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 5 to Week 8, unless otherwise stated.
Fantasy football sleepers: Running backs
NEW - Pierre Thomas, New Orleans Saints vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Fantasy value: Low-end No. 2
- Mark Ingram (heel) is uncertain for Week 9 after missing last week's game, and Thomas should see considerable work. Darren Sproles and Chris Ivory will be worked in, as well, but the matchup is so fantastic that it would not be a surprise to see all three players contribute meaningful fantasy production.
- Thomas has averaged 11.0 offensive touches, 54.3 total yards and has scored two touchdowns in his last four games in a limited role.
- Tampa Bay has allowed the third most average fantasy points (26.0) per game to the running back position. This comes from surrendering 26.7 attempts, 142.3 rushing yards, 1.67 touchdowns, 5.67 receptions and 44.3 receiving yards per game.
Don't forget about Starks
James Starks, Green Bay Packers at San Diego Chargers
Fantasy value: No. 2 or flex
- Starks has been quiet of late, but he has a reasonable chance at exploiting what recently has been a suspect Chargers run D. He has averaged 12.7 attempts, 54.7 yards (4.3 per carry), 2.33 receptions and 20.0 yards. He has not scored in the last month of play (three games).
- The Chargers have been in the bottom 10 teams against the running back position in the last four weeks. They have allowed 24.7 attempts, 114.0 yards, 4.00 receptions, 42.3 receiving yards and 0.67 touchdowns per game to the position, good for 19.0 fantasy points per outing in standard scoring.
Kevin Faulk, New England Patriots vs. New York Giants
Fantasy value: Flex or bench
- This is more for PPR owners, as Faulk doesn't offer much in the way of rushing stats. He averaged 5.3 yards per carry in his first game action of 2011, but it came on six carries. He caught five balls for 20 yards.
- The G-men have surrendered 5.00 receptions for 36.7 yards and no scores per game to the position. They are giving up 6.1 yards per carry, for what it is worth. These numbers are not overwhelming, so anyone considering Faulk this week should understand he is a shot-in-the-dark play. Desperate times call for the Kevin Faulks of the world....
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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