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Before we get to the second half deep sleepers, a little housekeeping is in order, starting with an announcement….

Ladies and Gentlemen… (um, how many of our readers do you think are actually gentlemen? Should be ladies and you other folks) … from the four corners of the globe (Globes are round–there are no corners) … I bring you the one, the only (“The one the only”? Please. Hopefully Mark is the one and only!) …. Deep Route! Now that my inner voice has ruined the intro, allow me to tell you more what Deep Route will be about.

Two weekends ago Geronimo Allison scored a touchdown and most Fantasy players’ reaction was probably akin to “Who the hell is Geronimo Allison.” Not me. Not only did I feature Allison previously but my response was “Yeah, that makes sense especially since they waived Abbrederis earlier in the week”And that’s what Deep Route will be–a place to give a voice to those in deep leagues.

Some weeks I’ll talk about specific players that deep leaguers should acquire (like this week’s second half deep sleepers). Other potential topics I’m spit-balling might be how important (or not important) handcuffing is in deep leagues. Another might be, is it better to have players with high upside or high floors in a deep league. Or perhaps with more owners to trade with, how does that impact the trade market? We also might take a ride into alternative leagues from your common 2-QB leagues to far more extreme alternatives.

We made a bunch of editorial shifts here at SCFE in our content in reaction to our readers. Tell me what you deep leaguers want me to discuss and I will. In the meantime, let’s dive in….

Second Half Deep Sleepers

Before highlighting my second half deep sleepers, here’s some ground rules or guidelines for what I consider viable second half deep sleepers to be:

Rule #1: Emphasis is on the rest of season

There are players I love for next year and others I also like in the short term. They are not options. For example, I like Ty Montgomery for one more week, but once James Starks and Eddie Lacy are getting 20-plus carries, his value will drop tremendously. That’s a shame too because he neatly fits our next rule.

Rule #2: Deep means deep

This might be the most important rule for second half deep sleepers. A  player considered needs to be beyond the Top 25 ranked QBs (or TEs), the Top 50 RBs, and Top 75 WRs. Kickers or D/STs might be discussed in the future, but for now we’re ignoring them.

Rule #3: Long term injuries don’t count

Second half deep sleepers are not players who would be swooped up in shallow leagues were it not for injury. For example, Adrian Peterson right now is the 109th best RB. Yes, if you have the roster space he is worth a speculative add since he might be back near the end of the Fantasy playoffs. But I’m not suggesting him, Doug Martin, Keenan Allen, Kevin White and so forth. I’m also not suggesting a guy like Donte Moncrief who is playing again and assuredly not available. I think we can agree that makes sense.

Rule #4: I like ’em

Finally, this rule may make less sense, but I have to like the player’s chance as well. I’m not choosing someone just because they fit the criteria above and/or others might like them as well. Chris Ivory, for example, fits all the criteria above, but I am staying away from the Jacksonville backfield for the time being. The Jags Fantasy playoff run is not kind, they have yet to prove value with eight weeks in the books, and if Jacksonville is going to improve, it will most likely be in the passing game.

So without further ado…


Second Half Deep Sleeper QBs

Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers

He’s probably not available in 2-QB leagues, but in 16-team standard leagues he might. Mr. Tomlin pooh-poohed him in this week’s waiver wire piece, and for shallow leagues I would too. But his ownership rates are still pretty low and in deeper leagues I like him a lot more. And yes it was against the Saints, but Kaepernick is coming off his best game, totaling just under 400 passing yards and two touchdowns.

Furthermore, Kaepernick is not some rookie QB getting his bearings. Less than two years ago had nearly 4,000 passing  and rushing yards combined. And in any year in which he played all 16 games, he never accounted for less than 20 TDs. He’s probably worth the gamble, wouldn’t you say?

Sam Bradford, Minnesota Vikings

Okay, Bradford is not going to win you any championships, but he’s not going to lose them for you either. And I like Bradford more than Kaepernick, especially in a redraft league. Unlike a number of quarterbacks ahead of him, including Matthew Stafford, Kirk Cousins, and even everybody’s favorite, Derek Carr, he’s had at least one touchdown in every game he played this year. Plus his playoff slate (Weeks 14-16) includes JAC, IND, and GB. Giddyup!


Second Half Deep Sleeper RBs

Cameron Artis-Payne, Carolina Panthers


Speaking of some fast moving horses, Artis Payne can move. And I’ve said this before, Jonathan Stewart ain’t the healthiest cat there is. Look at the Week 5 tilt against Atlanta to see what CAP can do when he scored twice and ran for 85 yards on 18 carries. Of course he’s not the only back-up in the division worth considering….

Tim Hightower, New Orleans Saints

Ask the Tim Hightower owner about last year’s playoff run and he’ll probably be smiling ear to ear. Oh wait, I’m one of those guys! I think Mark Ingram gets his starting gig back, but I think we can easily expect 10 carries a game from Hightower moving forward. In a deep league with often close to 40 RBs playing every week, that’s often plenty!

C.J. Prosise, Seattle Seahawks


Of course Prosise doesn’t even have 10 carries yet this year, but Monday night’s game was the second consecutive game he’s seen a significant spike in snap share. He notched eight more snaps than “starter” Christine Michael. I love Michael, but how many times have we been burned by him before? Yes, Thomas Rawls is coming back, but Prosise could be a sneaky acquisition.

Paul Perkins, New York Giants

The same is true for Paul Perkins. Yes, there are reasons for skepticism as one of the Giants beat reporters tweeted about Shane Vereen:


I’ve said it before–at some point the Giants need to realize that Perkins should be their primary running back. He is the most talented by far and if the Giants do fall out of the playoff hunt (T-2 weeks and counting!), I expect to see Perkins opportunities soar.


Second Half Deep Sleeper  WRs

JJ Nelson, Arizona Cardinals

So how are those Michael Floyd and John Brown shares doing right now? Nelson is starting to look really good–his last game he managed eight receptions on 12 targets for 79 yards and two touchdowns. Nelson seems to have snatched the second WR slot in Arizona. If Carson Palmer can stay healthy, that can be a very productive place to be.

Of course not every team has a top notch aerial assault, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t value to be had. Consider…

Torrey Smith, San Fransisco 49ers


Surprise, another 49er! Yes, Chip Kelly seems to prefer those quick curl and slant routes, but I refuse to accept the fact that a long ball player like Smith won’t have any value this year. He is still the 49ers best receiving option and averaged over 20 yards a catch with SF last year. And his numbers pre-49ers are even stronger, having caught 11 TDs the previous year and 1,128 receiving yards the year before that. He’s no PPR stud, but in a deep traditional league he offers upside as say a WR4.

And finally one option that I can’t seem to wipe off my radar….

Dorial Green-Beckham, Philadelphia Eagles


So in addition to Carson Wentz thinking he’s okay, let’s review the last couple of weeks shall we? Despite rumors of trades, Philly did not acquire another wide receiver. Furthermore, Josh Huff (like the big bad wolf) got in a bit of hot water and has not been seen again. Meanwhile, Nelson Agholor continues to drop passes. I’m starting to wish I still had Green-Beckam as a cheap receiver in my keeper league.

After averaging less than four targets a week in the first part of the season, DGB is now averaging seven targets a game in the last two weeks. At 237-pounds and 6’5, DGB is a huge target and one that I expect the Eagles to use in the red zone even more. They are 12th in red zone scoring attempts but 23rd in red zone TD percentage. Something tells me that those two numbers will converge and Green-Beckham will be the beneficiary.


Need to go deeper? Try My Playbook to find additional deep league options.


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