the last two weeks, though, he has combined for eight catches, 100 yards, and two touchdowns. He played a season-high number of snaps last week, and this week gets a Atlanta Falcons defense that he tagged for 48 yards and a touchdown in Week 8.
Chicago Bears (SF)
I know I have mentioned them in this column before, but the process WILL be correct this week. The Bears defense has low-key been shockingly stifling over the past four weeks, allowing point totals of 13, 13, 17, and 13. Those four weeks have brought fantasy point totals of 8, 9, 6, and 10, respectively. Coming up against an anemic San Francisco 49ers offense, this is a great week to stream the Bears defense.