Fantasy Football Sleepers: RB - Week 13 (with video)

by Cory J. Bonini on November 28, 2012 @ 17:15:27 PDT


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 9 and 12, unless otherwise stated.

Fantasy football sleepers: Running backs

Beanie Wells, Arizona Cardinals at New York Jets

    Chicago Bears RB Michael Bush
    Bush waiting for his chance

Fantasy value: High-end No. 2

  • We told you last week that Wells was a worthwhile pickup off your waiver wire, but few people envisioned he would score twice and look rather fresh. The burly back has a strong matchup against the Jets this week to keep it rolling.
  • New York has given up 131.3 rushing yards and 0.67 scores per game to the running back position. They have allowed 182.0 offensive yards, too.
  • Wells should see the bulk of the two-down work, giving way on third downs to either LaRod Stephens-Howling (ribs) or William Powell. Even still, he is the undisputed goal line back for this offense.

Michael Bush, Chicago Bears vs. Seattle Seahawks

Fantasy value: No. 2 or flex

  • Matt Forte (ankle) is 50-50 to go this week, by some accounts. Check back for his status update, but most reports suggest he is unlikely to play. Bush rushed 21 times for a mere 60 yards last week but found the end zone twice. He isn't much of a receiving threat in this offense, despite having displayed such versatility while being a member of the Oakland Raiders.
  • Seattle's run defense was strong to begin the year, but the last six weeks have been a different story. In the past four weeks, they have given up a tie for the fifth most fantasy points (21.3) in standard scoring. This ranking comes from yielding 136.0 rushing yards and 1.33 ground scores per contest to the position.

Vick Ballard, Indianapolis Colts at Detroit Lions

Fantasy value: No. 2 or flex

  • Ballard has been sharing touches with Donald Brown but has managed to average 14.3 carries per game in the last three contests. That has translated to only 55.3 rushing yards and no scores, however. Ballard's work through the air has been tempered, as he has averaged 1.5 receptions and 14.0 yards.
  • Detroit has been hit or miss this year against running backs, but they have allowed 123.3 rushing yards and a touchdown per matchup. Running backs have caught 5.75 passes per game, but Detroit has limited them to only 29.0 yards, on average, per tilt.

NEW - Daniel Thomas, Miami Dolphins vs. New England Patriots

Fantasy value: No. 2 or flex

  • Thomas' role changes from week to week, mainly affected by the scoreboard and the game plan. He has averaged 8.0 touches per game but it took him just nine carries to rack up 60 yards and a score in Week 12.
  • New England's defense of the running back position has been shoddy, as they have given up the second most standard fantasy points (25.3) per game to the position. Rushers have accounted for averages of 127.3 rushing yards, 66.7 receiving yards, 6.67 catches and 1.33 scores per contest.

NEW - Ronnie Hillman, Denver Broncos vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Fantasy value: Flex or bench

  • Hillman was involved in only three plays last week after losing his presumed starting gig to Knowshon Moreno prior to kickoff. Hillman has become a respectable receiver and a capable pass blocker, even though it was a rough going in this area to start his NFL career.
  • This endorsement is solely based on how poor the Bucs have been against the running back position coming out of the backfield. Ball carriers have averaged 9.00 receptions, 74.8 aerial yards and 0.25 scores per game through the air.
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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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