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 10 through Week 13 unless otherwise stated.
Fantasy football sleepers: Place kickers
Rian Lindell, Buffalo Bills vs. St. Louis Rams
Fantasy value: High-end No. 1
- Lindell has attempted 2.25 field goals and 2.50 extra points per game. It's not until recently that the Bills have given him opportunities like this, but the right mix - their shaky but steadying offense and an improving defense - has upped their kicker's chances.
- The visitors have been fortunate in the outcomes of field goal attempts against them, at least in recent times. Opponents have attempted 2.50 of them per game, but four total misses have knocked down the scoring average against them a bit.
David Akers, San Francisco 49ers vs. Miami Dolphins
Fantasy value: Midrange No. 1
- As much as a kicker can be, Akers, often the first booter off draft boards, has been a disappointment. Not because of his opportunities - he's tried to make 2.50 field goals per game for the season. He's made only 70 percent of his attempts, of course, giving him 1.75 makes per game.
- San Fran's kicker has attempted 2.75 field goals, along with 2.75 extra points, per game in the allotted time period. Akers has been particularly off of late, with a missed field goal attempt per game in that stretch. His struggles could be mental or mechanical, or a combination of both. He also dealt with a pelvis injury a week ago, which could be affecting his performance.
- The Dolphins have been one of the most generous teams in the league to kickers recently, with 2.75 field goal attempts and 2.50 extra point attempts allowed per game. Akers may have plenty of shots to shake his slump, if you're willing to risk it.
Shaun Suisham, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. San Diego Chargers
Not so green Akers this year
Fantasy value: Low-end No. 1 or bench
- Fantasy owners have to be a lot more confident in Pittsburgh's ability to give their kicker chances at three-pointers after the team's victory at the Baltimore Ravens in Week 13. Charlie Batch played very well in his second start of 2012. It also sounds like there's a good chance that Ben Roethlisberger (shoulder, ribs) will return to action this weekend.
- The Chargers haven't given opponents many opportunities to convert either field goals or extra points this season. That's not the case recently, however, because kickers have attempted 2.75 field goals and 2.50 extra points per game in recent games.
- San Diego's offense is struggling in part because a depleted offensive line (which wasn't very good anyway) and in part because of Philip Rivers' penchant to turn the ball over. Pittsburgh may find a number of different ways to get Suisham onto the field, if you're willing to take the chance.
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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