7 Sleepers for NFL Fantasy: Cole Beasley can be a diamond in Week 10

Cole Beasley has touchdowns in three-straight games and available in most leagues. What other players are available this week in season-long leagues?


Regardless of the motivation for turning to the waiver wire/free agent pool, this is the place to find streaming options — even for gamers in leagues as large as 14- or 16-team formats. Every week in this space, you’ll find a quarterback, two running backs, two wide receivers, a tight end, and a flex who are low-owned options in Yahoo! leagues and offer plug-and-play appeal.

Daniel Jones, QB, New York Giants

Daniel Jones has been a turnover machine with eight interceptions and two fumbles lost in eight games played. Of course, that doesn’t disqualify him from being fantasy relevant, just look at the likes of Jameis Winston and Ryan Fitzpatrick as examples of guys who can help fantasy teams even while making real-life blunders. The Giants aren’t babying their rookie quarterback, and that’s a plus for his fantasy potential.

Jones has attempted more than 40 passes in back-to-back games, he’s tossed 35 passes or more in five of seven starts, and he’s attempted at least 31 passes in all of his starts. Additionally, he’s thrown a touchdown pass in each of his starts. He’s no slouch with his legs, either, rushing for more than 25 yards in four of seven starts. Jones has a soft matchup this week. The Jets are ranked as our seventh-worst pass defence this year.

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA – NOVEMBER 03: J.D. McKissic #41 of the Detroit Lions runs the ball against Lamarcus Joyner #29 of the Oakland Raiders in the fourth quarter at RingCentral Coliseum on November 03, 2019 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

J.D. McKissic, RB, Detroit Lions

Many touted Tra Carson last week as an option off the waiver wire, and he promptly landed on IR. Helpfully, it removed one person from the running back by committee deployed by the Detroit Lions.

Three running backs touched the ball for the Lions last week, led by Ty Johnson with nine carries and three receptions. He didn’t do much with his work, totalling only 36 yards from scrimmage. J.D. McKissic was the most productive back in Detroit’s pass-heavy approach, turning 4 carries into 32 rushing yards and hauling in 3 of 4 targets for 40 receiving yards and one touchdown reception. McKissic’s receiving prowess fits well with Matthew Stafford’s resurgent play slinging the ball all over the field, and it’s a better fit for this week’s matchup in Chicago against the Bears.

We rank the Bears as the sixth-best run defence. Chicago’s held backs to a paltry 3.71 yards per carry, per Pro-Football-Reference. They are giving to backs through the air, though. The Bears have yielded the fourth-most receptions (54) and eighth-most receiving yards (405) to running backs this season, but I’m bullish on his outlook beyond this week too.

BALTIMORE, MD – AUGUST 08: Kaare Vedvik #6 of the Baltimore Ravens kicks and makes a field goal during the second half of a preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at M&T Bank Stadium on August 8, 2019 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images)

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Gus Edwards, RB, Baltimore Ravens

The Baltimore Ravens are the third-biggest favourites this week, favoured by 9.5 points against the winless Cincinnati Bengals. In Week 6, the Ravens beat the Bengals by only six points, and that illustrates the risk of banking on Gus Edwards for garbage time usage in a blowout. In that game, Edwards played 42 per cent of the team’s offensive snaps, but he carried the ball only six times for 34 rushing yards while adding a goose egg through the air.

The NFL is always changing, though, and the Bengals are using a rookie quarterback, Ryan Finley, in his first NFL start this week. Furthermore, Baltimore’s defence is settling into a groove after struggling early. They’re healthier as a unit, and the addition of corner Marcus Peters has paid off, too. The game script and score margin are of the utmost importance to Edwards’ streaming value this week.

Edwards has carried the ball only 14 times when the Ravens have trailed this year. He’s logged 30 of his 59 rushes this year when Baltimore’s led by seven points or more. Comparatively, Mark Ingram has carried the ball 41 times when the Ravens have been ahead by seven points or more.

I’m a believer in the Ravens blowing out their division foe, setting up Edwards with a chance to push double-digit carries against a Bengals defence that’s allowed the sixth-most rushing yards (986) at a hearty 4.86 yards per carry. Cincinnati’s also tied for the fifth-most rushing touchdowns (eight) allowed to backs. The floor’s low for streaming Edwards, and his ceiling isn’t sexy, but that’s the state of streaming running backs.

