It’s Week 15 of the fantasy football season the start of most fantasy football playoffs. If you are looking for an unexpected roster replacement or an inexpensive starter for your daily fantasy lineup, here are players who could help.
These deep sleepers are players flying under the radar whose matchups suggest they could have a big game in Week 15. Just remember, they are risky fantasy plays given the other options likely available.
QB Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns
Mayfield has struggled the last two games (388 total yards, one touchdown) against a vaunted Steelers pass defense and a Bengals pass defense which has come to life with the return of Andy Dalton. This week, Mayfield plays an Arizona Cardinals pass defense allowing 311 passing yards and a league leading 2.5 touchdowns per game. Playing by far the worst pass defense in the league, Mayfield should put up top ten numbers. Expect near 300 yards and multiple touchdowns.
RB Dion Lewis, Tennessee Titans
Lewis has been an after-thought in the Titans offense and generally ineffective, as Derrick Henry has emerged as one of the league’s best running backs. But, that could change this week as Henry is babying a hamstring injury. Also, the Titans play a Texans rush defense which allows a league leading 62 receiving yards per game and second most receiving touchdowns, 0.5 touchdowns per game. Lewis is primed to have a bigger role this week. It would make sense given the match-up and the Titans need to protect their best offensive playmaker from further injury. Expect Lewis to get plenty of targets and total 60 to 80 all-purpose yards and a score on 5 to 7 receptions. He’s a solid RB2 or flex-play in PPR leagues.
WR Breshad Perriman, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
In back-to-back weeks, Perriman is 8 for 16 in receiving and even scored a touchdown last week. Despite Mike Evans being placed on injured reserve for the remainder of the season, Perriman is barely ranked top forty by most prognosticators. This week, the Buccaneers passing attack takes on a Detroit Lions pass defense, allowing 182 yards and at least one touchdown per game to the wide receivers. The Lions will go all out to stop Chris Godwin. This should leave Perriman relatively to pick up 80 to 100 yards and a score. He’s a great play in PPR leagues.
TE David Njoku, Cleveland Browns
Njoku hasn’t been a reliable fantasy football option this season, having been injured most of the season. But, he’s back and was immediately inserted into the offense and had a small role in the passing game. This week, he plays against an Arizona Cardinals defense giving up 75 yards and a touchdown per game, the most in the league to tight ends. Njoku should re-establish himself in the offense this week. He is available in almost two-thirds of fantasy football leagues.
Kansas City Chiefs defense/special teams
Over the past three games, the Chiefs defense has been dominant with 7 sacks, 7 interceptions, 1 fumble recovery, and one defensive touchdowns while allowing an average of 14 points per game. Still, fantasy prognosticators are all over the place on where to rank the unit. This week, the Chiefs play the Denver Broncos and face off against rookie quarterback Drew Lock. While Lock’s sparked the Broncos offense, the Chiefs are battling for home field advantage through the AFC Championship. The Chiefs defense / special teams are in line for a top ten finish.
Jim Saranteas, aka "The Fantasy Greek," is a contributing writer for Ourlads.com, part of the USA TODAY Network.