Fantasy football sleepers: RB - Week 5

by Cory J. Bonini on October 6, 2011 @ 10:52:28 PDT


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: Running backs

LaDainian Tomlinson, New York Jets at New England Patriots

Kansas City Chiefs RB Thomas Jones
Take a trip to TJ

Fantasy value: No. 2 or flex

  • LT is pretty much exclusively used as a third-down option in the Jets' offense, but their coaches say they'll commit more to the ground game. That may not happen this week if they have to keep pace with the Pats through the air, although it still helps Tomlinson's fantasy value. He is averaging 3.25 receptions for 50.0 yards and 0.25 touchdowns per game through the air heading into this matchup.
  • The Patriots have allowed running backs to average 10.00 receptions, which is the most in the NFL, for 94.0 yards and 0.25 scores per game through the air this year. Linebacker Jerod Mayo (knee) is out and could be missed when it comes to keeping the backs in check.
  • Tomlinson should be started only in PPR leagues this week. He has moderate value and could be heavily relied on as a checkdown for Mark Sanchez.

Thomas Jones, Kansas City Chiefs at Indianapolis Colts

Fantasy value: No. 2 or flex

  • It is tough to promote a 33-year-old rusher that looks like he belongs on the senior circuit, but here we go. Jones is only a two-down back at this stage of his career, so scrap any thoughts of bonus points through the air. He should be given first crack at goal line work on the ground. The Colts will be without defensive tackle Eric Foster (ankle) and are working with a backup strong safety. Jones, being more of a power back, may find some running room in the middle this week.
  • The Colts have given up 116.5 rushing yards and 1.25 scores per game on the ground this year. These two teams match up rather closely; the Chiefs should be afforded the chance to stick with their game plan of keeping it on the ground.
  • Don't expect big numbers for Jones, but his matchup is decent enough to deserve a flex spot in deep standard-scoring leagues if you are trying to cover a bye.

NEW - Delone Carter, Indianapolis Colts vs. Kansas City Chiefs

Fantasy value: No. 2 or flex

  • Carter has logged 7.3 carries per game with a 3.55 yards-per-tote average. The rook has more raw talent than starter Joseph Addai but remains in a complementary role.
  • The Colts' offense ain't what it used to be and could look to slow the game down in what might be a close game with KC. Curtis Painter flashed signs of competency under center in Week 4 but can hardly be trusted to take over a game yet.
  • The Chiefs should be friendly to Indy RBs; they've yielded 111.0, 4.25 receptions, 150.0 offensive yards and 1.50 offensive scores per game to the position so far.

C.J. Spiller, Buffalo Bills vs. Philadelphia Eagles

Fantasy value: Flex or bench

  • Spiller really hasn't been utilized much this year (4.25 touches per game), and we realize how risky of an endorsement this is, but the Eagles have really struggled against the running back position in 2011. For whatever it may be worth, about the only bright spot in Spiller's season stats is a 7.2 yards-per-carry average.
  • The Eagles have given up 111.3 rushing yards, 44.0 receiving yards and 7.00 receptions per game in 2011. Enemy ball carriers have rushed for 4.7 yards per carry, while having scored 0.50 rushing touchdowns and as many aerial scores per contest.
  • Fred Jackson is the Bills' workhorse back, no doubt. That doesn't mean there will not be room for Spiller to exploit a weak defense in limited touches. PPR owners in desperation mode should consider Spiller as a bye week or injury fill-in.
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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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