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 Weeks 1 and 3, unless otherwise stated.
Fantasy football sleepers: Running backs
J-Rod gaining touches
BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Cincinnati Bengals at Jacksonville Jaguars
Fantasy value: High-end No. 1
- The Law Firm has averaged 18.7 attempts and 68.0 rushing yards per game, scoring two total touchdowns in his first three outings. He has barely registered in the passing game (11.3 yards per matchup). Cincy's passing game is opening up, which should clear rushing lanes for Green-Ellis.
- Jacksonville has allowed the second most standard fantasy points (27.3) per game to the position. This D has been gashed on the ground to the tune of 31.3 attempts, 131.7 yards and 1.67 scores per week, in addition to averages of 44.7 receiving yards on a half-dozen grabs.
Cedric Benson, Green Bay Packers vs. New Orleans Saints
Fantasy value: No. 1 or No. 2
- Benson is still learning the Green Bay offense after his late arrival in the offseason. His paltry per-game averages this season - 15.3-48.0-0.33 - should be taken with a grain of salt. He has 37 total attempts and eight receptions in the past two weeks after a nine-carry Week 1.
- The Packers' offensive line couldn't keep up with the Seattle Seahawks' pass rush in Week 3, so an emphasis was placed on running the ball. New Orleans' rush isn't as fierce, although their afflicted run defense begs for a sustained ground attack by Green Bay this week.
- The Saints have allowed the most fantasy points per game in standard scoring to running backs. Enemy rushers have accounted for 31.7 fantasy points, 166.7 rushing yards, 1.67 ground scores, 48.7 receiving yards and 0.33 aerial touchdowns per effort.
Jacquizz Rodgers, Atlanta Falcons vs. Carolina Panthers
Fantasy value: No. 2 or flex
- Rodgers' role has increased in Atlanta's two blowout wins, and has garnered his largest workloads in Weeks 1 and 3. He received 15 touches against the San Diego Chargers last week, including five receptions. Rodgers' primary value is in PPR leagues.
- The matchup is excellent, and there is a reasonable chance the Falcons thump the Panthers on the scoreboard. For the record, Carolina has permitted backs to rack up 25.3 fantasy points per contest. Rushers have averaged 133.3 rushing yards, 80.7 receiving, 10.67 catches and a rushing score. That amounts to 214.0 offensive yards per outing.
NEW - Lance Ball, Denver Broncos vs. Oakland Raiders
Fantasy value: Flex or bench
- Willis McGahee (ribs) is day-to-day, so this recommendation should be taken down to the wire. Should McG sit, look for Ball to get the bulk of the work.
- What better team to face than the Oakland Raiders, whose defense has been poor versus the running back position. Oakland has allowed 19.7 fantasy points, 105.3 rushing yards, 1.00 scores on the ground, 8.33 receptions and 56.0 receiving yards per game.
- Monitor the status of McGahee before sliding Ball into your lineup.
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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