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 8 through Week 11 unless otherwise stated.
Fantasy football sleepers: Defensive teams
Carolina Panthers at Philadelphia Eagles
Fantasy value: High-end No. 1
- The Panthers have snuck into a tie for 11th in sacks with 26. They've recorded 15 turnovers this year, too. They've slowly improved, and those improvements have shown up in the way of 3.00 sacks, 0.75 INTs and 1.25 fumble recoveries per game in the designated window. They have four defensive TDs this season (three via the pick, one on a fumble recovery), and two of them have come in their past four games.
- It's not clear who'll start at QB for the Eagles this Monday night. Nick Foles didn't look like an NFL-caliber passer in his first start this past weekend, however. He threw two interceptions, without a TD toss, against the Washington Redskins' lowly pass D. Foles was also incredibly lucky - he was sacked four times, and he fumbled three times but didn't lose any of them. When he came in as a sub in Week 10, he threw an interception and lost a fumble.
- Philly hasn't ruled out a return to action for Michael Vick (concussion), but don't let that deter you. The left-hander took better care of the football in his last few games, but he's still a candidate to throw a pick, lose a fumble or both. Primarily it's because the Iggles' offensive line has protected him poorly - Vick has been sacked 27 times in about eight games' worth of action.
Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears
Fantasy value: Low-end No. 1
- The Vikings looked like they could be a quality fantasy D early in the season, when their offense was also playing efficiently. They've amassed 26 sacks (tied for 11th) and 12 turnovers, with a defensive TD, this year. They have two touchdowns on special teams, if your league awards points for that, too.
- Minnesota hasn't accomplished much on defense recently, with only four sacks, one interception and one fumble recovery total in their last three games. Their O played well again in Week 10, however, and that coincided with a game in which the Vikes tallied two of those sacks and both of those turnovers.
- Chicago would seem to be in trouble if Jason Campbell must continue to fill in for Jay Cutler (concussion). The backup passer, who was never more than a mediocre starter prior to his arrival in the Windy City, tossed two picks and was sacked six times on Monday Night Football. He was also sacked six times and was under constant pressure, regardless, which highlights the bigger issue for the Bears - their turnstile-like line.
About Nicholas Minnix
Minnix is baseball editor and a fantasy football analyst at KFFL. He plays in LABR and Tout Wars and won the FSWA Baseball Industry Insiders League in 2010.
The University of Delaware alum is a regular guest on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio and Baltimore's WNST AM 1570.
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