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 2 to Week 5, unless otherwise stated.
Fantasy football sleepers: Running backs
Montario Hardesty, Cleveland Browns at Oakland Raiders
Murray's star growing
Fantasy value: No. 2 or flex
- Hardesty has value in PPR leagues this week. Running backs have taken advantage of the Raiders' D through the air, and the second-year back has been more involved in the passing game over his last two appearances. He has run 21 times for 89 yards (3.3 per carry) while snaring eight passes for 68 yards. He has garnered a larger share of the workload lately.
- Oakland has surrendered 23.3 rushes for 133.8 yards (5.8 per carry) and 1.00 scores per game on the ground. They have given up 5.50 receptions, 80.0 yards and 0.25 scores per week via the pass in the last month.
- Cleveland, coming off a bye week, should be healthier and more prepared for the Raiders.
NEW - Daniel Thomas, Miami Dolphins at New York Jets
Fantasy value: High-end No. 2
- Caveat: He's expected to play in Week 6 but is still dealing with a hamstring injury. Keep a backup plan on roster and check our inactives page before game time. The rook is Miami's lead back when healthy and has averaged 22.5 utilizations in his two games while rattling off 4.9 yards per carry.
- The Jets' run D is a shell of its former self thanks to injuries and struggles along the D-line. They're allowing an average of 143.0 rushing yards, 3.25 catches, 35.8 receiving yards and 1.50 offensive scores per contest to opposing carriers.
- This erratic Miami offense, which now has Matt Moore at the helm with Chad Henne (shoulder) out for the season, will probably have a heavy ground day if they can control the pace.
NEW - Danny Ware, New York Giants vs. Buffalo Bills
Fantasy value: No. 2 or flex
- Brandon Jacobs (knee) hasn't practiced so far this week and looks very questionable for Week 6. Stepping in as Ahmad Bradshaw's complement when Jacobs missed Week 5, Ware mustered just three yards on four totes and a 22-yard reception.
- That came against a quietly stout Seattle Seahawks run defense. The Bills' has not been as effective, yielding 106.3 ground yards, 5.25 catches, 42.5 receiving yards and one score on offense per game to RBs. Buffalo's pass stopping has been atrocious, as well, and Ware has proven capable of contributing as a catcher.
DeMarco Murray, Dallas Cowboys at New England Patriots
Fantasy value: Flex or bench
- In his last three contests, Felix Jones has averaged 65.7 rushing yards, 21.3 receiving yards and 3.00 receptions per game. Those numbers are hardly appealing and have been boosted by a 155-total-yard day in Week 3. Murray is rumored to be on his way to a larger involvement in the offense, and it is no secret that Jason Garrett isn't particularly fond of Tashard Choice, who has been utilized more recently while Murray gets up to speed.
- The Patriots have yielded the sixth most average fantasy points (21.8) per game to the running back position in the last four weeks. This stems from permitting 90.3 rushing yards, 8.50 receptions, 82.8 receiving yards and 1.00 total touchdowns per game.
- The Cowboys are coming off a bye and could have worked on extra packages for Murray in this time. The Pats don't have much of a pass rush, which could lead to more Murray this week. We're taking a bit of shot in the dark here, so consider him if you're desperate for a bye week or injury fill-in.
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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