Fantasy football sleepers: WR - Week 14

by Cory J. Bonini on December 6, 2011 @ 17:32:07 PDT


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 10 to Week 13, unless otherwise stated.

Fantasy football sleepers: Wide receivers

Detroit Lions WR Nate Burleson
Nate should be great again

Nate Burleson, Detroit Lions vs. Minnesota Vikings

Fantasy value: No. 1 or No. 2

  • Expect a lot of double coverage for Calvin Johnson this week - probably more than usual considering how depleted the Vikings' secondary is - which frees up Burleson to see single coverage almost every play. Burleson has averaged 6.25 receptions (7.75 targets), 69.5 yards and 0.25 touchdowns per game.
  • The Vikings' defensive backfield is arguably the most battered in the league right now (perhaps shy of the decimated Jacksonville Jaguars). Receivers have posted averages of 10.25 receptions, 149.3 yards and 2.00 touchdowns per meeting in the last four weeks.

Jabar Gaffney, Washington Redskins vs. New England Patriots

Fantasy value: No. 2 or No. 3

  • Santana Moss looks to be up to speed, which has freed up Gaffney to work the middle of the field. In the past month (two games without Moss), the veteran has averaged 3.75 receptions (6.50 targets), 56.0 yards and 0.25 scores per contest.
  • Wideouts facing the Pats seem to make our list on a weekly basis, and there is a good reason why. In the last four weeks, the position has averaged 16.75 catches - a great stat for a possession receiver like Gaffney - 238.5 yards and 1.00 touchdowns per game.

Chaz Schilens, Oakland Raiders at Green Bay Packers

Fantasy value: Low-end No. 3

  • Schilens (back) suffered a minor injury last week and should be fine to play against the Pack in Week 14. The oft-injured wideout could suffer a setback, as he tends to, so take heed. Schilens has been targeted 4.25 times per game, which has resulted in 2.75 grabs, 39.5 yards and 0.25 scores per appearance. Schilens figures to be a featured target in the passing game since the Raiders have so many injuries at the position.
  • Green Bay should force the Raiders to pass more than they would like to. The Packers' opponents have averaged 12.25 catches, 150.3 yards and 1.25 catches from the receiver position.
  • As mentioned, monitor Schilens' status as the week comes to a close. All indications suggest he will play, however.
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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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