These Deep fantasy football stashes will win your matchup!
By: Malcolm McMillan
The fantasy football season is almost a quarter of the way done. It feels like only yesterday that #RhamondreStevenSZN was trending and that The Sun God was ascendant. Unfortunately, now that fantasy football managers have three games under their belt, they know exactly what they got wrong in their drafts. Hopefully, not a lot still needs fixing on your roster, but just in case, there are some incredibly deep stashes still out there.
All three of the players below are posied to have an impact not only in Week 4 but potentially the rest-of-season and beyond. They are also all available in approximately 50% or more of dynasty fantasy football leagues on Sleeper. That means once you read this article, there is a good chance you can take action and scoop one (or more) of these players up.
J.J. Taylor: RB, New England Patriots
In my “A Week Too Early Waiver Wire” article this week at The Lateral one of the players highlighted was J.J. Taylor. The New England Patriots running back has real potential to cement a role in their rebuilding offense with fellow running back James White out for the season. For dynasty fantasy football, this could have huge implications, as White held a valuable role in Bill Belichick’s offense for years. Especially in points-per-reception (PPR) fantasy football scoring formats.
White never had the most impressive rushing stats (though his 4.0 career yards per carry is surprisingly good). However, he saw massive work in the receiving game. In fact, from 2015 to 2020, White played just under 15 games per season with an average of 60-61 catches on 82 targets each season. That means White had a floor of 60 points in PPR fantasy football leagues just by being reliable in Belichick’s offense. White will be a free agent next year, and given the similarities in White’s athletic profile and Taylor’s athletic profile, the Patriots may already have their replacement.
Kalif Raymond: WR, Detroit Lions
Most fantasy football managers were surprised to see Kalif Raymond leading the Detroit Lions wide receivers in targets in Week 3 against the Baltimore Ravens. He currently leads all Lions wide receivers in targets through three games. Still, despite his fantasy football-relevant performance in Week 3, he remains an afterthought to most fantasy football managers other than a streaming option. This is understandable given Detroit’s instability at wide receiver. A different player has led the Lions wide receivers in targets each week.
However, this instability also provides opportunity. Yes, Raymond is a career journeyman aged 27. He also is not guaranteed to be on the Lions roster in 2022, which is not the case for four of the Lions other wide receivers. But, there are still bright spots. First, Raymond does have excellent speed. Second, wide receivers typically peak at around 27. So it could be that Raymond is now in his prime and finally has a chance to break out in a rebuilding Lions offense. If he is the wide receiver that quarterback Jared Goff locks onto, there is no reason head coach Dan Campbell will force him out of the lead wide receiver role. Raymond is a highly speculative play, but given the cost, he is very much low-risk.
Nick Westbrook-Ikhine: WR, Tennessee Titans
Kalif Raymond was not the only surprise fantasy football-relevant wide receiver last week. Just ahead of him was Nick Westbrook-Ikhine (in PPR fantasy football scoring), who took advantage of an injury to fellow Tennessee Titans wide receiver A.J. Brown. Westbrook-Ikhine is going to have a chance to take advantage of Brown’s absence in Week 4 against the New York Jets. Both Brown and Titans wide receiver Julio Jones will be out Week 4, giving Westbrook-Ikhine a rare opportunity to be the lead wide receiver.
Most likely, Westbrook-Ikhine is fighting to become the permanent third option for quarterback Ryan Tannehill, even if he is the top wide receiver in Week 4. Luckily for Westbrook-Ikhine, Tannehill already is developing a connection with the sophomore wideout. Plus, that position is relatively wide open at the moment and has the potential to be valuable for fantasy football managers. Dynasty fantasy football managers should look to roster Westbrook-Ikhine. He could be solid bench depth, or if things continue to break his way, a possible starter or trade asset for dynasty fantasy football managers.