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 6 to Week 9, unless otherwise stated.
Fantasy football sleepers: Wide receivers
Darrius Heyward-Bey, Oakland Raiders at San Diego Chargers
Jones-ing for some TDs
Fantasy value: No. 2 or No. 3
- DHB was targeted just once after being the Raiders' leading receiver the past month. Head coach Hue Jackson said it was the result of using specific personnel packages. Heyward-Bey has averaged 3.67 receptions, 7.00 targets and 57.0 yards per game in his last three games.
- The Chargers have given up the most average fantasy points (28.0) per game in standard scoring to the wide receiver position. Wideouts have averaged 12.33 receptions, 157.7 yards and 2.33 scores per game. San Diego benched cornerback Antoine Cason two weeks ago in favor of rookie Marcus Gilchrist, who gave up big plays in Week 9.
- Heyward-Bey should be more involved this week, and the Raiders figure to pass a lot as they are without Darren McFadden (foot) once again.
James Jones, Green Bay Packers vs. Minnesota Vikings
Fantasy value: Midrange No. 3
- Jones has caught all of his six total targets in the last three weeks, averaging 39.7 yards and 0.67 scores. His value is largely dependent on finding the end zone, which makes him a risky play.
- The Vikes have permitted receivers an average of 12.00 receptions, 204.7 yards and 1.33 scores per game. Wideouts have averaged a healthy 17.1 yards per catch and have averaged 27.7 non-PPR fantasy points per contest against this D.
Leonard Hankerson, Washington Redskins at Miami Dolphins
Fantasy value: No. 3 or flex
- Hankerson caught four passes for 34 yards in Week 9, a game in which he saw his first meaningful playing time of the year (in on 66 of 67 offensive plays). He was targeted five times (four the week before) and should be a viable red zone threat for the Redskins at 6-foot-2, 209 pounds.
- Miami has yielded an average of 12.00 receptions, 162.5 yards and 1.00 scores per matchup. They check in as giving up the 10th most average fantasy points (20.5) per game in standard scoring.
- Washington can use all the help they can get in the passing game, so look for more of the rookie in weeks to come. Look for him on your waiver wire.
NEW - Jason Avant, Philadelphia Eagles vs. Arizona Cardinals
Fantasy value: Flex or bench
- Avant hasn't been sought out more than five times in a game since his 10-look Week 5, but he registered an excellent 71.7 catch percentage on his targets this season.
- The Cards' secondary is welcoming to most receiving targets; the trustworthy Avant will be no exception against a team that has yielded league per-game averages of 16.33 receptions and 241.7 yards, along with 0.67 touchdowns, to the position.
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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