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Week 2: Fantasy Football Deep Sleepers

Which unlikely players can be your unsung heroes for Week 2?

Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Week 1 gave us some unexpected performances that may have swung some matchups in deep leagues or won you money in daily fantasy contests; players like Karlos Williams, Benny Cunningham, Travis Benjamin, Brandon Coleman, and others. This will happen every week. It's up to fantasy football managers to identify which players will have those big weeks. I'm here to help.


Ryan Mallett, Houston Texans (@CAR)

Goodbye game-manager Brian Hoyer, hello gunslinger Ryan Mallett. The Texans are making a quarterback switch that should've been done since the preseason. Mallett offers way more potential than Hoyer, and isn't that much more careless with the ball than Hoyer is. The former Arkansas star has incredible arm talent, but is bogged down by very limited mobility. In the 6 minutes and 10 seconds that was left in the game for Mallett to play after Hoyer was benched, he completed 8-of-13 passes for 98 yards and a touchdown against a tough Kansas City Chiefs defense. With a supremely talented number one wide receiver in DeAndre Hopkins and the coach's blessing to let the ball fly, Mallett makes for a very intriguing streaming option and cheap DFS play.

Fanduel: $6,500

Draftkings: $5,100

Running Backs

Terrance West, Tennessee Titans (@CLE)

The Terrance West revenge game against the Cleveland Browns is finally upon us. What a time to be alive. Jokes aside, West could be a very sneaky play this week. West handled 13 carries last week in a blowout win over the Bucs, and though he wasn't particularly effective (and lost a fumble), he might come away with a similar workload against his former team. The Browns got dismantled by the New York Jets in week one. While this one should be closer, the Browns have a very hard time stopping the run. West could have a solid day on the ground as the backup to Bishop Sankey.

Fanduel: $5,300

Draftkings: $3,500

Charles Sims, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@NO)

Sims hasn't been all that impressive since touching the field midway through last year, but he is the Bucs' primary passing down back. As we saw in week one, Tampa Bay will have a lot of passing opportunities with their defense being so bad. That means more opportunities for Sims to be on the field. Facing a New Orleans Saints defense that coughed up ridiculous fantasy points to every relevant Arizona Cardinals running back, including a 55-yard receiving touchdown by David Johnson, Sims has the potential to be top-30 back this week.

Fanduel: $6,000

Draftkings: $3,600

Wide Receivers

Rishard Matthews, Miami Dolphins (@JAX)

Matthews was the only Dolphins position player to score an offensive touchdown in week one, adding four catches and 34 yards on six targets. He's been operating as the Dolphins' third receiver, ahead of newly acquired Kenny Stills. Ryan Tannehill seems to look his way rather often, and he is really only behind Jarvis Landry in terms of looks at the wide receiver position, with Stills and DeVante Parker slowly working their way into the offense.

Fanduel: $4,900

Draftkings: $3,000

Devin Funchess, Carolina Panthers (HOU)

Well, that was a disappointing start to the season for the guy many thought would take over most of the targets left after Kelvin Benjamin's injury. Ted Ginn Jr. shouldn't be starting, and the Panthers coaching staff might start to realize that soon, after he flat-out dropped a wide open 35-yard touchdown in week one. With Philly Brown not offering much either, Funchess should get more looks starting this week. Going up against a Texans defense that struggled with Travis Kelce, a big-body type in a similar mold to Funchess, I like his odds better than any other Panthers receiver.

Fanduel: $4,900

Draftkings: $3,300

Jermaine Kearse, Seattle Seahawks (@GB)

Kearse was the most involved receiver in the Seahawks offense in week one, and his role in their offense has increased every year. Last week, he caught eight passes for 76 yards. This week, the Seahawks will probably have to throw a lot again as they head to Green Bay to take on Aaron Rodgers. With Doug Baldwin and Tyler Lockett at the other receiver positions, Kearse has a defined role as the stocky, physical guy who will battle with the cornerback on every ball. There's room for production from receivers in this offense, and Kearse may be the main guy to take advantage of it.

Fanduel: $5,400

Draftkings: $3,600

Tight Ends

Crockett Gillmore, Baltimore Ravens (@OAK)

Though the Ravens drafted Maxx Williams, Gillmore has been the unquestioned starter since preseason began, and that extended into week one. He doesn't offer anything substantial in any part of his game, but he's going up against a Raiders defense that let Tyler Eifert go absolutely bonkers in week one. As the starter, he plays virtually every snap on offense and is a better bet for a good game than Williams.

Fanduel: $4,500

Draftkings: $2,500

Lance Kendricks, St. Louis Rams (@WAS)

Kendricks really doesn't catch many passes, but when he does it's usually for a big play, as evidenced by his 37-yard game-tying touchdown catch against the Seattle Seahawks last week. This is a very hopeful pick as he isn't even the starter for the Rams (Jared Cook is), but he's facing a Redskins defense that gave up some long catches to Jordan Cameron in week one. He's worth the dart throw at such a low price in DFS.

Fanduel: $4,600

Draftkings: $2,700