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: Wide receivers
NEW - Lavelle Hawkins, Tennessee Titans vs. Indianapolis Colts
Fantasy value: No. 1 or flex
- Nate Washington isn't a true No. 1 wideout, and the Titans are starting to divvy their looks more freely. Damian Williams and Jared Cook are seeing bigger workloads. So is Hawkins, with 15 over Tennessee's last two games. He has only snared seven of them, but the attention is worth noting for those with bye week blues.
- Indy's allowance to wideouts: 13.50 receptions, 189.8 yards and 2.00 scoring catches per game; they're one of the best fantasy matchups for any offensive player. The Colts' defensive backfield is still scrambling for consistency.
Don't close eyes on Gaffney
Jabar Gaffney, Washington Redskins at Buffalo Bills
Fantasy value: High-end No. 2
- Gaffney is likely to be the No. 1 receiver for the 'Skins while Santana Moss (hand) is on the mend. The veteran receiver has averaged 3.33 catches on 7.33 targets and 61.7 receiving yards. He hasn't found the end zone in the last month but has averaged 18.5 per catch.
- Buffalo has yielded 14.00 receptions, 215.7 yards and 0.67 touchdowns per game to the position. That translates to 23.7 average fantasy points allowed, which is the ninth most in the league.
- Moss is out, Chris Cooley (finger) has been placed on IR and Tim Hightower (knee) joins the tight end on the season-ending list. Gaffney is a somewhat risky sleeper play this week, but Buffalo has given up enough point opportunities to offset that.
Torrey Smith, Baltimore Ravens vs. Arizona Cardinals
Fantasy value: High-end No. 3
- Baltimore's big-play rookie has been targeted 5.33 times, catching 2.33, per game, for an average of 39.0 yards. He has failed to find the end zone. The Ravens' passing game has struggled of late, as Joe Flacco is working through issues with his accuracy.
- The Cardinals have gift wrapped some big plays to the position in the last month. They are allowing 16.2 yards per reception, which is among the most surrendered in the league. This stems from 14.00 receptions, resulting in an average of 227.0, making Baltimore the league's worst defense in the last month in terms of yardage.
Nate Burleson, Detroit Lions at Denver Broncos
Fantasy value: Flex or bench
- Burleson has been looked to 5.00 times per game but has not been able to do much (2.00 receptions, 14.3 yards) by averaging 7.1 per catch. He has one touchdown grab in the last four weeks.
- The Broncos have given up the fourth most receiving yards per game at 207.7 to the wide receiver position. No team has allowed more average fantasy points (29.7) per game in standard scoring; Denver has permitted 1.67 touchdowns per contest.
- Denver's defense has seen a boost recently from Champ Bailey's healthy return, but they are still susceptible and face a sliding Detroit team that could come out swinging.
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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