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 3 to Week 6, unless otherwise stated.
Fantasy football sleepers: Running backs
Give Torain another chance
Ryan Torain, Washington Redskins at Carolina Panthers
Fantasy value: High-end No. 2
- In his last two games, Torain has rushed 29 times for 157 yards (5.4 per carry) and one touchdown. He has not hauled in a pass yet. Mike Shanahan knows how to make life miserable for fantasy owners every week, so there is always reason to be cautious here. The silver lining is that Torain's 10 carries in Week 6 were enough to register as tops among all Redskins in the game.
- Carolina has been destroyed by running backs this year. Their rookie defensive tackles have struggled at times and a pair of key injuries has decimated their linebacking corps. On average, the Panthers have allowed 29.8 carries for 152.0 yards (5.1 per attempt) and 1.25 ground scores per game. While Torain isn't much of a receiver out of the backfield - to drive the point home - Carolina has permitted 6.25 receptions, 52.5 receiving yards and 0.75 aerial scores per matchup.
- Torain is a risky play, of course, but the matchup is far too great to have a knee-jerk reaction to last week's down game that was created by the perfect storm against a division rival.
Jackie Battle, Kansas City Chiefs at Oakland Raiders
Fantasy value: High-end No. 2
- Battle is coming off a 19-carry, 119-yard rushing effort before the bye week. He also chipped in two grabs for 21 yards. Battle suffered a mild head injury that should be behind him at this point. The Chiefs have had an extra week to game plan for the Raiders.
- Oakland is giving up 101.0 yards and 0.50 touchdowns on the ground. In total, they have acquiesced 178.3 offensive yards and 0.75 scores to the running back position.
- KC's passing game should find success against the Raiders' secondary in Week 7, which will allow bigger lanes for the ground game to find daylight.
DeMarco Murray, Dallas Cowboys vs. St. Louis Rams
Fantasy value: No. 2 or flex
- Felix Jones (ankle) is out two to four weeks, and Murray should be the primary toter of the rock in Week 7. Tashard Choice will see touches, especially on third down, as he is a superior blocker to Murray.
- Since he has played sparingly this year, we will use Murray's season totals. He has rushed 23 times for 71 yards (3.0 per carry) and snatched four passes for 23 yards. Murray has yet to score in his NFL career.
- The Rams have surrendered 133.3 rushing yards, 0.33 ground touchdowns, 6.00 receptions and 62.3 yards through the air per game to the position. That translates to the seventh most average fantasy points (19.0) per game in the last month.
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.
Don't miss these great reports....