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 through 12, unless otherwise stated.
Fantasy football sleepers: Wide receivers
NEW - Jarius Wright, Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers
Damaris a deep threat
Fantasy value: Midrange No. 3
- Wright has seen more playing time with Percy Harvin (ankle) on the mend, and he was on the receiving end of seven balls last week. The youngster has 10 grabs on 15 targets in his last two games.
- Green Bay's injury-riddled defense has been extra soft in stopping receivers recently. They have given up far too many big plays to be successful, which bodes with for improving Wright's meager 7.0 yards-per-reception average of a week ago. The Pack has surrendered only 11.00 catches per game, but averages of 193.7 yards and 1.67 touchdowns allowed have killed them.
Kenny Britt, Tennessee Titans vs. Houston Texans
Fantasy value: Low-end No. 3
- Britt didn't maim the Jacksonville Jaguars last week, but his 3-25-1 contest at least made him an acceptable sleepers listing conversion for Week 12. He hasn't seen fewer than five targets in a game since Week 2. With Chris Palmer out as offensive coordinator and Dowell Loggains taking over, Britt will likely have more freedom to create on his own with more liberal deep routes, which should propel his vertical connection with Jake Locker.
- Great timing: The Texans' defense has been one of the weakest versus wideouts - and passing games overall. The position has torched them for 25.5 fantasy points (eighth highest) resulting from 12.5 receptions, 209.0 yards and 1.0 touchdowns per contest.
- If Johnathan Joseph (hamstring) misses Week 13, that'll open up the floodgates. Opposing quarterbacks have abused Alan Ball, Brice McCain and Kareem Jackson in Joseph's absence.
Damaris Johnson, Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys
Fantasy value: No. 3 or flex
- With DeSean Jackson (ribs) on season-ending Injured Reserve, Johnson will assume much of the deep routes Jackson has run. The hierarchy behind Jeremy Maclin is a bit convoluted with Riley Cooper and Jason Avant also in the mix - not to mention Brent Celek. But Johnson's specialty is stretching defenses, and his backup work might put him on the same page as newly ascended QB Nick Foles, who'll continue starting as long as Michael Vick is concussed.
- Dallas has been burned by the deep ball of late, and their defensive injuries continue to pile up. The latest: Slot cornerback Orlando Scandrick (hand) is probably out a few weeks. The decreasing D-back depth makes Dallas prone to continuing its struggles against wideouts: 26.8 standard fantasy points (fourth highest), 13.75 receptions, 210.0 yards, 1.25 touchdown grabs.
- Johnson is a decent free-agent flier for deep leaguers at this point.
Ryan Broyles, Detroit Lions vs. Indianapolis Colts
Fantasy value: No. 3 or flex
- Broyles had a bountiful Thanksgiving meal with six catches and 126 yards on 12 targets. Matthew Stafford's penchant for passing will keep Broyles involved even if Titus Young were to work his way back into favor. Jim Schwartz, however, hardly wants to welcome Young back because of the youngster's reportedly off-putting attitude and erratic performance. Broyles looks locked in as the top wide receiver complement to Calvin Johnson.
- The Colts have allowed 17.25 catches, 200.5 yards and 0.75 scoring grabs to wideouts. Their defensive backfield has been a wasteland most of the year.
- With Young's 2012 status up in the air, Broyles is a must-add.
Josh Gordon, Cleveland Browns at Oakland Raiders
Fantasy value: Flex
- After a stretch of being one of the league's most effective deep threats, he's calmed down a bit, but Gordon has earned at least seven targets in three of his last five contests and exactly that number in each of his last two. He's still one of Brandon Weeden's favorite targets.
- Oakland doesn't discriminate when it comes to WRs. They've given up 8.0 catches, 155.0 yards and 2.0 touchdowns per game to them. That 19.4 yards-per-reception average is the highest in the NFL in the applicable span. Gordon fits the profile of a damaging downfield threat in this matchup.
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 competes in Tout Wars and LABR and has won several industry leagues in both baseball and football.
During baseball and football season, hear him every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore. On Thursdays, he visits 106.1 FM WMTI in New Orleans and Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, where he often crashes other shows, as well.
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