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, unless otherwise stated.
Fantasy football sleepers: Running backs
Redman still relevant
Alfred Morris, Washington Redskins at St. Louis Rams
Fantasy value: High-end No. 1
- Morris rushed for 96 yards and two scores on 28 carries against the New Orleans Saints. His 3.4 yards-per-carry average wasn't impressive, but he came to life in the second half after averaging just 2.3 per tote in the first two quarters.
- Any given week Mike Shanahan can mix up the backfield and send fantasy owners reeling, but Morris' performance, as well as style of play, seems to suggest he'll be given another crack at it.
- The Rams gave up the second most fantasy points per game (26) in standard scoring to the position, which came against the Detroit Lions of all teams. A fair amount of the production came through the air - an area in which Morris will seldom be used. However, St. Louis still surrendered two scores on the ground and allowed 4.1 yards per pop.
NEW - Peyton Hillis, Kansas City Chiefs at Buffalo Bills
Fantasy value: Midrange No. 2
- No, this isn't "Bash the Bills Day." Hillis wasn't able to get going last week because of Atlanta's sizeable league. The Falcons boast a strong run defense and were on their game. Hillis' workload was limited to 10 touches, and his 2.3 yards-per-carry average was, well, pathetic.
- The box score makes Jamaal Charles' effort look far superior, but more than half of his production came on one play (46 yards). He averaged a lousy 2.7 yards per tote on his 15 other rushes. Surprisingly, Hillis caught three balls to Charles' none.
- Buffalo gave up 94 yards and a touchdown to Shonn Greene, with most of the yardage coming late as the Jets were trying to close out the game. The Bills surrendered 123 offensive yards and the aforementioned score to the position.
Toby Gerhart, Minnesota Vikings at Indianapolis Colts
Fantasy value: No. 2 or flex
- Adrian Peterson (knee) surprised with 17 rushes to Gerhart's six. AD's workload will still be curtailed, to a degree, which makes the former Stanford Cardinal a reasonable flier play this week. Gerhart may not see too many touches in Week 2, although he could do some serious damage with the few he receives.
- Indianapolis was absolutely massacred by the Chicago Bears' ground game a week ago. The Colts gave up 34 standard fantasy points (most in the league), which stems from yielding 162 offensive yards and three scores.
Isaac Redman, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. New York Jets
Fantasy value: Flex or bench
- Redman's 1.8 yards-per-carry average was, well, pathetic. That doesn't mean you should completely write him off, though. He touched the ball 13 times and is still working his way back into game shape after missing much of the late preseason with a hip injury.
- Rashard Mendenhall (knee) could return this week, but his workload would be limited. Jonathan Dwyer touched the ball 11 times against the Denver Broncos, although he is more of a third-down specialist than full-time contributor.
- Pittsburgh's offensive line struggles could make all Steelers backs risky plays, but Redman should find room to run against the Jets. C.J. Spiller slashed his way to 169 rushing yards last week, as New York permitted 7.8 yards per rush. Buffalo backs posted 212 total offensive yards and one score.
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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