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 5 through 8, unless otherwise stated.
Fantasy football sleepers: Wide receivers
Brian Hartline, Miami Dolphins at Indianapolis Colts
LaFell has plenty left
Fantasy value: No. 2 or No. 3
- In the three games since his mammoth 12-253-1 Week 4, Hartline has totaled 11 looks, eight catches and 100 yards. He's faced some tough defensive backs in that time, chiefly Cortland Finnegan and Antonio Cromartie. Plus, Ryan Tannehill takes when he can get. And the QB1 also went down last week, and Matt Moore doesn't have the same oomph.
- This looks like a week for Miami to reintroduce Hartline to the fantasy circle of trust. The Colts, who are expected to play without top cornerback Vontae Davis (knee), have yielded 25.0 standard scoring points to this position per game, tied for the sixth highest average. That has come on the back of per-contest allowances of 12.75 catches, 153.0 yards and 2.0 touchdowns.
NEW - Ryan Broyles, Detroit Lions at Jacksonville Jaguars
Fantasy value: Midrange No. 3
- The Lions acquired Mike Thomas, but that shouldn't take all that much from Broyles' workload this week. Broyles' successful college background and penchant for running slot routes will help him fit in with this pass-first game.
- Jacksonville will neutralize any impact on playing time Thomas might initially have. The Jags' battered, shaky DBs have allowed 14.0 catches, 169.0 yards and 1.67 touchdowns per game to wideouts.
Emmanuel Sanders, Pittsburgh Steelers at New York Giants
Fantasy value: No. 3 or flex
- Sanders loses a lot of intermediate targets to Heath Miller and hasn't logged more than four catches in any game this year. The wideout also hasn't hit paydirt in 2012. Still, he finds soft spots in coverage several times a game and has shown sparks of big-play ability that suffice to make him a bye filler in many deep leagues.
- This could be one of those instances. The G-men have been boys versus wideouts by yielding averages of 12.5 catches, 193.0 yards and 1.0 touchdown per game. That 15.4 yards-per-grab average is the fourth highest figure over the past month.
- Pittsburgh's battered backfield should give more reason for Ben Roethlisberger to air it out in what sets up as an advantageous day.
About Tim Heaney
Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum, who competes in LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.
During baseball and football season, he appears on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio on Thursdays and Sundays, and every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.
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