In this article KFFL breaks down the fantasy football sleepers of the week. We will avoid marquee names because players of that caliber are rarely benched, regardless of their matchup. Instead, we will focus on the players that make your fantasy lineup decisions stressful each week. Read on to learn which midrange to low-end players you wouldn't necessarily consider that you need to get into your lineup.
Note: All statistics are from Week 6 to Week 9, unless otherwise stated.
Fantasy football sleepers: Wide receivers
Mike X. Williams, Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals
Fantasy value: High-end No. 2
- Big Mike has been the recipient of 11.00 targets per game in the past month. This has translated to per-game figures of 6.00 receptions for 65.6 yards and 0.25 scores. Last week, with Charlie Whitehurst making his first start in the pros, Williams was held to two grabs for 25 yards. The prior week wasn't very kind to him, either, as he notched just one catch for 27 yards.
- Rewind to Week 7: With Matt Hasselbeck (concussion), who has a chance to return this week, at the helm, Williams snared 11 passes for 87 yards and a touchdown against the Cardinals.
- Arizona has allowed receivers to pretty much have their way with them in the past month. The position has averaged 17.00 receptions for 227.3 yards (second most) and 0.67 touchdowns per game in this time.
Mario Manningham, New York Giants vs. Dallas Cowboys
Fantasy value: Low-end No. 3
- Manningham has been targeted an average of 5.33 times per game in the past month (three games). He has turned his looks into averages of 3.67 catches for 49.0 yards and 0.67 scores per game.
- Few teams have defended wideouts as poorly has Dallas has in the past four weeks. On average, receivers have snagged 15.25 passes for 191.5 yards while scoring 2.00 times per game through the air.
- Manningham snared three passes for 40 yards and a touchdown against Dallas' shaky secondary in Week 7. If Manningham is available in your league, give him a look as a Week 10 spot play. He is available in 38 percent of leagues, so owners in highly competitive leagues many need to look elsewhere.
Michael Jenkins, Atlanta Falcons vs. Baltimore Ravens
Manningham lassoed 'Boys last time
Fantasy value: No. 3 or flex
- Over Jenkins' last three games, he has been utilized an average of 7.33 times. His actual numbers leave something to be desired (averages of 3.33 receptions for 59.7 yards, no touchdowns), but wide receiver Roddy White (knee) is banged up, which could pave the way for more involvement for Jenkins in Week 10.
- The Ravens are playing quality football in general, but wide receivers have produced fantasy success against them in the past month. These pass-catching adversaries have hauled in 18.00 receptions for 220.3 yards and 1.67 aerial scores per game, on average. Having free safety Ed Reed (hip) back in the lineup has helped: Baltimore hasn't given up a passing score to receivers in the past two games, but they have still allowed 165.0 average receiving yards in those contests. For what it is worth, the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins were the Ravens' opponents in those games.
- Jenkins is available in 90 percent of leagues polled and warrants a one-week play by desperate owners.
NEW - Jason Avant, Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Redskins
Fantasy value: Flex or bench
- Avant, a steady third-down target for Philly, has four or more catches in four of his eight games this year. He has several occurrences of rental value depending on matchups during a fantasy season, especially in PPR setups. Even with Michael Vick back in Week 9, Avant saw five looks, so he's still has a place in this flying passing game.
- Consider this one of those one-week play happenings. Receivers have averaged 16.67 catches, 199.7 yards and 2.00 touchdowns over the last three games against Washington, whose defensive skills were recently bloated by their matchup with the Chicago Bears' Jay Cutler.
NEW - Blair White, Indianapolis Colts vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Fantasy value: Flex or bench
- With Dallas Clark (wrist) and Anthony Gonzalez (knee) on Injured Reserve and Austin Collie (concussion) sidelined for at least Week 10, White has a chance to step into more targets this week. Peyton Manning looked to White five times after Collie left Indy's Week 9 affair; there's enough trust to be confident that White can produce if given the chance.
- Cincy has allowed wideouts to snare 14.00 passes per game, along with averages of 178.0 yards and 1.67 touchdowns per game since Week 5. Even with a healthy secondary in Week 9, they till allowed 130.0 yards and 2.00 touchdowns to Pittsburgh Steelers wideouts. Indy's passing game has more trample potential.
- Jacob Tamme's back injury might limit him this week, and given Collie's concussion, look to grab White if he's still available. PPR owners should be more urgent. It doesn't hurt being early on snatching up the Colts' potential long-term slot man.
About Cory J. Bonini
Cory is KFFL's General Manager. In late 2002, he joined the KFFL staff as a research analyst and has been involved in fantasy sports since 1996. A member of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, as well as Fantasy Sports Writers Association, Bonini has been featured in print, on radio and on scores of websites. Bonini co-hosted Big Lead Sports on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio from 2011 to 2012.
Bonini was recognized with the 2010 Best Article in Print Award from the FSWA and was a finalist for the same award in 2011. In '11, he finished first overall in the FSWA NFL experts challenge that featured 60 of the industry's best competitors.
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