ORCHARD PARK, NY – NOVEMBER 03: Cole Beasley #10 of the Buffalo Bills celebrates a touchdown reception by jumping into the crowd during the first quarter against the Washington Redskins at New Era Field on November 3, 2019 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)

Cole Beasley, WR, Buffalo Bills

Cole Beasley is a key cog in the passing attack for the Buffalo Bills. He’s second on the team in targets (55), receptions (35) and receiving yards (337). Beasley leads the team with three touchdown receptions (all scored in the red zone), four receptions in the red zone, and is tied for the team lead with four targets in the red zone. Beasley’s touchdowns have come as part of a three-game streak for scoring over the last three weeks.

The touchdowns have salvaged Beasley’s value of late, as he’s fallen short of 20 receiving yards in two of the last three games. In Week 5, he caught all three of his targets for only 21 receiving yards. Week 5 represents Beasley’s floor, but his usage in the red zone of late alleviates some of the concerns about his dip in targets, receptions, and receiving yards over the last four games. Of note for PPR leagues, Beasley’s caught multiple passes in every game this year and hauled in three or more passes in seven of eight contests. He’s not the most exciting streamer, but he’s a defensible one in Week 10.

EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY – SEPTEMBER 29: Running back Wayne Gallman #22 of the New York Giants tries to break through the Washington Redskins defense during the first quarter of the game at MetLife Stadium on September 29, 2019 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Darius Slayton, WR, New York Giants

Rookie receiver Darius Slayton is the anti-Beasley. Buffalo’s slot wideout’s average depth of target of 6.8 yards is tied for the 24th shortest among receivers and tight ends who’ve been targeted a minimum of 20 times this year, according to Sports Info Solutions. Slayton, on the other hand, ranks tied with Kenny Golladay for the deepest average depth of target among the same group of tight ends and receivers at 16.4 yards.

Slayton’s a speedster with some interesting measurables. He’s averaging a robust 16.1 yards per reception, but he’s not a high-volume option with only one game with more than five targets and just three games of three or more catches in seven games played. His usage makes him a volatile option, but his matchup is right for rolling the dice on his field-stretching skill-set.

Mike Gesicki, TE, Miami Dolphins

Michael Gesicki remains rostered on under 20 per cent of Yahoo! teams, though, that rate is up significantly from four per cent earlier in the week. I can see him as a top-10 finisher at tight end this week in PPR formats this week.

He is coming off of the best game of his young career. The second-year pro hauled in all six of his targets for 95 receiving yards. The breakout performance against the visiting Jets is simply another step forward since beginning to flash out of Miami’s Week 5 bye. He caught 3 of 7 targets for 51 receiving yards in Week 6, reeled in all 4 of his targets for 41 receiving yards in Week 7, and struggled hauling in 2 of 3 targets for 10 receiving yards in Week 8.

His steady diet of air yards over the last few weeks puts him in good company of late, as Mike Tagliere of FantasyPros pointed out on Twitter.

That type of consistent usage bodes well for his rest of season outlook. Furthermore, he could be in line for more work with rookie receiver Preston Williams suffering a season-ending injury last week.

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – JANUARY 20: Ted Ginn #19 of the New Orleans Saints makes a 43-yard catch against Lamarcus Joyner #20 of the Los Angeles Rams in the fourth quarter in the NFC Championship game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 20, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Ted Ginn Jr., WR, New Orleans Saints

Ted Ginn Jr. is my favourite streaming option this week among those highlighted in this piece. The New Orleans Saints have the highest implied total of the week at 32.0 points. They should have little trouble shredding an Atlanta Falcons defence we rank as the second-worst pass defence.

Drew Brees returned from injury prior to the team’s Week 9 bye, and he carved up the Cardinals for 373 passing yards, three touchdowns, and one interception on 43 pass attempts at home. Brees has a storied track record of performing markedly better in New Orleans than on the road. With that in mind, Ginn has played at a solid level in 12 home games with Brees since joining the Saints before the 2017 season.

In those 12 home games with Brees quarterbacking for the Saints, Ginn has been targeted 64 times and compiled 48 receptions, 747 receiving yards, and 4 touchdown receptions. Those totals break down to per-game averages of 5.33 targets, 4.0 receptions, and 62.25 receiving yards. In the team’s home opener with Brees starting this year, Ginn successfully corralled all seven of his targets for 101 receiving yards.

Interestingly, Ginn’s usage as a vertical threat hasn’t resulted in big spike weeks and duds during that 12-game stretch. He’s caught three or more passes in nine of those games and amassed at least 55 receiving yards in nine, too. The consistency’s a welcome sight, but a big week is possible even on low volume behind Michael Thomas and a likely returning Alvin Kamara in the pecking order for targets and touches.

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What do you think?