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 9 through Week 12 unless otherwise stated.
Fantasy football sleepers: Defensive teams
Cleveland Browns at Oakland Raiders
Ready to rush Rivers
Fantasy value: High-end No. 1
- Don't look now! Seriously, you had no intention of looking at Cleveland (the team or the town) anyway, did you? But if you aren't willing to adjust your scope, you'll fail to notice that the Browns' D is eighth in fantasy points when considering strictly sacks (28), turnovers (25) and touchdowns (two) this season.
- This unit has checked in with three sacks and three turnovers per game lately. They've also yielded 12.67 offensive points and barely more than 300 offensive yards per game recently.
- In recent weeks, the Raiduhs have turned the ball over 2.5 times per game and have given up three sacks per game. It's still unclear if Darren McFadden will return to action this week, but he wasn't exactly tearing it up prior to the high ankle sprain he sustained.
Cincinnati Bengals at San Diego Chargers
Fantasy value: High-end No. 1
- It turns out that Cincy's pass rush is for real, but in most weeks, they've failed to produce turnovers that make it truly fantasy useful. Lately, they've racked up the usual three sacks per game, but they've also generated 2.25 TOs per contest.
- Philip Rivers' comedy tour is at home for a second straight week, but he still keeps the locals laughing. Lately, he's been sacked 3.25 times per game and has thrown 1.25 INTs per game. The Bolts have also lost two fumbles in their last four games.
Dallas Cowboys vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Fantasy value: Low-end No. 1
- Which D do you plug in when you're just playing the matchups? It doesn't hurt to toss in the one that's facing the Iggles. In Nick Foles' two starts, the opposing defense has recovered two fumbles, intercepted one pass and recorded two sacks - per game. Michael Vick (concussion), LeSean McCoy (concussion) and DeSean Jackson (ribs) are toast.
- Dallas' unit has disappointed under Rob Ryan's direction this year and for fantasy purposes for years because of the mental lapses they go through. They've notched only a shade more than two sacks per game this season, and TOs have been hard to come by.
- The Cowboys have pooled 2.75 sacks per game and 1.00 turnover per game in recent weeks. They've also registered a touchdown on a fumble, an interception and on special teams in their last four games. Given the way things have gone for Philly all season, and particularly recently, Dallas may very well get six on D or via special teams again this Sunday night.
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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