Diamonds in the Rough: Fantasy Football Sleepers for Week 5

by Zach Krueger ·

Week 4 delivered glory and vindication for, as several oft-touted players in the RotoUnderworld saw significant Opportunity Share. These players capitalized in big ways on both the real-world and fantasy football gridirons. Whether it was Aaron Jones‘ unexpected performance following injuries to Ty Montgomery and Jamaal Williams, Devin Funchess‘ breakout against the Patriots, or Jerick McKinnon‘s emergence after Dalvin Cook went down, predictions came to fruition.

Now with week 5 on the horizon, it is time to identify even more players to be excited about, with a plethora of breakouts brewing. Let’s jump into some buy-low candidates who are poised for Week 5 success.

Deonte Thompson – Bears WR (DraftKings: $3,100, FanDuel: $4,500)

Through the first four weeks of the season, it’s been hard to love any Bears receiver tethered to Mike Glennon. Now Glennon has been benched for rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, and things appear to be looking up for the Bears. Suddenly their pass-catchers become extremely interesting, particularly Deonte Thompson.

Deonte Thompson has never been a receiver to own in fantasy, serving most of his time in the league as a special teams player. However, this season calls for a different outlook with a new quarterback and a depleted receiving corps in front of him. Throughout the course of the season, Deonte Thompson has seen 18 targets, and was looked at a season-high nine times in week 4 against the Packers. Even more encouraging is Thompson’s Snap Share increasing throughout every game this season. He saw a 79.4-percent Snap Share last week and will continue to see more time on the field in the coming weeks.

Deonte Thompson 2017 Game Log

Deonte Thompson has proven to have the ability to be an effective receiver when he’s on the field. His athletic profile features a blistering 4.36 40-yard dash (96th-percentile), an 110.8 Speed Score (92nd-percentile), and an 119.1 SPARQ-x Score (87th-percentile). We saw a few sporadic sightings of Thompson in 2016, where he twice saw nine or more targets. In that span, he broke off a nine catch, 110 yard game against the Packers in Week 15.

Deonte Thompson Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

On the season, Deonte Thompson has 11 receptions for 125 yards and a touchdown, and was already trending upward prior to the benching of Glennon. With Trubisky set to start in Week 5, Thompson now becomes an intriguing buy-low candidate in DFS cash games, and a worthy stash in redraft leagues.

Jerick McKinnon – Vikings RB (DraftKings: $4,000, FanDuel: $4,600)

If you follow the RotoUnderworld podcast on a regular basis, you are already more knowledgeable about Jerick McKinnon than most other players in your fantasy league. Now you have a chance to put that knowledge to use following the loss of Dalvin Cook to a torn ACL.

McKinnon is the epitome of a “workout warrior.” His athletic profile tops the charts, as he’s one of the most physically gifted specimens to ever be featured on, evidenced by a 155.7 (100th percentile) SPARQ-x Score.


Jerick McKinnon Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

Despite Latavius Murray‘s impending rise, McKinnon appears set for an increased role after seeing just 10 carries and 12 targets through the first four weeks of the season. Jerick McKinnon struggled to get anything going in 2016 while running behind an offensive line that ranked dead last in run blocking efficiency, with a 62.9 Offensive Line Score. The Vikings’ offensive line has been completely revamped and currently ranks fifth in run blocking efficiency (98.5). They have taken advantage of their improved line, running the ball an average of 27 times per game.

Check out Jerick McKinnon on the Updated PlayerProfiler Seasonal & Dynasty Rankings:

Latavius Murray is still recovering from offseason ankle surgery and will be used in a limited capacity in his Week 5 matchup against the Bears. Even if Murray plays, Jerick McKinnon has a chance to turn into a PPR gem for the remainder of the season, and is a must-add in all PPR leagues.

Wayne Gallman – Giants RB (DraftKings: $3,900, FanDuel: $5,200)

It wasn’t long ago that I was touting Orleans Darkwa as the player in the Giants’ backfield due for a breakout game. Then Wayne Gallman came along in Week 4 following an injury to Paul Perkins and gave the Giants some life on the ground. Perkins is having a dud season for the ages, totaling just 61 yards on 32 carries this season (1.9 YPC), and has still somehow managed to see the field.

Enter Wayne Gallman, who finally had his chance to play following injuries to both Darkwa and Perkins in Week 4. Gallman capitalized on his chance immediately. Following the third quarter injury to Paul Perkins, Gallman saw 11 carries for 42 yards and logged two receptions for eight yards and a touchdown. Despite his underwhelming athletic profile, Gallman is an attractive add in all formats, given the anemic results posted by his competitors in the Giants’ backfield thus far. He looks like the best between-the-tackles runner on the roster right now, and will see an increase in volume heading into Week 5.

Wayne Gallman Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

The Giants somehow rank 12th in run blocking efficiency despite Paul Perkins doing everything he can to drive that rating down. They face a Chargers defense that has allowed the 15th-most fantasy points to running backs on the season. Look for Wayne Gallman to have a breakout week come Sunday. In a week where we are without Devonta Freeman, Tevin Coleman, C.J. Anderson and Chris Thompson, Gallman is an intriguing stream play as he looks to gain the upper hand in a flailing Giants backfield.