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 4 to Week 7, unless otherwise stated.
Fantasy football sleepers: Running backs
PT can stampede Rams
DeMarco Murray, Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles
Fantasy value: Low-end No. 1
- It is easy to get excited about Murray's Week 7 outburst against a lowly St. Louis Rams defense, but that really isn't the emphasis of his inclusion this week. KFFL touted Murray as a sleeper in the offseason, so it wasn't totally shocking to see him find success early in his NFL career. In case you were living under a rock or were waiting in line for the McRib's return, Murray rushed 25 times for 253 yards and a touchdown against the Rams. That is the second highest single-game yardage total for rookie running backs in NFL history (Adrian Peterson, 296 yards).
- The heart of our point: Philly has allowed 21.3 carries for 105.7 yards (5.0 per attempt), 0.67 rushing scores, 5.00 receptions and 62.7 aerial yards per game to the running back position.
- Murray, while he hasn't been worked into the passing game much yet, is versatile and can exploit the defense in a multitude of ways.
Pierre Thomas, New Orleans Saints at St. Louis Rams
Fantasy value: No. 2 or flex
- Thomas has averaged just 7.5 attempts, 30.5 rushing yards, 3.25 catches and 35.0 receiving yards and 0.25 total touchdowns per game. He has lost one fumble in the last month.
- Running back Mark Ingram (heel) is battling an injury that could cost him some game action in Week 8.
- St. Louis was shredded last week by rookie DeMarco Murray of the Dallas Cowboys. Thomas isn't likely to see enough work to have an opportunity at posting huge numbers, but the Rams' run D is so maligned that it may not matter. Running backs have racked up an average of 215.3 offensive yards and 1.00 total touchdowns per game against St. Louis.
Ricky Williams, Baltimore Ravens vs. Arizona Cardinals
Fantasy value: Flex or bench
- The well-seasoned veteran has been quiet of late, averaging 5.7 rushes, 20.7 yards and 0.33 touchdowns per game; he has failed to haul in a pass in the last month. His size allows for modest goal line work.
- Arizona is allowing 100.0 rushing yards and 1.67 ground scores per game to the position. The latter stat bodes well for Williams' chances this week.
- Williams is a deep sleeper this week, and we realize starting him is not for everyone. Bye weeks will rob fantasy owners of the likes of Matt Forte, Darren McFadden and Michael Turner, to name a few.
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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