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 1 through Week 16, unless otherwise stated.
Fantasy football sleepers: Quarterbacks
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Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers at Oakland Raiders
Fantasy value: High-end No. 1
- Rivers may have tossed 20 interceptions last year, but only six came from Week 10 on. The Bolts have deep threats Robert Meachem and Malcom Floyd to complement a healthy Antonio Gates. The veteran QB has almost an immediate rapport with slot wideout Eddie Royal. Ryan Mathews (clavicle) is unlikely to play, so the offense will be put on Rivers' right arm.
- Oakland's cornerback situation is in flux and boasts journeymen. A better version of this group last year allowed 20.8 fantasy points per game, on average, to the quarterback position.
Blaine Gabbert, Jacksonville Jaguars at Minnesota Vikings
Fantasy value: No. 1 or bench
- Gabbert was hardly worthy of fantasy consideration in 2011, but the second-year passer had a full offseason to digest the offense and acclimate himself with his teammates. New weapons Laurent Robinson and Justin Blackmon give him something on the outside that he didn't have last year - talent.
- Maurice Jones-Drew just came back from his holdout; he won't start and probably won't play much. More passing could be in store for Gabbert and the balance-minded coaching staff.
- The Vikes' secondary is going through a major transition and will be a work-in-progress much of the year. This could be a great week to plug Gabbert into your lineup if you start two signal-callers or are looking at a miserable matchup for your QB1.
Jake Locker, Tennessee Titans vs. New England Patriots
Fantasy value: No. 1 or bench
- The mobile Locker likely will be put in a position to play catch-up, as he will have to sling it a lot to keep up with Tom Brady's Pats. The second-year starter will be without Kenny Britt (suspension), but he was expected to be limited anyway. Locker has a strong running game to rely on, as well as having competent targets in rookie Kendall Wright, veteran Nate Washington and tight end Jared Cook. Locker also has quite a bit of value because of his rushing ability.
- New England's secondary was their weak spot, as the defense finished 31st in total yards allowed last year. A little shuffling at cornerback could help, but this group didn't do anything to earn the benefit of the doubt last year.
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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