By Jack Thomason–
(CBS) It sure seems like there should be a ton of great value plays given all the injuries last week, but a lot of players are either in committee situations or in tough matchups. That makes it challenging to figure out sleepers, but let’s see if we can sift through the murkiness and cash in on a few players.
Carson Wentz, Eagles (vs. Steelers) — Wentz has looked fantastic through two weeks. He’s been extremely poised in the pocket and has been finding open receivers without forcing the ball and causing turnovers. Up next is a Steelers defense that ranks 20th against the pass, and Wentz will likely be throwing early and often to keep up with the vaunted Pittsburgh offense. While everyone is wondering if Wentz is truly the real deal, you should fire him up. (FanDuel: $7200; DraftKings: $5500)
Dak Prescott, Cowboys (vs. Bears) — Everyone was on Prescott in Week 1 because of his minimum salary and a red-hot preseason. In Week 2, he showed off his dual-threat ability by scrambling for a touchdown, and he also threw for 292 yards. Now he gets a Bears defense that lost several starters on Monday night to injury and would’ve allowed around 225 yards and two scores to Wentz if not for a dropped pass by Jordan Matthews that would’ve resulted in a touchdown. It’s only a matter of time before Prescott finds the end zone via the air against the Bears, and he’s always a threat to score via the ground game. (FD: $7100; DK-:$5700)
Dwayne Washington, Lions (at Packers) — This is a tough matchup for the Lions, but given the Ameer Abdullah injury and the price point for Washington, he fits the bill as a sleeper/value play. The Lions aren’t going to pound Theo Riddick into the ground, and Washington is 6-foot-2, 226 pounds with has sneaky athleticism. He ran a 4.45 40-yard dash, had a 127-inch broad jump, a 37.5-inch vertical and forced the Lions to cut Stevan Ridley in the preseason. Washington should see upward of 10-15 touches and the goal-line work. At these prices, he’s worth the flier. (FD: $4500; DK: $3600)
Shane Vereen, Giants (vs. Redskins) — Vereen had 16 touches and an expanded role last week after teammate Rashad Jennings left with an injury. At this time, Jennings’ status for Week 3 is unclear, and Vereen showed well with the extra work. There’s opportunity on this offense, and the Redskins have been gashed by the run, ranking 29th in Football Outsider’s DVOA metric. Vereen is ideal in a PPR setting and makes a good value play. (FD: $5200; DK: $3700)
Jamison Crowder, Redskins (at Giants) — Quietly, Crowder has 18 targets on the season, leading the Redskins in that category. He tallied the first receiving score for Washington this season and would’ve had another touchdown reception if Kirk Cousins didn’t badly overthrow him on a wide-open opportunity. He’s playing 76 percent of the snaps — more than Pierre Garcon — and he continues to find ways to get open. I like Crowder this week at these low prices, especially on DraftKings. (FD: $5000; DK: $3800)
Cole Beasley, Cowboys (vs. Bears) — Beasley has been a security blanket for Prescott, and through two weeks he’s tied for the team lead in targets with 18. While Beasley is ideal for PPR leagues, he has had opportunities for touchdowns too. He just dropped the easiest one he could’ve had back in Week 1. Still, with the Bears suffering so many injuries to their defense and the strength of the team being the front seven, Beasley makes for a good play this week. (FD: $5100; DK: $3200)
Jacob Tamme, Falcons (at Saints) — Most importantly, Tamme and the Falcons are playing the Saints. While the Saints defense didn’t allow any passing scores to the Giants, they did allow 368 yards to Eli Manning. Tamme has been producing too, tallying 16 targets, 11 receptions, 126 yards and a score through two weeks in a couple showings that I believe have gone largely unnoticed. This is projected to be the highest-scoring game of Week 3 with an over/under of 52.5, meaning Tamme should continue seeing targets and producing points. (FD: $5500; DK: $3200)
Dennis Pitta, Ravens (at Jaguars) — Two years missed with hip injuries and Pitta slides right back into being a favorite target for Joe Flacco. Last week, he really burst back onto the scene, catching nine balls for 102 yards on 12 looks. That’s a pretty hefty total for any tight end. He was playing against the Browns defense, but it’s clear Flacco feels comfortable throwing at his big target time and time again. The Jaguars rank 25th against the pass in DVOA and 19th to tight ends. I’d expect another solid outing from Pitta at these low prices. (FD: $5000; DK: $2900)
Just missed: Brock Osweiler, Ryan Tannehill, Charles Sims, Cameron Artis-Payne, Phillip Dorsett, Michael Thomas, Jared Cook and Virgil Green.
Jack Thomason is 670 The Score’s fantasy football expert and co-host of “Chicago’s Fantasy Football Today,” which can be heard every Sunday during football season from 8-9 a.m. CT on WSCR-670 and670thescore.com/listen. Follow him on Twitter @jthomason77 and feel free to ask fantasy questions.