Fantasy Football Sleepers: DT - Week 14 (with video)

by Nicholas Minnix on December 5, 2012 @ 16:16:07 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 Week 10 through Week 13 unless otherwise stated.

Fantasy football sleepers: Defensive teams

New York Jets at Jacksonville Jaguars

Fantasy value: High-end No. 1

  • Throw out points allowed, and the Jets have a top-10 fantasy defense for the season. It's amazing what TDs on D and special teams will do for a unit. It'd be nice to see what they could accomplish with Darrelle Revis (knee) and a remotely competent offense.
  • New York has scored only once in the past four weeks, and they've netted a mere 1.75 sacks and 1.75 takeaways per game in that time.
  • With Chad Henne running the show, Cecil Shorts (head) catching a TD bomb a game and Justin Blackmon beginning to blossom, Jacksonville's offense has become somewhat formidable.
  • That doesn't mean the Jags have avoided mistakes. They have no running game (good for the Jets, who have not been good against the run). They have turned the ball over 1.75 times and have given up 4.33 sacks per game in their recent contests.
Troy Polamalu, SS, Pittsburgh Steelers
Feasting on Philip

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. San Diego Chargers

Fantasy value: High-end No. 1

  • The Bolts have committed 1.75 turnovers and yielded 4.00 sacks per game in their most recent tilts. Philip Rivers has been erratic for most of the season, and his buggered offensive line is only making things worse.
  • Pittsburgh remains one of the more overrated fantasy defenses; their ownership rates across different platforms this year are much greater than they should be. People continue to start them despite the fact that they've rarely been a fantasy asset in 2012, however. It won't help that cornerback Ike Taylor (leg) will miss a few games.
  • Strong safety Troy Polamalu (calf) returned to action in Week 13, it should be noted, and the Steelers have generated some fantasy points here and there lately - with 2.75 sacks per game, mostly. They've registered one turnover per game in that time, too, but when they host San Diego, they could get more than that and should be a worthwhile start.

Jacksonville Jaguars vs. New York Jets

Fantasy value: Low-end No. 1

  • If you're playing the matchups and really into taking risks - or you play in a league that allows you to start two defenses - then this week you've probably jumped on the Jags' unit. The Jets' offense has had plenty of problems this season, particularly lately, with their three turnovers and 2.75 sacks allowed per game in recent contests.
  • Rex Ryan is reportedly leaning toward starting second-year signal caller Greg McElroy under center for New York in Week 14. Last week, the Alabama product saw his first NFL action, against the Arizona Cardinals, and led the Jets to their only scoring drive. In theory, his inexperience should be advantageous to the opponent. Frankly, however, Jacksonville probably has a better chance of making Mark Sanchez look stupid, which hasn't taken much work in most weeks.
  • The Jags have a decent chance to increase their averages of 1.25 sacks and 2.25 turnovers forced per game, marks that have come in their most recent games. Their offense has intermittent sustained drives and scored the occasional TD under the direction of Chad Henne, allowing their D to do things like rest and not always have things dictated to them.
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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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