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.
Fantasy football sleepers: Defensive teams
Arizona Cardinals vs. Carolina Panthers
Wilson looks to fly
Fantasy value: High-end No. 1
- The Cardinals added cornerback Patrick Peterson through the draft. Last year's first-round choice, Dan Williams, starts at nose tackle. Daryl Washington is coming on strong in his second year at inside linebacker, and Adrian Wilson (biceps) doesn't look like he has missed a beat after tearing a tendon in his upper arm.
- Carolina will be starting 2011 No. 1 overall pick Cam Newton at quarterback. The Panthers have a new head coach and offensive coordinator, so combined with Newton's first ever start, expect some growing pains on the road for this offense. Last year, they gave up the most fantasy points per game to defensive teams, but in their defense, Carolina's offensive line is finally healthy.
- Arizona's D was very opportunistic in 2010, registering the most defensive touchdowns in the league (seven). Their four fumble recovery scores will be practically impossible to replicate (no other team scored more than once).
Tennessee Titans at Jacksonville Jaguars
Fantasy value: Low-end No. 1
- Tennessee's defense isn't particularly strong for fantasy purposes after having lost Jason Babin (12.5 sacks last year) and with defensive end Derrick Morgan (knee) out for Week 1. The linebacking corps underwent an overhaul with Barrett Ruud (Buccaneers) replacing Stephen Tulloch (Lions) and rookie second-rounder Akeem Ayers entering the starting lineup at left outside linebacker.
- Creating turnovers typically will be a challenge for this defense, as they figure to struggle to get to the quarterback. This week, however, could be a bonanza even with inferior talent. Jacksonville is starting Luke McCown on short notice and has a shaky offensive line. The Jags' offense could be in disarray.
- The Titans scored only one defensive touchdown last year. They tied for 24th in the NFL with eight total fumble recoveries and tied for 11th with 17 team interceptions.
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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